I have noticed a huge shift in the last ten years regarding dog names. Today, the majority of owners give their precious canines “people names.” I think the trend really expresses how much we consider our dog to be a member of our family.
Another observation of mine over the years I have walked dogs is that many dogs have names ending in the “Y” sound, like Sunny, Fully, Lily, Cailley, Lady, Rossi, Tilly, Danny Mitzi and Zoey.
I have been told by Jon Fowles, a certified professional dog trainer, that this is a perk when calling your pet to come. For some reason dogs respond better to this sound at the end of a name. His other tips included not having the name be too long, contain too many syllables, and preferably end with a vowel. He believes that following these guidelines will lead to greater success in training, but of course there are exceptions, with beautiful dogs’ names not ending in a vowel etc.
When I was a kid the dog next door was named Sundance. This was in the seventies and they were a free-spirited family. The dog was an Irish Setter that was fixated on getting out and chasing cars going by their house. It is amazing that he was never hit by a vehicle!
A few years later my other neighbours got a dog that they also named fabulously. The dog’s name was Taxi; we would laugh every time they would call for him. My first dog’s name was Freddy. I don’t remember why we choose the name but it suited our black spaniel. A decade later we got Ben, a black lab. There was much family discussion on his name. With four children and parents it was a challenge to agree on a name. He was named after Gentle Ben, the movie and TV show about a black bear.
Dogs’ names can go under many categories. There are the food related names that are self-explanatory regarding the dog’s colouring or shape. For example, names like Toffee, Biscuit, Sausage, Peaches, and Oreo. Chocolate labs have delicious names at times too, like Mousse, Nestle, Reese, Mocha or Godiva.
I love when there is some creativity to a name and it brings a smile to a stranger when hearing it for the first time. I met a man a few months ago and asked his dog’s name. He said it was pronounced De-o-gee so I asked how he spelt it. He answered Dog. Ha Ha! A vet tech told me recently of a funny name – it was Pita. I asked why this was funny and she said that it stood for pain in the A-S-_.”
I have heard of dogs named Cash, Visa, Hoover, and Trouble, all also self-explanatory. Another owner when asked said his dog’s name said Askim. Target is also a great dogs name for a pooch with a patch over one eye.
I have a cousin who, along with his wife and two daughters, felt their new male Golden Retriever needed a strong masculine name as he was the only male in their household. They named him Dave, which I think is perfection. Another family we know wanted their Goldie-poo to have a strong Italian name to showcase their Italian heritage. Rocco was his chosen name and he suits it beautifully.
Location names are still popular, often when owners want to remember the origin of their dog or a favorite place they have visited. Places like Bali, Napa, Vegas, London, Paris, Yukon or Fiji.
Beer names are always popular especially for light brown coloured dogs although I have noticed more alcohol inspired names in the last few years.
Sometimes dogs will be named after other animals like Tiger on the Brady Bunch or names like Bear, Moose or Mouse. Musical instruments are another series of fun names for dogs. My cousin had a nice yellow lab named Banjo.
With today’s booming technology advances I think we will be seeing names like Google and other computer buzz words for canines.
Personally, I am a sucker for old-fashioned names for dogs. There used to be a Bassett that came to the off leash park named Matilda – it really was a cute name for her. A senior I see at the park sometimes has a brown spaniel named Ian, and he is adorable.
Tiny dogs can benefit by a power name. I know of a mini Yorkie named Thunder. They also have a Weimaraner named Lightning. This presents a whole other category of matching dog names if two in a household. Weather terms can be creative names for pooches too.
I know of a couple who gave a forever home to a mature dog who needed it. The only sticky part was the dog had a name of one of her husband’s old girlfriends before they were married. Their brilliant solution was a variation of it! It was a great idea as it was not confusing for the dog.
I have also met a lot of people whom seem embarrassed when asked what their dog’s name is. Usually they utter that their kids named their dog. It is usually something like fluffy, or a jewel name or something very basic. It’s actually a quite endearing reaction as I sense where they are in their lives with young kids.
I met a woman the other day and she told me her family all name their dogs after flowers. Her dog is named Daisy and her sister’s dog is named Pansy. As I walked away I thought of countless other fun floral names that could be used.
I checked out the most popular dog names by asking other walkers and those in dog related fields. Their answers indicated that Max, Buddy, Molly, Bella, and Lucy are pretty common. I know of a few dogs with these names but each and every one of them and their families are unique, so in my opinion one shouldn’t worry about originality but instead focus on their bond and their many years of happiness together.
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