Do you need a helping hand with choosing your new dog’s name?
The holidays are over and the kids have gone back to school and that means it’s the time when many people decide to look for a new pet.
Every year we tend to get enquiries from readers on what to call their new pet and as we are aimed towards dogs only, we thought we would do some research for you and have some fun along the way.
The top ten names for insured dogs in Australia
As a part of our quest to find the Top 10 Boy Dog names and the Top 10 Girl Dog names we found a site for Pet Insurance Australia.
They have their list of top dog names for insured dogs in 2020, as follows:
The Top Ten names for insured girl dogs in Australia
We ran our eye through their list to see how many of the names seemed familiar to us such as in our own household, families, friends, gym friends and colleagues etc.
We wondered if Archie at No. 1 was inspired by the Royal Family’s new addition in 2019; but whatever the inspiration we could not honestly think of one person in our greater circle who had named their new dog Archie.
Out of the Pet Insurance Australia list of Top 10 Boy Dog names for 2019 we would have only picked Charlie, Buddy, Max, Ollie and Bailey as names if in our own personal Top 10 list.
We then moved on to their Top 10 Girl Dog names for 2019 and probably would have picked all of those names except for Nala; sorry Lion King.
What we did learn from that process was that there may well be different Top 10 lists that are influenced by other factors.
We acknowledge that our personal Top 10 may be quite different for other areas or regions, or influenced by place names, indigenous names, even celebrity names.
We even wondered about whether the Top 10 names that appeared in the insurance company’s results could be different if you looked at a greater population mix or even the demographic mix of their client base.
Our search continues …
The Top Dog Names in Australia
Our next find was a site called “The Dog People – Powered by Rover.com” where Writer Heather Logue had a great article titled “87 Best Australian Dog Names with Meanings for 2019”, dated 29 November 2019.
As well as the 87 Best Australian Dog Names that she features in that article she also has two other lists that caught our attention; The Top 5 Most Popular Female Australian Dog Names, and, The Top 5 Most Popular Male Australian Dog Names.
Here they are for you to consider;
The Top 5 Most Popular Female Australian Dog Names
The Top 5 Most Popular Male Australian Dog Names
I’m not sure about any of those but one point that she did make that struck a chord is that naming a dog is very much about picking a name that suits the dog’s personality and that is to your taste.
Once again, our search continues …
The Top Dog Names in Australia Infographic
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Do you fancy a name for your new dog that is unique or unusual – We took a look at the best unusual puppy names?
For this one we decided to stick to our find of the site called “The Dog People – Powered by Rover.com” where this time we were looking at a Blog article by the Rover.com staff titled “The 200 Most Unique Dog Names of 2019”, dated 4 December 2019.
Included in this Blog were lists of human baby names for dogs, or Harry Potter character names, a list of food names to call your dog (such as Melon, or pesto; how about Champagne as a name for your dog – Poodle we presume?).
They also had a list of Sci-fi/Fantasy dog names (I can’t imagine myself in the backyard calling for Pepper Pots or Gandalf). There were also lists with Celebrity Names or those named after unusual things (Hurricane or Tug Boat anybody?).
From that Blog are two edited lists to show the 10 Most Unusual Dog Names, with separate lists for Female and Male dogs.
The Top 10 Most Unusual Female Dog Names
I came up trumps with the above list; having an Aunt with a dog called Mitzi and a daughter called Claire.
I can’t imagine cousin Claire having a dog named after her, but then she should be grateful she wasn’t named Joelene.
I shiver at the thought of my Aunt calling the dog, with her best Dolly Parton impersonation; I can almost hear her now going “Joelene, Joelene, Joelene, Joelene”.
Nothing wrong with being called Mitzi after all.
The Top 10 Most Unusual Male Dog Names
I think I will leave that list with an agreement on my part that they sure were unusual.
You guessed it; once again our search continues …
Would an Indigenous dog name suit you and your dog?
We then found a website that had a large list of Aboriginal Names for Dogs, along with the meaning for each name.
In addition to the large A-Z alphabetical list they also had their Top 10 most liked aboriginal dog names, as follows:
Top 10 Most Liked Aboriginal Dog Names (and their Meanings)
- Yera – Joyful
- Killara – Always there
- Alinta – Flame
- Alkina – The Moon
- Adori – Sweet
- Burnu – Great warrior
- Akuna – To follow/know
- Allira – Girl/daughter
- Aminya – Quiet
- Tirrita – Dog
I have to admit there were some cool names (and meanings) in that list and there are at least 2-3 that I personally could pick.
However, the search continues one last time.
How about writing names on a scrap of paper and drawing one out of a hat?
Through this process it has become obvious to me that:
There is too much choice of names out there.
Many names may suit a puppy but will they suit an older dog?
People choose some unusual names just because they are unusual.
The name needs to be something you can live with.
The name should suit the dog’s temperament.
I have also come to the conclusion that a good, old fashioned method of picking a name out of the hat is as good as anything. What I have done for my exercise is make up a random list of names; Ten Random Names for Australian Male Dogs and Ten Random Names for Australian Female Dogs as follows:
Top 10 Random Names for Australian Male Dogs (No particular order)
- Bakali – Quick
- Duri – To crawl
- Pungala – Shadow
Top 10 Random Names for Australian Female Dogs (No particular order)
- Balamara – Morning Star
- Quahlee – Wait for me
- Yoorala – Affection
I only selected names I could live with to go into the draw and that way there was an equal level of attachment to all the names.
I just realized I left out Joelene. Never mind; there is always next time. LOL.
How to teach your dog its name quickly
Did you read one of our previous Blogs; The Top 10 – Homemade Dog Treats? This next exercise is one where having a few treats available to reward and reinforce your dogs learning would be ideal.
Here are some useful and quick ways on how to train a puppy to come to his name:
- Once you have your new dog at home spend a few days deciding on its name. Hopefully some of the methods and examples above will help.
- During those first few days you will get an idea of the personality of your new dog along with things they like, dislike, are attracted to, etc.
- Always make sure you have your dog’s attention before you begin the session.
- We would recommend always teaching your new dog its name before you move on to commands. The training process will be easier if they know and respond to their name.
- You may have noticed in our lists of the Top 10 Random Names for Australian Dogs that we selected names that are easy to pronounce. You want names are short and bounce a bit as your dog will respond better to shorter sounds.
- Try and avoid choosing a name that rhymes with other words you will be using frequently; such as commands or the names of other pets or family members. Dogs respond to sounds rather than the meaning behind the words; avoid making it confusing or difficult for them.
- When ready to begin the training choose a suitable place such as your living room or kitchen if indoors, or a quiet spot outdoors. It’s up to you if you want them to have their leash on or off.
- Dogs can be like kids in that they have short attention spans. We would suggest that you plan the initial training to be in frequent, but short bursts throughout the day for the first few days. Use their name 3 to 5 times per day in those first few days. The repetition helps.
- When you call your puppy by name make sure that your voice is bright and happy – you don’t want it to be frightened if your tone isn’t friendly.
- Calling your dog’s name while you run or ply a game will help them associate their name with fun activities.
- Never use their name in conjunction with negative sounds or commands, such as “Stay”, “Come”, “Stop” etc. as they will likely lead to confusion and distress.
- Reward your puppy when they respond to their name but make sure the ratio of rewards is greater towards verbal rewards such as saying “Yes”, and to a lesser ratio of rewarding with a treat.
- After that initial phase of training has been successful it is time to up the ante a bit. For example, rather than just using that quiet area inside or outside where you have been doing the training it can be good to add a distraction such as a bouncing ball into the training. This strategy could also be done at other times such as when they are being groomed, chewing, playing, or sleeping. The idea is that you need to repeat calling their name no matter what the distraction is, so that they learn to respond to you and not the distraction.
- Once your puppy has got into the routine of responding to their name it is time to start gradually removing the treats given for name response. They will still get treats at other times but the aim is to have them treat free for name response.
- Now is the time to start using their name continually no matter the activity; when walking, feeding, bathing or grooming. The idea is that the dog will associate the use of their name during positive moments.
- Don’t stress. Every dog is different and the training may take a little longer because of that. The last thing you want is for your dog to pick up on your stress. It is important to be consistent with using their name over and over again, so that in time they recognize the link between their name and you wanting attention.
A few name related luxuries for your dog
Once you have mastered the name recognition phase of your dog’s training it may now be time to think about how you could have a few name related luxuries around the house for your dog.
These include things such as:
Embroidered names can be added to dog beds.
Extra cushions for their bed can also be embroidered.
Their water bowl and food bowls could have their name added.
Like-wise you could get a personalized collar and/or lead.
A nice embroidered blanket and/or coat for Winter could also make your dog feel special.
We hope that all of the examples on choosing a name, recognition training steps and introducing a few luxury items all add to your experience of introducing a new dog into your home.