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Bringing a new dog home to be part of the family is always an exciting experience. But one part of the process that can add a bit of stress is choosing a name.
It needs to work for your dog and suit their personality. It needs to work for you as you will be saying it on a daily basis. And everyone in the family needs to agree!
Choosing a name for your new male best friend can be challenging.
- Do you want to go with a classic like Bruce or Benji, or something a bit different?
- Is he a ball of fluff that needs a cute name, but not too cute?
- Do you want to give them a human name, or something quirky like naming them after a food? There are just so many options.
To help you get started, I have come up with a list of 200 excellent dog names for male dogs.
They are divided into categories, so you can start where you want if you have in idea, such as naming your dog after your favorite food or a celebrity.
I have also come up with a few tips for what you should be considering when choosing a dog’s name, which might help you break any deadlocks between your eight-year-old and your twelve-year-old when it comes to choosing.
Of course, it is not much use choosing the perfect name for your dog if they don’t respond to it.
I have also included some advice on how to teach your dog to recognize and respond to their name.
Male Dog Name Ideas
We have broken our list of male dog names up into categories to help you find what you are looking for.
Popular Male Dog Names
Try something tried and tested with these very popular dog names.
Unique Male Dog Names
Go for something a little bit different, like these examples.
Male Dog Names For Small Dogs
If you are into cutesy dog names, a few on this list might appeal. By the way, some “small” dog names are those reverse names like calling a the big guy “Tiny”. For instance, #1 on our list:
- Half Pint
Unisex Dog Names
If you would prefer to give your dog a name that is not distinctly male, try one of these appropriate uni-sex names.
Food-Related Male Dog Names
Does your pooch look good enough to eat? Or does he just have a ravenous appetite? Name him after one of your favorite foods.
- Bok Choy
Appearance-Inspired Male Dog Names
As well as you dog’s character, their appearance can give you some inspiration.
Character Inspired Male Dog Names
Often the color of your dog’s furry coat can be a good source of inspiration.
- Bluto (as in Popeye)
- Brain (as in Pinky and the Brain)
- Gargamel (as in Smurfs)
- Groot (as in Guardians of the Galaxy)
- Joker (as in Batman)
- Juggernaut (as in X-Men)
- Orko (as in Heman)
- Loki (as in Thor)
- Magneto (as in X-Men)
- Monty (as in Mr Burns from the Simpsons)
- Mojo Jojo (as in the Powerpuff Girls)
- Piccolo (as in Dragonball Z)
- Scooby (as in Scooby Doo)
- Shaggy (as in Scooby Doo)
- Shredder (as in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
- Splinter (as in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
- Stark (as in Tony Stark, Iron Man)
- Taz (as in Tazmanian Devil)
- Thor (as in Thor Lord of Thunder )
- Venom (as in Spiderman)
Celebrity Male Dog Names
Name your dog after one of your favorite female celebrities.
- Arnie (as in Schwarznegger)
- Beckham (as in David)
- Bono (as in U2)
- Brando (as in Marlon)
- Clint (as in Eastwood)
- Dean (as in James)
- Elton (as in John)
- Elvis (as in Presley)
- Freddie (as in Mercury)
- Heath (as in Ledger)
- Jagger (as in Mick)
- Jordan (as in Michael)
- Leonardo (as in Da Vinci, not DiCaprio, obviously)
- Nelson (as in Mandela)
- Pacino (as in Al)
- Phelps (as in Michael)
- Russell (as in Crowe)
- Stallone (as in Sylvester)
- Sting (as in Sting)
- Tiger (as in Woods)
Heroic Male Dog Names
You know that your pooch will be a hero, so why not name him after a god or hero from history?
- Thanatos (or Thanos…)
Celebrity Male Dog Names
Interested in what celebrities have named their best friends?
- Atticus (Jake Gyllenhaal)
- Baxter (Ryan Reynolds)
- Baylor (Selina Gomez)
- Bo (Barack Obama)
- Brutus (The Rock)
- Finn (Amanda Seyfried)
- Ghenghis Khan (Martha Stewart)
- Lupo (Katel Middleton)
- Meatball (Adam Sandler)
- Meatloaf (Fergie)
- Norman (Jennifer Aniston)
- Shadow (Vanessa Hudgens)
- Sherriff (Christina Ricci)
- Sid (Jessica Alba)
- Simba (Heidi Klum)
- Sunny (Barack Obama)
- Tucker (Charlize Theron)
- Vincent (Wiz Khalifa)
- Wink (Selma Blair)
- Winston (Gwen Stefani)
How To Choose A Dog Name
If you are struggling to choose your dog’s name or struggling to find agreement within the family of what the best option is, then consider these points to help you make the final choice.
- Go for something short, one or two syllables long. It is easier for dogs to learn short names, which means that they will recognize their name more easily. If you want to give your dog a long and complicated name, then remember that you will need a nickname for daily use. Considering it is the nickname that you will be using most and that they will recognize, make sure to give that careful consideration alongside their full name.
- Avoid tongue twisters. It is not just you that may need to use your dog’s name to call their attention or give them directions, so you don’t want to go with something that only you can pronounce. Moreover, as any human with a hard name to pronounce will know, it gets pretty annoying to have to correct people all the time. You may get sick of correcting other people’s pronunciation of your dog’s name as well.
- Consider choosing something that starts with a sibilant consonant or blend, such as an S or a SH, or a hard commanding consonant like a K or C. This helps your distinguish their name from the ambient noise.
- Avoid names that sound too much like commands that you will use regularly, as this can just confuse your pup. Remember that while dogs are very intelligent, they don’t understand language; they are just recognizing familiar sounds. So, if it sounds too much like a command that you use regularly, such as sit or stay, they may confuse the two.
- Remember that you will often need to use your dog’s name in public, often loudly, and in front of children. You don’t want anything that you thought was funny at the time, but then just ends up too embarrassing to use when at the park.
- Be a little bit wary of going for anything that is too trendy. Remember that trends change quickly, but your pup might be with you for 15 years. For example, if you decide to name your dog after a celebrity, go for something classic, like Elvis, rather than someone new. You never know what the person might do next, which could leave you regretting your dog name choice.
- You can draw inspiration from the way that your dog looks. What size are they? What color? What breed? Do they have a funny shape or any distinguishing features like floppy ears or an extra long tail? Do they have interesting markings? These can all be a great starting point for choosing a name that suits.
- Remember that you don’t have to give your dog a name the moment you bring them home. Take a week or so to get to know your dog’s personality a little bit better. This can give you new ideas and certainly help you eliminate ones that simply don’t suit.
Teach Your Dog Their Name
Once you have chosen a dog name, you need to teach your dog to recognize it. Otherwise, how else will they identify this special sound with themselves?
Training your dog to recognize their name is pretty much like any other kind of training. You show the response that you want to the word, and when they give it, positively reinforce the behavior with some kind of treat (edible, praise, or play).
So, the first step is to familiarize your dog with their name. Start with five-minute training sessions daily in which you have your dog in an attentive situation and then say their name.
When they respond to you, give them a treat. Repeat this several times over a couple of minutes every day for a few weeks.
Next, you need to teach your dog to respond to you when you don’t necessarily have their attention already.
Take them out on the leash (even if it is only into the yard) and let them explore. Then call their name. If they turn and give you their attention, great, reward them with a treat.
If they don’t turn in a timely manner, then lightly tug on the leash to get their attention and say their name again.
When they do turn, you can say their name again, and then reward them for their response.
With this kind of training, your dog will learn to associate their name with good things, and will always want to give you their attention.
For this reason, always avoid using your dog’s name in negative situations.
Don’t say “no, Rover”, just say “no” in order to avoid associating your dog’s name with negativity.
Here’s a more descriptive write up we did on how to teach your dog their name.
Choosing the perfect name that your dog will use for life is a pretty big decision.
It needs to suit them, and it needs to be something that everyone in the family is happy to use on a daily basis. It is worth putting in the effort to get it right.
Sometimes inspiration hits quickly, and you just need to double check the name for any unexpected pitfalls, such as being a word that your dog may confuse with other confusing commands.
Other times, you just dismiss every name you hear because they just don’t seem right. Sometimes the problem is finding agreement among family members.
When you are struggling to find a name, the best thing that you can do is expose yourself to as many names as possible, as you are increasing your chances of coming across one that feels right.
You can also ask yourself questions about your dog’s looks and behavior to find inspiration.
We named our most recent male dog Downey after the actor Robert Downey Jr.
Why Downey? Because he came from the Avengers litter and his litter name was originally Iron Man, thus Downey!
How about you guys?
Did you choose a name for your dog?
If so, tell us your dog’s name and why you chose it in the comment section below.
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Top Picks For Our Dogs
- BEST PUPPY TOY
We Like: Calmeroos Puppy Toy w/ Heartbeat and Heat Packs - Perfect for new puppies. Helps ease anxiety in their new home.
- BEST DOG CHEW
We Like: Bones & Chews Bully Sticks - All of our puppies love to bite, nip, and chew. We love using Bully Sticks to help divert these unwanted behaviors.
- BEST DOG TREATS
We Like: Crazy Dog Train Me Treats - One of our favorite treats for training our service dog puppies.
- BEST FRESH DOG FOOD
We Like: The Farmer's Dog - A couple months ago we started feeding Raven fresh dog food and she loves it! Get 50% off your first order of The Farmer's Dog.
For a list of all the supplies we get for our new service dog puppies check out our New Puppy Checklist on the PuppyInTraining.com blog.