The Best Dog Names for Your Pooch
You've brought your precious pup home, and now it's time to pick a name. You'll want to pick one that fits their personality but also won't be embarrassing to holler across a park or throughout your neighborhood when your doggo eventually takes a grand adventure around the block.
For your consideration, we've gathered 25 of the most popular girl and boy dog names from the American Kennel Club (AKC). Peruse this collection of interesting dog names to find out a bit about the history of the names as well as some helpful tips from the AKC on how to choose the perfect name for your pooch.
The name Abby means “father rejoiced” or “father's joy.”
Short for Abigail, Abby works better for a dog because, according to the AKC, it is best to choose a dog name that only has one or two syllables. Not only are they easier to say, but their short length also guarantees that you'll grab your dog's attention better.
While we think the name Ace could easily be used for boy or girl dogs, the alias was listed on the most popular boy dogs name list from the AKC.
The name Ace has a Latin origin and means “unity.” As you can imagine, a doggo with this name could bring new unity or harmony to your household.
The name Bella is a top choice for girl dogs with Italian origin and means “beautiful.”
There are quite a few famous characters and people named Bella, too. There is, of course, the main character in the “Twilight” books and movies. Charles Dickens also had a Bella in “Our Mutual Friend.” And then there is the current pop star Bella Thorne.
Several boy doggos go by the name Bentley, which not surprisingly tops the list of boy dog names from AKC.
The name Bentley is of English origin and means “meadow with coarse grass.” It's also the name of an incredibly pricey car.
The name Coco is French and chic, and we have fashion legend, Coco Chanel, to thank for it.
In French, the name was mostly used for pets, which makes it the perfect girl dog name. In Spanish, the name is considered an abbreviation of Socorro, which means “help.” Interestingly, the name sits on both AKC's lists for girl and boy dogs.
We love the name Chester for boy dogs. It sounds so regal. It has a Latin origin and means "fortress, walled town."
It was popular from the 1880s to 1929 and has come in and out of fashion ever since. Famous Chesters have included 21st U.S. President Chester Alan Arthur, American cartoonist Chester Gould and singer Chester Bennington (of Linkin Park fame).
Daisy is a popular name for pups and is English in origin. Considered to come from the name of the famous flower, Daisy means “day's eye.”
Pro tip: Dog experts recommend avoiding names that sound too similar to common commands you'll give your pet. The AKC uses the name "Kit" as an example. You'll say "Kit," but your doggo might hear "sit." With this in mind, Daisy is a perfect choice unless, of course, your dog here’s the word “lazy” a lot.
The name George is a popular first and last name for humans and is on the AKC's list for popular boy dog names.
George is a Greek name that means “farmer.” Naming experts say the name was well used from 1830 to 1950. But now that there’s a royal baby George in line to the British throne, folks are expecting a comeback — for both kids and their dogs.
The name Holly is popular among girl pups. It's English and comes from the word “holegn,” which means “to prick.”
The name’s more common reference is to the holly tree, which is known for its stiff, sharp leaves and bright red berries. Holly is associated with December and the Christmas holiday, so if you adopt your pup around this time of year, the name Holly would be extra fitting.
The name Jasper is typically given to boy pets. It is Persian and means “treasurer.”
While it has always been widespread, it became even more so after the “Twilight” books and movies featured a popular character of the same name.
Kona is a popular name in Hawaii, as Kailua-Kona is one of the biggest towns on the Big Island. Of course, there’s also Kona beer, Kona coffee, Kona winds — you get the point. And while it is a popular name for boys and girls on the Hawaiin islands, it is mostly a girl’s name when it comes to beloved pets.
While it is ever-present in Hawaii, the name Kona is used all over the world. In Greenland, for example, it means “woman” or “wife.” One translation in Hawaii means “lady.” But, also in Hawaii, it means “the world ruler” as well.
Consider the name Loki for your male doggo. It comes from the god of mischief in Norse mythology.
Of course, Marvel fans may not want to name their pooch after the often-enemy brother of Thor, but if you have a mischievous dog, it would be super fitting.
There are a ton of girl dog names that begin with the letter "M" on the AKC list, but we liked Missy because it's peppy for a pet.
Missy is of English origin and stems from the name Melissa, which is actually Greek and means “honeybee.”
Boy doggos might like the name Otis, which is German and means “wealthy.”
Plus, they'd be in good company alongside the dog from the Disney film “The Adventures of Milo and Otis.”
Penny is a popular girl's name for dogs. It is English and wouldn't be weird to shout across a park — especially with its relation to the ever-cool Penny Lane from the Beatles song of the same name.
In fact, be sure to shout (or use) your pet's name when they do something good, the experts say. “When a dog hears her name, it's a signal that whatever is coming next is meant for her,” according to the AKC. “Use her name frequently in a positive context, so she doesn't associate it with punishment or something negative.”
If you find that your good boy is a pretty chill pup, then you might consider the name Rocco. It is of German and Italian origin and means “rest.”
Famous Roccos include Madonna's son, and boxers Rocky Graziano and Rocky Marciano, who were both born Rocco.
In addition to being a precious gemstone, Ruby is a popular name for female pets.
Ruby is a Latin name, representing the famous red stone (and color, as a result). Interestingly, the ruby has the highest per-carat price of any colored stone.
Like baby names, dog names come in and out of fashion. And according to the AKC, this name is hot once again.
The name Scooter is primarily considered to be American and means “a person from Scotland.” But folks also consider it a nickname for the name Scott.
While Scout is considered a popular girl name, we think it could be given to most pets regardless of their gender. The AKC agrees and lists it as an excellent choice for both.
The name Scout is derived from the English word, which is defined as "a soldier or other person sent out ahead of the main force to gather information about the enemy's position, strength or movements.” Of course, literary fans can’t forget the famous Jean Louise “Scout” Finch character in “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
If your pup is extra cuddly like a teddy bear, you might want to consider giving him the name Teddy.
Teddy is English and short for Edward and, more popularly, Theodore, which means “wealthy guardian.” Plus, when most people think of Teddy, they think of famous U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt.
If you have a sassy, girl dog, the name Trixie would be fitting.
The name Trixie is Latin and short for Beatrix, which is probably a bit too complicated for a pup to learn.
The name Winston is English and means “wine's town.” It has a vintage, classy feel to it that makes it perfect for a more reserved doggo.
Obviously, the most famous Winston is Britain’s Winston Churchill. But there are additional famous Winstons, including the characters in the book “1984” and the films “Pulp Fiction” and “How Stella Got Her Groove Back.”
The name Willow is popular for girl dogs. It is English and references the “willow tree.”
From Shakespeare to Harry Potter, the willow tree is famous in literature and often considered to have special powers. Celebrities Pink, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, and Michelle Monaghan gave their daughters the name Willow.
Yoda is obviously famous because of the “Star Wars” films. Yoda means “warrior, one who knows” and is believed to be American.
But it is a bit unclear if the name Yoda existed before filmmaker George Lucas created his famous character. It has been theorized that the name may have come from the Sanskrit word “Yoddha” or the Hebrew name “Yodea.”
The name Zoey is Greek and means “life” and is a popular name for girl dogs. It can also be spelled Zoe or Zooey.
However, if you have a Joey in your family, this name might not be the best for your pup. Pet experts suggest choosing a name for your dog that doesn't sound too similar to another family member's name. After all, you want your dog to know you are speaking to them whenever you call their name.