Manly Rules for Naming Man’s Best Friend

by A Manly Guest Contributor on December 16, 2011 · 480 comments

in Friendship, Relationships & Family

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Jon Finkel.

Presidents are notorious for giving their dogs politically correct names (See: Bill Clinton re: Buddy or Gerald Ford re: Liberty). Lyndon Johnson even had a pair of beagles he simply named Him and Her. But our manliest president, Teddy Roosevelt, would have none of that. Not only does he have a dog breed named after him (the Teddy Roosevelt Terrier) he is also responsible for perhaps the two coolest Oval Office dog names around: Sailor Boy and Blackjack. Since you don’t have your own dog breed named after you and you’re not likely to become the leader of the free world, we thought we’d provide you with a little assistance when it comes to the art of picking a manly name for your dog.

1) When it comes to female dog names, if you’re a single guy, steer clear of naming her after your favorite actress or supermodel (unless you want to end up like Michael Rapaport’s character in Beautiful Girls). Your buddies might think it’s funny, but grown women will think you’re fifteen.

2) Ironic names are like somewhat clever/funny voice mail recordings; they’re usually not as funny as you think they are, but even if they work, they’re only funny once, so don’t use them. Introducing your 10-pound Maltese named Bear might get a smile from some people, but then again, it might not. Also, if you’re a man, why do you have a Maltese? The only thing with the word “Maltese” in it that should be in your house is a copy of the Dashiell Hammett novel.

3) No car names for dogs. If you can’t afford a Lexus, don’t name your dog Lexus. If you can’t afford a BMW, don’t name your dog Beamer. It makes you look ridiculous. If you can afford these cars and you name a dog after your car, that’s probably the reason people don’t return your phone calls.

4) Dogs named after brands of alcohol are hard to pull off. As a rule, the more masculine the drink, the greater chance the name might be a success. Also, liquor names tend to work better than beer names: A Doberman named Johnny Walker? Possibly. A black lab named Guinness? Maybe. An Irish Setter named Jameson? You might be on to something. A Weimaraner named Corona or Michelob? Doubtful. Even Budweiser’s own canine mascot was named Spuds, not Bud.

4a) Age is a big factor with this rule. You have to go with your gut and trust your friends. In college, I thought my friend’s dog Jäger, as in Jägermeister, was the coolest thing ever. At the time, it probably was. Now that my buddy is 32 and has two daughters, the name feels a bit dated.

5) Piggybacking on the last corollary to the last rule: Never forget that many dogs live well beyond ten years–which is well beyond the few years of fame most pop stars enjoy. Letting your 14-year-old daughter name your new dog Bieber might make her happy now, but when your child is 24 and Justin Bieber is in rehab, nobody will be happy–least of all, the dog.

6) You really can’t go wrong with dogs named after great literary characters or old-school Presidents. Some examples: Lincoln and Jackson are great dog names. Huckleberry, Gatsby, and Buck (even though the character in this last case is an actual  dog) are solid as well.

7) Be careful about naming your dog after famous authors. You might be tempted to name your dog Hemingway or Twain or Cormac, but half the people won’t get the name and the other half will probably accuse you of being pretentious. That doesn’t leave many people besides you to appreciate it.

8) Never, ever name your dog after a current player on your favorite sports team. It may seem like a good idea, even if he just signed a 10-year, $127 million contract, but it’s not. Even if you never in your wildest dreams pictured Player X playing for another team, don’t do it. It’s not worth the agony when all of a sudden your favorite player somehow becomes a team cancer and decides he wants a contract extension, or more catches, or more playing time. Once that happens, you’re in trouble. Then, of course, there’s free agency. Sweating out a free agency period with your favorite athlete on the line is tough enough already, no need to make it worse.

8a) If your wife surprises you with a dog as a gift without reading this article, and she names the dog after Player X without your knowledge, or your kids absolutely love the name and you can’t turn them down, and Player X gets traded or signs elsewhere, you have every right to change your dog’s name. Think about how many dogs named “LeBron” are walking around Cleveland right now. Not a pretty sight.

9) Naming a dog after your favorite retired athlete isn’t the most unique idea, but if you do it, you absolutely have to take into account whether that athlete might do something insane in retirement that will make you want to change the dog’s name. There must have been several dozen people in the Buffalo area with dogs named OJ or Juice who were scrambling for new names for their pets in the mid ’90s. Retired players are good. Dead players are better. Same goes for actors, actresses, politicians, celebrities, artists, etc…

10) Dogs named after college coaches are a bad idea — too much insecurity and uncertainty about the character of the coach and how long he’ll be there. Would you want to have a dog named Paterno right now? Didn’t think so.

11) As for naming a dog after a stadium or arena, proximity to that stadium or arena is a major factor in whether you should do this. A dog named Fenway in Boston will be a dime a dozen and most likely looked upon as an uninspired nod to your Red Sox fandom. Same for a dog named Wrigley in Chicago or Lambeau in Green Bay. The farther you live from where your team plays, the more chance you have of the dog’s name coming off as original. A dog named Lambeau in Baton Rouge, Louisiana will probably be just fine. For large fan bases, it’s safer to stay away from these names, because chances are if you live near a major metropolitan area, there will be lots of transplants.

12) Dogs named after colleges or mascots in general are okay, but like stadiums, proximity is a factor. How many dogs named Gator are there in Florida? How many dogs named Bama are in Alabama? Hundreds. Avoid them. Better pick something original about your college experience and go with that. The street name your fraternity or sorority house was on, your favorite sandwich at your favorite sub shop–something like that is always good and gives you a great story.

13) Fido, Spot, Toto, Lassie, Snoopy, Buddy, etc…are all unacceptable.

14) Names based on a dog’s physical traits are also unacceptable: Fluffy, Snowy, Midnight, Brownie, Whitey… In fact, if your dog’s name could in some way be misinterpreted as an outdated racial insult, avoid it.

15) When in doubt, remember two things: simplicity and originality.


Jon Finkel has written for GQ, Details, and the New York Times, among others. For tons of manly advice about how to name a child, interview for a job or even decide which actor played the most believable real-life boxer, check out Jon Finkel’s The Three Dollar Scholar: Awesome Advice for Acing Life’s Major Decisions and Mindless Debates today! Follow Jon on Twitter: @3dollarscholar

What did you name your dog? What names have you admired or disliked in the dogs of others? Sound off in the comments.


{ 480 comments… read them below or add one }

301 harry December 20, 2011 at 8:19 am

nice chase. I named my cat Mauser. Most people look so confused when I tell them its spelled with an A. Its priceless.

302 nick December 20, 2011 at 9:26 am

i named my dog Xena, after ‘the warrior princess’. she is a beautiful Australian Shepard

303 Jake December 20, 2011 at 9:32 am

I named my dog V, just the letter. And not after V for vendetta. She is half german shepherd and half border collie. Thoughts?

304 Devin December 20, 2011 at 10:05 am

I named my dog Loki after the Norse god of mischief and mayhem because of what a pain the ass she was as a puppy. Mythology is a good place to look for a solid dog name.

305 Snup December 20, 2011 at 10:51 am

You forgot the cardinal rule of dog naming: never call your dog something you don’t want to be yelling down the street at 3 am if said dog goes missing.

306 Trelow December 20, 2011 at 11:40 am

Rescue dogs usually come with names already. A man wouldn’t be getting a dog from a breeder unless it’s a work/hunting dog.

307 Aaron December 20, 2011 at 11:41 am

My favorite dog name was the last pup my wife and I got. We named him “Humphrey” after Hubert H. Humphrey, the (in?)famous Minnesota statesman. And the best part is that good old Hubert Horatio Humphrey has given me the next 2 dog names as well.

308 Fstone December 20, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Trelow, the shelter dogs are meant to be renamed when you take them home. They do not usually know the dog’s previous name. They assign them temporary names because saying you want yo meet dog number 1943 makes people think about what happened to al 1942 that came before him. We named our husky/black German Sheppard rescue Tempest. She is now 11 and still lives up to it.

309 Kevin December 20, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Trelow, the shelter dogs are meant to be renamed when you take them home. They do not usually know the dog’s previous name. They assign the temporary names because saying you want to meet dog number 1943 makes people think about what happened to all 1942 that came before him. We named our husky/black German Sheppard rescue Tempest. She is now 11 and still lives up to it.

310 Mike December 20, 2011 at 1:41 pm

My wife and I have three Labs. Remi(ngton), Wesson, and Marlin. People always think that Wesson is named after the cooking oil, since he’s yellow.

311 Drew December 20, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Sometimes letting kids name the dog turns out just fine. Batman was an awesome black lab. When it was time for the kennel, all we had to say was “Batman, to the bat cave!” That never got old.

312 Necromancer December 20, 2011 at 2:50 pm

Named my dog after a ancient city in Summer…..URUK everyone calls him Rook though and it is grand

313 Climbstrong December 20, 2011 at 3:52 pm

my rule #1: two syllables.
my rule #2: not a person’s name.
that’s about it.
my dog is Rio (also answers consistently to Mutt, and Dog). he’s a 30 lb black mutt – guessing he’s a smooth-coat border collie mix. perfect size dog to take everywhere. best damn dog in the west…

my input on the small-dog controversy: if they are well behaved, that shows a truly manly owner; especially if they’re a typical little yippy, drop-kick dog. on the flip side, any dog that is poorly behaved shows a slovenly, half-assed , pathetic owner; even if the dog is big, and manly seeming.

also, anyone notice how many people weigh in on this subject?! dogs really are pretty close to a man’s heart.

314 Jeff December 20, 2011 at 4:03 pm

I have a 13 year old chocolate lab named “Cooper” after a barrel maker…coopersmith. Although, he will come to “Coop Doggie Dog”, ” Big Brown”, and “Brown Dog”.

315 Al December 20, 2011 at 4:06 pm

All of ours are rescues, 2 came with names, the last one did not.
I went movie character – Joliet Jake

316 Tim December 20, 2011 at 4:56 pm

My german wirehaired pointer is Bruneau and yes he is brown

317 Therese Z December 20, 2011 at 5:11 pm

What do people think about naming all the dogs you have in a row the same name? Works better when all the dogs are the same breed.

Like all yellow labs called, let’s say, Goofus: Goofus I, Goofus II, and so on.

I’m neutral about it, but I know a family who does it.

318 Dave H December 20, 2011 at 7:22 pm

My family has always had Golden Retrievers since my mom and uncles were kids. One of my uncles suggested Honey when they were trying to name the first golden and all of them have been named the same ever since.

319 Todd December 20, 2011 at 8:42 pm

I prefer human names. I have two golden retrievers named Mike and Jeff and a shelter cat named Brian. Always good for a laugh at the vet or kennel!

320 Robert December 20, 2011 at 9:03 pm

This article was not up to AoM standards. The “manliness” in it felt forced. To me it felt like a Cosmo article about what bag to wear in the spring vs. the fall, but with dog names instead of bags. “Don’t do this or you aren’t manly!” is not the overarching message of this site; rather, expanding the definition of manliness to include classic archetypes as well as progressive 21st-century norms is. I was looking for a little insight into man’s best friend and some actual advice. Instead, I got a list of 347 things not to name a dog.

321 Ben December 20, 2011 at 9:06 pm

I live in Tennessee so when I bought my Wolf-Husky mix he reminded me of the visits I made to the Northwest territories so I named him “Aspen”. Interestingly enough I later met someone from Colorado with a chocolate Lab named “Memphis”. Lesson learned? City names are only cool if they are at least a four hour flight away from where you live.

322 Josh December 20, 2011 at 9:22 pm


323 Michael December 20, 2011 at 10:09 pm

It guess it breaks a rule, but our Golden Retriever-Chow mix was named Birdie by our daughter. Birdie was abandoned and came wandering up in our yard. When our daughter found her and started scratching her ears, she said Birdie started making bird sounds. OK. Through the years Birdie pretty much became my dog and I liked the name. I always thought it was rather funny and suited her sweet personality. I guess after a while the dog becomes the name, or the name bcomes the dog, no matter what.

324 Matthew December 21, 2011 at 1:09 am

Bear-golden retriever (lazy,hungry,smelly)
Cash-yellow lab (loyal beyond comprehension, clean/even cleans the other animals, smartest dog I’ve owned)
Beignet-tabby cat (seems to be cool as far as cats go)
Bear fit his name from day one. Cash because of Faulkners character in “As I Lay Dying”, my business is monetary in nature, and of course the one and only Johnny Cash. Beignet, because I love New Orleans and those amazin’ Cajun donuts.
I nicknamed Bear-Beardreaux, Cash-Boudreaux (because we are all connected by those murky brackish waters), and Beignet-Yay.

325 Danel December 21, 2011 at 1:54 am

I got a big little guy. A mini schnauzer named Chip. No, not the chipmunk. We stumbled upon the name by accident, because we read something identifying him as having a ‘chip’ as in a microchip. Briefly mistook that for his name, like how they give pups temporary names sometimes. Anyway, we liked it. It stuck and it suits him well.

326 Daniel December 21, 2011 at 1:58 am

Someone’s a little salty. Here’s betting Robert has a teacup named bubbles.

327 Mark Petersen December 21, 2011 at 3:41 am

I’d avoid naming a dog after a brand of anything (along the lines of the car thing) but I think that firearms brands are especially bad. Ruger, Remington, Winchester. We can tell you’re a hic from the Dale Jr. shirt and the belt buckle. No need to continue to prove the point with your dog.

328 Native Son December 21, 2011 at 9:32 am

My two cents worth. Years ago, my sister acquired a Black Lab puppy that she named “Judah Ben Hur”. That almost immediately became “Ben”. The dog was fun, but a complete doofus. Result? To the day he died, he answered to, “Ben! You G–
d— dumb dog!”

329 E. Smith December 21, 2011 at 10:05 am

My (almost) 2 yr. old dog’s mother: Ruby + rescued from Aruba + Jewish girlfriend = Reuben. Honestly, the best dog ever.

330 Tempest December 21, 2011 at 10:53 am

Dame on Deck :) I love reading this site for the comfort of knowing men are not all ‘without chests’ (lewis). I named the border collie lab mix rescue given to me Rufus. Only male dog ever owned and the name suits him perfectly. Complementing him are Sadie and Sophie our other lab mix rescues.

331 Matt Cole December 21, 2011 at 11:40 am

#8 – Michael Vick. Awkward.

332 TheTomCat December 21, 2011 at 12:01 pm

“I know what you’re asking yourself and the answer is yes. I have a nick name for my penis. Its called the Octagon, but I also nick named my testes – my left one is James Westfall and my right one is Doctor Kenneth Noisewater. You ladies play your cards right you just might get to meet the whole gang. ”

Btw my girlfriend named the dog, but I named the cat: Stevens.

333 Hillary December 21, 2011 at 12:15 pm

@ Robert, agreed. What do you expect when you click on an article for “called “manly rules for naming man’s best friend?”

334 Krisjand December 21, 2011 at 2:41 pm

I got my dog from the pound after my first deployment. I was a single guy in Hawaii and my Lab mix puppy became Magnet, Maggie for short. Mostly, I thought this was good because “Chick Magnet” seemed like something that’d be good for a single guy. Now that I’m married, Maggie is still a good name for her.

335 Sean December 21, 2011 at 2:48 pm

So I’ve had a few dogs with some interesting names. They’ve all been German Shepherds and their names fit. I’ve always wondered how far you could take the humor level. If I get a portly mutt and name it Bacon is that hilarious or sad?

336 Greg K December 21, 2011 at 4:45 pm

Very good article however you left out a very important factor. Your dog should be named something that you won’t feel like an idiot shouting. Walking down the street yelling “Princess, Princess!” can never be deemed manly.

337 Aaron M. December 21, 2011 at 5:32 pm

My dog is a female, Airedale/German Shepherd cross named Shelly. I took it from Steinbeck’s East of Eden ‘timSHEL’ translation meaning ‘thou mayest.’ Going through some rough parts of my life, I look at my companion and am reminded that I may go through life and overcome that which is hard and painful with unconditional love at my side. It makes a good story or conversation starter in addition to being meaningful to me.

338 Joshua December 21, 2011 at 9:25 pm

My first dog was a Boxer and after almost a week of trying different names I went with Deuce… because that little guy crapped piles bigger than his body!

339 Konrad December 21, 2011 at 11:27 pm

Named my dog Wormy. Yes disgusting but terrifically hilarious once you meet the dog. I have yet to have someone come over and meet the dog and not say it didn’t fit perfectly.

340 Daniel December 22, 2011 at 1:51 am

On #4 interestingly enough, my ex girlfriend’s dad named their dog Patron

341 Quent December 22, 2011 at 6:38 am

A man will name his dog anything he damned well wants. The dog won’t care in any event.

342 Roel December 22, 2011 at 11:13 am

I grew up with dogs they all were black labrador retrievers and they were all named with some relation to the singer David Bowie. The first dog was called Bowie the second one we had was called Ziggy and currently we get to enjoy the company of our 11 year old Rebel.

343 Sven December 22, 2011 at 2:29 pm

I agree with the mythology comment, but I would stick to Norse or Germanic myths, as a general rule. I was out to sea and got an email from my wife saying that she got a dog…a yorkshire terrier (not planned). I immediately said that I would name him. I refused to get slammed twice, i.e. small prissy dog and a girly name. He was thus dubbed Thor the Destroyer (Thor) for short. The funny part is that he turned out to be the scrappiest, manliest version of a yorkie that I’ve ever seen.

344 greggbc December 22, 2011 at 4:31 pm

I named our 13″ beagle Diesel and the dauchound Ethyl. I havr to explain the joke to people under 45 or so.

345 Jeff! December 22, 2011 at 6:44 pm

Dog names are tricky, for the reasons listed above, among many others. A real gem from my childhood was our Labrador mutt Gotti. She was named after the gangster, as in “married to the mob.” We were “married to the dog” because the last time we moved, we had to leave our dog at a shelter. My parents never wanted to do that again, hence the Maffioso-named dog.

346 smeej December 22, 2011 at 7:21 pm

When I was a kid, my dad was a golf pro and had a dog named Putter. Then my mom had a cat named Rookie that she got when she was a rookie in the police academy. Now they have a chocolate lab named Ghirardelli or Elli for short. They live in Denver but they’re from San Francisco where the factory is. I’ve always thought they named them well.

347 Tom December 22, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Black lab named Evo. Credit goes to Harley-Davidson

348 Todd Brown December 23, 2011 at 4:35 am

I got a Turkish Khangal named HANK and a Great Dane named JAKE.

349 Joe December 23, 2011 at 10:09 am

My wife and I just adopted a black lab mix from the shelter. She’s a great little dog we named Hexa after a boxer my german grandmother had when my mom was young. It means little witch according to grandma. (The proper spelling is hexe but no one says it right when we spell it that way.)

350 Schweeb December 23, 2011 at 10:40 am

As much as I like this site, giving your dog a manly name should be the least of your worries. Find a name that fits you and your dog. Trying to name it manly will give it a name that doesn’t fit since you’ll be trying too hard to be “cool”.

My family has always been a dog family. When my two sisters, my brother, and I were younger, we raised and showed dogs. I dedicated around ten years of my life to that, but it ended when my dogs started getting older. I really only gave one of them a call name, but I actually named two of them.

When we got our first dog, my mom picked a theme: food. It may sound lame, but it worked beautifully. Each name was named based on their color. Ginger, Brownie, Pepper, Cocoa, and Fudge, in short. After those, my brother and sisters broke from the pattern. I personally named Peanut Butter Fudge, and believe me when I tell you the name fit. Later on, I got a rescue dog named Summer. I extended that to Hot Summer Daze for her official name. I thought it was clever at the time ^.^

As my closing point, don’t pick something stupid that turns it into a joke and don’t try too hard to have the manliest dog name. Wolverine may sound like a manly name, but it’s lame and gets the opposite effect. Fred may sound lame and boring, but coming out of the right mouth, it sounds perfect.

351 Ted T December 23, 2011 at 11:41 am

I love the way my does does it with pets. Name them after famous historical people. A Chow named Gengis. A German Shepard named Bismark. A Cat named Phillipa. Jefferson. Galeio, Ullyses.

352 Chris December 23, 2011 at 3:11 pm

I actually have a black Great Dane named Guinness, glad thats that half way acceptable. She’s black and stout…

353 Mike December 24, 2011 at 12:42 am

I have a German shepherd named Gerda after the character in the Hans Christian Andersen story, “The Snow Queen”.

354 Dermott December 24, 2011 at 3:37 am

My father-in-law builds, repairs and tunes pianos. He named his dog “Bach” and his cat “DeBussy” which I’ve always thought were cool names.

355 Carl December 24, 2011 at 10:59 am

No room here to have a man’s dog, maybe at the next house. Best cat name I’ve had was Phydeux, pronounced fido. As a watchmaker is was a play on Montreux, Switzerland. Got lots of laughs. Daughter’s cat is Fujitsu, called Fudge for short.

356 Andrew December 24, 2011 at 12:05 pm

I had a German Shepherd/St.Bernard mix called Scoop, because he loved snow and would scoop it up with his nose and toss it in the air. He lived to be 21 years old. Still miss that dog. Also had a cat named Katmandu…

357 Nicholas December 24, 2011 at 7:10 pm

I have a White Mini-Schnauzer, So he has a Beard. We named him Gandalf. Everyone we have told, whether LOTR fan or not, loves it.

358 Barry December 25, 2011 at 10:07 pm

My wife and i have had several dogs, and I was involved in the naming of only one. We have a mutt named Rush. He’s quite the guy.

359 Alex December 26, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Named my chocolate lab Whiskey, mostly because when I got her she stumbled around like she was drunk. Plus whiskey could be called “man’s best friend” in jest. Thirdly, I was looking for a name with the hard E sound in it since dogs respond tot it so well. I was also thinking of Tractor since my wife had a chessie named Dozzer, but I think I’ll save that for when we get another chessie. When I was younger we had a husky names Attu and her sister was named Kiska after islands in the Alutian chain.

360 Polluxtroy69 December 26, 2011 at 8:04 pm

I have a 19 month old Dogue de Bordeaux named Phillip. Named him after my friend who passed away with cancer. Great boy with the same attitude as my friend. Loving, loyal and will protect you at any means. Couldn’t actually think of naming him anything else. My best friend still lives in Phillip the pup :)

361 Spencer December 27, 2011 at 11:23 am

My daughter named our most recent dog, a female basset/shar-pei mix, after her favorite literary character: Scout from Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird, and it was a perfect fit.

362 Mike Vango December 27, 2011 at 3:59 pm

I have two jrts. I guess their names are not manly. The boy is named Dodge and the girl Vanna White. They will bite you and that is manly.

363 Linda Albert December 28, 2011 at 9:50 pm

I was a guest once at an Orthodox women’s monastery where the Mother Superior had been a nun in another monastery under the headship of Mother Alexandra, the former Princess Ileana of Romania. The monastery was originally just a large house in an old neighborhood in Elmwood, PA. A neighbor had a dog named Princess and the first time Mother Alexandra heard the woman out in the yard calling, “Princess! Princess!” she ran out to see what the woman wanted. She was absolutely livid when she discovered the woman was calling her dog. The former royal was outraged to find that Americans name their dogs after royal titles as a common practice and never failed to chastise American visitors to the monastery on it.

364 Jules December 29, 2011 at 11:44 am

Being a rocky horror fan, I had a black pug that I named Frank N. Furter and we [obviously] called him Frank. It fit pretty well and people loved him. In the future I’d love to get a female and male either pug, boston terrier or french bulldog and name them Zuul and Vinz Clortho respectively.

I have friends that have named their cats Chairman Meow and Kitty Jong Il.

365 E. Parrish December 29, 2011 at 2:35 pm

As a child, I had a beagle named Spunky (dang sure fits any beagle I ever knew), a schnauzer named Heidi (German breed), and two mixed breeds named Homer (stray who always came returned) and Sodapop – just not sure but it fit. As married adults, we’ve had a Shepherd mix named Kia (shelter name), a Maltese named Sugar (fit her coat, not her temperament!), a petite boxer named Maggie Mae (for my son who would be going off to school in 2 years – the dog who would pine for him?) – and lastly – a LARGE male boxer who stood tall and kept everyone safe – named Major. I’m surprised to have not seen military ranks mentioned yet – Sergeant, Major, Captain, etc. all seem like good choices for a man with an equally masculine dog. Well, except maybe for Private…. um, yeah…. :)

366 Jeff December 29, 2011 at 6:27 pm

ROCCA – She’s a pitbull rottweiler mix…and looks like a 30′s gangster…We couldn’t name her Rocco…so a feminine “a” seemed the right touch.

367 CKG December 29, 2011 at 8:06 pm

He is a boxer with show quality docked ears and a very serious face. Thought about naming him “Sirius” but “Spock” kept coming up. Not being a Trekie I thought the actors name might work, but Nimoy was still to obvious. So Lenny is his name and it fits, half the time he’s a serious goof ball.

368 Mark December 29, 2011 at 11:25 pm

Sargent worked well for our black and white Springer that was square as a brick. Otherwise, keep it simple – Sam, Katie, Rocky all worked well. When you want the dog to do something NOW, short and simple is easier to say.

369 eD December 30, 2011 at 3:49 am

We just got a small stocky black Lab mix that the first owner got from a flea market in Alabama. I named him Bam Bam.

We have another small black Lab mix who was born with a white “L” on his nose. The wife offered two choices, and I picked Luke. Lazarus was the other choice… heh

Our female Shepherd mix has funky rear dew claws, so she got tagged Dewey.

I had another Shepherd mix. I decided to call him Pup until his personality came out so I could give him a more apt name. He’s 15 and he’s still Pup because I wouldn’t want to yell out “Wimp” or “Pussy” at 3 am…

370 Steve December 30, 2011 at 6:33 am

I named my Jack Russel terrier Jackie. She’s a spunky one and has the bite of a double shot of Jack Daniels. It seemed to fit her charachter to the T.

371 Don December 30, 2011 at 11:43 am

I struggled when I named my Chow (male)… It took 3 days and finally while smoking a cigar I was inspired. The Cigar I was smoking was a “Don Diego”, and since my name is Don I decided to name my boy “Diego”. Diego is also the name of Zorro’s alter ego, so bonus manly points for that. Good article…

372 Lian D December 30, 2011 at 12:19 pm

I like Johnny Walker for a Doberman… I might have to take this…great article I have a jack/Shih tzu named Cero

373 Collin December 30, 2011 at 4:08 pm

If people don’t get the historical reference, they can look it up. Personally, I’d love to have three dogs named Hannibal, Hamilcar, and Hasdrubal.

374 Mike December 30, 2011 at 4:36 pm

I know a three legged dog named “Skippy”. Even though the name refers to a physical trait, Skippy seems like a perfect name for this dog. It doesn’t come across as prejudiced at all. Maybe it’s because the name refers to a “behavior” associated with this trait, rather than the trait itself.

375 Ken December 30, 2011 at 11:20 pm

I have a albino pit bull terrier named Sweetie (legally “Sweetness”). He got the name the moment he came into my life and my home. He was living on the streets of Phoenix as a pup (about two months old), running with a pack of Chiuaua’s, and was badly abused and malnourished. I let him in with the intention of finding a home, but I didn’t realize that home was mine. He’s my best friend and the sweetest guy nobody would ever mess with.

376 Sofie January 1, 2012 at 9:15 am

Famous explorers work: Amundsen, Eriksson, Livingstone, Magellan, Hillary

377 Maximus Rex January 2, 2012 at 4:47 pm

I’ve always wanted a pit or a Rottweiler. In the 90′s, in the Spider-Man titles there was a villian introduced named Carnage. When I thought about it, I thought that Carnage would be the perfect name for a pit or a Rottweiler.

If I decide on a pit over a Rotty, and I just bond with puppy and he’s white and I have to name him Krypto. Krypto is Superboy’s dog. The irony is that I Kryto is a wack character. A dog with superpowers? Come on.

378 Lallis January 3, 2012 at 12:21 am

When we got our first pet, my husband and I decided to name them after fishing stuff (Buzzbait, Spuderbuzz, Jitterbug, Abu Garcia, etc) and when the son got into airplanes we had Mustang, Thunderbolt, Tomcat and Spitfire.

379 William January 3, 2012 at 4:04 pm

I had every intention of getting a male English Bulldog and naming him Odysseus. However, when I showed up at the breeder’s a one-year-old female walked up, looked up at me, and proceeded to lie on my foot. The breeder said, “looks like the choice has been made for you.” I named her Penelope.

380 Mike January 3, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Named two Black Labs, myself. One, the female, named Tessiture, because both my wife and I sing. Couldn’t find a musical term that sounded masculine enough, so we named the male Gunnar, after the character from the Ring of the Nibelungs. Besides, my Marine son thinks the dog’s name is Gunner.

381 Robert January 4, 2012 at 12:30 am

My border collie/lab mix which was a dog that my friend got for his dad (but his dad wanted a purebreed only) came to me with the name Hank. Didn’t work.

The first thing he did was to chew on a “Stitch” doll that my sister’s son had left at my house. Stitch became his name.

Eventually, when we decided to get a second dog, the first one we found was a chocolate lab, but she had heartworms and wasn’t allowed around other dogs for over 6 weeks. So, my ex-wife went to a shelter in a near town and we had thought going in that we’d rename the dog (if female) to Lily, as similar to Lilo without getting seriously gimmicky. She found a rescue border collie that was already named Lily. She was and is still a great dog.

The last dog I have, it’s a german shorthair pointer / lab rescue that got named Stormy.

Stitch, Lily, Stormy. Works for me.

382 Edward January 4, 2012 at 11:59 am

Male dogs are typically cool if they have good “guyish” names, and old-fashioned is okay. Ron White had a dog named Sluggo which I thought was awesome. A friend in college had a Rottweiler named Donner that we all loved. Look to the Little Rascals, Three Stooges or Marx Bros. for inspiration. Famous American Generals are good, too, but I’d shy away from the obvious Patton.

Incidentally, when in the White House Abe Lincoln had a dog named Fido. It’s a fine name for a dog.

383 Jesse January 4, 2012 at 5:38 pm

I named my German Sheppard “ DeeOGee” that’s right “Dog”. I get so many people asking me what does that name mean? and what language is that? When I explain it, the look on their face is priceless. Plus I think it’s a cool name.

384 Mo January 4, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Our Black lab is named Vito, after Vito Corleone. And after I wouldn’t let my husband give our son that name.

385 Joe January 4, 2012 at 11:21 pm

Our French Bulldog is named Bulldozer. Because he has a habit of getting under bigger dogs and pushing them. How can you get more manly than naming your dog after earth-moving heavy machinery?

386 Christopher January 5, 2012 at 11:59 am

I have a female black lab/boxer mix. Named her Mars….after the planet.

387 Dan January 7, 2012 at 1:02 am

My first dog was a collie that I named Zack. No idea why, as I was only 2, but it was a pretty good name. After that, we had a miniature schnauzer named Lucky, which fit him pretty well.

388 Mike January 7, 2012 at 5:37 pm

A golden named Murphy. I still love that name as I love that dog.

389 R.D. January 8, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Word of advice, stay away from typical names of people. My sister’s family gave their dog the name Sarah and her son eventually married a girl with the same name. Beyond the possible jokes that could be made it’s just downright confusing.

Older or more unusual names are less odd but this can end awkwardly so easily.

Foreign names are wonderful in my opinion- Caesar, Bjorn, all that as long as you don’t make it racist.

390 Larry January 8, 2012 at 8:10 pm

When I got my dog he was always cold(he was a Min Pin,but thought he was a German Shepard ) loved to be under blankets I named him “Chillywilly” when my wife died I said “I guess it’s just me and my Chillywilly”.

391 Jonathan January 8, 2012 at 10:53 pm

My dogs are named Winston and Roosevelt….

392 Jonathan January 8, 2012 at 10:54 pm

My dogs are named Winston and Roosevelt.

393 Sean January 9, 2012 at 11:07 am

My Riesenschnauzer bitch is Lilly, which rolls into the nickname of Lilly Bean…

394 Matt January 9, 2012 at 7:47 pm

My 100lbs shepard/boxer mix is named Schwarzkopf. Coolest dog I’ve ever had.

395 Sasha January 9, 2012 at 8:26 pm

“Introducing your 10-pound Maltese named Bear might get a smile from some people, but then again, it might not. Also, if you’re a man, why do you have a Maltese? The only thing with the word “Maltese” in it that should be in your house is a copy of the Dashiell Hammett novel.”

I hate to say it, but I’ve found quite a bit of exclusion going on here on, to wit: the softer, gentler, creative feminine side of the male gender. Manliness manifests in the character. It definitely does not lie in a man’s skill set or his accoutrements or the kind of pet he has.

396 McBully January 9, 2012 at 9:52 pm

I want to get a brindle colored dog and name it Dirt.

397 Millett January 9, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Zeke for Ezekial and Reilly for the founder of my fraternity, John Reilly Knox. Good dogs!

398 Kendrick January 10, 2012 at 9:01 am

One or two syllables. Keep it short. You have to be able to step outside and yell the name. Give it a try a few times before you name the dog. This is especially true if you’re going to train a hunting dog.

399 Shane January 10, 2012 at 3:04 pm

I have a Corgi x Collie I named Howell (comes across as eminent in welsh). I don’t usually take the time to go into the full meaning of the name with strangers though due to the lack of general interest. I worked with him as a herding dog for quite a while which lead to the name and even without working with him now he’s still a delightful companion.

400 mark January 10, 2012 at 7:19 pm

Winston Phillip Weinersworth

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