Dog Names: Don’t Name Your Dog Duke!

100 alternates to the top male dog names

by Sophie Kihm

It’s a common name-nerd conundrum—wanting a name that’s stylish and familiar but under-the-radar. We hear this request all the time.

This extends beyond baby names. People are looking for unique names for their pets, too. Now that there’s data on the most common names for dogs and cats, pet owners can check their choices’ popularity before making a final decision. Rudy may have seemed like a creative name at one time, but what do you know—it’s ranked #71! 

I experienced this problem myself a few years ago. When deciding on a name for our puppy, I shot down many names that my family members suggested for being too popular. I would come up with cute dog names myself, only to look them up and find that they made the top 100. We ultimately landed on Fisher, a name uncommon for dogs and humans.

If you can relate, this list will be able to help you out. I’ve taken the top 100 male dog names and offered a similar alternative that does not rank. It’s pretty safe to say that your dog will be the only Benno on the block, rather than the third Benji.


Popular Dog Name Uncommon Dog Name
Max Pax
Charlie Nate
Buddy Sonny
Cooper Skipper
Jack Jude
Rocky Rowdy
Bear Fox
Duke Baron
Toby Tobin
Tucker Thatcher
Oliver River
Bentley Bennett
Milo Hugo
Teddy Theo
Jake Blake
Leo Arlo
Jax Axel
Dexter Felix
Zeus Jove
Louie Lenny
Riley Wylie
Winston Winslow
Buster Scooter
Murphy Murray
Jackson Maxen
Bailey Baylor
Harley Harvey
Gus Augie
Lucky Rookie
Oscar Fritz
Henry Harris
Cody Colton
Hank Hal
Sam Eli
Baxter Paxton
Ollie Willie
Diesel Pilot
Bruno Laszlo
Bandit Swift
Beau Vaughn
Gizmo Gage
Moose Bronco
Finn Flynn
Sammy Clemmy
Blue Gray
Marley Oakley
Loki Toki
Brody Brogan
Jasper Casper
Ace Champ
Thor Odin
Shadow Midnight
Rocco Nero
Apollo Arrow
Roscoe Richie
George Edwin
Scout Sawyer
Bo Moe
Rex Knox
Tank Storm
Tyson Titus
Rusty Rory
Otis Otto
Koda Cannon
Luke Huck
Simba Noble
Gunner Fletcher
Romeo Roman
Hunter Fisher
Joey Jory
Rudy Remy
Boomer Booker
Ziggy Digby
Copper Bourbon
Maverick Epic
Oreo Bingo
Prince Reign
Frankie Cisco
Bruce Horace
Samson Simon
Peanut Newt
Benny Bento
Brutus Bruto
Ranger Ryder
Chester Chauncey
Chase Dash
Chance Fate
Kobe Kyrie
Brady Grady
Coco Banjo
Chico Rico
Chewy Dewey
Bubba Busby
Benji Benno
Mickey Mikey
Rufus Nigel
King Royal
Archie Freddie
Cash Nash
Walter Walden

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6 Responses to “Dog Names: Don’t Name Your Dog Duke!”

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mermuse Says:

April 16th, 2019 at 9:24 am

Love these lists, but… I’ve always wanted a dog named Duke, haha. Something to be said for the classics, after all?!

stephaniebrooke Says:

April 16th, 2019 at 9:30 am

Both of my childhood dogs are on your Uncommon suggestions (Casper and Willie) but they were adopted greyhounds that came with names semi built in. Our theory about Casper’s name was that is came from the white marking on his chest like looked a bit like a ghost.

monkat8778 Says:

April 16th, 2019 at 2:35 pm

Our family dog is named Curtis!

Femfilly Says:

April 17th, 2019 at 6:54 pm

I show Rhodesian Ridgebacks. I know as many dogs with names in the uncommon side as the common side. My dogs are Wally and Gaius. Our next will be Rigel, which is a star in the constellation Orion.

auroracallista Says:

April 21st, 2019 at 12:54 am

My pup’s name is Marlow! (Could be an alternative to Marley!)

GoogleChrome Says:

April 21st, 2019 at 5:29 pm

American people suggesting Thatcher is just sooo cringy, please don’t name your child Thatcher. If they ever visit or even live in the UK well…

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