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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

How To Choose The Best Dog Names

By Anton Hout, author of The Guide to Aussie Training & Care

Choosing the best dog names is something every pet owner has to face at some point. You wouldn't think naming your four-legged friend would be that difficult, but it can be a real challenge. Like choosing a child's name, you want to take some factors into consideration to make sure that you end up with a name that not only fits your pup but also doesn't come back to bite you in the end!

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While there are similarities to choosing a child's name, with a dog's name at least you don't have to worry about peer pressure or embarrassment or how the name will work with your last name. Still, you might want to consider how it will sound when you're calling it out at the dog park. If it's not something you want to be saying out loud in public, then it's probably a good idea to avoid using it as a pet name!

When it comes to choosing the best dog names, there really are no hard and fast rules. In fact, most people name their pets the way they would name anyone else, which is why you'll find many Harolds, Maxines and Rogers at the dog park. There's nothing wrong with using human names but if you do opt to go that route, bear in mind how the name will sound when it's shortened, as is almost guaranteed to happen.

Australian Shepherd puppy running across grass with ring toy.

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The best puppy name may be one that best reflects their attributes or personality, but there are no hard and fast rules.

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If you don't want to go the human name route, you might want to consider your dog's physical characteristics, his size, or coloring or any odd markings he might have as a basis for his name. That's where names like Puzzle, Spot or Blackie come from. Also, some names may be more appropriate for larger dogs or smaller dogs. Fifi may suit a Toy Poodle but it wouldn't work quite as well for a Great Dane.

Sometimes your dog's personality can lead to an appropriate name. The best dog names for active breeds like the Australian Shepherd might be something that reflects their bright, intelligent, energetic disposition. Whereas more laid back breeds like the Basset Hound or English Bulldog might be better suited to more mellow names.

Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

The Best Dog Names Are Distinctive

Another thing you want to remember is that dogs can't distinguish between similar sounding words, so you don't want to pick a name that sounds too much like any of the common obedience commands like "Sit," "Stay," or "Heel," in order to avoid confusion. This is also particularly important for breeds like the Australian Shepherd that work by verbal command. You want to be sure they won't be confusing those commands with anything else.

Of course, your sources of inspiration for choosing the best dog names are practically unlimited. You can choose a favorite childhood place, a fictional character you love, or even a family name. Just make sure that it's something you and your pup will be comfortable with. If you adopt a dog from a shelter and he already has a name, you can opt to stick with that if you'd like or you may decide to start over with something new. The choice is up to you.

No matter which direction you decide to go, remember that you and your dog will have to live with the name you pick so you want to make it a good one. In fact, it might even be worth your while to take some time and consider your dog's personality before choosing. That way you'll have a better chance of coming up with a name that suits you both.

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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

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