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Putin's puppy is renamed Buffy

Vladimir Putin, Dog, Boyko BorisovMeet Buffy ­ the people's prime ministerial puppy.

After thousands of suggestions, Vladimir Putin has chosen a name for his new dog ­ and took the advice of an ordinary five-year-old from Moscow, Dima Sokolov.

But there's no link to Sarah Michelle Gellar's sexy vampire slayer ­ the PM just liked the sound of Buffy after going through the lists of suggestions.

Dima was the lucky winner of the nationwide naming contest. He said the name was found on the Internet with the help of his parents, Kommersant reported.

"Our own imagination isn't that good," Yulia Sokolova, Dima's mother, told journalists.

Few contenders

Despite a huge range of suggestions, few names came close to winning Putin's approval.

One other candidate reflected the pet's Bulgarian roots ­ and "Balkan" also carried a hint of the traditional Russian dogs' name Polkan.

The dog was given to Putin as a gift last month after Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov marked the signing of his country's commitment to the South Stream energy pipeline.

Family gathering

The Sokolovs were invited to meet the Bulgarian shepherd puppy at Putin's Novo-Ogaryovo dacha.

And little Dima left with a signed football and a call-up to the national youth squad.

"In 2018 you will be 13, and will play for the national youth team," Putin told the boy, Newsru reported.

His master's voice

Buffy, previously known as Yorgo, has already got used to his new name and reacted whenever he was called.

And although Putin joked that the dog did not understand any orders, he was unwilling to defy his master when commanded to sit.

The dog has considerably grown since he came to Russia, has learnt to open the door and found his favourite place in the house ­ in the kitchen, Lifenews reported.

Battle for top dog

Buffy also gets along with Russia's long-established top-dog, Labrador Retriever Connie. Connie is happy to put up with the playful puppy, but doesn't let him go too far ­ when she gets tired of his constant nips to her tail and ears she snarls at him.

The two dogs still live together and are unlikely to be separated any time soon.

When a journalist suggested male Buffy should be kept away from female Connie, Putin said the reporter should be kept away from the ladies.

"Buffy may stay with a girl, he's very well-mannered," he said.

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