September 28, 2023


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We Found the Best Boy Dog Names for 2021

If there’s been one positive thing to come out of the tough year that was 2020, it’s that the number of animal adoptions has risen dramatically. As people continue to work remotely, more pets are expected to find forever homes, and one of the best parts about bringing a new dog into home is picking out a name that suits him perfectly. If you’re part of the growing group of pet parents, take a look at our list of best boy dog names below, inspired by everything from pop culture to nature, favorite foods to fictional characters (need female name ideas instead? See our list of 100 best girl dog names). Once you’ve picked out the perfect moniker, you can also turn to researching other canine essentials, like best dog beds, dog gifts, and even the best dog Instagram captions for the inevitable flood of adorable puppy content.

Most Popular Boy Dog Names

If the names “Charlie” and “Max” are top of mind, you’re not alone! According to pet medical insurance company Trupanion, these were the top boy dog names of 2020:

  1. Charlie
  2. Max
  3. Bailey
  4. Cooper
  5. Buddy
  6. Rocky
  7. Teddy
  8. Milo
  9. Oliver
  10. Bear
  11. Tucker
  12. Duke
  13. Toby
  14. Jack
  15. Winston
  16. Murphy
  17. Leo
  18. Louie
  19. Jax
  20. Zeus

a close up of a dog: gettyimages-1239214173

© chee gin tan – Getty Images

Boy Dog Names Inspired by Video Games

Pet parents have been doing a lot of gaming in 2020 if the rise of dogs named for popular game characters is any indication. According to, these gaming-inspired names have become way more common this year:

  • Midas (Fortnite)
  • Hanzo (Overwatch)
  • Shep (Animal Crossing)
  • Griggs (Call of Duty)
  • Gaz (Call of Duty)

a brown teddy bear sitting on top of a grass covered field: gettyimages-1035456488

© Kymberlie Dozois Photography – Getty Images

Names Inspired by Favorite Foods and Drinks

According to, dog owners also really love their beverages, so much so that coffee-and-cocktail-related names have trended upwards this year:

  • Cortado (up 258%)
  • Whiskey (up 58%)
  • Espresso (up 38%)
  • Coffee (up 14%)
  • Brew (up 11%)

Other boy dog names inspired by food and drinks:

  • Cheerio
  • Tofu
  • Biscuit
  • Taco
  • Toast
  • Meatball
  • Hoagie

a dog standing on top of a grass covered field: gettyimages-200551935-001

© Tim Platt – Getty Images

Boy Dog Names Inspired by Sports

Naming dogs for a favorite sports team or player has always been a popular way to go, and 2020 was no exception. According to, top names inspired by athletes this year include:

  • Mamba (named for basketball legend Kobe Bryant; up 111%)
  • Neymar (named for soccer player Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior; up 58%)
  • Novak (named for tennis star Novak Djokovic; up 25%)

According to the American Kennel Club, these other names inspired by sports legends are also popular:

  • Babe (Ruth)
  • (Usain) Bolt
  • Shaq (O’Neal)
  • Satchel (Paige)
  • Rafa (Nadal)
  • (Mike) Tyson
  • Yogi (Berra)
  • (Cal) Ripken
  • (Lewis) Hamilton

And for names inspired by sports terms, don’t forget:

  • Puck
  • Champ
  • Rugby
  • Slugger
  • Chip
  • Blitz
  • Dunk
  • Eagle

a dog standing on grass: gettyimages-1175901380

© Obradovic – Getty Images

Boy Dog Names Inspired by Nature

Dog parents have appreciated the tranquility a day spent in nature can bring more than ever this year, and the great outdoors can also serve as a source for dog name ideas:

  • Summit
  • Everest
  • Canyon
  • Wolf
  • Wilder
  • Brooks
  • Sky
  • Geo
  • Alder
  • Ash
  • Spruce
  • Flint
  • River

a dog looking at the camera: gettyimages-650689550

© Georgijevic – Getty Images

Names Inspired by Fictional Characters

Looking to a favorite book, film, or TV show for name inspiration is always a good way to go. A few of our top picks:

  • Harry, Ron, or Neville (Harry Potter)
  • Sherlock or Watson (Sherlock Holmes)
  • Inigo or Fezzik (Princess Bride)
  • Huck, Finn, or Sawyer (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)
  • Harold (Harold and the Purple Crayon)
  • Bond (James Bond)
  • Bodhi (Point Break)
  • Ferris (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off)
  • Gandalf (Lord of the Rings)
  • Riggins (Friday Night Lights)
  • Solo or Lando (Star Wars)
  • Doc (Back to the Future)
  • Atticus (To Kill a Mockingbird)
  • Falkor (The NeverEnding Story)
  • Hopper (Stranger Things)

Or go with the actor’s name that’s trending for dogs this year: Keanu.

a close up of a dog: gettyimages-840226604

© Lisa Van Dyke – Getty Images

Cute, Classic Dog Names

While trends are fun, there are also plenty of charming dog names that have stood the test of time to choose from. You might go with:

  • Boomer
  • Smokey
  • Chance
  • Lucky
  • Rex
  • Spot
  • Scooter
  • Bandit
  • Duke
  • Benji
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