10 Names I Would Not Give My Dog

10 Names I Would Not Give My Dog

Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.

My dog and I had this conversation last week. As a puppy, she was light brown and ran through my house like a whirling dervish; I named her “sandstorm”. But now she is tired of that name and wants to be called something different.

“The choices are limited,” I explained “since there are some names I would never give a dog.”

“What are they?” she asked.

1. Max, Jake, Buddy, or anything too popular.

These overused names would all be off the list if I were to adopt a male dog. Molly, Bella, and Daisy are female dog names I would avoid like the plague. Jack, Cody, and Charlie are almost as bad, and Bailey, Rock, Sam, and Buster are also too popular to use for my dog.

2. DiOhGee.

Besides sounding like she stepped out of a bad Snoop Doggy Dog song, DiOhGee has been used a lot and the comic value is gone. Not every dog has comic value, but at least if she does it shouldn’t be wasted on a bad name.

3. Rover or Spot.

Neither one of these are on the “most popular” lists but both names have all the freshness of a moldy dish towel. Spot (at least in Portuguese) is a good name for a spotted goose, but Rover isn't fit for use.

4. Anything controversial.

I wouldn’t want to brand my dog with any controversial name. Can you imagine calling his name out in a dog park? I wouldn’t want to have a dog named after a mass murderer or a genocidal maniac? Strike those ideas off the list.

5. Fluffy, Felix, Sylvester, or other cat names.

I want my dog to be a dog. Okay, maybe my seven-pound Maltese had some masculinity “issues,” but even when his hair was dyed blue, he still knew he was a dog.

6. Dummy, Doofus, or other stupid dog names.

A few of them are funny, but would you want a kid named like that? Dopey, Barfy, and Barky rank right up there.

7. Rambo, Rocky, Benji, and other movie names.

It happens with names but, as everyone who volunteers in an animal shelter knows, it also happens with breeds. As soon as a dog movie comes out and becomes a hit, the breed becomes popular the sales go up, and several months later the dogs are dumped at the local humane shelter.

8. Chain, Dishpan, Laptop, or any other household objects.

This is probably a personal quirk, but I accept that I have a phobia about everyday things. My therapist is trying to help me get over this.

9. Nit, Rit, Jay, or any other word that sounds too much like a basic obedience command.

My dog is really smart but…come on! She does get confused.

10. Anything I can't pronounce.

Long words are out. Chinese is out, and Thai? Forget about it. It is all Greek to me.

I think my pup accepts that I am not going to change her name. Her name is beautiful, and when I hear it, I will always picture her running on the beach, “attacking” me from behind a sand dune, or just walking by my side when we go out for a last stroll in the middle of the night.

Her name will be one of the few things I can remember her by. Like all dogs, she will be gone too soon.

© 2013 Dr Mark

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on April 05, 2013:

Thanks for coming by and sharing, Eiddwen. Nice to see you again!

Eiddwen from Wales on April 05, 2013:

Another wonderful hub by you.

Voted up and shared.

Have a great day.


Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on March 06, 2013:

That needs to be number 11: Rapper names. NEVER!

Bob Bamberg on March 06, 2013:

I would have thought Tetley a rather dignified alternative. Isn't there a rapper named Ice T? The dog is a retired brood bitch from NY and came with that name.

I think she has some impressive blood lines and Iced Tea is just a fraction of her full name, which is probably something like: Iced Tea That Doesn't Come From A Can But That You Lovingly Brew From Scratch.

Scooter, while engendering visions of a dog with anal sac problems, also engenders visions of a dog with quick, unpredictable movements.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on March 06, 2013:

Scooter=the dog who scoots his bottom across the carpet. Maybe that is just my sick mind. I am sure Scooter can be a perfectly benign name, just not one I would use!

Did your neighbors already have a dog named Aspartame? How about Sugar?

Bob Bamberg on March 06, 2013:

What's wrong with Scooter? I think that's a most endearing name. I'm still trying to get used to hearing my neighbors playing with their new dog. Her name is Iced Tea.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on March 05, 2013:

Stains is bad in so many ways. Worse than Scooter.

William E Krill Jr from Hollidaysburg, PA on March 05, 2013:

I'd never name a dog 'Stains' due to the command problem.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on March 05, 2013:

Thanks for commenting, Seeker7! Kids pick some silly names, but you are definitely right--we love them all the more.

Helen Murphy Howell from Fife, Scotland on March 05, 2013:

Great hub about dog names!!! I can't believe anyone would still want to call their poor dog 'Rover' or 'Spot' but you never know, maybe some folks like being nostalgic.

My male Border Collie was given his name in the shelter and it's Roy - I didn't like the name at first but it does actually suit him! We've got our 11 month old madam whose called 'Kassy' and that was my young nieces and nephews who picked that one for her, so of course I love it! But have you noticed how some names do suit a dog and others don't?

This was a brilliant and entertaining hub that's really brightened up my evening - thank you!

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on March 05, 2013:

That is a good one. I think Cujo could be used though, but only if you had a 5 pound Morkie!

Bob Bamberg on March 05, 2013:

Thanks, I think it's interesting, too. I hope more people chime in. Cats and ecology...two lightning rod subjects!

Mentioning Sujo made me think of Cujo...another name that shouldn't be used. I know a person who jokingly used the name when referencing her dog, but Cujo eventually stuck. To those "in the loop" it wasn't an issue but, like you say, "Can you imagine calling his name out in a dog park?"

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on March 05, 2013:

Years ago I adopted a white dog that showed on the street in front of my B&B covered in mud. I named him "Sujo", which is Portuguese for "Dirty" and after I had bathed him and groomed him no one could understand his name. It wasn´t demeaning at all but every time I called him I thought of our first meeting on the street. I can certainly understand "Mudslide".

Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I am following the comments on your Cat Ecocriminal hub-very interesting.

Bob Bamberg on March 05, 2013:

Friends of mine had this disheveled dog, caked with mud but no tags, show up in their yard. After calls to Animal Control and a brief waiting period they adopted him. They named him Mudslide. I think that's a great name, but others think it's demeaning.

Another fun, thought provoking hub. Voted up and useful.

Marie Hurt from New Orleans, LA on March 04, 2013:

Funny hub. Had a good time reading it and love your pictures. I think sandstorm is a fine name for your dog.

Shay Marie from California on March 04, 2013:

My number one rule: I will never give my dog a name that someone I actually know already has. I'm hoping I never meet a person named Penny...

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on March 04, 2013:

Annamaeve--that sounds like a great article: "Dog Names That Your Dog Will Ignore"

torrilynn--what a great name. Do you know where it is from? I know Leila, pronounced the same way, is an Arabic name, but have never seen Lalu.

torrilynn on March 04, 2013:

Hi DrMark1961,

thanks for the read of what names not to give your dog.

my dog has a unique name or at least I would like to think which is Lalu

which is pronounced Lay-Luh. I didn't give her the name but I like it all the same

thanks again. voted up and shared.

annemaeve from Philly Burbs on March 04, 2013:

Good rules to live by. I name all my animals after vodkas, so I picked Pravda for my first dog. Very quickly changed it to Avi since nobody could spell it. He ignores both equally, so I'm not sure which one he would prefer.

How to Choose a Unique Name For Your Dog

So, you got a dog. First of all: Congratulations! You made the right choice. The fish was never going to cut it. So now that your puppy is in your new home, you, your partner, and your kids will probably have to have the one, big, long conversation: “What do we name them?” Then comes the discussion. Max, Scout, and Bella are all too common. Steven and Mark are too human and weird. Lord Flufferton is funny but too long, and you might end up calling him Lord, which is an uncomfortably formal name for a dog. There’s a lot to consider.

And there are probably more considerations than you might have first thought, too. For instance, did you know that names with vowels are far better? Or that it’s best to avoid those with too many syllables? That’s why we chatted with Nicole Ellis, a certified dog trainer and a member of’s Dog People Panel, for some dog-naming advice. Read on to make sure your new pooch’s name is on point.

1. Choose a Name That Ends With a Vowel.

Names with vowels change tone when you call for your dog. This matters, because dogs distinguish frequency ranges at a much higher level than we do. “With a vowel name, it’s really easy to get their attention,” says Ellis, who named her dog Rossi. Of course, Buddy, Ziggy, Josie, and Taco all work, too.

2. Stick With Two Syllables

Long names, per Ellis, should be avoided. “With those, you usually just end up shortening it, anyway,” she says. So what’s the sweet spot? Two syllable names. A good way to test the name is, per Ellis, to just repeat it a bunch of times. “If you’re comfortable saying it over, and over, and over, that’s the name,” says Ellis. I’ve seen people call their dog Puppuccino, which is cute, but after five times they don’t want to be saying that anymore.”

3. Avoid Names With Negative Connotations

You might think it’s funny to give your adorable Corg the ironic title of “Cujo”, but it’s a bad idea. “Not everyone is going to want to pet a dog named Cujo, or dog-sit a dog named Cujo,” Ellis says.

4. Don’t Pick One That Might Get Confused With Commands

Consider the commands you’ll be giving your dog frequently. Does its name sound too similar? Unless you want a lot of headaches later, pick a different name. Bo could be mistaken for ‘No.’ And Ray could be mistaken for ‘Stay.’ says Ellis.“Those are behaviors that I ask for a lot in the dogs I train, and I don’t want them to think I’m yelling ‘No’ at them when I just want them to come over and pay attention to me.”

5. Choose A Name That’s Unlike Your Other Pets

“Make sure that your pet names are dissimilar if you have more than one dog,” says Ellis. “They shouldn’t be so close to one another that the dogs can be totally confused.” In other words, Bert and Bluebell are totally fine, but Spot and Scott are not.

6. Perform The “Nickname Test.”

Should you get a dog, you will give it nickname. Ziggy quickly morphs into Ziggymans, Zig, Zigster, Mr. Zig, and 1,000 more permutations. So, if you choose a name — especially a longer one — try to come up with a ton of nicknames to see if there are nicknames that are easy to say, sound like their full names, and are cute. Otherwise, per Ellis, you’ll risk confusing your dog.

7. Think Of Your Dog’s Personality.

Miniature poodles can be named ‘Tater Tot’ (reasoning: the texture of their fur!) and bulldogs ‘Butterball’ (reasoning: duh) But beyond looks, personality is a huge indicator of what you might want to name your dog. For example, Ellis named her dog Rossi, after the motorcycle racer Valentino Rossi. “My dog is crazy, and runs around like a maniac, super fast all day. So that fits him.”

8. Choose a Name And Stick With It

If you’re adopting a dog from a shelter, they already have a name that you’ll probably want to change. But there are limits. Once you pick a name, you shouldn’t waffle. “Within the first two months, you should have a name for them. One or two changes won’t be the end of the world, but you have to positively reinforce it as soon as you have a new one.”

Japanese Dog Names – 100+ Awesome Names & Definitions

Japanese dog names are beautiful, unique and meaningful – an excellent choice for your dog.

You can rest assured that no other pup at the dog park will have the same name!

The majority of dog breeds originating in Japan have pointy ears and turned-up tails and can range in size from small to extra large.

Popular breeds include the Shiba Inu, Akita Inu, Kai Inu, Hokkaido Inu, Kishu Inu and Shikoku Inu. (“Inu” means dog in Japanese, which could also make a great dog name.)

To help you in your search, we’ve compiled an extensive list of popular Japanese dog names and their meanings. Just remember to make sure people in your family can easily pronounce the name, otherwise you might confuse your pup.

Best Funny Dog Names

  1. Burrito – you can always wrap your tiny Chihuahua in a blanket and call them Burrito.
  2. Cupcake – because your pet dog is as sweet as sugar too… when they’re not chewing up your shoes.
  3. Mary Puppins – she will give any children a spoonful of sugar and make sure they behave.
  4. Bilbo Baggins – we’re sure your dog has big, hairy feet and ears too.
  5. Sir Barks-a-Lot – this dog is, obviously, silent!
  6. Stubbs – brilliant if your dog has quite short legs and hobbles around.
  7. Froggy – perhaps this dog’s large eyes inspires this name.
  8. Popcorn – this dog’s favorite past time is going to the movies.
  9. Dumpling – for a sweet and playful puppy who might be on the podgy side.
  10. Bigfoot – this dog must have huge hairy paws.
  11. Bark Wahlberg – maybe your pup is a movie star too?
  12. Bubbles – you can call your dog Bubbles, but it still won’t make them enjoy bath time.
  13. Croissant – perfect for a French Bulldog.
  14. Brussels Sprouts – loved by some, and not by others.
  15. Chandler – name your dog after this funny ‘Friends’ character.
  16. Paddington – put your puppy in a red hat and blue coat and they’ll instantly become Paddington Bear.
  17. Nugget – if you’ve got a golden dog!
  18. Mocha – perfect for a coffee-colored pup.
  19. William Shakespaw – this dog’s favorite play is Hamlet just because they can eat it.
  20. Cola – perfect for a dog who has dark brown/black fur.
  21. The Rock – if your dog is one large unit then name them after this famous celebrity.
  22. Gromit – name your dog after this famous fictional dog from Wallace and Gromit.
  23. Rufflestiltskin – he’ll always make you try to guess his name.

I’m Moving and My New Place Does Not Allow Dogs

Can you try harder to find a pet-friendly residence? Anyone who has tried to rent an apartment with a dog knows it is not always easy. Be diligent and you will most likely find the right place. Try to negotiate the conditions with potential landlords, and be willing to spend a little extra money. If you absolutely must move right away and cannot find a place that allows your dog, talk to friends and family. Someone you know might be willing to take care of your dog for an extended period of time while you search for other arrangements. The same applies if your move is temporary and dogs are truly not allowed.

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