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  • Roger Sims, Journal Staff

Is your dog's name more dog or more human?


One of the primary responsibilities of being a pet owner is naming the animals. That task is often saved until the pet can demonstrate characteristics that lend itself to a name.


I don’t know that I’ve ever heard of naming a dog Rover or Spot. Those are too easy and used mostly for fictional dogs.


We’re more likely prone to giving dogs human names – a practice that is certainly not uncommon.


I like names that are short – no more than a couple of syllables – and preferably have a “y” or “ie” on the end. It seems animals tend to respond better to that higher pitched “eee” at the end of the names.


For example, one of our shepherd dogs, Maggie, puts up her ears and tilts her head slightly to look at me when I call her. That’s about as far as it gets, though. She’s a master of hard-to-get and rarely comes when I call her.


That is particularly aggravating when the wind chill is below zero and I’m trying to get her to come in. She only comes to me when it’s her idea.


Frank is another story. He always comes when I call. A part-Great Pyrenees with some shepherd and Husky thrown in, he has a set of blue, blue eyes. A rescue dog, his name is a take on “Ol’ Blue Eyes,” Frank Sinatra. No “eee” sound in the name, but he responds quickly when I call.


Our other dog, Chico, was a stray who showed up at our farm several years ago nursing a broken leg. The smallest of our dogs, the Spanish name we gave him means “boy” or “child.” We always thought the black and white shorthair mix would look great wearing a red bandana and following us faithfully when we were out and about at the market or a music festival.


That being said, he has never worn any kind of bandana, and he marches to his own drummer when he’s not on a leash (he acts like a leash is an extreme form of punishment). Now as he’s began to gray, we thought about renaming him: “Abuelo” which means grandfather.


But this dog doesn’t learn new tricks well, and either he doesn’t hear well anymore or he uses selective hearing to hear only what he wants to. So we’re sticking with Chico.


So when naming a dog, or cat for that matter, does it get a name that’s more human or more dog?


The Washington Post recently published an article about dog names. By typing in your dog’s name, it will tell you whether it is more a dog name or more a human name.


It gives the comparison in terms of this: If 100,000 people and 100,000 dogs are in a stadium, how many people and how many dog would have any given name. You can enter your dog’s name to find out. You can also enter your own name to find out.


“Maggie,” the site said, is a dog’s name. In that stadium 154 dogs and 33 humans would be named Maggie.


“Frank” is a human name. In that stadium 52 dogs and 254 humans would be named Frank.


“Chico” is 100% dog. One hundred dogs would be named Chico and no humans.


I’ve never particularly liked my first name, but to change it now would confuse relatives and friends. It is a rather old name that was popular back in the ‘50s and ‘60s, and I’m not aware of anyone in recent times naming their child “Roger.”


It is still a human name, though, with 122 humans and 41 dogs having that name in that stadium.


According to the article, popular dog names include Bella, Max, Luna, Buddy, Daisy and Rocky.


Want to know how you did in naming your pet? Click on this link to find out.


One word of warning, however. When you enter a name, you can also click to see a list of dogs with that name that are up for adoption. Be sure to look at the nearly 100 Rogers listed on the adoption pages. You can’t go wrong with a name like that.

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