A good name is important.
Do you know how to pick the best name for your boat dog?
(In a hurry? Click to read a quick summary of how to pick the best name for your boat dog.)
Why Your Boat Dog Needs A Good Name
Choosing a name is the first thing most people do when they adopt a pet.
Many people think it’s just about the “cute” factor. But there are three good reasons your dog’s name is about more than just cuteness.
Are you using your dog’s name the right way? Most people aren’t.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people yelling “Bailey.” “Bailey.” “Baaaaaaaiiillllley.” “BAILEY!!!” When what they really mean to say is “come.”
Your dog’s name isn’t a cue for a behavior. It’s how you get their attention when you want to tell them something. And it’s especially important that you teach your dog her name before disaster strikes.
The right name for your dog is one they can’t ignore.
Once your dog hears her name, follow it up by telling them what you want them to do.
When Honey hears her name, she snaps to attention. Just like she should.
So even in an emergency, I know she’ll hear what I tell her to do.
Interactions with strangers
How will people treat your dog based on her name?
When I tell people my dog’s name is “Honey,” they respond with some variation of “Well, of course.” She’s such a sweet girl she couldn’t be named anything else.
But how do you think strangers would respond to her if I called her “Killer?” And what if, instead of being a golden retriever, she was a pit bull?
If you’re traveling with your dog, be sensitive to the many people you’ll meet when you name your dog.
And yes, that means not calling your dog Mohammad if you plan on cruising to Turkey. And it probably won’t sound very cute if you arrive in the French Mediterranean with your dog Putain.
But probably the most important reason to pick a good name for your boat dog…
Grow your bond
Choosing your dog’s name will determine your relationship for the rest of your time together.
It will involve observing your dog. Trying to understand him. Seeing what name “fits.” Or what he responds to.
You’ll shorten it and turn it into all kinds of affectionate nicknames.
And no other dog will ever fit that name the way yours does.
Are you convinced that picking a good name is important for your boat dog? Then let’s figure out how to do it.
Guide To Pick The Best Name For Your Boat Dog
What do you need to keep in mind when picking the right name for your dog?
Make it short
We followed the tradition of using a long, American Kennel Club (AKC) name that incorporated her breeder’s name. And coming up with a second, shorter name that we could call her every day.
Obviously, we wouldn’t use her AKC name. No one ever does. It’s too long.
You’ll want to do the same. If you don’t, your dog might stop listening to you before you get their full name out.
I’m very taken with the name Baggywrinkle Q. Slocum. But you can bet if I ever named my dog that, I’d always call him Baggy. Or maybe Slocum.
Which is a good name for the next principle–
Use hard consonants
If your dog’s temperament or breed makes you think getting their attention might be tough (think a beagle who just picked up a scent or a guard dachshund who thinks everyone in the marina is trying to steal your boat), then KiKi or Coco might be good choices.
But be careful. Make sure the name you pick–
Doesn’t sound like cues
If you ever expect your dog to “sit,” don’t call her “Kit.” And “Bay” is a cute name for a dog cruising the Chesapeake. But he might find it hard to “stay.”
You want your dog’s name to get his attention so you can then give him the cue you want him to follow.
And while you’re at it, make sure–
Your dog responds to it
Some dogs will zone in on everything you say.
I swear we could have called Honey darn near anything and she’d still give us eye contact. But with other dogs, you might need to try a few options to see which they respond to.
So pick your list of favorites and see which one your dog likes best.
Feel comfy saying the name in public
You’ll be calling your dog’s name a lot. What are you willing to shout across a field when your dog chases an armadillo?
You don’t want to feel ridiculous. It’s probably a good idea to avoid obscenities.
And, as I pointed out above, you probably don’t want to put off anyone nearby.
Finally, make sure–
The name fits your dog
I love clever and literary names. What else would you expect from someone who named her blog Something Wagging This Way Comes (if you don’t get it, you probably majored in something other than English literature)?
But cleverness can fail you.
I’ve come up with a list of over 300 boat-related dog names. A lot of them are darn adorable.
I wouldn’t recommend using any of them that don’t fit the six suggestions I make here. But they’re still a fun place to start your search for the perfect name.
In the end, though, you want a name that fits your dog. And grows your relationship with each other.
Because what’s the use of having the perfect name if your dog doesn’t love hearing you call it?
Summary – How to Pick the Best Name for your Boat Dog
- Make it short
You don’t want to be calling a 5-syllable name every day.
- Use hard consonants
Many dogs respond more to these sounds.
- Make sure it doesn’t sound like cues
You don’t want your dog to be confused if you call them “Kit” but you want them to “sit.”
- Ask if your dog responds to it naturally
If you ask your dog what to name her, she might tell you by how she responds.
- Be certain you can call it in public without feeling embarrassed
That obscene name might be funny at home. But imagine calling it across a park when your dog takes off chasing a squirrel.
- Find the perfect fit
You and your dog will be better friends if you pick a name that actually suits him.