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Great Names for Small Dogs

When picking dog for smaller breeds, you need to choose something that reflects all the charm, personality and good things that come in your small package. Many of the names here mean small, little, or tiny, or are diminutives that convey that message — such as Minnie and Dolly.

Along with Minnie and Dolly, other small dog names among the Top 100 names for dogs include Baby, Buddy, Lulu, Peanut, Archie, Benny, Trixie, and Teddy. Creative names for dogs with tiny meanings include Bitsy, Cosette, Lorcan, and Renny.

While Baby and Tiny are too obvious for some, there are plenty of more unusual names for small dogs. Here is a list of names you may want to consider for your tiny pooch.

Small Dog Names
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ArchieHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Archibald, Teutonic
  • Meaning:

    "truly brave"
  • Description:

    Archie made global news as the surprise first name of the newborn royal baby, son of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex aka Harry and Meghan. Archie has now officially transcended Archie Bunker and Riverdale's Archie to take the, um, throne as the quintessential retro nickname name.

RonanHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little seal"
  • Description:

    Ronan is the compelling legendary name of twelve Irish and Scottish saints that is now drawing some deserved attention; this cousin of the ascending Roman and Rowan was chosen by actor Daniel Day-Lewis and his writer-director wife Rebecca Miller in 1998, and more recently by actress Catherine Bell.

KieranHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little dark one"
  • Description:

    Long popular in Ireland and England, Kieran, the name of Ireland's first-born saint and twenty-five other saints, has been building its U.S. fan base thanks to its strong and attractive sound, and its fashionable Irish brogue. While Ciaran is the more authentic Irish spelling, Kieran is more popular this side of the Atlantic.

LolaHeart

  • Origin:

    Spanish, diminutive of Dolores
  • Meaning:

    "lady of sorrows"
  • Description:

    A hot starbaby name – chosen by Kelly Ripa, Chris Rock, Lisa Bonet, Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen, Carnie Wilson, and Annie Lennox, and used as the nickname of Madonna's Lourdes – Lola manages to feel fun and sassy without going over the top. Be warned, though: "Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets," to quote a song from the show Damn Yankees.

AidenHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Aidan, Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little and fiery"
  • Description:

    Aiden is a variation of Aidan, the anglicized version of the Irish Aodhán. Aidan/Aodhán was originally a pet form of the Irish name Aodh (pronounced 'ee'), who was the old Celtic god of the sun and fire. St. Aidan was a famous seventh century Irish saint, noted for his kindness and generosity and for spreading Christianity.
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LorcanHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little, fierce"
  • Description:

    Lorcan is a name rich in Irish history as belonging to several kings, including the grandfather of the most famous high king of Ireland, Brian Boru. Lorcan O'Toole, known in English as Laurence O'Toole, is the patron saint of Dublin, so it's not too surprising that Irish-born actor Peter O'Toole named his son Lorcan.

KeiraHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little dark one"
  • Description:

    Keira is an attractive girls’ name that's gotten a huge boost from the meteoric rise of Keira Knightley. Original spelling Kiera, which relates more directly to the male Kieran, was the more popular form until the rise of Keira Knightley reversed the order. Both are Anglicized versions of the Irish Ciara.

TeaganHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish or Welsh
  • Meaning:

    "little poet or fair"
  • Description:

    As Meghan/Megan and Reagan/Regan show signs of wilting, along comes Teagan to take up the slack: definitely one to consider. The vast majority of American babies named Teagan are now girls. A variant spelling is Teaghan.

BrookeHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "small stream"
  • Description:

    Brooke has long projected an aura of sleek sophistication, and can also be seen as a stylish water name.

YaraHeart

  • Origin:

    Arabic
  • Meaning:

    "small butterfly"
  • Description:

    The exotic Yara is also the name of a beautiful green-skinned Brazilian goddess and might make a more unusual spin on Mara or Sara.
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MarcelHeart

  • Origin:

    French variation of Marcellus
  • Meaning:

    "little warrior"
  • Description:

    Marcel, despite distinguished namesakes including Proust and Duchamp, suffers from a terminal headwaiter image in this country. But along with its sister name Marcella and French variation (and Jolie-Pitt pick) Marcheline, Marcel may be on the brink of a style renaissance.

LennonHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "lover"
  • Description:

    A growing number of high-profile (and other) parents are choosing to honor their musical idols, such as Hendrix, Presley, Jagger, and now Lennon. Lennon first came to notice when Liam Gallagher and Patsy Kensit used it for their son in 1999, and singer-musician Adam Pascal followed their lead in two years later. Thanks in part to female singer and actress Lennon Stella, it's now more popular for girls than for boys.

MinnieHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Minerva
  • Meaning:

    "of the mind, intellect"
  • Description:

    Minnie was wildly popular at the turn of the last century—it was the fifth or sixth most popular name throughout the 1880s—but is completely obscure today. Blame Mickey's girlfriend. Regardless, it's possible that the up and coming trend toward old-fashioned nickname-names—think Maisie, Mamie, Millie—may give Minnie (all on its own, not as a short form of anything) a new moment in the sun. Minnie Driver (born Amelia) has given it some modern celeb cred.

CiaraHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little dark one"
  • Description:

    Ciara is very popular in Ireland, more familiar here as the Anglicized Kiera or Keira. The uninitiated will tend to pronounce Ciara as the Italian Chiara, a form of Claire—kee-AHR-a or even see-AHR-a, like the American singer-songwriter Ciara. In the US, Ciara peaked in 2005, when it was the Number 150 name; it's since fallen down to Number 882.

TeddyHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Theodore or Edward
  • Description:

    Teddy is in some ways one of those midcentury boys' nicknames -- like Jimmy or Bobby or Billy -- yet because it was never that popular, it feels timeless too. The preferred short form of Theodore these days may be Theo and of Edward may be....Edward, but Teddy can work adorably for either and grows up to Ted.
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SantinoHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian
  • Meaning:

    "little saint"
  • Description:

    A name introduced here by The Godfather: James Caan played the anything-but-saintly Santino "Sonny" Corleone, and comedian Adam Carolla used it for his son.

LuluHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Louise or Lucy, or Arabic
  • Meaning:

    "pearl"
  • Description:

    Lula has a firecracker personality, a singing and dancing extrovert. Interesting that Lulu was a Top 100 name when the Social Security list was born in 1880, but it's been sliding ever since and has not been in the Top 1000 for decades. Modern parents in love with Lulu might well reverse that trend.

TrixieHeart

  • Origin:

    Diminutive of Beatrix, Latin
  • Meaning:

    "she who brings happiness"
  • Description:

    A sassy, spunky name for the bold parent who doesn't remember Mrs. Ed Norton on The Honeymooners. It was chosen by Damon Wayans for his daughter. Trixie Belden is the thirteen-year-old heroine of an eponymous series in which she is a girl detective.

CosetteHeart

  • Origin:

    French literary nickname
  • Meaning:

    "little thing"
  • Description:

    Cosette is best known as the heroine of Les Miserables. In the Victor Hugo novel, Cosette was the nickname given to the girl named Euphrasie by her mother. Although Hugo invented the name, some etymologists believe it's a spin on Colette, originally a female short form of Nicolas.

DollyHeart

  • Origin:

    English, diminutive of Dorothy
  • Meaning:

    "gift of God"
  • Description:

    Hello, Dolly! Okay, we couldn't resist, but be warned: Most people who meet your little Dolly won't be able to either. This nickname-name, rarely heard since whatever decade Dolly Parton was born, is singing a fashionable note again along with sisters Dottie and Dixie; it was chosen for one of their twin girls by Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O'Connell.
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IggyHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin, diminutive of Ignatius
  • Meaning:

    "fiery"
  • Description:

    Iggy is the quintessential pop star name, though it's the nickname Cate Blanchett uses for son Ignatius. Iggy does bring any grander-sounding name down to earth.

BeckHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "one living beside a small stream,"
  • Description:

    The popular single-named alternative singer (born Bek) has moved this onetime shortening of Becky into male territory.

ZebulonHeart

  • Origin:

    Hebrew
  • Meaning:

    "exaltation or little dwelling"
  • Description:

    An Old Testament name with a Puritan feel and post-Zachary possibilities--one of several routes to the cool nickname Zeb.

ConanHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little wolf"
  • Description:

    The fierce image of the Barbarian made a complete turnaround thanks to amiable talk show host O'Brien, making Conan one of the newly desirable Irish choices, a perfect alternative to Conor/Connor.

ConanHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little wolf"
  • Description:

    The fierce image of the Barbarian made a complete turnaround thanks to amiable talk show host O'Brien, making Conan one of the newly desirable Irish choices, a perfect alternative to Conor/Connor.
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MelinaHeart

  • Origin:

    Greek
  • Meaning:

    "little honey"
  • Description:

    This traditional Greek name feels somewhat more distinctive than Melissa, though after a recent upward blip in popularity, it seems to be sliding back down -- which may not be a bad thing for parents looking for a name that both fits in and stands out.

DottieHeart

  • Origin:

    English, diminutive of Dorothy
  • Meaning:

    "gift of God"
  • Description:

    Dottie and Dot are old Dorothy nicknames that some cutting-edge Brits are bringing back to fashion. It's been half a century since Dottie ranked on its own in this country, one of those nickname names that flourished in the 1890's.

BrodieHeart

  • Origin:

    Scottish surname
  • Meaning:

    "little ridge"
  • Description:

    This geographic Scottish surname is more often spelled Brody in the US. Both forms have seen decreasing popularity, which may be linked to its association with club-hopping Hills star Brody Jenner.

CarinaHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian
  • Meaning:

    "dear little one"
  • Description:

    Carina is a pretty feminissima name whose fall from popularity may be speeded by similarity to (hurricane name) Katrina.

CarinaHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian
  • Meaning:

    "dear little one"
  • Description:

    Carina is a pretty feminissima name whose fall from popularity may be speeded by similarity to (hurricane name) Katrina.
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BuddyHeart

  • Origin:

    English, nickname name
  • Description:

    Until recently it was rarely used as a proper name; Buddy Holly, for example, was christened Charles, and Salinger's Buddy Glass was born Webb. Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver did name his fourth child Buddy Bear Maurice--a fittingly named brother to Poppy Honey Rosie, Daisy Boo Pamela and Petal Blossom Rainbow, and singer Tom Fletcher has a double-nicknamed Buddy Bob.

PixieHeart

  • Origin:

    Swedish or Cornish
  • Meaning:

    "fairy"
  • Description:

    Pixie is a cute -- quite possibly too cute -- name that suddenly feels possible thanks to the craze for names that contain the letter x. Though its origin may be uncertain, a pixie is internationally recognized as a sprite or fairy: tiny, sometimes green, usually pointy-eared.

UrsulaHeart

  • Origin:

    Latin
  • Meaning:

    "little female bear"
  • Description:

    A saint's name with a noteworthy literary background, including uses by Shakespeare in Two Gentlemen of Verona and Much Ado About Nothing, by Ben Johnson, Walter Scott, Longfellow, D. H. Lawrence and Neil Gaiman. In real life, her two most well known representatives are writer Ursula Le Guin and actress Ursula Andress. In literature, there is also Ursula Iguaran, a key, long-lived character in Gabriel Garcia Marquez's major work, One Hundred Years of Solitude.

PipHeart

  • Origin:

    English, diminutive of Philip
  • Meaning:

    "lover of horses"
  • Description:

    The original Pip was the main character in Great Expectations (full name Philip Pirrip). Cute for a tike, problematic for a man.

FiorellaHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian
  • Meaning:

    "little flower"
  • Description:

    Not only are individual flower names more popular (and exotic) than ever, but so too are the more generic names like Florence and Flora. While brother name Fiorello became known via long-term New York Mayor LaGuardia, the lovely Fiorella has never crossed cultures. She could join Arabella as a post-Isabella ella choice.
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BambiHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian
  • Meaning:

    "baby girl"
  • Description:

    Although Disney's cute deer was a male, Bambi's always been used for girls, but sounds far too flimsy to face the modern world.

NewtHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Meaning:

    "a small salamander"
  • Description:

    Rarely used on its own and irrevocably tied to former House Speaker Gingrich -- who was christened Newton.

PippinHeart

  • Origin:

    Variation of Pepin
  • Meaning:

    "awe-inspiring"
  • Description:

    Super-sweet name that was the title of a Broadway play -- but best known as a type of apple. The Dutch variation is Pepijn is finding some popularity in that country, where short nickname names are stylish.

DigbyHeart

  • Origin:

    Norse
  • Meaning:

    "town by the ditch"
  • Description:

    Digby is a place-name in Lincolnshire turned surname turned quirky first name that is starting to get some attention.

CricketHeart

  • Origin:

    Nature name
  • Description:

    Nickname name from the era of Father Knows Best, though we can see it making something of a comeback, a la Clover and Pippa. Cricket has new potential especially since it has recently been chosen by Busy Philipps. Still, it's one of the quirkier girl names starting with C.
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DotHeart

  • Origin:

    English, diminutive of Dorothy
  • Description:

    Old-fangled nickname could make dot.com era short form or middle name.

ReaganHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little king"
  • Description:

    Inextricably tied to the former president, Reagan is a handsome surname name with a cool, current sound. Gender-neutral nickname Ray/Rae is also very on-trend right now.

RowenHeart

  • Origin:

    Spelling variation of Rowan
  • Description:

    While the Rowan spelling is in the Top 1000 for both boys and girls, this spelling is much more unusual and more heavily weighted toward the boys' side. That may be because of its spelling similarity to stylish brothers Owen and Bowen.

TiggyHeart

  • Origin:

    English
  • Description:

    An energetic nickname name occasionally encountered in England, particularly among Telegraph-reading circles. It is traditionally short for Antigone, but nowadays it's just as often bestowed as a standalone name.

BibiHeart

  • Origin:

    French, Persian, or diminutive of Bibiana
  • Meaning:

    "toy; delight; lady of the house; life"
  • Description:

    A spunky nickname name for parents with showbiz aspirations for their daughter.
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ZitaHeart

  • Origin:

    Italian or Persian; Greek
  • Meaning:

    "little girl; seeker"
  • Description:

    A thirteenth-century Tuscan saint, patron of homemakers, Zita is the kind of name that sounded really creative in an earlier era.

UrsaHeart

  • Origin:

    Short form of Ursula, Latin
  • Meaning:

    "little female bear"
  • Description:

    Ursa might be a good choice if you're looking for a bear name for your daughter but want to avoid the She Witch curse placed on Ursula by Disney's The Little Mermaid. Too bad, because Ursula is a classic and lovely name, but Ursa has less baggage.

BabyHeart

  • Origin:

    English word name, diminutive of Barbara, Latin
  • Meaning:

    "foreign woman"
  • Description:

    Baby is rarely seen as a given name — or even nickname — these days, although it did rank in the Top 1000 from 1989 to 2003. These instances can be accounted for in two ways. Firstly, infants whose birth certificates are not filled out on time are given generic placeholders for registration, such as Infant, Unknown, or Baby. But more influential during this decade was the 1987 movie Dirty Dancing, starring Jennifer Grey as Frances "Baby" Houseman. It's the origin of the famed line, "Nobody puts Baby in a corner."

MadiganHeart

  • Origin:

    Irish
  • Meaning:

    "little dog"
  • Description:

    An unusual, energetic surname choice that would make a good Madison alternative. Madigan was a typical police detective series of the 1970s, starring Richard Widmark.

AttilaHeart

  • Origin:

    Hungarian
  • Meaning:

    "little father"
  • Description:

    Stun-gunned by the fifth-century Hun, though still well-used in contemporary Hungary and Turkey. Some sources also suggest Turkish origins for the name.
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