The name game

What's in a name?  Mine is Sherri; it was going to be Sharon but when I came out I was puny.  My Mom thought that I was too small for Sharon so Sherri it was and I'm glad.  So how do we choose our dog's names?  When I was first married and added our first dogs to the family we used historical gangsters or general law breaker names; Clyde (Bonnie and Clyde), Nelson (Baby Face Nelson), Jessie (Jessie James).   Then when Tilley joined our family she was just way too sweet to be called some criminal name; so we opted for something very Canadian being that she is that.  I thought about many different names but Tilley really rolled off nicely.  It is a very Canadian travel gear and clothing company.  It all started with a hat; the Tilley hat.   So that is why Tilley is Tilley. 

Now Luke; he was going to be Molson as in Molson Golden; he was gold colored and hey we love our beer.  But after several days of saying Molson, it was not rolling off my tongue.  In fact I started hating the name; so we changed it to Luke.  Luke is actually Luke #2; we only had Luke # 1 for less than a week but I fell hard for that tall, dark and handsome guy.  It was a dog we had got from a couple who was placing a few of their poodles but after only a couple of days in our home the original owner called and said he couldn't bare to not have him.   What was I to do?  I felt bad for the man; bad for me too but he was their dog first.  So it was a short and sweet love affair; so we called our new blond boy Luke (Lucas when he is in trouble.) 

I meet a lot of dogs; some names I love, some leave me laughing under my breath and others just cause a giant question mark to appear over my head.  I'm not a big fan of dog type names and prefer to use people names.  I shot a dog not too long ago who's name was Bob; I loved it.  I like very different names as well but they have to flow; some names are just too much of a mouthful.  I love hearing what people conjure up to ID their dog.  Sometimes it's quite clear that the children had a big part in the naming of the puppy when you see  a big burly guy calling his German Shepherd to him "Fluffy come." 

When you do decide on a name; make sure that your dog knows that this name is theirs.  I've met many young dogs who had no idea that the word the owner was call was associated with them.  You must teach a dog their name by creating association.  Every time you call the name something must happen concerning the dog; something good.  Soon they learn that this word; perhaps Mitch has something to do with them.  Sometimes it takes a couple of days to instill this name game into their heads.

A name is a very important thing; of course no matter what you end up calling your dog, that is who they become.  Luke is Luke to me; I have met a few others but they are not Luke.  Choosing a name is a very personal thing; you must like the name and it should fit somewhat.  And you should definitely not be embarrassed to call it out in the park.  If you cringe even thinking about shouting it out; opt for something else.
I've met people who name their children all starting with the same letter  and they do so with their dogs as well.  I've never been much for same letter names.  I like short names; two syllables or less is a must for me.  For some reason I tend to gravitate to names that end with a y or ie; Jessie, Tilley.  

And then there is the nickname; a name that is not your dogs name but what you call them on a regular basis.  My girls don't really have nicknames; mostly just a shortened version of their name.   But Luke?  he has lots of  cute names and he comes to everyone of them.  The most commonly used nickname is Pumpkin; don't know why but it has stuck.  He also gets Pumpkin pants and pumpk.  No matter what you call your dog; make it a name that you like; one that does your dog proud.  And even if it is Snowball or Fluffy; be proud of it, afterall it's your dog.


  1. I so agree with you. My leo came to me as a small pup and I was sure I was naming him Cidaq, but after a few sleepless nights crate training Buster kept slipping out, Buster we can't keep getting up every two hours, Buster you better hurry up and potty, do you hear me Buster? He is the best Buster in the world!

  2. When I rescued Chelise her owner had just died and Chelsie's name was Ethel! Not for a moment was that going to work for me or for her. She was only five months old so I figured it didn't matter.


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