After spending hours researching, visiting websites, and taking trips to shelters, the day has finally arrived. You’ve picked out the perfect puppy. So, now what? Your puppy needs a name!

Over the course of its life, you will use your dog’s name more than 35,000 times. So you want to be sure that you choose a name that you and your puppy both love. Here are a few tips for naming your puppy:

1. Keep it short.

Dogs understand short commands. Names with one or two syllables tend to work well and are easier for your puppy to understand.

2. Avoid commands.

Don’t name your puppy something that sounds like a command. “Stacy” and “stay” sound too similar and will only confuse your puppy when you call her name.

3. Stay away from anything offensive or embarrassing.

Remember, you’ll be using your pup’s name in public. Don’t name your puppy anything that may seem inappropriate, vulgar, or offensive. Also, try to avoid an embarrassing name. “Stinky” may be cute in the comfort of your own home, but it won’t go over as well at the veterinarian.

4. Involve your family.

Include your family, especially your kids, in the decision-making process. Kids like simplicity, too. So if calling your Champion Cavalier King Spaniel “Bootsie” works for them, consider keeping a more elite, complicated name strictly for AKC purposes.

5. Be wary of family member names.

You may think it’s an honor to name your pup after your favorite Uncle Norbert. But your Uncle Norbert may not see it that way.

6. Give it a test run.

Once you’ve chosen a name, try it out for a day or two. You’ll know right away whether it’s a keeper. If not, there are always more puppy names to try.

7. Get to know your puppy first.

After a couple of days, your new dog’s personality will start to shine through. Try “Cuddles” for the sweet little pup who loves to get cozy. Or “Puddles” for the pup who can’t seem to find the doggie door.

Puppy Name Ideas

If you’re stuck and having a hard time brainstorming possible names for your puppy, take a look around you. You’re surrounded by a variety of great ideas on what to name your pup.


What does your puppy look like? Color, size, and personal style can inspire a variety of name choices. “Stubbs” could be a great name for a dachshund pup. Or you may call a cream-colored cock-a-poo, “Buffy.”

Celebrity Names

If you want to go beyond the basics, a famous celebrity or historical figure could be your inspiration. Consider these favorite puppy names when making your decision.

  • Famous Celebrities: Today, some dogs end up with more of a celebrity following than their famous owners. For example, “Lola” is a name used by both Hilary Duff and the Osbournes.
  • TV Dogs: “Scooby” and “Astro” come to mind if you want to honor a famous TV pup.
  • Movie Dogs: Cool movies and cool dog names seem to go hand in hand. Cool Hand Luke’s “Blue” would be a fitting label for a variety of dogs.
  • Comic Dogs: “Snoopy” will always be a favorite but also consider “Daisy” or “Odie.”

Foreign Names

  • German dog names: For starters, try out “Fritz” or “Kaiser.”
  • Irish dog names: “Finn” fits well for any pup, as does “Murphy,” which just happens to mean “hound of the sea.”
  • French puppy names: “Pierre” and “Gigi” are popular choices for any dog.

The choices of what to name your puppy are endless. Ultimately, you want to end up with a name that you’re happy with, and your dog responds to. Take some time to consider different possibilities and use these tips to find the perfect name for your new puppy.