Choosing a name for your dog is about so much more than finding something that looks good on his tag. This is the name you’re going to find a million nicknames for. It says everything anyone needs to know about your dog – and often, it says a lot about you, too!
The top names for dogs haven’t changed much in the last few years. There’s a few classics mixed in with the pop culture references, but the trends say a lot about how we feel about our dogs – and they’re reflecting good things!
Names like Spot, Fido and Rex fell from the top long ago to welcome more “human” names as we see our dogs more and more as members of the family. Though we still love names like “Beans” and “Bones,” we’re shaking paws with a lot more Bellas and Buddys. We also see that we’re sharing the things we love and expressing ourselves through the names we give our dogs.
Check out the top names you and your fellow dog lovers gave your new pets in 2018, according to data collected by Rover.com.
Top 5 Names For Girl Dogs:
Some people may love the name Bella because it means “beautiful” in Italian, but it’s likely that many people choose the name because of the popularity of the Twilight movies! The name Bella jumped onto top lists for both human and canine babies in 2008, the year after the first of five Twilight movies was released! Bella Swan is the name of the film’s young heroine, who (no spoilers!) is wooed by two young men – whose names have not been made favorites for dogs! It’s been 7 years since the last movie in the Twilight Saga was in theaters, but the name Bella still has a firm hold on the number one spot for female dog names!
Fact: If the name Bella has worn out its welcome in your home, check out this list of uncommon dog names from Rover. You’ll find names like Reeses Puppycups and Artoo Dogtoo. But for those of us still in love with the name Bella, don’t worry, it’s not going anywhere!
The name Lucy means “light.” Since so many dog lovers consider their pets the light of their lives, it makes sense that this name is so popular! Lucy has long been a nickname for people and pets with the more formal name, “Lucille,” but it holds its own as a name just fine! Lucy Hale, Lucy Lu, and Lucy Lawless are just a few notable Lucys, but perhaps the most famous Lucy ever was Lucille “Lucy” Ball. Ball was the first woman to ever run a major television studio, Desilu Productions, and is still instantly recognizable even to those who were born after her passing in 1989.
Fact: Lucy is another name that has held tight to its spot on top 10 lists of names for dogs for many years, coming in second only to Bella. According to Rover.com, it’s been #2 since 2013!
Like Bella, Luna is another name with Italian origins. No surprise that so many of our favorite names for our most precious friends originate in what is often called “the language of love!” The name Luna means “moon” in Italian and is popular with baby girls both human and pup. Luna was also the Roman personification of the moon, a goddess who drove one of the two chariots pulled by either horses or oxen that crossed the sky. She was depicted as female and often paired with the Sun in Roman mythology. For those who consider their dogs on the same level as a goddess, the name Luna fits pretty well!
Fact: The name Luna was fairly popular in the U.S. in the late 1800s, but went slowly out of fashion between 1900 and 2000. After 2000, it regained steam and is now more popular than ever before.
Daisies are a beautiful flower that symbolize innocence, purity, and true love. In Norse mythology the Daisy was the flower of the goddess of love and beauty, Freya. In the late 1800s the word daisy became slang for “wonderful” or “best.” It’s likely that you think your Daisy is the absolute best, and puts a smile on your face! This name is perfect for cheerful, happy-go-lucky dogs who bring joy to their owners!
The name Daisy peaked in 2013, at number two behind Bella for girls, but seems to be on its way out as it’s been declining in popularity. Though the name is sweet and classic, we’re eager to see what replaces it on the list when it goes! Could it be another flower name? Jasmine, Lily, Rose, Fern, Ivy, Marigold? The possibilities are endless!
Fact: According to flowermeaning.com:
“The daisy’s message is, ultimately, one of hope and renewal. In sending daisies, the sender hopes the viewer will see the world as they once did as a child. Just be sure not to send daisies to anyone with ragweed allergies.”
Unlike many of the other top names for girl dogs, the name Lola has a slightly darker origin in its meaning. Lola is the short form of the name Dolores, which is the Spanish word meaning “sorrows.” But whatever the origin, it’s still a beautiful name that has been popular with pet lovers for years! Many celebrities are fond of the name, too. Alessandra Ambrosio, Hillary Duff, Olivia Wilde, and Bella Thorne have all had pets named Lola!
Even if it means sadness, the name sounds sassy and fun! Pet parents are breathing new life and meaning into the name and making it more than the sad word it comes from. There are people all over the world making happy moments and memories with their own Lolas.
Fact: Lola is a popular name for movies, too! Movies called Lola, all with different plots, were released in 1961, 1969, 1974, 1981, 1996, 2001, and 2009. None of these are Run Lola Run, they’re all just called Lola. Plan a movie night with your favorite Lola!
Top 5 Names For Boy Dogs:
The name Max comes from Latin origin, meaning “greatest.” Those who named their pups Max without knowing the meaning behind the word will probably say that it fits – we all think we have the greatest dog! But those who named their pups Max actually have the label to match! Max has also been holding strong to its number one spot. It’s been the top name for male dogs since at least 2013, according to Rover.com.
Max is one of those names that bridges the gender gap. It’s fine on its own, but it’s also common as a nickname for Maximillian, Maxwell or Maxine. However, Max ranked as the number 1 name for doggy boys and not at all for doggy girls!
Fact: In 2016 the movie Max, about a Belgian Malinois who served in Afghanistan, was released. The movie has a 36% rating on rottentomatoes.com from critics, but the dog-loving audience gives it 70%.
Charlie is another gender-bending moniker that ranked high for boy-dog names only. Short for Charles or Charlotte, it means “free man” regardless of whether the root name is gender-specific. Charlie is a classic name that has long-lasting appeal. There have been many lovable Charlies in media, including Charlie Chaplin, who made his mark in the silent film era but continues to influence creators today. Or Charlie Bucket, the sweet and kind pure-hearted child from Roald Dahl’s Charlie and The Chocolate Factory. And then there’s Charlie Brown, the beloved Peanuts character who still graces the front page of the Sunday comics section.
Boy or girl, Charlie is a fun name, perfect for your active pup or lazy doggie! The name Charlie has been around a long, long time, and isn’t likely to fade out of fashion any time soon!
Fact: Peanuts creator Charles Schultz loved his characters but hated the name of his comic strip! When Schultz submitted it to the United Feature Syndicate in 1950, it was under the title “Li’l Folks.” However, Al Capp’s “Li’l Abner” was already in print, and the syndicate was concerned about claims of copyright infringement. Despite Schultz’s protests, the comic ran under the name the syndicate slapped on it – “Peanuts” which Schultz felt made the comic “seem insignificant.” Despite the name, Charlie Brown and his friends became iconic characters.
In the Middle Ages there was little need for last names. But as the population grew, so did the need for distinction between “Toms” and “Marys.” Some people chose names based on looks or temperament – such as “Short” or “Stern.” Others chose names based on occupation – “Cooper” is one of those names. It’s of English origin and means “barrel maker.” This name, like Adler, Lennox, and Delaney, transitions well to a first name!
Your dog probably isn’t spending his days making barrels, but the name means so much more these days! People choosing this name now are more likely to be paying homage to their favorite musician (Alice Cooper) or actor (Bradley Cooper) – but now you know where their namesake might have gotten their surname from!
Fact: Alice Cooper isn’t actually a Cooper at all! His given name is Vincent Damon Furnier. In 1968 the band now known as Alice Cooper was calling themselves “Nazz,” but found out the name had been used by another group. They chose the name “Alice Cooper” because it sounded totally wholesome and contrasts with the sound of their music. If your dog is named after the singer, maybe “Furnier” wouldn’t be a bad nickname?
What better name for your best friend than a name that actually means “friend?” Buddy has long been an affectionate nickname for boys. It’s not like just anyone can call you Buddy – its the kind of thing that is normally reserved for good pals.
Dogs, who are naturally sweet, friendly, and playful, may be the most deserving of the name Buddy! Singer Demi Lovato had a Buddy of her own, a cute little Maltese mix who lived with her and actor Wilmer Valderrama until 2015. Former President and First Lady, Bill and Hillary Clinton had a handsome chocolate Labrador Retriever named Buddy who lived with them during their time in the White House. Buddy was so loved by the children of the United States that Hillary Clinton collected letters written to him and their cat, Socks, and put them into a book called Dear Socks, Dear Buddy.
So if you’re looking for a name for your best bud, Buddy might be the way to go!
Fact: Though you’ll find a few of the presidential pets’ names like Buddy on similar lists, there are other White House pets with some extremely unusual names that probably won’t be catching on any time soon. Those names include “Eaglehurst Gilette,” one of Herbert Hoover’s dogs, “Misty Malarky Ying Yang,” Jimmy Carter’s daughter’s cat, “Tax Reduction,” and “Budget Bureau” – a pair of lions given to Calvin Coolidge by a South African dignitary. The lions lived in the zoo Coolidge kept, not in the White House itself.
Jack has long been such a common name for human men and boys that you’re likely to know a Jack or two yourself. You may even know a few canine Jacks, since this is the fifth most popular name for male dogs. Jack is often used as a nickname for John, which has its roots in Hebrew, meaning “God is gracious.” People who feel they owe thanks to a higher power for such a great dog may think that the name Jack fits their friend perfectly. Others may just like it for its boyish charm.
There’s even a breed of dog named after a Jack! Jack Russell, a parson and hunting enthusiast, developed the Jack Russell Terrier breed for fox hunting. The dogs would chase, but not harm the fox they were hunting. We know the lovable Jack Russells today as energetic, intelligent dogs who love to be active.
Fact: Jack may not seem like a likely nickname for John, but it didn’t go straight from “John” to “Jack.” The original nickname was “Johnkin,” which became “Jankin” to “Jackin” to “Jack.” If you choose a different nickname for John, you pup is likely to be the only one in his training class with the name!
Many of these names have been on the top ten lists for years. Though we love our Bellas and Coopers, we’re ready to see dog lovers shake things up in the future! These are some of the top names we’re rooting for in 2019! You won’t find these names at the top of any current list, but we think they’re due for some love.
Our Top Names For The Future:
Whether you’re a fan of comics or classics, Scarlet is a great feminine name for a dog. Scarlet Witch is a powerful character in the Marvel universe, and has become more popular with the general public since Elizabeth Olsen took up the role in the Avengers movies. For those who love older films, Gone With The Wind has long been considered a classic. Its heroine, Scarlet O’Hara may not have been the best role model, but Vivien Lee received rave reviews for her portrayal.
Like the more popular name, Ruby, this name means “Red.”
Like “Scarlet,” the name “Rhett” immediately makes people think Gone With The Wind. However, the name seems to be picking up steam on its own and is finding its own way with parents who like it for their pets and kids. The name Rhett means “council” or “advice.” Your dog may not be able to give you spoken advice, but a head resting on your knee or a paw on your hand can speak volumes.
Penelope may seem like a big name for a little pup, but Penny, the shorter version, cuts the syllables in half. It’ll save you time when you’re saying “Penny, sit,” instead of “Penelope, roll over.” In Greek, Penelope means “Weaver,” like Odysseus’ faithful wife who wove and unwove a burial shroud for years to wait for her husband. No one is more faithful than a dog – so the name Penny will fit your most loyal friend.
“Binx” seems to be a more popular name for kitties, and it probably has a lot to do with the beloved 90s Halloween movie, Hocus Pocus. However, cats, you do not own the name Binx, and dogs should stake their claim to this cute moniker!
You’ll find few other, non-feline Binxes, but your dog isn’t likely to feel bad about having a name normally found for cats. Human Binxes are also few, but include John Bickerson “Binx” Bolling, the protagonist of Walter Percy’s novel, The Moviegoer, and model Leona “Binx” Walton.
The name Jovie has only been around a few years and was popularized by the Christmas movie Elf. Zooey Deschanel plays Jovie, who helps Buddy the elf bring Christmas cheer back to the world when Santa needs it. It’s also a feminine twist on the name Jove, who was the Roman king of the gods.
6. Noun names
There’s nothing wrong with giving your dog a name like Biscuit or Spot, and it definitely doesn’t make them any less a member of your family. These names were more popular before, but there are still Waffles and Brownies barking and playing with all the other dogs out there. These names are often extremely cute, and express the owner’s love for a particular feature of their dog’s or a personal passion. Who doesn’t love a Bacon or Socks?