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Category: Dog Trainers Los Angeles | Author: admin 08.08.2014
As someone who has an unusual name (I was named after my great-grandmother who was named after her second cousin), I might be more aware how names can affect someone. As a rescuer, I realize I cannot give a dog any name that stirs up negative thoughts in people. Those judgments are why I believe it is super important that adopters (especially of power breeds) to forgo “tough” names, because people have one idea about these breeds –and often are fearful—but it is one thing to see a Rottweiler running at you, and it is another thing to have the owner calling “Cujo” to come back. If your Pit Bull gets lost, and you post signs “Missing Dog: Comes to Zombie” people will automatically think flesh-eater and not want to help. If you have one dog named James and one named Jay, that is too close and can be confusing for them. A standard dog name like Rosco, Fluffy, Belle and Buster can certainly make it more difficult for vets, groomers and others to remember them and keep their charts correct. Elsie, the famous cow, was not the namesake that people thought was cool (and I am sure you will be shocked when I say it solicited a lot of ridicule). Fear is very real, and we see that in our country where police officers –out of fear—shoot dogs every day. I made this argument with my husband who wanted spiked collars on our big dogs and I refused to let him knowing I have seen people flat out refused to help a power breed wearing one because they believed they were dangerous.

I have 4 dogs, besides Vaughn I have Bruno “Bear”, Arnie “pig-pig” (or something involving pig like “pig face” or “pigglesworth”), and Joey “Gremlin Head.” My husband comes up with nicknames for all of our fosters as well, which can be fun and silly (but they still have proper names).
Same goes with humans and dogs (had an adopter named Maddy and dog named Mandy and that was confusing for everyone). This can be a huge problem if there are 2 dogs named Buddy at an office clinic this can be problematic if not dangerous.  Luckily for dogs, unlike people, they don’t have to worry if you get too creative with names.
Of course, as an adult, I am no longer upset that my unusual name means I cannot find souvenirs with my name on it (short of tombstones but they frown upon you taking those) but perhaps that is one reason I am very picky about names.
Other names that I have gotten which were changed immediately include: Taz, Puddles, Yappers, and Snappy. Our 4th dog is a chiweenie, so I got him a spiked collar (because I don’t think anyone is going to be afraid of a 14 lb dog in an argyle sweater even with a spiked collar). They won’t complain about not finding a key chain with their name on it (or tombstone) so don’t feel like you need to pick a name from the top 10 dog names. Clearly these names would make people think something about the dog which might not even fit their personality but they would be judged for it. Of course, there are those people who want “tough” looking dogs and keep them as an accessory and want people to be afraid of them, so they love the name Crusher, Diablo or Beast; however, I do not think most people understand the problems that can arise.

This dog named Vaughn (which is English for “little” as he was tiny when I rescued him from a shelter) actually goes by the name Monster. You don’t have to name your new dog the second it gets home so take some time and find the perfect name for them. And not just because it makes me insane when I spend 2 hours finding the perfect name for that purebred German Shepherd (looking through German names in baby books), to have an adopter pick 21 seconds to decide Daisy is a great name!
So clearly anyone who sees this 14 pound dog, who rolls over when scared, is not going to be concerned if we call him by his nickname. I actually tested this a little by giving Pit Bulls names associated more with Poodles, and people laughed, but it makes a difference.

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