Dog owners are famously thought to look like their pooches, but what you decide to call your dog in the first place probably reveals more about your personality than you expect. According to the experts, the name you choose for your dog reveals your expectations, interests and yearnings.
"Naming a dog is often geared towards what the owners want to see expressed," says Stephen Zawistowski, a biologist with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. A survey the ASPCA conducted in 2008 suggested that new dog owners choose their pet's names based on their interests and on how they want to be seen by others.
Your dog's name says a lot about who you are. "The name of a dog reflects the personality and sense of humor of the owner," says Lisa Peterson, spokeswoman for the American Kennel Club. "For example if you name your toy poodle 'Brutus,' that shows a sense of irony."
So if you call your dog 'Bear,' which is the most popular male dog name in the United States, according to the American Kennel Club, you probably love outdoor adventures, but you also have very loving side to you and are secretly longing for warmth and protection. 'Bandit,' on the other hand, shows that you want a little mischief and excitement in your life.
Your pet's name will often reveal your interests, even if these change as you grow older. A teenager might name her puppy after a pop singer--a bichon frise named Britney, anyone?--while an older woman probably would not. Sometimes people want a tough dog, so they give their pet an appropriate name and expect the dog to grow into that name. "I had clients who wanted to call their dog 'Homicide,'" says dog trainer Sarah Wilson. "They were living in a sketchy neighborhood and were seeking a protective dog. I made them change the name. You can't do that to a dog!"
Others go for common names. "That is because people are looking for a comfort zone," said Dr. Zawistowski. Those who choose unusual, striking names, he said, are striving to express their individuality and stand out. There is also a growing trend to use human names. "Dogs increasingly become true members of the family," says Vicki Croke, author of Dogology, which explores the relationships between dogs and their owners.
New pet owners should put plenty of thought into selecting a name for their furry companions and avoid names that are too dominant-sounding. "'Zeus' is not a good name, because it is linked to power," says Sarah Wilson, who wrote the book, My Smart Puppy. "If you have problems with the dog and want to tell him off, it's not going to work with 'Zeus.' The dog feels the connotation you put into a name."
Your dog's name can be a mirror of what you are looking for in life or how you want to be perceived. So choose wisely.
PS: hmm...it seems quite accurate coz it's always partly the reason how 3 of us got our name...