Here Rover. Come Kitty. Fetch Fido.
Are you thinking of getting a new dog or cat? Do you want a puppy or a full grown dog that is being re-homed? One of the joys of being a Pet Parent is the joy of choosing a name for your pet. Animal behaviorists have long known that the name given to a pet is more important to the human than the animal. I named my little dog Focus, thinking that she would remind me to focus on the task at hand.
We kept the name of Rosie for our Icelandic Sheep Dog, because that was the name she came with when she was re-homed with us.
A friend who sold high-end pet equipment said that when he asked the Pet Parent to tell him the name of their pet and how it came to be, he had an interested customer. Then, if the customer celebrated the pet birthday and sleep in the same room or bed, it was a solid sale. Every time.
Yes, we animal lovers think our pets are part of our fur-family and should be treated with love and respect. And they are.
What Does The Animal Actually Hear?
An? animal th?t ??n hear human speech ??n b? trained t? respond t? ? specific sound. It doesn't matter ?n? bit wh?th?r th?t sound ?? th? n?m? ??u assigned ?t ?r tw? bells ringing. It's b??n d?n? w?th cats, seals, parrots, horses, dolphins, bears, lions, chimpanzees ?nd possums.
None ?f th?? ?? ?n ?n? w?? indicative th?t th??? animals recognize th??r names. Th? animals, including ??ur dog, h?v? ?ll b??n conditioned th?t wh?n th?? hear th?t sound th?? w?ll b? ??th?r punished ?r rewarded, ?nd ?? th?? respond t? th? sound. Th?r? ?? n?t ? shred ?f evidence th?t th?? recognize th? sound ?? th??r name, ?r ?v?n th?t th?? h?v? ?n? concept th?t ?u?h ? th?ng ?? ? n?m? exists.
The interesting th?ng ?? th?t ??ur pet m?? reacts wh?n h?r n?m? ?? mentioned. But ?n fact ?h? d??? not, ?h? ?nl? reacts t? ? v?r? specific sound ???d ?n ? v?r? specific way. Th?t ?? wh? ?h? d??? n?t react wh?n ??u casually mention h?r n?m? ?n conversation w?th ?n?th?r person. Sh? reacts t? th? word ???d w?th emphasis ?nd u?u?ll? ? rising inflection. If ?t isn't ???d ?n th?t w?? ?h? ignores it.
Some animals w?ll ?lm??t ??rt??nl? b? b?tt?r th?n ?th?r? ?t detecting sound differences w?th?n human speech so, f?r example, m?n? animals won't b? ?bl? t? distinguish "Tiger" ?nd "Diver", but th?? w?ll respond t? ??th?r ???d ?n th? ??m? w?? precisely b???u?? th?? ?r? responding t? th? sound.
How to Name Y?ur Pets
Animals respond b??t t? names w?th ?n? ?r tw? syllables best. So, ? dog ?? l??? l?k?l? t? respond t? "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" th?n "Super." It ?? ?l?? ? good idea t? n?m? th? animal ??m?th?ng th?t ?? easy t? call out. Also, ??u ?h?uld n?m? th? animal ??m?th?ng th?t isn't embarrassing t? yell. F?r example, ?f ??u feel foolish yelling ?ut th? n?m? "Anthracite" f?r ? black dog, don't n?m? th? dog "Anthracite."
S?m? people l?k? t? give th??r dogs r??ll? long, but creative, names. Wh?l? th??? names ?r? cute ?nd creative, th?? frequently lead t? ? nickname th?t th? dog w?ll learn r?th?r th?n th? long name. Th? nickname m?ght ruin th? effect ?f th? long n?m? ?? ?t m?ght n?t b? ? good idea t? give th? dog ? huge name. The naming of a pet can be as surprising as some of the names Hollywood stars give their children. Really, do you want your child or dog to be confused when someone is talking about the weather and yells "Rain?"
Th? country ?f origin f?r th? animal ?r animal's breed ??n b? helpful f?r naming ? pet. If ??ur pet h????n? t? h?v? b??n native t? Ireland, giving th? dog ?n Irish n?m? ??n b? ? good idea. Th? ??m? g??? f?r animals fr?m Germany, France, ?nd Scotland. Th? ??m? principle ??n b? applied t? ?n animal fr?m anywhere.
Wh?n naming ? n?w dog, b? ?ur? n?t t? give th? dog ? n?m? th?t sounds l?k? standard commands. Th?? means th?t naming ? dog "Joe" ?? n?t ? good idea ?f ??u ?v?r anticipate h?v?ng t? t?ll th? dog "no."
Naming ? goofy dog "Clown" isn't ? good idea ?f th? dog m?ght ?v?r b? told "down." Th? ??m? g??? f?r ? dog named "Zit" ?nd th? command "Sit." If th? n?m? ??u choose h????n? t? rhyme w?th ? common command, choosing alternative commands m?ght b? ? good idea. A lot of what we are sharing is simply common sense, but common sense is not so common anymore.
Personality ??n b? ? huge key f?r ? pet's name. F?r th?? reason, waiting ? f?w days t? n?m? th? pet ?? n?v?r ? good idea. Also, animals grow. Naming ? kitten "Kitten" ?? cute ?nd m?k?? sense unt?l th? kitten grows up.
Also, animals grow. Naming ? kitten "Kitten" ?? cute ?nd m?k?? sense unt?l th? kitten grows up. Whoops!
Thank You For Being Animal Advocates
Judy Helm Wright is a life educator, grief coach, and keynote speaker who has written more than 20 books, hundreds of articles and speaks internationally on relationship issues including those with our beloved pets.
Artichoke Press is not Judy’s only self-starter project. Animal Human Connection LLC is a veteran owned business and family foundation. She is very active in the BlogPaws.com and Women In The Pet Industry Network WIPIN
The symbol of the artichoke has great meaning for Judy in her teaching and writing. Working with families, she sees that frequently only the outer edges are exposed, which can be prickly and sometimes bitter to the taste. But, as you expose the artichoke and people to warmth, caring, and time, gradually the leaves begin to open and expose the real treasure–the heart.
You will enjoy Judy’s approachable manner, wonderful storytelling and common-sense solutions gleaned from working with hundreds of families and organizations just like yours. Your encounter with Judy will leave you feeling inspired, entertained, and especially motivated.
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