I don’t know about you, but I find names incredibly interesting. The way humans assign sounds to things, and meanings to those sounds fascinates me. One particular area of interest for me is in naming guide and service dogs. Naming a service dog is quite important. It is the word you will use to refer to the animal that helps you on a daily basis. It should therefore be something not only that you like, but that is functional. That is to say, it needs to be a name that you can spit out quickly when your dog does something bold. At the same time, it needs to be respectable, as this dog will have to be honored as a professional in public places where dogs are not usually permitted. For that reason I tend to steer clear of names that are a bit too cutesy, like “Precious” or “Fluffy” or “Bubbles”.
Most of the time, service dog users don’t get to pick their dog’s names, so I haven’t gotten to do anything with my many name ideas. I thought I’d post them here as a resource for anyone who needs some inspiration.
Guide dog schools frequently name their puppies using one letter per litter, so I will follow that pattern here by posting lists alphabetically. Here’s twenty options for A names that I love for a litter of new service pups.
Aaida (feminine): the one who is helpful (French). A fitting name for a dog that will be helping you on a daily basis.
Artemis (feminine): the Greek hunter goddess. I think it’s a nice sounding name, and it can be shortened to Artie as a sweet nickname.
Ace (masculine): excellent, expert.
Acorn (neutral): you’ll find in these lists that I have a soft spot for nature names. The drawback with this one is that the only nickname I can think of is “Corny”, which might not appeal to you.
Alaska (neutral): as in the state. Connotations may include mountains, sled dogs, polar bears, rifles, etc.
Arrow (masculine): as in, fly arrow, straight and true. Just sounds cool to me.
Archer (masculine): there is the arrow, and then there is the one who aims and shoots the arrow.
Arwin (masculine, though neutral really I would think): friend of the people. If your dog is a lab, the only more accurate name would be friend of the food.
Aquila (neutral): Latin origins meaning eagle. Also Biblical, husband of Pricilla as recorded in the book of Acts.
Apphia (feminine): darling (Phrygian). Our service dogs always become our darlings.
Arbor (masculine): a shady garden alcove. Time with our dogs can be a haven of peace, and I think this name communicates that well.
Abbot (Masculine): the head of a monastery. A sweet A name for a young dog with an old soul.
Avonlea (feminine): the home of Anne, from Anne of Green Gables, set in Prince Edward Island. I have a friend with a dog by this name, and I always thought it was a bit of a mouthful for a working dog, but if you think you could handle it, it strikes me as a beautiful one.
Aladdin (Masculine): as in the character from the Disney movie. Originally middle-eastern meaning noble of faith. I don’t particularly like the character Aladdin but I do think the name is cute for a dog and has a bit of gravitas given the meaning.
Arielle (female): continuing with the Disney theme.
Aerwyna (Feminine): meaning friend of the sea. Perfect for a dog who loves water. Could go with Wynnie for short.
Aslan (Masculine): the lion from C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series. Quite a strong name.
Annabell (Feminine): favored grace. Guide dogs in particular help their people move gracefully throughout the world, and every service dog is a gracious gift from God. A lovely name and a fitting meaning.
Azure (neutral): a bright shade of blue. Almost sounds like “Asher” when spoken quickly, but is a slightly more unique choice.
Apollo (Masculine): the Greek god associated with music, poetry, archery, and medicine. Brother of Artemis. Are you sensing a theme or two here?
What do you think? Could you see yourself using any of these names? What would your A list be?
See you next time for the B litter!