The name you choose says as much about you as it does about your dog. It shows how you view your dog and your relationship with it. Some names can cause people to judge a dog and react positively or negatively/fearfully when meeting it. Depending on whether the dog is a pet, therapy dog, search & rescue dog, tracking dog or any other dog that works with the public, it is important to use a name that conveys the proper image.
The most popular dog name in North America is Sam, Sammie or Samantha (which means "listener"). The second most popular is Max, Maxie, Maxwell or Maxine (which means "the greatest" in Latin). Third is Lady, followed by Bear, Maggie, Buddy, Tasha, Chelsea (or Chelsie), Holly and Shasta. Other very popular names are Brandy, Ginger and Taffy.
- Choose a name that will be easy for your dog to learn. A two-syllable name usually works best. Get your dog used to hearing his name often. It should be spoken in a gentle and happy manner. There is no sound more pleasant for a dog than the sound of his own name.
- Don't give your dog a name that sounds like a command. Avoid names like "Joe" (No), "Jay" (Stay), or "Fletch" (Fetch).
- Your dog deserves a respectful name. The attitude you and others develop toward your dog can be affected by the name you give it. Avoid derogatory names like Bozo and Doofus. Steer clear of names that have negative connotations like Diablo, Lucifer, Satan, and Cujo.
- Your dog's name should not sound like any other name within the family, a close friend or neighbor. You want to avoid confusion and hurt feelings. (My neighbor and my dog were both named "Charlie", and my neighbor would think I was yelling for him whenever I would call my dog in from the yard.)
- If your dog is going to be around kids or the elderly, avoid upsetting names like Nightmare, Killer, or Monster.