Loving Ludwig

german-shepherd-932224_640Most notably tied to the famous composer, Ludwig is actually a surprisingly popular puppy name, especially for those all too adorable German Shepherds. However, it wasn’t the German’s that made Ludwig a familiar canine call. In fact, the first association of Ludwig and dogs started with the Dobermann Pinscher. Their first breeder’s name was Ludwig Dobermann, so it can hardly be too far of a stretch to think that at least one of these new dogs was called Ludwig.

As for the name itself?

Turns out Ludwig is a pretty cool title to have.


Old High German

From about 700 to 1050 CE, the Germans spoke a phase of their language called Old High German, also known as Althochdeutsch. Much like Old English, though current German retains some semblance of this older evolution, it is now virtually its own language. It was from this stage of the German language that Ludwig was born. Originally spelled Chlodovech, it was a combination of hlud “famous” and wig “war”. In a more translated form, “famous warrior”.

Historically, it served as the name of three of the Merovingian kings, though the more Latinized Clovis was used (the name that would eventually become Louis). This dynasty was famous for uniting Gaul (France) and included such famous names as Clovis I, Brunhilda and Dagobert I. Though this line eventually fell as all do, the name Ludwig remained extremely popular. Many Ludwigs ruled over various German courts while almost every field, from art to economics, had at least one noted professional bearing the name. In addition, it was also a popular surname, appearing throughout much of Germany’s history.


Modern Pups

As humans are notorious for using popular names to name their best friends, it’s almost impossible to say when the first dog was christened a famous warrior. Some could even argue this probably happened at the same time a more famous leader took the name. Nowadays, though, Ludwig serves as more of a quirky title. While Americans are certainly familiar with it, it nevertheless carries with it an unfamiliar sound and pronunciation unique to languages spoken across the Atlantic.

With such a special name, it would make sense that only the most special pups earn such a moniker. For the vast majority of dogs, the German breeds are the ones most likely to sport Ludwig, however, it’s not beyond imagining for a Corgi or Pomeranian to also be gifted with such a fierce title. That being said, when the dog is small, rarely does Ludwig serve as their only name. Many often add a very German last name, staring with “von” and ending with something a bit more adorable.


Whether used to denote a dog’s ferocity or to match their unruly fur to that of Beethoven’s unruly hair, Ludwig is a name that seems will always be popular for man and dog alike.

Stormy Names

Popular enough to make the AKC’s top 150 most popular dog names, Storm remains a great title for any pup. No doubt used as a way to summarize the almost unending barrage of energy so notable in almost all dog breeds, it’s a great name that comes with even greater nicknames. Even though it is unisex, many female pups are given the more female equivalent, Tempest. However, tracking this name, like all dog names, requires journeying back to the early years of human language.


Germanic Origins

Unlike many English words that have their history in Latin, Storm is actually an oddball. As far as modern scholars can deduce, Storm originates from the Proto-Germanic “sturmaz”, a language that comes to us from the barbarians of the cold north, a race that Rome itself long feared. That being said, “sturmaz” wasn’t the only form of the word to exist. Old Norse used “stormr”, Old Saxon and a few others used “storm” and Old High German used “sturm”. Each of these variations was only used to describe weather patterns, though. It wasn’t until the late Old English period that the term came to be used figuratively, thereby making it more acceptable to be used as a name for people and things.

As for its first recorded appearances, the German areas of Mecklenburg and Pomerania hold that honor with Storm being used as a last name for many families in the region that would go on to play an important part in the creation of medieval German society. The earliest individual is an Arnold Storm of Rostock that lived in 1283.

English eventually settled on “storm” as the spelling and the name began to expand beyond simply a last name. There are records of children born at sea during storms having been named such as well as rather blustery individuals earning the moniker. Indeed, it seems to have always been a popular pet name for those that seem to be forces of nature themselves.


A Modern Myriad

Nowadays, Storm seems to be the perfect puppy name. As it can signify anything, from an actual storm to an old deity, the name is perfect for virtually any canine that creates whirlwinds from how fast their little tail whips around. Even so, those that are dubbed to be such tend to be medium sized dogs with dark coats. Labradors, Great Danes and Pit Bulls top the list of preferred breeds for this name, but that doesn’t stop the occasional Dachshund or Pug from making the list. Angry-looking Huskies with black fur on their faces are also common receivers of the name.

No matter what puppy you decide on, Storm is a perfect fit as all dogs bring a barrage of love and kisses into their homes.

Jojo Forever

If you have a dog, your dog has a nickname. There’s no getting around it. Whether a diminutive of their legal name or a cute term they earned on some past adventure, most carry around at least two monikers. So is how it is with the name “Jojo”. For the vast majority of pups, this doesn’t actually serve as their name so much as it is a shortening of their current name. Unsurprisingly, these full names typically begin with “jo”. But when did this shortened version become popular?


Ancient History

One of the earliest names to start with “jo” was Joseph, a name that comes to us from the bible. In Hebrew, it was “Yosef”. This changed to “Ioseph” when translated from Greek and then Latin and finally reached its current form during the Middle Ages. Joseph, by then, was extremely popular among the growing number of Christians by this point and spread rapidly through Europe. In addition, other biblical names with a similar start became fashionable, including John and its female counterpart Joan.

As far as Jo is concerned, the date can’t really be placed, but scholars have found its origin in English, German and Dutch as it was used as the shortened form of Joan, Joanna and Josephine. In Germany and the Netherlands, Jo was more masculine, acting as the shortened version of Johannes or Josef.

Because of this, it would seem humans have long since loved shortening names into cuter versions of the actual name.


African Origin

For most, Jojo comes to us from Western European tradition, however that’s not the only area of the globe Jojo is used. In fact, Jojo is a well-documented African name. Known as a Ghanian name, it is based off of a collection of languages spoken by the ethnic Ghanian groups. In these cultures, it’s more or less tradition to name children after the day of the week they are born on. The name implies more meaning as days are believed to exert influence over the character of the person with the name, much like astrology tells us our astrological signs affect us.

In this realm, Jojo is given to males born on a Monday and means “born on a Monday”. It is used by the Ewe, Fante, Ashanti and Akuapem tribes. As for the characteristics associated with the person, those born on Mondays are seen as tranquil, calm and adept at persevering when faced with stressful situations.


As for dogs? With as quickly as humans took to referring to their females as Jojo, it can be said that the first dog to ever have a name beginning with “jo” was lovingly referred to as Jojo. It’s a practice that has survived the millennia and will no doubt continue onward so long as we name our best friends.

From Alex To Sasha

dog-1027235_640Though mostly given to female pooches in the US, the name Sasha has served as a unisex word across Eastern Europe for some time. In dog name popularity, it almost always ranks in the top 100 with German Shepherds being the most common breeds to bear the moniker, and once you understand it’s meaning, you’ll see why.


Ancient Roots

To truly understand the origin of Sasha, we must first travel back to a time of antiquity in Ancient Greece where we find the earliest instance of the name, Αλεξανδρος. Latinized to Alexandros, this word came from the combination of alexo, meaning to defend, and aner, meaning man. Thus, the defending men earned an official name. It also served as a nickname of the famed Paris of the Trojan War, eight popes, countless kings, poets, explorers and inventors. However, the most famous Alexander remains the King of Macedon, the Great ruler that conquered Egypt, Greece, India and Persia. It was a conquest that earned him so much prestige his name spread like wildfire during his time and continues to spread to this day.


From Russia with Love

While a noted figure in Western history, it was the East that transformed Alexander into the shorter form we know today. Much like we often shorten Alexander to Alex, the Russians and other Eastern Europeans used the back end as a term of endearment, resulting in Xander and the feminine Xandra eventually morphing into Sasha and all of its spellings.


Gender Confusion

Probably one of the most fascinating aspects of the history of Sasha is its continual run-in with gender assignment. In the Slavic countries of its origin, it is extremely common for both males and females. That being said, it is rarely ever used as a person’s legal name since almost all of Eastern Europe views it as a pet name.

However, when it entered France and other French-speaking territories, it became an almost exclusively male name but only when spelled Sacha. Sasha is rarely every used. By the time it finally gained hold as a popular name in the US in the 1970s, Sasha became almost exclusively feminine in America, arguably because of the “a” at the end.


Puppy Popularity

Currently, Sasha as a dog name is seeing an explosion in popularity, ranking in at #17 in 2014. While there’s really no accurate way to tell when our pooches started carrying this historical title, it can safely be assumed it didn’t happen too long after human babies started sporting it.

Will we ever see it in the top 10?

It’s hard to say. Though it remains an extremely popular choice for bigger dogs like Pit bulls, German Shepherds and Mastiffs, there still remain an overabundance of smaller dogs with far less dramatic titles.

The Princeton Review

painting-287403_640Princeton is a name that elicits feelings of wealth and stature. From acting as the name sake of a prestigious university to naming our most precious pets, it’s hard not to hear the name and think of a higher position in society or a retriever with a beautiful golden coat. But where does this name come from? Why would we associate Princeton with a well-bred, well-mannered pooch?



The history of Princeton can be traced all the way back to the Romans. In this time period, princeps was the term used as the official title for the leader of the Roman senate. It was also passed around for various other ruling positions as it was also used as a general term for someone with some bit of governmental authority. This word, however, was actually based on an even earlier word combination of primus, or “first”, with the verb capere, or “to take”.


Old French

From Rome, princeps entered into what was then Gaul (modern day France). While the land eventually lost the Romans, it gained a widely spread collection of territorial kingdoms that eventually united under a common language and shared history. It was this early France where princeps dropped the last two letters and became “prince” around 1200 CE.


Old English

Even though there were Roman territories throughout England, “prince” actually came to the English from the French. This is because Latin fell out of popularity in favor of French. If you were a lord or lady of the court around 1200, you were expect to speak fluent French, a practice that led to why modern English still uses so many French words.

However, “prince” isn’t the only part of “Princeton”, and English is what finally brought about the name we love to give our handsome dogs in a true marriage of high class customs and love of the vernacular.

Nowadays, there remain a lot of English names ending in “-ton”. This is an incredibly popular suffix originated from the Germanic languages that laid the groundwork for the emergence of Anglo-Saxon. While some translate it as “town”, it actually referred to an enclosure, estate or homestead and only later developed the “w”. When added to the back of a word, it was an easy way to describe a specific area based on a notable feature. Therefore a city bearing the name “Princeton” was understood to be a “prince’s town”.


Modern Day

Nowadays, the direct connection to royalty has been severed but the reverence still remains. Though some can go straight for a royal title, those that want to tone down the pomp and play up the propriety opt for “Princeton”. In addition, there are still many more dog owners out there that choose to name their pooch after their school. Though not a fad name like many other dog names, it has nevertheless remained a recognizable addition to the roster.

Coco Capers

For some, quite a lot.

As far as popular female dog names go, Coco is always right at the top of the list. Typically more popular for smaller breeds, it’s a cute name to fit a cute dog. When asked to find an origin, however, there are an astounding number of possibilities.

Among the potential answers, France seems to be the country of origin with some citing it as a shortened version of the more popular Colette. Trace this name all the way back to the beginning and we find the original namesake Nicholas. Eventually that transformed into Nicolette and then the first two letters were chopped off entirely to render the name we know today. More recent surges in popularity of Coco remain French as well, with Coco Chanel influencing many dog names.

If we take another branch, we find ourselves with a nickname that is more descriptive of the fur than of the attitude. Coco is a common shortened version of Cocoa for those with brown dogs. This history takes us up the Spanish language tree back to the word cacao, the fatty seed from which cocoa is produced. The Spanish had previously taken the Nahuatl word cacahuatl and made it their own.

Beyond these two main arteries of origin, Coco in and of itself can be a nickname derived from almost anything. Conan O’Brien, for instance, bears the nickname Coco and there are no doubt dogs named after this. Courtney Cox is another noted celebrity that inspired a Coco surge. When not taking into account pop culture, any descriptive term or word used as endearment that has a “co” in it can be transformed into the more recognizable Coco.

Nowadays, when you hear the name Coco, your mind no doubt imagines the tinier, more princess-like breeds. However, that doesn’t mean the name is equal in size in regards to popularity. In fact, two of the top 10 breeds’ preferred female names were Coco. These were the Chihuahua and the Shih Tzu. Other breeds that usually bear this name include dachshunds, bichons, malteses, and terriers.

Though we may never know the official origin of the term Coco, this serves to show how favorite terms transcend one language or another. All across the world there are words that sound exactly the same, and while they might not elicit the same mental image of a fluffy puppy, it nevertheless serves as a small way to bring a bit of unification to such a wide world. With that in mind, it seems Coco will be an endearing name for our beloved pets for years to come, adding to the ever growing tapestry that makes up this pet name’s colorful origin story.

The Adventures of Dog Sawyer

dog-402233_640If adventure is what your pup loves more than anything, Sawyer is arguably the most fitting name. While many associate it with the wild child of Mark Twain’s imaginings, the origin is a bit more straightforward. Like all names that came to us from Britain, the name Sawyer simply meant someone that earned his pay by sawing wood. Rewind it back a few more generations and you get saghier, a Middle English derivative of the term saghen, or “to saw”. Some name analysts even trace this to the Jewish surname Seger.

Because it denoted what was done for a living, it makes sense that this would be a rather popular surname, and it has remained that way for a long time. Only in about the 1990s did it usage as a first name start to see an upswing in popularity. Since then, each year has seen growth in its popularity, partially fueled by modern television than anything. Indeed, recent shows such as Lost and Being Human have featured characters, both male and female, with either a first name or nickname of Sawyer.

While enjoyable, it’s the more historic fiction that has really kept the name alive. Virtually everyone in America grew up at least somewhat familiar with Tom Sawyer. First appearing in 1876, this orphaned child living with his Aunt Polly in St. Petersburg, Missouri is a quintessential representation of the untamed confidence, boldness and immaturity of youth. Sawyer loved getting into trouble as much as he adored adventure.

According to memoirs, Sawyer was actually based off a real life fireman of the same name. According to the legends, Twain would chat with Sawyer about his childhood adventures. Eventually he told the fireman that his stories were going to be published one day. The fireman agreed so long as it didn’t make him look bad. According to Twain, however, the character is based off of three people, none of whom were the alleged fireman.

Arguably, the relatively recent awakening of the name began back in 1997 with the release of Cats Don’t Dance. While not what one would consider a box office success, it nevertheless won two awards. In it, it’s the female lead carrying the name Sawyer. And though it was a film about cats, it served as a means of getting the public familiar with the name being used for females as well.

In regards to dogs, however, the name remains off the top 100 lists, however predictions are showing it to be a real competitor in the next few years. Many are seeing 2015 or 2016 as the year it breaks the top 10. Though your dog may not have the appendages to hold true to the original definition of the name, there is no doubt they have the joie de vivre as seen in so many fictional Sawyers that have further defined this name as one of the best.

From John to Jax

animal-15440_640Though many puppies find themselves named the typical Rex or Buster, some owners enjoy a bit more spice. From their imaginations has sprung an option that is quickly gaining traction, having hit the top 100 charts in only 2009. The name? Jax. While it might sound more like an abbreviation for a southern city, it actually has roots further back than you would have guessed.

Jax has slowly been replacing Jackson. As a shortened version of the name, it’s officially now more popular than its longer-to-say counterpart as the preferred choice for dog owners everywhere. But where does Jackson come from?

Jackson is a well-known surname most popular in people of Scottish and English origin. As was common with old timey last names, it denoted who you were. In this case, Jack’s son, and it remains one of the most popular surnames across the Western world. As for Jack, this name is a shortened version of Jackin (or Jankin, to some) which was a pet name given to those named John. If that sounds confusing, just think of how we nickname people called William or Richard. Bill and Dick are hardly one-to-one matches.

During the medieval time period when Jack reigned as the most popular name, it eventually became a slang term meaning “man”. Hence why so many fairy tales and nursery rhymes star an infamous Jack. They’re merely about a general man and his troubles with beanstalks and not being able to eat fat.

Origin of Chiquita

chihuahua-618453_640Dogs are well known for their unusual names. From Rex to Maximillian, there’s arguably no name that’s off limits. Many owners even turn to different languages to come up with that perfect word to describe their perfect pup. While Italian and French are often very popular go-to languages, it’s Spanish that reigns supreme in the cute names department. One of the most recognizable and common is Chiquita.

Spanish for “little girl”, Chiquita is a highly common name most popularly used for smaller dog breeds, like Chihuahuas. Even still, everyone enjoys the humor of a massive hound with such a dainty name. While Spanish in origin, the English community has been quick to adopt the word as they do so many words from other languages. From this full name, comes the even more easily recognized Chica. There is even a male version, Chiquito, though this is far less popular.

The popularity of the name really picked up steam back in the early 70s. While mainly used for baby names, it didn’t take long for owners to transfer the term of endearment to their pets. This adoration of the name grew until it peaked in 1985. While not as common now, it has maintained steady popularity as both a proper name and a nickname for female dogs both large and small.


animal-731570_640When choosing the name of a dog, you will no doubt have noticed that the list of names out there to pick from is absolutely massive. From your famous dog names like Lassie and Milo to hilarious ones such as Zeus and Buster, you will find that picking a name for your dog can be more challenging than you might have thought previously.

Being able to find a proper and appropriate name for your dog can be quite the challenge, you just need to make sure that you pick something genuinely worthwhile – so, what about Bucky?

Why Bucky?

Short for Buckminster, Bucky has been a popular dog name for many years and has been regularly used for dogs all across the world. Bucky is a popular name from TV shows and movies over the years, too, particularly in the Disney series Phineas and Ferb. In this movie, the old family dog was known as Bucky; their predecessor to Perry the Platypus. For anyone who is a fan of P&F, you might find that using the name Bucky can be the perfect way to remember the show!

Another popular reason for using the name Bucky is that it just rolls off the tongue; it’s easy to see, and it’s very distinctive. Nothing is more annoying than trying to get our dog when it’s got a very generic or human sounding name. Before you know it, people are shouting over their fences asking what you want! This solution can be easily rectified by calling your dog Bucky though.

Another reason for choosing Bucky is that it’s a very unusual name, too. Whilst most will go with some generic or simple such as Rover or something similar, you’ll find that calling your dog Bucky just fits with the actual style of your dog as well as avoiding the generic route.

Giving your dog a different name without going too outrageous will be a good way to help your dog acclimatize to the home whilst helping it feel unique and special within other dogs – it will know that when it hears the word Bucky that you are calling for it!

Best Types Of Dog For Bucky

Typically, Bucky seems to work best with a Beagle or similar type of dog. It just seems to fit their style, appearance and personalities far more readily than it does with a different kind of dog. Although it’s entirely up to you, using a Beagle as your Bucky can be a great way to get the name to stick and feel authentic.