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Halloween Daisy


Top 10 (or So) Holiday Dog Names


If, after careful consideration and research, you and your family have decided to make the lifelong commitment to bring home a new puppy or dog this holiday, congratulations! We hope you’ll consider adopting one of the many deserving animals looking for a permanent loving home. Many rescue organizations will work with you to figure out the best time and way to introduce a new pet to your brood over the hectic season.


And you might decide to commemorate this momentous occasion by giving your new dog a yuletide-themed name. This works all the better if you and yours are a little Christmas crazy. If you’ve got your tree up by Thanksgiving, exterior lights you can see from space and “It’s a Wonderful Life” on an endless loop, then naming your pup after the holiday makes perfect sense. Plus, you’ll get a sweet reminder of your favorite time of year every time you call him or her.


With this in mind, has compiled some fun, festive -- and out-of-the-gift-box -- seasonal names that are may be worth considering. Most of these monikers fall under the guidelines recommended by trainers and experts. First and foremost, your pet’s name is a safety and training tool. You want her to alert to her name as soon as she hears it, immediately stop and follow your command.  This prevents her from getting into dangerous situations like darting out into traffic.


That’s why it’s also important to make the name easy for you to say and for your fur kid to understand. So try not to make the name too much of a tongue-twister – one or two syllables is best.  It’s also why a name starting with a hard consonant, like “R” or “T” or “D,” and ending in a vowel sound is a great choice. The long “e” and “o” sounds make it easy for your pet to respond.


The following is a list of some of our favorite yuletide-themed names. Just think of us as us Santa's Little Helper ... (He’s that very special retired racing greyhound that brought such Christmas joy to “The Simpsons” in their very first episode.)


1. Dickens – Of course, your pup is as “cute as the dickens,” right? Plus, if you’re looking for literary inspiration, you could do worse than Charles Dickens. The author’s “A Christmas Carol” remains a worthy holiday favorite, with lots of wonderful ideas for dog names. There's Tiny Tim, Marley, Humbug and ‘Neezer for Ebenezer. Scrooge could even work for a grumpy-looking bulldog or pug.


There are a couple of minor characters in the story that have great names too. There’s Scrooge’s nephew Fred, and the folks he visits on his trip to the past, his kindly first employer, Mr. Fezziwig, and his neglected fiancee Belle.


2. Tinsel -- Not only is Tinsel pretty darn adorable for any puppy, but it fits the criteria of having just two syllables and starting with a strong consonant sound. Some other festive monikers you might consider are Jingle, Joy, Kringle, Merry, Holly, Jolly, and Noel, which works for either a female or a male. And let’s not forget ol’ Santa himself – Nick, as in St. Nick, is an excellent choice.


3. Figgy -- Think about your family's favorite Christmas treat and go from there. Besides figgy pudding, you’ve got Chestnut, Tamale, Fudge, Cinnamon, Cookie, Ginger, Cider and maybe even Ham. As far as food goes, though, you’d probably do well to stay away from Fruitcake, Turkey or Egg Nog as names. You don’t want to be yelling those at the dog park.


4. Dasher -- Out of all of Santa's trusty transports, the best for year-round use as a dog name might go to Dasher, which is great for any speedy dog, like an Italian Greyhound or Border Collie. But while we’re on the subject of famous sleigh-pullers, the beloved TV special “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” has tons of fantastic names associated with it. Of course, there’s Rudolph – or Rudy – as well as Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen for a male. And  don’t forget Hermey (the Elf), Yukon (Cornelius) and Bumble, (the Abominable Snowman.)


As far as the females go, there’s Dancer, Prancer and Vixen, as well as Dolly from the Land of Misfit Toys. We’re on the fence about the name Clarice, the adorable little deer who caught Rudolph’s eye. It’s cute, but it doesn’t make for the best call name.


5. Dreidel -- The holiday of Hanukkah itself might not roll off the tongue the way a good dog name should, but related terms like Dreidel (a spinning top), Latke (potato pancake) and Maccabee (the warrior heroes) certainly do.


6. Griswold National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation still holds up as one of the funniest holiday movies ever made. You could name your pup after the dad, Clark, or Chevy Chase, the actor who played him. But Griswold is cooler, plus it lends itself to the great nickname “Grizz.” Other ideas from that movie are the Griswold kids’ names, Audrey and Russ or Rusty, which is perfect for an orange or rust-coated dog like a Rhodesian Ridgeback, a Viszla or a Basenji.


7. Ralphie – Speaking of holiday movies, the great ‘80s movie A Christmas Story provides plenty of worthy candidates, too, like Ralphie, his beloved Red Ryder BB gun, his friend Flick, and the evil bully Scut Farkus. Or if your family prefers It’s a Wonderful Life, that film favorite offers up names like George, Bailey, Clarence, Bedford and Zuzu. For the slightly more edgy movie fan, there’s Will Ferrell’s Buddy the Elf, and Bad Santa’s Thurman Merman. In fact, actress Rachel Bilson (The O.C., Hart of Dixie) named her terrier mix Thurman after that sweet young character.


8. Jenga --  Gifts or games your family likes to play together may inspire names too. Jenga makes for a great dog name, as does Trouble, Boggle or even Scrabble. Classic toys are a great source for monikers too – Slinky, Nerf, Lego and Tonka are awesome, and for the high-energy, bouncy pet, there’s Pong.


9. Max – Not only is this one of the most popular dog names of all times, it’s also the name of the put-upon pup in Dr. Seuss’ classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Of course, Grinch is a pretty cute name, as is the story’s heroine, Cindy Lou Who. Dr. Seuss’ real name was Theodor Geisel, and if you’d like to honor him and his work, giving your pooch the name Theo might be a great way to do it.


10. Snowy – Finally, if you’re celebrating a White (dog) Christmas, there are some excellent wintry names to choose from, including Frosty, Snowy, Winter, Flurry, Marshmallow, Powder or Snowball. For the very large (or very small) white pup, Yeti is an excellent name that’s sure to stir up plenty of dog-park conversation.


Would you name your dog after the holidays? Does he/she already have a holiday-related name? Tell us about it!


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