Baby Nicknames Assigned by Breeders - Opinions Please! - Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Baby Nicknames Assigned by Breeders - Opinions Please!

Cross-posting from our facebook page. I figured people on the forum would have some opinions about this as well.

Let's talk baby names!

Some breeders assign names to babies before they go to their new homes, as a way to keep track of them, and the new owner can still name them whatever they want. Currently, we don't assign names - we use a system of unique VVH ID numbers, which are listed with the babies on the site and in our files, as well as referring to the babies by the color of paint they've been marked with.

Personally, I am prone to name bias. In the position of a new owner, I would be less likely to choose a baby that had been assigned a name that isn't my style, or that I associate with something else. I also feel that a name is closely connected with identity, and I wouldn't appreciate if that identity was assigned by someone else, regardless of being able to change the baby's name later. An ID# and color are more of a blank slate.

However, other breeders have found that new owners appreciate the personal touch of a baby having a name already, even if they plan to change it. Some people have pointed out that giving them names makes it more apparent that we love each baby individually - that they aren't just a number to us. (One breeder had the experience of the ID number being compared to prison numbers.)

What does everyone think? Do you prefer to not have a temporary nickname assigned to your new baby? Or do you think it's cute and fun? How would a breeder using nicknames, or not, affect your selection of a baby or your view of the breeder?

If we were to begin doing something like this, it would be in addition to the IDs we already use. What would appeal most, in that case? Simple human-style names? Litters all named with the same letter? "Themed" litters, such as flower names, fairy tale names, etc?

Just to be clear, these are nicknames only. They are not permanent in any way, but would appear on the website for reference when people are choosing their babies. Babies would not be registered with those names, and the new owner would absolutely get to pick their own "real" name for their hedgehog.

I appreciate any/all responses! Thanks everyone!
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Baby Nicknames Assigned by Breeders - Opinions Please!

I never gave the babies names because if I named them, I'd never be able to let them go. In my records they were listed under mom's name, the identifying colour, F or M and their birth date. If the new owner had a name picked out, I called them by the name the owner chose. If not, they got called cutie, sweet-pea, darling and other such names.

As someone buying, I have a huge difficulty changing a name once it's been given. The only rescues I've ever changed the name were girls who came with a boys name and even then I kept it close to the original. Sonic became Sonia. Even those with names I thought were horrid, I didn't change because that was their name. I wouldn't want a baby to come with a name simply because I'd never be able to change it and half the fun of a new baby is choosing a name.
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Baby Nicknames Assigned by Breeders - Opinions Please!

I don't think I would have too much of an opinion either way, but I'd probably be more on the side of not coming with a name. I think I too would be slightly influenced by the current name. I would change a name if I didn't like it enough but it would be more difficult I think. I kind of like the idea of a clean slate, getting to choose the first thing my hedgehog would be called and all that. Plus, I can see how some people might have a harder time changing it.
Zannah came to me with the nickname Smidgen, which I thought was cute so that's didn't bother me (if I remember correctly, I think I put a deposit on her before hearing her nickname though) but I also wanted her to have a name that was less nickname-y, so I changed it to Zannah. Plus, now she's grown a lot and she's not such a smidgen anymore.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Baby Nicknames Assigned by Breeders - Opinions Please!

I wouldn't let a nickname determine if I bought a particular baby or not but I do prefer them to come nameless. I see nothing wrong with calling them by their numbers or colors. If I was buying a baby that was already named, I would ask the breeder not to use the name anymore.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Baby Nicknames Assigned by Breeders - Opinions Please!

Personally, it doesn't matter to me. I'd say the number system is easier on the breeder and the new owner will call the hog whatever they want anyway. Most do not respond to their name but the tone of your voice. I wouldn't loose sleep over this. Each individual is different and I've found you can't please everyone - so please yourself.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Baby Nicknames Assigned by Breeders - Opinions Please!

Thanks for the replies so far!

Quote:
Originally Posted by momIImany
Personally, it doesn't matter to me. I'd say the number system is easier on the breeder and the new owner will call the hog whatever they want anyway. Most do not respond to their name but the tone of your voice. I wouldn't loose sleep over this. Each individual is different and I've found you can't please everyone - so please yourself.
Being a breeder isn't about pleasing myself, though. It's about the hedgehogs, and what makes the new owners happy. This came up in a discussion with other breeders, and ultimately I think it shouldn't be about me as the breeder, it should be about the people who get babies from me. If they prefer to have their baby's name be a "blank slate", then I'm more than happy to stay with my method. If they think names are cute or give a better sense of us seeing our babies as individuals, not just numbers, then I'd be happy to start using a naming system in addition to the unique ID numbers that go in our records.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Baby Nicknames Assigned by Breeders - Opinions Please!

In my experience breeding dogs it seems to work better for everyone involved if I don't give names. I am more likely to get attached, animals are more likely to get confused, and future owners are more likely to feel a disconnect between them and future babies. Pups (or in your case hedgies) wearing a color works best! I talk to them all like little people but avoid calling them any names... Other than perfect precious angel As an expectant pet mommy I love prepping in every way I can, including researching names. From my own personal experience numbers and colors seem to work best!
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Baby Nicknames Assigned by Breeders - Opinions Please!

Like most people said, I wouldn't be turned off from a breeder if they did pre-nickname their hoglets, but I would prefer them to become nameless. Naming your baby is the best part and I would like it better if they were known always by the name I gave them.
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Baby Nicknames Assigned by Breeders - Opinions Please!

i honestly think its fine! if its just a nickname and not a real name then thats fine, just dont tell the owners the name until they decide on the baby for its personality, if you pick a baby by its name you could end up picking the worst one in the litter ( not saying your hogs are bad, they are amazing) or something along those lines.
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Baby Nicknames Assigned by Breeders - Opinions Please!

I'm like Nancy lol I have a hard time renaming an animal. Even my newly adopted kitten, she came with the name "Twix" I thought it over and over, but in the end, I just couldn't change her name. I'd originally wanted to change it to something easier to say, since mom still has more of a Chinese accent and saying the "tw" part would(is lol) more difficult for her.

Any animal that I've bought that already had a name has kept their name. Even my horse has kept her barn name("Emily"). The only name I gave her is her show name.
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