It doesn’t matter whether you’re considering a puppy adoption or welcoming an older dog to your home, one of the first things your new furry friend needs is a name (unless they already have one, of course). But how do you choose just one dog name when the options are endless? If you like a few different dog names, you could give your puppy or dog a long formal name (e.g., “Duchess Abigail Waggyshire III”) and an everyday name (e.g., “Abby”). But still, how do you choose the perfect name?

To help with your decision, we’ve listed the most popular dog names of 2023. You could choose from this list of trending pet names, or maybe you want your dog’s name to be a little more exclusive. Either way, we hope the list will help. We also have some tips on choosing a dog name that they will respond to the best.

The Most Popular Girl Dog Names of 2023

The American Kennel Club (AKC) compiled the top 10 most popular girl dog names from their purebred dog registration and Canine Partner mixed-breed enrollment statistics. Looking at 2023 data, the top female dog names were:

  1. Luna
  2. Bella
  3. Daisy
  4. Maggie
  5. Willow
  6. Lucy
  7. Bailey
  8. Rosie
  9. Sadie
  10. Lola

The Most Popular Boy Dog Names of 2023

The AKC list for male dog names is similar to 2022, with 8 out of 10 names remaining in the top ten. The AKC top male dog names for 2023 were:

  1. Max
  2. Charlie
  3. Cooper
  4. Teddy
  5. Milo
  6. Ollie
  7. Bear
  8. Rocky
  9. Finn
  10. Leo

Popular Names of Our Virtual Pet Park Members

It’s not surprising that some of the names in the AKC top 10 lists are also the most popular names of our Virtual Pet Park members — “Max,” “Bella,” “Charlie,” “Luna” and “Sadie.” There are plenty of unique dog names in our Virtual Pet Park, too! There are some food-themed dog names — hello “Pineapple,” “Peaches,” “Gumbo,” “Popcorn” and “Cookie.” Dogs named after places get an honorable mention, too — “Harlem,” “Maui,” “Everest,” “Indiana” and “London,” among others!

People Names Are for Dogs, Too

It used to be common for dog owners to choose a name based on the physical features of their dog, like “Spot,” “Rusty” and “Shadow.” But if you look at the top boy dog names and girl dog names, current pet parents often choose human names. There are still some doggy dog names on the lists — for example, “Rocky” and “Bear” are common male dog names — but the most popular dog names are also names of people. It’s likely that this change is because dogs are now considered valued family members and not just pets.

Dogs Named After Popular Movie and TV Characters

Over the years there have probably been many dogs named after famous movie dogs, like Great Danes called “Marmaduke” or rough collies named “Lassie.” You can still find dogs named after movie and TV characters, but now the names are largely inspired by human characters, not dogs (e.g., “Loki,” “Maverick” and “Leia”).

Names Related to Dog Breeds or Size

Dog parents may also like to choose names inspired by features of their dog’s breed or size. How about “Slinky” for a dachshund, “Chase” for a border collie and “Coco” for a chocolate Labrador retriever. Or what about “Charlie” for a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, “Fenway” for a Boston terrier and “Tiny” for a Bernese mountain dog.

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Dog Name

When choosing your dog’s name, it’s important to note that it’s easier for dogs to understand short, one- or two-syllable names (e.g., “Thor” or “Buddy”). You’ll notice that many of the most common dog names end in a “y” or “ie”: it turns out dogs respond well to those (e.g., “Callie” or “Lilly”). Hard vowels, like “a,” “e,” “i” and “y,” and hard consonants, like “b,” “d,” “t” and “k,” are also easier for dogs to hear (e.g., “Bandit” or “Toby”).

Does Your Dog’s Name Stand Out?

Make sure you don’t choose a name that is similar to or rhymes with training commands or other commonly used names or phrases in your household (e.g., “Scout” and “out”). It makes sense that the name should also be easy for you to say so you’re not struggling with a tongue twister every time you want your dog’s attention.

If you choose one of the popular pet names, you could have multiple dogs running towards you when you call out at the dog park. So you may want to consider a more unusual name that has a special meaning for you and your personal expression. It could be your favorite sportsperson, drink, city, color — anything. Adding “y” to a word is an easy way to turn it into a dog name (e.g., “Bluey” or “Minty”).

Consider Waiting Before You Name Your Pup

Choosing a name for your puppy is like choosing the best food for your puppy — you want it to be the right choice for them. It might not be the most popular dog name, but one that is unique to them. You may even want to wait a few days before naming your pup (or dog) to see which name fits your dog’s personality.

Names Are Here Today, Gone Tomorrow-ish

Trending dog names change over time, so it’s likely that the most popular dog names of 2023 won’t be around in 2033. But it’s also common for “old fashioned” names to come back in popularity. So it’s anybody’s guess what the top dog names will be in ten years’ time!

 

The information in this blog has been developed with our veterinarian and is designed to help educate pet parents. If you have questions or concerns about your pet's health or nutrition, please talk with your veterinarian.