Unique dog names make you and your pup stand out from the crowd. Just like baby name trends in the celebrity world, giving your dogs names that are rare, unusual or even totally bizarre is on the rise. But daring to be different can be a risky business. What if you go too far, or make a joke that nobody understands?
Fear not! Today I’ll share my tried and tested tricks for choosing a name that’s meaningful, different and still suits your precious puppy.
- Places to get off the wall ideas
- Unique names for girls and boys
- Unusual inspiration by coat color
- Awesome and badass names
Not all pups can be called Rex, Rover or even Harry Potter. Inspiration for unique dog names can sometimes be found in your new dog’s origins, characteristics or markings. Your own family interests, hobbies, favorite food, historical or fictional characters can also be a great source of original and unusual names. Looking at pop culture, your ancestry and places that mean something special to you, can also work well.
Creating Unique Dog Names
To create some truly unique dog names, we’re going to come up with names using pictures in your head! It’s easier than you think. You’re going to need a pen and paper or whiteboard. Because we’re not typing a list, we’re brainstorming. You need to be free to write fast and randomly. That will help you think sideways and make you more creative!
Don’t worry, we’ll give you plenty of inspiration as we go, but it’s best if this process is unique to you. So go and grab that pen. We’ll start with something really simple. Let’s take a a food store. Picture the rows of shelves. Picture the inside of a shop and focus on one shelf. It could be cookies for example. Or candy. Immediately you have some potential names:
A unique dog name is anything the is different to the usual. Let’s go and stand in a parking lot. Not a real one – this one’s in your head! Try picturing a parking lot with some really nice vehicles in. This could give you some unique boy dog names such as:
Now think of a painting – a rural scene – there may be forests, think:
Inspired By Travel
But those are pretty girl dog names, but also quite tame. Let’s travel somewhere exotic and look at their tree names:
- Socotra (the Dragon Tree from Yemen)
- Kauri (New Zealand)
- Areca (India)
- Yoshini (Japan)
One of the great things about names taken from nature is that they will often serve as unique girl dog names but work equally well for boys too! Okay, now we’re off to the beach:
Look Around The Home
And now back home again. Let’s get more unusual! Look in your refrigerator. Are there any cute brand names in there? Or just fun food names.
Now just open any household cupboard, or drawer. In my kitchen a garlic press gives me Crusher and a knife gives me Blade. Try changing one letter, or adding a Y on the end. Or both. So fork becomes Cork or Corky. Label becomes Mabel. And whisk becomes Whisky. Now head for your closet, look closely at the clothes inside. You’ll find inspiration in the detail there too.
- Zipper, Zippy
Check out your cosmetics or the beauty shelves at the mall too, you’ll find names like Dior, Dove, Spice, Evelyn and Layali.
Make a list of places to visit in your head and brainstorm names. Take an imaginary walk around your block, imagine back yards & buildings (Gravel, Slate), shops, or a park. Head off to an art gallery and look at some famous paintings. Then off to the countryside (Creek, River) or the open prairie or mountains. (Canyon, Rocky). Thinking about the weather in your chosen location will give you more names (Breeze, Storm).
TOP TIP: Don’t try to pick a name while you play this game. Brainstorm as many names as you can. Even if they don’t make sense to begin with – spread them randomly across a big sheet of paper, or a whiteboard, and some of them will start to jump out at you.
But hey, we don’t have to stay in the present day. History can give us some great names too. Most people just don’t go far enough back to dig up the really unusual.
Unique Dog Names From History
Try looking for a specific century – the 13th century brings up names like Ida and Isolda for girls, Warin and Edric for boys. Think about the clothes that medieval people wore and the food they ate including ancient herbs and spices.
TOP TIP: Focus on an object, time or place, and make a google search around that topic. Write down anything that’s unusual and pretty or thought provoking. When you are done, it’s time to choose!
Once you have a sheet of paper with 50 to 100 names you can start to make shortlist and pick the best unique dog name for your new friend.
The Best Unique Dog Names
Most of us consider dogs as an addition to our family. We take time to consider the name we’ll give them, and whether it will suit them. Dog names, unique or otherwise, are important to all new owners. So you’ll want to make sure you put the right amount of thought and time in before coming to a decision.
The best dog names are those that show your own taste and personality. While at the same time reflecting your dog’s character and attributes too. Ultimately, the best name for your dog is the one you’re happy with. And if a unique dog name appeals to you, then a unique dog name is what you need. If you still need more inspiration, here are some lists for you to consider!
Unusual Female Dog Names
Many people choose to give their pets human names, especially when it comes to dogs. This can make our bond and connection with them stronger. You’ll to be sure to stand out with any of these unique girl dog names!
When we’re looking at human names, we can draw a great deal from popular culture. Referencing a character from film or TV can be a great way to make a name both unique and recognizable. History is a great source of inspiration too; Sappho was one of the first known female writers. When it comes to unique names, female figures can give meaning and real depth. Continuing with human names, let’s look at some male dogs.
Uncommon Male Dog Names
If you choose to give your male dog a human name, you’ll want it to suit him and be individual. With so many male dog names already commonplace it can be hard to find something unique. As earlier, we can look to popular culture for ideas. This will give us some unique boy dog names that still feel familiar.
Dogs are often called “mans best friend.” Sidekicks in film, TV and literature can give us great names. Sherlock Holmes’ right hand man James Watson is a cool example. Now, inspired by our lovely yellow labs, let’s look at some quirky options for yellow dogs.
Yellow Dog Names
Yellow fur from cream to golden, calls to mind a whole host of images. Farmyards, blonde hair, cheese, egg yolks … and this is the kind of imagery that yields some truly unique names. Here’s our list of unique names for yellow labs!
Chocolate colored dogs are usually photogenic. Their striking brown fur makes a basis for some excellent unique names. Chocolate dogs are often named after our favorite chocolate bars! There’s a lot of natural materials and foods we can use for name ideas in this section. These sort of things make excellent and memorable dog names. Here are some different ideas:
Original Black Dog Names
Black dogs are a fixture in homes the world over, they cut a sharp contrast with their surroundings. Unique names for dogs always work great when they play into such an obvious feature. Black dogs’ coloration remind us of the night, and a whole host of animals. Here is a list of suggestions for unique dog names for black dogs.
- Vantablack (vanta)
Red Dog Names
Fox red Labradors are becoming more and more popular and there are some other wonderful red dog breeds. So, it’s becoming more necessary to stand out from the crowd with unique dog names. But I think many of us agree that their aesthetic is deserving of a category of their own. The fire and earth theme is pretty self explanatory with these orange dogs, and works really well! Here are some ideas for naming orange or red colored dogs.
Cute Dog Names
Chances are, you think your dog’s pretty cute. Most people probably agree! You might want to give your adorable pet an adorable name. There are plenty of options for unique dog names with a more cutsy feel.
Cool Dog Names
We’d all like to give our pets cool names. The kind of names that make people say ‘why didn’t I think of that’. A cool name will make showing your dog off to you friends even more fun. You’ll stand out regardless with a unique name. That being said, not all names are equal. Here are some ideas for ‘cool’ unique dog names.
Finding Your Own Unique Dog Names
To come up with more unique dog names it can help to make lists of names from different topics We’ve focused quite a bit on color based names here, but you can expand your search to include your own hobbies and interest. For example: if you are interested in fencing, you could call your dog Parry. If you are a dancer try Plie or Pirouet
- Like fishing? Try Ledger or Spinner. Into sailing? How about Spinnaker?
- Love to cook? Try Flambe or Omlet
Many of our ideas for unique dog names are taken from different aspects of the environment and you can take inspiration from your own surroundings. If the names you come up with don’t seem original enough, try browsing a thesaurus!
You can also look at interesting characters from your favorite novels, and at some of our more quirky celebrities, or sporting heros for ideas. For hundreds more unique and original ideas for naming your dog check out these articles
The Labrador Site Founder
Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.
She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program
Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website
My female black lab named Indaway.
We’ve had aChina, General, Teddy. Currently have Mishka, looking to name a puppy we’re getting in two weeks! Possibly Remy, Chai, Rogue, Novi, Sigmund, Niko, Seni, Sergi, Zino or Serik.
Red fox female lab named Spunky B
I have Poodles Annabell, Woody, Teddy, Iris, Rose, Ruby, Jager, Hazel, Cash, Willow, Dante
We had a female Rottweiler named Ursula (means Little Bear)and a male named Hans, a sweet Dachshund named Truffle (my favorite name EVER!); other doxies named Strudel and Lucia (after the movie The Ghost and Mrs. Muir). My daughter has dachshunds named Rockford Wee Von Yawn (he was tiny and yawned a lot), Otto and Brida (German names for German dogs).
My daughter has a beautiful, yet funny & goofy Golden Retriever. His name is Gronk, After Rob Gronkowski (football player). My granddaughter has an Australian Shepherd with one Blueeye and one brown eye. That was her dream dog so she named her Dream. Both dogs have Instagram pages with about 1500 followers. LOL
I have 3 dogs. Suzette being a female Black Mountain Cur w/ brindle fur, A male German Shepherd about 10 weeks old (we got him today) w/ currently no name. Last but not least a male Border Collie, Australian Shepherd, and Bernese mix also a 10 week old pup (we got him 2 weeks ago) w/ still no name
My dogs name is a Maori name kauri pronunciation co-ree
He is a poodle/blue cattle puppy
WOW! I was just completing a tex & it just let the entire tex erased! So now I will just list their names so others may use & enjoy one or more. Thank You 🙏🏼.
Crispin, Molly, Rupert, Heffer, Becky, Sara, Munchkin, Oliver, Talulha & Olivia. Hopefully someone will love ❤️ them as much as I have. (I only have my Talulha left!🙏🏼). Enjoy! Oh five were boys & five girls. All but one was shuzi-seu & one Yorker (tea cup 😁) all nothing but great Love ❤️ & Joy 🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩.
I just miss them so much! Can’t wait to be reunited at the Rainbow Bridge!!.
My female Boston Terrier’s name is Teeg
Mine is a white dog shes very cute her name is Snowy
We have had 6 dogs in all. 3 are still with us. Our first two Penda and Modoc lived till 16. Our 2nd two sisters were Lab/Golden both black named Lakota and Raven. (15 and 12) Last three we have now are Lab/Golden Shasta named after Mt Shasta in Calif. Choc lab rescue named Sierra (for Sierra Madre) and Juneau a Labbie mix. Have not met too many dogs with these names except for Raven.
so cute I just wish I could have a puppy
I have a golden retriever and his name is Dartagnan. the name of my next dog will be Aramis, all musketeers!!! 🙂
Ragnar of Ragnarok is my 3 year old Chocolate Labs full name.
Love the name Ragnar!!
BARNABAS, Kenai, TIVA, ZOBA, ZEV AND KIRA
Barnabas is a one year old blind chihuahua
Kenai was my heart my service animal he passed away on December 11th 2020
Tiva and Zoba are sisters and are aprox six months old, Kira and Zev are the goats 🐐
I had a dalmatian that was almost covered in black spots, I named her Shazbot(mork from ork term) also had a Red MinPin with an attitude, I named her Reba (after Reba McIntyre)
I have a Giant Schnauzer named Rhythm
Mine is Labrador and her name is Echo
My dogs name is Luna and she’s a German Shepherd and Rottweiler mix. She’s black and brown and only 2 years old. She is really strong and sometimes we have trouble getting her not to bite, but when she’s around 5 yr olds and lower, you can tell she’s going easy on them. 228 pounds and she can pull me across our whole house but when she’s playing tug of war with little kids you can tell she’s being gentle and not using her full strength. She’s smart to, she sits on chairs and jumps up to get in on the hug when 2 people are hugging. She was pretty easy to train to. And she can easily sense when we’re nervous and will defend us. I love her so much but she still nips at everyone and she has very sharp teeth, they hurt really bad. She and our 2 older dogs love playing but sometimes we need to remind her to stay off the older girl’s hips because they have bad hips and she could really hurt anyone and anything. But shes my baby girl and I love her.
Mine is beagle and his name is Tanner.