10 Popular Male Dog Names

If you're one of the many people who want to give your male dog a name that's perfect for the modern age, look no further. Here are the top ten names for male dogs, sourced from Which one fits your dog best?

#1: Max

This perennial favorite among dog owners means "the greatest" and so is the perfect choice if your guy is indeed the greatest! It was originally a diminutive of Maxwell or Maximilian. This is an ideal name for any serious, tough German breed of dog, particularly if the dog smokes cigars. It will also work for a Chihuahua, however.

#2: Charlie

This is a nickname for Charles, and it means "free." In the human world we have Charlie Parker, Charlie Chaplin, and so on. This is a great name to give a happy, friendly, free-spirited dog such as, well, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. If you have a more serious dog, consider the original, but if you have the nerve, consider the greatest Charles of all—Charlemagne.

#3: Buddy

This is one of the few popular dog names that doesn't have much of a human counterpart. Don't mention Buddy Holly—his real name was Charles. This name may actually have derived from a baby's inability to say "brother" properly, but it's uncertain. This is a suitable name for a real pal, like a Labrador Retriever or a Boxer.

#4: Cooper

The name means "barrel maker" so it's kind of hard to apply to a dog. However, there aren't many barrel makers among humans these days, either, but it hasn't stopped people. Bradley Cooper and Anderson Cooper may have had a hand in this. Cooper is a very popular human name in Australia, so it might be perfect for an Australian Shepherd.

#5: Jack

Even if you don't have a Jack Russell Terrier, Jack remains a strong and popular choice for dogs. In people it's a nickname for John, which means "God is gracious" in Hebrew. Jack is the number-one human name in Ireland and Scotland and number two in England, so you might think about this name for any dog whose ancestry comes from the British Isles.

#6: Rocky

If even Jack or Buddy isn't a tough enough name for you, you can come out swinging and try for Rocky, as in Balboa or Marciano. It's a diminutive of the Italian Rocco (which means "rest"), but most people think about actual rocks in connection with the name. This is definitely a tough guy name suitable for pitbulls, Rottweilers, and Yorkshire Terriers.

#7: Toby

Toby is short for Tobias (meaning "God is good"), so if you like the former but want to stand out from the crowd, consider the latter. This is a friendly, unassuming name that is quite suitable for most dogs. If you had two dogs, you could play around with "Toby" and "Not Toby" but that's a stretcher unless you're a huge Shakespeare fan!

#8: Duke

John "Duke" Wayne and Duke Ellington may have something to do with the resurging popularity of this name among humans, but it's always been a bestseller for dogs. If your dog is a noble one, like the Great Dane, consider this choice.

#9: Bear

Blame Bear Grylls (whose name is really Edward) and coach Bear Bryant if you'd like, but suddenly this perennial dog's name—typically given to large, lumbering breeds like the Newfoundland—has suddenly become cool among some people. It's still a fine name for a dog though.

#10: Tucker

A tucker is a fabric pleater, a task at which most dogs don't excel. It's a preppy name, though, with a friendly twist. It's great for Beagles.

Diane Morgan is a pet care expert in Williamsport, Maryland, who has authored numerous books on dog care and nutrition, and has also written many dog breed and horse books.


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