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People will tease someone about the choice of their dog's name. I had a Hairless Chinese Crested who proudly wore the name "Rogaine" until he was six and I lost him to lymphoscaroma (cancer) in 18 days. Although it was not my choice of names, but my mother's, it fitted him well!
However, and more importantly, I considered just how much that word - rogaine - showed up in our everyday family conversations. This is critical to think about before you name your new puppy or dog --- or changing the name for an adopted dog from a shelter or rescue.
Consider how many times on an average day you will say that same word you are considering for a name. If it is frequently --- or there is another word close to that sound, especially in consonants --- your dog will alert to it whenever he hears it once properly trained. This can be as annoying to them as a fly buzzing around us while we're watching TV - if only flies bothered you at the commercials, huh?
I've gotten comments and questions about this specific thing... "My dog never listens to me... he never comes to me when I call him..." My first question to the owner is always, "What is your dog's name? Are there any other people in your life with similiar names?" and usually there are.
Dogs are just as likely to have selective hearing as some husbands do! Dogs operate on smell first, sight second and hearing third. So consider this when selecting a name - the more unusual and less used in your everyday conversations, the greater the chance they'll respond to it more!
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|