Choosing Your Dog's NAME
There are several ways to chooses an appropriate name for
your doggie. But take care - the name should not confuse your
pet, and should not sound like a reprimand.
confusion is a major obstacle to training success, what you
name your dog and how you use that name can determine your
success in its training and behavior.
Dogs are vocal, not verbal. How words sound is important to
them, so consider that then choosing names and commands. To
your dog, the words "No," "Know," "Beau" and "Joe" are the
same sound; the dog will have trouble knowing which you mean.
If you name him "Beau" and use "No!" as a reprimand, saying:
"Beau, you know what I want!" reprimands him twice
although you didn't intend a single one! You always want your
dog to come to you when you call it, so how much sense does it
make to name your dog "Beau" and use "NO!" as your reprimand?
It'll have trouble knowing whether you called it or yelled at
I like to have a dog choose its name. There are two ways to do
this. First, spend enough time with the dog to really get to
know its personality and select a suitable name. For example,
when new to us my Husky-mix not only jumped on me, he pinned
me to the wall and took stuff out of my shirt pocket! I said
to my wife: "Look at this! I'm getting mugged!" Naturally, he
became Mugger! A client had a very rambunctious Great Dane pup
and I love the name she chose: Chaos! Let the dog earn its
Another way is to make a list of your favorite names and, in a
playful and animated voice, try them on the dog. The one to
which the dog reacts best is IT! And it WILL react differently
to different names! Try it!
Contrary to popular belief, a dog's name should change with
every new owner. The old thought was that once a dog
recognized its name you couldn't or shouldn't change it.
Wrong. Since many owners make the mistake of using the name
with a reprimand, or even AS the reprimand, if you keep the
old name you tell the dog you're one of THEM - the former
crew. If the dog is now yours, you can't presume former owners
did everything right. If they did, you probably wouldn't have
it. And you're trying to tell the dog this is a new start in a
new home, right? Then why use the old name - especially when
it was likely used negatively in the past?
Some say changing a dog's name just confuses the dog. HAH!
Every dog I know has about ten names now! Depending upon my
mood, it may be Mugger, Muggs, Muggsie, Muggeroo, The Mug,
Boy-o, Big Guy, Mug-Shot, Handsome, or some other
spur-of-the-moment endearment! Just TRY to tell me your dog
only hears ONE name EVER from EVERYONE! And no matter what I
call Mugger, he has never seemed confused! If you aren't wild
about your dog's name or you've thought of a great new one,
you can change it now!
Now that we've all named our dogs so appropriately, next we'll
talk about how to USE those names correctly. Be prepared for
Article taken from Drdog.com.
Printed with permission.
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