You’ve just brought a fluffy little ball of fur home – and it needs a name. If you’re like people who pick the most popular dog names, you’ll name the little critter after its personality or appearance traits. Most popular are names in 2021 will likely be Bear, Shadow, Lady, Lucky and Rocky. Or you’ll follow the lead of a large percentage of puppy namers and give it a “people” name such as Max, Buddy, Maggie, Molly, Bailey, Sam, Sadie, Lucy, Daisy, Casey or Cody. Max has already been the most popular dog’s name for two years’ running.
But if you want to ratchet your imagination up a notch or two, you can join those who are setting trends rather than following them. Here are some ideas:
For your good-looking Labrador or Golden Retriever, try Beauregard, which means handsome face.
Phoebe, meaning bright, shining star, could fit your little Maltese, Shih Tzu or Yorkie. But Coquette or Delilah might fit her flirty personality even better.
If you’ve got an impish poodle or dachshund, Elf, a small mischievous being with magical powers, could be the perfect name. Or tap into its wild side and name it Diablo or Dickens, a takeoff on “devil.” Casanova or Romeo could fit your amorous beagle. If you think your tubby little puppy will always be a little chunky, name it Gordito, which is Spanish for small, chubby thing.
Have a pit bull, rottweiler or German shepherd? You might want to try Bruiser (self-explanatory), or Domino (lord and master), Boris (fighter, warrior), Amazon, Beethoven, Hercules, Tarzan, Dakota or Goliath. Or, depending on your perspective, you might even like Budweiser. If your big dog is beautiful to no one but you, Shrek might be a good name.
Boxer dog owners can try Tyson, Ali or even Sugar Ray. Nike is a great name for the dog who likes long walks in the park.
You can even name your dog after your favorite celebrities’ dogs: Jake Gyllenhaal – Atticus; Nicole Ritchie – Honeychild; Leonardo DiCaprio – Rufus; Paris Hilton – Tinkerbell; Charlize Theron – Tucker. If musicians light your dog-naming fire, try Bruce, Elvis, Dylan, Madonna, Marley, Metallica, Mozart, Nirvana, Lennon or Zeppelin.
Want a fantasy name? Use Lord of the Rings as your inspiration: Boromir (human), Gimli (dwarf), Legolas (elf). Or Aragon (dark, loyal pet) or Frodo (little male pet).
Speaking of fantasies, we can’t forget Harry Potter, the book who gave us these possible names: Fang for a dog with long, pointed teeth; Flitwick, the professor, for your serious hound; Hagrid, keeper of the keys for a serious watchdog; Quidditch, the game played in the air on broomsticks, could fit a playful pet; Dumbledore, the wisest wizard of his generation, could fit any number of breeds. You can get cute with Hairy Pawter. Or name an intelligent female dog Hermione.
Two final suggestions. Whatever name you give the pooch, be sure it’s easy to call out and it’s a name that will grow with the pet.