These Were the Top Dog Names of 2021

2021 was one heck of a year. We had the Tokyo Olympics, a boat stuck in the Suez Canal, new social media fads, and of course–more pandemic.

Names for both humans and pets reflect the trends and world around us, so it’s no surprise that 2021 has its share of new dog name trends based on popular names, sports, celebrities, food, and COVID. publishes a yearly list of popular dog names. In addition to your standard “top 10” most popular dog names nation-wide, there’s also data available by state, and by topic. 2021 saw a lot of sports, food, and pop culture inspired names.

So let’s get started!

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Top Male and Female Dog Names in 2021

Nationwide, the top female dog names were pretty on-trend: Bella, Luna, and Lucy.

The top male dog names were more classic: Max, Charlie, and Cooper.

The full top ten list for dog names in the US in 2021 is as follows:

chart of the top dog names for male and female dogs

You can also view the list by metropolitan area.

Sports and Olympic Dog Names in 2021

Believe it or not, the Tokyo Olympics did happen this year (July 23 to August 8… we know, it’s been a long year!)

Americans love their Olympic and professional athletes, which is why these competitors also served as inspiration for dog names. The top Olympic-inspired puppy names in 2021 were:

chart of the most popular Olympic dog names in 2021

Olympics weren’t the only source of athletic naming inspiration. Other popular names included Kobe, and several NFL players: DK, Kittle, Mahomes, and Brady.

Celebrity Dog Names in 2021

Pop culture is always a big driver of name choices, and 2021 was no exception. This included political names (the Inauguration was in Jan 2021), including Joe, Biden, Kamala, and Harris.

There were also musician and actors in the list: Aretha Franklin, Jennifer Lopez, A-Rod, Doja Cat, Chadwick, Bozeman, and Taylor.

And while most people wouldn’t think of them as dog naming inspiration, reports that there were dogs named Elon and Bezos this year.

Food-inspired Dog Names for 2021

The pandemic has inspired a lot of us to get into cooking and baking. But this year’s food trends had an interesting twist to them.

Compared to 2020, where sweet names like Cookie and Chocolate, this year saw more healthy, fruit inspired names. Breakfast and caffeinated beverages made the list too:

Chart of the most popular food-inspired dog names

Rover also reports that names like Bento, Miso, Tofu, Bacon, Dijon, Beef, Pickles, Ketchup, Almond, and Tempeh made the list. All that time spent at home must have us thinking about food!

For more food names, check out this food-inspired naming guide, and our coffee-themed dog names.

TV and Movie Dog Names in 2021

We spent a lot of time at home this year, which meant a lot of time watching TV. Luckily for us, there were quite a few things to watch, including the Friends reunion.

Chart of the most popular TV-inspired dog names

Mandalorian and Star Wars was also big this year in terms of dog name inspiration, as was names like Kris from Keeping Up With the Kardashians, names from the long-running show Survivor, and Big Ed from 90 Day Fiance.

Movies made an appearance to with Marvel names such as Zemo and Alexei, Studio Ghibli names like Kiki, Haku, and Mei, and Raya from Raya and the Last Dragon.

2021 Covid-inspired Dog Names

Last but not least, there were dog names inspired by the pandemic itself. Fauci, Covid (?!) and Zoom were on the list of popular dog names this year.


And that’s a wrap! Did you get a new dog in 2021, and if so, what did you name your new pup?

PuppyLists is written by Kat, who has owned, trained, volunteered with, and loved dogs for nearly three decades. When she isn't writing or researching, she's out adventuring with her 15 year old Lab mix.