Naming Your Dog: What Are Good Dog Names?

By Bailee Noella July 10, 2020

With so many names to choose from, it can be hard to pick the perfect one for your pooch. While the limitless options may seem daunting, don’t worry! With these tips, you’ll be able to narrow them down, find inspiration, and come to a name that works for both you and your pup in no time.

What Are Good Dog Names?

So what makes a good dog name? Well, you want to like the way the name sounds, and you want your dog to respond to it. Keep in mind that dogs tend to answer to one to two syllable names as opposed to longer ones. It’s also smart to avoid names that sound similar to commands so your pup doesn't end up confused (like “Kit” and “Sit”).

Questions To Consider When Naming Your Dog

With this advice in mind, consider the following questions to help you find the right name for your dog:

  • What characteristics make your dog unique?
  • Do you have a favorite character in a movie or book that your dog resembles?
  • Does your dog have a calm or excitable personality?
  • Where is your dog’s breed from (for example, Papillons are from France)?
  • Is there a famous person or creature that you admire?
  • Does your dog remind you of a historical figure or event?
  • Do you have a hobby or pastime that can serve as an inspiration?
  • Even if the name fits, does it remind you of someone or something you just can’t stand?

Answering these questions may help spark some creativity.

Male Dog Names

If you're still having trouble coming up with names, however, here are ten examples of names for male dogs:

  • Elvis

If you're a fan of the King of Rock and Roll, then don't be ashamed to show it off! It makes the perfect name for an energetic, rowdy pooch with a pining for the limelight. Put on “Hound Dog” and dance with your dog to introduce him to the origin of his name.

  • Yoda

You don't have to be a Star Wars fanatic to appreciate this unique name. If your pooch happens to be small and wise, this would be an excellent name for him!

  • Pepperoni

If you have a teeny, bite-sized pup, then looking to food for some inspiration may be your best bet. Depending on the color of your dog’s coat, you can decide which food suits them best. A round, brown pup would make a good Pepperoni (or Pupperoni)!

  • Andy Warhowl

Got a flare for the punny and happen to be an art connoisseur? Then this name may be the one for you and your dog. A cute play on American artist Andy Warhol’s name will make you giggle every time you call for your dog.

  • Ghost

This is a fantastic name if you’ve got a white puppy who loves sneaking around! (It helps if he’s got a fondness for howling at night too!)

  • Happy

A dog that’s good-natured and always smiling might as well be named Happy! Samoyeds in particular are well-known for their grins, known as the “Sammy smile.”

  • Smokey

This is a handsome name for dogs with beautiful black fur or dogs that enjoy the outdoors more than anything (like Smokey the Bear!).

  • Spot

This name explains itself! A dog with a coat made up of beautiful spots might as well have a name commemorating them. (This name is especially perfect for Dalmatians!)

  • Teddy

Some dogs just can’t get enough hugs and cuddles. If your dog always seems to be crawling up next to you to snuggle and take a nap, then Teddy may be the name for such a sweet teddy bear.

  • Loki

Got a troublemaker on your hands? Loki, the pesky, villainous brother of Marvel’s Thor, is always creating havoc. A pup that likes chewing on shoes and begging for food would capture the spirit of the name nicely!

Female Dog Names

If you have a female dog, see the examples below for some additional inspiration:

  • Bella

Bella, meaning “beautiful,” is the perfect name for any supermodel dog with a luxurious coat. Photogenic pups will love being complimented every time you call their name!

  • Angel

If you have a well-behaved, gentle pup that lives for behaving and proper manners, then people won’t be surprised when they find out her name is Angel. This is a sweet name for a sweet dog.

  • Paris

For refined, fashionable dogs with clean-cut fur, it makes sense to name them after one of the world capitals of art, fine dining, and culture. This is an elegant and unique name.

  • Bambie

This name is of Italian origin and means “child.” For youthful pups that love playing with kids, this name works perfectly. This is doubly true if your dog has big, sweet eyes like Disney’s Bambi!

  • Winnie

Reminiscent of the friendly yellow bear created by A. A. Milne, this name is sure to evoke warm emotions every time you say it. Winnie makes an excellent name for dogs that are a bit aloof but unwaveringly playful and devoted.

  • Tinkerbell

We all know and love the attention-loving fairy from Peter Pan. Dogs that are small and thrive on pets and praise live up to this special name.

  • Princess

For spoiled pooches, you might as well call them what they are: Royalty. Give this girl a throne for a bed and all the toys and treats she could ever want!

  • Sadie

If your dog is pampered but the name Princess isn’t your style, Sadie makes for a great alternative. The name is of English origin and also means “princess,” but it sounds cute and much more casual!

  • Clover

If you feel lucky to have your dog by your side, Clover is a great name to remind you of your prosperity. Go searching for four-leaf clovers with your new best friend!

  • Harley

Whether you’re a fan of Harley Quinn or Harley-Davidson, this name spells trouble! A mischievous and adventurous pup will live up to this name.

Famous Dog Names

If you’re still having difficulties coming up with a name, then there’s no better place to look than famous dog names! Below are names of some of the most well-known dogs (both fictional and real):

  • Snoopy

Everyone knows this iconic Beagle! This imaginative, intelligent pup is Charlie Brown’s pet in the Peanuts comic strips. He is extremely loyal to his owner (though he occasionally makes fun of him). Any devoted dog with attitude would make an excellent Snoopy.

  • Lassie

Smart and heroic, Lassie is famous for her appearances in television and film. She is well-known for protecting people’s safety. Any dog with the welfare of her family at the forefront of her mind is a Lassie!

  • Balto

Balto was a courageous Siberian Husky who led a dog sled in a serum run across Alaska to prevent an epidemic. For brave dogs that would do anything to protect their loved ones, this is a fantastic and legendary name.

  • Clifford

Yes, the Big Red Dog! Many American children grew up reading about this giant canine. If the character holds a place in your heart, it would be a great name for your new (less giant) best friend.

  • Fang

Harry Potter fans will recognize this name. Fang, Rubeus Hagrid’s massive dog, was a hard worker that also loved lazing around. Does that describe your pooch? Try seeing if he responds to the name!

  • Goofy

Everyone knows Goofy, the funny and sometimes awkward friend of Mickey Mouse. If your dog is clumsy but too sweet to get upset with, Goofy would capture his personality perfectly.

  • Beethoven

Dogs who enjoy dancing and music will love being named after this film icon. A St. Bernard named after composer Ludwig van Beethoven, these dogs get excited when anyone picks up an instrument.

  • Nana

Got a caring dog that loves kids? You might have the nursemaid of the Darling children from Peter Pan on your hands. A sweet Saint Bernand babysitter capable of many tricks, anyone with a Nana is extremely lucky!

  • Rin Tin Tin

This German Shepherd was a true star. He gained worldwide fame after appearing in twenty-seven Hollywood films. If your dog is highly trainable and doesn’t mind the spotlight, Rin Tin Tin (or “Rinty” for short) may be the perfect name for him.

  • Scooby-Doo

Where are you? While Scoobert “Scooby” Doo can be a bit of a scaredy cat despite his great size, he never turns down an adventure. He’s very treat-motivated and always happy to solve a mystery. If that sounds like your dog (or if you simply have a Great Dane), then Scooby-Doo is a fun option for a name!


Hopefully these tips and examples have inspired you and helped you name your pup. It’s important that both you and your dog love the name, so feel free to try several out and take your time in choosing one. Have fun finding the perfect moniker for your pup!

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