What not to name a dog (15/49)

At some schools, dogs are named alphabetically. Everyone in the same litter has a name beginning with the same letter, and you can tell who’s related to whom. Sometimes the staff pick the names, sometimes they come out of a computer. At GDF, it works a little differently. You can sponsor a dog for $6000, and part of what that gets you is the right to name a dog. And some people abuse that right.

I’m not going to go into names of current dogs, because people are out there working those dogs, and it’s not right to single them out. I have a girl dog with a boy’s name, but I’m pretty okay with that. Some people have dogs with long names that are silly or hard to pronounce. Of course, there are some perfectly decent and simple ones – there are a zillion black labs named Midnight or Shadow, and a ton of golden retrievers and yellow labs named Goldie. And some have nice human names, although I always worry about the person who gets a dog with their spouse’s name. The dog’s had it for a few years already, so what are you going to do? People do change their dog’s names, but it’s a bit of a process, I suspect.

One very popular name is Buddy, partly because there are lots of dogs by that name, and partly because it was the name of the first guide dog in the US, so people think they’re being all historical and stuff. It’s a perfectly fine name for a non-working dog. But the fact is, every third person on the street or so is going to come up wot your dog and say, “Hey, buddy!” And what do you know, that’s the dog’s name, and it responds! That’s the last thing someone needs while they’re working a dog. Not that people should approach working dogs anyway, but they do.

I think the worst name you could give a working dog would be Doggie. Because every time I walk down the street with Ms. Pup, eighty bazillion people of all ages yell, “DOGGIE!” at her. And she ignores them, because, thank goodness, it’s not her name. Fortunately, no one names guide dogs Doggie, but if they did, that poor handler would be under a truck in five minutes.

Post #: 15/49
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5 Responses to “What not to name a dog (15/49)”

  1. Lisa Says:

    If you couldn’t have a guide DOG, but you could have a guide animal of any other species, what would you have and why?

  2. antuvschle Says:

    It amuses me that you (used to?) call dogs “Oh! it’s a Woofer!” I think that’s definitely less common than Buddy or Doggie.

    Even more amusing with this post, because one of the little-known facts about Spencer (my first dog) is that we renamed him at adoption because his breeder had named him… Woofer.

    Well, my parents did. I had very little to do with renaming him because I was 7. And I wanted a cat.

    Oh and oooh! oooh! I know what one of the future pups is gonna be named! But I’ve noticed you’re not outing a whole lot of people or dog names here, so I’ll respect that here too.

  3. Kimberly & guide dog Rufus Says:

    This matter of the dog name is one that the puppy sponsors don’t think much about, I bet. If they went through a day using the prospective dog name a bazillion times, they might rethink some choices.

    We use a code name with my dog with people we suspect we’ll never meet again. Family and friends are told not to use Rufus’ name when he’s working. Do you get tired of the public whining that “it’s so hard not to pet him”. Some days I do. That harness makes no mention of public property.

    • antuvschle Says:

      Speaking of harnesses and the public– I saw something new at Petsmart the other day. A therapy dog, with a green harness, that said: “Therapy dog: please pet me!”

      I’m so well trained, I found it impossible to pet him in harness, or even ask if I could. Despite what was embroidered into the harness. I chatted with the handler about the dog, and commented on the fact that I’m used to the opposite… but just… couldn’t address the dog even when she patted him, because I just know you *don’t*. She explained that he had it on because she was at the store to find a matching green leash.

      Might have been different if my dogs were along to break the ice, also my fiance was waiting for me in the car so I wasn’t going to spend a lot of time visiting.

  4. Schutzund Says:

    Haha good article I had a bit of a laugh about calling your dog “doggie” or “woofy”

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