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Choosing the Perfect Dog Name

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Choosing the right name for your new puppy does not have to be hard.  Here are some guidelines.

Are you the proud parent of a new puppy? Having trouble deciding what to name it? Are you at your wits end? Well you've come to the right site. You're about to discover hundreds of names for your new pet.

As any new parent knows, picking the right name for your new addition is a difficult but important task. Everything is in a name. Just like a name can alter a child's life, character, behavior, ambitions; the name you choose for your pet can affect your relationship with it. The name you choose says as much about you as it does your pet. It shows how you view your pet and your relationship with it. Some names can cause people to pre-judge your pet and react positively or negatively/fearfully when meeting it for the first time.

From traditional to the unusual… there's sure to be a name that fits your pet perfectly.

Sometimes it helps to try a few different names on your pet for a few days to see how they fit. There's no need to be in a hurry. After all, you and your pet are going to be living with this name for a log time. So choose carefully.

What's In a Name?


It is important to know your dog's character before you give it a name.

Remember that the name you choose will be used a dozen times a day to call, praise, and possibly scold. And keep in mind, you'll be calling your dog to dinner every night in front of the neighbors!

Example of why good dog names are important:

A nervous dog needs a name that sounds gentle and soft.
A dominating dog is easier to control if its name is short, brief and snappy.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the right name for your dog:

  • Fur or skin color
  • Personality
  • Sex
  • Size
  • Breed
  • Personal history of you and/or your pet
  • If you will enjoy repeating the name over and over.
  • Their purpose (i.e., a guard dog vs. a pampered companion)

Fundamental Rules of Dog Naming

Dogs can only really hear (understand) two syllables. So try to avoid long names. Pick something that is easy to recognize.

After a soft consonant, use a strong vowel.


  • The letter F is a soft consonant. An E to follow in the dog’s name is not ideal, although an A would be heard well by the dog.
  • Vise versa, a strong consonant like an R can be followed by a soft vowel.
  • Don’t be shy about doubling up on sounds, like Kiki, Bobo, Yoyo, Coco.
  • Be careful with sounds that cannot be easily heard.

More Tips:

  • Avoid names that sounds like the standard commands of No, Sit, Stay, Come, Down, or Fetch. For example, Joe sounds like No. It may be difficult for dogs to distinguish the difference between similar sounding words.

  • Consider the breed heritage. Such as German (Shepards, Dachshunds, and Schnauzers), French (Poodle), Scottish (Terriers), or Irish (Wolfhounds and Setters).

  • Choose a name that is easy to call out and one you will not feel silly saying. Calling out "Rocky" or "Lady" in the park may be far less embarrassing than calling out "Dog Breath."

  • If you pick a long name, keep in mind the shortened version. A long name will inevitably be shortened, but it may ruin the effect you were originally going for.

  • Upon receiving your pet, wait a few days to study its behavior. Their personality, affection, and appearance may assist here.

  • Select a name that will grow with the pet. A name like "Puppy" may be less appropriate for a full grown dog.



Here's a list of the top 20 names for boy and girl dogs in North America.

Top 20 Boy
Dog Names

Top 20 Girl
Dog Names

1. Max 1. Maggie
2. Jake 2. Molly
3. Buddy 3. Lady
4. Bailey 4. Sadie
5. Sam 5. Lucy
6. Rocky 6. Daisy
7. Buster 7. Ginger
8. Casey 8. Abby
9. Cody 9. Sasha
10. Duke 10. Sandy
11. Charlie 11. Dakota
12. Jack 12. Kate
13. Harley 13. Annie
14. Rusty 14. Chelsea
15. Toby 15. Princess
16. Murphy 16. Missy
17. Shelby 17. Sophie
18. Sparky 18. Bo
19. Barney 19. Coco
20. Winston 20. Tasha

Dog Name Categories

Did you know more than 50% of all pet names are either human names or nicknames? People largely name their pets as they would name themselves.

Another 20% of names are based on the animal's appearance or personality. A gray dog becomes "Smoky" and a spotted dog becomes "Spot" or "Speck."



Appearance Shadow, Bandit, Smokey
Art & Literature Aslan, Plato, Dante
Beanie Babies Blizzard, Slither, Bongo
Cars Beemer, Ferrari, Thunderbird, Porsche
Cartoon/TV Scooby, Mickey, Homer, Pugsley
Drink Chablis, Pepsi, Kahlua, Mocha
Food Sushi, Peanut, Cookie
Foreign Fritz, Sacha, Fleur
Geography Dakota, Sydney, Paris
Historical Zeus, Nelson, Caesar
Human Name Max, Jessie, Molly
Music Elvis, Jazz, Mozart
Nature Blossom, Panda, Bear
Nicknames Buster, Boof, Puss, Pookie
Personality Foxy, Cuddles, Woffer, Roxy
Religious Sheba , Buddha, Zen
Screen Radar, Scully, Beethoven
Sport Pele, Rodman, Jordan
Titles King, Princess, Prince, Lady


So instead of common names like "Rex," "Fluffy," and "Duke," think of something unique and unusual.

I hope you enjoy your journey through our extensive library of dog names.

Happy searching!

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