Whether you are rescuing, shopping, adopting or fostering, giving your dog a good name is a defining moment. Man or woman’s best friend deserves a name that you and they will love for a lifetime. It’s the first big decision of the rest of their life, so how will you choose? There are so many great ideas for your fur kid, let’s get started!

The one element that most experts do agree on is a name that has one or two-syllables. Why? Because dogs, although some are Einstein level smart, have an easier time recognizing shorter names. So, before you saddle them with the moniker Lord Maximus Farquaad, let’s consider some better choices.


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Lassie (duh), Cujo (no, really, no), Fang (Harry Potter fans only), Marmaduke (especially for Chihuahua’s), Odie (must have an orange cat sidekick), Sandy (once again, must have a red-headed owner), Snoopy (need a yellow bird friend) and Ghost (GOT fans get it). Here’s more:  Bolt, Buster, Copper, Doug, Hooch, Marley, Milo, Nana, Otis, Pluto, Spike, Toto and Zero.


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If you choose one of these dog names, prepare to have 5 dogs running towards you at the dog park. These names are consistently in the top ten: Bella, Charlie, Daisy, Luna, Lucy, Max, Bailey, Cooper, Charlie, Teddy, Buddy, Lola, Sadie, Molly, Maggie, Rosie, Bear and Oscar.


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Want to bring back fond memories of your favorite travel destination, your hometown or your heritage? These dog names are chosen just for you: London, Paris, Turkey (personal favorite), Irish, China, Diego, Tennessee, Alabama, Montana, Frisco, Boston, Asia, Dakota, Memphis, River and Virginia.


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What brings you more joy than food and your dog? Why not name your pup after a favorite nosh:  Apple, Bagel, Biscuit, Fudge, Nacho, Muffin, Oreo, Meatball, Peaches, Pepper, Maple, Pumpkin, Pancake, Ginger and Olive.


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This is an easy one. Take a long look at your dog and what word comes to mind first? Mittens, Cuddles, Tiny, Cocoa, Brownie, Honey, Turbo, Blondie, Skip, Bowzer, Puddles, Dottie, Wizzer, Cash, Happy, Beyonce, Hope, Pearl, Ruby, Star, Thumper, Sparky and Mugsy.



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Trupanion, a medical insurance company for animals, researches and releases each year its list of top names. Here are this year’s winners:

  1. Bella
  2. Charlie
  3. Max
  4. Lucy
  5. Molly
  6. Bailey
  7. Daisy
  8. Lola
  9. Buddy
  10. Maggie


And then sometimes, the dog comes with a name already. And that’s okay, too! Most likely, your furry friend will end up with two names, sometimes even three. We know many pet owners who call their dogs by their proper name as well as their secondary name: “GET DOWN,”  “I SAID NO,”  “COME HERE” and our personal favorite “WHO DID THIS?”