Pet Names DO Matter!

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November 11, 2010

Pet Names DO Matter!

Through my work as an animal communicator, I never tire of hearing some of the creative and distinctive names that humans assign their pets. It is common for clients to want to know if their newly adopted pet likes their new name. While the responses from the animals are varied, I recognize that names DO matter to animals, but not in the way we might think.

A name is a name to the animals, but it is the energetic reaction that we humans might have when hearing their name that they respond to. If an iguana named Rose is regularly faced with the reaction of “that’s a silly name for a lizard” then Rose the iguana may start to question her stature in the world. A horse named Chomper may make some of us wonder if a piece of our bicep might become his afternoon snack! If many people who meet “Chomper” have that same fear and energetic reaction of distancing themselves from his powerful teeth, what is that conveying to the horse over time?

Consider your immediate internal (i.e. energetic) reaction when meeting for the first time:

  • a Rottweiler dog named Terminator
  • the same Rottweiler dog now named Lovey
  • a six month old kitten named Terror
  • or the same kitten named Cuddles

Could you imagine yourself being cautious when meeting a dog named Terminator? And did you imagine yourself wanting to scoop up Cuddles the kitten to hold him or her? There really IS something in a name, and over time a cat named Terror may really start to live up to that name. Chomper the horse may become skittish and self-isolating, and Lovey the Rottweiler might become the most popular and adored pet of the neighborhood.

Most of us put a lot of thought into the names we choose for our beloved animals, and appropriately so. I’ve met several animals who truly do live up to their name, both positively and with some behavioral issues. So the next time you find yourself needing to name a new family pet, consider the energetic reaction their name might illicit, and remember that over time those reactions very likely may have a long-lasting affect on how your pet behaves.

4 Comments

  1. Jan Small says:

    Hi Kelly! I just found your *wonderful* blog through Alyson Stanfield’s post on selecting Twitter names. The internet works in strange and mysterious ways, doesn’t it? I LOVE your blog and what you do. And this post, in particular, fascinates me. We live out in the boonies and take in many stray animals that ignorant or uncaring or desperate people drop off. Our most recent newcomer is a beautiful female doberman/greyhound (my best guess!) mix. We love her very much and named her Slinky because she is such a bouncy girl. She seems to love this name and responds when we say it by, you guessed it, bouncing even more. Sometimes I almost wish we had named her Tranquillia 😉

  2. Katie says:

    Very interesting.
    I like trying to be true to the dog’s heritage when naming them. The Inuit people bred the Siberian Huskies and we found the word ‘Kaya’ in a list of Inuit words. It means ‘to stay forever’. We liked that thought, especially since Huskies are prone to running off. We added an ‘i’ in the middle of the word – Kaiya – to make it clear how it should be pronounced. And wouldn’t you know it – she has never shown the tendency to run off. She doesn’t exhibit the trait we read so much about. 😉
    Good post.

    • Katie – great point about naming within the animal’s heritiage. Words and names carry an energy of their own, and even when we don’t know the word or what it means in another language, the energy is still there. I love the name Kaiya – good name choosing!

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