Don’t rush into naming your puppy the moment you get her home. Oftentimes, people make their selection from lists of female or male dog names, only to find out later that the dog’s personality would be better suited to a different name. Also, puppies are cute, but cute names may not suit an adult dog of noble bearing.
Sometimes, as soon as you see your new puppy, names will just jump out at you. The classic example of this is a puppy with a large spot on its side, leading to, well, Spot. If you notice big or unusual ears on your new male dog, names such as Dumbo or Spock might come to mind, or the puppy is totally black, names for black dogs will probably be the first ones.
What to avoid?
When making your decision, discuss the full range of potential puppy names with your whole family. Having your spouse and kids involved in the process is the best way to keep everyone happy.
Multiple syllable words are easier for dogs to learn and understand. They don’t know if you’re saying “come here” or “comb hair;” they are responding to the familiarity of the sounds, inflection and tone in your voice. Avoid one-syllable names, as they can easily be confused with other words or sounds.
This brings us to another point. Steer clear of puppy names that sound similar to a command you’ll eventually want to teach your new pup. For instance, Mae or Fay might appeal to you, but they sound too similar to the common command, “Stay”. Will Moe “Go”, as in “Go get it?” You might end up with one confused pooch—eager to please, but confused nevertheless!
In a multi-pet household, try to keep names phonetically distinct. Having two dogs called Mo and Jo might seem like fun, but each would have trouble differentiating whether you are calling Mo or Jo, as they sound very similar. Of course, if you’re naming a puppy and a kitten, this rule doesn’t strictly apply.