Updated: Jul 25
Puppy names can come from a variety of different places. Some get their name from their handler, owner, alpha or pack, and others name themselves. Whatever the source of the name, it is a good idea for a pup to like their own name, unless that dynamic isn't the way the relationship is structured.
How a pup gets their name.
Naming can happen in a structured way, unstructured way, independently, and collaboratively. Here are some things to remember when trying to pick a name:
Pick a name you like for now - that’s all any of us can do. If we don’t like it, we can change it.
They aren’t permanent - even our human names, though not easy, can be changed.
Your name is your name. So you and those closest to you need to be the one(s) most happy with it!
If power exchange is part of your dynamic, then maybe it's your owner/handler's decision.
Your name is your name.
Just remember that these are all just some of the things to think about when considering a puppy name. Most importantly you should follow the flow and process that makes the most sense to you. Also remember that it may take time. In some cases finding a name can take days, weeks or even months. Spending time on your name is worth it to find a name that makes you wag.
Picking a name. It's a process and takes time.
One strategy you can use when starting the naming process is to start by making a list of possibilities. Start with a low bar of evaluation, don’t put too much pressure on it. Sometimes just brainstorming possibilities opens up the door to ones you wouldn’t have thought of.
When coming up with this list there are many avenues you can use to come up with names. You can start by thinking about your hobbies, interests, favorite characters, pet names, people/animals who have influenced your life, spiritual names/concepts, your cultural backgrounds, favorite colors, things in nature you like, etc. You can also think about your puppy energy, spirit, interests when you are in pup mode and names or concepts that relate to that energy. Maybe you want to explore names across different languages that you might speak or have a relationship with. Also explore different spelling options for names, because you're going to have to read it too.
When in doubt, there are always random name generators online that can help throw ideas around and give you things you might not have thought of that make you think of other things you hadn’t thought about. Just be open and explore the possibilities and options.
Take your name for a walk.
Once you have a list of names, share it with friends and people who's opinions you trust and value. Get their feedback, new ideas, find out what the names remind them of or mean to them. That might give you more ideas or eliminate some. Also make sure to explore who else might have the names in your life or in the puppy community. Do you want to emulate someone or be unique?
Put on your name.
Then you can start to narrow down the list. Take half of them off, then cut it in half again, add new names that come up if you want. Whittle down the list until you have 3-5 names. Try a few names on and see how they feel when people use them with you or when you write them. Do a mock up of a name tag and see how it looks to see it written down. Do they feel natural? Do they awaken puppy vibes? Do they feel new and exciting?
Names can change.
It is important to remember that not all names have to be forever. Sometimes our names get associated with certain people, relationships, times in our lives. We may decide a name needs to be retired or let go. That’s ok. You might also decide to create a ritual or ceremony to put it to rest as a way to get closure. Remember - it's your name. It's important, most of all to, and for, you!
At the end of the day, your name needs to represent you in a way that you are happy with. There is no formula or guaranteed way to find it, but when it clicks, it clicks. Take the time you need, seek the help you need and remember that your name is what you make of it.
Social Media Post to Share with Friends.
Want to share this information with someone on social media? Check out Cooper's "Pup Names" post on Instagram @supportpupcooper.
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