How to Choose the Perfect Name for Your New Dog

If you’re thinking about getting a new dog, there’s so much to consider. What breed? Puppy or adult? What kind of food should they eat? Do they need obedience training? Then, once you have your new dog, there are so many first to experience with... wait a minute, what’s their name? 

Naming your dog is no simple task, after all, you’ll be calling it out to them for years to come. So, we asked some seasoned experts in the Big Barker community how they picked their dog’s names. Here are the top 11 best ways to come up with a name for your new best friend. 


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1. Get Inspired by Movies and TV Shows

Some dog owners choose their dogs’ names from the silver screen or flat screen in their home. Movies ranging from The Avengers to Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer to television series like Dexter and General Hospital are sometimes the perfect inspiration for the name of your dog. Some of our favorite names mentioned were Rocko (from Rocko’s Modern Life), Bucky (like the Winter Soldier), and Nightmare and Nightshade (from The Nightmare Before Christmas).

Netflix Queue


2. Rely on Ancient Mythologies

Sometimes a dog will embody qualities of gods from ancient mythologies. Dog names like Argo and Athena from Greek mythology. These names may have been chosen to show the strength or intelligence of these pups for example. Another popular ancient mythology was Norse mythology. Names like Skadi (meaning Winter) and Fenrir (meaning wolf dog) were two names that come up as well.



3. Turn to Those You Trust Most 

Choosing a name for your dog can feel very daunting and nerve wracking, but who to turn to? The people who know you best… your friends and family! Our community talked about how their dogs were named after family members or having children choose the names of their dogs. This can create an even stronger bond between your dog and you.

Family with Dog


4. Name Them After Something You Love

Our favorite games can also serve as inspiration for the names of our dogs. Just take the names Waldo and Zelda named after the famous games Where’s Waldo and the Legends of Zelda.

Playing video games


5. Consider Your Favorite Places and Shops

The places we travel can leave such an impact on us, so much so that we name our dogs after these places. Just take Kona Kai named after Hawaii and Rocky after Philly. Some people have also named their dogs after their favorite shops. One of our community members said that “my first dog that was mine and not the family dog was a young shelter pup named Levi. I loved it and he was my shadow and once in a lifetime dog. Since then, I have kept with the clothing (and general) brand names: dog Kensie, cats: Calvin Klein (Cal), J. Crew (Crew), and Kate Spade (Kate - was Kate Unspayed until her surgery). And 3.5 weeks ago we added Eddie Bauer, the Great Dane!”

Rocky Statue


6. Have Music Be Your Muse

Music inspires and moves many people so it would completely make sense for a dog to be named after our favorite music. Some of the names we loved were Gypsy, from the Dolly Parton Song Gypsy Joe and me as well as the named Cameo after a musical group.

Music Sheet


7. Choose a Name from Your Favorite Athlete

Watching sports games and more can often inspire the names of our pups. Some of our community members shared that they named their dogs after some famous athletes like Jojo named after 76er’s Basketball Star, Joel Embiid, as well as Sidney Crosby and Murray after the Penguins Hockey Stars.



8. Turn to Another Language

Some of our community members got creative with the names of their dogs by using another language. One of the really cool answers was Loupe which means wolf in Latin.

Old Books


9. Consider Their Personality or Appearance

Often, after getting a dog, their personality comes out and influences the name choice. This was the case for many of our community members who had some great names for their dogs based on their personality or appearance. For example, some of the names included Asher (meaning happy and blessed), Roxie Sox (because white socks on her paws), Kona (looks like a Kona coffee espresso shot), Orca (is a black and white dog). One especially sweet story from a community member was “I waited to see what her personality was like and found that she liked to play with my toes and since I was always telling her to leave my tootsies alone she became Tootsie.”

Smiling Dog


10. Let Your Memories Inspire Your New Dog’s Name

The memories of our lives can serve as great names for our dogs. This was a popular reason why people choose the names of their dogs. Some of the dog names shared with us included John Deere (the name was chosen by a retired farmer), Buddy (because it was easy to remember), and Max (after they found him on the side of the road while going to the store to get some Maxwell House Coffee). One hilarious story shared by a community member was “We weren’t sure but we were leaning towards the name Murphy. Then I brought him home… he destroyed everything he could reach and was building ladders to get to the rest! He became Dennis Menace, no the - just Dennis Menace! Later to become Big Butt, Monster Mutt, Old Man.”



11. Let Someone Else Choose!

Sometimes the name for a dog is perfect when you meet your future dog and there’s no reason to change it. This was the most popular answer from our community by far! One great story was about how a person’s vet named their dog! “He was dumped on a highway and it took 3 weeks for anyone to get their hands on him. Our rescue was talking and the vet asked ‘what name do you want on charts?’ When she laughed at my poor suggestion I asked her what they had been calling him…’That Sly F'ing Dog’...I shortened it to ‘Sly Dog.’"

Dog at the Vet


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