When we named our two dogs, it was quite a long process of discussion and debate!  Many names considered and chucked out for various reasons.  Just as when you name your child.  In the end we opted for names that started with “B” and which were distinguishable from one another.  So if we called one dog, the other dog didn’t necessarily respond.

Most popular dog names

But guess what the most popular names are these days?  The NSW Pet registry advises that “Bella” topped the list, followed by Luna, Charlie, Coco, Max, Ruby, Buddy, Molly, Daisy and Rosie.

The one thing they have in common is that they are simple, 2 syllable names.  This is very important as it is in alignment with your dog’s attention span and much easier to get their attention that “Count Montague of Sydney”, or even a longer name like “Ophelia”.  Whilst this may be your dog’s correct name on paper, it’s preferable to go with something shorter – like Monty for example!

Traditional doggie names are out of favour – names such as Rover, Fluffy and Fido which are clearly associated as doggie names.  The new names are more likely to be what we consider a “human” name.   Given that pets are more and more considered part of the family, and are treated like children, this is not surprising.

What to consider when you choose a dog name

Whatever name you choose for your dog, make sure you stick to addressing his or her by one name that is clearly recognisable.  So if you are foodie you may like names such as Olive or Nutmeg, but avoid Cinnamon or Artichoke!  We’d also suggest that you avoid calling your dog a name that could be mistaken for someone else in the household.  So for example if you have a daughter called Rosie, better not call your dog “Dozey”.

Final consideration is remembering that whatever you call your dog, it is a “public name” – as you will need to call him or her in the park and other public places.  So watch out for names that could be mistaken for something rude!

Can you change your dog’s name?

Whilst we wouldn’t suggest changing your dog’s name on a whim, or frequently, if you have adopted a dog, you may find they have a name that you are not very keen on.  The good news is that it’s quite easy for a newly adopted dog to learn a new name, even a senior dog. This is how your dog or puppy can adjust to a new name in a short period of time.

  • Once you decide on a new name, stick to it (follow the rules above – keep it simple)
  • Carry around treats
  • When you want your dog’s attention, call out his new name and then immediately smile, praise, and feed a treat.
  • Even if he ignores you when you call out the name, do it anyway, and in time he or she will learn that the word is associated with something yummy, and there will be a response!
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Liz Walden

Liz has a passion for all things cat and dog, and was one of the first in Australia to bring Pet Insurance to the market. She has headed up Petsecure marketing for the past 10 years, and is committed to promoting and supporting the amazing work done by rescue groups around Australia, and those who work to promote a better life for all animals

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