Naming Your New Dog

In my last post, I described the lessons I’ve learned on how NOT to come up with names for a new dog.  Well, now I’m going to give you some ideas to find just the right name for that new puppy or rescue that will be joining your household.  Let’s get creative, shall we?

1.  Do you have a special hobby or activity that you are passionate about?  Let’s say you LOVE to motorbike.  Perhaps you’d like to name your dog “Harley?”  Do you enjoy eating?  Go do an internet search on “culinary terms” or things like “names of desserts.”  Maybe your new dog is a “Muffin” or a “Beignet”?  Do you love that cup of coffee every morning?  How about calling the pup “Starbucks?” Then there’s one of my personal favorites….”Snickers.”   I love to read so I’ve been doing searches for lists of famous English authors and poets to see if there are any particular names that jump out at me.  I also love music.  I did a search of musical terms and found potential names like “Largo” and “Rondo.”  I’ve pulled potential names from lists of composers.  You all know that I love to knit but knitting terms have been kind of a bust.  “Purl” and “yarn-over” don’t really thrill me.  Are you a Dungeons and Dragons kind of person?  Try Famous Dragon Names and you might get lucky.

2.  What is your ethnic heritage?  I’m particularly proud of my Viking  and German ancestry.  Some of my name searches have centered around websites that list Viking names like Viking Given Names and  Norse Pantheon.

3.  What is the country that your dog’s breed originated in?  My pup’s breed originated in Scotland so I’ve been doing internet searches for “Scottish place names”, “Scottish mythology”, even “Scotch whiskey” and visiting links like ScotchWhiskey.net to check out names of distilleries.  I’ve looked at maps of Scotland and her islands and considered names of some of the towns that might be suitable as a dog’s name.

4.  What color is your dog?  Westies are white dogs.  I’ve looked up synonyms for “white” to see if anything might click with me.  I’ve even looked up the word “white” in different languages.

5.  What are your favorite movies or TV shows?  Are you a big fan of the “Lord of the Rings” movie?  Maybe “Bilbo” or a “Gandalf” would work.  Are you nuts about the Harry Potter movies?  Think of all the characters in those movies.  There are some dandy names in them.  Wikipedia always is a quick source of names and if you type in something like “characters in the Harry Potter books” in your search engine, Wikipedia will most likely be one of your top choices that come up.

6.  What is your occupation?  My husband works in Information Technology.  He’s a computer whiz.  I could come up with a name like “Asci” or “Spooler”.  I would NOT recommend “Byte” though.  If you’re a doctor, is there a medical term that might be fun as a name?  Are you an artist?  How about “Pixel” or “Dither?”  Goodness, think of all the famous painters that have great names for a pet.

7.  Do you already have a pet?  Perhaps you’d like to name your new pet a name that would complement the pet you already have on hand.  You can go to Famous Couples to get some ideas, like “Pebbles & Bam Bam” or “Bert & Ernie”.

8.  Check out some websites set up for expectant parents looking for names.    There are so many websites that list page after page of boy and girl names along with their meanings and place of origin.  Many also have additional lists like “German names”, “French names,” etc.

9.  Try these dog-naming sites.  Fun Dog Names doesn’t list just funny names.  It has name lists by breed, countries, and many other categories.  Dog Names Woof! is another similar website.

Finally….if your dog is going to be registered with the American Kennel Club, you’ll definitely want to go to their Dog Name Check Site.  Here you can put in the dog breed you’ll be getting, enter your name (it doesn’t matter if you haven’t actually got the dog in hand yet or its papers) and then just type in a name.  It will tell you if it is taken or not.  Don’t be discouraged if your choice is already taken.  You can always add a middle name and often that frees up your choice OR they might suggest you add a number after the name , i.e. “Laddie IV”.  Who care about the number?  He’ll be “Laddie” to you.  As you find names that are available, you can jot them down for future reference and then you’ll be all set when you DO have your dog’s papers and can do a quick search to make sure your choice is still available.  You can now register your dog online. Wow, I still remember the days when you sent in your name choice by mail and hoped and prayed that the name wasn’t already taken.

Good luck and have fun in coming up with that perfect name for your newest canine member of the family.

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