The name game: When names reflect breeds
As you’ve probably noticed at the dog park, certain names seem to go with certain breeds.
Gizmos are usually shih tzus, Fifis poodles, and Rockys Rottweilers. Trooper is likely a Lab or German shepherd, and chances are Bubba’s a coonhound.
Beyond all the obvious instances — dalmatians named Spot, Great Danes named Marmaduke, beagles named Snoopy and collies named Lassie — there’s a tendency to bestow certain names on certain breeds, notes noted baby naming expert Laura Wattenberg.
So much so that she’s made a word cloud game of it. (You can find it, here)
“The names you like, and the kind of dog you like, seem to inform each other,” said Wattenberg, who has spent some time analyzing name-breed data and found some patterns within. “If you love the idea of a dog named Jethro, it says a lot about the breed of dog you’ll want.”
Wattenberg, best known as an authority on baby-naming trends, poured over the websites of animal shelters and breeders to compile a list of 5,000 dog names and photos. She found the type of name chosen was frequently dependent on the breed, according to the Vancouver Sun.
Wattenberg says she’s considering developing an online name-recommendation engine that takes a dog’s breed into account.
While the biggest trend in naming dogs is still the use of human names, giving them “fitting” names, based on perceptions of their breed, remains a strong tradition.
“Human names are rising across the board. But the kind of name you choose probably depends on the breed and your lifestyle,” she says. “The names reflect either our impression of those dogs or the kind of people who choose them.”
Hunting breeds are likely to get “down-home country names,” such as Bubba, Roscoe or Jethro; Corgis are prone to getting preppy names, like Lacey, Colby and Reggie; and Rottweilers often get macho names, like Rocky, Hunter and Duke, she says.
Pet owners also turn to a breed’s country of origin — or at least that most commonly associated with it — to come up with a name. Thus, there are many Chihuahuas called Chi-Chi, Diego and Pablo; poodles named Pierre, Fifi and Pepe; and Siberian huskies dubbed Sasha, Juneau and Yukon.
(Photo: A Rottweiler named Rocky, by John Woestendiek)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 7th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, baby names, breeds, bubba, chihuahuas, coonhound, corgis, countries, dog, dog names, dogs, fifi, german shepherd, gizmo, human names, huskies, labrador, laura wattenberg, names, naming, origins, pets, poodle, retriever, rocky, rottweiler, shih-tzu, trooper