What’s in a Name

Hughie - A large Border Collie puppy lays down on a hardwood floor.

Little Hughie

An animals name is probably the most important requirement in any relationship you have with them. This is especially important when getting a new pet. If they come with a moniker, fine, but choosing a name and the right name can be quite a task.

Your pet’s name is a crucial part of your pets life and the cornerstone on which any form of training is based. The name will be the first means of contact and of control you have. Just the tone of your voice when you call the animal’s name may mean, bad boy, good boy, encouragement, sympathy, or it may be disciplinary. A name should be easily pronounced, preferably short, simple syllables – yelling, “Wellingtonsunthrip the third” when they are running off with the neighbour’s laundry, besides getting weird looks from the neighbours, will probably result in him being halfway down the block before you get the whole name out. 

Some people like a certain name – “if I ever get a dog I’m going to call him ———.”  I don’t believe in that process, I’m of the opinion the name should suit the dog. Calling a 120 lb King Shepherd built like a tank Sprinkle, just doesn’t cut it. A name should be representative of the dog’s shape, breed, characteristics good or bad, their disposition and mannerisms.

For this reason, it took us a while to come up with the proper name. With Poppy our female, it was about 16 weeks before she got a proper name. My wife, charged with giving Poppy her name, couldn’t decide. So for all those weeks and during the training my wife would refer to her as Puppy. Finally I said she had to pick a name, so she decided to just call her Puppy – well that wouldn’t do to call a dog Puppy in an environment where the word is used often, (Poppy gets confused enough) but unfortunately she was already getting used to Puppy, so problem solved I suggested we call her Poppy. Not too far away from what she was used to and it kind of suited her, she is shy, kind of a wallflower. Always looking for some affection.

Choosing the right name for Hugh

A large Border Collie puppy sits on a hardwood floor.


Having said this how did Hugh get his name? My last dog’s name was Basil, he was wise, methodical, trustworthy, dependable, had a keen desire to help, so Basil suited him. I always liked Tyberious, Tye for short, independent, versatile, likes to organize self and others (good shepherd herding traits), a perfect name for my next dog, however, Hugh is not a Tye. 

Hugh moves like a wrestler, is not very courageous (for the first two days he spent most of the time hiding under something), likeable, enjoys play way too much. He’s not very graceful and is just a big goofy puppy. Besides he’s a Border Collie so he needed a Scottish name, suggestions such as Rowan, – one deep in thought, refined, no not Hugh. Liam – shrewd, one calculating and resourceful, logical, not even close. Hamish? No, not at all… Then someone suggested Hugh, friendly, likeable, prefers having fun, big eater. Yesss! He kind of looks and acts like the Hughs I’ve known, and unfortunately Hughie suites him to a T. 

So although the records show officially his name is Hugh, he gets called Hughie more often and lately his name has had a prefix added to it no, no-Hughie, no-Hughie, no-Hughie, NO-HUGHIE!!!!!


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