Fourth Annual Report Shows Human Names Still Dominate, While Names
Inspired by Pokémon, Hamilton and Powerful Women Are on the Rise
the nation’s largest network of pet sitters and dog walkers, today
unveiled the results of its fourth annual report on the most popular dog
names of the year. For the fourth year in a row, human and food-inspired
names are among the year’s most popular, while names inspired by Pokémon
Go, “Hamilton” and “Stranger Things” stood out as the new trends of 2016.
Rover dug into its data, one of the nation’s largest databases of dog
names, and found this year Americans were inspired by everything from
Harry Potter to food. The top baby names of the year were among the most
popular dog names, and dogs with celebrity baby names like Apple and
Shiloh rose 8 percent. Pet parents are also naming their dogs after
their favorite indulgences, with junk food and alcohol-themed dog names
on the rise in 2016.
“Decades ago, dogs were simply our pets and the names we chose for them,
like Spot or Rover, demonstrated that. As that relationship has evolved,
pet owners have begun to think of themselves as ‘pet parents,’ and dogs
are part of their families,” said Rover CEO Aaron Easterly. “As the bond
between people and their pets grows, we’ve seen a shift in how pets are
named. The way we name them, sheds light on that unique human-dog
relationship and reflects our personalities, cultural trends and the
things we’re passionate about, from politics to celebrities.”
Top Dog Name Trends
According to a Harris Poll survey, 95 percent of pet parents consider
their dog a part of the family, so it’s no surprise dogs are named more
like human family members than pets. In fact, 28 percent of dog names
are decidedly human, a number that has been steadily increasing over the
years, and is up 2 percent from last year.
|Top 10 Male Dog Names||Top 10 Female Dog Names|
1. Max *
1. Bella *
2. Charlie *
2. Lucy *
|3. Buddy||3. Daisy|
5. Jack *
5. Luna *
7. Sadie *
8. Sophie *
|9. Toby||9. Bailey new!|
10. Tucker new!
* = top baby name of 2016
Pet parents often look to popular culture for inspiration when naming
their dog. A recent survey of dog owners found 53 percent, including 75
percent of Millennials, named their dog after a movie or TV character,
book character or celebrity.
Pop Culture Trends
Pokémon dog names had been steadily trending down—but thanks to the
huge popularity of Pokémon GO, they’re back on the uptick.
Dog names inspired by “Stranger Things” are also on the rise. Names
like Eleven and Barb are up 12 percent.
Hamilton had a breakout year on the stage and with pet parents. The
name is on the rise in Washington DC (96 percent), Boston (88
percent), New York (15 percent), and Philadelphia (35 percent).
Now more than ever, pet parents are drawing inspiration from powerful
women. Names like Coco Chanel, Beyoncé and Ruth Bader Ginsburg climbed
over 13 percent.
Food Name Trends
Pet parents are naming their dogs after their favorite snacks with
junk food-themed names on the rise, increasing 2 percent in 2016.
Health food names declined 17 percent year over year.
Dogs named Kale are most popular in Portland, Ore., and dogs named
Quinoa are most popular in Los Angeles.
Coffee-themed names like Kona, Espresso, and Mocha are declining
nationally, but continue to rise in Seattle, home of Starbucks and the
As human names rise in popularity, there’s been a steady decrease in
“cutesy” pet names for dogs, like Pookie and Snuggles, since 2014. This
year, “cutesy” pet names decreased nearly 5 percent. Likewise, “classic”
dog names like Fido and Sparky are falling fast, steadily declining a
few percentage points each year, and falling 9 percent from 2015 to 2016.
Today, Rover also launched the Dog Name Generator to give humans a taste
of a dog’s life and discover what their dog name would be. Using Rover’s
database of names, the generator matches pet lovers to their perfect dog
name based on their name and date of birth. Visit www.rover.com/my-dog-name
to discover your dog name.
Rover.com connects pet parents with the nation’s largest network of
loving and trustworthy pet sitters and dog walkers. Through Rover, pet
parents can discover, book, and manage personalized care for their dogs,
including in-home dog boarding, pet sitting, dog walking, and doggy day
care. Founded on the belief that everyone should have the opportunity to
experience the unconditional love of a dog, Rover improves and
simplifies life for pet parents and the dogs they love. By removing
common pet care obstacles, Rover ensures dogs nationwide are happy and
well-cared for even when their owner is away and empowers dog lovers to
live fulfilling lives. Services are booked through Rover every minute of
every day, and more than 92% of the population lives within a short
drive of one of the more than 65,000 sitters who’ve listed their
services. Over 95% of reviewed bookings have received a perfect 5-star
rating. The platform offers premium insurance for all services booked
through Rover, secure online payments, world-class customer support, vet
consultations, a 24/7 team of trust and safety experts, Rover Cards with
walk mapping and activity tracking, mobile apps, photo and video
sharing, and general background checks for sitters.
The Top Dog Names report was developed by Rover between September and
October 2016. Results are based on analysis of user-submitted data to
Rover.com from hundreds of thousands of pet parents, pet sitters and dog