Creative Names for Dogs

By Maggie Bradburn

When you get a new dog, deciding upon the name can be be overwhelming. While there are many common pet names, it's easy to come up with a creative name for your dog that won't get lost among the Spots and Rexes. But remember: Though it's fun to think of a creative name, make sure it's a name you won't mind yelling loudly to call your dog in your neighborhood or at the local park.

Avoid Common Names

According to a survey conducted by VPI Pet Insurance, Max and Molly are the most common male and female dog names. Consider a list like VPI's as a starting point; once you review - and eliminate - the most common male and female names, you're well on your way to finding a creative dog name. The same rule applies for popular dog characters. Names of movie characters like Lassie and Lady are extremely common. For creative ideas, troll animal shelter websites. Because they take in animals constantly, the pet names are often creative and uncommon and could spark the inspiration for your new dog's name.

Consider Alternate Sources

Rather than recycling common dog names, consider names from unexpected sources. Think about the characters from your favorite book or movie. For example, Huck and Frodo are far more creative than Spot and Buster. Remember, though, stay away from names of dog characters because those tend to be frequently used. Another option is to consider adjectives and adverbs over proper nouns. For example, if you have a really rambunctious pup, consider an adjective like Rowdy. Jot down a few words to describe your pup's personality, and consult a thesaurus for options.

Think Like a Trainer

When selecting a creative name for your dog, think like a dog trainer to avoid common pitfalls. You are probably going to teach your pup some basic commands like sit, come, and down, and you may want to teach him some fun tricks, too. Make sure that your name doesn't sound too much like a common command. For example, a dog named Joe might get a little confused when you tell him no, or Clown might get mixed up with the down command. Also, shorter names tend to be easier for the dog and easier for you. Imagine trying to call your dog Finnegan or Constance at the dog park; chances are all those syllables will get lost in the noise at the park. Focus on a shorter name with solid consonants (Trudy instead of Sis) to ensure an attention-getting name for your new pup.