Best male dog names, Best female dog names 2018

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The definitive guide to choosing unique male and female dog names

There are 100 ways to choose a name for you dog. If you have a Dalmation, 101! 🙂

Choosing a name for your dog is a big responsibility. You want a name that reflects your dog’s personality and, perhaps, says a little bit about you.Picking your dog's name ain't always easy

You may want a unique male dog name or a cool male dog name. If you’ve a girl, as well as unique female dog names, you might consider cute female dog names, too.

In this article I’ll look at ways to pick the best male and female dog names which suit you and your dog.

There will be lots of dog name suggestions plus lots of ways you can research great, unique dog names for yourself.

How I picked my dogs’ names

I may have been lucky in the dog naming department because when I looked at each dog, their name just sort of popped into my head – Henry, Wesley, Monty and Murphy.

Beer or dog - you decide!I wasn’t trying to think of anything particularly cool or unique, I just wanted a name that fitted them. Those names worked for me and my dogs and that’s what we want to do here – find a name that works for you and your dog.

Dog or beer - you decide!The names do share several features which I doubt I was aware of at the time. They’re all ‘human’ names, they’re all two syllables and they all end with a ‘y’.

I don’t think the humanness was a factory – do many people call their child Montgomery or Murphy? – I just thought the names were a good reflection of the dogs.

Murphy, however, I can tell you a little more about. He was black and tan and I used to say he was named after the beer! How my mind made that connection, we will not go into here.

The practicality of two syllables

Two syllables, two puppies - no problemOne of things you need to consider when naming your fog is how the name is going to sound and how you’re going to feel shouting it out in the park or on the beach.

The two syllables in my dogs’ names might have been a coincidence but I do think it’s a good starting point. However, the last syllable in particular is important.

The names are all easy to shout – Heeeenryyyy, Weeeesleyyyy, Moooontyyyy, Muuuurphyyyy.

And you can shout them without embarrassment.

A name like Beau, for example, doesn’t contain a good shouty vowel. The ‘eau’ comes from a constricted throat which will get sore if you shout it long enough, and you simply can’t shout it as easily or as forcefully as the ‘ee’ sound. There’s another reason for not choosing Beau which we’ll get to in a minute.

The problem with more syllables

Take the name Oliver, which is a fine dog name if it fits. Stretching all three syllables might be over egging the pudding and possibly confusing – Ooooliiiiveeeer.

It also has a throaty last syllable which is not quite as easy to shout as ‘ee’.

It’s also useful to be able to say the name quickly and shortly if you need to get your dog’s attention in a hurry.

Most two syllables work well but if you opt for something more exotic such as Edmond O’Brien (you need to be of an age to know him although some people have named their dog after Conor O’Brien), there is no way this can be used to call your dog or command him.

Most people who give their dogs longer names – and that’s perfectly fine – use a ‘pet’ name 🙂 for them when calling them. So in the above examples, it might be Eddie, Conor or maybe Brien.

Dog name vowels

You want dog vowels? I'll give you dog vowels!When picking a name, go into your back yard or garden and shout it out and see how it sounds and how it feels.

I have friends who have just bought a gorgeous Doberman puppy which they have named Jasper. The end ‘er’ syllable is on a par with Oliver – Jaaaaspeeeer – so if they show signs of a sore throat over the next few months I’ll know Jasper has taken a little more training then they expected.

Their other dog is called Molly 🙂

Dog name guidelines

Jasper the DobermanYou are, of course, free to pick any dog name you wish, but here are a few guidelines that you might want to consider.

  • 1 or 2 syllables work best. They’re easy to say and the dog is less likely to get confused.
  • Make sure all the family likes the name and is happy to use it.
  • Don’t pick a name that might be confused with a command such as Brit (sit) or Mick (sit), or Beau (no). ‘Brit sit’ might sound amusing the first 100 time s but it could confuse your dog. And be wary of ‘Calum come’, ‘Drum, come’, ‘Fletch fetch’, ‘Eve leave’, ‘Fay stay’… you get the idea.
  • Avoid intimidating names such as Brute, Fang or Killer – you don’t want visitors or stranger to get the wrong idea…
  • Avoid funny names. Even if dogs only react to their name sound – more on this next – they read body language well. You want a name that gives them some respect and dignity, not one which makes fun of them. They will know.
  • Although your puppy is cute and adorable now, if their name is too babyish it may not suit a fully-grown dog.

Do dogs identify with their name?

In other words, when you call their name, does your dog think “that’s me”? Self identification in this way is actually an abstract concept and one which divides dog behaviourists.

My name's "Come and get it"!One school of thought suggests that your dog hears its name and associates it with a follow-up command or an event such as ‘sit’ or, more hopefully, here’s a treat!

I reckon most dog owners believe that their dog does know their name. If that’s true and your dog doesn’t come when called, do they know that you’re calling them or are they being disobedient? A discussion for another day.

Whether they know their name or are simply responding to a sound, your dog’s name is important because the y will be hearing it a lot and need to recognise it. And don’t forget, you will be saying it a lot, too.

Should your dog have a human name?

This is another question that has the pundits divided. One school of thought suggests that by giving our dog a human name we anthropomorphise them too much.

Human? Aren't we all?Ha! As if we would! 🙂 Who doesn’t have a dog that is more human than some humans they know?

The concern is that we expect them to be more human than they are and forget that they are dogs.

I guess if we keep in mind that the snugly fur, the cold wet nose and the long pink tongue that licks us to death belong to a dog and not a human we should be all right. (Sardonic humour in case you were wondering…)

All my dogs had human names although they weren’t picked with that in mind.

A couple of years after I got my first dog, Henry, I had a friend who was also called Henry. When he was visiting and my Mother shouted of the dog, my friend would usually answer. Until he realised what was happening when he’d ask me quietly: “Is that me or the dog?”

Almost half of dog names are human names and I don’t see that trend ending any time soon. And, the above experience notwithstanding, I don’t see any problem with it.

Lists of the best dog names

If you Google dog names – and I’m sure you will if you haven’t done so already – you’ll find dozens of sites containing dozens of lists of possible dog names.

And you’re still here! 🙂

Here are a few lists of dog names I’ve compiled, most limited to 3 syllables.

I haven’t applied any of the ‘guidelines’ suggested earlier – name selection, after all, is between you, your dog, you family, your neighbours, you friends, strangers you meet on walks and anyone else who may hear it 

Most popular male dog names

This is a list of some of the best and most popular male dog names, arranged alphabetically.

Ace          Bailey     Bandit    Baxter      Bear        Beau      Benji
Benny      Bentley   Blue       Bo            Boomer   Brady     Brody
Bruce      Bruno      Brutus    Buddy      Buster     Casey     Cas
Chance   Charlie    Chase   Chester     Chewy    Chico      Coco
Cody       Cooper   Copper  Dexter       Diesel     Duke       Finn
Frankie   George    Gizmo    Gunner    Gus         Hank       Harley
Henry      Hunter     Jack      Jackson    Jake       Jasper     Jax
Joey        King        Kobe     Koda         Leo         Loki         Louie
Lucky      Luke        Mac      Marley      Max        Mickey     Milo
Moose     Murphy   Odin      Oliver       Ollie        Oreo        Oscar
Otis         Peanut    Prince    Ranger    Rex         Riley        Rocco
Rocky     Roscoe    Rudy     Rusty       Sam        Sammy    Scout
Shadow  Simba      Sparky  Tank         Teddy      Thor        Toby
Tucker    Tyson       Walter   Winston    Zeke       Zeus        Ziggy

Most popular female dog names

And here’s a list of the best and most popular female dog names.

Abby        Allie        Angel         Annie         Athena     Ava         Baby
Bailey      Bella       Belle          Bonnie       Brandy     Cali         Callie
Casey      Charlie   Charlotte    Charlotte   Chloe       Cleo        Coco
Cookie     Daisy      Dakota      Delilah       Dixie         Ella         Ellie
Emma      Fiona     Georgia     Gigi            Ginger      Gracie     Harley
Harper     Hazel      Heidi         Holly          Honey        Ivy          Izzy
Jasmine   Josie       Katie        Kona          Lacey        Lady        Layla
Leia         Lexi         Lilly          Lily             Lola           Lucy        Lulu
Luna        Macy       Maddie    Maggie       Marley      Maya       Mia
Mila         Millie        Minnie     Missy         Mocha       Molly       Nala
Nina        Nova        Olive       Oreo           Paisley      Peanut    Pearl
Penny     Pepper    Phoebe   Piper           Princess    Riley       Rosie
Roxie      Roxy        Ruby       Sadie          Sandy        Sasha     Scout
Shadow  Shelby     Sophie     Stella         Sugar         Sydney   Trixie
Willow     Winnie     Xena        Zoe            Zoey

Looking for dog names beyond the popular

Looking through a list of names is a good start but after a while you may find they blur and none jump out at you. Or perhaps you want something a little more personal, more unique.

You want something that you associate with your puppy, that reflects something of their look or style or personality. When you find the right name, it will often just click – you’ll know that’s the right name.

If you still haven’t picked a name, let’s make it a little more personal.

What does your puppy suggest to you?

Take a look at your puppy. What aspects stand out?

It could be their colour, their face, the way they move or play, the way they investigate new things, the way they look at you – anything that contributes to their character.

Names for black dogs

Let’s say they’re black. One of my favourite writing tools is the Thesaurus.

Put ‘black’ into it and you’ll get a list of words which mean black. Are there any that suggest a dog’s name?

Here’s a complete list of the words the search produced. A few suggest possible dog names.

  • Brunet BrunoI'm definitely a Jet!
  • Charcoal Charlie
  • Clouded Cloud
  • Coal
  • Ebony Ebbie
  • Jet Jet
  • Obsidian Sid
  • Onyx
  • Pitch
  • Raven Raven
  • Sable Sable
  • Slate
  • Sloe
  • Atramentous
  • Dingy
  • Dusky Dusky
  • Ebon Bony
  • Inklike
  • Livid Livi
  • Melanoid Melanie
  • Murky
  • Piceous
  • Pitch-Dark
  • Shadowy Shadow
  • Somber
  • Sombre
  • Sooty
  • Starless
  • Stygian Styggy
  • Swart

There are other obvious names here. Although I think they’re okay as a name, I personally wouldn’t go for names such as Cloud or Jet. But the object here is to help YOU pick a name.

In Thesaurus, you can click on any of the word suggestions and get a new list of words.

You can also try words which are suggestive of or related to black such as night, dark, ink and so on. Here are some name suggestions arising from digging further into those words.

  • Evening  Evie
  • Sunset   Sunny, Sonny
  • Misty      Misty

You get the idea.

Names for white dogs

I'm, definitely an AshleyUsing the same process, here are some names for a white dog:

  • Silver      Silver
  • Frosted   Frosty
  • Ashen     Ashley
  • Chalky    Chalky
  • Snowy    Snowy

Dog names by breed

Have you ever met a Jack Russell named Jack? Or a Doberman called Dobie?

I think there can be a certain aptness to names related to a dog’s breed. They don’t necessarily have to be derived from the name; you can use associations, even obscure ones.

Different dog associations recognise different numbers of dog breeds ranging from 202 to 344. Wikipedia’s List of dog breeds totals over 500.

I’ve scanned the list and picked out a few which may be helpful if you want to consider a name based on your dog’s breed.Affi, Affi, Affi - I love it!

  • Affi Afghan Hound.
  • Alfy Great Dane. Adding a twist to historical reality, King Alfred (Alfy) the Great (849 AD – 899 AD) famously defeated the Danes at the Battle of Ashdown. You could also look for inspiration in the list of the Top 10 Most Famous Danes. Or a larger list of Notable Danish people.
  • Bernie Bernese Mountain Dog or St. Bernard.
  • Charlie King Charles Spaniel.
  • Chico Chihuahua.
  • Christy Old Danish Pointer. We’re back to the Danes with the addition of a terrible pun. This is named for Christen Købke who was an old Danish painter!
  • Dobie Doberman Pinscher.
  • Elkie Any Elkhound.
  • Finn Any Finnish dog.
  • Foxy Any Foxhound or Fox Terrier.
  • Freddy Bohemian Shepherd. This is an association name – Freddy Mercury of Queen who wrote Bohemian Rhapsody.
  • Jack, Jacky, Jackie Jack Russell Terrier.
  • Maria, Anna Any Russian breed. These names are among the most popular Russian names.
  • Minnie Any Miniature dog.
  • Otto Otterhound.
  • A Painter?? Any Pointer.  As with the Old Danish Pointer, you can have fun with any Pointer by naming them after a painter. You need a certain type of humour to do this (yes, I’m guilty!) but as long as it’s a good dog name, the origin is not so important. Here’s A list of the Best Painters of all-timeAnd if none of them do the job, here’s Wikipedia’s List of painters by name.
  • Rudi Rhodesian Ridgeback.Yep, Rudi's good!
  • Shep Any Shepherd dog. In the UK, Blue Peter viewers of a certain age will remember John Noakes and Shep who was probably the most famous dog in the UK at the time.
  • Smoky Greyhound. I hope this doesn’t require an explanation.
  • Terry, Terri Any Terrier.
  • Tyson Boxer. Or any boxer of your choice.

As shown with the Dane and Russian names, if your dog’s breed has a country in it, you could pick a person or a name from that country.

Otherwise look beyond the obvious.

But the overriding factor is that ht name fits your dog.

What do you like?

You want a name that has meaning for you and your dog so try this…

Pick a subject that you like and look at names associated with it.

Names based on strong women

Let’s stake strong and inspirational women.

I’ve included the names of the women who inspired the dog name although many famous women have the same name.

  • Flo, Gale Florence Nightingale.Cleo's a beautiful name for a beautiful dog!
  • Cleo Cleopatra.
  • Vikki Queen Victoria.
  • Maria Maria Theresa.
  • Cathy Catherine the Great.
  • Lizzie Queen Elizabeth.
  • Bodie Boudica.
  • Hildy Hildegard of Bingen.
  • Ellie Eleanor of Aquitaine.
  • Emmy Emily Dickinson.
  • Mary Mary Queen of Scots.
  • Coco Coco Chanel.
  • Eva Eva Peron.
  • Marie Marie Curie.
  • Annie Ann Frank.
  • Rosa, Rosie Rosa Parks.
  • Issi Isabella I of Spain.
  • Neffi Nefertiti.
  • Rubbi Helena Rubinstein.
  • Oprah Oprah Winfrey.

For more inspiration, Forbes has a list of the world’s most powerful women.

Politicised female dog names

There are and have been many powerful women in politics although you might want to think twice about whether to give your dog an overtly political name. I’m sure your dog won’t care but do you want to engage in political discourse every time you shout for your dog in the park?

Of course, many political leaders have innocuous names so only you would know who they are.

  • Maggie Margaret Thatcher.
  • Hillary Hillary Clinton.
  • Angela Angela Merkel. Angela is pronounced with a hard ‘g’ – ann-gella. Or you could just call your dog Angie.
  • Terri Theresa May.
  • Sonia Sonia Gandhi.

Here’s a list of the top 100 women of history.

And here’s a list of Women who changed the world.

Names based on powerful men

Let’s apply the same principle to find names based on powerful men.

  • Berty Albert Einstein.I invented the theory of dogativity!
  • Leo Leonardo da Vinci.
  • Ari Aristotle.
  • Charlie Charles Darwin.
  • Willy William Shakespeare.
  • Marty Martin Luther King.
  • Lincoln Abraham Lincoln.
  • George, Georgy George Washington.
  • Bony Napoleon Bonaparte.
  • Wolfy Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
  • Benjy, Benny Benjamin Franklin.
  • Micky Michelangelo.
  • Henry Henry Ford.
  • Billy Bill Gates.
  • Archy Archimedes.
  • Louis Louis Pasteur.
  • Disney Walk Disney.
  • Stevie Steve Jobs.
  • Siggy Sigmund Freud.
  • Marco Marco Polo.

And we’ll throw in a few politicians.

  • Barak Bark Obama
  • Ronnie Ronald Reagan
  • Frankie Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Jonnie John F. Kennedy
  • Harry Harry S. Truman

Here’s a list of The Most Influential Politicians in American History.

The internet is replete with lists if you want to fine-tune your name search.

Movie star dog names

If you’re a movie buff, there are hundreds of stars you can base your dog’s name on. Let’s see what pops up here.

Male move star dog names

  • Jacky Jack Nicholson.
  • Marley, Brandy Marlon Brando.
  • Robby Robert De Niro.
  • Ally Al Pacino, this could also be a female name.
  • Danny, Lewey Daniel Day-Lewis.
  • Dusty Dustin Hoffman.
  • Tommy, Hank Tom Hanks.
  • Denny Denzel Washington.
  • Laurie Laurence Olivier.
  • Jamie James Stewart.
  • Penny Sean Penn, although strictly a female dog’s name.
  • Cooper Gary Cooper.
  • Scotty George C. Scott.
  • Cagney James Cagney.
  • Richie Richard Burton.
  • Eddy Edward Norton.
  • Huey Hugh Jackman.
  • Downey Robert Downey Jr.
  • Sammy Samuel L. Jackson.
  • Murray Bill Murray.

Female movie star dog names

  • Kathy Katharine Hepburn.
  • Barbie Barbra Streisand.You know how to whistle don't you? Just put your lips together and blow.
  • Laurie Lauren Bacall.
  • Berry Halle Berry.
  • Jodie Jodie Foster.
  • Greta Greta Garbo.
  • Ava Ava Gardner.
  • Kelly Grace Kelly.
  • Myrna Myrna Loy.
  • Talie Natalie Portman.
  • Ginger Ginger Rogers.
  • Jessie Jessica Biel.
  • Megan Megan Fox.
  • Maddie Madison Riley.
  • Zooey Zooey Deschanel.
  • Minka Minka Kelly.
  • Emma Emma Stone.
  • Zoë Zoë Kravitz.
  • Lily Lily James.
  • Suki Suki Waterhouse.

Again, there are dozens of lists out there if you need more inspiration.

Rock and pop stars and other celebrities

You can run through the same process with rock, pop and music stars, TV stars, celebrities, celebrities who are famous simply for being famous – you know who they are – and any other section of modern culture that appeals to you.

Although the movie star names may sound exotic or conjure up exotic memories from their movies, many of the dog names are fairly ordinary. Although doesn’t make them any less appealing or fitting.

But if you didn’t know the derivation of Jacky, Robbie, Danny, Katy, Kelly or Emma you may wish for a name that IS more exotic.

Celebrities’ dogs’ names

If you have a favourite film star or celebrity, you might consider naming your dog after their dog!

Being celebrities, many have given their dogs unique names which ignore the ‘guidelines’ described earlier. Of course, celebrities can do what they want 

But as long as everyone’s happy, that’s fine.

One thing to bear in mind, though, is that not all celebs walk their own dog, certainly not all the time. Or, if they do, not always in public.

Many employ dog walkers and dog carers and although they may love their dogs, many stars don’t deal with the day-to-day doggy chores.

So while they may enjoy curling up with Thurman Murman (yes, we’re looking at you, Rachael Bilson), Coleman Hawkins (Eric Stonestreet) or Ghenghis Khan (Martha Stewart) they probably don’t have to call them in public – or hope that they in any way understand their name.

Of course, not all celebrities give their dogs outlandish names (thank you Jessica Simpson for Daisy and Debra Messing for Henry) so I have pruned the more obvious and ordinary dog names from the list.

  • Allegra Hugh Jackman.
  • Asia Lady Gaga.
  • Atticus Jake Gyllenhaal.
  • Bambi Paris Hilton.
  • Baylor Selena Gomez.
  • Bean Miley Cyrus.
  • Bear Jennifer Lopez.
  • Bess Sienna Miller.
  • Bit Bit Brittany Spears.
  • Blu Paris Hilton.
  • Bo Barack Obama.
  • Buddy Demi Lovato.
  • Buddy Bill Clinton.
  • Change Ruby Rose.
  • Cher Rita Ora.
  • Chloe Lauren Conrad.
  • Coleman Hawkins Eric Stone.treet.
  • Dali Hugh Jackman.
  • Dora Liam Hemsworth.
  • Dot Zoey Deschanel.
  • Dozer Natalie Coughlin.
  • Elvis Pink.
  • Emu Miley Cyrus.
  • Enzo Nikki Reed.
  • Esmerelda Anne Hathaway.
  • Finn Amanda Seyfried.
  • Flossie Drew Barrymore.
  • Floyd Miley Cyrus..
  • Francesca Martha Stewart.
  • Gary Jimmy Fallon.
  • Gertie Katherine Heigl.
  • Ghenghis Khan Martha Stewart.
  • Happy Kate Bosworth.
  • Harley Julianne Hough.
  • Hero Kelly Osbourne.
  • Honeychild Nicole Richie.
  • Indo Will Smith.
  • Isaboo Rachael Ray.
  • Jinxy Eva Longoria.
  • Josie B Kerry Washington.
  • Koji Lady Gaga.
  • Lexi Julianne Hough.
  • Lola Hilary Duff.
  • Lola Alessandra Ambrosio.
  • Lua Tom Brady & Gisele Bundchen.
  • Lucky Brittany Spears.
  • Lupo Kate Middleton & Prince William.
  • Mate Miley Cyrus.
  • Matzoball Adam Sandler.
  • Meatloaf Fergie.
  • Milky Miley Cyrus.
  • Mimi LaRue Tori Spelling.
  • Mona Jennifer Love Hewitt.
  • Mr. Butler Olivia Palermo.
  • Noodles Kelly Osbourne.
  • Norman Jennifer Aniston.
  • Oliver Rihanna.
  • Olympia Tony Azevedo.
  • Oprah Eva Longoria.
  • Oprah Winfree 50 Cent.
  • Penny Blake Lively.
  • Penny John Legend & Chrissy Teigen.
  • Pepe Rihanna.
  • Pippi Jennifer Lawrence.
  • Poppy Sandra Bullock.
  • Puddy John Legend & Chrissy Teigen.
  • Ru Ruby Rose.
  • Ruby Kaley Cuoco.
  • Ruby Sandra Bullock.
  • Saber Dizzy Grant.
  • Sammy Justin Bieber.
  • Scarlet Victoria Beckham.
  • Shadow Vanessa Hudgens.
  • Sharky Martha Stewart.
  • SheRa Natalie Coughlin.
  • Sherriff Christina Ricci.
  • Sid Jessica Alba.
  • Sidi Orlando Bloom.
  • Sophie Miley Cyrus.
  • Sunny President Obama.
  • Tammy Chelsea Handler.
  • Thurman Murman Rachael Bilson.
  • Tiffany Joey Lawrence.
  • Tina Jessica Biel.
  • Tinkerbell Paris Hilton.
  • Tucker Charlize Theron.
  • Vida Demi Moore.
  • Wink Selma Blair.
  • Winston Gwen Stefani.
  • Zelda Zoey Deschanel.

The literary dog

If you are of a literary bent, there are many sources of inspiration.

The process is the same – find characters you like and see if any of their names strike you as a great name for your dog. Here’s just a few examples – and you can bet someone somewhere has used these for their dog.

  • Seb Sebastian Dangerfield (The Ginger Man).
  • Logan Logan Mountstuart (Any Human Heart).
  • Atticus, Finch Atticus Finch (To Kill A Mockingbird) – Yes, Jake Gyllenhaal has a dog called Atticus.
  • Arturo, Bandini Arturo Bandini (Wait Until Spring, Bandini).
  • Kallas Dimitri Kallas (King Suckerman).
  • Huck, Finn Huckleberry Finn (Adventures of Huckleberry Finn).
  • Art, Arty, Keller Art Keller (The Power Of The Dog).
  • Renton Mark Renton (Trainspotting).
  • Holly Holly Golightly (Breakfast At Tiffany’s).
  • Snowball Snowball (Animal Farm).
  • Marlowe Philip Marlowe (The Big Sleep).
  • Shandy Tristam Shandy (The Life and Opinions of Tristam Shandy).
  • Palmer Andy Palmer (Generation X).
  • Lisbeth Lisbeth Salander (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo).
  • Randle Randle Patrick McMurphy (One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest).
  • Becky Becky Sharp (Vanity Fair).

Names from books and movies

You can get even more specific if you have a favourite book or movie. Some, of course, provide more exotic and unique names than others.

You can be sure that several human babies will already have been named after some of these characters.

Here’s a selection.

Names from Avatar

Aang    Akwey    Appa     Azula    Bolin    Bumi     Gyatso
Ikki       Iroh        Jinora   Katara   Korra   Kyoshi   Lin
Mae     Mako      Meelo   Momo   Neytiri  Ozai      Pasang
Pema  Rohan     Roku    Sokka   Suki     Tasji      Tenzin
Toph    Ty-Lee    Zhao    Zuko

Most of these are unique and quite a few would be suitable for a dog.

Names from Harry PotterRead the books? Now name your dog!

The world of Harry Potter is popular and vast. Most of the characters have ordinary names although there are a few more interesting female names than male.

There’s always Dobby (the House Elf) or Hedwig which I think is an unattractive name for a lovely (female) Owl, nevermind a dog.

Male names from Harry Potter

  • Kingsley
  • Lucius
  • Remus
  • Rufus
  • Seamus
  • Sirius

Female names from Harry Potter

  • Andromeda
  • Angelina
  • Arabella
  • Ariana
  • Aurora
  • Emmeline
  • Fleur
  • Gabrielle
  • Ginny
  • Hermione
  • Luna
  • Marietta
  • Minerva

Although there are some pretty names here, you may not want to shout Andromeda or Hermione in the park. Passers-by will think you’ve lost your child.

You can delve further into Potter lore as the books feature dozens and dozens of characters. Here’s a superb listing of Harry Potter characters.

Names from Lord of the Rings

...One ring to name then all..The number of names in LoTR is legion. I haven’t counted them but one source suggests there’s about 100, another 750.

There are rather fewer characters in the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy.

The internet abounds with Tolkien lists. Here’s a Wiki list of Middle Earth Elves.

Names from Game of Thrones

Again, there are hundreds of names to choose from.

Here’s a Wikipedia list of Game of Thrones characters.

And here’s a great list from production company HBO of the Game of Thrones cast and crew which helpfully includes photos of the characters to refresh your memory.

I can guarantee that there are already dogs called Tyrion, Cersei and Daenerys. And I’d put money on the fact that there is more than one human child walking around with those names, too

Nothing wrong with the names which are excellent but in the series they belong, respectively, to a patricidal dwarf, an incestuous psychopath and a Dragon Queen. Actually, Daenerys is really cool but it’s so unique everyone will know who you’re named after.

Onwards and upwards…

Names from Blade Runner

I’ll offer one more list, simply because it’s from one of my favourite movies, Blade Runner, based on a novel called Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by one of my favourite writers, Philip K. Dick.

  • Deckard Rick Deckard
  • Bryant Harry Bryant
  • Holden Dave Holden
  • Leon Leon Kowalski
  • Eldon Dr. Eldon Tyrell
  • Zhora Zhora Salome

Dogs named after flowers

Do you want a name more horticultural than Daisy?This is more for girl dogs but there are some boy names in there as well. Most plant and flower names come from the Latin which is why they sound like Roman soldiers or an infectious disease.

Not the best source of dog names, perhaps, but if you’re a horticulturist and still searching, you could plough – sorry! – through these.

I actually sifted through over two-thousand names to find these which either are, or are based on, flower names. I like a few.

Ames       Beckley       Benton       Berkeley      Boone
Cedar      Chester       Chico         Cody            Custer
Dallas      Davis          Denver       Dillon           Dixon
Fargo      Harlan         Homer        Milton          Norton
Palmer    Pasco         Quincy        Selma          Shelby
Sitka        Troy            Valdez

If you think your puppy definitely should have a flower name, here’s a comprehensive list of Wiki Flowers.

Dogs named after spices

Spices don’t all derive from the Latin and some have unusual and exotic names. From common herbs, I found these:

Anise     Balti     Cassia     Fennel     Pepper

There are more comprehensive lists on the web. Here’s a List of culinary herbs and spices.

Dogs named after countries

Name your dog after a country and the World's your oyster...Naming children after countries and places has become increasingly popular over the last few years.

Almost 20 years ago, one of my cousins named their daughter India which, when all’s said and done is actually a nice name. Their Uncle asked if they were going to name their next daughter Pakistan.

We rolled on the floor in merriment while my cousins brewed a bitter cup of something, but this does highlight the fact that not all places are named equally.

You might say that beauty is in the ear of the be-listener – or not! – so here’s my pick of countries that might serve as a dog name, too.

  • Ozzy (Australia)
  • China
  • Cuba
  • Georgia
  • Jordan
  • Mali
  • Marshall (Marshall Islands)
  • Togo
  • Tonga

What! No India? I think it’s a great name for a girl but not a great choice for a dog.

Dogs named after places in the UK

Perhaps it’s because I’m from the UK but I find few English place names have much of an attractive quality. You wouldn’t want to call anything Hull, Throop or Crudwell. Not even Hull, Throop or Crudwell… 

Actually, yes, there are a few good names in the UK. Here’s some possible boy dog names:

Dudley       Lincoln       Camden       Easton       Kingston
Chester     Burton        Carlton         Walton

And some for girl dogs:

Denby       Amberley       Hailey       Paisley       Selby

Dog names from the USA

For some reason, the USA is full of attractive-sounding names. The number of celebrities who have named their children after American cities is growing. Names such as Arizona and Brooklyn are common, but who will be the first to name their son Fort Payne?

There are lots of super human names but let’s see if there are any place names that might fit your puppy.

Ames        Beckley        Benton        Berkeley        Boone
Cedar       Chester        Chico           Cody             Custer
Dallas       Davis            Denver        Dillon            Dixon
Fargo       Harlan           Homer         Milton           Norton
Palmer     Pasco           Quincy        Selma            Shelby
Sitka        Troy               Valdez

As ever, some names are better than others, but the important thing is that one resonates with you and your dog.

If you want to explore further, here’s a List of cities and towns in the United States.

How to make sure your dog’s name fits

I believe your dog’s name should reflect their personality. We make so many assumptions based on a name.

Tiny is on the left!Let’s say you’re introduced to a smart, middle-aged man. I venture to suggest that you’ll have a different initial opinion of him if he’s introduced as Dickie, rather than Sir Richard. When you get to know him your opinion may change but we do place great store in names.

So although there may be an ironic tilt in calling a Great Dane Tiny, it’s hardly fitting and not reflective of the dog’s status or station in life.

When you’ve found a name you like, look at your dog and ask yourself: “Do they look like a —-?” You’ll may get a No or a Maybe. It’s a YES you’re looking for!

I’ll leave the final word with a friend of a friend who said he called his dog Deefer. I asked him why and he said: “Deefer dog.”

We groaned…

I hope you enjoyed this article and found it useful.

Let us know how you picked the perfect name for your dog in the Comments below, and please pass on any dog-naming tips you might have. I will reply to all Comments as soon as possible.

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8 comments on “Best male dog names, Best female dog names 2018

  1. teaches me a great lesson. I never knew that even Dogs need some respect and not to be called by funny names. Dogs really deserve good names like people and not given names that scare people.

    So my question is – is it possible to change my Dogs name from the current name?

    • Thank you very much for your comment and contribution.

      Yes, dogs are human, too 🙂 And for many dog owners, they’re more human than some humans!

      Dogs are sensitive to many aspects of our behaviour. They read our body language and our moods which is why they’re such great company, especially when we’re feelling low. This sensitivity can also extend to our attitude towards them. They know when they’re being ignored – and most will let you know! – and they know how much you love them, too.

      If they have a funny or silly name, that will inevitably be reflected in your attitude towards them which will be mirrored in your body language, etc. That’s not to say you can’t have a ‘pet’ name for them. Murphy was my Little Fellow and Big Lad – at the same time! – but I loved all my dogs and treated them with a respect and dignity that I’d give to a friend. And I could hug them!

      Can you change your dog’s name? I hope it’s not called Brute or Killer! 🙂  Yes, it should be failry easy to do. Some authorities say dog’s don’t really recognise their name but know that ‘something’ happens after they hear it – hopefully dinner or a treat! 🙂 I’m not sure. Many dog owners will say that their dogs know their names.

      If you get a rescue dog, for example, you may not know their name or you may not like it so if you call them by a differnt name will they will soon pick up the signals.


  2. I didn’t realize so much could go into dog naming! This was very thorough. Personally I’ve named my dogs Killian and Bad Cop (from the movie LEGO Movie haha), but this list has given me so much to think about for my next dog! Maybe the next one will be a girl and I can really dig into the list of girl names. I love that you brought in pop culture to your list. Any Star Wars names you might suggest for a girl dog? Besides the obvious Leia or Rey haha

    • Hi Sydney – Killian and Bad Cop – that’s brilliant! If he does something naughty do you say: “Bad Bad Cop!”? Or does he just think his name is Cop? 🙂

      The main thing – for me, at least – is that the name suits the dog. It’s kinda weird to explain but you sorta know when  you have the right name. The most obvious Star Wars name for a dog is Chewy! 🙂 But not sure if that would fit a girl. Everyone would know where Leiac comes from although it’s a great name.

      If you search further afield you might find a name that is unusual but only Star Wars fans would recognise :-). Of course you can go for tech and geeky if you want but I’d be inclined to look at names that also sound feminine. Try these: Hera, Mara, Traya, Beru, Aphra. There’s also Rose who’s a character in the series although for a dog I’d probably use Rosie.

      Come back and let us know what you decide. With photos 🙂

  3. What a great and very detailed article, you have given an absolute wealth of choices of dogs names here! 

    At some point we will be getting two puppies which we want to be brothers from the same litter, so I know exactly where to head to now for their ever so important Names.

    At the moment we have a senior dog, she is a Jack Russell and her name is Holly – because she was born on Xmas Eve. 

    • Ha! Ha! Thanks, Dianne.

      I know people called Holy, Carol, Angela and Eve. There’s probably more Christmasy names than that!

      Holly’s a great name for a dog – it has the doggy vowel! 🙂 – and I could also seee Evie working. Maybe Angie.

      Brothers – or sisters? Now that’s something I didn’t actually look at. The only suggestion I’d make is not to give them similar-sounding names like Beau and Joe or Chester and Dexter 🙂 You can see why!

      Do pop back and let’s know what you call then  – and send us a photo!

      Thanks for stopping by,

  4. Hi Ian,
    I certainly will pop back with a photo.
    You’rw right about making sure their names are not similar……What about something like… Bruno and Mars…hahaha!

    • Thanks, Dianne – look forward to the piccies 🙂

      Bruno and Mars is brilliant! But the mind just goes walkabout after that!

      Mike and Jackson
      Bob and Dylan
      Kayne and West
      Taylor and Swift (sounds male)
      Travis and Scott
      Brad and Pitt
      Harry and Ford
      Tom and Cruise
      Bruse and Willis

      and two which probably wouldn’t hit the spot:

      Ed and Sheeran
      Just and Beiber

      It’s endless! Thanks, Dianne,

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