Dog Names That Start With R

  1. Raphael
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "God has healed"
    • Description:

      Raphael is a romantic archangel name that sounds both artistic and powerful. Raphael is also a great cross-cultural choice, with significance for people with both Latinate and Jewish roots, plus plenty of grounding in the English-speaking world.
  2. Robin
    • Origin:

      Bird name; or English, diminutive of Robert
    • Meaning:

      "bright fame"
    • Description:

      Now that it's no longer fashionable for girls, Robin is rising for boys again. Robin Hood, Robin Williams, Christopher Robin, and Robin the Boy Wonder are all male namesakes, after all. It reentered the US Top 1000 boys names in 2015 for the first time since 1999 and continues to bounce around the lower end of the Top 1000.
  3. Rafferty
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "floodtide, abundance, prosperity"
    • Description:

      Jaunty and raffish, Rafferty is one of the most engaging of the Irish surnames, used by Jude Law and Sadie Frost for their son. Fortunately, it doesn't still go by its original form: O'Raighbheartaigh.
  4. Royal
    • Origin:

      English word name
    • Meaning:

      "royal"
    • Description:

      Even less subtle than Duke or Earl, this name shot up the popularity charts in 2013, the same year young Prince George was born and the craze for all things royal (and Royal) began. Today, it's a leading boys' name on Nameberry's own popularity charts.
  5. Ryan
    • Origin:

      Irish
    • Meaning:

      "little king"
    • Description:

      Ryan’s use as a given name was inspired by the surname Ryan, a variation of the Irish O’Riain meaning "son of Rían." Rían is composed of the Irish-Gaelic elements , meaning "king" and an, a diminutive suffix. Ryan is considered a unisex name in the US, where variant spellings Ryann and Ryanne are also valid for girls.
  6. Rue
    • Origin:

      Botanical names or word name
    • Meaning:

      "herb; regret"
    • Description:

      Rue has gone from Golden Girls actress to Hunger Games heroine. This botanical name is also a coincidental double word name, meaning "regret" in English and "street in" French. Despite these unfortunate secondary meanings, Rue has real potential to be one of the most popular new middle names for girls.
  7. Reid
    • Origin:

      English
    • Meaning:

      "red-haired"
    • Description:

      The Reid spelling is the most popular by half, probably because it feels more like a name than Reed, which looks more like a word. It's used occasionally for girls but this name is firmly in the boys' camp.
  8. Ramona
    • Origin:

      Spanish, feminine variation of Ramon
    • Meaning:

      "wise protector"
    • Description:

      Ramona is a sweet spot name – neither too trendy nor too eccentric. Kids will associate it with the clever Ramona Quimby character in the series of books by Beverly Cleary, also seen on TV. It was chosen by starcouple Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard for their little girl, who would be joined by sister Gloria.
  9. Ruth
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "compassionate friend"
    • Description:

      Ruth, with its air of calm and compassion, was the third most popular name in the 1890s, remaining in the Top 10 through the 1920s. It's still in use today as some parents tiring of Rachel and Rebecca are giving Ruth a second thought. Some see such Old Testament girls’ names as Ruth and Esther rising on the heels of boy equivalents Abel and Moses.
  10. Roan
    • Origin:

      Spelling variation of Rowan
    • Meaning:

      "little redhead"
    • Description:

      Warm-hued spelling spin on Rowan that was chosen by Sharon Stone for one of her three young sons.
  11. Rupert
    • Origin:

      German variation of Robert
    • Meaning:

      "bright fame"
    • Description:

      Rupert is a charming-yet-manly name long more popular in Britain (where it's attached to a beloved cartoon bear) than in the U.S. Yet we can see Rupert as a more stylish, modern way to honor an ancestral Robert.
  12. Rhea
    • Origin:

      Greek mythology name
    • Meaning:

      "a flowing stream"
    • Description:

      Old-style creative name of the Greek mythological earth mother of all the gods. A lot better than the Roman equivalent: Ops. Rhea reentered the US Top 1000 in 2015. Its only previous appearance on the list since 1968 was 2004.
  13. Riley
    • Origin:

      English, Irish
    • Meaning:

      "rye clearing; courageous"
    • Description:

      Riley -- one of the most popular unisex names -- is trendier now for girls though for boys it's a classic, ALWAYS ranking in the US Top 1000.
  14. Rune
    • Origin:

      German and Swedish
    • Meaning:

      "secret"
    • Description:

      Name with connotations both mystical and tragic, newly popular in Europe. For English speakers, though, this name might be ruined by its homonym ruin.
  15. Reuben
    • Origin:

      Hebrew
    • Meaning:

      "behold, a son"
    • Description:

      Reuben is derived from the Hebrew words ra’a, meaning "to see, to understand," and ben, "son." As a phrase it translates to "behold, a son." In the Bible, Reuben is Jacob's first-born son by Leah and the founder of one of the tribes of Israel.
  16. Rhiannon
    • Origin:

      Welsh
    • Meaning:

      "divine queen"
    • Description:

      Most of us had never heard this lovely Welsh name with links to the moon until we heard the 1976 smash hit Fleetwood Mac song of that name, with lyrics by Stevie Nicks. That same year it popped onto the U.S. Top 1000 at Number 593.
  17. Rosalind
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "supple horse or pretty rose"
    • Description:

      Rosalind has a distinguished literary history – used and popularized by Edmund Spenser and Shakespeare via one of his most charming heroines, in As You Like It. Along with a bouquet of other Rose names, Rosalind might be ready for a comeback.
  18. Rufus
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "red-head"
    • Description:

      Rufus is a rumpled, redheaded (it was the nickname for red-haired King William) ancient Roman name popular with saints and singers (e.g. Rufus Wainwright); now, Rufus is on the cutting edge of cool.
  19. Rae
    • Origin:

      English, diminutive of Rachel
    • Meaning:

      "ewe"
    • Description:

      All the old ae/ay middle names for girls are back--Kay, Fay, Mae/May, --and Rae is one of the coolest, used as such by celebrities as Mark Wahlberg and Daniel Baldwin. Even more popular in the celebrisphere is the jazzy Ray spelling: among those who used it as their daughters' middles are Bruce Willis, Dermot Mulroney, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard, Uma Thurman and Lee Lee Sobieski.
  20. Rex
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "king"
    • Description:

      Now that many dogs are named Max, it's safe to use this sleek, solid, regal name again for your child. And with the charm of its final x, its regal meaning, and its offbeat simplicity, Rex is definitely one to consider.