By Sara B. Hansen
Finding the perfect dog name for your new pup is important.
As dogs have become key family members, it shouldn’t be a surprise that roughly 50 percent of all pets have human names or nicknames.
Some owners name their dogs based on their appearance, for example, Blacky, Midnight or Spot. And a few dog owners opt for irony — one of my neighbors has a miniature gray poodle named Bear.
Choose a simple dog name
Keep it simple. A one- or two-syllable dog name is best.
I also recommend saying the name a few times out loud to see how it sounds. Does it roll off your tongue? Is it something you’d be embarrassed to have your friends or neighbors hear?
When I got my first dog – Browning – I briefly considered naming him Pulitzer.
As a journalist, I thought it was a fun name. But it had too many syllables and really didn’t sound that great when I shouted it off the deck.
Instead, my sister, Amy, suggested a literary name since both of us and our other two siblings had been English majors in college.
I pondered other names – Shakespeare and Hemingway – but opted for Browning (for the poet Robert Browning) when I saw the adorable beagle/Labrador mix puppy I adopted from the humane society.
A few months later, Finley came to join our home. A friend had found him abandoned near the Finley River in southwest Missouri.
Although I briefly considered changing Finley’s name for a literary one, ultimately I decided against it. Finley suited him and I worried he’d be confused if I changed it.
Avoid the most popular dog name
When I got Sydney in 2008, I considered several names – Aspen (because I now live in Colorado), Cinco (because the paper collar she wore only had the number 5 on it when I adopted her) and Bella. I finally settled on Sydney because she’s an Australian Shepherd-Corgi mix.
Sydney totally suits her and I’m so glad I decided against Bella, which had been my second choice.
When we arrived at Puppy Kindergarten, three of the eight dogs in the class were named Bella. If I’d chosen that name for my girl, 50 percent of the class would have had the same name. It was confusing enough having three Bellas.
And I like it that none of my dogs’ names have ever been on any of the popular lists. As far as I’m concerned, each of my dogs is an original and I like it that each of them has had a unique dog name.
Top dog names
According to Veterinary Pet Insurance the most popular dog names are Max, Molly, Buddy, Bella and Lucy, based on a survey of more than 450,000 policyholders.
According to Dogster, the top names for 2015 are:
Female dogs: Bella, Lucy, Daisy, Molly, Poppy, Maggie, Sadie, Lola, Sophie and Chloe.
Male dogs: Max, Charlie, Buddy, Bailey, Cooper, Jack, Rocky, Duke, Bear and Toby
Need some help choosing a dog name, visit dognameguide.com.
Sara B. Hansen has spent the past 20-plus years as a professional editor and writer. She decided to create her own dream job by launching Dog’s Best Life. She grew up with family dogs and since she bought her first house, she’s had a furry companion or two to help make it a home. She currently shares her heart and home with Sydney, an Australian Shepherd-Corgi mix. You can reach Sara @ [email protected].