Tips for Choosing Puppy Names

A woman holding her new puppy

Choosing puppy names is fun, but serious business. When you think about how many times you'll call your pet over the rest of his life, it's easy to understand why it's so important to pick just the right name. Need tips to help you make your choice? Read on.

Tips for Choosing Puppy Names

Choosing puppy names isn't exactly rocket science, but you don't want to treat the task too lightly either. A bit of thought and patience on your part will help you discover the name your pet was meant to have.

The main thing to remember is to keep the name simple. Dogs respond best to names with no more than three syllables. Anything beyond that takes longer for them to learn and is also a mouthful for you to repeat.

Given that information, try using these tips for choosing puppy names.

  • Don't choose a puppy name before you actually bring your new pet home.

If you haven't had a chance to get to know her personality yet, how can you be sure the name will fit? Perhaps your Charger turns out to be more of a Cuddles? What then? It's important that your pet's new name suits his personality or it will never ring true.

  • Don't be afraid to express yourself.

Not only should you consider choosing puppy names that suit your pet, but the name can also reflect a bit of your own personality too. Do you love sports? If your dog is one of the huskier breeds, names such as Ditka or Shaq might just fit the bill. Are you more of a free spirit? Names like Dreamer, Angel or Star may well suit you both.

  • Sometimes choosing puppy names according to your dogs' breed is the easiest way to go.

Great names for a Scottish Terrier would include MacDougall, MacDuff and Campbell. Good German Shepherd or Schnauzer names might include Max, Schnitzel and Gretchen.

  • Try out proper names.

If "doggy" names like Fluffy and Biscuit don't appeal to you or afford your pet the dignity she deserves, why not consider using one of your favorite human names? Many dog owners give their pets a proper name, just as they would for their children.

  • Definitely pick a name you won't be embarrassed to use in public.

You might give a flatulent puppy a nick-name like Farts at home, but a similar sounding name like Bart may be easier to use in public while still retaining your dignity.

  • Many dogs have two names.

If your new puppy will be eligible for registration with the the American Kennel Club, then you can choose a longer formal name to put on his papers and a simpler call name for everyday use. Show dog Abbe's Never a Dull Moment simply becomes Mona around the house.

  • Of course, you can rely on the color of your dog's coat for naming inspiration.

Rusty, Blaze or Flame are all good names for red dogs, while names like Frosty, Snowball and Icicle are perfect for predominantly white dogs. Simply use your imagination.

Sources for Names

Your local bookstore is a great place to find all kinds of names. You can go straight for the baby name books containing hundreds of terrific choices or you can browse through novels of your favorite genre for great character names.

Not in the mood to leave home? Try the Internet. A search for "choosing puppy names" will put thousands of results right at your fingertips.


We've given you plenty tips for choosing puppy names, now the rest is up to you. Take some time to get to know your new furry friend and then try a name on her for size. If after a day the name doesn't quite fit, try out a new one. Sometimes trial and error is the only way to figure out your pet's true name.

Be sure to visit LTK's cute puppy slideshow!

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Tips for Choosing Puppy Names