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150+ of the Best Name Ideas for the Family Dog

written by BRETT NICOLE HAYDEN
Graphics by: Aryana Johnson
Graphics by: Aryana Johnson

Is it finally time to pay up on that promise you’ve been making to your little ones that you’ll get a family dog? Or maybe there’s a birthday coming up and you know bringing home a furry friend would put the biggest smile on your kiddo’s face. Maybe your family just has some extra love to give, and the best place you can think to give it is to a dog in need. Whatever your reasoning may be, getting a family dog is a fun and exciting time. Sure, like everything good, they’ll be extra work. But if you ask us, the love of a loyal dog is worth all of the hours spent training (the puppy breath alone is reason enough, if you ask me!). 

When you bring a four-legged companion home, you’ll have to make the tough decision of picking out the best name for him or her. Or, let’s be honest—an even tougher time getting everyone to agree on the best name. Luckily, we’re here to help make that just a little bit easier by providing you with several of the best dog names to consider. From some of the most popular dog names to names inspired by your little one’s favorite TV shows and movies to other pop culture references, we’re confident you’ll find inspiration here. Read on for over 150+ of the best dog names for your new family pet. 

Best Names for Female Dogs

Calypso

If there are any Bluey fans in your household, we assume this option will spark a lot of excitement. As the beloved school teacher on the show, your little ones have probably learned some valuable life lessons from the character. We know your family dog would be just as beloved with this name. 

Daisy

If you get a puppy in spring, this is a great name to consider as its floral meaning is especially appropriate for the season. It’s only right to gift your sweet-faced puppy a name that’s equally as sweet. 

Dolly

Whether you’ve been a fan of the queen of country music your whole life, and your kiddos know all the words to 9 to 5—or you associate Jolene with Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter and not Dolly Parton—this is a great name for your new furry family member. 

Enid

I know my household wasn’t the only one where everyone was encouraged to learn Wednesday Addams’ dance to Goo Goo Muck after watching that Wednesday episode one too many times. For any other fans of the hit show, Enid is a fun and unique option to name a new pet.

Jojo

Short, two-syllable names are always fun options for the family dog. Jojo is sweet, fun, and just unique enough—and little Jojo Siwa fans are sure to love this one.

Julep

Another great spring-inspired name, Julep means “rose water.” It’s soft, pretty, and simply lovely. Plus, it’s unique enough that she’ll probably never share a name with another dog in the neighborhood.

Lady

Some of the most popular dog names never go out of style, and Lady is one of our favorites. The name is, of course, known from the Disney movie Lady and the Tramp, but this name is just darling for any pooch.

Lassie

Brought to our list from the 1950s TV show that never ceased to bring tears to our eyes is this adorable name perfect for a Collie and beyond.

Marley

Speaking of tear-jerkers, it’s nearly impossible to hear this name and not think of the sweet film Marley and Me. That doesn’t mean it wouldn’t make the absolutely perfect name for your beloved dog, too, though!

Mirabel

If Encanto is on repeat at your house, this may be the only option you need. Give your new dog the main character moment she deserves by naming her after the protagonist in the cherished Disney movie. 

Millie

There’s something about vintage “old lady” names that work so well for puppies. You may have seen Millie starting to inch its way back up on the Social Security Administration’s list for most popular baby girl names in recent years as well, yet Millie is one of the most darling options for a family dog, too.

Olive

Manifest a calm mutt with this sweet name that is associated with an olive branch, which represents “peace.”

Shirley Temple

If you’ve always admired Lorelai Gilmore’s bold choice of naming her dog Paul Anka (also a fine choice) and want to emulate that, may we suggest using the name of this beloved actress from the 1930s?

Stella

We know your new puppy will be the star of the show, so gift her the name Stella, Latin for “star,” so she’s always the center of attention. 

Queenie 

For a dog as special as yours, give her a name of royal caliber. This is a fun, sweet option for the new queen of the household. 

Winn Dixie

Whether you favored the book or the movie, Winn-Dixie was a well-known Berger Picard dog for those of us who grew up in the early 2000s.

best dog names
Source: @fulchersunfiltered

More Names for Female Dogs

  • Annie
  • Bella
  • Belle
  • Betty
  • Chili
  • Deja
  • Gia
  • Ginger
  • Goldie
  • Hadley
  • Lola
  • Lucy 
  • Luna
  • Mabel
  • Maggie
  • Miley
  • Molly
  • Nana
  • Nelly
  • Nora
  • Paisley
  • Peach
  • Penny
  • Pepper 
  • Sadie
  • Sandy
  • Trixie
  • Zuma

Best Names for Male Dogs

Astro

Consider yourselves a futuristic family? Then be sure to add a furry family member named Astro to the mix, a name inspired by the cartoon family in The Jetsons.

Balto

Those of us who grew up in the ’90s may remember this name from the animated film (inspired by a true story!) of a dog-sledding Alaskan husky.

Beethoven

Whether this name reminds you of the great composer or the beloved St. Bernard from the ’90s movie, this is a fun name for your new family member.

Bruiser

May we all continuously be inspired by Elle Woods from Legally Blonde. A little pooch with this name would share the cute title with Elle’s fashionable Chihuahua.

Bruno

Because we can’t get enough of Encantoand we’re sure your little ones can’t either, we had to include this name so you can get We Don’t Talk About Bruno stuck in your head even more frequently. 

Clifford

Don’t worry, your furry companion doesn’t necessarily need to be a big red dog in order to be bestowed this distinguished title.

Cooper

This tried and true dog name is a great option to consider as it’s cute, not overused in recent years, and simply makes sense for certain dog breeds. 

Duke

A classic option, and one that he’ll share with the famous face of Bush’s Baked Beans, Golden Retriever Duke.

Elvis

Even if he’s so much more than just a “hound dog,” Elvis is a great name choice to consider. Whether you’ve loved the singer your whole life or became a fan in recent years because of the Oscar-nominated film, you can’t go wrong with this name. 

Gomez

Also inspired by the acclaimed Netflix series Wednesday and the Addams Family franchise is this fun name that comes from the doting father in the series. 

John Wayne

Though we’ve been told you should never trust a man with two first names, we heard dogs are an exception. Draw inspiration from the classic cowboy when naming your new best friend. 

Marshall

There’s something utterly enjoyable and entertaining about using typically human names for dogs, and we think Marshall is one of the most fun options. Of French origin, Marshall refers to a “caretaker of horses,” but kids will probably recognize it as an ode to the firefighter pooch in Paw Patrol.

McGruff

Those of us who grew up in the ’80s may remember the National Crime Prevention Council’s mascot who always donned a trench coat, McGruff. If you’re welcoming a Bloodhound into the family, this may be the perfect name.

Mumford

Whether you never miss an album release from Mumford & Sons or you’ve never heard of the folk-rock band, this is a quirky name that might just be perfect for your new pet.

Nash

Country music fans or lovers of music city, in general, can draw inspiration from Tennessee’s capital city with this short but bold name.

Rafiki

Some movies never get old, and The Lion King is one of them. Rafiki is known for being the mandrill in the movie who offers guidance to Simba. In Swahili, rafiki means “friend,” making it the perfect name choice for man’s best friend.

Schmidt

Even if your kiddos are a little too young to have enjoyed New Girl with you, both fans of the show and anyone who’s never seen it can appreciate this quirky name for a family dog. 

Stitch

Regardless of whether you have a Lilo in your life or not, Stitch is a great name for a new pet. Lilo & Stitch was ultra-popular in the early 2000s, and it might be the perfect time for a rewatch if you or your little ones haven’t seen it in a while (or ever!). 

Toto

Whether or not you’re in Kansas anymore, Toto is sure to make the best companion—Yellow Brick Road not required!

Trakr

Although an uncommon option, this inclusion pays homage to the German Shepherd credited with rescuing the last survivor of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Welcome a canine with this name and rest easy knowing you’ve got a heroic protector among you!

Winston

Allow your new companion to grow into a distinguished gentleman with this British name that dates back to the 9th century. He’ll be among other reputable Winstons such as esteemed novelist Winston Churchill. 

two dogs in car window
Source: @heywanderer

More Names for Male Dogs

  • Alfie
  • Archie
  • Arthur
  • Auggie
  • Baxter
  • Beau
  • Bentley
  • Bingo
  • Buck
  • Buster
  • Chance
  • Chico
  • Cyrus
  • Dug
  • Dutton
  • Eddie
  • Finn
  • Fletcher
  • Gunnar
  • Gus
  • Homer
  • Hunter
  • Jack
  • Jackson
  • Jax
  • Kramer
  • Leo
  • Louis
  • Malcolm
  • Marmaduke
  • Max
  • Miller
  • Milo
  • Oscar
  • Otis
  • Pongo
  • Porter
  • Rocky
  • Rover
  • Rubble
  • Rufus
  • Ryder
  • Scooby
  • Sebastian
  • Simba
  • Snoopy
  • Tank
  • Thor 
  • Tucker
  • Warren
  • Wendell
  • Zeus
  • Zuko

Best Unisex Dog Names

Aspen

For lovers of the great outdoors, consider this name that automatically makes people think of the beautiful and luxurious city in Colorado. 

Atlas

Whether you’re a jet-setter always booking their next flight or simply a Colleen Hoover fan, this is such a fun name for either a boy or girl dog. 

Bourbon

You don’t have to live near the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, or even be a lover of the spirit for that matter, to appreciate this unique dog name. 

Comet

Many of us were glued to the TV when new episodes of Full House would air back in the day. But fewer of us may remember that the house that was filled to the brim with family members also included a lovable Golden Retriever named Comet.

Fang

As intimidating as it may sound at first, Harry Potter fans may feel the warm and fuzzies upon hearing this name that Hagrid gave his docile Mastiff.

Kai

Meaning “ocean” in Hawaiian, this is a great name for any water-loving pups or one who lives near the ocean. 

Laverne

Laverne is a vintage name that deserves some love. This was a popular choice for babies in the 1950s, but we think it would be even more precious for the family pet. 

Maui

Since the day it was released, Moana has been a fan-favorite movie. We can’t think of a better character to draw name inspiration from than the one-and-only, over-the-top Maui. 

Shiloh

A must-read back in the day for anyone who grew up in the early 2000s, Shiloh is sure to bring back many memories and ensure your family makes plenty of new ones.

Skye

We know many moms can relate to having the PAW Patrol theme song stuck in their heads for days and days. Embrace the madness by using the name of one of the characters in the show for your new four-legged companion. 

Zeppelin

If Led Zeppelin was your jam back in the 1970s, or you have an appreciation for classic rock thanks to your own parents (or in spite of), remind your kiddos that rock n’ roll is not dead by naming your new pup after the iconic band. 

best dog names
Source: @occasionally_perfect via #sharetheeverymom

More Unisex Dog Names

  • Apollo
  • Bailey
  • Bandit
  • Bear
  • Blue
  • Bluey
  • Bowie
  • Charlie
  • Coco
  • Copper
  • Cricket
  • Everest
  • Fenway
  • Fido
  • Gibson
  • Hendrix
  • Jet
  • Kennedy
  • Nori
  • Odie
  • Patch
  • Pickles
  • Remy
  • Rocky
  • Scout
  • Shadow
  • Spot
  • Wrigley
  • Yellow
  • Zorba

Tips for Choosing the Best Dog Name

While the stakes aren’t as high for picking out a name for your dog as they are picking out a baby name, you still want to make the right choice. So, what are some things you should consider when naming your new companion? First, you’ll want to shy away from names that sound like common commands you’ll want to teach your dog, like “sit,” “stay,” “no,” and so on. For example, Shay sounds a lot like “stay” and has the potential to cause setbacks in the training process. 

Much like having a baby, it may feel right to wait until you meet your dog before settling on a name. It’s not a bad idea to get them home and see what their personality is like before choosing a fitting name. 

While the length of the name can vary, it is considered best practice that shorter is better and easier for your pup to learn. Certainly, be creative, but also know that naming your dog something like Princess Consuela Banana Hammock after a hilarious bit in your favorite TV show may be a lot more difficult for them to learn and recognize than something short—therefore, making the training process harder for you. 

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