Monday, April 11, 2011
When you get a puppy, naming a dog is generally the choice of the owner. Everyone has a different approach to naming and teaching the dog to respond to the name.
When you bring home a rescue dog, deciding to keep or change the name is a different issue. Bailey was a puppy when we got him, but he already responded to his name. At the time, we did not think much about the name. We have since learned it is a name given to both males and females. However, it does appear that the name is more commonly used as a female than male name. It is also a very common Sheltie name. I find many Sheltie owners with Baileys. Since Bailey responded to his name and we had no issues with the name, we chose to keep it.
Katy had a much longer name that she refused to answer to when we met her at her foster home. The only word she responded to was "cookie" and it was becoming her default name. I will not offend anyone by discussing her given name. I just found it too long and awkward for a dog that at two clearly did not recognize the name as hers. After talking to the foster Mom, we decided to look for hard "C" names that would trigger the response cookie did without naming her cookie. We went through a list of short hard "C" names and Katy was the one that drew the most response.
It amazes me what time and attention can do for a smart Sheltie. I suspect she did not hear her name much in the two years prior to arriving at her foster home. However, she quickly learned to respond to her new name when we brought her home and used it frequently. She had no problem distinguishing between her name and Bailey's name. Her resilience continues to amaze me.
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