When you welcome a what their body language means. As you are getting to know your new pooch, a very important thing you need to decide is what you are going to name them.
Choosing a name for a dog can take some time because it’s the name you will be calling out for years when you take them for walks and want them to return to you, so it has to be something you are happy to say over and over. In similarity to picking the name you want to give your child, deciding what you want to call your dog can, therefore, feel overwhelming.
You may know that you want a popular name, or a cute name, or a funny name - or you may have no idea. To help you come to a decision, NationalWorld has spoken to several experts to give you all the inspiration you need for picking the right moniker for your pup.
Zoe Willingham, who runs a UK dog training school called Best Behaviour Dog Training, and has 23 dogs herself, said she chose each name for her pets for specific reasons. For example, she called her one of her Cavaliers Spud because “he looked like a little potato when I got him”. Her other Cavalier is called Artemis as this was the name of the ship that she and her husband got married on. She decided to call her German Shepherd Shadow after noticing that she followed her around and her Pug is called Pug Noodle because “her tail was like a noodle and as she was small she reminded me of a pot noodle”.
Paula Stewart, Managing Director at The Animal Talent, an animal casting agency which provides ethically trained animals for film, TV and creative media productions, said that people are being very creative when it comes to naming their canines. She added: “Interestingly, one of the most notable things between the sexes is that male dogs tend to have very humanised names, my own male dog for example is named Timmy; whereas female dogs tend to have ethereal names such as Luna or Sky.”
Keep reading for even more dog name suggestions from Willingham, Stewart, and other dog experts.
What are some popular dog names?
Holly Bryant, who set up UK company Designed for Dogs in 2017 and makes luxury dog bedding, toys and blankets, said she has discovered which have been the most popular dog names over the last few years due to making personalised items for her customers. The most common names she has come across can be divided by gender and are listed below.
- Bailey - most popular
- Milo - popular with bigger dogs
- Sam - increasingly popular, predominantly with bigger dogs
- Rolo - especially popular with chocolate and tan Dachshunds
- Olive - most popular, is popular across breeds from Labradors to Dachshunds
- Dolly - a particularly popular Chihuahua name
Stewart said she also sees certain names which are frequently chosen based on the gender of the dog. “For males, I see a lot of Ted or Teddy. This is surely because many of us see our dogs as adorable teddy bears; many of the poodle variations look remarkably like real life teddy bears as pups and I’m sure that inspires people. I think it’s an adorable name. Undoubtedly, from the animals I work with, the most popular name for a female dog at the moment seems to be Bella, which is fabulous because it comes from the Italian word for "beautiful" and all dogs are beautiful.”
Willingham added: “Our top ranking most popular names are Milo, Freddie, Bear, and Willow.”
What are some unique dog names?
Giuseppe Bloom-Mangione, founder of muthapuppa, a UK-based online pet shop which supports animal pet charities and aims to build a home for sick, abused or homeless dogs, said he has noticed many dogs now have double-barrelled names or regal titles. He has given some of the best examples he has seen below:
- Sir Alfred Winston
- Little Bear Cub
- Hudson Le Rottie
- Lady Rosalind
- McGee The Dog With a Job
- Prince Fredrick
- Sir Ralph Pomelot
- Sir Charlie of London
- Lady Penelope Woofington-West
- Princess Muffin
Not all unusual names are majestic, however, some are much more simple. Willingham said the most unusual names she has come across are Meatloaf, Hashtag, Polar, Timber and Lungo.
What are some funny and weird dog names?
Stewart said she has noticed people are often inspired by a timeless book or popular film or TV show when picking the name for their pooch. “People often use literature and film for inspiration in the naming of their pets and we see this a lot with dogs in particular. In recent years, fans of Game of Thrones have been naming females Arya and Khaleesi, which is dramatic and bold. There has also been a resurgence of the name Mr Darcy, presumably from fans of Pride and Prejudice or Bridget Jones’s Diary.”
Bryant also said names chosen for dogs can be heavily influenced by popular culture. She said: “In around 2020 to 2021, when bee prints were very in fashion in clothing and interiors, we had a wave of Bee and Bea dog customers. If a film comes out with a dog character in it or quirky name, particularly with Disney films, we will very quickly see a flurry of new puppies with the name of the character. Loki, for example, from the Marvel films who is known as the God of Mischief. Waffle is also a very popular name amongst cockapoo owners after the CBeebies character Waffle the Wonderdog.”
Some other name options, as inspired by popular culture are:
- Lassie (from the film of the same name)
- Andrex (from the toilet roll brand)
- Beethoven (from the film series of the same name)
- Lady (from Disney film Lady and the Tramp)
- Trusty (from Disney film Lady and the Tramp)
- Jock (from Disney film Lady and the Tramp)
- Perdy or Perdita (from Disney film 101 Dalmatians)
- Pongo (from Disney film 101 Dalmatians)
- Bolt (from the Disney film of the same name)
- Max (from The Grinch)
- Bruiser Woods (from the Legally Blonde films)
- Marley (from Marley and Me)
- Scooby Doo (from the children’s cartoon of the same name)
- Toto (from The Wizard of Oz)
- Santa’s Little Helper (from The Simpsons)
- Wishbone (from the children’s TV series of the same name)
- Zero (from The Nightmare Before Christmas)
- Krypto (from the children’s TV series Krypto the Superdog)