Naming a dog is a big decision. In addition to being something that resonates with the owner, it should be something that sounds good when someone is yelling at the pet to stop eating a slipper.
Recently, U.S. News & World Report analyzed data culled from a pet insurance company that offered a glimpse of pet name trends across the country. A sample size of more than 800,000 dogs was used. For sheer frequency, these 25 names stood out:
Bella takes top honors, with U.S. News estimating that roughly 5 percent of the sampled pups carried the name. It was the most popular in 37 states, making it a clear favorite. (Except in North and South Dakota, where it didn’t even place in the top five.) Luna comes up a relatively distant second, topping eight states.
Figuring out regional sources for names can be tricky, though at least one state, Alaska, probably owes its most popular name (Copper) thanks to the Copper River.
The report also found that among the top 100 dog names, pop culture played a role: Zeus (40), Thor (76), and Loki (38) made the cut, the latter two likely thanks to their elevated presence in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Rocky (25), Gizmo (69), and Maverick (80) also stand out as being clearly inspired by films—Gizmo from 1984’s Gremlins and Maverick from 1986’s Top Gun and its 2022 sequel.
Pet name trends shift over time. In the 1930s and 1940s, you were apt to find a lot of dogs named Queenie or Tippy. Max ruled for the latter part of the 20th century. And today, it’s still in the top five.