I had a terrible time naming my latest German Shepherds puppy. She came to me somewhat unexpectedly; all my previous puppies were named well in advance, or at least, I had several good ideas. But this time, only two weeks had elapsed between the time I talked to my breeder about her and the time I picked her up (the advantages of finding and sticking with a good breeder)!
After wracking my brain for three weeks, I asked a friend who is a language buff to supply some ideas. Bingo! We christened her Tänzer, German for “dancer” — Tenze for short. If the idea of foreign names or language appeals to you, Babel Fish Translation is a handy tool. Combing your new puppy’s pedigree, if she has one, is also a great way to come up with names.
Of course, your new puppy does not require a name in the native tongue. There are a few good sites to assist you in choosing a name, such as Bow Wow Meow and Pet Names World, which will allow you to search by gender, type of pet and genre.
Thinking about themes can be helpful, as well. Ask your breeder whether he or she has a theme for this litter. A breeder friend of mine gave her second litter apple-themed names. Science fiction, literature, mythology and history are all good sources of fun and unique names. And don’t worry about choosing a foreign-language name that isn’t directly related to your dog’s heritage; there are plenty of exotic-sounding names in whatever language you like best.
Lastly, when you think you’ve chosen a name, spend some time saying it out loud — even shouting it down the street! Don’t fret if you end up changing it after some time has passed with your new puppy, as they can learn a new name with a little training.