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Dog Names for 2023! 20 Ideas For Male and Female Dogs

If you’ve just adopted a new puppy or adult dog – or you’re about to – there’s no doubt that you’ll be wondering what name to give them. Do you want a strong name, or a unique name? What breed have you decided on – or is it a mixed breed? Is it a large dog, or a small lap dog?

Useful tips for choosing a dog’s name

  1. If you’re adopting an adult dog from a rescue centre, they will generally already have a names. But - you don’t have to keep it! Depending on your dog’s history, it’s possible to gradually help them adapt to a new name.
  2. Avoid choosing a name that’s the same or similar to someone in your family! If your dog’s name is Bailey, and your wife’s name is Hailey, this could cause some confusion!
  3. Try to stick to two syllables. A good example here is the winner of Crufts 2022 whose kennel name is ‘Almanza Backseat Driver’ but is lovingly known as, and responds to ‘Baxer’.
  4. Dogs also respond well to names that end in a vowel, like Trixie or Lola for example.
  5. Similarly, try to avoid names that sound like a cue word. For example, the name ‘Spit’ – a popular name in The Netherlands – might get confused by the cue ‘sit’.
  6. Consider what your new pooch is going to look like when they are fully grown. Will your chosen name suit them in a few month’s time? ‘Fifi’ may suit a small cute puppy but might feel out of place for an imposing, fully grown Bullmastiff.
  7. Are you going to be happy calling your dog’s name in the park, or hear it called out in the waiting room at the vets?
  8. You may wait until you have spent a little time with your new pet, so that your instinct will help you choose the right name, once you get to know their character.

Remember, it can take a few days for a puppy to get used to a new name so try to use it as often as you can during this period, particularly during training sessions. Be consistent and don’t abbreviate it to a nickname until they are responding well. 

If you are struggling to decide, you might find the following ideas will inspire you!

Happy dog sitting, looking back over shoulder on mountain range covered with greenery

10 Ideas for Male Dog Names

We asked the team behind ADAPTIL to let us know the names of their dogs and here are some of the most popular ones:

1. Duke

Duke is the most popular name for a male dog, and is a Latin name which means “Leader of the Herd; high-ranking nobleman.” 

2. Brownie

We’re guessing that these dogs get their names from their beautiful brown coats.

 3. Igor

This name is of Russian origin, meaning ‘Warrior’. Famous human Igors include Igor Stravinsky (the Russian composer) and Igor Sikorsky (the Russian/American designer of the first successful helicopter).

 4. Otis

In Greek, Otis means ‘keen of hearing’ and is also a boy’s name of German origin meaning ‘wealthy’. It is a popular name in pop culture (Otis Redding) and is the name of the adventurous pug from the film Milo and Otis.

5. Rio

The name Rio is of Spanish origin meaning ‘river’. Two of the most famous humans called Rio are Rio Ferdinand, the professional footballer, and the singer, Rio Santana.

6. Chico

Chico is a nickname for ‘little boy’ in Spanish so probably lends itself well to dogs that are small in stature but not necessarily small in character! It’s one of the most popular dog names in Mexico.

7. Peanut

This is an affectionate name meaning ‘cute’ It is a gender neutral name and, according to Small Dog Owner, in 2021 it ranked 78 in the top 100 most popular male dog names.

8. Tobias

From the Greek ‘God is Good’, this is frequently shortened to Toby. Tobey Maguire is most famous for playing the title character in the Spider Man trilogy.

9. Leo

Stemming from the Latin word for ‘lion’, Leo is one of the most popular names for a male dog. It is a shortened name from Leon or Leopold meaning ‘brave’ or ‘lion hearted’.

10. Elvis

Meaning ‘All-wise’, dogs called Elvis are associated with friendship and companionship. It’s a good choice of name for dogs of all sizes. Nick Jonas named his beautiful Golden Retriever Elvis, after his music idols Elvis Presley and Elvis Costello.

Small, fluffy, white dog running on grass outside

10 Ideas for Female Dog Names

1. Luna

Luna is very popular when it comes to names for female dogs! It comes from the Latin luna, meaning “moon” and she was also the Roman goddess of the moon. The association with night time makes Luna an excellent name for a girl dog, especially if they have a black coat.

2. Lola

‘Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl’ is from the song Copacabana by Barry Manilow – but it’s also a carefree name for a dog that's affectionate and loves being with people. Dogs with this name are often described as devoted and eager to please. The name is a diminutive of Dolores, it’s Spanish and means ‘sorrows’ – perhaps an apt name for the  Boxer breed, who can look sorrowful, despite having a heart of gold!

3. Truffle

A great name for a dog that has a creamy, chocolatey colour coat. The name Truffle is usually given to small breed dogs.

4. Cleo

This is a Greek name that means ‘glory’ and is a great name for a large breed, female dog. Dogs who suit this name can might be strong willed - just like The most famous Cleo, of course; Cleopatra the last Pharaoh of Egypt.

Beagle dog laying beside owner outdoors looking calm and happy while being pet on the head

5. Cacau

Cacau has its origins in Latin and it is used largely in the Portuguese language. Cacau is a pet form of Claudia in humans but this cute name might also have been inspired by the spice ‘cacao’ which is most commonly used to make chocolate – the roasted seeds of the cacao are also used to spice drinks and dishes. Perhaps dogs called Cacau were named because they are sweet – and spicy!

6. Lolita

Lolita is a diminutive of ‘Lola’, which is derived from ‘Dolores’ meaning ‘full of sorrows’. Lolita was popularised by the novel of the same name, written by Vladimir Nabokov in 1955.

7. Lilith

The meaning of Lilith is ‘Ghost; storm goddess’. Lilith is derived from the Akkadian word lilitu meaning “of the night”.

8. Angela

Meaning ‘the messenger of God’, the name Angela is often shortened to ‘Angie’ and as this ends in a vowel sound, is easy for dogs to recognize when called.

9. Amora

As you would expect, this exotic dog’s name means ‘love’. It is of Spanish origin but also frequently used in France and Italy and “That’s Amore” was a major hit for Dean Martin in 1953!

10. Ronja

This lovely name is frequently used in Sweden and means ‘Swedish Lake’.  The name was invented by Astrid Lindgren, a Swedish author of children's books, who used it in her fairy tale Ronja, the Robber's Daughter. It means ‘God’s Joyful Song’.

Remember, it can take a few days for a puppy to learn its name, so use it every time you interact with them, particularly during training sessions. Save nicknames for later to avoid confusion.

Happy naming!

Woman sitting on beach side-by-side with large brown dog staring out into the water


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