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DC's Most Popular Dog Names Revealed

Patch logo Patch 12/7/2018 Alessia Grunberger
a brown and white dog looking at the camera © Provided by Planck, LLC, d/b/a Patch Media

WASHINGTON, DC — It's not easy naming a dog. No hard and fast rule exists on how to do it, and any given name provided by the shelter or breeder often leaves much to be desired. (Seriously, not every big dog needs to be named Spike).

As it so happens, the most popular male dog name in Washington, D.C. is Max, and the most popular female dog name is Bella, according to a new report from Rover — which has a great name of its own as a nationwide network of pet-sitters and dog-walkers.

The company dug into its database of more than 1 million dog names to figure out which were the most prevalent this year.

"In the process, we uncover the big cultural moments that are inspiring us," Rover said.

According to Rover, names inspired by the hit TV show "Scandal" are up 44 percent in 2018. Of those names, the favorite for Washingtonians is Fitz — which rose 164 percent. Mellie, however, is down 56 percent.

Rover also found that District dog owners love naming their furry, four-legged friends after presidents (shocker). Names leading the pack include Kennedy, Jefferson, and Lincoln.

Patriotic names like Liberty and Justice also saw a 16 percent increase this year, according to the report.

Here are 2018's top five male and female dog names in the District:


  1. Max
  2. Charlie
  3. Cooper
  4. Rocky
  5. Buddy


  1. Bella
  2. Luna
  3. Lucy
  4. Daisy
  5. Lola

Overall, Max and Bella were the most popular male and female dog names in the country, Rover said. Though, that 81 percent of pet parents also have at least one nickname for Fido, so the local dog park might not represent that.

Charlie, Cooper, Buddy and Jack, rounded out the top five male dog names in America, while Lucy, Luna, Daisy and Lola rounded out the top five female names.

The report said more than 94 percent of pet owners consider their dog to be a member of the family. That aligns well with the fact that more than 36 percent of all dogs have names that are "decidedly human."

The service identified some particularly interesting trends, such as that “retro” names — those often attached to grandparents and great-grandparents — are on the rise. Names such as Minnie, Pearl, Willie, Irene, Edna, and Myrtle rose 17 percent last year.

Dog owners are also turning to pop culture for inspiration — and they sure seem to enjoy Marvel movies. Pop-culture-inspired names accounted for 16 percent of all dogs. Moreover, names based on "Guardians of the Galaxy" characters increased 97 percent, including a whopping 186 percent for the name Drax. "Wonder Woman" names rose 38 percent, followed by 34 percent for "Thor," and 33 percent for "Avengers."

As always, there are still a fair share of Biscuits, Muffins, Whiskeys and Porters out there. In fact, 5 percent of all dogs are named after some type of food and alcohol-inspired names are up 17 percent. And keep an eye out for any Pancakes, Benedicts and, Avocados at the dog park. Brunch names are up 12 percent year over year.

If your dog's name didn't make the cut, or you want to learn more about this year's list, click here.

Patch national staffer Dan Hampton contributed to this report.

Image via Shutterstock


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