Naming Your New Puppy

 Naming Your New Puppy

     As with any King, your puppy will need a series of first names.  Of course, for the dog license, the name should be short, but to honor your puppy’s royal lineage you should bestow the name accordingly.
     Our first Cavalier King Charles was given the name Lulu Belle Marie Felicity.  We call her Lulu.  In our family we earn nicknames through deeds, actions, or images.  Lulu was given a nickname, as well as, all of the other people in our family, and readily became Pupuce, which is a French nick name.  
     This name organically turned into Puce Marie.  She is happy to respond to all of her names for a treat, a kiss, or a playful game.  
     Three years later we adopted two other Cavaliers King Charles from the same litter.  We call them the twins.  C.C. is our girl, and Riece is our boy.  Their names were inspired by the names of my family’s ancestors.
     The twins were also given a long string of names, but over time they drifted away.  Riece is now known as Riece Cup because he is black, white and brown and reminds me of a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup.  
     C.C. on the other hand had a series of nick names based on her rambunctious personality.  She is known as C.C. Biscuit (after Sea Biscuit, the rambunctious race horse), C.C. Belle, Mini Puce, Bitty, and Bitten.
     Names and nick names develop naturally over time, so select a name with confidence, but if you find that the name you have chosen does not fit your new King, well, trust that another name will emerge with time and a few treats.

  Suggestions for Choosing a Puppy Name:
• First, flip through the pages of a baby name book and write down all of the names that you like.  My favorite books are by the authors Pamela Redmond Satran and Linda Rosenkrantz.  Their first book, Beyond Jennifer and Jason, focused on how society perceived names instead of the meaning of a name.  They have since published many more baby name books, any of which will be helpful in your selection of a name.  Visit for a comprehensive list. (See link below.)
• Select at least 2 names and then have at least 4 others to complete the official naming of your King.
• Once you meet your puppy, her personality will indeed shine through and you will then be able to give her a name, either one or all of the names you selected.
• After you have named your King, it is important to speak to your new puppy often using her name and/or nick name.  The pup will begin to recognize the inflection in your voice and respond to her name.  Your puppy is able to distinguish sounds and noises that for humans sound the same, such as cars’ motors or footsteps.  Their hearing is at least four times better than ours, thus giving them the ability to acutely decipher the variations in the tone of your voice when you speak.  If you speak to your puppy frequently, using her name while giving her a treat or two, she should easily begin to recognize her new name.

Some Other Recomendations:
• Some people suggest not selecting a common name as other people may also have chosen that name.  If you call to your dog, another person’s dog may just come running. Not likely to be a Cavalier King Charles though. They don’t run that easily.
• Some people recommend not choosing an embarrassing name or nickname for your puppy as you will have to use it in public.
• Include the whole family when deciding on a name.  Kids especially love to help pick out a name and often will add a whimsical element to the process. Though don’t be surprised if a transformer comes running towards you…
• Try to avoid giving your puppy a name that sounds like a command.  The sounds are so similar that it may confuse the puppy especially when you begin the training process.
     o Examples:
        Command – No   Name – Bo
        Command – Sit    Name – Kit
        Command – Stay   Name – May
• Some people suggest a one syllable name, while others suggest a two syllable name.  I have found that it does not really matter.  What is essential is the constant use of the name.  Your puppy will quickly recognize her name if she is rewarded with treats.  
     o Example:  Lulu and C.C. are two syllables, while Riece is one syllable.  In the training process I would pet them and speak their name.  I also used training treats.  I let them smell the treat, lick the treat, and then I would take it away.  I would then use their name and show them the treat.  When they looked at me I would give them the treat.  After a while of repeating this process they began to respond to their name when I called them.  Keep in mind that each dog and breed may respond in their own time.

How to Handle Rude Comments:
     As a New York City resident, I have become accustomed to the rudeness of strangers; however, I was never as stunned as when an old man made a rude comment about Lulu’s name.  
     She was three and a half months old and we were taking a walk on Broadway.  The day was perfect – trees blooming, bright sunlight, a warm summer breeze – and I was so excited to take her on one of her first walks after receiving all of her vaccinations.  
     An older man approached us, bent down and patted Lulu on the stomach.  She let out a yelp, but eagerly nuzzled him for more attention.
     “What is her name?” he asked.
     “Lulu,” I said.
     “Well that is such a silly name for such a royal dog.  Better change it.”
     As if he had struck me in the stomach, I was silent for a moment, but then I responded.
     “What is your name?” I asked.
     “George,” he said.
     “Did your mother name you after a king or a cartoon?” I asked.
     “I am not sure what you mean?”
     “Well there is King George or Curious George . . . he is a cartoon monkey.”
     “I know who Curious George is young lady.”
     “Good day,” I said.
     My knee jerk reaction to his comment was equally rude and I learned a lesson from it – do not stoop to any level of rudeness.

Suggestions for Rude Comments:
• People may feel the need to comment on your dog’s name.  If the comment is rude or nasty it is better to just say “Thank you for your opinion.”  This response may not be as snappy or catchy as others, but in the case of your new puppy, why let stupid comments diminish the joy you are experiencing with your new family member.


Helpful Puppy Name Links:


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