Pet names should reflect your lifestyle, your pet’s personality or your expectations for him or her. Explore your interests. Favorite television shows, movies, plays, actors and characters are fertile areas for ideas. For example, “Cujo” became hugely popular after the Steven King novel and subsequent movie.
- For art lovers, potential puppy names include Frida or Kahlo for a female, Van Gogh or Picasso for a male.
- Surfers may end up with a Halfpipe or Point Break (inevitably shortened to Pointer).
- Computer whizzes may call their dog Linux, ASCII or Qwerty.
- Sci-Fi enthusiasts might consider Yoda, ET or Vincent. And you can bet a slew of Lord of the Rings dog and puppy names are popping up across the whole of the shire.
- Fans of space exploration might have a Sputnik or a Hubble.
- Are you a geography buff? Consider favorite countries or cities as your source of inspiration: Kenya, Bermuda, Sicily, Cairo, Milano or Victoria, for instance.
- Orthopedic surgeons might look to their career for inspiration and have a Radius, Scapula or Tarsus.
- For gourmets, Couscous, Chutney and Salsa are on the menu.
- One of the most relied upon sources for puppy names are favorite musical bands and singers of today and yesteryear: Ol’ Blue Eyes, Elvis, Ringo and Dylan dot the charts of popular dog monikers.
- Cartoons are an excellent source of pet names: animated cartoon characters like Scooby Doo and Casper (for white pets), and Dilbert and Dogbert.
- And don’t forget Super Heroes! Having a Captain America or Batman around as a security watch-pet wouldn’t be a bad thing, would it?
If you have a multi-pet household consider this:
- For a pair try Bert and Ernie, Fred and Ginger (or Wilma), Cayenne and Pepper or Teeter and Totter.
- For a trio, try Peanut, Butter and Jelly; Duchess, Princess and King; or Daisy, Lily and Petunia.
Using Heritage for Inspiration
Have you ever noticed how certain dog breeds cry out for particular names? For example, those ringing with the sounds of France work well for Poodles: Clarisse or Yolanda for a girl, Pierre or Marcel for a boy.
Poodles, by the way, were originally bred as a duck hunting water dog; sort of an unglamorous beginning for such an elegant breed.
Other French breeds are the Papillon, French Bulldog, Bouvier des Flandres, Bichon Frisé, and Briard.
German dog names are appropriate for Shepherds, Dachshunds, Rottweilers, Short and Wirehaired Pointers, Weimaraners, Doberman Pinschers and Schnauzers. Consider Guenther or Sergius for a boy, Frieda or Leisel for a girl.
Possible Italian dog names for an Italian Greyhound or Spinone are Marco or Flavio, Isabella or Bettina.
Did You Know . . .
The Italian Greyhound isn’t really Italian. The breed has its origins in the Mediterranean basin, possibly in the area of present day Greece and Turkey. These miniature greyhounds earned their name in the 16th century when the dogs became very popular in Italy.
Here are more dog names suggestive of their geographic origins:
- Dogs of breeds originating in the British Isles, such as the Cocker Spaniel, Welsh Corgi, Sheepdog, Mastiff and Whippet might do well with Winston or Spencer, Lillian or Hazel.
- Gillean and Mollie are beautiful Scottish dog names for girls. For boy dogs, consider Brody or Murray. Scottish dogs include the Scottish Terrier (Scottie), the West Highland Terrier, the Deerhound and the Gordon Setter.
- Declan and Shamus, Caitlin and Kerry-Ann are Irish names to consider if you have a Kerry Blue Spaniel, Irish Wolfhound or Irish Setter.
- Japanese dog names, such as Nanako and Kyoto are suitable for breeds of Japanese heritage, including the Akita, Shiba, and Japanese Chin.
- Names with the feel of the Far East are suitable for such breeds as the Shih Tzu, Kuvasz, Lhasa Apso, Chow Chow, Pug, and Pekingese. How about Chen or Liang for a girl, Bao or Jun for a boy?
- Middle-Eastern dog breeds such as the Samoyed and Afghan Hound may be suited for Abi or Sofya for a girl, Zeki or Rashid for a boy.
- Getting a puppy of Egyptian heritage? Perhaps an Ibizan, Borzoi, Saluki, Basenji, or Greyhound? Consider Hathor or Tahemet for a girl, Amun or Seti for a boy.
- For the strong and sturdy Husky and Malamute breeds, Alaskan dog names are appropriate. Central Yup’ik is the most common language spoken by the native peoples of Alaska. Popular dog names among these peoples include Taqukaq (grizzly bear), Ataneq (king), and Panik (daughter).
You get the idea. The most important component is to pick something you enjoy and can identify with. Your dog, after all, doesn’t really care what his or her name is, as long as you say it with love in your voice.