From: Paul Schaefer, ENN
Published August 23, 2007 06:23 AM

What's in a Name? Everything To Your Dog

SANDPOINT, Idaho - The most important thing you can teach your new dog is his name, according to a new book, Happy Hound. Author Susan Daffron says if your dog doesn't learn his name, it's almost impossible to teach him anything else. She offers a few naming suggestions in her new book "Happy Hound: Develop a Great Relationship with Your Adopted Dog or puppy.


Given that you will be living with your dog for a long time, it's a good idea to put a little thought into the name you select. Here are Daffron's tips for naming your dog:


1. Stick to simple names that are easy to say. Often you will be saying the name in conjunction with a command, so try to avoid words that sound like commands. "Clown Down!" may be cute or fun for you to say, but it is likely to confuse your dog.


2. Avoid names that are similar to other names in your household. If you have a daughter named Jill, don't name your dog Bill. If you have multiple pets, keep the names dissimilar, so everyone knows whom you are addressing.


3. Stay away from silly or embarrassing names. What may seem funny to you may be offensive or stupid to others. You don't want people at the dog park shying away from you or the veterinarian rolling his eyes whenever you stop by.


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4. When you adopt a dog, consider changing his name, particularly if you don't know his background. His prior name may have negative associations, so it's good to have a fresh start.


5. Turn to books, reference materials, or the Internet for creative naming ideas. Many older dictionaries, for example, include names and definitions in the appendices.


Daffron has one more suggestion: teach your dog his name by always associating it with good things. If you approach the task armed with a few treats and a lot of praise, your dog will learn his name in no time.


For more information: http://www.happyhoundbook.com/.


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