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Stranger Things, Star Wars Leading the Pack in Popular Dog Names of 2017

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A year-end report revealed that pop culture continues to influence dog names, with Stranger Things and Star Wars-inspired monikers topping the list of most popular dog names of 2017!

Popular Dog Names
Olive, a Golden Retriever channels ‘Eleven’ of ‘Stranger Things’ – Source: Instagram/@my_golden_dogs

Rover.com, an online network of pet sitters and dog walkers, unveiled its annual report of the year’s most popular dog names. Dominating this year’s list were dog names inspired by top baby names, with pop culture being the next most popular source for names. Food and political names trended down, missing the top tier this year. New sources of inspiration on the list include 2017 newsmakers like “Wonder Woman,” Taylor Swift and “DoggoLingo.”

Rover’s data revealed that now more than ever, Americans turn to popular culture for dog name inspiration. In 2017, 8 percent of all dog names were clearly pop culture-influenced. From “Stranger Things” to “Star Wars,” pet parents are naming their dogs after their favorite icons. Also, for the third year in a row, the top baby names of the year are among the most popular dog names. The humanization of dogs has been trending upward every year, with human-inspired names making up a whopping 44 percent of all dog names in 2017—up 57 percent from 2016.

“This year, more than ever, we’re seeing pet ownership redefining the modern definition of family and home life. Many of today’s dog owners call themselves ‘pet parents,’ a huge signal of the familial relationship modern pet owners have developed with their dogs,” said Brandie Gonzales, pet lifestyle expert for Rover.

“In that same vein, pet parents have become more thoughtful about the dog naming process, as is typical for a parental figure. They use it as an opportunity to express something about themselves and the way they feel about their dog.”

Pop Culture Trends

Pop culture continues to influence dog names. A survey by Rover found 53% of dog owners reported having named a dog after a movie, book or TV character. And that number rose to 75% for millennials!

  • “Stranger Things” is more popular than ever. The name Barb grew 182 percent and Eleven grew 166 percent.
  • “Star Wars” names like Rey and Leia are up 70 percent this year.
  • “Game of Thrones”-inspired names, such as Khaleesi and Snow, are up 12 percent.
  • Americans were deeply inspired by strong female characters this year. “Wonder Woman-themed names surged (up 45 percent) after the film took over the box office. The name Atwood spiked by 200 percent following the introduction of breakout series, “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
  • Pet parents also drew inspiration from popular celebrities… and their bad blood. The name Taylor beat Katy by 65 percent.

Additionally, “DoggoLingo,” an internet-created language fueled by love for dogs, is a new trend on the rise this year. The name Fluffer increased 500 percent, while names like Floof, Corgo, and Woofer rose 52 percent.

Globetrotting Trends

A recent Harris survey revealed that 3 in 4 millennials would rather do something, particularly travel to a new location, than buy something. Millennials also make up 35 percent of dog owners in the U.S. Consequently, more than ever, pet parents are drawing inspiration from their favorite travel destinations.

  • The top city-inspired dog names were Sydney, Dallas, Rio, Phoenix, and Savannah.
  • The most popular state dog names were Georgia, Montana, Indiana, Maine, and Alaska.

90s Nostalgia Trends

Pet parents continue to love the 90s. Nostalgic names inspired by “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” the Spice Girls and “Harry Potter” made up 3 percent of all dog names this year. Additionally, the name Nirvana increased 171 percent, Kurt rose 46 percent and Daria grew 104 percent.

For more information, visit www.rover.com/blog/2017-top-100-dog-names.

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