How Did YOU Name Your Dog?

Hi and happy Tuesday all! It’s Dakota’s Mom!

I remember when my husband and I first got Dakota. At the time, his name was “Tanner.” Now “Tanner” is a fine name, but when I would watch the handsome Sheltie who would soon become “Dakota”, the name just didn’t suit him.

Finding the perfect name was incredibly important to me. I always loved the name “Dakota” and had decided to look it up to see what it meant. I no longer remember the source, but at that time in 2007 the meaning I found was “trusted friend.”  The translation came from an Indian tribe…probably “Dakota???”

Once I saw the meaning, it was a done deal. “Tanner” would now become “Dakota”. I couldn’t be more pleased with my choice (or my dog!!)

How did YOU decide on a name for your dog?

Our friend Matt  Beswick sent us this great infographic  sharing the idea that maybe, just maybe your pet’s name was predestined?  Or are they just “plain random?” What do YOU think?

Dog Names
Dog names graphic produced by Matt Beswick for Pet365. Click here to view the full post.

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  1. Mom really likes the info-ma-thingy-bob that you posted.

    As for our names well, when mom and dad got me (Wally) they wanted a Scottish name. Dad thought of William Wallace (the guy from Braveheart) mom wasn’t keen on William but they both liked Wallace.

    Sammy on the other hand was meant to be Benjamin…actually, he was originally Sammy Lie (that is what his puppy family named him) but mom had her heart set on Benjamin. Anyhow, when he finally arrived to live with us Dad took one look at him and said nope, he is a Samuel (Sammy for short).

    We really like your name – it suits you.

    Have a grrreat day Miss D!!
    Wally & Sammy

  2. That was a lovely post, Caren. It brought tears to my eyes. I once had a dog named Annie, and I really don’t know why I named her that. She just looked like an Annie. She was a chocolate lab/Queensland Heeler mix; lots of energy and love!

    • Hi Denise and thank you!!! I think “Annie” is a lovely name! Did you name her as a child or as an adult? If you were a child maybe you named her after “little orphan annie???” Love, “Mom”

  3. My Mommy alwayz loved the name Mollie and when she saw me as a fluff ball….she knew that waz the right name for me. She spells it with an IE though 🙂 It’s an Irish name.. Not that I get called it a lot..I get Mollop, Wollop, Molliekins..I answer to any fing for a treat..bol
    Have a great day Dakota and Mommy 🙂 xx00xx

    • Hi Mollie! My Mom and I LOVE that name as well!! We like it spelled both ways, your way and the “y” way! I like when you said your Mom calls you “molliekins” soooo cute! You have a great day too! Barks and licks and love, Dakota and “Mom”

  4. I’ve got my name from the breeder (it was the e-litter). All my siblings got new names by their family but my staff probably was to lazy for thinking about a new name for me :o) It’s a little bit weird, because ‘easy’ sounds like the french ‘ici’ (here) and in case of the french accent some people call me ‘issi raaaidooooor’ but it doesn’t mind me, because mostly I listen to nothing… the picture is GORGEOUS!

    • Easy you make us laugh so much! “mostly you listen to nothing” BOL!! I’m the same! Barks and licks and love, Dakota and Mom

  5. Dear Dakota,

    The infographic is so cute and it is really informative : )

    Well, I have to say that I love the meaning of ‘Dakota’. You are truly a trusted friend and that is why my family loves you so much. The Indian tribe was so clever and Dakota is a beautiful name and YOU are a handsome guy.

    Me? Eva? Oh, that was not a predestined name at all. The humans didn’t even know I was born when my mom was delivering me. My name didn’t come from an epic or any master literature or Shakespeare or etc… either. It is just that my sister Rosie loves the movie ‘Wall-E’ and she likes how Wall-E called that little girl ‘Eva’ in the movie.

    That is how I got my name.


    • Hi Eva!
      I am so glad you liked the infographic, we sure did too!
      Awwww Mom and I are so touched by your comment about why you like the meaning of my name (blush) THANK YOU!!!

      Mom and I think the way that you got your name IS special and beautiful! “Eva” is a gorgeous name….a gorgeous name for a most STUNNING PRINCESS!!!

      Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  6. Hey! You ARE a dog! 😉

    I didn’t know that Dakota even had a meaning! Great name for a dog then. Georgia got her first name because we wanted something old fashioned and feminine (she was a very rough and mad young dog). It was either that or Tallulah (my choice!). We decided her middle name should be Little Pea because she so wasn’t. And Ratatouille as a family name because she really REALLY loves food! The things we do to our dogs 🙂 X

    • Hi Georgia! Dakota here! “Hey I AM a dog?” What did you think I was? A fig newton of your imagination? BOL!!! I think Georgia is a great name and love how you found it! You left out that this way you can always say that you “Have GEORGIA on your Mind!!” BOL!!! Barks and licks and love, Dakota

      • LOL. I said that because Cody (The Cat) left a message on my blog that his housemate was a dog with a blog! Does your mama ever use THIS blog to comment with, Dakota? X

        P.S. are fig newtons good to eat?

      • lol hi Georgia…it depends on what blogs she is responding on. If it is a blogspot blog then it has to be Cody cause he is registered on BlogSpot. Glad you listened to Cody and came over! Ugh….fig newtons are AWFUL! BOL! Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  7. What a fun little cartoon! Look at all the dogs George Washington had! Cool.

    I think it’s obvious why I named Oreo Oreo. Chewy looked and sounded just like Chewbacca when we brought him home. Otherwise, he would’ve been named Twix.

    • Hi Sara! I know! I never knew that George had so darn many dogs!!! I think the names of your boys are superb! Oreo, yep, obvious…”Chewy”….to me it also goes with the Sheltie’s love of Chewing! I LOVE his name! Love, “Mom”

  8. Bud got his name because that’s what Bob wanted to call him. Didn’t have anything at all to do with the fact that it was his favorite beer at the time. Now that he’s given up drinking beer (because “it just doesn’t taste good anymore”) we should probably re name bud Water.

    • Hi Sidney! So nice to see you here! Mom is laughing about the name “Bud” being Bob’s fave beer at the time lol. BOL about “Water!” Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  9. when mommy had her sweet Jack, it was actually HER daddy who named him He was just weaned and we raised him from then till mommy got married. Her daddy wanted Jack so mom left him there with her Dad while she wented away to Florida. His hair was red like mommy’s.

    • Awwww Katie what a sweet story! your Mom loves kitties so much that I never knew she had a doggy!!! Thank you for sharing this story. I am sorry that Jack couldn’t go to Florida with your Mommy. That is sweet that they both had red hair! Love, “mom”

  10. Well, for Doggy’s was quite easy, I wanted to name him Dog or Who, but you can’t even imagine the problems that caused me, Who they say was out of the question, was not a nice name, poor dog they said, and dog they would say was a ridiculous name. My partner, whose dog Larry died last year, wanted a name ended on Y. I wen to the vet to register the chip and to get the tag for Doggy’s collar, vet asked the name and I said Dog, he didn’t understand, so I said, ok, let’s make it Doggy.

    • lol Doggy Style that has to be one of the more unique naming methods that I have ever heard! Thanks for sharing! Love, “Mom”

  11. Roxy was a name that me and my boys decided on. I had heard somewhere along the years, that a “Y” sound on the end of the dog name makes them more responsive. I have no idea if this is true, but Roxy fit her perfectly. Torrey, is named after one of our favorite towns in Utah. A cute funky little town in the red rock desert where we like to stay.

    • Hi Roxy’s Mom…yeah they say that “Y” thing for kitties too. Mom named her first kitty Bobo though (go figure lol)….Cody (my brother) has the “Y” sound and he listens when he wants to BOL! Love how Torrey got her name…….waaay cool! Barks and licks and love, Dakota and Mom

  12. Hiya Dakota, what a great question! My Magical-Dawg was born as part of the “M” litter so his registered name had to begin with an “M.” We could have named him anything but…when I saw that little face, even before his eyes opened, it was “magic.” *s* Oh, and I know this is a Dog Blog but have to also share the kitty’s name. She’s a Siamese wannabe, and was a dumped kitten at a friend’s house…so she’s Seren (short for Serendipity) because that’s what it was when we found each other.

    • Hi Amy!! Awwww Mom and I LOVED that when you had to use the letter “M” to name your doggy that “Magic” came to mine…that is sooo sweet! You know Mom is a HUGE CAT LOVER (ahem!!! We won’t go there! BOL!) and she soooo believes in “Serendipity”, so the name “Seren” for your kitty particularly touched her. We love kitties! We are like Jackson Galaxy “bi-petual!!” BOL! Barks and licks and love, Dakota and “Mom”

  13. Hi Dakota my Trusted Friend – that name is so perfect for you buddy 🙂

    I started life as Dillman, but I think Snoopy was always supposed to be my real name – Cory suggested it, Mum seconded it (Cos she’s always been a big Snoopy fan and her brother used to have a little wooden Snoopy), Carly didn’t care and so Dad was out -voted!!

    Dad agreed so long as he could call me Snoopy Dog – though I’ve noticed he now mainly calls me Snoopy – sometimes I get Snoop, and they call me ‘The Puppy’ when they don’t want me to know they’re talking about me, like I don’t know they’re talking about me? I am an only Dog, who else could they be talking about?! 🙂

    Hope you’re having a fun day 🙂

    Your pal Snoopy 🙂

    • Hi Snoopy!
      Thanks for the kind barks about my name!
      “Dillman?????!!!” OMD “Dillman!?” I am soooo glad that the rest of your family outvoted Dad (sorry Dad!!!)

      You are right though pal, who else would they be talking about?

      Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  14. Me loves the Post! Me came with my name. And me would not answer to anything else they called me. My Hairy slobbery sisters Bob and Cinnamon – Bob – even though she was a girl, looked like a Bob and Cinnamon – she looked like a little cinnamon bear. And Kozmo – hmmm me don’t knows….

    • Nellie Hi! so glad you liked it! I am sure Matt will be happy to know that! Awww I love that you came with your name Nellie, it is PERFECT for you! Too funny about Kozmo!! Barks and licks and love, Dakota and Mom

  15. Mylo was meant to be Rolly after an Edmonton Oilers player, but we decided on Mylo after digging around for names. Rolly would have suited him better since he likes to roll in the grass so much. Toady was Koda because it’s a Sioux word that means the equivalent of soulmate/companion/friend. Then it just turned into Toady! 🙂

    • Fostrickson I LOVE how you got the names! I especially like “Koda” and the meaning of “soulmate/companion/friend” just perfect! “Toady” is sooo cute too! Barks and licks and love, Dakota

      • Thanks! The meaning of “Koda” fits him so well.

      • I bet! I also love the name “Koda” because it is so close to “Dakota!!” 🙂 ((((hugs)))) “Mom”

  16. Hey there Dakota & Mom Caren,
    Looks like we once more on the same wavelength. Matt also sent me this inforgraphic and I immediately put up post at my blog. I luv the stuff he creates. So fun, so original & informative. Just running through email and wanted to let you know…great minds think alike!
    AdoptedMOm aka Barbara

    • Hey Barbara…not only were you and I on the same wavelength…but so were about 5 other people who have it on their blogs as well BOL! We all seem to have received it yesterday 🙂
      Right when I got it I scheduled it for today…(as it appears that everyone else did too!) You and I are far from unique since it is all over the blog-o-sphere today! No worries! We all have different fan bases so that is just more people who get to see this great infographic!
      It isn’t “great minds think alike” it’s that Matt has hit ALL of us!! BOL!
      Love, “Mom”

  17. Dakota is a perfect name! Rita’s best friend is named Dakota too.

    Rita was named after Rosarita beach, the beach in Baja Mexico where the rescue group found her. When she came to us, her name was Peaches. (Which was a funny coincidence, because there is a minor dog character in the novel I wrote named Peaches.) Anyway, my hubby makes a mean peach margarita, so in addition to being named after the beach, she’s also named after peach margaritas.

    I was inspired by your post to look up what Rita means, and it apparently means “Pearl.” That’s kind of a funny coincidence too, because I joked with my hubby that I wanted to name our last pup “Pearl” so that I could be “Mother of Pearl.” Rita is definitely our special gem!

    • Hi Jackie! Thank you! Mom LOVES my name! Awww that is so cool that you have a friend named Dakota too!
      Ohhhhh the way you named Rita is just FANTASTIC! Mom is smiling (and now she is craving a peach margarita BOL!!!) Mom and I just love it!!!
      Rita was definitely meant to be!! Even the coincidence with “Pearl” is unreal!! Thank you for sharing such a great story!
      Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  18. That graphic was awesome! And so is how you named your doggy!
    I have kitties, not doggies, but I know my Leo The Chinese Lion’s name was meant to be! I didn’t give it to him, but it was a huge sign that oh yes, I should seriously adopt him! And I have to say, I think it suits him perfectly!
    Thank you so very much for participating in the Winnie’s Wish fundraiser!

    • Hi Andrea! Wow! Surprised to see you over here BOL! Cody is going to be jealous! BOL!! We loved that graphic too, thanks to our friend Matt at Pets365 for making it!
      Leo is a purrfect name for a kitty! Wait! I’m a doggy, Cody must be rubbing off on me!
      You are most welcome, I will tell Cody that you said thanks!
      Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  19. Hi Dakota.

    I don’t know where i got Sheba’s name from it’s a name I’ve always liked. Luckily enough when i looked at the litter there was only one pup left and that was female. So thinking of names was easy as i already had one lined up. I think it was fate.

    She certainly suits her name as she thinks she’s the Queen of Sheba at times.

    Your pal Sheba.

    • Hi Sheba I think it was fate for sure! Sheba is a beautiful name and the fact that there was only one pup left and it was a female? Oh yeah! Done deal! You ARE the Queen of Sheba! Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  20. Great post and good choice of Dakota over Tanner. Actually, I didn’t name my Baylie. When I rescued her I had no intention of keeping her. My purpose was to find her a really good home. I figured if I prolonged naming her, I would not get attached. Yeh, right. When I thought I had found the perfect fit for a home, I couldn’t go thru with it. My sister wanted to name her Chloe but every time I heard it, I cringed with thoughts of the Kardashian sister. Then my great neice said Bailey and it fit! So, I tweaked it a bit and decided on Baylie…Baylie Dog!

    • Hi Malia and thanks! Mom got a good chuckle about you not wanting to name Baylie “chloe” because of the Kardashian’s BOL! Good choice! Mom loves the name Baylie!! Mom has known some dogs named Baylie but they were spelled differently. We love your name! Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  21. My mother named our three dogs: Cocoa, Suki, and Mandy. Only Mandy lived till adulthood, sadly. She was quite the character, though. About Sheltie in size, a country mutt. Got into lots of scrapes yet came through unscathed, including jumping out a window from a second story abandoned house, onto lumber. Seriously. I was there and remember it.

    Dakota’s a great name, love how you chose it!

    • Hi Fuzzy Tales! It is so kind of you to come over!!

      Wow! Mandy jumped out of a window? OMG!! Was she named after the Barry Manilow song? I’m not being a smart you-know-what, I used to LOVE that song! I am so sorry that Cocoa and Suki didn’t live until adulthood. That is so sad. Heartbreaking.

      Thank you about Dakota’s name. I love it. My husband wanted “Apollo” I was like, “Seriously?” lol. He demanded that Dakota’s middle name be “Apollo” but shhhhh….you didn’t hear that here! Love, “Mom”

  22. Some of those infographics are so cool!

    I already had my name when I came here, and so did Morgan and Blueberry. Kuster’s name is sort of a funny story. We wanted a German name for him, and it had to start with K. I have a very good friend who’s Swedish and he and I were talking about it one day. He suggested Kuster and said that it meant an old fashioned tank. When I mentioned it to hubby, he really liked it, so we decided on it. Later, I did a little research and it turns out that it really means “sexton” which was the name of an Army tank, but it really means a kind of preacher. It turned out to be apt, though, and if you ever heard him, you’d know why! 😛

    • Houndstooth I love how you said “some” of those infographics are so cool 🙂

      I soooo enjoy reading about Kuster and I LOVE hearing how he got his name!! He is a cutie and a feisty one. I love the feisty doggies! Love, “mom”

  23. Dakota is gorgeous, love his expression in the border pictures! The name definitely suits him.

    Maggie was originally named Patches, which really didn’t seem to fit. I named her after the shy daughter in Alice Walker’s short story “Everyday Use,” as she was very shy when we first adopted her and the character in the story was much happier at the end. Luckily it worked for our Maggie too!
    Duke came with his name, but we tend to call him Puppy as he loves to play and still looks like a puppy when he runs.

    • Hi 2 Punk Dogs and thank you so much! He is a handsome boy (and he knows it lol).

      “Maggie” is an adorable name and I love the reason you chose it. It is always so special to pick a name from a character in a story or a book. So special!! I like it more than “patches” as well!

      Awwww love how you call Duke “Puppy” soooo cute!

      Thanks so much for sharing! Love, “Mom”

  24. oh…Caren, this is a very interesting post 🙂

    What’s Tanner mean, by the way?? I like Dakota’s meaning, suits him very much.

    Well, you know I am a simple person. I like using neutral name, not male or female, because turtle’s gender can’t be determined so soon. Kame and Kroten both mean turtle…I know how silly that is, naming my turtles with turtles 😉
    I was going to name Papoe with turtle in another language, but my friend suggested Papoe because he is from Papua and just like how you fell with Dakota, I find Papoe is suitable for him.

    I like knowing how people named their pets 🙂

    • Hi Novroz! I am glad you liked it and I am sure Matt is happy that you did too!! I don’t know what Tanner means….I am thinking that it was because of his color that they named him that.
      I like the gender neutral idea…do you know that there are girls named Dakota too? Yep! Dakota Fanning is one of them!

      I love how you named Papoe, your friend was smart to make that suggestion!

      Love, “Mom”

  25. What a great post. I have always loved the name Dakota too. I never looked up to see what the meaning of Chancy is but I knew right away his name would be Chancy because he was given a second chance at life. The infographic is great i enjoyed it very much. Hugs sweet Caren! Nose kisses for sweet Dakota and sweet Cody

    • thank you Mumsy! I can’t take credit for the infographic but for the part I wrote I can 🙂 Thank you!!! Ohhhh I LOVE how Chancy got his name! Absolutely perfect!!! Please kiss your precious babies for us as well!! xoxoxo Love, “Mom”

      • Gave those kisses for you and they thank you! Love you all!!!

      • you are the sweetest! Here is more for you! Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  26. […] thriller, I’m curious how more folks came up with your special pet names. My blog-pal over at Dakota’s Den asked this fun question about dog names and inspired me to ask y’all about kitty […]

  27. My Felix came with his name already, though I am told his name is Felix because when his first family adopted him, he was *supposed* to be a cat.

    Kolchak on the other hand, he had a name before we even knew what kind of dog he would be. My other half named him after the lead character in the show KOLCHAK: The Night Stalker with Darren McGavin. He was supposed to be a baby beagle, but when I saw his sweet baby puggle face, I knew in an instant that he was MY Kolchak.

    • OMG that is so funny about “Felix!!” BOL!! My Mom LOVES Puggles and when she got me the thought of getting a Puggle crossed her mind because a dear friend of Mom’s has one! Love how your babies got their names! Barks and licks and love, Dakota

  28. Such a great question! We had a list of names for Bella (including Gizmo because she reminded me of a Mogwai – you know, pre-Gremlin – and Amstel – because of her color). Somehow we just settled on Bella, back in those innocent, pre-Twilight days. Now everyone is using that name! =P

    Tavish came with name already attached, and since he know it, we just stuck with it.

    However, when I was a kid, I was obsessed with Scottish Terriers and picked out the name (the ever-creative “Scotti”) before I even had the dog to go with it. When I got a Toy Fox Terrier instead, I decided to use the name anyway. 🙂

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