The key is repetition, repetition, and more repetition. Use your dog’s name frequently and whenever you’re playing with, feeding or grooming him. Avoid using it in stressful situations, or when he has any kind of “puppy accident.” You want him to have a strong, positive connection with his name. If he grows up fearing he’s done something wrong when he hears his name, you may have trouble getting him to come to you when you need him to, as when he’s running freely in the park or at the dog beach.
Sources of Inspiration for Pet Names
- Pet names should reflect your lifestyle, your pet’s personality or your expectations for him or her. Explore your interests. Favorite television shows, movies, plays, actors and characters are fertile areas for ideas. For example, “Cujo” became hugely popular after the Steven King novel and subsequent movie.
- For art lovers, potential puppy names include Frida or Kahlo for a female, Van Gogh or Picasso for a male.
- Surfers may end up with a Halfpipe or Point Break (inevitably shortened to Pointer).
- Computer whizzes may call their dog Linux, ASCII or Qwerty.
- Sci-Fi enthusiasts might consider Yoda, ET or Vincent. And you can bet a slew of Lord of the Rings dog and puppy names are popping up across the whole of the shire.
- Fans of space exploration might have a Sputnik or a Hubble.
- Colors are a big factor as well. You can find a lot interesting names for black dogs or names for white dogs.
- Are you a geography buff? Consider favorite countries or cities as your source of inspiration: Kenya, Bermuda, Sicily, Cairo, Milano or Victoria, for instance.
- Orthopedic surgeons might look to their career for inspiration and have a Radius, Scapula or Tarsus.
- For gourmets, Couscous, Chutney and Salsa are on the menu.
- One of the most relied upon sources for puppy names are favorite musical bands and singers of today and yesteryear: Ol’ Blue Eyes, Elvis, Ringo and Dylan dot the charts of popular dog monikers.
- Cartoons are an excellent source of pet names: animated cartoon characters like Scooby Doo and Casper (for white pets), and Dilbert and Dogbert.
- And don’t forget Super Heroes! Having a Captain America or Batman around as a security watch-pet wouldn’t be a bad thing, would it?
If you have a multi-pet household consider this:
- For a pair try Bert and Ernie, Fred and Ginger (or Wilma), Cayenne and Pepper or Teeter and Totter.
- For a trio, try Peanut, Butter and Jelly; Duchess, Princess and King; or Daisy, Lily and Petunia.