Saturday, March 30, 2013

The most popular dog names since 1400

I've updated this post so I could include a link to, a website that includes everything medieval.  The June 23, 2013 post includes a comprehensive list of medieval dog names.  (It also lists medieval cat names, but I won't mention that because after all, this is a dog blog.)  
Medieval Dogs
By Kathleen Walker-Meikie
Published May 15, 2013

The most popular dog names in 2012:  Bella for females (#2 for baby girls); Max for males (#96 for boys).
Does this mean that we treat our dogs as children? 

I don't know. Maybe. I certainly do. Mostly it's proof that humans follow fashion trends, whether we think so or not. If you look at names over hundreds of years, you can see that the way we name dogs says a whole lot about society's expectation of dogs.

An English Setter named Dash 
At one time dog names were
based on behavior.
Look at what Brits and Yanks named hunting dogs in the early 1700s. I think it's notable that all were listed lower case:
"The names of hounds are very numerous, but the following are common:  beauty, bangor, boman, bonny, bouncer, captain, chanter, countess, ceasar, dido, driver, dancer, daphne, dutchess, faney, flippant, fiddler, gallant, hector, juggler, jewel, joler, jolly, juno kilbuck, lively, lady, madam, merryboy, mopsie, motley, nancy, plunder pluto, rockwood, ringwood, rover, ranter, ranger, ruffler, soundwell, stately, thisbe, thunder, tattler, touchstone, traveller, trouncer, trusty, trier, venus, vulcan, violet, wanton, wonder whisper, younker." 
In the early 1800s, these names were popular:  
"Choose some sort of strong word to name your dog, as it will be easier pronounced and better heard when calling him in the field, such as Don, Dash, Flush, Fido, Ponto, Sancho, Carlo.”
Around mid 19th century, sentimental names replaced functional ones. 
Here are some popular dog names, plucked from journals written between 1800 -1900:
Watch, Citizen, Teague, Phillis, Chance, Bull, Prince, Rover, Fido, Old Shep, and Rubie.
Abe Lincoln's dog was named Fido.
Fido means Faithful
Read more about Lincoln's dog here.
I wrote a post about the very interesting way some Native American tribes named themselves after their favorite dogs.

Here are the top 20 names for female dogs in 2012:
Bella, Molly, Lucy, Maggie, Daisy, Sophie, Sadie, Chloe, Bailey, Lola, Zoe, Abby, Ginger, Coco, Sasha, Lily, Angel, and Princess
And male pooches:
Max, Buddy, Rocky, Bailey, Jake, Charlie, Jack, Toby, Cody, Buster, Duke, Cooper, Riley, Harley, Bear, Tucker, Murphy, Lucky, Oliver and Sam
To see more popular dog name, click here.


  1. It really is amazing how the names have changed, and definitely they are sounding more like children's names than dog's names. I named my first dog after my perfume 'Shalimar', but she mainly gets called 'Shali' for short. Shali has French grand/parentage and I couldn't think of a French name that didn't sound a bit too twee, so the closest I could come up with was my perfume LOL!!!! My rescue Schipp was named Tia, which is the same name as my next door neighbour's dog, that can be a bit confusing if I'm calling her down the backyard!!!!! Great post!!!!!

  2. There is a cool web all about dog names!
    you should check it out!

  3. If you need to title your current domestic Pet names for girls following a number of designs, you could choose a single title which is Japanese motivated, and something most likely towards vicinity of your geographical area or even where by your dog originated in.

  4. I've updated this post so I could include a link to, a website that includes everything medieval. The June 23, 2013 post includes a comprehensive list of medieval dog names. female dog names