Sunday , July 14 2024
Dogs vs. Human Names

Dogs vs. Human Names: The Science Of Dog Names 

The dog vs human names argument has become more common as people showcase their pets on social media platforms, especially TikTok. 

There have been thousands of dogs with traditionally human names, and people don’t know where the line is.

Traditionally, dog names like Rex, Spot, and others are seldom mentioned; instead, people use human names. 

It could be anything from a parent’s or enemy’s name and everything in between. So, what are the differences between dog and human names?

Dogs Vs. Human Names 

You must have encountered a dog named Benjamin or Mary, and you didn’t know what to make of it. The truth is dogs are getting more “human names,” sparking a worldwide debate on why and if dogs should have these names. 

Understanding the differences between dog names and human names is crucial in picking a side in this debate, so let’s get to it;

1. Purpose of name

Humans use their names to identify themselves and be identified by friends, family, the government, institutions, and so on. 

This means there has to be a clear guide on giving names that ensure each person’s uniqueness so they identify with that name.

These names appear on legal documents, official forms, and other vital documents, so there is much more importance to a human’s name.

On the other hand, dogs have names used by their owners and maybe close friends to identify them. They associate that name with themselves but don’t know what it means or who else has it.

It’s like a bell to humans and how the sound guides you to do something. This means there is less significance in a dog’s name, so people are free to name them however they like.

2. Reflection on personality

It takes several years to definitively tell a human’s personality, so most names don’t reflect a human’s personality. 

A person might be grumpy as an infant, but their demeanor might change and become cheerful when they get one or two years old. 

As a result, most people won’t name a child based on a personality that will change in the next few months. This means that human names rarely give insight into the person’s actions.

On the other hand, dogs are open books, and you can tell how they will behave at a few months old. 

They grow much faster than humans, so you can see their mannerisms and personality in a few months, which could guide you on which name to give them.

This is why there are many dogs with names that describe their demeanor and personality, whether it’s from movies or history.

3. Behavioral influence

A human’s name will not affect their behavior in any way. There are many myths about how names influence people’s behavior, but no clinical evidence supports it. 

A human will react the same if you call their name regardless of its pronunciation or how you sound it.

Studies have proven that dogs react better to names that end in vowels and don’t sound like commands. 

Names will influence your dog’s behavior since some names sound like commands, and the dog will react differently when you call them.

4. Emotional significance 

Humans have deep emotional connections to their names, so they often have names that are emotionally significant to their parents. 

You could be named after your grandparents, a close relative, or a considerable person your parents feel you connect with.

Dogs don’t have that same connection to their names. A name for a dog is just a sound their owner makes when they want them to go over. They can’t comprehend the value of the name, so it is only essential to the owner and not the dog. 

5. Number of Names

Both humans and dogs share names, but dogs don’t understand that. There could be several people in a room called Brian, but they have different surnames. So you can specify and call Brian Maxwell to get the person you want. 

Humans additionally have nicknames that friends and family give them, which further adds to their identity’s uniqueness.

Dogs can’t tell the difference; they will respond and come to you if the name is theirs or sounds like theirs. 

They don’t have surnames since most dogs will only respond to one word, and that will take a lot of training.

Nicknames are uncommon since most dogs won’t realize it’s them you are calling unless you’ve lived with them for a long time and trained them to identify both names. So, if you have a dog, don’t give it a name you might always mention, as it will confuse them.

How To Choose The Best Name For Your Dog

You need to know the best way to choose a name for your dog to avoid any confusion with human names. There are many names to choose from, and it will be effective if you go by the following criteria; 

Dogs respond best to names with vowels at the end.

Names that end with vowels are frequently more manageable for dogs to grasp since they require you to shift your tone of voice. 

Our dogs depend on the tones to understand us, and such names assist them in distinguishing their names from the vocabulary we use in ordinary conversations.

Don’t Use Command-like sounds in names.

It can be fun to teach your dog’s new commands and reward them with treats and belly rubs. You will use a specific tone of voice when doing this, so make sure the name you choose doesn’t feel like a command to the dog.

A command-sounding name with words like “Bo” could sound like No to a dog, and they won’t react appropriately when you call them.

Use Simple-to-pronounce names

The temptation to give your dog a unique name is irresistible to most dog owners, and there are many inspirations to take from. 

The critical thing to remember is to ensure that the name you choose is unique and your dog can easily understand it. 

Dogs are playful, and inevitably, your dog might run off in the park, so you’ll have to shout out their name multiple times. A simple name like Tommy or Spot will be easy for you to say and your dog to respond to.

Imagine having to shout a name like “Queen Tickle Toes” in a public park with a lot of noise. A shorter term would make more sense for a dog and lead to better behavior.

Experiment with alternative names.

You can try several names for your dog to see which works best for the long term. This is especially ideal for small puppies who are flexible and can pick up on things like names. This experiment allows you to give your dog a name that both of you are comfortable with.

Get name ideas from your hobbies.

One of the best ways to name a dog is from a character in a movie or TV show you like. It creates a fondness for your dog, and it will always be fun to call them out. 

You have complete creative freedom in this, and you can use anything from a book or TV character to other animals.

You shouldn’t rename an adult dog.

An adult dog will be used to hearing the sound of their name, and it can be confusing for them to drop it and connect with another title.

If you feel you have to change the name, then make sure the new name sounds similar to the old one. The sound will be almost the same for your dog, and it will be much easier for them to transition and respond to it.

Names with two syllables

Dogs have an easier time understanding a double-syllable name rather than long or names that end in vowels. 

Two-syllable names like Jack and Jill will be ideal for a dog since they are clear and don’t sound like most English vocabulary.

Give each pet a unique name in the house to ensure no confusion when you shout the name.

Run a test on the name you choose.

It is essential to try the name to ensure you are okay with it, especially when you need to recall your dog. 

You should pick a name you are OK with shouting in public without feeling like you are doing something inappropriate. 

Don’t give your dog a controversial name with negative implications, as it might create unnecessary drama during your walks.


When it comes to the dogs vs human names debate, it entirely depends on your perspective and connection with the name involved. 

Some people have a lot of emotional connection to names, so they will retain traditional names for their dogs.

Some people argue that giving dogs human names is an ideal way of connecting with the dog as they see them as a member of the family. 

Regardless of your view, giving your dog a good name and a fantastic environment in which they can thrive is essential. 

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