GOOD BOY: Neil Erskine is a dog trainer who talks about the importance of giving your dog an easy to understand name. He's pictured with Bullseye.
GOOD BOY: Neil Erskine is a dog trainer who talks about the importance of giving your dog an easy to understand name. He's pictured with Bullseye. Molly Glassey

Downs goes barking mad for Charlie

CHARLIE is the most popular canine and feline name on the Southern Downs.

Pet Insurance Australia's top 2016 animal names for our region also show pooch lovers embraced Molly, Buddy, Ruby and Alice for their dish-lickers while Uliu, Amelia, Apple and Bella were the city's favoured kitten monikers.

The region's top 10 dog and cat names are short, sharp and simple, reflecting pet owners' innate ability to choose labels that pets will easily recognise and respond to.

Warwick's Neil Erskine has trained thousands of tail-waggers over the past 32 years.

Mr Erskine said getting a pet to understand their name was one of the most important steps in training.

It was also important to ensure the name did not sound like common commands such as no, sit, stay, come, down or fetch as animals sometimes struggled to tell the difference between similar sounding words.

"Names for dogs aren't as big a deal for the dog as what they are for people but try to keep it simple and just one or two syllables,” Mr Erskine said.

"Don't use their name as a correction - associate it to positive things.

"Positive reinforcement, however it comes, is good - so lower your body height, raise the pitch of your voice and give them heaps of pats.

"It usually takes a few days to get them to know their name.”

You can use dog name training techniques to teach cats to respond when called.

SOUTHERN DOWNS TOP 10 PET NAMES

DOGS, CATS

Charlie, Charlie

Molly, Uliu

Buddy, Amelia

Ruby, Apple

Alice, Bella

Bundy, Butch

Buster, Cat

Khaleesi, Chloe

Mango, Chocolate Pudding

Max, Coco

Source: Pet Insurance Australia.

- ARM NEWSDESK



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