After 368 dog-free days, I finally committed last week and rescued a pit bull puppy from Midwest Animal Rescue & Services in Minneapolis! I looked at several puppies and one finally won my heart — and passed the puppy behavioral test, given by yours truly.
On my Dr. Justine Lee Facebook page, I held a contest on what to name my new pit bull puppy! Here are some of the names suggested:
6) "One of the Luckiest Dogs on Earth," or "Lucky" for short
15) LB (for Love Bug)
16) Mr. Bo Jangles
17) Q ball
18) 8 ball
Despite all the awesome suggestions, I decided to go with "Milo." I waited a day or two before picking it, but just felt that it fit his personality well.
So, how do you pick a name for a puppy? If you want to break free from the mold of traditional human names, here are a few helpful hints when it comes to picking a name for your pet.
In general, take a few days to get to know your new pet before coming up with a name. Their personality may give you a better idea of a name after a few days. (Lazy? Grumpy? Bashful? Sleepy?) Sometimes, the environment, city, street, or location where they were found might be a fun name. I named my friend’s dog Essie because she was abandoned in our "Emergency Services," which is often called, "ES." My Pit Bull is named JP after Jamaica Plain, an up-and-coming (i.e., ghetto) subdivision of Boston where I used to live. (This is on the infamous "other" side of the tracks, where one needs a Pit Bull to safely walk down the street).
Next, pick a name that your pet will easily recognize, otherwise all your pet will hear is "blah, blah, blah, blah." Using a two syllable name that ends with a vowel (e.g., Echo or Fido) may make it easier for your dog to identify its name. Also, pick a name you won’t be embarrassed by when your veterinarian hollers it out in the waiting room. "Buttkiss," "B*tch," or "Jerk" (yes, these were some of my actual clients’ dogs’ names) are a bit embarrassing for your vet to call out in a room full of people. (Yes, I would know. Go ahead and get your giggles out now, Prince Albert).
Finally, to prevent your dog from thinking you are always yelling at him, pick a name that doesn’t sound like a command. "Hound" sounds like "down," so you shouldn’t be surprised if your dog always lies down when you talk to him.
What do you think? Have any names that you love?
Dr. Justine Lee
Image: Milo and Dr. Lee