Naming your new Boxer, like most things to do with dog ownership, is not a task you should outsource.
It’s common for expectant puppy parents to read lists of dog names or post a picture and ask for suggestions on Facebook, settling on a name before they’ve even met their Boxer in person.
While lists and social media can be a way to find inspiration, the downside of this approach is that a stranger is naming your Boxer — and they’re likely to suggest something that’s been used a million times before.
You might happen across a name you absolutely love and if that’s the case, all good.
But, if you’re struggling to come up with a name worthy of your Boxer, there is a better way.
What Makes A Good Name For A Boxer Dog
You can find the perfect name for your Boxer by considering the qualities of an effective dog name and then going through a process that begins in the weeks leading up to your pup’s arrival but, importantly, doesn’t conclude until he’s been with you for a while.
A good name for a Boxer dog should be:
- Short, or shortenable (Think of what name or nickname you’ll actually use)
- Easy to pronounce (Save the triple-barrelled mouthful for his registration papers)
- Unique sounding (Won’t be confused by your dog for another word, especially not a key command. Dogs pay most attention to the first syllables of words, so make sure the start of his name doesn’t rhyme with “No”, “Sit”, “Stay” etc)
- Meaningful and specific to your Boxer, reflecting your Boxer’s spirit or what he means to you
- One you love (You want a name that conjures up good feelings in both you and your dog)
- Distinct from the names of other dogs in the family
- Natural, not contrived or forced
Perhaps the best advice for naming your Boxer is to hold off on making a final decision until he’s settled in and you’ve had a chance to get to know each other.
It won’t worry your pup in the slightest to go unnamed for several weeks.
By taking your time you’ll have a chance to come up with something special and to see which name “fits” your pup.
You may well like to try out a few names to see which sticks.
Often a name that was fantastic in theory just doesn’t match the dog.
How To Come Up With A Name For Your Boxer In 5 Easy Steps
Begin jotting down any names you think of or come across.
Even if they’re not exactly right, they may lead you to others.
Embrace the spirit of brainstorming and suspend judgment: just let the ideas flow freely.
Stuck for ideas?
Possible Sources Of Inspiration For Boxer Dog Names
To get the creative juices going, you might like to consider:
- What are your loves in life? Yoga? Sports? French culture?
- What are your favorite books, movies, songs?
- Who are the inspirational figures in your life?
- What is the breeder’s name for the litter or the lineage? What are your pup’s parents’ names?
By asking yourself questions like this, you’re much more likely to come up with meaningful, original names that hold significance for you personally.
2. Say It Out Loud
Even better, call it out loud.
Is your dog’s potential name easy to say?
Is it something you’d be willing to yell across the dog park?
Some names look great on paper but don’t roll off the tongue at all.
Names that start with consonants can be easiest to say and for your Boxer to hear.
What do you most want for your Boxer’s name?
Do you want it to be fun? Silly? Quirky? Classic? Should it convey dignity? Strength?
Do you want to reference a quality embodied by a historical figure or give a nod to a principle or value?
Consider which of your brainstormed names meet this criteria.
4. Be Flexible
Think laterally, not literally.
Rather than googling “Boxer dog names that start with the letter b”, or “brown dog names”, take a broader view.
Revisit the various aspects of your life and see what names are to be found there.
If the names you’ve come up with so far are lacking in originality, and that’s something that matters to you, dig a little deeper.
5. Get Feedback
Run the shortlisted names past your dog, most importantly.
But also get feedback from family and friends whose opinions you respect or who tend to come up with good ideas.
Involving others may provide a reality check that saves you from saddling your dog with a doozy.
When you think you’ve settled on a name, try it out.
Live with it for a while and see how it feels.
How To Teach Your Boxer His Name
Your Boxer will cotton on to his name pretty fast, no matter what you do.
But it pays to be deliberate in the use of this all-important word.
There are games you can play with even the youngest of pups that will help not only with name recognition but with relationship building, training, obedience and recall.
Here are two examples.
Say My Name
Sit in a circle with the other members of your household or people who’ll be involved in your Boxer’s life.
Have your Boxer puppy in the center of the circle.
Call his name.
When he comes, give him a pat and a treat.
Next, someone else calls his name.
When he comes, that person pats and gives him a treat.
And so on, for just two or three minutes at a time.
When playing in the backyard with your puppy, or walking on a loose leash, say his name in a bright, warm voice.
When your puppy eye contacts or comes, praise and dispense a treat.
This way he learns that his name means to pay attention, and even functions as a more relaxed recall, depending on what you want.
Decide which you require and reward that.
How Not To Use Your Boxer Pup’s Name
Never use your Boxer’s name when scolding him.
Your dog should have only positive associations with his name.
You also want him to have an immediate response to hearing his name, so don’t repeat it unnecessarily or you’ll risk “wearing it out” by overuse or misuse.
Can You Change An Adult Boxer Dog’s Name After You Adopt?
If you feel strongly that you’d like to christen your adopted Boxer with a new name, he’s likely to adapt fairly quickly.
While it represents another change at a time of major upheaval, there may be good reasons to rename a rescue Boxer, such as:
- It’s possible his existing name has been associated with some unpleasantness in his past. A name used in anger or by someone who’s mistreated your Boxer may be just as well left behind
- The name a rescued Boxer comes with could be newly acquired anyway, given at the shelter, and not one he’s especially attached to
- Naming your Boxer can’t help but enhance your sense of connection and responsibility. Plus, it makes it more likely your dog will end up with a name you really love and that means something to you personally. This is no small thing since it’s the word that’ll be at the heart of so many interactions between you and your Boxer
The best names don’t have to be laden with layers of weighty significance.
But they are likely to mean more, and be more effective, when you follow a few guidelines and when both your and your Boxer’s personality inform the selection process.
Take your time choosing your Boxer’s name — you’ll be glad you did.
Eventually the two of you will get stuck on a certain name and know you’ve found the one.