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Famous Dog Names

By Janice Jones     |Last Updated January 20, 2020

Who could imagine that there were so many famous dog names?  We found these names from a variety of sources:

  • Television and Movies
  • Children's Books and Literature
  • Comics and Cartoons
  • History
  • Pop Culture
  • Famous People's Dogs Such as Presidential Dogs
  • and Even the Internet!

There is a lot of overlap among these categories. For example, a children's book is made into a movie then altered to create a television series.   When the name falls into more than one category, I only list it once.

Take a peek at the list of Famous Dog Names and don't forget to let us know if you can think of one that we forgot.

Famous Dog Names from the Movies

Agent Eleven:  an FBI drug sniffing dog who escapes protective custody in the 2001 film "See Spot Run"

Asta:  The pet wire fox terrier in the 1934 movie, "Thin Man," staring Myrna Loy and William Power

Balto:  A wolf-hybrid that starred in the 1995 movie by the same name.

Beethoven:  An adopted puppy that grows into a large St. Bernard.  In the 1992 film by the same name.

Bella: the dog in the book and movie, A Dog's Way Home   

Benji:  A stray dog played by Higgins saves 2 children from being kidnapped in the 1974 film by the same name.

Bingo:  A runaway circus dog in the 1991 movie by the same name.

Bolt:  a white shepherd in the computer animated 2008 movie by the same name

Bombón: in the Argentine-Spanish 2004 movie, "El Perro and Bombón: The Dog."

Bruiser:  The chihuahua in the 2001 comedy movie, "Legally Blond."

Buddy:  The basketball loving canine star of the 1997 family comedy movie, "Air Bud."

Butkus:  Sylvester Stallone's bulldog in the 1976 movie, "Rocky."

Chance: The American Bulldog in the 1993 movie, "Homeward Bound," a remake of the 1963 movie, "Incredible Journey."

Chestnut: a lovable Great Dane in the 2004 children's movie, "Chestnut Hero of Central Park."

Chiffon:  The Old English Sheepdog, in the 1959 black and white movie, "The Shaggy Dog."

Cooper:  The Border Collie and family dog in the Movie, Angel Dog  

Cujo:  A rabid St. Bernard traps a woman and her son at a deserted farm in the 1983 thriller.

Einstein:  (Also known as Einie) was Doc Brown’s dog, in the "Back to the Future" movies.  It is uncertain what type of breed it was—some say mixed breed, others say a type of sheepdog, Briard, or Berger Picard.

Fang:  Hagrid's pet in the movies and books, Harry Potter (Neapolitan Mastiff)  

Frank the Pug: The fast talking Pug-like alien in the 1997 science fiction comedy, "Men in Black."

Grunt:  Jennifer Beal's loyal pitbull in the 1983 movie, "Flashdance"

Hercules:  An English Mastiff in the movie, "Hercules Saves Christmas," a 2012 children’s movie.

Hooch:  A junkyard dog (French Mastiff) who witnessed a murder in the 1989 movie, "Turner and Hooch."

Jerry Lee:  A German Shepherd Dog trained as a police dog in the 1989 comedy,  K-9

Kiki: the German Shepherd in the 1989 martial arts film, "Kickboxer."

Lassie:  No need to introduce Lassie, other than to say that he/she was a rough-coated collie.

Marley:  A yellow Labrador Retriever, from the 2008 movie, "Marley and Me."

Mike:  the border Collie in the 1986 American Comedy, "Down and Out in Beverly Hills."

Milo:  From the Movie, "The Mask"

Moses:  The Chihuahua in the 2004 American comedy, "Meet The Fockers."

Old Yeller:  The sad 1957 Disney movie about Old Yeller who becomes infected with rabies and has to be shot by his owner.  He was played by a Black Mouth Cur dog.

Otis:  The pug from the movie, "The Adventures of Milo and Otis."

Nikki:  A Malamute in the 1961 movie, "Nikki, Wild Dog of the North."

Red:  in the movie by the same name

Reno:  the Briard from “Top Dog."

Sadie:  The border collie in the movie, "The Conjuring."

Scud:  A bull terrier in "Toy Story."

Shadow:  The Golden Retriever in the movie, "Homeward Bound."

Shiloh:  the beagle in the 1996 children’s movie by the same name

Skip:  a Jack Russell Terrier in the 2000 movie,  "My Dog Skip"

Slink:  The dachshund in "Toy Story"

Sounder:  A dog owned by a sharecropper in post depression Louisiana.  In the 1972 movie by the same name.

Spot:  A bull mastiff in the movie,  "See Spot Run."

Thor:  The German Shepherd Dog in the movie, "Bad Moon."

Toby: Then named Bailey, then Ellie, then Bear, and finally Buddy, from the book and movie, A Dog's Purpose

Toto:  A cairn Terrier in the movie, "The Wizard of Oz."

Uggie:  From the movie, "The Artist."

Underdog:  The beagle in the movie by the same name.

Verdell:  A brussels griffon in the movie, "As Good as it Gets."

Winn-Dixie:  in the movie, "Because of Winn Dixie."

Famous Dog Names from Television

Bandit:  the Bulldog from the TV series, Little House on the Prairie.

Baskerville the Hound:  from the puppet TV series, the Muppets

Blacktoe:  Captain Riker's German Shepherd dog from the Star Trek series.

Brian: the family dog from the Television series, Family Guy   

Buster:  the Beagle in the TV series, the Wonder Years

Cinnamon: Raj's Yorkshire Terrier in the TV series The Big Bang Theory

Claude:  Mrs. Drysdale's pampered poodle in the television series, the Beverly Hillbillies.

Comet:  The families' Golden Retriever in the series, Full House.

Cosmo: the Spacedog character (and telepathic Soviet dog) in the animated TV series, Guardians of the Galaxy 

Digby:  The Old English Sheepdog in a 2007-2009 fantasy comedy-drama TV series, "Pushing Daisies."

Doc:  a mixed breed from the series, Gray's Anatomy

Eddie:  Martin's dog, a Jack Russell Terrier  in the TV series, Frasier

Dreyfuss: The lovable St. Bernard on the TV series, "Empty Nest."

Fang:  a Braid from the 1960s TV series Get Smart

Flash:  a Basset Hound from the TV series  The Dukes of Hazzard

Famous Dog Names from Cartoons and Comics

Astro: the Great Dane, in the cartoon The Jetsons.

Bitsy: the family dog in the comic strip, Marvin   

Blue: the cartoon dog in the  children’s show Blue’s Clues.

Bolivar:  the St. Bernard in the animated movies and comic strip, Donald Duck   

Daisy:  the family dog in the comic strip, Blondie (also a movie)   

Dawg:  the family dog in the comic strip, Hi and Lois   

Dogbert: the cartoon dog in the Dilbert comics

Farley: the family dog in the comic strip, For Better or Worse 

Fuzz:  Ziggy's dog in the comic strip, Ziggy   

Goofy: cartoon dog from Walt Disney

Grimm: The talking dog owned by Mother Goose in the comic strip, Mother Goose and Grimm 

Krypto: dog character in the Superman comics

Marmaduke: the Great Dane in the comic strip by the same name.

Pluto: Mickey Mouse's pet dog from Disney

Sandy: the Airedale Terrier in the Little Orphan Annie's comics

Santa’s Little Helper: the pet dog of the Simpson Family, in the animated series, The Simpsons.

Snoopy: the beagle of the Peanuts comic strip, TV and movies

Famous Dog Names from Children's Literature

I have supplied a link from each of these Famous Dog Names to Amazon if you would like to check out prices.

Clifford, the Big Red Dog

Spot from the Dick and Jane Series

Rigsby from Henry and Rigsby

Milo from the children's book Maggi and Milo by Juli Brenning

Flash from the book, Bad Dog Flash by Ruth Paul

Spot, from the Spot Series by Eric Hill

Ed, from Excellent Ed by Stacy McAnulty

Good Dog Carl, by by Alexandra Day

Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion

Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann

Old Dan and Little Ann in Where the Red Ferns Grow by Wilson Rawls

Blue from the Blue's Clues Series

Wishbone from the book, Wish by Barbara O'Connor

Walter, The Farting Dog by William Kotzwinkle

Winn-Dixie, from Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

Tucker, from Lucky Tucker by Leslie McGuirk

Biscuit from the series by Alyssa Satin Capucilli 

Searchlight from the book Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner

Shiloh (the beagle with the same name by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Famous Dog Names From History

Apollo:  The first search and rescue dog along with his handler, Peter Davis to arrive to the South Tower of the World Trade Center

Bud Nelson: Alongside his human Horatio Nelson Jackson, Bud Nelson became the first dog to cross the United States in an automobile in 1903.

Buddy:  a German Shepherd, the first seeing eye dog in 1929.

Chaser:  John W. Pilley's Border Collie known as the smartest dog in the world, featured in the book Chaser: Unlocking the Genius of the Dog Who Knows a Thousand Words.

Chips:  a trained sentry dog and the most decorated dog of World War II.

Dash:  the King Charles Spaniel of Queen Victoria

Laddie:  a famous White House dog, an Airedale Terrier of the President Warren Harding.

Lucca: a German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois mix that was trained to detect explosives.  In the Marines, she was sent twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan.

Nemo:  The sentry German Shepherd and hero of the Vietnam War

Pal:  The real life dog behind the Lassie movies and TV shows

Rin Tin Tin: a German Shepherd that was rescued on a French battlefield during World War I later became a movie star.

Sallie:  the mascot of the 11th Pennsylvania Infantry during the American Civil War. 

Sinbad the Sailor:  Served in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II.

Smokey:  a tiny Yorkshire Terrier that served in World War II

Terry:  The first and real Toto dog in the Wizard of Oz

Famous Dog Names: U.S. Presidential Dogs

Sunny and Bo, President Obama's two Portuguese Water DogsSunny and Bo, President Obama's two Portuguese Water Dogs

Barney:  a Scottish Terrier owned by George W. Bush

Blanco:  a Collie owned by Lyndon Johnson

Blaze:  a Mastiff owned by Franklin D. Roosevelt 

Bo:  A Portuguese Water Dog owned by Barack Obama

Buddy:  a Labrador Retriever owned by Bill Clinton

Charlie:  the Welsh Terrier of John F. Kennedy who sat in his lap as he decided what to do during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Checkers:  a Cocker Spaniel owned by Richard Nixon

Feller:  a Cocker Spaniel owned by Harry Truman

Gritts:  a mutt owned by Jimmy Carter

Heidi:  a Weimaraner owned by Dwight D. Eisenhower

Him and Her:  Beagles owned by Lyndon B. Johnson

King Timahoe: an Irish Setter owned by Richard Nixon

Liberty:  a Golden Retriever owned by Gerald Ford

Lucky:  a Bouvier de Flanders owned by Ronald Reagan

Manchu:  a Pekingese owned by Franklin D. Roosevelt 

Mike:  an Irish Setter owned by Harry Truman

Millie:  the English Springer Spaniel owned by President George H.W. Bush

Miss Beazley: a Scottish Terrier owned by George W. Bush

Pasha:  a Terrier mix owned by Richard Nixon

Ranger:  an English Springer Spaniel and son of Millie owned by George H.W. Bush

Rex:  a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel owned by Ronald Reagan

Spot:  an English Springer Spaniel and one of Millie's puppies owned by George W. Bush

Sunny:  A Portuguese Water Dog Owned by Barack Obama

Vicky:  a Poodle owned by Richard Nixon

Yuki:  a mutt owned by Lyndon B. Johnson

Famous Dog Names References




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About Janice (author and voice behind this site)

Having lived with dogs and cats most of her life, Janice served as a veterinary technician for ten years in Maryland and twelve years as a Shih Tzu dog breeder in Ohio.

Her education includes undergraduate degrees in Psychology with a minor in biology, Early Childhood Education, and Nursing, and a master's in Mental Health Counseling.

She is a lifelong learner, a dog lover, and passionate about the welfare of animals. Her favorite breed for over 50 years has been the Shih Tzu, but she has also lived with Poodles, Maltese, Yorkshire Terriers, Beagles, English Bulldogs, Carin Terriers, and a Cocker Spaniel.

When not writing, reading, and researching dog-related topics, she likes to spend time with her eight Shih Tzu dogs, husband, and family, as well as knitting and crocheting. She is also the voice behind Miracle Shih Tzu and Smart-Knit-Crocheting

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