Picking your dog is often easier than picking their name. It's true. In fact, choosing a name for your new dog is so challenging, many newly-crowned pet parents end up having a dozen nicknames for their pup. But choosing the perfect name doesn't have to be stressful.
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Unless you really want a somewhat old-fashioned moniker like Rover or Fido, rest assured that there is no shortage of puppy names that are right for your dog, whether you pick based on their personality, or just from a list of human names that you like. This dog naming guide includes important elements to consider when naming your new puppy, as well as lists with nearly 10,000 dog names categorized by breed, size, coat color, and personality.
Dog naming tips and considerations
Dog names are crucial for training. While it's entirely up to you, our editorial team recommends keeping your dog's name short and simple. Most trainers and dog experts say the best dog names are one or two syllable names because they quickly capture your pup's attention. It's a similar logic to how we give one-syllable commands to dogs like "stay" and "fetch." Finding single syllable names for dogs can be tough, which is why we composed a list of 170 one-syllable dog name ideas.
Common mistakes when naming a dog
Avoid sending mixed signals to your dog by giving them a name that is easily confused with a command. For example, avoid giving your dog, especially a new pup who is just learning, a name like Kit or Bo — which sounds too much like "sit" and "no."
Dogs prefer these syllables and sounds
Dogs typically respond well to names that begin with sharp consonant sounds and end in long vowels or with short "a" sounds, like Pookie or Krista. Strong consonants pair well with both elongated and abbreviated vowel sounds, activating the acoustic receptors in your dog's brain synapses. So your nickname for your sweet dog may be "Peanut," but that actually may not be such a bad name!
Best methods for naming a dog
If you need inspiration for naming your dog, our pet naming guide is brimming with techniques to help you find the right name for your pup! But here are a few of our favorites to get you started.
- Name Generators: The internet is brimming with name generators and there's one to match your unique personality and sense of flair. If you want your pet to have a Khaleesi-worthy name, try the Fantasy Name Generator. There are also generators for modern names, hipster names, sci-fi names, basically any kind of name and they're all just a google away.
- Baby Names: BabyNameWizard.com is a great resource for name games. These are technically intended to help parents-to-be brainstorm creative names for their little humans, but they can also serve as great inspiration for pet names.
- Make a list of your favorite things: The perfect pet baby name could be a seemingly random thing that's close to your heart. Add a professional or official title to said favorite noun and the adorable factor goes off the charts. Case-in-point: My best friend's dog is named Dr. Cheeseburger and it's the most perfect name that dog could have had.
- Keep it in the family: Speaking of family, you have a lot of name inspiration right on your family tree (or family section on Facebook or wherever). Track your relatives back in time and see if any of them have names worthy of your adorable new pet.
Top 100 most popular dog names
There are literally thousands of dogs names, but choosing one that expresses your dog's unique personality can be a daunting task. This is why our editorial team has gathered over 10,000 dog names that are a perfect fit for your pooch. But don't take our word for it — scroll through our lists of dog names to discover your best friend's new handle. Start with the 100 most popular dog names.
Girl dog names
Naming your dog can be tricky. Not only do you want to pick a name that is original and unique, it also needs to be consistent with our general guidance to ensure that your new best friend doesn't confuse her name with other common words and commands.
- Keep your female dog's name simple — a syllable or two — so that she can easily recognize her name.
- Avoid names that can be confused with commands like "drop" and "stay."
Here are the top 10 female dog names that your pup is sure to love just as much as you will!
If you're still looking for more inspiration, we have over 600 creative and unique names in our guide to naming female dogs.
Boy dog names
Naming the adorable new man in your life can be challenging, but with a little imagination and common sense, you will be able to find a name that is the perfect fit for your male dog's personality.
- Pick an uncomplicated name that rolls easily off the tongue.
- Choose a name that will accompany your dog through all the phases of his life.
Here is a list of the 10 most popular boy names for your male dog. If you still need more help naming your dog, scroll down to the dozen of naming lists below or click through to these 500 names for dogs.
Top 10 cute dog names
Most pet parents want an adorable name for their dogs that express their unbelievable cuteness. From dog names inspired by delicious desserts to perfect names for fluffy pups, we have the most popular cutes dog names for your new best friend.
10 best unique dog names
When choosing a name for your dog, it's important to consider an uncommon name that is unique to your dog. After all, it can be confusing when you call out Bella or Charlie at the dog park and a dozen dogs come running to you.
Selecting a name based on your dog's characteristics, personality or size can help you narrow down the wide range of dog names to find one that's right for you pup. Begin with this list of 250 unique and unusual dog names. We've got our 10 favorite listed below.
For more inspiration, click through to this list of 113 fun nicknames for dogs.
Names for dogs by personality and characteristics
Is your dog sassy and smart or sweet and strong? Regardless of your dog's unique personality or characteristics, these lists will help you discover a name that you never knew you loved.
Name a dog based on color
The color of your dog's coat can influence the name you pick. Click through these lists of names for black dogs, brown dogs, red dogs and white dogs to find your pup's new name.
Names for dogs by breed
Sometimes a dog's breed speaks volumes about their personality, which is why we've gathered these lists of dog names around breed, jobs and training.
Names for dogs by country and region
If you're indecisive about a name for your dog, why not just pick a place on the map? Better yet, click through our lists of dog names inspired by regions, countries and cultures. Name your dog based on where you adopted them using this guide to the most popular dog names in every U.S. state.
- Alaskan dog names
- Australian dog names
- British dog names
- Cajun dog names
- Celtic dog names
- Dutch dog names
- French dog names
- Greek dog names
- German dog names
- Hawaiian dog names
- Indian and Hindu dog names
- Irish dog names
- Italian dog names
- Japanese dog names
- Native American dog names
- New York-themed dog names
- Norwegian dog names
- Russian dog names
- Scottish dog names
- Spanish dog names
- Southern-inspired dog names
- Swedish dog names
Names for dogs inspired by pop culture
Santa's Little Helper, Picard, Chewbacca — whether you want a dog name from a popular television show or a name after your favorite character from a movie, these lists feature hundreds of names from popular culture.
- Cartoon character names for dogs
- Comic book character names for dogs
- Country western names for dogs
- Disney names for dogs
- Famous dogs from pop culture
- Hippie names for dogs
- Horror movie names for dogs
- Pokemon names for dogs
- Royal names for dogs
- Science Fiction names for dogs
- Simpsons character names for dogs
- Star Trek names for dogs
- Star Wars names for dogs
Names for dogs inspired by art, history and the natural world
Everest, Pluto, Mozart — these lists of names are perfect for families with an interest in science, geography and culture. We're pretty sure that you'll find a unique, clever name in one these dog-naming guides.
- Dog names inspired by alcohol
- Dog names inspired by desserts
- Dog names inspired by nature
- Literary dog names
- Nautical names for dogs
- Modern names for dogs
- Musical dog names
- Mythological dog names
- Viking dog names
- Space names for dogs
- Names for dogs inspired by flowers
- Names for dogs inspired by mountains
- Names for dogs inspired by puns
Naming your new best friend is one of the most exciting prospects for new pet parents. Some people have a name picked out years before they adopt a new dog, while others need a little inspiration. If you focus on our general guidance for selecting a dog name and use our lists of potential dog names, you're sure to find a name that both you and your dog will love!