When you get a new dog, one of the first things you probably think about is what you will name your new pooch. The options for what to call your dog are endless; you can pretty much give your pup any name you want. There’s almost no name that is too wild, wacky, or out-of-this-world for your furry playmate, and that’s why there is such a long list of potential dog names.
How Do You Choose the Perfect Name for Your Dog?
Depending on where you get your canine companion, he might already have a name. For example, if you adopt a dog from a shelter, he might have been given a name by the staff or a former owner, but that doesn’t mean you need to keep it.
You might love your pup’s existing name, but you might have a different moniker in mind for your furry friend. Many owners like to get to know their pets for a few days and get a feel for their personality. Other people will get ideas for their dog’s name from his coloring, size, where he came from, or his crazy habits...zoomies, anyone?
You can also decide to name your pup after a former favorite pet or even a particular person! Whether you need to carefully consider your options or already have the perfect name picked out for your dog, it is up to you!
Why Is Choosing Your Dog’s Name Such a Big Deal?
A name says a lot about a person, and well, it says a lot about your dog too! A person or pet's name can even influence how others perceive them. Plus, whatever you name your dog is likely to lead to a torrent of nicknames that will inevitably end up being attributed to your pup.
Also, it's essential to keep in mind that whenever you want your dog’s attention, you’ll be saying her name, so make sure it's a name you don’t mind saying in public. A name that seems comical or cute at the moment might not seem so great when you have to keep saying it around other people. We won’t say it here (since we’re keeping things clean), but just take a peek at the name of Steve Martin’s dog in the classic comedy from 1979, “The Jerk.”
50 of the Top Dog Names of 2021
Are you bouncing back and forth between two names for your pooch? Do you have no idea what you want to call your newest family addition? Maybe, you had the perfect name picked out and are now second-guessing your decision and looking for something new. Whatever the case may be, this list of 50 dog names is sure to give you quite a bit to think about!
Here are 50 of the top dog names for 2021 (in alphabetical order), with a few built-in suggestions on how you can pinpoint the best match for your pup:
- Abby (This name still stands strong as a popular pup’s name; classics seem to never go out of style.)
- Angel (Because who couldn’t use an angel by their side, especially after the past challenging couple of years?)
- Benji (Naming your dog after a famous movie canine is always a popular choice.)
- Blue (Also, Bluey and using Blue for short, after the rise in popularity of the popular kid’s show of the same name.)
- Buddy (You can’t get a much more suitable name for man’s best friend.)
- Coco (Whether you’re a fan of the Disney film or not, this name is still extra-sweet for your pup).
- Dexter (Popular TV series often prompt many pet names).
- Harley (It’s the perfect choice for DC fans of Harley Quinn or motorcycle buffs.)
- Merlin (There’s something intriguing about wizards and magic, and Merlin is the most famous wizard of all time, sorry, Harry.)
- Roxie (it’s fun to give your pup a cute name, plus many people like to name their dogs after their favorite characters, like Roxie Hart in the Broadway musical, Chicago.)
- Snickers (This name still makes the list, sometimes, you just gotta have a Snickers).
- Woody (Are you a fan of Disney’s Toy Story franchise?)
- Zeus (This is a name that often fits a big dog, but it’s equally fitting for a small but mighty hound.)
Show Off Your Dog’s Name
When you find the perfect name for your dog, you want everyone to know it! You can put your pup’s name on his dog bowls, his bed, get him a personalized leash, and even let him wear a fun bandana emblazoned with his initials.
While all of these different ways to proclaim your pup’s name are really fun, don’t forget about one of the most important ones - your dog’s ID tag. As soon as you have decided on your dog’s name, get an identification tag made for his collar that includes his name and at least your phone number.
If your dog gets lost, he can return home to you quickly if someone finds him. Even though a rabies tag can also help identify your dog, as can getting your pooch microchipped, having a personal ID tag is a great way to provide extra assurance of your pal’s safety.
Does Your Dog Know His/Her Name?
As fun as it is to show others your pup’s awesome name, you also need to make sure your dog knows it too! Dogs will typically catch on to their names reasonably quickly. The constant use and repetition help your pup start building the connection in his brain, something like, “Hey! She’s talking to me! That word she keeps saying when she wants my attention must be what I’m called!”
You can start teaching your pup his name with simple positive reinforcement. Have a handful of treats at the ready, and say your pup’s name in a pleasant voice. As soon as your pup looks at you when you say his name, praise him and reward him with a treat. When you teach your dog other commands like sit or stay, make sure to include his name at the beginning of each verbal cue. Eventually, your dog will realize that his name is how you identify him, and he’ll respond to it. Of course, if your pup has a stubborn streak, sometimes he might choose to pretend he doesn’t hear you, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t know his name!
Did your pup’s name make it on the list of the top dog names? Sometimes, people will purposely choose a name not on the list to ensure their dog’s name is extra-unique. It’s all a matter of personal preference.
No matter what you decide to name your pooch, it’s sure to suit him perfectly, since you know him best. For more great tips and useful information about how to take care of your pets, check out the rest of our blog! You’ll find a lot of fun articles and helpful resources on how to be a top-notch pet parent!