The 10 Best Dog Names in the World

Written by AZ Animals Staff
Updated: October 5, 2021
Image Credit New Africa/Shutterstock.com
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Are you curious about the 10 best dog names? The popular names for dogs change over time. The criteria for choosing the “best” dog names depend on a persons’ point of view. There is no way we can choose only ten.

There are millions of dogs and we love every one of them. Some of our favorite breeds are Dogue De Bordeaux, Akita, Bulldog, Chihuahua, and Jack Russell. Do you have a favorite dog breed?

We collected the top ten favorite names and a bunch of the others for a 10-to-1 countdown of the best names based on ten categories.

Ten Types of Names

  • Personal Dog Names
  • Names for Trained Dogs
  • Celebrity Names for Dogs
  • Unique Names
  • Popular Names
  • Modern Dog Names
  • Kids’ Choices
  • Historical and Famous Names
  • Best Ways to Choose Names
  • Top Choice

Each category has our favorite pick for a male dog (m) and a female dog (f).

Are you ready for some marvelous names? If you are trying to name your dog, get your dog to come, sit, and stay to the end. Watch your dog’s reaction when you say each name out loud. A dog will show you if they have a positive reaction to a particular name.

#10 Personal Dog Names, like Paw Paw (m) or Gammy (f)

Best Dog Names for Personal Dog Names, like Paw Paw (m) or Gammy (f)
The best name for a cute puppy like this is definitely something like Gammy!

SvetikovaV/Shutterstock.com

Choosing a name for your dog that has personal meaning is a terrific idea. You may want to name your dog after a beloved relative who passed, such as your grandfather or grandmother. You may want to name them after another pet you had that passed. These names are a lovely reminder of the love you have for the other person or pet who is no longer with us.

#9 Trained Dogs – K5 (m or f)

Best Dog Names for Trained Dogs - K5
Rover, a military service dog, has one of the best names for trained dogs.

Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

Trained dogs can be service animals, support dogs, military dogs, and police dogs. Names for trained dogs should be short, easy to say and remember, and distinct. To train any dog to recognize its name is fairly easy, just call the dog by name when it is time to eat and the dog will come running whenever it hears its name.

Professional dog trainers say to train a dog quickly to learn its name, stand apart from the dog about two to six feet away, say the name, when the dog looks at you say “yes” or “good” and reward the dog with a food treat, praise, and play. It is very easy to use this technique to have the dog come to you as well.

#8 Celebrity Names for Dogs – Jim Carrey (m) and Oprah (f)

Best Dog Names using Celebrity Names for Dogs
Eva Longaria’s pet pug is named Oprah after the celebrity.

Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

Two fun ways to think of celebrity names are to name your dog after a celebrity or choose the name the celebrity uses for their dog. The name “Oprah” is the first name of the megastar, billionaire Oprah Winfrey. “Oprah” is also the name of Eva Longoria’s Pug dog and the musician 50 Cent’s Schnauzer.

Comedian Adam Sandler calls has Bulldogs “Matzoball” and “Meatball.” Hugh Jackman calls his French Bulldog “Mocha.” Paris Hilton calls her Chihuahua “Tinkerbell.” Jennifer Garner calls her beautiful Labrador retriever “Martha Stewart.”

Hailey Baldwin (Alec’s daughter) is in on the joke too. She calls one of her dogs “Jim Carrey” and one that is a Maltese Yorkie “Oscar.” Another “dog” in her life she calls “Justin Bieber,” after she married him in 2018. Hailey took on his last name after she got him house trained. Just kidding Beliebers!

#7 Unique Dog Names – Zeus (m) and Oceana (f)

Best Dog Names: Unique Dog Names
One of the best names for the Boerboel, seen here running through some trees, is Zeus.

Natalia Fesiun/Shutterstock.com

Mythical Greek gods like “Zeus” and continents like “Oceana” are unique choices for names. Also unique are stellar names like “Orion,” “Nova,” and “Andromeda.” Matrix movie-lovers may like “Neo” and “Morpheus.” Your pet’s name is limited only by your imagination. Don’t be shy. You can give your dog a long crazy name with an adorable nickname, like “Doctor of Goodness” or “D.O.G.” for short.

Every year, Veterinarian Pet Insurance reports the top ten weirdest names for pets that have insurance policies. For insured dogs, some unique names are “Peanut Wigglebutt,” “Sir Hog Knucklehead,” “Sasha Biggiepotamus Fierce,” “Otto Von Longdog,” “Zippity Do Dawg,” “Airbubble McMuffin,” “Hamburger Patty,” “Angus T Brackencrack,” “Mister Buddy Pickles,” and “Waffle Dots.”

Best Dog Names: Popular Names for Dogs
A great name for a friendly Shetland sheepdog is Charlie.

atiger/Shutterstock.com

Each year the top names change, based on popular trends, yet some names remain popular for a very long time. In 2020, it was “Bella” for females and “Max” for males. In 2019, it was “Bella” making a comeback to land the number one spot for females and “Charlie: for males. In 2018, the top names were “Max” (m) and “Daisy” (f). In 2017, it was “Max” (m) and “Bella” (f).

“Bella” has been popular for a decade, landing the coveted number one spot multiple times. Before that, it was “Daisy” and “Lucy” for female dogs. “Charlie” for male dogs has been popular since the late 1880s. Compared to “Fido” or “Rover” that date back to the same period of the 1800s, “Charlie” as a name has some long-standing staying power.

#5 Modern Dog Names – Chandler (m) and Everly (f)

Best Dog Names: Modern Dog Names
Jude is a great modern dog name.

eva_blanco/Shutterstock.com

Modern dog names have an air of sophistication about them such as, for male dogs, “Chandler” (from a character in the Friends TV series), “Chaucer,” “Franklin,” “Jude,” “Justice,” “Lane,” and “Rigby.” For female dogs, modern names include “Everly,” “Apple,” “Quinn,” “Regan,” “Tatum,” and “Aubrey.”

Best Dog Names: Kids’ Choices for the Best Dog Names
Elmo is one of the best names given by children to their pets.

michaelheim/Shutterstock.com

If you have any trouble deciding on a name, if you have kids, just ask them. Kid’s favorites names include “Cookie,” “Boogie,” “Baby,” “Bean,” “Elmo,” “Frito,” “Gummy,” and “Skittles.”

#3 Unique Historical and Famous Dog Names – Laika (f) and Balto (m)

Best Dog Names: Unique Historical and Famous Dog Names
Balto is one of the best names to give your dog if you are looking at historical names.

“Laika,” was a stray dog found on the street in Moscow. “Laika” was the first dog sent by the Soviet Union into space who gave her life to make it safe enough for humans to try it.

“Balto” a Siberian Husky saved the residents of Nome, Alaska from an outbreak of diphtheria in1925. “Balto” led the dog sled team for 54 miles through a blizzard with -40Fº winter weather to deliver medicine that saved the town.

Famous dogs from the movies and television include “Rin Tin Tin,” “Petey” (from The Little Rascals), “Toto,” “Lassie,” “Tramp and Lady” (Disney characters), “Old Yeller,” “Snoopy,” “Mr. Peabody,” “Scooby-Doo,” “Benji,” “Wishbone,” “Blue” (from Blue’s Clues a Nickelodeon show), basketball-shooting “Buddy” in Air Bud, “Spuds MacKenzie,” and “Boo” (the world’s cutest Internet dog).

#2 Dog Names Based on Gender – Charlie (m) and Bella (f)

Best Dog Names: Dog Names Based on Gender
Luna, a Yorkshire Terrier, has one of the best names for females.

Dog names are different based on gender. Some names are gender-neutral such as “Bailey,” “Riley,” and “Bentley.” Others are more masculine like “Buddy” and “Duke.” Still, others are more feminine like the Italian names of “Bella” and “Luna” (which translates to English as “Beautiful” and “Moon”).

The top ten popular names for males, in order, are:
1) “Charlie;” 2) “Cooper;” 3) “Max;” 4) “Buddy;” 5) “Tucker;” 6) “Bear;” 7) “Duke;” 8) “Harley;” 9) “Jax,” and; 10) “Milo.” Runner-ups are “Oliver,” “Rocky,” “Jack,” “Oscar,” “Zeus,” “Toby,” “Archie,” “Jack,” “Scout,” and “Teddy.”

Some popular names for females are “Bella,” “Luna,” “Lucy,” “Bailey,” “Daisy,” “Sadie,” “Lola,” “Molly,” “Stella,” “Zoey,” and “Maggie.”

Cute Labrador Retriever dogs on green grass in summer park
Bella and Cooper, two Labrador retrievers, with two of the best names in the world, lying on the grass in a park.

New Africa/Shutterstock.com

“Bella” is the top winner in America and also globally. The word, “Bella,” rolls off the tongue in a very romantic Italian way that makes you want to gesture with your hands. It is a soft, smooth, and charming name for a female dog. It has a friendly tonal quality that is very pleasant for a dog to hear. You can try this name out on your female dog to see if she responds to the sound. It is likely she will wag her tail with delight.

The top ten list, in order by popularity for both male and female dogs combined, is:
1)“Bella” followed by; 2) “Luna;” 3) “Charlie;” 4) “Lucy;” 5) “Cooper;” 6) “Max;” 7) “Bailey;” 8) “Daisy;” 9) “Sadie,” and; 10) “Lola.”

Conclusion

No matter what you name your pet, you will have a friend for life. For a family pet, we highly recommend that you consider adopting a dog from an animal shelter instead of buying one from a pet store.

Estimates are that in America, up to 1.2 million unwanted dogs are euthanized (killed) each year because they are not adopted and cannot find a ‘forever’ home. This breaks the heart of any dog lover. Be sure to have your dog neutered to not bring more unwanted pups into the world.

A historical event occurred in 2021, when “Major Biden,” named in the memory of President Biden’s deceased son, became the first-ever, animal-shelter dog to become the First Dog in the White House. He loyally serves as a companion to the President and the First Lady Dr. Biden along with his best buddy, another German Shepherd named “Champ.” Perhaps, “Major” and “Champ” will become more popular names again for pets too.

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AZ Animals is a growing team of animals experts, researchers, farmers, conservationists, writers, editors, and -- of course -- pet owners who have come together to help you better understand the animal kingdom and how we interact.

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