Hey Slopchops. Hey Slimeball.

When you first decide to get a dog, you may already have a name, for him or her, in mind. However naming a dog needs a little consideration. Slopchops or Slimeball may sound funny to you, but are they appropriate as your pet's name. Dog's deserve some respect and that goes for their name also. Having owned various dogs over the years here is some of what I have learned about naming a dog.

The dog may already have a name.

If you take a rescue dog into your home, he or she could already have a name. It may be as well to stick to this name unless you find that you really cannot stand it. Depending on the age of the dog, this name may be so ingrained in your dog's psyche that will be better for the animal to leave well alone.

A good name for training.

A short and snappy name such as Sam, Fred, Jess or Alf will be a good name when you are training your dog. Names that have one syllable are less confusing to a dog and much more memorable. In no time at all, your dog will answer to this brief name.

Avoid names that sound anything like the commands you will be hoping to use when training your dog. These commands will usually be sit, heel, lie down and stay.

Fashions come and go.

If you pick an extremely relevant and currently fashionable name a couple of years down the road this name sound peculiar. However, as always in these matters, the choice is yours.

Inappropriate names

Never use a word that could be offensive to name your dog or member's of the public. Remember that at sometime or another you will have to call that name out, perhaps even across a crowded field. This is why I used the examples of Slopchops and Slimeball. Imagine shouting either of those out, when other people were around. You could so easily end up with a punch in the mouth. Apart from that, YOU may feel very foolish when someone sweetly asks you the name of your dog and you have to say something like Knickers.

The best way to decide on a name for your dog.

Wait until you have your dog home and start to observe him or her for personality traits. This may sound silly but all dogs are different. Once you have owned a dog a few days their perfect name may spring into your mind with little effort.

The dog may be a perfect:-

  • Cuddles.
  • Charlie
  • Lily
  • Jessie
  • Fudge
  • Muffin
  • Norman
  • Bert
  • Benny
  • Zoe
  • Zara

All of the above are fine as a dog's name but only one may be perfect for your pet. If you need inspiration, there are many resources on-line and in your local library that may help.

You can be as adventurous as you like but it is best to stick within the basic rules above. Longer names are OK if they can be shortened. Some dog owners like to find a name that is a derivative of a pedigree dog's kennel club name or perhaps is associated with the animal's breed. For example, a German Shepherd dog may suit a German name such as Fritz.

Rescue centres often struggle to give names to the vast numbers of dogs that go through their doors but they usually manage to. They use anything and everything. Dogs are often called Fudge, Cadbury, Muffin and Cookie simply because this is what the rescuers were eating that night.

Do not rush but take your time so that you find the right name for your dog. As the space he or she takes up in your heart grows, you will be so glad you opted for something like Patch, because the dog has a black patch of fur over one eye, rather than Ratbag because the dog had made you cross that day.