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Who Should Name the Dog?

Naming a pet is an important rite of passage. It marks the dog as a member of your family and you as a member of its pack. If you are a solitary owner, then the question of who should be naming your dog probably won't come up. Unless the dog comes to you with a prior name, it is unlikely that anyone will want to take that right from you. If, however, you own your dog as part of a couple or a family, then the issue of naming rights takes on more significance.

Creating Complications

In a family setting, there will inevitably be more individuals who have a stake in the dog's name. Naturally, then, they may want to have some part in choosing it. For some family members, it can be a good way to bond with the dog. For others, it's a way to stake a claim and identify the dog as their own. Unless the dog is intended to be the special pet of a specific member of the family, it is important for you to consider the question of naming carefully for the sake of all involved parties.

Setting Name Controversy to Rest

In most cases, the best way to handle the situation may be to put the matter to a group brainstorming session and vote. This allows the decision to be a democratic process-something that everyone can be a legitimate part of. It won't guarantee that there are no hard feelings, but it can help. Alternatively, you may want to avoid the issue entirely by preemptively naming the new dog and introducing him to the family by that name. In this case, the issue is never up for dispute. Finally, you may want to consider designating a name chooser if you are trying to foster a specific bond. This can help to jumpstart a relationship between the dog and any reluctant holdouts.

Paul J is a dog enthusiast and online journalist. He recommends MoM's Who Think for more information on dog names. Paul lives in Arizona with his 2 dogs Bruce and Chunky.

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