Adopting a dog is a momentous occasion. You find the perfect pet at the shelter or go to a breeder and see those big eyes looking up at you.
Maybe your newfound friend jumps up in your arms, wags their tail, or gives you a loving bark. Deep-down, you know this is the one. Then comes the seemingly hard part. What do you name this dog? Choosing a name is essential because it will last their entire lives, and you'll have to say it frequently to get them to respond to your training! Fortunately, here's a list of the 20 best dog names (10 for male dogs and 10 for females) that you can consider giving to your canine friend.
How To Choose a Dog Name
Before getting into what the best dog names are, let's first take a moment to understand why these names are "the best." It's not just personal opinion - although that does play some part in choosing a name. Instead, the best dog names have scientific backing.
Unlike humans, who can understand a wide variety of sounds, including vowels and consonants, dogs are smart but they don't have quite that same level of sonic acuity. Instead, dogs have certain sounds that they can hear better than others. In particular, your canine friend finds it much easier to hear hard consonants and long vowels. These are distinctive sounds that are easy for your dog to pick up on and not get confused.
Remember, a dog can only understand about 250 words, so they're not going to necessarily get the nuance between "go" and "Bo," or "sit" and "Kit." They're going to know that this short word that sort of sounds like "sit" means to sit down. If you give them a name that sounds like that, you could find training much more difficult.
Therefore, what you name your dog is vital, not just on a scientific level but also on its overall ability to train and quality of life. Your dog's name has a substantial impact, so please choose carefully!
10 Best Dog Names for Male Dogs
With this logic in mind, here are the ten best dog names for males:
- Peanut: This name is unique, evokes images of the Peanuts cartoon, and doesn't sound like many other words. It's an excellent name for a male dog.
- Rocky: If you have a healthy, robust dog and want to have a name that suits its strength, consider this name. It's a name that conjures up images of power.
- Apollo: This short, fun name is one that will be unique at the park. It's also a very uncommon word, so you shouldn't have any issues with training or misunderstandings.
- Loki: You might pick this name because of the Marvel character, or you might like the sound of it. Either way, it's a unique word that will be easy for your dog to understand!
- Mac: This short-and-sweet name is easy to say and trivial for your dog to understand. The only downside to this one is that you'll likely find quite a few other dogs with this name!
- Riley: Riley is a short, fun name that makes this top 10 list of best dog names for males because of its ease of saying and that it doesn't sound like many other words. Your dog will know you're talking to him!
- Rocco: As with Rocky above, this name conjures up connotations of strength and power. If you have a sturdy dog, this might be the perfect name for it.
- Thor: The God of thunder and protector of the world, Thor is the perfect name for your favorite guard dog and protector of your household.
- Toby: This short dog name is easy for your pet to remember and easy for you to say. That makes it a winner on this list.
- Winston: This is a unique male dog name because it frequently makes people think of Winston Churchill. If you have an intelligent dog, Winston would be perfect!
10 Best Dog Names for Female Dogs
Here are the ten best female puppy names:
- Molly: Molly is a simple, feminine sounding name that works well for girl dogs. If you have a sweetheart pup, this could be the one for her.
- Lucy: This name is short and simple for your dog to understand. There aren't many other words like it.
- Emma: Emma is also a popular human girl's name, so it should come as no surprise to find it on this list. It's also a short, simple name that works well for training.
- Angel: If you want a name that reflects your little pup's temperament and how you feel about her, this is the right one.
- Bailey: The hard "B" sound and long "E" at the end make this an easy name for your dog to pick up on and respond accordingly.
- Bella: This feminine-sounding name is also short. The unique structure it has makes it easy for dogs to learn.
- Daisy: This name is also very feminine, but the two long vowels in there (the long "a" sound and "e" sound at the end) make this a beautiful name for your dog to have.
- Lilly: Feminine yet straightforward, this name is perfect for your adorable girl dog.
- Maggie: The double "G" hard consonant sound makes this one easy for dogs to recognize and learn. That ease of understanding makes it a top-10 name!
- Coco: This name will work well for fans of Coco Chanel. It's also a cute puppy name for female dogs!
Pick the Right Name for Your Dog
Whether you choose to use one of the names above or something else, please take time to pick the right name for the right dog breed for you. It's the name that they will presumably have for the rest of their lives. As such, choosing one that's easy for you to say and trivial for your dog to understand is vital!