Dogs and Companionship

Choosing a new pet so that your other pet will have some company while you are at work is a fantastic idea. Just keep in mind that your costs of owning a pet will be double, including food and veterinarian bills.

Of course it is important to choose dogs that are peaceful and make easy friends with other dogs. It would be a bad idea to combine a Yorkshire Terrier with a Rottweiller for example, as the Rottie may perceive it as food. You are much better off to pair that Yorkie with a Dachshund who is very sociable with other animals. However just because an animal is small does not mean it is more sociable. Jack Russell Terriers have been known to kill other pets simply because they are jealous of the attention they are getting from the owner.

There are some dogs that are hard wired to see smaller furry creatures such as cats as prey

Watchdogs and guard dogs do not necessarily make the best pets. For one thing, the instincts that make them such good guardians are the same ones that compel them to attack strangers or even a member of your family who may accidentally come too close to you.

The best guardians are usually the dogs that qualify as alpha dogs. They respond well to training but untrained they can attack loved ones and strangers, make a shambles of your house and yard and incur lawsuits for noise, injuries and damage to other people’s property.

Guard dogs and watchdogs usually comprise the larger breeds such as German shepherds, Bull Mastiffs and Akitas. This means that they can easily overpower a small animal or child. Most of them also tend to shed quite heavily and do not make great house residents.

Some smaller dogs such as Maltese, Daschunds and Yorkshire Terriers do make keen watchdogs but they are not really capable of defending you in case of an attack. In fact some little watchdogs, such as the Pomeranian are more likely to sound the alert and then make friends with the intruder. However when dating women these dogs will scare them much less.

The key is to choose the dog according to what you need as security. As a rule of thumb the larger and more “alpha” the dog is the better he will be at protecting your person and your property. The smaller the dog the more likely he is to sound the alert not only when real threats appear but also when he perceives just about anyone approaching you or your yard. Some animal owners find this tendency for small dogs to bark at the drop of a hat to be very irritating (and so do the neighbors.)

Owning a pet requires self-discipline and responsibility. Unfortunately many people adopt athletic larger dogs that need plenty of exercise and then drop the dog’s walking schedule as easily as they do the latest fad diet. If you are going to adopt a dog of a breed that requires plenty of exercise then make sure you are ready to commit to walking it at least three times a day for the span of its entire life.

Dog Name Trends

It seems like we have come along way from the early part of the last century when pet names were not that personal.   Of course now that our pets have become our ,furkids, they are getting the same kinds of names as our children. For instance you will never hear of a kid called Rover, Spot or Fido but you will find pets named Donna, Christopher, Tiffany or Karen.  

Some of the most popular dog names according to were Molly, Sophie, Maggie, Alice, Jake and Lucy, which sound more like the names that belonged to our grandparents.  Does this affect the way we treat our dogs. For instance isn’t it a bit harder to send a creature called Britney or Mark to the doghouse even if it does have four legs instead of two?  

Speaking of names like Britney there is also a real trend towards naming pets after celebrities , Lindsay, Paris and Hillary immediately come to mind.   Dead celebrities should also not be left out of the loop.   Dogs are also frequently named Marilyn, Truman, Eisenhower or Judy.  

Speaking of celebrities I read in the Star tabloid the other day that they like to call them Mr. Or Miss something or other as in Mr. Jeeves, Mr. Jubby or Ms. Jones.   This is probably inspired by the cat named Miss Priss on Everybody Loves Raymond!  

I went researching the most popular names and according to a site that has archived over 3000 dog monikers the most popular name for both doggie sexes is Sam (including all of its variants like Sammy and Samantha).   The name means ,listener, which is not a bad name for man’s best friend.   By the way it is also one of the most popular names for little girls according to a human naming website I looked at.  The second most popular is Max, Maxie, Maxwell or Maxine (which means “the greatest” in Latin).   The third most common name is Lady, which is incredibly retro and reminiscent of old time television dramas. Of course this name does not fit a male dog too well unless you are absolutely sure it is gay.  The fourth most popular name does suit a male. It is   Bear. This is a good name for a very tiny dog that looks like a Teddy or one of those huge Labradors that can clamp its paws on your shoulders when it wants to dance.

If you love your doggie so much you want to eat it then you are in good company as many of the top twenty names sound absolutely delicious. These include names such as Cocoa, Peaches, Ginger, Brandy and Popcorn.  There has also been a trend lately to name your dogs after sweet and tasty delights. In fact names in the top twenty include Brandy, Ginger and Taffy. Names like Popcorn, Cocoa and Peaches are also very popular.  If you don’t want to curse your dog with a bad name then you should probably avoid the name Rocky. According to an article in the San Francisco Examiner (1977) dogs that bite are most often named Rocky.