The immortal Shakespeare was not always right for he inquired: “What’s in a name? A rose by any other name, would smell as sweet.” The name which you attach to your dog is a vital matter to you in the training of your dog.
The dog does not understand words as words. He can be taught to lie down on the command “get up.” He associates commands with sounds plus the tone of voice. The reproving tone of voice colors any command given to a dog.
Every dog should have a name, a good name. True, he responds to any name with which his identity has been labeled by accident or design. We concern ourselves here with the proper choice of name as an aid to training the dog, particularly to attract his attention and to respond to such commands as “come,” “stop,” “no.”
The sound a dog identifies most readily is that of his own name. Shouted after him in stern reproof, even as he is dashing across the street, it can stop him and bring him back. Shouted at him in a lilting, upward tone, he hears, wags his tail and starts to come to his master in pleasant anticipation. The calling of a dog’s name is a handle which can fit almost any command and indicate whether it is positive or negative, reproof or praise.
Therefore, whatever handle in the way of a name you attach to your dog, use it always, use no other.
Therefore, choose a name easily spoken, without trills or the necessity of precise pronunciation. Agamemnon is a notable name but not worthy of a dog.
A canine’s name should be limited to two syllables, contain one or two vowels which can be drawn out into a fish peddler’s call, and preferably have a sound or meaning related to some quality of the dog, such as color, personality, use, or origin.
Do not call your dog’s name needlessly; the sound of his name should bring instant attention from him, whether for command, punishment or reward; and almost always for reward, tho it be merely a softspoken word or a gentle rubbing behind the ears. The dog in time takes pride in his name and this pride should be respected.