Mythbuster | What’s in a Name?
I don’t know what motivates you when naming your pets, but there are some ‘rules’ floating around out there about what’s a good name and what are things to avoid. Are these accurate, or are the just myths? Does it really matter what you name your dog? Let’s take a look at some of these guidelines:
- Don’t give your dog a human name. Huh? Tell that to Jack…and Maggie. This rule comes from the Monks of New Skete who breed and train German Shepherds. Their thinking behind it was giving the dog a human name may easily lead to anthropomorphizing the dog. Well, that may be, but if someone is taking the time to do research about the proper name for their dog and reading the monk’s training books – well they may be already on that path of treating their dog like a human – and what’s so bad about that?
- Don’t give your dog a name that sounds similar to a command like No, or Sit or Stay. Make sure the name is distinct from those common commands. This rule does make sense to me. It’s hard enough for dogs to master their commands, but if their name sounds like one of them it is only going to cause confusion and miscommunication.
- Keep the name to one or two syllables. I agree with this one too. Makes it easy to say and easy for the dog to understand.
- Use a name that is sex appropriate. I really wanted to name my first Lab Max. I just LIKED the name. But, I also wanted a female because we wanted to breed her. So we had this pretty little female Lab named, Max. I won’t do that again. Obviously, she didn’t care, but it created a lot of confusion and explaining on my end.
- Give them a name with an “e” or a “y” at the end. This one is so it can end on a high note and be more sing-songy, and that higher pitch and modulation dogs respond more readily to.
- Use a name with a hard consonant at the end so it can be distinct and grab their attention – well, we did that with Jack and it seems to work.
Most people take the time to think about their pets names and it can be a fun family activity. Our Sally was named by Steve after a song he liked by Paw called Sweet Sally Brown. Tino was also named by Steve, after a famous Yankee baseball player, Tino Rodriguez and his brother Bernie was named for Bernie Williams, a teammate.
When we got Becca, we kept the name the rescue had given her, but when we adopted Jack, they had named him “Suka”. That just didn’t fit with this big lumbering Labrador, so we renamed him Jack, my choice. Maggie was named Della by the rescue and that seemed a little too old-fashioned for her so we renamed her too. All of them are human names, so I guess I’m guilty of anthropomorphizing. Oh well.
What is your dog’s name and how did you decide on it?