20 Awesome Names for a New Dog

Megan Zander | Feb 20, 2019 Home & Garden
20 Awesome Names for a New Dog
Image: gollykim/iStock

best dog names

Selecting the perfect name for a new four-legged friend can be just as tricky as deciding on the right baby name. With their sweet and slobbery kisses, their funny antics, like chasing their own tails, and their sometimes crazy messes, our dogs become members of the family and these sweet furbabies deserve a name that's as special and individual as they are. 

Since dogs can't talk, their names become that much more important. Whether it's a brand new pupper who's still learning how to walk without wobbling or a sweet rescue baby who's getting a second chance at life, every dog deserves a name that speaks to their individual personality and tells the world a little bit about who they are. 

When it comes to naming a child, we're sometimes lucky enough to have inspiration from friends and family members -- perhaps there's a family name that's been passed down for generations or it's tradition to name a daughter after her mother's middle name. Since our dogs often come without intact family trees, we don't have these shortcuts to rely on.

 But this pet name blank slate gives us the chance to get super creative when it comes to picking the perfect name for the family mascot. We can look to beloved movies and books for ideas to name our pooch (who wouldn't want their own Mr. Darcy or a Ruffeo to cuddle?) Or we can use our dog's appearance and fur as a hint to what they'd love to be called -- a brown dog named Java -- how cute is that? 

Check out these 20 awesome dog names as inspiration when bringing a new furry friend home (or as the final push to get to the shelter!) 

  • ROMY

    best dog names

    Romy makes a great dog name for a quirky pet who marches to her own beat. It's unusual enough that most people haven't heard it before, but not so uncommon that it feels strange to yell across the dog park. Fans of Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion will get a kick out of the reference to an old favorite flick. 

  • NOVA

    best dog names

    When a dark dog joins the family, selecting a name that matches their fur, like Midnight, or Coco, is always a safe choice. For something a little different, try Nova, a name that's inspired by the dark night sky but refers to a star showing how brilliant and bright it can be before returning to its natural state of darkness. 


    best dog names

    If the new puppy in the family is everything anyone could ever want in a dog, naming him after the most perfect man in all of literature just makes sense. After all, who wouldn't want to finally have a Mr. Darcy of their own to love and cherish? 


    best dog names

    A fluffy princess deserves a fancy name. But not all of us want a pup with a name that could be mistaken for a Vegas showgirl like Cha-Cha or Princess. Besides being a subtle shoutout to Gilmore Girl fans, Lorelai is a gorgeous name that's not too fussy or spoiled sounding.


    best dog names

    If a pup is cute enough to eat, let that be the inspiration for their name. A little Meatball would be an adorable addition to the family, or black and white mix called Mocha. Welcoming a French bulldog to the house? Maybe the family just got their own Baguette to love. 


    best dog names

    If having a dog to treat like a little prince has always been the dream, reaching for a royally inspired name makes total sense. Baron is a name that shows off a pup's noble rank as ruler of the household while being a little more distinctive than all the  Dukes, Princes, and Earls at the dog park. 


    best dog names

    According to mythology, a phoenix is a bird that bursts into flames and rises from the ashes to live again, stronger and wiser than before. This makes Phoenix a touching and powerful name for any rescue pup who's been given a second chance at a happy life. 


    best dog names
    Alexandr Zhenzhirov/iStock

    Anyone who remembers the movie Hook will jump at the idea of having a best fur friend named Ruffeo. Not only was he the coolest Lost Boy by far, but think about how much fun it would be to call for the dog to come in at night? Ruffeo, Ruffeo, Ruff-E-OOOO! Awesome. 


    best dog names

    Some dogs are sweethearts who listen when called, never have accidents on the carpet, and always seem to know when we need a fuzzy hug. They're good witches in dog form, which is why we think Glinda would be a great name for a pup with these qualities. 

  • LINK

    best dog names

    If leaving the dog at home while the family heads out on adventures isn't in the plan, then this new pup just might be a Link. Ready for adventure and fearless in the pursuit of fun, like the video game character from Zelda, a pup named Link will always be up for hitting the road and seeing something new. 


    best dog names

    Puppies born in spring are obvious pics for floral names. Daisy, Rose, and Violet are all cute choices for a puppy with a calm, sweet disposition. But for anyone looking for a dog name that's just a tiny bit outside the mold, try Dahlia. Like the flower, it's a special name that can't help but draw attention. 


    best dog names

    When a Game of Thrones fan is lucky enough to get a new dog, it only makes sense to look to the direwolfs for naming inspiration. All of the Stark kids' pets had great names, but we think Arya's faithful Nymeria makes a beautiful and special name for a new furry friend. 


    best dog names
    anna avdeeva/istock

    For a sci-fi fan or anyone searching for a female dog name that's not super girly, try Scully on for size. The X-Files genius detective was super smart and always alert, just like the best dogs. Plus it's an easy way to argue for a second dog down the line -- after all, Scully needs her Mulder. 


    best dog names

    For an unusual dog name that anyone who grew up in the '80s will instantly recognize and love, go with Atreyu. He captured our hearts as the brave Native warrior in The Neverending Story, just like a fearless pup can melt our hearts as he races to greet us at the end of a day apart. 


    best dog names

    Super posh names, like Lexington or Madison, make fun dog names for pups that are especially playful and friendly. There's something hilarious about calling out a proper, country club sounding name to a pup that's frolicking in the mud or gleefully chasing a squirrel through the backyard. 


    best dog names

    Some sweet pups have RSF -- resting sad face -- and totally deserve an adorable name to match those pleading puppy dog eyes. We know Eeyore is a popular pick for the forever forlorn furbabies. But for something a little different, why not try Aberforth? Dumbledore's brother always felt left out, but we know a cute pup by this name will always be part of the family. 


    best dog names

    Hermes is the Greek God of speed, making this a great dog name for pups who were born to run, or for anyone who has high hopes of taking their new four-legged pal out for a jog with them. Hermes was also the God of athletes, which is why we think any dog by this name will also love snuggling close on the couch to watch the big game. 


    best dog names
    Gang Zhou/iStock

    If performing tunes from Hamilton with the dog standing in for a Broadway audience sounds like the perfect Saturday morning, name a new furry darling after Eliza. Not only does this pet name show off a love of musical theater, it also makes it that much cuter when the pup howls along during Helpless

  • JAVA

    best dog names

    Combine a love of puppers and caffeinated beverages with this playful, coffee-inspired name for a black or brown dog. For anyone who speaks computer code as a second language, using Java as a dog name gets a fun second meaning, too -- both as a sly work reference and as the name of the drink that starts our day.


    best dog names

    A teeny tiny dog who's too adorable to seem real deserves an equally precious name. Pixies are small and cute but can also be somewhat mischievous, making it a great name for any miniature pup who's 95% sweet kisses and 5% trying to chew on the most expensive shoes in the closet. 

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