How To Come Up With A Unique Dog Name

16 August 2019

How To Come Up With A Unique Dog Name

Choosing what to name your dog might be one of the most stressful parts of getting a new pet! Should you name it something traditional, or should it be unusual? Should it be punny, or funny, or both? Should it be named after a celebrity or a fictional character? The choices are endless! Plus, the name you choose is what you are going to have to say dozens of times every single day as you call to them, so the pressure is really on. Below, we have gathered some helpful information we hope will make the name selection process a little bit easier.

 

Tips for naming your dog

 

  • Choose a name with one or two syllables. These are easiest to say and short enough to get your dog’s attention.
  • Consider a name with hard consonants, which may be easier for dogs to hear, for example, Gracie or Bailey.
  • Try not to choose a name that sounds similar to a command, names like Kit, which sounds like “sit,” or Bo, which sounds like “no.”
  • When a dog hears her name, it is a signal that whatever is coming next is meant for her. So, use her name frequently in a positive context, so she does not associate it with punishment or something negative.
  • Do not name a dog something that sounds a lot like the name of another family member. If your daughter is Annie and the dog is Franny, the dog (and your daughter) may be confused and not know when to respond.

 

Tips to Find Unique Dog Names

  • Location, location, location. Think about cities you’ve visited or your favorite vacation spots.
  • What are your hobbies & interests? A sport, video game, comic, historical period, musician or book can be a great source of name ideas.
  • Look at lists with the most popular dog names.
  • Try out a dog name generator online.

 

Naming tips for first time owners

 

  • Stay away from calling your pal something potentially embarrassing. The title “Stinky” might be cute at first, but as the joke gets old, how will you feel in a year or so when you have to call “Stinky” home at night?
  • Does your choice rhyme with something negative? If so, it might turn out that you dislike it so much that you will become the one of the 20 percent of people who decide to change their dog’s names.
  • Be mindful that your pooch might outgrow its title. Buttercup might be appropriate for a cute puppy, but not when it becomes a full grown Great Dane.
  • Keep it to one or two syllables. Dogs not only learn it quicker, but it makes them easier to train.
  • Here is a good tip, pick a title that matches your dog’s appearance or personality.
  • Watch out for trendy choices that might cause embarrassment once the trend is passed.
  • Beware of the common trend to call your pup after people. Though doing so is not a bad thing in itself, if you title your pup after a friend or family member, they might take offense.
  • If you have adopted an older dog, its best to keep its current moniker so that it doesn’t become confused. If for some reason you must change it, consider one that sounds similar or rhymes.

 

Tips for naming a puppy

 

Many dog trainers suggest giving dogs names that are more in keeping with their status, as well as names that are easily spoken and learned. Ideal names to give a dog a name are comprised of two syllables. Some examples of this are Bella, Buddy, Cosmo, Lucky, Rocky.

Trainers say that dogs will learn and quickly respond to these types of short sounds, making training easier and long term control of the dog easier; even three syllable words can be confusing for some dogs. Longer names can be clumsy or confusing, or can be mispronounced by others who are involved in the dog’s life, making consistent obedience tricky.

The puppy has a much easier time of learning and responding if her name does not sound like a command that is being given. Similarly, the name should not sound like a joke. Dogs are sensitive and intuitive. They can distinguish and understand the mood of the person and the emotions within the speech, whether the words are coming from the master, from members of the family, or from an outsider.

 

There is a science to it

 

Dog experts have done a lot of research working with dogs on the types of words and phrases that canines  easily recognize and will respond to. Scientific research shows that dogs can hear the ‘s’ sound much more intensely than humans, and that dogs respond best to words with two-syllables that include hard consonant sounds — such as Rosy or Lisa.

Canine experts found that hard consonants create sounds with more energy across sound frequencies and therefore attract the dog’s attention better. Harder sounds also activate more audio receptors in a canine’s brain than soft consonant sounds.

Names with these characteristics are more likely to be recognized and remembered by dogs, while dog names with three or more syllables are significantly more difficult for dogs to understand and memorize. Researchers believe that the reason behind this,  is that the more individual sounds are involved, the more the name can be easily misconstrued — a sense of “overload” in the dog’s mind.

 

Below, we have collected a list of the best, most unique names for your dog:

 

Witty Dog Names

 

  • Beau Dacious
  • Buzz Pawldrin
  • Reeses Puppycups
  • Sitka
  • Lupin
  • Willie Nelson
  • Gryffindor
  • Artoo Dogtoo
  • Tater Tot
  • Tyrion
  • Hashtag
  • Tony Romo
  • Sativa
  • Chronic
  • Espresso
  • Blade
  • Ernest Hemingway
  • Muttley Crue
  • Yeti
  • WiFi

 

Unique Dog Names Inspired by Famous People

 

Female Dog Names

 

  • Amelia (Amelia Earhart, American aviation pioneer)
  • Boudica (Boudica, Queen of the British Celtic Iceni tribe)
  • Danica (Danica Patrick, American professional stock car racing driver)
  • Ella (Ella Fitzgerald, American jazz singer)
  • Frida (Frida Kahlo, Mexican painter)
  • Harper (Harper Lee, American author)
  • Harriet (Harriet Tubman, American abolitionist and humanitarian)
  • Joan (Joan of Arc, French soldier during the Hundred Years War)
  • Sacagawea (Sacagawea, Lemhi Shoshone guide for Lewis & Clark)
  • Sally (Sally Ride, American physicist and astronaut)

 

Male Dog Names

 

  • Amadeus (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Austrian composer)
  • Augustus (Augustus, the first Roman emperor)
  • Bowie (David Bowie, English singer-songwriter and actor)
  • Dante (Dante Alighieri, Italian poet)
  • Diesel (Vin Diesel, American actor)
  • Freud (Sigmund Freud, founder of psychoanalysis)
  • Galileo (Galileo Galilei, Italian astronomer and scientist)
  • Grover (Grover Cleveland, 22nd and 24th president of the United States)
  • Leif (Leif Erikson, Norse explorer)
  • Napoleon (Napoleon Bonaparte, French military leader)

 

Unisex Dog Names

 

  • Attila (Attila the Hun, tribal leader of the Huns)
  • Bullock (Sandra Bullock, American actress)
  • Faulkner (William Faulkner, American author)
  • Houdini (Harry Houdini, American illusionist and performer)
  • Lennon (John Lennon, English singer-songwriter)
  • Monet (Claude Monet, French impressionist painter)
  • Parks (Rosa Parks, activist during the Civil Rights Movement)
  • Porter (Cole Porter, American composer and songwriter)
  • Twain (Mark Twain, American author)
  • Xerxes (Xerxes the Great , king of Persia)

 

Unique Dog Names Inspired by Food

 

  • Cornchip
  • Cannoli
  • Giblet
  • Nacho
  • Noodle
  • Olive
  • Pickles
  • Queso
  • Scampi
  • Tater Tot

 

Unique Dog Names Inspired by Literature

 

Female Dog Names

 

  • Arya (from "Game of Thrones")
  • Celie (from "The Color Purple")
  • Desdemona (from "Othello")
  • Hazel (from "The Fault in Our Stars")
  • Hermione (from "Harry Potter")
  • Jo (from "Little Women")
  • Katniss (from "The Hunger Games")
  • Lolita (from "Lolita")
  • Matilda (from "Matilda")
  • Portia (from "The Merchant of Venice")

 

Male Dog Names

 

  • Beowulf (from "Beowulf")
  • Ender (from "Ender's Game")
  • Gale (from "The Hunger Games")
  • Heathcliff (from "Wuthering Heights")
  • Holden (from "Catcher in the Rye") 
  • Ishmael (from "Moby Dick")
  • Macbeth (from "Macbeth")
  • Quixote (from "Don Quixote")
  • Randle (from "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest")
  • Zhivago (from "Dr. Zhivago")

 

Unisex

  • Amory (from "This Side of Paradise")
  • Bean (from "Ender's Game")
  • Cash (from "As I Lay Dying")
  • Dallas (from "The Outsiders")
  • Darcy (from "Pride & Prejudice")
  • Finn (from "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn")
  • Gatsby (from "The Great Gatsby")
  • Jekyll (from "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde")
  • O'Hara (from "Gone With the Wind")
  • Puck (from "A Midsummer Night's Dream")

 

Unique Dog Names Inspired by Mythology

 

Greek & Roman Mythology

 

  • Achilles
  • Apollo
  • Artemis
  • Cerberus
  • Hector
  • Mars
  • Midas
  • Myrina
  • Orion
  • Poseidon

 

Norse Mythology

 

  • Asgard
  • Baldur
  • Fenrir
  • Frey
  • Loki
  • Njord
  • Odin
  • Sigmund
  • Thor
  • Valhalla

 

Unique Dog Names Inspired by Sports

 

  • Arnie (Arnold Palmer, former professional golfer)
  • Beckham (David Beckham, former English soccer player)
  • Fenway (Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox)
  • Gretzky (Wayne Gretzky, former Canadian hockey player for the New York Rangers)
  • Hamm (Mia Hamm, former American soccer player)
  • Jeter (Derek Jeter, former baseball player for the New York Yankees)
  • Manning (Peyton Manning, former American football player)
  • McCovey (Willie McCovey, former baseball player for the San Francisco Giants)
  • Ortiz (David Ortiz, former baseball player for the Boston Red Sox) 
  • Pele (Pele, former Brazilian soccer player)
  • Wrigley (Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs)

 

Unique Female Dog Names

  • Aja
  • Alpine
  • Aria
  • Ash
  • Athena
  • Avalon
  • Birdie
  • Boo
  • Brandy
  • Breezy
  • Brie
  • Buffy
  • Cinder
  • Citra
  • Clementine
  • Cocoa
  • Cookie
  • Cora
  • Corkie
  • Delila
  • Emmy
  • Farrah
  • Fifi
  • Fiona
  • Flora
  • Frida
  • Godiva
  • Harper
  • Ivory
  • Izzy
  • Java
  • Jude
  • Kai
  • Kaia
  • Kit
  • Kodiak
  • Lulu
  • Maizie
  • Meiko
  • Moon
  • Muffy
  • Nikita
  • Nilla
  • Norah
  • Nyx
  • Pippa
  • Phoenix
  • Poppy
  • Princess
  • Queenie
  • Rain
  • Raven
  • River
  • Sable
  • Sage
  • Sativa
  • Shasta
  • Sierra
  • Snickers
  • Spirit
  • Starr
  • Stella
  • Swift
  • Twinkie
  • Una
  • Vesper
  • Winter
  • Yuki
  • Zoe

 

Unique Male Dog Names

  • Alfred
  • Amigo
  • Angus
  • Apollo
  • Argo
  • Arlo
  • Arnold
  • Asher
  • Atlas
  • Axl
  • Aztec
  • Bacon
  • Barley
  • Bash
  • Basil
  • Beau
  • Bock
  • Boomer
  • Boris
  • Bucky
  • Buddah
  • Buzz
  • Casper
  • Cheech
  • Cobalt
  • Conan
  • Cosmo
  • Dart
  • Darwin
  • Digby
  • Dixon
  • Finn
  • Flyer
  • Frost
  • Gordy
  • Griffin
  • Guinness
  • Happy
  • Hogan
  • Holden
  • Horace
  • Huey
  • Jagger
  • Jameson
  • Jett
  • Kai
  • King
  • Kip
  • Knight
  • Kona
  • Legend
  • Lemmy
  • Loki
  • Lupin
  • Maynard
  • Merlin
  • Miller
  • Nacho
  • Napoleon
  • Niles
  • Orion
  • Peanut
  • Pickles
  • Pierre
  • Porter
  • Presley
  • Royce
  • Saber
  • Scout
  • Spartan
  • Sushi
  • Tank
  • Tater Tot
  • Titan
  • Trip
  • Tucker
  • Tyrion
  • Watson
  • Whiskey
  • Willie
  • Xerxes
  • Yates
  • Yeti
  • Zeus

 

Top Hunting Dog Names

  • Annie
  • Apollo
  • Arrow
  • Artemis
  • Arya
  • Aspen
  • Athena
  • Atlas
  • Bear
  • Benelli
  • Bill
  • Bolt
  • Boomer
  • Browning
  • Brutus
  • Buck
  • Cedar
  • Chase
  • Copper
  • Cricket
  • Dakota
  • Dashiell (Dash)
  • Denali
  • Drake
  • Duke
  • Dutch
  • Echo
  • Fern
  • Finn
  • Goose
  • Gunnar
  • Hammer
  • Hawkeye or Hawk
  • Huckleberry (Huck)
  • Hunter (obvious, but catchy)
  • Ivy
  • Jack
  • Jagger
  • Jett
  • Kodiak
  • Legend
  • Maggie
  • Marlin
  • Maverick
  • Moose
  • Moxy
  • Nala
  • Oakley
  • Orion
  • Rain (Rainy)
  • Ranger
  • Rebel
  • Remington (Remy)
  • Rocky
  • Rogue
  • Ruger
  • Sage
  • Scout
  • Shadow
  • Spike
  • Sundance
  • Teddy
  • Texas
  • Thunder
  • Walker
  • Wilder
  • Willow
  • Yukon
  • Zeus
  • Ziggy

 

Conclusion

 

Having the chance to name a dog is a very exciting thing, and it is a lot of pressure to pick a good one! Luckily, there are a lot of names to choose from, and lots of advice to help you along the way. The most important thing is that your dog responds well to the name you choose. It may be that you had a name in mind before you got the dog, but once you got them home you realized it was all wrong for their personality and you needed to choose a new one. Or, your dog simply might not respond to the name you have given them, whether it is because it is too unfamiliar or not distinguishable enough from other sounds.

Take some time to learn more about how puppies and dogs hear and associate words and commands with positive reinforcement in order to better understand why they respond to their names. In general, they are responding to their name because they know that a good thing usually comes afterwards. It is easy to get caught up with naming trends – look at all of the celebrity children who are named after food! – but it is worth considering whether you will still want to be calling your dog the trendy name 15 years from now.

Choosing a name can also be a fun family activity. Gather around and put names in a hat, pick one out and if you all agree, that is the one! Or, pick the first letter, and everyone has to come up with a name that starts with that letter. The options are endless.


Category: New Pet Parent

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