People go about choosing names for their dogs in many different ways. Some prefer to look at an A-Z list of popular names and others try to come up with something absolutely unique.
At the end of the day it really should be a name that you feel comfortable saying 24/7, whether you are shouting it out in the park, from within your house to the bottom of the garden, or from the comfort of your own sofa.
Our dog was named Skala after one of our favourite holiday destinations on the small Greek island of Kefalonia. It was very personal to my husband and I and many people still don't quite get it right when it comes to the pronunciation. Of course, this doesn't matter as it is an uncommon name and we can see why people sometimes get it wrong.
We often meet people and their dogs at shows around the UK and it is quite refreshing to hear that a lot of them stick with female dog names they like, irrespective of the size or stature of the dog.
Most of the time, you'll hear names like Pixie for a small dog and rarely hear Alaska, Sierra or Venus for these smaller breeds. The most popular choices do tend to match the typical characteristics of females, with a preference for soft and feminine over catchy names.
One of the most popular trends is to choose a popular human name for your dog, which still sounds like it belongs to a pet. Common choices include names like phoebe or Fiona and these two examples have the advantage of fitting a female dog of any size or breed.
Other names like Carol or Ruth (please don't take offence Ruth or Carol) just don't quite sound right. On the other hand it does seem acceptable to have a common male name for a male dog. We know people with male dogs called Stan and Keith. Probably just a man thing. Come on, you know who you are.
One thing to bear in mind is that it is probably not the best practice to give your dog a name that sounds very similar to another dog or family member. For example, if you have a daughter called Hayley, it is probably not a good idea to call your dog Bailey.
However, it is advisable to use names with what they call hard consonants and Bailey is a good example of this. You'll also note that this name has two syllables and words that have one or two syllables are mostly short enough for your dog to understand quickly and are easier for the owner to say. So, a name like Esmeralda or Penelope are probably not the best name to go for.
Finally, try to steer clear of names that also sound similar to commands you are going to use. For example a name like Flo sounds like 'no' and unless you have a dog that does no wrong you'll probably use no as a natural reaction to a negative event.
Whatever name you decide on, it is usually a very personal decision, influenced by things and experiences close to you and your life. To this end do your best to go with the heart and don't always go with the trendy option. After all, your dog will probably not care that much.