About a week ago, we took a little pre-season hiking trip through Clingman’s Dome around the Tennessee/North Carolina line. It was a perfectly normal trip on a beautiful day until we passed a gorgeous 4-year-old Mountain Cur. Our buddy took a liking to the old girl and then found out she was a foster dog. Being a young, single man he needed little convincing on giving the dog a new home.
Until today, we’ve been calling the pup Jane Doe, because our buddy has been hesitant to settle on a name. After all, there’s a lot to consider in naming a new pup. If you find yourself in the same boat as our friend, consider the following before settling in on a name for your new hunting partner:
- Other People Will Hear It- It might be adorable that your toddler makes up hilarious names for the new pup, but do you really want to be yelling “Here Boo Boo Kitty Sparkle!” in a field full of your hunting buddies? You’re more than welcome to do it, but we’re going to make fun of you for it.
- Make It Socially Acceptable- In college, we had a friend with a dog named Darnit (well, we’re going to call him Darnit here). Darnit was a great dog, and it was pretty hilarious to hear him shout for Darnit around field or around our college apartment complex. Fast forward 10 years and our buddy is living in suburbia with a toddler and baby. Darnit is old and gray without the same child-like get-up-and-go that warranted the name in the first place. Needless to say, Darnit got a name adjustment as the neighbors were not as impressed with the name as we were when it was created a decade ago, and the wife wasn’t a fan of teaching the children obscenities just to call their own dog. So, remember, the cute, clever name you’ve created might seem cute, but make sure it’s something you’re comfortable saying in front of any audience.
- Names Are Forever- This one goes in the same vein as the above. Remember when naming your pup that this will be his or her name for the rest of his or her life. Will “Super Zip the Wonder Puppy” still fit your dog when he’s 13 and gray? Probably not. Also, try to avoid trend names. You might be super into Chipper Jones right now, but will you still be as big of fan a decade from now? (Ok, that’s a bad example, of course you will still like Chipper Jones as much in a decade…maybe more. But, you get the point)
- Don’t Make it a Mouthful- You are welcome to name your new dog Sir Walter Barksworth the 47th, but don’t call him that. Dogs respond best to short, crisp statements (commands for example). If you want to actually get your dog’s attention when you say his or her name, keep it short and simple. You can certainly register a longer name, but make the nickname the one you use to get attention and give commands.
- Avoid Friends’, Family, and Coworkers’ Names- If you have a common name, you are familiar with the awkwardness that can come along with having multiple members of a family or friend group with the same name. It is even more awkward when you can’t tell if someone is talking to you or the dog. Don’t put your friend’s through this. Where possible, make your dog an individual and let your friends keep their names to themselves.
- Don’t Rhyme with Commands- We always talk about the importance of communication with your pup. If you’ve picked a name that
rhymes with commands you will be giving your pup, you run the risk of confusing them and making them less effective at that command.
- It’s Your Dog- At the end of the day, it’s your dog, do what you want. These are guidelines and suggestions, but none are set in stone. If you want to name your dog after your favorite uncle Stan, then we are certainly not here to stop you. If the name feels right, it’s your dog and you’re the one that has to be happy with it at the end of the day.
With these rules in mind, our buddy named his new dog Dinah. We think he did pretty well. A lot of names were tossed around, and there’s still a few we like more, but it’s his dog.
What guidelines would you add about naming your pup?