Teach A New Pet Its Name

Bringing home a new pet to be part of the family is exciting and fun for everyone. Your new pet gets a fresh start and you get to know this new four-legged buddy. Once a name is chosen it’s time to teach your pet to distinguish it from other words. Most pets can learn their name or at least associate their name to mean that you want them to come or turn to you. If you haven’t had a new pet in a while, or if this is your first pet, teaching a name can take a little bit of time.

Often times calling your pet’s name and then a command works well such as, “Max, dinner.” For a pet to associate his name and learn it, the name should be significant to the activity. Aside from dinner, saying, “Max, outside” or “Max, walk” can help your pet begin to know its name and to pay attention when called. Cats can also learn their name through the same means of positive association.

When I come home and my cats come over for attention, I say hello to each of them and use their names. I also will give them a treat or food and call their names. It’s been 14 years so they definitely know their names. As kittens when they were given a treat or being petted I’d use their names to get their attention and invite them to sit on my lap, be hugged, or play. When they would use the scratching post, I’d praise them and use their name.

It’s important to say the pet’s name and to reward when s/he turns towards you. When teaching commands to dogs, their name gains their attention, the command is then the second word. “Max, sit” or Max, come” helps your pet distinguish that you want their attention and not the other pet in the house or at the dog park.

Try to never use your pet’s name when scolding or correction behavior, but it can happen. One way to get around this and avoid it is to use a formal name, “Maximilian! NO!” helps and may also deflate some of the anger. Parents tend to do this with their children. Try it with your pets. With practice and time, a new pet will start to know its name and know that paying attention to you means good things happen.

Pet Names

There are tons of names to choose from when naming your new pet. Some are pretty normal ilke Max or Sadie while others are more outlandish like Dizzie or Sir Toots A Lot. So how can you find a good name for you pet, the right name, that will match the personality of your new buddy and be easy for him/her to learn?

One way to start figuring out a name for your pet is to think about the type of name you want. Do you want a human name? A made up name? Or a silly name? People mostly name their pets human names or after the pet’s appearance and personality. An active dog might be named Comet and a black cat might be named Midnight for example.

Tips for deciding on that right name:

1: Pick a name that pet can easily recognize. Keep the name to one or two syllables.

2: Choose a name that’s easy to call out and are ok with saying out in public. Calling your dog Ruby might be less embarrassing than calling Humper and saying “Humper! Come!”

3: Avoid names that sound similar to a command. Stout is too close to Out. If you tell your dog to get out of a room or area, he may think you’re calling him and not leave. Joe might be too close to No.

4: If you name your pet a long name, have a nickname for when you call your pet or consider a shortened version. Your cat may be called Sir Furball on his vet papers and microchip registration but you may want to call him Furry at home.

5: Wait a few days to study your pet to see if there’s a name that just fits the personality. A playful cat could be named Perky or a lumpy dog could be called Snooze.

6: Pick a name that will grow with the pet. If you let your kids name the pet, discourage names like Kitten since the kitten will eventually become a cat.

Here are some of the more common names for pets: