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Pet Names: Bye-bye Bella!

April 14, 2019 Sophie Kihm
female dog names

by Sophie Kihm

Naming a dog and naming a baby, while similar in some respects, are two totally different tasks. We have different requirements for our pet names and our baby names. Children need names that can serve them in multiple contexts over the many stages of life. Dogs don’t.

This is why we can call our dog Oreo, but our daughter has to be Oriana.

People just have more fun with dog names. They tend to be snappier and nickname-ier than the names we choose for our children. People are also more willing to give dogs names that are on the edge of style. Chester might seem too dusty for a baby boy, but on a Boston Terrier? Adorable.

So there’s more freedom when it comes to the cutesiness and casualness of a dog’s name, but there are also restrictions. According to experts, dog names should ideally be two syllables—long enough that they can hear the inflection in your voice, but short enough that they easily learn to respond to it. Now, you don’t have to follow that advice (there are plenty of well-adjusted pugs and poodles out there named Pearl and Penelope), but for the sake of this list, I’ve only suggested double-syllable names.

Below are less popular alternatives to the 100 most common female dog names. Because even though there’s less pressure when naming a dog, we know you name-nerds still aren’t going to settle for something in the Top 100.

Popular Dog Name Uncommon Dog Name
Bella Della
Lucy Clara
Daisy Poppy
Lola Lula
Luna Lumi
Molly Mamie
Sadie Zadie
Sophie Sylvie
Bailey Lainey
Maggie Greta
Chloe Effie
Lily Violet
Stella Zella
Zoey Sosie
Penny Polly
Roxy Romy
Coco Kiki
Gracie Dolly
Ruby Gemma
Mia Pia
Zoe Zara
Ellie Nellie
Nala Kahlo
Rosie Ruthie
Ginger Clover
Abby Agnes
Lilly Libby
Piper Pippa
Sasha Zosia
Riley Skyler
Pepper Saffron
Lulu Zuzu
Emma Immy
Lady Lottie
Layla Freya
Lexi Kenzie
Olive Ivy
Annie Anya
Izzy Esmé
Maya Gaia
Maddie Marnie
Dixie Dottie
Princess Queenie
Cali Cami
Millie Tilly
Belle Estelle
Ella Elsie
Harley Hadley
Honey Blossom
Kona Cora
Charlie Darcy
Willow Willa
Marley Marlowe
Roxie Nixie
Cookie Dulcie
Scout Sloane
Holly Lolly
Minnie Minna
Winnie Edie
Angel Dream
Dakota Bristol
Callie Hallie
Missy Lissy
Phoebe Daphne
Hazel Haven
Athena Sage
Shelby Ashby
Peanut Jelly
Sugar Plum
Jasmine Lilac
Ava Evie
Penelope Portia
Sandy Blondie
Trixie Scarlett
Gigi Vivi
Fiona Flora
Sydney Aubrey
Josie Posy
Cleo Clea
Mocha Sable
Leia Lena
Delilah Dinah
Baby Darling
Harper Harbor
Shadow Evening
Macy Kelsey
Pearl Opal
Allie Birdie
Mila Mika
Heidi Ida
Bonnie Lindy
Nina Mina
Grace Audrey
Katie Kitty
Lacey Chelsea
Gypsy Genie
Cocoa Winter
Nova Lyra
Charlotte Alice
Xena Xanthe

And tomorrow–suggestion on how not to name your boy dog Duke.

About the author

Sophie Kihm

Sophie Kihm has been writing for Nameberry since 2015. She has contributed stories on the top middle names of 2019, the top baby names in each state, and the hottest nickname names of 2018. Sophie is Nameberry’s resident Name Guru to the Stars, where she suggests names for celebrity babies. She also manages the Nameberry Instagram and Pinterest. You can follow her personally on Instagram or Pinterest, or contact her at sophie@nameberry.com. Sophie lives in Chicago.

View all of Sophie Kihm's articles

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