Dog Names...It's a Hunt
For Just the Right One!

Dog names come in a ton of different varieties. There are funny ones (how about “Froggy?”), and scary ones (would you want a dog called “Terror?”).

Then there are short ones (like the simple but not very flattering “Ox”) and longer ones (you’ve got to love “Snaggletooth,” well maybe not).

And, there are interesting names and boring ones.

The type of name you consider often says more about you and your personality than it does your dog.

Do you enjoy being different from the pack (no dog pun intended)? Then, you may want to check out our list of unique dog names. Are you more of a follower than a trend-setter?

Then, you’ll probably look at the list of popular dog names. Maybe you’re just someone who has a hard time making up their mind. In that case, you may look at all the lists...and maybe more than once.

You may think that choosing a name for a puppy is simply a matter of thinking of a name that you like and that seems to fit your puppy's personality or physical attributes. But there really is more to it.

Simple Tips for finding a good name for your dog

Here are a few things to consider before you settle on the name you'll be living with for many years:

  • Don't rush the process. Waiting a few days to study your pet’s behavior may help you pick the right name.
  • Pick one that’s easy for you to say and that your puppy can easily recognize. Remember that animals respond better to names that have one or two syllables. Don’t plan on calling your dog “Princess Grace of Morocco” with any great degree of success.
  • Don't pick a name that sounds too much like the name of someone else in the house. This should be pretty obvious. If you call out for “Bobby,” you probably don’t want both your son and your dog to come a-running.
  • Choose a name that’s both easy to call out and one that you won’t be embarrassed calling out public. If you’re a big, burly guy hanging out with your dog at the park, how comfortable will you be calling out: “Come here, Precious?”...not that there’s anything wrong with that.
  • Avoid names that sound like the standard commands of No, Stay, Sit, Come, Down or Fetch. For example "Joe" is probably too close to "No." It can be difficult for dogs to tell the difference between similar sounding words.
  • If you’re choosing a long name, keep in mind the shortened version. A long name will inevitably be shortened, but it may ruin the effect that you were originally going for.
  • Your dog won’t always be a puppy, so pick a name that will still be appropriate when he’s grown. She may be a “Cutie-pie” when she’s a puppy, but that pitbull may not fit that name as an adult.
  • Consider using the name of a someone you love or admire. The name of a relative (not living with you) or friend, a character from a book you like, a favorite movie or television star, or even a sports hero, can make a great dog name.
  • You could use some distinguishing characteristic of your dog. This is a very common way of naming a pet. After all, how many cats are named "Fluffy?"

If your new dog is an adult, try to stick with the name he/she came with. It can be confusing for a dog when he’s called something other than the name he’s used to.

Of course, if it’s a name that you just can’t stand or is offensive to you, then changing it is the best course.

If you must change his name, just be very patient with your dog while he’s getting used to the new name.


There’s something special about dog names that end in the “E” sound. Names like: Buddy, Lassie, Lucky, Nicky, Queeny, Scooby, Sissy, Trixie, etc. When you say those names out loud, they just sound happy and pleasing.

It’s not unusual for me to say “Dukie” when I’m calling for my dog, Duke. So I recommend choosing a name that sounds like you’re happy when you say it.

Related topics...

Female Dog Names - Find a great name for your girl dog.

Male Dog Names - Find a great name for your boy dog.

Funny Dog Names - Find a name to tickle your fancy.

Return from Choosing a Dog Name to New Dog Survival Guide

New Dog Owner? Check Out These Pages First...

Selecting a Dog

Type of Dog

Choosing the right Dog

Naming your new Dog

Finding the right Food

House Training your Dog

General Dog Care Tips

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