Last Year’s Most Popular Dog Names

dog nameNaming a new pup isn’t always an easy decision. Some decide on the spur of the moment while others take time debating what they should dub their new dog. Then there are those that even come up with something silly at the time, then decide to change it later on.

Needless to say, there are many different naming scenarios that dog owners face, and a lot of the time we find ourselves agreeing on names that are popular at the time. Last year, we saw dog names take a different turn, focusing on both trending pop-culture and other ways that humanize our dogs and really set a place for them as a part of our families.

Culture trends and names

Pop-culture favorites were possibly the most noticeable. With recent years featuring some big blockbuster movies in theaters and New York bestselling books, it’s no wonder that many owners decided to name their new friends after some of their favorite characters. And while some of the most popular names in pop culture like Ozzy and Elvis have receded from the lists, others have stepped in and changed the way we name dogs.

The most popular last year was the lead character in a book and movie series. Bella, from the Twilight series, was the leading choice name for 2012, trending amongst many size and breed of dogs. While not everyone might have seen the movies or read the books, the name does have a soothing ring to it and made an excellent choice for many pups last year.

There were a few names that seemed to be particularly popular with certain breeds. For the small but always loving Chihuahua the popular choice of name was Chico, enunciating this lovable pup’s southern heritage. Buddy, being amongst the top five choice names for the male dog, was popular with the protective Labradors. Max has been amongst the most popular for years, and is a favorite amongst the Golden Retriever, Yorkshire terrier, and German shepherd breeds.

For those of you who enjoy the comfort and style of the smaller breeds, the favored choice for the Shih Tzu breed was Gizmo. It remains a timeless favorite for many pet owners.

The Rocky Balboa saga was remembered too when it came to naming, with Rocky being the preferred choice for a very obvious breed- the Boxer. The interesting thing is that Rocky has been part of the top five dog name choices for the past thirteen years, so chances are that you know a pup or two that answers to this famous name.

A part of the family

As the world becomes more in tune with pet owners, creating and opening places and parks where dogs are welcomed just as much as their owners, we begin to notice that pet names have strayed from gender neutrality, like Sam (Samuel or Samantha). Instead, the top choices have been split amongst breeds, such as the female choices of Daisy, Lucy, and Chloe and the male choices of Bentley, Max, and Thor. And in other cases, the name is also accompanied by the family’s last name, adding extra character and really defining their companion as a part of their family. So next time you have tags made for your pup, consider adding in a last name to let others know just how special your pup is to you.

There is another interesting scenario for many pet owners, which focuses on naming pets in pairs or introducing a new friend to the family and looking for a name that fits the group. Some of the favored paired choices are Jax (short for Jackson) and Stella, Simba and Nala (fromThe Lion King), Dexter and Luna, and the most recently favored and likely to be the top choices for next year are Athena and Zeus. Tying your pet names together is getting easier and at times can be a great conversation piece for your friends and guests.

At times, naming your dogs can seem a little difficult, especially since you’re choosing a name that’s going to be identified with your pup for the rest of their life. Take your time when naming your pup and don’t feel rushed during the process. After all, while you may have to say it every day, your dog has to answer to it all the time. Take your time and choose a name that fits your pup’s personality and your family’s heart.

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