We all like to remember our successes, and one World Cup soccer coach chose his dogs’ names accordingly. Born in Argentina, José Pékerman was chosen to coach the under-20 Argentine national team in the FIFA World Youth Championship. The appointment was a surprise to many, but criticism stopped after the team won the championship three times. They won in Qatar (1995), in Malaysia (1997), and in Argentina (2001).
The coach’s dogs are named in honor of these three victories. Qatar, Malaysia and Argentina are loved by their guardian, who no doubt enjoys saying their names and remembering those championships.
Pékerman is now a citizen of Colombia and the coach of the Colombian national team. They made it to the quarterfinals in the FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil before being eliminated last week. That is the country’s best showing ever, so the tournament was a success. I doubt it was enough of a success for Coach Pékerman to name a new dog Brazil after the country hosting the World Cup though, since it was the Brazilian team that defeated them and sent them home.
Karen B. London, PhD, is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Professional Dog Trainer who specializes in working with dogs with serious behavioral problems, including aggression. She is the author of five books on canine training and behavior.