All good training starts with teaching your pug their name! If your teaching a puppy his name without treats or training a puppy to come to his name. Whether it's Scruffles, Ruffles, or Momo, a good name is key to a long, healthy, and happy relationship with your pug. Teaching your pug his name might even save your pugs life one day if he gets off leash and is darting for a busy road!


  • Should I keep my pugs old name?

  • How to Start Teaching My Pug His Name

  • Training Tips

  • What makes for a good Pug Name?

  • What are some Good Pug Names?

pug name origin etymology
pug name origin etymology

Should I Keep My Pugs Old Name?

Sometimes a pug comes with a name already. This is usually the case with adoptions and pug rescue. Its usually a good idea to let your pug keep their old name since they are used to it. Plus an adopted pug will have enough new rules acclimating itself to your house and a new name will just add to the confusion. If you must change an adopted pugs name, try and make it sound similar, so as not to confuse them too much!

Puppies are a different story.  A 6 month old pug puppy can adapt to a new name fairly easily and naming your pug is one of the great joys in life!


(image source @trinityschultz)

Teaching My Pug His Name

With a new name its good to start early. Perhaps you want to call your pug "Monkey". Use the name especially when praising your pug for doing good (Obedience Training can be a great opportunity to bond with your pug and teach him his name).

FIRST STEP:  Whether during play, or just sitting on the couch, try to get your pugs attention by using his name in a happy voice. If he looks anywhere else (not paying attention) dont do anything. Wait a bit, then say his name again "Hey Monkey". At some point, your puppy will look at you. When he does, say "Good Monkey!"

What you want is your puppies attention. He isn't necessarily going to drop everything and come when he hears his name, but he should at least look up at you and say "Who dat sayin my name?". If Monkey is still ignoring you, say his name again in a cheerful tone. If you put enough enthusiasm in your voice, he will look up at some point! When he does give him lots of praise and affection. During this name training, if your pug responds to his name 4 times, you have had a successful training session!

If you repeat this training session twice a day for a week. You will have your pug's ear any time you call his name. He might not be taking follow up commands yet, but name training is a start!


  • Never associate the pugs name with something negative.
  • Use your pug puppy's name every time you talk to him (except with the NO and STAY commands. We want the pug's name to be associated with COME, and so dont use it negatively or with STAY.)
  • Try not to change a Pugs name by calling him a nickname. You might be tempted to call Monkey - "Hey Grape Ape". Though its tempting remember consistancy is important!
  • Nobody's perfect. If sometimes you use your dogs name in a negative way, its ok. Just forgive yourself (and the dog) and keep it in mind not to do it next time.

The Name Game "Puppy In Training" has an awesome activity for learning a puppy name.

  1. Take your dog to the park and keep him on leash (it works a little better if you have a longer leash maybe about 10 feet).
  2. Give him about 5 feet to wonder away.
  3. When he’s not looking call his name with an excited voice and make sure he comes to you (if he doesn’t come reel him in with his leash).
  4. When he gets to you give him tons of praise!
  5. Repeat the exercise over and over again until your puppy is consistently returning to you when you call his name.

From Puppy in Training


8 Training Tips

1) Keep Training Sessions Short: Two (5 minute) sessions with a few hours break in between 2) Limit the puppy to one teacher 3) Positive Reinforcement: Dont scold a puppy, if they make a mistake show them the behavior you want and praise them for it. 4) If the puppy escapes while training, quietly bring them back and start again 5) Remember: Patience, Patience, Patience 6) Ask your fellow humans to not disturb you while training 7) If your puppy isnt catching on, remember Patience. Take a step back. See if your doing something wrong in the teaching practice. Giving the treat too early? Scolding? Going too quickly? 8) If all else fails, go back to a routine you have practiced before. Like sit. Reinforcing that they do a command and get a reward for it.

What makes a good pug name?

Every new pug owner wants to know "How do I name my pug?!?" There are a few dog naming tricks to thinks about. Stick with shorter names. Pugs do best with one or two syllable names. So if you want to name your pug "Aloicius", think of calling him "Al" for short. Pugs have super hearing when it comes to high frequency sounds. So go with sharp consonants like names starting with K, Ch, Sh. Studies show that dogs respond quicker to sharp sounds. I'd Like to buy a vowel! Dogs respond well to names that end in a vowel, particularly a short "a" (like Simba) or a long "e" (like Charlie). Avoid names that sound like a command. If you call your dog "Clay" it might be confused when it comes time to teach it stay. There goes naming my pug "Plop"! You can always try a name out for a few days before it become permanent. I would think after a week, you should know if the name will stick! Its fun to take a dogs personality and looks into account when naming them. Of course a cute little black pug could be "Blackie", but we can be more creative then that!

What are some funny pug names:

Here are some of our favorite funny pug names. Of course there are tons of the "Best Pug Name" lists out there, so we just collected a few that we like! Also not all these dog names fit the criteria for a good dog name (like we told you above) but sometimes ya just gotta have fun too!

Lacy (rhymes with Lazy) Sparkie Cujo Odie Boba (from Boba Fette) Snarkie Rascal Dash Bonsai Chico Cuddles Shorty Nipper Peanut Squeak Slim Stumpy Inch Itsy and Bitsy Twitch Pepper Bear Foxy Kissy TwiggyDoodles Tank Splinter Winston Half-Track Herbie the Love Pug Shotgun KneePad John Bon Jovie Motley Crew Coca Cola Peeve Spark-Pug Pixel Digit Gummy (Gumdrop) Potter Wilbur Windy Pepsi Fizz Moppy (from the german Mops) Muppet


Does the name "Pug" really originate from an 18th century monkey?!?