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These are the most popular dog names in the world

Adopting a new dog is an exciting time in your life, and there are plenty of decisions to be made. While choosing the perfect veterinarian and picking out a dog bed are important, one of the first decisions you need to make is selecting a name for your dog, and there are several factors to consider. How will your dog’s name sound when you’re calling him in from the backyard? Do you want to name your pup after a popular movie character? Do you prefer traditional names like Fido or Spot? Let’s take a look at the most popular dog names to help you decide upon the perfect name for your new pooch. 

A beagle puppy walks through grass.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The top 10 most popular dog names

Here are the 10 most popular dog names in the world. Perhaps you’ll find the perfect name for your new pup somewhere on the list. 

  1. Luna: Meaning “moon,” Luna is also the name of a popular character in the Harry Potter franchise, Luna Lovegood. 
  2. Max: Short for Maximilian, meaning “greatest,” the name surged in popularity after the 2000 release of Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, starring Russell Crowe as Maximus, the titular gladiator. 
  3. Bella: Meaning “beautiful” in Italian, but the name’s current popularity may have something to do with Twilight’s Bella Swan. 
  4. Lola: A common woman’s name in Spanish and other Romance languages, Lola is the shortened form of Dolores, which means “sorrows.” The name derives its meaning from one of the Virgin Mary’s titles, Nuestra Señora de Los Dolores, Our Lady of Sorrows. 
  5. Molly: In Medieval times, Molly was a common nickname for Mary. In modern times, it is frequently used as a given name. Author James Joyce gave the name to Molly Bloom, wife of his main character in Ulysses. The name has been popularized more recently in the Harry Potter series; the Weasley matriarch is named Molly. 
  6. Charlie: A diminutive of both Charles and Charlotte, Charlie means “free man.” Popular characters named Charlie include Charlie Brown, the main character in the comic series Peanuts, and Charlie Harper of Two and a Half Men, portrayed by actor Charlie Sheen.
  7. Buddy: While many names have commonly used nicknames, Buddy was once a nickname for a friend and later became an independent name. Famous name-bearers include rock icon Buddy Holly, basketball player Buddy Hield, and TLC’s Cake Boss star Buddy Valastro. 
  8. Rocky: Derived from Rock, which means “rest,” the name Rocky became wildly popular thanks to Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky franchise, which centers on boxer Rocky Balboa. 
  9. Jack: A traditionally English name, Jack means “God is gracious.” Johnny Depp’s portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean films may be responsible for the name’s recent resurgence. 
  10. Lucy: Lucy comes from the Latin name Lucius, stemming from the word lux, which means “light.” Famous Lucys include Lucy Ricardo of I Love Lucy, played by Lucille Ball, as well as actors Lucy Liu and Lucy Lawless. 

A chocolate Labrador retriever puppy lying on stone tiles.

Some names are universal

Compiling a list of the most popular dog names requires more work than you might think. After collecting data from studies conducted by animal welfare charities, insurance providers, and dog registries, Budget Direct released a list of the most popular names for male and female dogs in various countries. Many names appear in several countries, but in some, a few unique names cropped up. For example, Mel, which means “honey” in Portuguese, makes the list of the most popular names for female dogs in Portugal. 

Different countries use names… differently

Research shows that male dogs are more likely to have human names than female dogs, but there is one exception: Buddy. The most popular dog name in North Macedonia and Indonesia, a native language variation of Buddy is also commonly used in Lithuania. Draugas, which means “friend,” is a popular Lithuanian take on the name. Names that native English speakers consider boy names or girl names may not be used the same way in other countries. Leedi, a derivative of Lady, is the most popular name for male dogs in Estonia, while Lucky—typically viewed as a male dog’s name in the United States—is one of the most popular names for female dogs in Portugal.  

A woman in a sweater holds a sleeping black and white French bulldog puppy.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Choose a name you love

If you want to ensure several pups at the local dog park won’t answer your call, steer clear of naming your dog Luna or Bella, the most popular names for female dogs in an impressive 30 countries. You’ll also want to skip naming your dog Max, the most popular male dog name in the world. Whether you name your dog after a favorite fictional character, or you choose a more old-fashioned name like Spot, we recommend sticking to something that’s short and easy to say. 

Mary Johnson
Mary Johnson is a writer and photographer from New Orleans, Louisiana. Her work has been published in PawTracks and…
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