Naming Your Male Dog

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Naming Your Male Dog

by Valerie Goettsch

If you just got a new male puppy, you are probably agonizing over finding just the right name for him, just like an expectant parent trying to name your new baby. We tend to put a lot of effort and thought into picking a name for our dogs, one that is pleasing to the ear, and one we won't be embarrassed yelling in public. I'd much rather call out "Buddy, come," at the dog park than "Stay, Slobberchops," wouldn't you? By some accounts, you'll be saying your dog's name at least 35,000 times over the life of your pet, so you'll want to choose one that you'll be happy long after the fad "male dog name of the year" fades away.

One idea is to name your dog after a famous male that you like or can relate to, either in history, movies, or pop culture. For example, take the name "Duke." Famous people named Duke include legendary jazz pianist Duke Ellington. Duke was also the name of ultimate movie tough guy John Wayne. And for TV trivia buffs, it was the name of the hound dog in the TV show "The Beverly Hillbillies."

You could also name your dog after a personality trait. Is he constantly bumping into things and knocking them over? Perhaps "Buster" would be a good name. If he is strong and playful, "Rocky" might be a good fit. Is he always stealing your socks? "Bandit" may be just the right name for him.

Others like to name their dog after their favorite alcoholic beverage, like "Bud" or "Buddy" or car "Beemer," or athlete "Jordan." (Funny how this always seems to work better for male dog names versus girl dogs.)

It may be interesting to pick a male dog name based on the meaning of the name and how it relates to your dog. "Beauregard," for instance, means "handsome face." The name "Liam" means determined protector. And who can forget "Frodo," from the Lord of the Rings, for your loyal male furry friend.

Choosing a foreign name reflecting your dog's heritage is another option. For example, if you have an Old English Sheepdog, you could name your dog using a traditional English name such as Addison, Barclay or Grover. If you have a Scottish Terrier, then "Tavis" or "Finley," both good Scottish names, may be appropriate.

You may like a name that has a humorous twist. If your dog is a little on the chubby side, "Gordito" might suit him. A little irony might also be fun. What about "Botox" for a Shar-pei (which has naturally wrinkled skin from head to tail). But be careful here: what may be topical at the moment might be pass? in a few years (think of all those little girl babies named Britney).

Whatever name you choose, keep a few things in mind:

  • Dog names should be short, preferably one or two syllables. It's easier for you to call out and easier for your dog to understand.
  • Dog names should not sound similar to commands. "Joe" sounds too close to "no," for example. This can create confusion for your dog.
  • Dog names should not sound like any other name within the family or there will be lots of mix-ups.
  • Will that cute, exotic name or trendy for your puppy still suit your male dog after he is all grown up?

Valerie Goettsch is webmaster of My Favorite Dog featuring articles and info on male dog names, dog breeds, pet health, meds and more.

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