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What’s in a Name? Picking the Perfect Name for your New Pup

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Choosing a name for your new puppy is one of the very first decisions you are ever going to make as you bring your new four-legged friend home. Picking the right name for your dog can sometimes be quite difficult or overwhelming as it usually leaves dog owners wondering, “Where do I start?”

Helpful Tips

You wouldn’t want to call out a ridiculous name across the dog park for the next decade, would you? “Butthead” may kind of sound cute among your buddies, but it might not go over well at the vet’s clinic or in the dog park, right?

To help you out in deciding the name that best fits your new puppy, try considering the factors below:

  1. Whether you like it or not, you will be using the name of your dog in public. Make sure that it sounds fine anywhere you go. Also, selecting a name that is exceedingly common would possibly mean seeing your pet run towards someone else or getting someone else’s dog to run to you.
  2. If you have children, let them be part of the decision process. Kids prefer simple names for the new pet. If naming your German Shepherd “Bailey” works well for them, then just keep your favorite fancy puppy name only for AKC purposes.
  3. Remember to ask before making use of a friend or a family member’s name. You may initially think you are paying tribute if you name your new puppy after your favorite Uncle Joe. Expect the possibility that he may not take it as a compliment, but rather, a form of disrespect.
  4. Be extra careful when you change an older dog’s name. If you must, stick with similar name sounds such as “Farley” to “Barney”. Because it is easier for a dog to readily pick up on vowels, it is essential that you retain the vowel sounds as it is than the consonants. This means that “Pikey” will be acceptable for “Mikey”, but not “Pokey” for “Picky”.
  5. Perform a test run. Once you have selected a name, try it out for a couple of days. You will know right away whether the name you just picked is a keeper.
  6. Provide your puppy plenty of hugs as well as positive reinforcement such as treats whenever he responds to his new name. You will see how quickly he will learn what his name is.
  7. If you intend to obedience-train your puppy, never give him a name that sounds similarly to a directive. For instance, the name “Kit” can be confusing with the “Sit” command.
  8. Finally, give your new dog or puppy a name with only one or two syllables so it will be easier for him to remember it.

Top 20 Names for Female Dogs

Molly, Bella, Lucy, Maggie, Daisy, Sadie, Chloe, Sophie, Bailey, Zoe, Lola, Abby, Ginger, Roxy, Gracie, Coco, Sasha, Angel, Lily, and Princess

Top 20 Names for Male Dogs

Max, Buddy, Jake, Bailey, Rocky, Charlie, Jack, Toby, Cody, Buster, Duke, Cooper, Harley, Riley, Bear, Murphy, Lucky, Tucker, Sam, and Oliver

Breakout Names – It’s not surprising, many people name their dogs after popular celebrities or pop culture icons of the moment. Check out this list of names on the rise:

Honey Boo Boo (of reality TV fame), Bentley (the name of the baby on Teen Mom), Nala (a character from Lion King), and Lupo (the name that the Duchess of Cambridge gave her puppy). What other breakout names have you been hearing a lot of lately?

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  1. I relish, lead to I found exactly what I was looking for.
    You’ve ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day.

  2. Avatar Of Hanpil



    We call our cocker spaniel Maro. It’s short (to us) for Mashimaro, the Korean cartoon of the white bunny. We never call him by his full name though. It’s mostly for us to remember the inspiration for his name!

  3. Avatar Of Nerdgrl



    We tend to name our dogs after their “point of origin.” So, our mini Schnauzer had to have a German name: Steffi (after Steffi Graf). Schnauzer growing up was Elsa. My dad’s had two Corgis, one Brialynn which means primrose in Welsh and now Abby after a favorite golf course in Wales (Abragore?).

  4. Avatar Of Peaches



    I have a 6 pound Chihuahua/Terrier mix that I named Pocket. No one ever forgets her name because it fits her so well. It never fells that when I tell someone her name they usually say the same thing, “because you can fit her in your pocket.”

  5. Avatar Of Jessica



    We named out dog Sunday :))) Unique Name for a unique dog :)))

  6. Avatar Of Janet Ramella

    Janet Ramella


    I named my last beloved Yellow Lab Finnegan because I picked him up on St. Particks day weekend 1997. He reponded to it and his nickname Finny or Fin Man. He died in my arms of Bloat Dec 2009. He was my dog Dog soulmate. I have two rescues now; a Beagle that I got while I still had Finny and a 2yr old GoldenLabradoddle. I know my Beagle still misses Finny as I do. After four labs he was my most perfect and my last lab.

  7. Avatar Of Linda Lord

    Linda Lord


    named a foster “Clooney” after George. Expect to hear it again somewhere sometime.
    New foster Cairn Terrier, named “Declan” which means full of goodness in Gaelic. not easy at first, but after 3 days, he knows that means him.

  8. Avatar Of Marty



    Last December, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to get that adorable Yorkie and decided that if the Broncos beat the Bears on December 11th that I would get that puppy and call her Tebow. And the rest is history…..I love my Tebows, Yorkie and Tim Tebow. Very sorry he doesn’t play for the Broncos any more but I’ll always be a Tim Tebow fan!!

  9. Avatar Of Sandra Jossa

    Sandra Jossa


    Anything but Honey, BooBoo… Such a cute dog!

  10. Avatar Of Margie



    Trixie is our new baby—-mini schnauzer (7mo. now)….this is no little foo foo dog! She’s made of tough stuff!

  11. Avatar Of Kathy Champagne

    Kathy Champagne


    We adopted a female mixed breed (Australian Cattle x PIT/Beagle) and went through about a dozen or so names…as soon as we said “Rocky” her ears lifted up and she wagged her tail….So we named her “Rockie”. She goes into her Vet’s office for ‘puppy’ class once a week- we then do our ‘homework’

  12. I cannot thank you enough for the blog post.Really looking forward to read more. Much obliged.

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