How To Pick A Name For Your Puppy

I recently had the pleasure of photographing a litter of puppies, 12 to be exact. This got me thinking about the process of naming a new puppy or new dog. We all know that a dog is mans best friend and that is deserving of a phenomenal name. Believe it or not, this can be a hard thing for someone or families to do. It should be a valiant effort that is not taken lightly. 

Left to right: Bella, Max, Hazel, Thor(all white head), Simmer(mostly brindle), Jase(poking his head in), Mase, Hunter, Ruby, Kaiya, Kevin, TJ

The first thing you should know is that dogs actually have an easier time recognizing names that are one syllable.  Names like Rutherford should be shortened to Ford or Ruther. Even when someone does give their pooch a long name it is most likely always shortened when addressing the dog. I had a friend who named their dog Nefertiti and they called her Nefi.


Did you know that dogs hear high frequency sounds like s, sh, k. So, names that start with those sounds work best to catch your dogs attention. Ending with an a, ie or y is also another easy way to be sure your dog will understand its name. Carley is an example or using both of these tricks. 

Stay away from names that sound like commands. Naming your dog Pit wouldn’t be a good idea because it’s so similar to Sit. 

Now let’s get down to what really matters. What does it mean to you and how does it fit your pup?

When picking a name you will want something that goes with how your dog looks. Understanding the breed of the dog and how big or how their fur will eventually be is also something to consider. If you get a puppy and it’s hairless chinese crested dog you may not want to name if Fluffy. 


Before naming your dog you should also consult with your family. I know kids are sensitive to names. Someone at school you daughter or son may not get along with and their name is Patty and you name your dog Patty, it may be a problem. 

Would love to know what was the inspiration for the name of your dog(s) and what process you took for it. 

Now let me tell you about my babies, and how I chose their names:

Chelsea, in 2001 after the attacks on the World Trade Center I was very depressed. After a few months of negotiating I talked my husband into a Pomeranian puppy. She was born on September 24th, the day they had the memorial service at Yankee Stadium for the victims of 9/11. I decided she needed a NY name, she was also born on Long Island. I decided to name her Chelsea for the Chelsea section of NYC. Her nick name was Chelseskins. She passed away July 2012.



Sophie was an easy name to come up with. My mom and I were walking around Trexler Park with Chelsea and started throwing names out, the name Sophie came up and we loved it. Her nick name is Sohiepooh, booboo bear.

Murphy, my first rescue dog and not being from a breeder, we decided "Murphy's Law". It would be that he would be the healthiest. His nick name is Murph.

Bailey, he just looked like a Bailey and that was that. I call him Bailey Boo, Boo Bear.

Quinnie, this little lady had huge boots to fill. When Chelsea passed away I was devastated. When I met Quinnie at 7 weeks old, a week after I lost Chelsea, I was in love. She had Chelsea's coloring but is a party Pomeranian with a crooked stripe up her face that adds to her quirkiness. She was born on Memorial Day, the kick off to summer and we love Martha's Vineyard so I looked up names. My favorite place on Martha's Vinyard is Aquinnah, I found out it means "end of the island". In looking up names I found Meara, which means "the sea" so her full name is Aquinnah Meara, we call her Quinine Mini, Freak and Quinniekins.

Louis, so he came to us at 16 months old. He is very different than the others and I was having a hard time. During the snowstorm the day after the Super Bowel January 2014, I posted on Facebook some name choices, "Louis" won. It is pronounced Louie, like Louis Vuitton. We call him Lou Lou too.

How did you pick your fur baby names?