What's in a name?

We were driving home from the frozen yogurt store when I saw a man running with his German Shepherd.  It was a big buff GSD (German Shepherd dog) and I thought to myself "bet that dog's name is King."  The thought of course lead to this blog; naming your dog.  Naming your dog can be a tough task and one if done incorrectly can bring much grief in later years.  How many of you let the kids choose the dog's name?  "Cupcake, Twinkle, Snowflake or Lovelove," causing a cringing effect as you shout across the dog park?  You are not alone.

I know many people with a new puppy and before that new puppy has a name cast in stone I arrive for training.  The whole naming thing can seem like a inconsequential detail but it must be thought out.  Think about calling it out as your dog races out the front door.  Maybe you are out fishing with the guys and call out to your pooch to join you in the boat; do you want to shout out Fluffy?  How about Snake?  Maybe someone in the family wants to give your dog a big tough name so that people think tough when they hear it.  And then perhaps you have a super tiny dog so you think calling it Brutus or Monster would be in order.  Many big giant dogs are named Tiny or Minute for the same reason.

Whatever the reason try to remember that your dog will hopefully be around for a long time.  It should feel good using it; say it over and over and over to be sure.  We first named Luke, Molson.  I called him Molson for a few days and hated it, it just didn't roll off my tongue.  So Molson became Luke which I love and he of course is now the very essence of Luke.   When we first were married and beginning our life with dogs they all were given historical gangster names.  This because my dog life started with Dobermans and when I was young I'd seen The Doberman gang movie where all the dogs had historical gangster names, very cool.


Once Tilley joined our gang she was anything but a gangster so we gave her a very Canadian name.  Tilley is named after the very famous hat and apparel Tilley.  So as far as our next dog is concerned, I'm not sure what her name will be.  I am partial to real names and no more than two syllables.  Most names that are long will be shortened anyhow, just like with people.  When changed Lukes name to Luke, he was named after another poodle that we had for a very short time but fell in love quickly with.  We took him in after a breeder decided to place several of their dogs.  Within a couple of days I got a call from the original owner and he was heart broken.  He told me that he just had to have his dog back.  He came within an hour and took back Luke #1 who within a week was already working his way quickly into my heart.

There are many reason to choose a certain name.  Sometimes a name may have a great story behind it, perhaps  some wonderful memories.  A name can be in remembrance of someone or something close to our heart.  Many people like descriptive names, Snowy for a white dog, Fluffy for a fluffy dog.  What ever reason you choose a certain name for your dog; make sure you like it.  Before long that name will represent the very dog that will wriggle it's way into your heart, etching all of their wonderful memories on it.