Most Popular Dog Names – Tips and Ideas For Finding Perfect Puppy Names

Every year we see lots of lists published, from “Top 10” to “Favorites” to “Worsts” and beyond. One list that garners a lot of attention is the top baby names list for boys and girls, so it should come as no surprise there’s a list of most popular dog names as well.

According to the Veterinary Pet Insurance Company’s “official” list of most popular dog names for 2009, the name Bella came out on top for female dogs and Max topped the male dog names list. Combining both male and female names, Bella narrowly beats Max for the overall title. Maybe this has something to do with the Twilight movie saga? Hmm.

While this is a nice bit of trivia, it certainly gets you to thinking…how, exactly, do pet owners go about naming their dogs? Here are a few tried and true methods used to choose a name for that sweet little puppy or newly adopted shelter dog:

Descriptive – Lots of people choose names that somehow describe their new pet’s looks or mannerisms. Think “Spot” for a Dalmatian, “Frisky” for an energetic puppy, or “Blackie” for a Labrador Retriever (one of my favorite puppy names).

Character – Some people like to get to know their pet before choosing a name so they can match the name to the dog’s character. How about “Happy” for a cheerful dog or “Chipper” for a dog that yips a lot. If you have ever seen the movie, The Jerk, Steve Martin’s character picked an interesting name for his dog… but that’s not suitable for this article.

Environment – Some pet owners tailor names to their environment or location. For example, a family living on a street called Sunterra Court in a neighborhood called Sagewood Meadows named their two dogs “Sage” and “Terra.”

Humanizing – This is probably the biggest category of dog names because our society spends so much time humanizing our dogs in so many ways. That’s why we see names on the most popular dog names list such as Jake, Charlie, Toby, Lucy, Molly, Sophie and the like.

This is really just a quick snapshot of the huge variety of approaches pet owners take to choosing a name for their dog. What about you? How did you come up with your pup’s name? What special meaning does it have for you and your family? Visit the puppy names section of my website and share your secret.

If you want to have a bit of fun, the next time you’re at the dog park ask some of the other dog owners how they came up with the names they chose for their dogs. At the very least it will be interesting, and most likely it will be the start of some very enjoyable and entertaining conversations!