Choosing Dog Names

Your dog's name says as much about you as it does your pet. The name you pick out can help define your relationship with your dog -- a more human name might mean your dog is no different than a child would be to you, while a name like "Hunter," "Tracker" or "Champ" might help illustrate a working dog's function in society. An offbeat name effectively displays your cleverness to your friends, while a popular, well-worn dog name might indicate a desire to cling to the comfortable, classic, tried and true. And other names might point out a fun or beloved quality or quirk of your pet's, be it a physical quality (think "Patch" or "Blackie") or part of his personality ("Dash," "Sugar," "Pop Tart").

But whether you're thinking quirky or popular, here are some things to keep in mind when naming your dog:

1. Choose a name your dog can recognize and respond to easily. One or two syllables is ideal. Your dog may have trouble coming to you if you're yelling "Maximillian IV!" from the other end of the dog park.

2. Pick a name your pet can grow into. "Baby" the dog won't be a baby forever.

3. A classic name will be easier to call your pup in public as opposed to "Killer" or something equally cruel or embarrassing.

4. If you must name your dog something long (show dogs sometimes have a sentence for a name, often including their kennel and title if they're champions), keep the shorter "call name" in mind, as that will most likely become your dog's working name.

If you're curious about what's popular in the dog name world, here are the Top 10 Dog Names on Dogster.com.

Popular Female Dog Names: Bella, Lucy, Daisy, Molly, Maggie, Chloe, Sadie, Sophie, Lola and Bailey

Popular Male Dog Names: Buddy, Max, Jake, Charlie, Rocky, Jack, Toby, Bailey, Buster and Bear