Have you ever wondered where the dog name Fido came from? It’s Latin, meaning someone you can trust and confide in, similar to fidelity.
Although a pet’s name can come from just about anywhere, it is most often chosen to fit your pet’s personality or appearance.
In her book, ‘Medieval Pets’, author Kathleen Walker-Meikle gives us some very descriptive examples from famous furry companions of the Royals. Not surprising, then, is that Prince was a popular name. Famous royal hunting dogs were often named for their best skills: Nosewise, Clenche, Sturdy, Amiable. And then there was sad, little Nameless.
Think carefully about whatever name you choose. Say it out loud. Will you mind yelling it out at the dog park? Do you have to explain it to people, like, “ABCDE is pronounced Absidee?” If it’s a long name like Beaujolais, will the name fit on an ID tag.
The American Kennel Club lists top trending names, noting that cartoon characters, sports figures and food items are most popular, but some all-time favorites such as Prince are still around.
AKC experts recommend choosing a name that has two syllables, because commands typically use only one syllable. Every time you call for Beau, your dog may think you said, “No.” Yet, if the name is too long, it can be too complicated for him to recognize.
The UK kennel club recommends choosing a name that ends in a vowel or an “ee” sound, because it forces you to raise the tone of your voice, so your dog can pick out this word more easily from all the other unintelligible things we say in conversation.
Choose a name that is significantly different from the names of any other pets or people in the home, or both may come running.
It’s best to avoid giving an adult dog a new name because this could confuse him. However, for a younger dog who has already been named, try to modify the name while using the same vowel sound. Change Bit to Rip and gradually get him used to being called Ripley while petting him or giving a treat, so he will associate the name with being wanted.
Mydogsname.com, Nameberry, AKC, Pupbox, Rover, NamesNerd and other free naming websites generate lists to help you choose. Pumpkin is for ‘diva’ dogs, and Fantasy Name Generator is great if you want to name your pet after a pixie. Just select a category based on his characteristics, and you’ll get plenty of suggestions. If you have litter rescues or work with stray shelters, multiple name generators are a welcome help.
How do breeders choose names? The AKC says breeders want to reflect the pedigree of each dog, sometimes using a name from the country of the breed’s origin, and including the birth kennel’s name in the full title, so they can check the dog’s progress in shows. American breeders name their dogs like racehorses – Raise the Bar, for example, yet they will also have a simple ‘call’ name like Lyric or Prince anyway.
Current top US non-breeder names are Luna, Bella, Daisy, Max, Cooper and Milo. To be different, you might select a name from your family’s country of origin. A top Welsh name is Griffin…and it means Prince. That may be the most popular dog name in history. You can take any American name and search for its foreign counterpart.
Regardless of what name you choose, you two will probably end up with a nickname like Buddy. You’ll find that your dog prefers this name. It’s infused with love and a special relationship. It’s his ‘bonding’ name.
Heron’s Crossing provides end-of-life care for pets in the Metro Atlanta area. In-home appointments with compassionate vets are available. If you’d prefer a home-like setting away from your home, our Decatur office is also available by appointment.