Naming Dogs


In Blake Shelton’s “I’ll Name the Dogs,” he sings of his desire to live with the woman he loves and says, “You name the babies and I’ll name the dogs.” Dogs get the same reckoning with children in the lyrics of this hit, and they knock out the children for the title of the song. This makes sense for anyone who really understands the preeminent role dogs play in our lives. It’s a love song, but Shelton suggests something practical – a division of labor for the naming duties. While most people prefer to work together on naming dogs or babies, splitting the decisions could prevent many conflicts.

Dog name selection is a big deal, and it isn’t always easy to come up with a name. Many couples struggle to find a name that they both like. In some cases, people like very different types of names. When one person’s favorites are Peaches, Fluffy, and Bandit, but the other member of the couple loves Sam, Maggie, and Jake, there are few ways to meet in the middle. What is the compromise between typical old-fashioned dog names and the human names so often in use today? If one person suggests names like Baby and Streusel while the other person’s suggestions are Brutus and Spike, problems can also arise.

Sometimes the name one person wants is one that the other person likes but that is not appropriate for that particular dog. For example, one family had planned to name their next dog Armani, but the puppy they picked had crazy wild fur. The husband felt that choosing a sleek, fashionable name borders on making fun of the dog. They ended up calling her Dulce – Spanish for cute – but her full name is Dolce Gabbana.

There are certainly ways to avoid the discord that often comes with deciding on what to name a dog. Some families insist that everyone must agree on the dog’s name, and they continue to offer options until they have a name that satisfies everyone. Some couples have split the decisions so that one person chooses the dog and the other the name.

How are dog names chosen in your home? What if you disagree and how did you compromise?

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