My thoughts on how to name a dog

By Lance Gardner (Lance) on April 15, 2010

So how do we go about naming our furry friends? You can do like I did, and ask the youngest member of the family. He did need some guidance, however.

First and foremost, a dog’s name should be short, easy to say and understand, and distinctive enough that it will not be confused with other common words. You want your dog to respond to their name, not random words in a conversation. It should be short because your dog will probably only pay attention to the first few sounds anyway, and by the time you finish a long name, the dog is also long gone. I have used Max (for Maxwell Smart), Falco (for a breed originally used for falconry, although I also wanted Merlin for the small falcon), Tigger for a bouncy dog, and currently have Storm (a black mostly lab energetic storm cloud), and Turk (my son picked up a turkey toy and said “Turk”, and it fits this mostly silly dog well). My son came up with some very inventive names for Storm, but I had to reject most of them as they were pretty much full sentences that had no chance of working.


Other ideas to keep in mind are that a dog’s name will affect the way others perceive your attitude toward them and the dog’s personality. So even though Turk may seem like a turkey name to some, I also think it can sound masculine as this is a male, there was a movie about a firefighter called Turk, and there are some countries with Turk in their name, so it can have many interpretations. To name a dog mischief, trouble, puddles, or similar is just asking for everyone else to immediately assume the name is all too appropriate. So, have fun with the names, even let the little ones in your life help out, but remember what the name will be used for – both introductions to anyone else that asks or visits, as well as a means of getting your dogs attention. And as far as your dog is concerned, any sound in any language will do so long as it is consistently used.


Here are my son and our two buddies, at about 6 months old.  The dark one is Storm, the light one is Turk.  And the one with 2 legs is Skye, for his sky blue eyes.  

Related articles:
distinctive, dog, dogs, name, names, perception, pet, pets, short

About Lance Gardner
I have an interest in just about anything that gets me outside, as well as anything that is alive or grows, and in making things. So my hobbies include gardening, outdoors, photography, dogs, woodworking, and most importantly raising my son.

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Another thought provoking article! Zanymuse Apr 27, 2010 11:52 AM 10

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