Choosing a name for your dog is arguably one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make, right behind choosing to get a dog and exactly how much you plan to hate yourself in the morning when you’re drunk at Taco Bell. A dog’s name is even more important than a child’s name. People like dogs from the moment they’re puppies to the moment you post the “I’m so sad _______ passed away last night” Instagram. Kids, on the other hand, stop being cute the second they start annoying people. For some, this is when they reach their terrible twos and for others, it’s when the mom posts her sonogram on Facebook.
So, since a dog’s identity is so important, you’d think people would spend a lot of time figuring out what to name their new bestie. But people are stupid and most of them settle on mediocre names for amazing animals. Here are the top 12 basic dog names, ranked from worst to best, because if you’re going to be ordinary, at least pick well.
I think we can all agree — Oreo is actually a bunny name, right? A black and white number with some floppy-ass ears? That said, it’s not a good name for a rabbit, it’s an even worse name for a dog, and it’s a mediocre cookie at best. Still, that doesn’t stop unoriginal people from naming their innocent side-kicks after a sad excuse for a dessert. I can guarantee the dog is just counting down the days until you take it around back, Old Yeller style, and put it out of its misery.
Most Common Breeds: Anything black and white and depressed all over.
As THE Harry Potter fan, I really want to love the name Luna. Actually, scratch that. I *did* love the name Luna. I DO love the name Luna. I always imagined getting a dog someday and naming it after the quirky girl who was smart, loyal, and unique. It’s a fantastic name. But once all of the blonde 20-somethings decided to get a shelter dog and name after the famous Ravenclaw, it’s become nothing but a joke. I’m not saying you’re wrong for naming it that. But I am saying that you most likely spend a small fortune at Starbs and drive a Jetta.
Most Common Breeds: It doesn’t matter as long as it looks sad and poses well for Instagram.
This is just hot Jessica Simpson in dog form. The girl wants to be Jessica Simpson. The dog wants to be Jessica Simpson. Everyone wants to be Jessica Simpson. I’m not saying it’s bad. I’m just saying there’s an 110% chance that either the girl or the dog is blonde. I’d even double down and bet on both of them.
Most Common Breeds: Either a perfectly groomed Golden Retriever, a sweet Black Lab (it’s ironic because daisies are yellow and this dog is black. Girl’s got jokes), or something very small and very annoying.
The classic Black Lab name, there’s nothing inherently “wrong” with it. It’s strong. It’s mysterious. It’s something a stranger would guess if your dog ran away and it lost its collar. If you want to be that person, that’s fine. But when your dog gets to dog heaven, it won’t even be called “Midnight” there. Just like the Johns of the world, it’ll be forced to go by its last name or some weird nickname forever. Hope you can live with that.
Most Common Breeds: Black Labrador or any other dog painted black.
Before Anchorman, this was a solid dog name. Baxter is the fun, loveable drunk in any friend group. Sure, he pushes your buttons but at the end of the day, he’s loyal as hell. Baxter dogs are no different. While he’s more prone to playing keep away than fetch and he’s absolutely going to gobble down your sandwich the second you look away, he always greets you with a grinning face and falls asleep at your feet every evening. Once the name got some fame, however, it became just a little less fun.
Most Common Breeds: Some sort of mutt with either a weird ear, a funky tail, or a general DGAF attitude.
This is a cat’s name. If you haven’t met an orange cat named Oliver before, you’re most likely smart and try to avoid cats at all costs. Still, while it’s ultimately a pretty lame cat name, it’s not the worst thing to ever happen to a dog. Oliver is someone you can rely on most of the time, and he’ll be your friend if you give him something in return. If you’re fine with a dog that sometimes comes when you call, needs his alone time, and doesn’t really enjoy your antics, name him Oliver.
Most Common Breeds: Cat.
This one is actually somewhat hard to debate. On one hand, it’s a pretty fantastic dog name. It’s easy, it’s unique, and it sounds like a true country pup (perfect for all of us, since we live in sprawling, one-bedroom apartments). On the other hand, the name obviously comes from the dog book we all had to read in elementary school, and after a quick little search, that dog was abused. Sure, it has a happy ending, but still. What next? You’re going to name your dog Skip? Marley?
Most Common Breeds: Beagle. Beagle. Or possibly a Beagle.
Of all the basic names for female pups, Molly is easily one of the best. Sure, it’s not the most exciting name, and if you met a Molly at a bar you’d be shocked because Molly is usually hosting Tupperware parties or perfecting her cross stitch. But Molly is sweet and kind and protective. Like the true mom of her pack, she’s happy to spend her time loving on everyone. No, Molly would never bite you, and she welcomes newcomers into her house with open paws. But if someone tried to harm her family, she’s sure as shit is going to step up to keep them safe.
Most Common Breeds: Any of the All-American dog breeds that get along well with children and the elderly.
Duke protects you from bears. Duke eats raw meat. Duke lets babies and drunken men ride on his back with dignity. Duke will lay at your feet by a roaring fire and trek through the snow to save you when you’re stuck in a blizzard. Duke will stand on the bow of a boat when you go fishing and jump off the dock next to you when you go swimming. Duke doesn’t make you a better man. Duke makes you a man.
Most Common Breeds: German Shepard. Huskey. Wolfdog. Pure fucking wolf.
A little less intense than Duke, Maxes are the happy-go-lucky dogs from next door. They play with the neighborhood kids and they eat butterflies in the spring. There’s a million and one pictures of babies feeding dogs named Max ice cream cones, and they can usually be seen with their heads out car windows, tongues a-flappin’. While it’s one of the most common dog names, you know that if you come across a Max, your friends are in for an influx of dog Snaps.
Most Common Breeds: Anything 30+ pounds.
There’s never been a dog named Lady out there that you didn’t just want to hug for the rest of your life. Ladies are the epitome of the perfect female dog. She’s compassionate and caring, with just a touch of demure and sass. While she enjoys putting her head in your lap and following commands, she not opposed to occasional roughhousing or game of tug. Sure, she’s just about as basic as dogs come. But there’s a reason classics are classics. Just watch out. I hear she loves bad boys.
Most Common Breeds: Honestly, this one isn’t about looks. A Lady is a Lady because of her inner beauty and charm.
If you decide to be uncreative when naming your dog (which is fine, because it’s not like a dog is a big decision or anything), Buddy is hands down the best choice you can make. It comes so naturally, people will assume you just didn’t name your dog. Hell, maybe that *is* how it happened. The epitome of “man’s best friend” Buddy or Bud, as he’s usually known, is going to stand by your side no matter what.
Most Common Breeds: The question isn’t, “What is Buddy?” The question is, “Who is lucky enough to have Buddy?” .