Congratulations! You have a new dog. When you add a furry friend to the family, it’s an exciting time.
The biggest question you likely have right now is, “What am I going to name him?”
I’ve had two dogs in my life. The first was a bichon frise named Buttons. We got her back when I was in third grade, and it was a big deal. At the time, we handled the name selection with a vote. Each person put their choice in a shoebox, and it was decided. It was pretty intense for a small family of four, but even then, we knew this was a serious decision.
My dog Burly arrived shortly after my husband and I got married.
We had planned on getting a dog for a couple of months and knew that the name was part of the fun. Eventually, Burly won out. It combined two pop culture references — one from The Simpsons and one from Parks and Recreation. It was also unique, yet not complex. He’s a Parson Russell mix we picked up from the shelter, and eventually he became strong enough to live up to his name.
Both experiences had the same thing in common — collaboration. Unless you’re living by yourself and taking sole responsibility for your pup, you should always name your dog as a group. If you’re having trouble thinking of male dog names, here are some top suggestions based on 2020 trends.
Since Star Wars is still popular (and will likely always be popular), Luke is a solid choice for a puppy born in 2020. It’s also a shocking classic — back in 1914, Luke the Dog was a Staffordshire bull terrier who acted in silent films. It’s hard for this name not to top your list.
If you’re a ’90s kid, you may relate Bailey most to Scott Wolf’s character in Party of Five. But it’s also a very strong and very popular dog name. Dogtime lists Bailey as the No. 1 name for male dogs.
A dog named Max is bound to be your new best friend. A dog named Max is also the center of a 2015 film, Max, which is all about a war dog who relocates from Afghanistan to Texas after the death of his owner. No matter what, it’ll always be a popular choice.
Speaking of loyal pooches, Jack is another popular male dog name. It may be a popular name for a Jack Russell terrier, but it’s also a great fit for larger breeds. Fans of This Is Us might be tempted to name a dog Jack based on Milo Ventimiglia’s heroic character. Speaking of Milo Ventimiglia …
Milo is a great dog name. It’s easy to say and pronounce, and it’s also classic. Milo was the cat in The Adventures of Milo and Otis, the ’80s movie about a pair of unlikely friends that is part of many of our childhoods. Naming a pet Milo is something you won’t regret.
Toby is another This Is Us reference, but it’s been popular for quite some time. According to PetPlace, owners who name their dogs Toby can guarantee that their dog will be friendly, playful, and loyal. It’s definitely more popularly known as a dog name rather than a human name these days. There aren’t all that many babies named Toby out there.
According to Dogtime, Charlie is the third most popular dog name for male pups. Charlie is also the name of a dog character from Looney Tunes, if you’re looking for a way to honor the notorious cartoon series. Want to make it formal or slightly different to give him more personality? Name him Charles.
Rocky is a very strong dog name with a lot of incredible roots. Of course, the most famous Rocky is Rocky Balboa. But you don’t want want to discredit Rocky from The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle. A dog named Rocky is confident, charming, and perhaps a bit excitable.
If you’re not feeling Jack but want a name that starts with a J, how about Jake? Jake is a top 10 name for 2020. If you were a fan of the Cartoon Network series Adventure Time, you’ll know that Jake the dog is the best friend that any human could ask for.
PetHelpful lists Cody as being the No. 5 name for male dogs. That means you might see a lot of fellow Codys at the dog park when you take your dog for a fun day out. But it’s popular because it’s a solid choice. PetPlace writes, “Most Cody’s are very huggable.”
Murphy isn’t in the immediate top five, but it’s still very popular for a dog — especially a large-breed dog. Murphy the dog is also an actor, appearing in a few recent movies. He played Dutch in the 2019 film A Dog’s Way Home and just wrapped up filming When He Comes Back.
Oliver is a cute name for either a puppy or a baby. While it’s classic, it’s also capable of producing cute nicknames, like Ollie. While the Oliver in Disney’s Oliver & Company was a cat, it’s still a great name for a dog if you happen to be a fan. (And on that note, why not give Dodger a chance?)
There’s nothing cuter than a dog named Teddy — especially if the dog is big, huggable, and as comforting as a teddy bear. This is yet another popular name with endless nicknames. You could even call him Bear, which is yet another popular dog name by itself.
When you name a dog Tucker, you know you’ll always have a friend around. One of the most popular Tuckers is a golden retriever by the name of Tucker Budzyn. This pup reportedly makes around $600,000 a year through YouTube. So it’s truly a successful dog name.