How to choose a name for your new pet
Effective communication between animals and their human companions is the hallmark of a good relationship and choosing a good strong name is important when considering this.
Associations with names:
Whatever you call your pets, it’s important to choose a name with positive associations. Names define animals to others and sometimes even give them something to live up — or down — to, whether it’s the actual meaning of the name or the history behind it. Think about it: The pet named Outlaw or Trouble comes loaded with baggage, even if he is as sweet and snuggly as all get out. Remember with names for instance if you watched the movie Marley and you name your pet Marley you will find he/she will be just as naughty – due to the message you send out to him/her.
Choose a name that’s easy to say. Usually that’s a one- or two-syllable name, often ending with an “a” or “e” sound. Think Stella, Buddy, Sophie, Mocha.
Try to use “hard” consonants and vowels
Hard consonants, such as ‘k,’ ‘d,’ and ‘t’ are easier to hear and distinguish than soft consonants such as ‘f,’ ‘s,’ or ‘m.’ The same is true for vowels
When choosing a name for your new pet, choose one that does not sound like a common command.
Choose a name that doesn’t rhyme with no. You don’t want your pet to develop a complex about his name, do you?
Names that can end up sounding like ‘sit,’ ‘come,’ ‘stay,’ or ‘heel’ are not good options either. Your dog will not know which way to turn.
Names like Beau, Joe, Coco and Cosmo are cute and popular, but it can be easy for a dog to mishear them as “no” and come to dislike his name.
Just as your dog’s name should not sound like a command, it also should not be similar to the names of other household members (human or animal!). This would result in confusion for your dog, and the dog’s namesake.
While you’re at it, choose a name you won’t be embarrassed for the neighbours to hear you call. Do you really want to call your dog in from the yard with a resounding cry of “Vodka! Vodka! Come!” Maybe stick with Stoli, Chopin or Zyr for your Borzoi or Black Russian Terrier.
One big trend I’m seeing is the adoption of “people” names for pets. I can’t tell you how many dogs and cats I know named Max, Jack, Bella, Chloe, Zoe, Charlie, Sam, Maggie and so on. I think that’s a good thing: It marks our animals’ roles as full-fledged members of the family.
With adopted pets it is important to consider that they had a name before you adopted them and you may want to find out what that name was. It may help you in the long run with communication… although chsing a name signifying a new start is great too.
Many communicators in fact ask animals what they would like to be called. If you do this he/she will respond better to it.
So I would choose names you have positive connotations with and then let him/her choose?
I personally have done comms where animals tell me, “I don’t like being called Cuddles, Poopy or Noggin” “I am NOT fat!” A name is an identity and it is just as important to them as it should be to their guardians.
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*Try it – it’s as good as having your dog bring your newspaper to you in the mornings*
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