A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

175+ Best Boy Dog Names for Your Handsome Pooch

Updated: Mar. 28, 2024

Bringing home a new best buddy sometime soon? Check out these unique boy dog names for a perfect fit.

Boy dog names handwritten over a photo of a dog
Maya Wang/RD.com, Getty Images

Boy dog names that suit your pup

Dog ownership comes with responsibilities, and one of the first you’ll face is deciding what to call your waggly boy. Yes, there are a lot of boy dog names out there, but which one perfectly suits your little (or not-so-little) guy? The sheer volume of adorable dog names can be overwhelming, and they run the gamut from the quintessentially human to pop-culture-inspired (like these Disney dog names) to flat-out funny.

But just like when choosing the best names for your human babies, the best pet names will be the ones that resonate most with you, according to Lauren Novack, a canine behavior consultant with NYC Behavior Vets. While Novack says “there isn’t one right or wrong way to choose a name,” you’ll nevertheless want to be comfortable saying that name many times a day, as well as be able to do so quickly and clearly when you need to get your pup’s attention ASAP.

You’ll also want to consider that your dog’s name can influence how others interpret his behavior. As veterinarian and animal behaviorist Paola Cuevas points out, people are less likely to fear your approaching dog if you’re calling him Fluffball instead of Killer. And while choosing from among the most popular dog names can ensure you don’t inadvertently land on an antisocial name, that can get tricky too. After all, when you call your dog’s name, you don’t necessarily want six other slobbering goofballs running your way too. Lucky for you, this list of the best boy dog names was curated for originality.

Get Reader’s Digest’s Read Up newsletter for more pets, humor, cleaning, travel, tech and fun facts all week long.

Boy dog name handwritten over a photo of a dog
Maya Wang/RD.com, Getty Images

Cute boy dog names

“A name for a dog needs to inspire positivity and enjoyment,” says certified dog trainer Erin Askeland, who serves as an animal health and behavior expert for Camp Bow Wow. That means steering clear of names with negative connotations and associations. The following cute boy dog names accomplish that but without being so “on the nose” that you’ll have to fend off a pack every time you call your buddy’s name. Some could work equally well as girl dog names, if you happen to be looking for one of those too.

  • Clunkers
  • Baby
  • Dustin
  • Austin
  • Ollie
  • Tigger
  • Joey
  • Ubu
  • Booboo
  • Skippy
  • Louie
  • Jake
  • Frankie
  • Puff
  • Wolfie
  • Monkey
  • Chico
  • Pichu
  • Pepe
  • Tyke

Boy dog name handwritten over a photo of a dog
Maya Wang/RD.com, Getty Images

Unique boy dog names

“Personally, I’m a fan of lesser-known names,” says Askeland. In her case, the fun in unique boy dog names with special meaning lies in explaining who “T.S. Eliot” is (not her dog, but the poet) and why his poetry has meaning for her. But even if you’re not looking for dog-park conversation starters, choosing a unique dog name over a trendy one can make “recall” easier (calling your dog to come back), says Novack, and also help your vet and others who regularly meet a lot of dogs remember your little buddy. “I have days where I sometimes have back-to-back dogs with the same name, and it gets confusing,” Novack tells Reader’s Digest. These unique boy dog names might help.

  • Orion
  • Bug
  • Bezel
  • Falcon
  • Gunther
  • Stash
  • Tilt
  • Fritz
  • Berkeley
  • Batman
  • Boyo
  • Kirk
  • Cecil
  • Bullseye
  • Lotto
  • Lewis
  • Fred
  • Robert
  • Grayson
  • Machu

Boy dog name handwritten over a photo of a dog
Maya Wang/RD.com, Getty Images

Classic boy dog names

If you feel only a well-worn boy dog name will do for your furry quadruped, might we suggest a name so very classic that one hardly even hears it being used anymore? Basically, the theme here is “so out, it’s in.” What all the following classic boy dog names have in common is they’ve become so closely associated with canine culture that, over time, they’ve fallen out of usage. But they’re not hackneyed. In fact, think about how cool it would be to walk down the street knowing that your Fido is the only Fido for miles and miles.

  • Rover
  • Spot
  • Spud
  • Champ
  • Rex
  • King
  • Fido
  • Beans
  • Duke
  • Doc
  • Buddy
  • Captain
  • Hunter
  • Cooper
  • Bandit
  • Bingo
  • Scooby
  • Tintin
  • Toto
  • Lucky
  • Snoopy

Boy dog name handwritten over a photo of a dog
Maya Wang/RD.com, Getty Images

Cool boy dog names

What makes a dog cool? Well, for starters, panting helps. (Sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves.) But there’s more than one way to ensure your four-legged sidekick conveys an attitude of chill, and by far, the easiest is giving doggo a cool-sounding name. That’s what cartoon beagle Snoopy did for himself when he dreamed up his cooler alter ego Joe Cool (with a little help from cartoon great Charles Schulz).

If you’re in the market for cool boy dog names, you could certainly go with that one. It’s not only cool but also so classic that it’s fallen into relative disuse—a plus, as our dog-naming experts keep telling us. However, Joe Cool is far from your only choice. The names below promise to deliver “cool” to your canine, without any panting required.

  • Sirius
  • Jackal
  • Yukon
  • Harley
  • Tiny (especially for a large breed)
  • Moose (especially for a purse pup)
  • Dawg
  • Goose
  • Ace
  • Pedro
  • Baretta
  • Coyote
  • Buck
  • Aspen
  • Vail
  • Sailor
  • Army
  • Diesel
  • Brooklyn
  • Slash
  • Axel
  • Macho
  • Maverick

Boy dog name handwritten over a photo of a dog
Maya Wang/RD.com, Getty Images

Boy dog names inspired by food

What’s that growling we hear? Oh, it’s just our stomachs. And it’s only because these boy dog names inspired by food and drinks are making us hungry. And that’s a good thing, apparently, because animal behavior expert Zazie Todd, PhD, tells Reader’s Digest that the best dog names offer positive associations to all those who hear them uttered.

The only caveat is that back in 2020, a lot of pups ended up with funny, quarantine-inspired names. And since it always seemed to be wine o’clock somewhere, a lot of those names were boozy. So, for the sake of keeping things simple at the dog park, we’ve taken this category in a more food-centric direction, though if you love your Guinness, Bailey’s or whiskey, you can find plenty of inspiration there too. These can also be cute names for cats.

  • Meatball
  • Schnitzel
  • Pretzel
  • Knaidel
  • Matzah
  • Cashew
  • Peanut
  • Alfredo
  • Asiago (with Ozzie as a logical nickname)
  • Colby
  • Reuben
  • Taco
  • Hero
  • Graham
  • Nugget
  • Tapas
  • Mac
  • Pepper
  • Fettucine
  • Linguine
  • Snickers
  • Nacho
  • Beef
  • Wellington

Boy dog name handwritten over a photo of a dog
Maya Wang/RD.com, Getty Images

Boy dog names inspired by pop culture

Some of the pop-culture-inspired boy dog names on this list will go a long way toward answering the question that seems to be on the minds of just about anyone you meet: “Whatcha been streaming?” And that’s certainly one great way to connect with fellow dog lovers. It’s also another way to create positive associations regarding your pup—for others and for you. Translation: If thinking about Bojack Horseman‘s lovable Labrador, Mr. Peanutbutter, makes you smile, imagine how you’ll feel when your own Lab has the same name. In addition to Mr. Peanutbutter, here are some other feel-good boy dog names inspired by TV, movies and music.

  • Bojack (Bojack Horseman)
  • Yoda (Star Wars)
  • Solo (Star Wars)
  • Hawkeye (M*A*S*H and the Marvel Universe)
  • Puccini (the Italian composer)
  • Huck (Huckleberry Finn)
  • King Charles (even better if your dog is a Cavalier King Charles spaniel!)
  • Prince Harry (the British royal family)
  • Prince Archie (a Harry and Meghan production)
  • Weasley (perfect for any ginger dog)
  • Clifford (the original big red dog)
  • Bandit (Bluey)
  • Petey (The Little Rascals)
  • Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird)
  • Radley (To Kill a Mockingbird)
  • Squidward (SpongeBob SquarePants)
  • Fiddy (50 Cent)
  • Kanye Westie
  • Snoop Dogg
  • Pikachu (Pokémon)
  • Cartman (South Park)
  • Bugsy Malone (Bugsy Malone)
  • Astro (The Jetsons)

If you’re in the mood to do a little streaming now, check out our favorite dog movies.

Boy dog name handwritten over a photo of a dog
Maya Wang/RD.com, Getty Images

Funny boy dog names

Granted, many of these funny boy dog names are going to take a little more time to roll off the tongue than, say, “Ace.” But no one ever said you couldn’t give your dog a full name that makes you giggle plus a more sensible nickname for everyday use.

  • Prince Hairy
  • Hairy Potter
  • Ron Fleasly
  • Bark Twain
  • Pugsy Malone (for a pug/pug mix)
  • Derek Shepherd (for any kind of shepherd breed/mix)
  • Brad Pittbull
  • Gouda Boy
  • Fuzz Aldrin
  • Mutt McConaughey
  • Muttlock
  • Pawl Rudd
  • Pawcini
  • Santa Paws
  • T. Bone Pickens
  • Indiana Bones
  • Edward Fur-long
  • Bruce Flea
  • Sir Barks-a-Lot
  • Kramer
  • Kevin

For even more dog-related wordplay, help yourself to a generous serving of these dog puns.

Boy dog name handwritten over a photo of a dog
Maya Wang/RD.com, Getty Images

Boy dog names inspired by history

You don’t have to be a history buff to appreciate these boy dog names inspired by world leaders, philosophers, artists, innovators, inventors and explorers. If none of these do the trick, pick another one of your favorites—it will reveal a lot about you, not just your pup.

  • Winston
  • Mandela
  • Brutus (best for a small dog)
  • Einstein
  • Lincoln
  • Homer
  • King Tut
  • Gorbachev (Gorby for short)
  • Coolidge
  • Franklin
  • Thatcher (yes, as in Margaret)
  • Polo
  • Vespucci (Pucci for short)
  • Newton
  • Plato
  • Prince Albert
  • Windsor (as in the Duke of)
  • Dickens
  • Freud
  • Wolfgang
  • Van Gogh
  • Hopper
  • Banksy
  • Matisse
  • Tesla
  • Buzz (as in Aldrin)

These might also make funny names for birds or hamsters. (Hey, those guys need cool names too!)