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dog names finding the perfect name

Dog Names: Finding the Perfect Name for Your Furry Friend

Written by Steph McCulloch


Though choosing a name for your furry friend may seem like a small task, it holds a lot of importance and can impact the relationship you’ll share with your new pet.
Dog looking at slice of watermelon


Names are a crucial part of how we communicate with our pets and one another. At a young age, dogs begin to recognise their names and will respond to them, though this takes time and patience. Choosing a unique name that suits them will help to develop good communication between you and your pet.

A good name can reflect your dog’s personality and can also help you to get to know your dog better. Choosing a name can be based on many things such as your dog’s breed, their size, or their personality traits as mentioned above.

Naming your furry friend also creates a sense of belonging and includes them in your family. It wasn’t until the Victorian era when the animal rights movement began, and the RSPCA was founded, that dogs began to be seen more as members of the family and were, therefore, given more popular names of the time such as Albert and Ada.

Before this, dogs were often named after their physical appearance or by what job they carried out. For example, Whitefoot and Nosewise.

Choosing the perfect name should be a fun and creative process so, to get the ball rolling, we’ve created a guide of our favourite dog names so you can take the time to choose a name that suits your dog best.

Popular dog names

Dog with treat on his nose

The list of the most popular choices for dog names varies every single year just like baby names. Here are some of the top 10 names over the last few years:

  • Max

  • Charlie

  • Bella

  • Lucy

  • Daisy

  • Bailey

  • Cooper

  • Sadie

  • Molly

  • Rocky

These dog names are popular for a reason; they’re easy to remember and pronounce. They also fit a lot of different breeds and personalities.

Trends in dog names over the past decade

A huge trend in dog names over the past decade has been an increase in human names for dogs. Many owners have opted for dog names that could also belong to people such as Max, Charlie, Freddie, Harry, and Bella. This trend quite clearly reflects the increasing status of pets as family members.

Another trend has been the rise of less traditional and more unusual names for dogs. Rather than opting for common names, lots of owners have leaned towards more creative and gender-neutral options such as Bowie, Chewie, and Riley. Others simply choose their favourite food and give their dog a food-inspired name such as Taco, Mochi, Biscuit, or Bean.

A third trend noticed is the increase of dogs named after characters from TV shows and films such as Arya and Khaleesi from Game of Thrones. A quick search of Gilmore Girls-inspired dog names, for example, will bring up a huge list of potential picks. Or you may want to look for a wider field and research superhero names, we’re sure you’ll find a fair share of options.

Celebrity-inspired dog names

For some, naming their dog after their favourite celebrity is the way to go. Elvis is a very popular dog name, of course, named after Elvis Presley himself. Other honourable mentions include Oprah after Oprah Winfrey as well as Beckham, Kobe, Beyonce, and Doja Cat.

Traditional dog names and their meanings

Many traditional names are still used for dogs to reflect their specific breed characteristics. For example, the name Bear is often given to large but cuddly dogs such as German Shepherds and Newfoundlands whilst the name Shadow is often given to black dogs such as Labradors. Other examples of traditional dog names include Lucky, Rusty, and Ginger.

Overall, these popular names can be a great source of inspiration and a great place to start when thinking of a name for your dog. Whether you’re looking for something traditional or something more creative, we’re sure you’ll find a name on the list that fits your dog perfectly.

Male dog names

Dogue de bordeaux wearing glasses

Classic and timeless male dog names

  • Charlie

  • Max

  • Buddy

  • Jack

  • Duke

  • Rusty

  • Sam

  • Rocky

  • Toby

  • Zeus

Unique and uncommon male dog names

  • Axl

  • Bowie

  • Cash

  • Finnegan

  • Hendrix

  • Jax

  • Koda

  • Phoenix

  • Rocco

  • Zephyr

Strong and powerful male dog names

  • Apollo

  • Atlas

  • Diesel

  • Hercules

  • Maverick

  • Odin

  • Thor

  • Titan

  • Zeus

  • Zorro

Playful and fun male dog names

  • Banjo

  • Biscuit

  • Gizmo

  • Harley

  • Jasper

  • Milo

  • Ollie

  • Rascal

  • Scooter

  • Ziggy

Female dog names

Two dogs sitting on rug looking at camera

Classic and timeless female dog names

  • Daisy

  • Lucy

  • Sadie

  • Molly

  • Maggie

  • Rosie

  • Ruby

  • Lily

  • Chloe

  • Bella  

Unique and uncommon female dog names

  • Alaska

  • Aurora

  • Cleo

  • Dakota

  • Echo

  • Freya

  • Luna

  • Nova

  • Sable

  • Zara  

Sweet and gentle female dog names

  • Angel

  • Daisy

  • Fluffy

  • Honey

  • Lily

  • Pearl

  • Rosie

  • Sugar

  • Sweetie

  • Willow

 Additional female dog names

  • Diva

  • Gigi

  • Luna

  • Nala

  • Pepper

  • Roxy

  • Ruby

  • Sasha

  • Stella

  • Zoey

Uncommon dog names

Choosing an uncommon dog name comes with many advantages. For example, it shows just how unique your dog is and means that no other dog is likely to share the same name. If your dog is one-of-a-kind then surely their name must be too, right?

But finding an uncommon name doesn’t have to be a mammoth task. Instead, we’ve already done the hard work by providing lots of different and unusual names for dogs including some in other languages. When it comes to uncommon dog names, why not take inspiration from the following?

  • Apple

  • Biscuit

  • Blue

  • Cinnamon

  • Diesel

  • Doodle

  • Ember

  • Galaxy

  • Pixel

  • Spice

Uncommon dog names by breed or size

  • Bear (for a small dog)

  • Bubba (for a large dog)

  • Cricket (for a Chihuahua)

  • Fang (for a Great Dane)

  • Jett (for a black dog)

  • Peanut (for a small dog)

  • Rusty (for a red dog)

  • Scout (for a hunting dog)

  • Sparky (for an energetic dog)

  • Zeus (for a large dog)

Uncommon dog names inspired by nature

  • Aspen

  • Coral

  • Cypress

  • Fern

  • Granite

  • Ivy

  • Ocean

  • Sage

  • Sierra

  • Stone

Uncommon dog names from different languages

  • Amore (Italian for "love")

  • Eira (Welsh for "snow")

  • Kaida (Japanese for "little dragon")

  • Lulu (Swahili for "pearl")

  • Nika (Russian for "victory")

  • Soren (Danish for "stern")

  • Taro (Japanese for "big boy")

  • Vega (Spanish for "star")

  • Yara (Arabic for "small butterfly")

  • Zuri (Swahili for "beautiful")

Tips for choosing the perfect dog name

Dog with arm up

Choosing the right name requires you to take into account your dog’s personality and temperament. Though some owners find the humour in dog names and do the opposite of this - naming their large dog something ironic like Tiny.

When naming your dog, it’s important to take into account their personality and temperament. Look for inspiration in your favourite books, tv shows, films, or even your hobbies! Test out potential names to see which ones your dog responds to best and perhaps take a look at your rewatch list, you might just find the name you’re looking for.

Naming your dog: dos and don'ts

Though naming your dog is a fun experience there are some crucial dos and don’ts that can help to make the process a lot easier! Take a look at the list below:

  • Dos: Consider the length and pronunciation of the name

  • Dos: Choose a name that's easy to remember and pronounce

  • Don'ts: Avoid names that sound too similar to commands

  • Don'ts: Avoid using offensive or inappropriate names


In conclusion, giving dogs names is crucial for their identity, training, and safety. It also plays a very important role in establishing a positive relationship with you as their owner. Naming your new dog is a small but significant way to show your love and care for these loyal and affectionate companions.

There have been a variety of trends in dog naming over the past decade which reflect the continuously changing attitudes towards pets and the role they play in our lives. As dogs have become more accepted as members of the family, their names have changed to reflect that.

We hope our guide on dog names has helped at least inspire you in naming your puppy something unique, traditional, or creative.

And finally, naming your dog is a fun process, so don’t rush it! Sometimes a name will come to you when you least expect it.

Looking for more puppy and dog advice? Our blog is the place to be. Here you’ll find articles on every topic. Whether you’re wondering if dogs can eat certain foods such as tomatoes or looking for toilet training tips, we’ve got you covered. We’ve also written puppy-specific posts about what it means when your puppy is breathing fast and how long you should walk your pup.


How long should a dog's name be?

A dog's name should ideally be one or two syllables long, as longer names can be difficult for dogs to understand and remember. However, it's more important to choose a name that you like and that your dog responds to, so if you prefer a longer name, go for it!

 Can I change my dog's name if I adopt them?

Yes, you can change your dog's name if you adopt them. However, keep in mind that changing a dog's name can be confusing for them, especially if they are already used to their current name. If you do decide to change your dog's name, be patient and consistent in using their new name, and use positive reinforcement to help them learn it.

Is it important to consider the meaning of a dog's name?

Considering the meaning of a dog's name can be important, as it can reflect their breed, personality, or characteristics. However, it's not necessary to choose a name based solely on its meaning, as the sound and pronunciation of the name are also important factors to consider.

What if I can't decide on a name for my dog?

If you can't decide on a name for your dog, try brainstorming a list of potential names and narrowing it down based on your preferences and your dog's personality. You can also ask friends and family for suggestions, or look for inspiration in books, movies, or TV shows.

How can I make sure my dog responds to their name?

To make sure your dog responds to their name, use positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats or praise when they respond to their name. Use their name consistently when calling them or giving them commands, and avoid using their name in a negative context. Additionally, choose a name that is easy to pronounce and distinguish from other words or commands.

Waggel Pet Insurance

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