The Name Game: What to consider when naming your dog

A dog’s name is often a reflection of its owner’s personality and interests. Although it is not as intimidating as naming a child because you don’t have to worry about their dog friends rhyming their name with bodily functions, it is important to remember that a puppy’s response often depends on the name that you choose for it.

Teaching your dog to respond to his/her name is a crucial part of establishing communication lines between your pet and you. If the name sounds too much like another family member’s name or a frequently used word the dog may have a hard time differentiating the words causing the dog to respond inappropriately or not at all. Another piece of advice for naming your dog is to choose a name with a sibilant consonant or blend (an “s,” “sh” or “zh”) or commanding consonant (a “k” or hard “c”). These sounds help your dog distinguish its name from ambient sounds.

According to petmd.com, the best dog names are easily spoken words consisting of two syllables. The two syllables provide a rhythm that is easy for the dog to understand. Although we may want to name our new four legged family member, Daenerys Targaryen or Benedict Cumberbatch, it is best to stick to names such as: Bella, Buddy, Lucky and Rocky.

Pet owners should also consider social norms when naming their dog. Although a name may be a hilarious inside joke for your family and friends, it would be wise to see if you are comfortable calling this name out in a crowded dog park. Once a dog learns their name, it is very difficult to teach them a new one.

I’ll help you to be popular

The Charlotte Observer analysis of the 170,000 pets registered with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Animal Care & Control Division found that the most popular dog names in Charlotte-Mecklenburg are:

Female

Male

1. Bella

1,600

1. Max

1,224

2. Lucy

1,017

2. Buddy

887

3. Daisy

844

3.Charlie

764

4. Molly

786

4.Rocky

663

5. Maggie

726

5. Jack

566

6. Sadie

708

6. Cooper

553

7. Chloe

698

7. Toby

476

8. Sophie

622

8. Jake

462

9. Lola

580

9. Bentley

450

10. Coco

548

10. Bear

426

Other popular dog names in Char-Meck, showed pet-owner’s devotion to the Carolina Panthers. There were 45 dogs named Cam, 44 named Newton and there are 13 dogs sporting the name Kuechly.

The names that the Waggle Company sees the most often are: Cooper, Charlie and Bear for the fellas. Popular names amongst the ladies are: Bella, Lucy and Callie.

However, it may be best to avoid the most popular names because it can cause a chaotic traffic jam if everyone at the dog park is calling the same name.

Ultimately, while naming suggestions are helpful tools, you should name your new dog something that is endearing and that you won’t mind repeating over and over and over again.