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Picking the perfect name for your new puppy isn’t an easy job. You want something that matches their look or personality, and that fits in with the rest of the family.
You also want a name that they are going to be able to pick out and respond to. In terms of making it as easy as possible for your dog to hear their name, it can be a good idea to choose a name that starts with the letter K.
This is because dogs are better able to distinguish words that start with the hard consonant K from the surrounding ambient noise than many other letters of the alphabet.
When it is easier for them to hear their name, it is easier for them to recognize it.
To help you choose the perfect name, we have put together a collection of some of the best dog names starting with K to give you some inspiration. We’ve also shared some top tips on choosing the perfect name for your dog and teaching it to them.
Why Choose A Dog Name Starting With K?
Why choose a dog name starting with the letter K? Remember that dogs don’t understand language in the way that we do, but they can recognize sounds and associate them with certain meanings.
This is how they learn commands, and also how they will learn their name.
Your dog needs to distinguish the sound of their name from the surrounding ambient noise, which is a lot harder without the context of language.
You may have realized this yourself if you have compared how easy it is to distinguish words and sounds in your native tongue as compared to foreign languages.
Years of study suggest that it is easier for dogs to distinguish the letters CH, S, SCH, SH, or K at the start of words. Experts also think that dogs respond best to words ending in vowels and words of no more than two syllables.
That’s the science of why you should consider a name starting with K for your dog. S names are also great, and you can find our list of S name recommendations here.
Popular Male Dog Names That Start With K
Bringing home a boy pup to be a member of the family?
Consider these popular male dog names starting with K.
- K-9 – a play on the word canine
- Kai – popular for children and puppies alike
- Kalvin – popular boys name with a difference
- Kamikaze – when they have a habit of sneaking up on you
- Kane – Irish name meaning battlefield
- Karl – a classic strong German name meaning free – perfect for German breeds
- Kasper – a variation on the name of the friendly ghost
- Keeper – when you know they are a keeper or they keep you safe
- Kenzo – means wise one in Japanese
- Kevin – do we need to speak about Kevin
- Kinder – German for “child” for your eternal puppy
- Kiko – means rejoicing child in Japanese
- King – for the pup that rules the roost
- Kingpin – perfect for larger dogs
- Kirby – for the fun, furry toy
- Knox – means round hill in old English
- Knuckles – for tougher breeds
- Kody – the name means helpful and is ideal for trainable dogs
- Kori – distinctive spelling for the popular boys’ name
- Kris – a variation on the popular boys’ name
Popular Female Dog Names That Start With K
Introducing a girl dog into the family?
Here are some of the most popular female dog names starting with K.
- Kaala – slim and fair in Irish
- Kaasni – flower in Hindu
- Kacey – a variation on Casey meaning vigorous
- Kadalee – daughter of the moon in Indian
- Kadisha – means holy in Hebrew
- Kaiya – means forgiveness in Japanese (and your pup may need plenty)
- Kalani – heavenly in Hawaiian
- Karma – a reminder of the purity of the dog’s spirit
- Karmen – means fruitful in Spanish
- Kassidy – for curly-haired dogs, an old Irish name
- Katie – a popular name for both humans and dogs
- Kiara – Italian name meaning light or clear
- Kinley – daughter of the warrior in Gaelic
- Kiki – a Japanese name for happy pups
- Kimono – for neat and tidy dogs
- Kira – means black in Old English
- Kitty – if they have feline-like movements
- Ksenia – wanderer in Russian
- Kylie – a sweet girl’s name for female pups
- Kynlee – fair-haired Viking
K Dog Names Inspired By Food
We often like to call our dogs after our favorite foods, since they are equally scrumptious.
Here are some of the best K foods that can lend your dog their name.
- Kahlua – ideal for dogs the color of milky coffee
- Kale – perfect for pup parents that love yoga
- Kava – a popular drink in Polynesia with a distinctive butter taste
- Kebab – for the popular Middle Eastern dish
- Ketchup – something that goes with everything
- Keto – the infamous high-protein diet
- Kidney – for kidney beans, perfect for small pups
- Kielbasa – a type of Polish sausage and a name perfect for Dachshunds
- Kimchi – the fermented Korean dish
- Kit – as in Kit-Kat
- Kiwi – cute and furry like the fruit
- Kipper – for small and smoky pups
- Kookie – for small and delicious dogs
- Kosher – Jewish foods perfectly prepared for the family
- Kudzu – a Japanese medicinal root
- Kumera – another name for a sweet potato
- Kumquat – tasty orange fruit
- Kung Pao – the chicken dish that packs a punch
K Dog Names Inspired By Nature
The natural world holds lots of inspiration when it comes to naming.
Choose your favorite K place, or check out our list of places and natural phenomena that start with K.
- Kabul – the city in Afghanistan
- Kalmia – an evergreen shrub
- Kangaroo – for dogs that love to jump or Australian breeds
- Kansas – the American state from Wizard of Oz
- Karnak – the famous Egyptian temple
- Katsura – a tree native to China and Japan
- Kentucky – the home of fried chicken
- Kenya – the African country
- Kinshasa – in the Republic of Congo
- Knoxville – the home of music
- Koala – the loveable Australian tree marsupial
- Kolkata – the famous Indian city
- Kos – the famous Greek party island
- Kruger – the African national park for safaris
- Kudu – a type of antelope
- Kunzite – a mineral that is pink or violet
- Kyoto – the traditional Japanese city
K Dog Names Based On Characters And Celebrities
Celebrities and pop culture have a lot of influence on our lives, so you might find the inspiration you need for your dog’s name in the list below.
- Kanye – for Kanye West, great for unpredictable pups
- Kardashian – fans of the brand may love the name, along with Khourtney, Kim, Khloe, Kendall, and Kylie
- Keaton – for actor Michael Keaton
- Ken – of Barbie and Ken fame
- Kendall – for picturesque dogs after model Kendall Jenner
- Kermit – as in the frog
- Kirk – for the famous Captain Kirk
- Klaus – for lovers of Christmas
- Kleopatra – after the Egyptian queen (with a tweak on the spelling)
- Kobe – for the late, great Kobe Bryant
- Kong – as in King Kong
- Kowalski – the penguin from Madagascar
- Kratos – Greek mythological creature whose name means strength
- Krum – for Harry Potter’s Viktor Krum
- Krypton – after Superman’s homeworld
- Kylo – for Star Wars’ Kylo Ren
Other Dog Names Starting With K
Still haven’t found what you are looking for? You’ll find more dog names starting with the letter K in the list below.
Kabora, Kadett, Kafka, Kajos, Kali, Kalle, Kamara, Kamil, Kamilla, Kandra, Karen Karim, Karrol, Kassandra, Kassia, Kassius, Katia, Kato, Keegan, Keith, Kelloggs, Kemi, Kendra, Kenobi, Kess, Khan, Kibbles, Kid, Kimba, Klaudius, Kleo, Konder, Komet, Kongo, Kosmo, Kosy, Kovo, Krispin, Kudos, Kudu, Kuri.
Is My Kid’s Name A Good Puppy Name?
I wouldn’t give your puppy the same name as your child. I remember when we named our first kids, Emma. One of my friends came up to me and said they wanted to name their first born (human) Emma but they already named the dog Emma 🙂
We named our third child, Kayla (we also call her KK). While that might be a good name for your dog it will not be the name of any of our upcoming pups.
To Recap: Don’t give your puppy the same name as one of your kids or vice versa. It will just confuse the whole family.
Tip For Choosing A Name For Your Dog
As well as choosing a name that starts with K, S, SH, or CH, there are a few other top tips to bear in mind when choosing the perfect name for your dog.
Keep It Short
Choose something short, ideally only one or two syllables, or at least something that can be shortened.
This is because it is easier for dogs to learn shorter names, which means they will start responding when you call sooner than if you chose a longer and more complicated name for them.
If you want to give your dog a long and complicated name such as “Viktor Krum” or “Kim Kardashian”, remember that you will need a shorter nickname for daily use.
Considering that it is the nickname that you will be using most often and that they will recognize best, make sure you consider their nickname just as carefully as their full name.
Avoid Names That Sound Like Other Important Words
Avoid names that sound too much like commands that you will use regularly, as this can just confuse your pup.
Remember: while dogs are very intelligent, they don’t actually understand language in the more complex way that humans do; they are just recognizing familiar sounds.
If their name sounds too much like a command that you use regularly, such as sit or stay, they may confuse the two words.
This will probably result in the offending command being less effective than it should be, as they won’t be sure whether you just want their attention or if you want them to do the specific task.
Remember that you will often need to use your dog’s name in public, sometimes shouting it loudly, and sometimes using it in front of children and strangers.
This is why it is rarely a good idea to choose something rude or potentially offensive.
All too often, people give their dogs names that they think are funny at the time and then find they are embarrassed to use them later.
Remember, everyone in your family who is responsible for your dog will also need to be able to use their name with ease.
Read our complete guide to puppy names here.
How To Teach Your Dog Their Name
Once you have chosen a name for your pup, it is important to teach them to recognize their name. How else are they meant to know that this word represents them?
Training your dog to recognize their name is essentially the same as teaching them to recognize a command, though the desired response to the word is more fluid.
Principally, you should teach them to give you their attention when you say their name and reinforce this behavior through rewards (treats, praise, or play).
Start with five-minute training sessions daily during which you have your dog in an attentive situation and then say their name. When they respond to you, give them a treat. Repeat this several times over a couple of minutes every day for a few weeks.
Next, you need to teach your dog to respond to you when you don’t already have their attention. Take them out on the leash (even if it is only into the yard) and let them explore.
Then, while walking your dog, call their name. If they turn and give you their attention, reward them with a treat.
If they don’t turn in a timely manner, lightly tug on the leash to get their attention and say their name again. When they do turn toward you, say their name again and then reward them for their response.
With this kind of training, your dog will learn to associate their name with good things, and they will always want to give you their attention.
For this reason, avoid using your dog’s name in negative situations. For example, don’t say “No, Rover;” just say “No,” in order to avoid associating your dog’s name with negativity.
When should you not use your dog’s name?
It is best to avoid using your dog’s name if you are punishing them or reprimanding them in any way.
If you use their name, they can begin to associate their name with the negativity of the experience. Just say, “no,” “stop,” or “leave it,” without also saying their name.
If they know these commands, you shouldn’t need to use their name to get their attention.
Is it bad to give your dog multiple names?
With the right training, your dog can be taught to respond to multiple names and you can even change their name; however, you do have to put the work in to create that recognition.
It is much easier to teach your dog to recognize and respond to their own name if you use the same name consistently. The same rule is true for all canine commands.
How long does it take for a dog to learn its name?
Dogs will learn their names quickly, typically with a few days of use, but just because they know that the name refers to them doesn’t mean that they know what you want when you use it.
You will need to continue to teach them to stop, respond, and listen when you call their name.
Does it matter how you say your dog’s name?
Yes! Dogs don’t only pick up on word sounds, but also tone, intonation, volume, and the emotion behind a voice.
This is why you get a different response when you use your dog’s name to call them over for a treat, or when you use their name to call them over when you have found something they have destroyed.
The overall effect of how you say their name is very different, and they are very in tune with that.
What do dogs think their names are?
Digs realize that their name refers to them and that you want their attention when you say their name; however, they do not think of themselves in terms of their name in the way that humans do.
They do have a strong sense of self and are capable of recognizing the difference between themselves and other individuals, canine or otherwise.
There is no magic wand or rulebook that can help you find the perfect name for your dog.
It is just a matter of exposing yourself to plenty of inspiration until the right thing hits; however, there are a few key guidelines to bear in mind to ensure that you choose something appropriate.
One of the most important is to choose a name that starts with a letter that your dog will be able to distinguish from the surrounding noise.
This will make it easier for them to learn their name, and easier for you to get their attention in the middle of a crisis.
Names starting with S, SH, CH, or K are often the best choice. If you love K names, hopefully you will find some inspiration on our extensive lists of great K names for dogs.
Do you have any top tips for naming dogs or teaching them their names?
Share them with the community in the comments section below.
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