Dog Names:  What to Call that Favorite Small Dog

Yorkie

Dog Names are as diverse as the dog breeds themselves, and they seem to go in and out of popularity.  There are so many possibilities that it can be a daunting task just coming up with the right name.  Can't decide what to name your new small breed puppy? We've done a little research and came up with a list of some popular dog names by breed. This is what we found unique about Small breed puppy owners:

Small breed puppy owners tend to choose names based on a variety of criteria, including the

  • The Color of their dog
  • A favorite human name
  • A name based on the origin of the breed (i.e. Asian, European, Mexican, etc.)
  • A royal name
  • A famous animal name
  • A name that describes their personality or temperament
  • A location or Place Name
  • A famous god or goddess


Dog Names Based on Color

Some owners will pick a name that reminds them of the color of their dog.

Latti
Mocha
Hershey
Coco
Snickers
Angel
Cadbury
Recess
Ginger
Nutmeg
Cinnamon
Snowflake
Oreo
Onyx
Midnight
Caramel
Panda
Marshmallow
Ebony
Smudge

Opal
Paprika
Patches
Pearl
Pumpkin
Moonlight
Moon shadow
Noodles
Ivory
Fawn
Butterscotch
Lily
Stardust
Star
Popcorn
Flame
Buttercup
Toffee
Sandy
Blaze

Have a Black Dog?  Choose a black dog name to reflect his beautiful coat.

White dogs need a great name too based on their hair color.  Choose a White Dog Name.

Black and White dogs are equally deserving of a special name.  Black and White Dog Names

More Brown Dog Names

Dog Names based on Mythology

Argos
Goliath
Flora
Lady Godiva
Odysseus

Aphrodite
Athena
Pandora
Zeus
Isis

More Names based on Mythology

Names Based on Places

Here are just a couple to get you thinking...

Asia
Austin
Aspen
Boston
Colorado
Dallas

Hollywood
Houston
Madison
Montana
Paris
Reno
Vegas

Dog Names Based on Foods

Some owners like to call their dogs by names that remind them of delicious foods.

Banana
Beanie
Brownie
Candy
Chip
Cupcake
Cookie
Crochette
Crumbs
Donut
Dorito
Dumpling
Éclair
Frito

Kale
Lollipop
Muffin
Oreo
Pancake
Peaches
Pepsi
Pudding
Rollo
Smores
Snickers
Sushi
Twinkie

Names Based on Human Names

 Since Small breed puppy dogs seem more like children than pets, their owners will choose a name based on popular boy and girl names.  Names that are chosen by new parents-to-be are also used by dog owners-to-be.  Look at any name list and you are likely to see dogs named Eva, Izzi, Sophia and Emily.  If the fur baby is a boy, you might find names such as Noah, Jacob, Liam and Jackson.

More traditional human names remain popular such as Charlie and Sam but the trend tends to be on the road toward unique and unusual.  Sometimes it is acceptable to choose a more common name but find a unique spelling to make it more distinctive.  Think of all the ways you could spell the name Zoe—Zoey, Zoie, Zoy, Zoee.  A complete list of popular names is available on this website.


Click Here for Girl Name Suggestions

Click Here for Boy Name Suggestions

Names Based on Personality Traits

Many Small breed puppy dog owners want a name that describes their dog's personality or mocks the real temperament of the Small breed puppy dog.  Cute names that fall into this category include Diva, Cuddles, Happy, Helda-lot, Sweetheart, Cutie Pie, Baby Doll, Babe, Sassy, Lovebug, Shadow, Buddy, Sassy, or Precious.   Have you considered Yappy, Nipper, Wags, Bubbles; those names that mock the true nature of the Small breed puppy personality include Bear, Bruiser, Samson and Tiger.

Maybe you think your dog is the smartest in the world.  Name him Smarty, Einstein,Sherlock, Socrates, Gates, Merlin.

Want to make it extra special? Why not consider giving a funny pet name? We happen to have a good source for that too. With their examples you'll find one in no time"

Names based on Size

Names that depict the size of the dog are also very popular such as Pixie, Tiny, Peanut, Tinkerbelle, Teenie, Elf, Littlefoot, Bigfoot, Bonsai, Acorn.  Some will name their tiny dogs with big names such as Samson, Jumbo, Goliath, Kong, Dragon, Magnum, Titan,  or Tornado.

Acorn
Baby
Beans,
Beener
Beanie

Binkie
Bonsai
Button
Buttons

Elf
Inch
Littlefoot
Micro
Midge
Mini
Mite

Peanut
Pixie
Poco

S
horty
Shortcake

Slim
Speck
Squeek
Squirt
Teenie
Thumbellina
Tink
Tinkerbelle
Tiny
Twig
Twiggy

Weenie

Nobel Dog Names

Because Small breed puppy dogs seem so noble in nature, many owners will choose a regal name such as Prince, Princess, Dutchess, King, Queen, Captain, Admiral, Colonel, President, Boss, Professor Queen, Duke, or Starr. Sometimes Small breed puppy owners will name their dogs after real life royalty such as Elizabeth, Victoria, Charles, Napoleon, or Henry.

Names Based on the Breed's Country of Origin

Some small breed puppy owners choose a name based on the country of origin of their pooch.  For example, breeds that originated in Asia such as the Pug, Shih Tzu, Japanese Chin and Lhasa might give their dog an Asian sounding name such as Ming Sue, Mei Ling, Mei Lee. Haiku, Sushi, Sake, Sulu, Bonsai, Ying Yang,  What is the country of origin of your small breed dog?

Spanish Dog Names

If you have a dog from a Spanish speaking country:
(Chihuahua, Havanese, Xoloitzcuintli)

Alba
Ana
Berta
Charo
Concha
Chita
Dalia
Dora
Dulce
Inés
Lupe
Paca
Pía
Rosa

Bruno
Burrito
Che
Vato
Chili
Chi Chi
Ciro
Desi
Fausto
Félix
Fidel
Goyo
Hugo
Jorge
José
Nacho
Pablo
Paco
Pancho

Italian Names for Dogs

If you have a Bolognese or Italian Greyhound, have you considered a great Italian name?

Alberto
Alfonso
Antonio
Bianca
Bacardi
Bambino
Biscotti
Capri
Fabio
Figaro
Giovanni

Lorenzo
Luigi
Mario
Mia
Nino
Pizza
Ragu
Rocco
Zola

German Dog Names Suggestions

Affenpinscher, Dachshund, Miniature Pinscher, Miniature Schnauzer

Adler
Arno
Audi
Autobahn
Axel
Bach
Barron
Bello
Brandy 
Britta
Carl
Cissy
Dino
Egon
Elmer
Elfie
Felix
Ferdi

Freda
Freud
Gertrude
Gretchen
Hans
Heinrich
Hilger
Lola
Lulu
Lutz
Max
Nina
Odo
Panzer
Sigmund
Sissi
Trudi
Wolf
Zack

English Dog Names Suggestions

A royal British dog deserves a equally impressive name.  Some small dog breeds that originated in Great Britain include: Beagle, Border Terrier, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Dandie Dinmont Terrier, English Toy Spaniel, Lakeland Terrier, Norfolk Terrier, NorwichTerrier, Parson Russell Terrier, Sealyham Terrier, Toy Manchester Terrier, West Highland White Terrier, and Yorkshire Terrier.

Abercrombie
Bentley
Blair
Buckingham
Cecil
Chadwick
Chester
Colin
Cornwall
Elizabeth
Harry
Hilton
Lancelot
London
Margaret

Macbeth
Niles
Oxford
Philip
Remington
Stanley
Sterling
Spencer
Victoria
Wallace
Watson
Webster
Whitney
Winston
Yardley

Asian Dog Names Suggestions

There are quite a few Asian small breed dogs including Chinese Crested, Japanese Chin, Lhasa Apso, Pekingese, Pug, Shiba Inu, Shih Tzu, Tibetan Spaniel, Tibetan Terrier, to name a few.  The one thing that all of these dog breeds have in common is that they originated in an Asian country.  We have put these together in one category to save room, even though they represent many different countries of origin.

Bonsai
Chang
China
Chin Chin
Chow Mein
Geisha
Haiki
Honda
Hoshi
Kabuki
Keeko
Kimche
Ling Ling
Machi
Matsu
Mei

Ling
Miki
Ming
Mitsubishi
Suki
Sulu
Sumi
Suni
Sushi
Tokyo
Tori
Toyota
Yang
Yogi
Yoshi

French Dog Name Suggestions

For your Bichon Frise, French Bulldog, Papillion and Toy Poodle

Andre
Babette
Beau
Beaumont
Bijou
Bridget
Cartier
Chablis
Chardonnay
Cherie
Chianti
Cousteau

Destinee
Eiffel
Fifi
Francine
Henri
Juliette
Louis
Margot
Paris
Pierre
Rochelle
Yvonne

Famous Animal Names

Yorkshire Terrier Pup

Famous dog or animal names are still always popular including Snoopy, Benji, Lassie, Lady, Tramp, Pluto,Marley, Bob or Garfield.  Atticus, Beethoven, Balto, Boomer, Butch, Sundance, Felix, , Scooby, Casper,

Presidential dog names are often used including:

  • President Barack Obama's dog Bo (with its alternate spelling Beau), 
  • George W. Bush's dog, Barney,
  • Bill Clinton's dog Buddy, and
  • George Bush's dog Millie.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Scottish terrier, Fala,
  • Ronald Reagan’s Bouvier des Flandres, Lucky, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Rex, Peggy, his Irish setter, Taca, a Siberian husky, and Fuzzy a Belgian Sheepdog. 
  • Jimmy Carter's Grits a Border Collie
  • Gerald Ford’s Golden Retriever, Liberty

Famous People & Celebrity Names

Here's a list of historical figures, famous painters and celebrities that span the decades.  We've listed them here if their name unique and lends itself to a small breed dog.

Bach
Bogart
Camero

Chesney
DeNiro
Denzel
Elvis
Einstein
Figaro

Florence
Gabby
Gandhi

Gilly
Gillian

Hank
Hattie
Hitchcock
Irving
Jolie
Jesse
Leonardo

Livingston

Lucy
Madonna

Martina
Meg

Merle
Miley

Morgan
Oprah
Patrick
Pavarotti
Reba
Ringo
Shania
Sherlock
Spencer

Strauss
Trish
Toby
Tucker

Twiggy
Uma
Woodrow

What happened to Traditional Dog Names?

What are missing on the dog name scene are names such as Fido and Spot.  It is still fun to consider an old traditional name such as these male dog names include: Max, Hank, Jake, Bailey, Buster, Cody, Harley, Murphy, Barney, Buddy, Jack, Lucky and Sparky. Traditional female dog names include Princess, Daisy, Maggie, Molly, Sadie, Sasha, Lucy, Dakota, Sophie, Sandy, and Tasha, among others. All tried and true!

Rules for Naming Your Small Breed Dog

  • There are a couple of things to keep in mind when naming that sweet fur baby. The name you decide should follow certain canine rules. By that I mean that dogs tend to learn their names, but will only pay attention to the first syllable. If you ever wondered why we only use one syllable words when training such as sit, stay, come, or heel, it is for this very reason. So when your dog's name is Chocolate Smores, for example, the dog is going to hear "Chock." This does not mean that you must come up with a name that has only one syllable.

  • The second thing to keep in mind regarding this first syllable rule is to choose a unique name that does not have the same first sound as another pet or person in the household. This can be very confusing to both pets. It is acceptable to choose a name with the same letter as long as the beginning sound is different. For example, it would be very confusing to two pets in the same household named Alexander and Alexandra. It would be OK to name two pets Abby and Alexander.

  • A third thing to keep in mind is that dogs do learn their names and you should use their names frequently. When training a dog to perform a new trick, it's always easy to say the dog's name first, then the command. "Zoey, Sit."  Using your puppy's name in a happy tone and praising them when they respond will go a long way towards training. Once the dog knows his name, it is much easier to call out the name and then a command.

In today's world, unusual, unique, and different is all the buzz.

  • The Fourth thing to keeps in mind when choosing a name is how well it will stand the test of time.  I once named a dog of mine, Geordi after a Star Trek character popular at the time.  By the time this little dog reached the ripe old age of 18, only die-hard “Trekie” fans could relate to the name, even though the dog probably did not care. 

  • Finally, it is so important to understand that you will be calling your dog’s name numerous times a day, in your own home and out in public.  Make sure that the name you choose works equally well in the quiet of your home and on a noisy street.  Think about how you will feel when your dog has gotten away from you and you are trying to retrieve it.   Can you see yourself yelling your dog to come home, “lovey-dovey-sweetie-pie, come home to mama.”

From Dog Names to Girl Dog Name List

From Dog Names to Boy Dog Name List