Getting a new puppy is exciting. The puppy breath, mischievous behavior, and teaching them all sorts of new tricks. Another fun step is choosing a name. Some people go with the cutesy, corny names like Fluffy, Spot, or Jellybean.
Others choose a fun play on words like Bark Twain or Chewbarka. And then there are others who name their dogs after famous people or characters like Khaleesi, Feyre, or even Snoopy.
No matter your choice of name, nothing brings as much controversy as naming your dog after a person. Naming your dog Kevin or Samantha or naming them after your great uncle or grandmother may seem like a sweet tribute to some or a bizarre move to others.
I once knew a dog named Benedict. Its owner had named her giant poodle after her 86 year old grandfather, who had passed about six months earlier. I remember meeting the puppy and thinking, although the name was a bit strange, it did suit the puppy, even just a little.
Fast forward a year, and that puppy became, well, huge. And Benedict seemed even more appropriate. It turns out, though, that her grandmother did not appreciate the fact that her late husband’s namesake was a dog, of all things.
If you’re thinking of naming your dog after a person, I think you really should consider a few things.
Will The Name Suit The Dog?
I’m not one to judge but naming your teacup chihuahua Arnold or your petite schnauzer Elizabeth might not be the best option unless you’re going for something that will raise eyebrows.
If you’re going to name your dog after a person, at least make sure it’ll fit your pup when they grow up. In the case of Benedict, the name suited the gigantic dog really well. He walked slowly, moved like an old, wise guy, and so an old, wise-guy name fit him perfectly.
Again, it’s up to you, but my logic is don’t name a dog something that won’t fit their appearance or personality regardless of the type of name.
What Does the Person Whose Name You’re Using Think?
Alright, this really goes without saying, but if you’re naming your dog after a family member or friend, maybe check with them if they’ll be okay with it first.
You may want to name your pup after your best friend as a sweet, heartfelt tribute, but it will kind of lose its effect if the person who you’re naming the dog after hates the idea.
In the end, you’re naming them after the person as a grand gesture, not to annoy them and give them a reason not to love your dog or come by for a visit because your dog having the same name as them is “just weird.”
What Are The Circumstances?
Look, I’m all for remembering someone who passed in whatever way is meaningful to you, but choosing a name for your dog should probably avoid the names of people who were important to you and passed away.
It may seem like a nice thing to do to you, but just as you cared about that person, there are probably other people who loved them just as much and may not feel the same way about meeting a dog with their deceased loved one’s name.
I mean, just imagine it was your mom or dad, and you had to hear someone screaming their name every few minutes as they look for their dog.
It could be a bit traumatic, right?
Don’t Name Them After Certain People
Yes, yes, there’s no reason you can’t name your dog after famous people, but there are a few names that you should probably steer clear of no matter how important they may be to you, including:
- Martin Luther
- Nelson Mandela
- Any religious name like Jesus, Mohammed, or Moses
Sure, these people were important, but by naming your dog one of these names, you may not just be offending one person. You could be insulting entire countries or peoples.
In the end, there are tons of cool human names to give your dog. Whether they’re being named after your great-aunt or someone famous, you’ll have loads of names to choose from.
Some of my favorite human names for dogs include:
- Martha Stewart
- Snoop Dog
- Dr. Dre
Another important thing to remember is to make sure your dog will actually respond to the name, and if you choose a super long, super human term, make sure it at least has a nice nickname.
I believe it’s your dog, so it’s your decision what you want to call it. Whether that name is Floofy McFloofster or Tatiana, you do you.
In my case, though, calling my dog Kevin, John, or Alexandra would be just a little too weird.