A dog’s name may be the most important word they ever learn. Many trainers recommend saying your pup’s name before giving a command like “Sit” or “Stay” in order to get their attention and make sure they know that what you say next will be directed at them. But did you know that there is actually a science to giving your dog the most effective name? Experts have found that certain combinations of sounds are easier for dogs to recognize and remember.
Researchers discovered that dogs respond best to words with two-syllables and hard consonants. Harder sounds create more energy across frequencies and activate more audio receptors in the canine brain than soft consonants. They also found that they hear the ‘S’ sound more intensely than humans, making names like Mason and Cassie highly effective at garnering canine attention.
It is also ideal to choose a relatively simple name. Monickers with three or more syllables can cause sensory overload, making it significantly more difficult for dogs to recognize and memorize. Tyrion Lannister may be your favorite Game of Thrones character, but it’s quite an earful for a pup’s brain to process!
Aside from name length and consonant sounds, it is important to choose a name that is distinctly different from other words you will be using with your dog on a regular basis. For example, Oliver sounds quite similar to “Roll Over” to your pup and may lead to confusion.
Once you have chosen the perfect name, make sure to use it correctly. Researchers and trainers agree that a dog’s name must always be used in a positive context. Shouting their name in anger can cause them to hesitate at your commands in the future.
It is also important to use the name sparingly – overuse can lead them to dissociation with it and they may begin to ignore it.