Saturday, January 26, 2019

Do dogs have names for themselves?

Two of my favorite comic strips are The Other Coast by Adrian Raeside and Dogs of C-Kennel by Mick & Mason Mastroianni.

In them, the dogs frequently call each other by name. Their human bestowed name.

How do they keep their human names straight? Dogs with multiple owners have had multiple names.

Bogie was a found rescue, so, of course, had another name although I don't know it. Angel has been known as Peanut, Tiny, and Angel by her various humans. In both cases, I kept the name they came with, but I have changed a dog's name before. 

Even dogs that have only had one owner have multiple names. 

For example, Bogie is Bogie, Bogie Boy, Baby Boy, Baba, and Dude. Angel goes by Angel, Angel Girl, Angel Baby, Baba (it's a multi-use name), and Pretty Girl.

Do dogs just shrug and somehow figure out what their humans call them?  I had a friend who was a pet psychic tell me that they know because you are thinking about them specifically. It's as good an explanation as any.

Do dogs have their own private name, shared only with other dogs?  A mother dog has to have some way to differentiate her puppies?  Doesn't she?  If only puppy 3 is biting too hard while nursing, would the mother dog just yip at all puppies?  Seems ineffective.

When Bogie introduces himself, does he tell the other dog his name is Bogie?  Or does he tell them his name is Lord Tall Who Reaches Cupboards?

Well, that wouldn't have been a puppy name. That's a grown up skill.

Maybe it's more like Smell 04526 With Dark Spots?
Smell 04526 With Dark Spots

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