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Perfect Puppy Names

Choosing puppy names are just one of the fun things about being a new 'parent', but it's rarely an easy task!

Puppy with flower crown laying in patch of clover

You don't want to take a month to name your puppy, but you do need to take a little time to think about it. It's important to pick a name that feels 'just right' because you're going to using it what seems like a hundred times, every single day, for years to come :)

Whether you're looking for a popular name, one that's unique, or one to suit your sense of humor/your dog's breed/color/size/personality and so on, I can help you find the perfect fit.


What's In A (Puppy) Name?

It might actually be more than you think!

This is because the name you choose for your new pup can say a lot about you, as well as a fair bit about how you view your dog.

Other people might even judge your dog's personality by the name you  give him.

Calling him 'Killer' or 'Hannibal' might seem funny if you own a total cuddle-bug who wouldn't say boo to a goose. BUT strangers may be wary if they don't know him, especially if you own a breed that tends to be feared due to media hype and lack of public education.

Handsome Pitbull puppy sitting on fur rug

It can also be a good idea to rein in your sense of humor...

If you choose the name 'Tiny' for your Great Dane puppy or 'Rocket' for your little Basset Hound, it will probably raise a smile at the dog park. But it can undermine your dog's natural dignity when you go for a laugh at his expense. Dogs are intelligent animals, and they can sense when someone is making fun of them.

The best foundation for a good relationship between you and your puppy is mutual love and respect, so it's a good idea to bear that in mind when choosing a name for your puppy.


Puppy Naming Tips & Advice

There are a few basic guidelines you can use to help you pick out that perfect puppy name. When choosing names for a puppy, you can use the following tips to find a name that sounds 'just right'

Keep It Simple

There are two reasons for this. First, dogs respond better to short commands and can easily get confused by long, strange-sounding words. Keep the name you choose short and simple, one or two syllables is best. 

If your puppy is a pure-bred you can indulge your desire for an exotic name when you pick his or her registered name. Secondly, you are going to be using your puppy's name many (repeat, MANY) times a day! It'll be a lot less wearing if it's short and simple.

it's not just a puppy name

Your new puppy won't always be a tiny furball. Depending on the breed he or she could reach anywhere up to 130lbs plus within a couple of years.

So bear in mind you're choosing a name that an adult dog will own. Even a thoughtfully chosen name such as 'Buttercup' may seem a whole lot less appropriate when 'Buttercup' the St. Bernard is fully grown.

Headshot of gorgeous adult Labrador Retriever

your puppy can help

Yes, believe it or not your little bundle of fur can help choose his own name! Just pay attention to his looks and personality. 

Remember the 'Rocket' example I used earlier? Well, not for a Basset Hound perhaps, but it could be the perfect puppy name for your super-speedy Italian Greyhound. Or how about 'Snowflake' for your American Eskimo pup? See what I mean?

consider your puppy's heritage

If you have a purebred puppy consider the country the breed originated from. For example, if you have a Rottweiler or German Shepherd then a German dog name would be a great choice. The same goes for your French Bulldog, or Italian Mastiff etc. etc.

You can also consider the breed specific traits of your new companion as well as his parents names and so on.

Adult German Shepherd dog with large stick in his mouth, running alongside German Shepherd puppy

how about a theme?

A great way to find names that are not so 'run of the mill' is to think of a theme.. this also helps later on if you're adding another pup to your home. You can pick two names that work together and sound cute! 

When it comes to themes, there are just way too many to list, but here are a few that might jump-start your imagination

  • Cartoon characters
  • Celebrities or movie stars
  • Sports stars or teams
  • Music - ie bands, rock stars, opera, country music stars
  • Presidents
  • Artists
  • Famous dogs

... the list could go on and on and on.....


Here's a quick look at the top twenty boy and girl puppy names over the last three years according to Rover.com

Notice that the names don't change much from year to year. They flip-flop in position and occasionally a new name, or two, appears but they are all firm favorites and consistently popular.

top 20 Girl puppy names

2016

  • Bella
  • Lucy
  • Daisy
  • Lola
  • Luna
  • Molly
  • Sadie
  • Sophie
  • Bailey
  • Maggie
  • Chloe
  • Lily
  • Stella
  • Zoey
  • Penny
  • Roxy
  • Coco
  • Gracie
  • Ruby
  • Mia

2017

  • Bella
  • Lucy
  • Daisy
  • Luna
  • Lola
  • Sadie
  • Molly
  • Maggie
  • Bailey
  • Sophie
  • Chloe
  • Stella
  • Lily
  • Penny
  • Zoey
  • Coco
  • Roxy
  • Gracie
  • Mia
  • Nala

2018

  • Bella
  • Lucy
  • Luna
  • Daisy
  • Lola
  • Sadie
  • Molly
  • Bailey
  • Maggie
  • Stella
  • Sophie
  • Chloe
  • Penny
  • Zoey
  • Lily
  • Coco
  • Roxy
  • Gracie
  • Rosie
  • Nala



top 20 boy puppy names

2016

  • Max
  • Charlie
  • Buddy
  • Cooper
  • Jack
  • Rocky
  • Bear
  • Duke
  • Toby
  • Tucker
  • Oliver
  • Bentley
  • Milo
  • Teddy
  • Jake
  • Leo
  • Jax
  • Dexter
  • Zeus
  • Louie

2017

  • Max
  • Charlie
  • Cooper
  • Buddy
  • Jack
  • Rocky
  • Bear
  • Tucker
  • Oliver
  • Duke 
  • Toby 
  • Bentley
  • Milo
  • Teddy
  • Leo
  • Winston
  • Jax
  • Zeus
  • Louie
  • Murphy

2018

  • Max
  • Charlie
  • Cooper
  • Buddy
  • Jack
  • Rocky
  • Duke
  • Bear
  • Oliver
  • Tucker
  • Milo
  • Bentley
  • Toby
  • Leo
  • Teddy
  • Jax
  • Zeus
  • Winston
  • Murphy
  • Louie


Just for fun, here are a few random dog naming facts according to a nationwide survey conducted in 2018 by rover.com:

The most common theme for pet names is a character from a tv show, video game, movie or book. Results showed that 33% of dog owners named their puppy this way.

12% of pet owners gave their puppy a name of a food or drink (think Honey, Muffin, or Chip for example)

Another 12% named their pup after a famous or historical person

4% of people used a brand name for their pet (eg. think Nike, or Chevy).

75% of dog owners wait to meet their puppy before choosing a name

Over 80% of owners give their pups nicknames, and two or three different ones are common.

Cute Pomeranian pup close up

There are so many adorable dog names to choose from and my site has several pages dedicated to this very topic! 

If you're looking for something different, unique, or with a certain international 'flair', why not check out some of these dog name pages...


If you're still looking, or just want to cover all your bases, a good dog naming book can always help:



› Choosing Puppy Names

› Choosing Puppy Names

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