Modern Muttly Monikers

See Spot. See Spot run. See Spot run out of steam as a popular dog name, along with Fido, Rex and Lassie. Today’s muttly monikers are creative, humorous, and sometimes downright odd. Consider the following categories:

Playing Against Body Type: At a rescue center I worked with, we had an enormous white German shepherd/wolf mix. His name was Tiny. At the other end of the spectrum, a training client’s teacup Chihuahua was named Goliath. And a perfectly proportioned, pert and cute teacup yorkie I trained is named Quasi Modo.

Human Names: Bob. Bill. Hank. Sadie. Are they your friends? Co-workers? Nope. They’re dogs. Somehow I find watching someone instruct their poodle, “Bob, stay!” a bit disconcerting. Then again, I once dated a guy named Spike. Who am I to question anyone’s taste?

Meaningful in a Foreign Language: Dulce, the pomeranian, is as sweet as her name implies. There are many “Bella” golden retrievers who are just that. A real original is a cockapoo named “Malaika,” which is Swahili for “angel.”

Named after a Fictional Character: I know of a beagle named Nemo. With the popularity of Beauty and the Beast came a slew of Belles. And let’s not forget Scooby! I’m still waiting for a Dumbledore. Or maybe a He Who Shall Not be Named.

Living up to their Names: Many dogs named Angel are just that, while a Chihuahua I trained named Cujo certainly lived up to that moniker. Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of destruction, has at least a few four-footed followers that do her justice. Diesels seem to be little tanks, and a lab/dalmatian mix named Trauma turned out to cause quite a bit of it to his owners.

Appropriate to Country of Origin: Yo quiero Taco Bell, and apparently so do many Chihuahas. I have known Chihuahuas named Paco, Chico, and Chiquita. Many English bulldogs are named Winston, after Winston Churchill.

Sports: Thanks to the popularity of Kobe Bryant, there are many four-legged Kobes running around. Many are Labrador retrievers. (Naturally, dogs named Kobe excel at retrieving the ball!) Then there’s Butkus, an English bulldog named after football player Dick Butkus. Come to think of it, there was a bit of a resemblance.

Famous People: A regal female black lab I worked with is named Latifa. A great dane was named Hendrix. At the other end of the musical spectrum we had the yappy musical stylings of Satchmo, the yorkie. (He was no Louie Armstrong, trust me.) I know of two American pit bull terriers named Brad Pitt--both very handsome, of course. My own dog Mojo’s full name is “Mr. Mojo Risin’.” Classic rock fans (and those handy with anagrams) will recognize his famous namesake.

Cute, Original, and Just Plain Strange: I love it when dogs have cute or truly original names. Here are a few I have heard over the years: “Zoom Zoom,” “June Bug,” “Valentine,” “Yetzel,” “Lamb Chop,” “Pixie Sticks,” and “Jack Frost” (a westie, not a jack russell terrier). “Chicken,” oddly enough, is German shepherd. But first prize in the “Just Plain Strange” category must go to a lovely couple I worked with recently. Their terrier is named Mandy Patankin. They gave the dog this name (and call him by his full name) because the husband, according to his wife, “has a habit of calling everyone Mandy Patankin anyway.” I have no explanation for this.

What are some of the strangest/most creative dog names *you* have heard?

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