5 Things to Consider When Naming Your Dog

1. Uniqueness

When naming your dog, try to pick a name that is somewhat unique.

Firstly, no one likes a Plain-Jane name – especially when you have a rare opportunity to use your uncensored imagination (to some extent).

Secondly, you are less likely to run into other dogs (or people) with the same name, confusing the situation.

naming your dog

You also want to minimise the chances of your dog’s name rhyming with, or sounding similar to, common commands or words (such as Joe or Kit – I’ll let you guess which common commands these names sound like).

You want your dog to always be able to easily discern their name from other noise.

2. Length & Complexity

As a general rule, the fewer syllables the better. One syllable is great, two is good. Anymore than two, you may want to consider an abbreviated version of your dogs name.

You want your dog’s name to be very memorable (both for you and her) and to roll of the tongue nicely.

Avoid overly complex and dual-names. This will only confuse your dog and you will lose both her attention and focus.

Some Examples of Single Syllable Names Include…

  • Ash
  • Bess
  • Belle
  • Black
  • Blue
  • Bliss
  • Bree
  • Brooke
  • Cash
  • Dash
  • Dex
  • Drake
  • Dot
  • Elle
  • Fay
  • Fran
  • Frost
  • Fox
  • Halt
  • Hope
  • Jade
  • Jax
  • Jet
  • Lex
  • Liz
  • Mac


3. Sound

There’s more to it than making the dog name short and succinct though, you need to also make it “snappy”.

By using sharp consonants and contrasts (like Rex, Etta, Cassie), you can make the name more compelling for your dog. This means your dog will not only be more attentive to it, it will also be heard over a greater distance.

Remember also that dogs hear high frequency sounds better, which means basically any name with the letters s, sh, ch, k and x will work well.

Another tip is, if you are seriously considering a name, try yelling it loudly and see how it feels and sounds. Chances are you will be doing this on a regular basis…

4. Character

Now for maybe the most important factor – the name must, of course, suit the character of your dog. This will be much easier to do if you own the dog for a few days before you give her a name.

What are some of her defining features? Is she energetic or lazy? Playful or timid? Cuddly or independent? Names can be based on both personality and physical traits;

  • A name like dash or jet would suit a fast, energetic and playful dog more than a sombre, calm or lazy one. In the case of the latter, maybe Bliss or Halt would be better suited
  • A large, wide, or clumsy dog would not suit the name Fox as well as say Lex, Jax or Bear
  • Although it may have a funny irony to it, most people wouldn’t name a white dog Black, or a black dog Frost
  • Maybe “Mittens” for a dog with different coloured feet? Or “Spot” for a freckled coat?

5. Dog Name Research

One of the greatest things about coming up with a name for your dog is that you don’t have the same restrictions that you do with a human. This makes for some pretty interesting options, and you should let your imagination run wild – at least for the initial brainstorm.

I do recommend doing some research on chosen names before the final decision. You never know what a word or name might mean, and by the time you find out, it may be too late!

It’s also a good idea to consider if a family member or close friend shares the same name – if they do, it may be a good idea to run it by them first. Not everyone feels honoured by having a dog named after them!


  • Avoid names that rhyme with, or sounds similar to, common words and commands
  • Pick a name with 1, max 2, syllables
  • Try using sharp consonants with high frequency letters
  • Wait a few days before picking a name, giving yourself time to observe her personality
  • Try a few different names, and see which one she responds to the best
  • Do some research on the name before making the final decision
  • Avoid changing a name you’ve used for more than a couple of weeks
  • Avoid changing an older dogs name at all, and if you do make it similar to her old name
  • Have fun with it 🙂

Once you and your newly named puppy have settled in, make sure you check out some of the various dog sharing platforms. They connect you with your community and local dog lovers, who may be able to look after your dog while you are not able to.

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