December 17, 2016 – A new study of 2,000 British dog owners has revealed the top 20 dog names of 2016 and an increasing trend for canine companions to have human names.
Eleven of the top 20 dog names are also on the Office of National Statistic’s most popular baby name lists.
A spokeswoman for Butcher’s Pet Care, which commissioned the study, said: “Our research found that people’s childhood dogs tended to be named after physical traits such as their colour, or their deposition. 30 years ago, research has shown that there was also a clear line drawn between dog’s names and people’s names where you would seldom hear of a dog named Jack or Lucy, but now these are among the most popular names for dogs according to our poll.
“Another big change over the years has also been the growing popularity of smaller dog breeds in comparison to 30 years ago. According to Euro Monitor data, many dog owners have been opting for smaller dogs, which are better suited to smaller households and our increasingly busy lifestyles.”
Of those surveyed, over 35% owned a small dog such as a Jack Russell or a Dachshund in which the top three most popular names were Max, Charlie and Molly, further highlighting the trend of people treating their pets as members of the family.
Nevertheless, popular culture is continuing to have the biggest impact overall in terms of what the nation names their dog. A quarter of those polled named their dog after a famous celebrity, with pop stars (Bono and Marley), Disney and cartoon characters (Elsa, Mickey, Minnie, Casper, Scooby), TV and comic heroes (Thor, Loki, Xena), and even football players (Pedro, Pepe, Terry, Rio), all inspiring what we call our beloved canine companions.
Politicians (Boris, Lincoln, Churchill), historical figures (Atticus, Wordsworth, Sherlock, Troy), and even members of the Royal Family (George, Harry, Charlotte), were all popular choices for those who wish to pay homage to their favourite heroes by engraving their names on the tags of their best friends.
In addition, food and drink have a part to play, with over half, or 52%, of people naming their dog after their favourite snack (Chilli, Brownie, Cookie, Chip), chocolate bar (Chomp, Twix, Fudge, Kinder, Rolo), or alcoholic tipple (Brandy, Tequila, Guinness, Pimms, and Smirnoff).
Some of the strangest names included were Bilbo Baggins, Jon Snow, Zeebo and Vader drawing inspiration from The Lord of The Rings, Game of Thrones and Star Wars. One dog owner even admitted to naming their dog Jermaine Defoe, after the Premier League striker, and another Tinky Winky after the popular CBeebies show, Teletubbies.
TOP DOG NAMES 2016