Ocean Shores dog trainer Lissie Walton with some of her pooches enjoying time at the beach.
Ocean Shores dog trainer Lissie Walton with some of her pooches enjoying time at the beach. Sarah Knight

REVEALED: Bonnie, Pixie top list of our favourite names

BONNIE for dogs and Pixie for cats - these are the most popular pet names in the Northern Rivers.

Pet Insurance Australia's list of top 2016 animal names for our region also shows pooch lovers embraced Charlie, Missy, Gracie and Angel for their dish-lickers while Ralph, Suki, Amy and Apollo 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.

Ocean Shores resident Lissie Walton has trained about 200 dogs over the past 15 years.

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

It was also vital 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.

"Think about the impression other people around you are going to get from the name you choose,” the Happy Leader Dog Training owner said.

"For example, if you buy a rottweiler and call it Hunter or a fierce-sounding name, people will instantly feel scared when you call its name.

"If you have a dog that looks fierce give it a soft name and people's perceptions of it will be positive.

"To teach your dog say their name and the moment they look at you pop a treat into their mouth.

"Use a friendly, happy, soft voice.

"When you feed the dog say their name, when you pat the dog say their name and what will happen is the association of the name with good outcomes will become so strong that when they hear their name they will race over to you.”

You can also use dog name training techniques to teach cats to respond when called, Ms Walton said.

NORTHERN RIVERS' TOP 10 PET NAMES

1 Bonnie, Pixie

2 Charlie, Ralph

3 Missy, Suki

4 Gracie, Amy

5 Angel, Apollo

6 Bear, Ariel

7 Buddy, Bluey

8 Chanel, Buddy

9 Chop, Caspian

10 Daisy, Cleo



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