Clever Dog Names

Updated November 9, 2018
Happy couple with their newly adopted puppy

Everyone has their personal ideas about the difference between witty dog names and lame ones. If you're trying to come up with clever dog names, you have to think outside of the box. This might leave you feeling a bit stumped for inspiration, but look around you. Inspiration is everywhere, from the places you frequent to the attributes of your pet.

Witty Dog Names Based on Places

One way to find clever dog names that are slightly off the beaten path is to name your dog after a place you frequent.

Store Names

If you frequently shop or visit the mall, consider naming your dog after your favorite shopping spot. Some good choices can include:

  • Abercrombie
  • Fitch
  • Target
  • Sephora
  • Dillard
  • Macy
  • Sears

Restaurant Names

Are you a foodie or someone who dines out often? If so, consider naming your dog after a favorite dining spot, such as:

  • Spago
  • Mezzaluna
  • Dolce
  • Patina
  • Matsuhisa
  • Chinois
  • Formosa
  • Pink
  • Rocco

Food and Drink Names

Maybe you've noticed your new pet has a fondness for a certain snack food. Or, perhaps you have a favorite food or beverage you'd like to name your dog after. Many clever dog names can be found in this category.

Soda Names

Many soda and soft drink names can also make the perfect name for the family pet.

Image of a German Shepherd dog mix
  • Pepsi
  • Dew
  • Shasta
  • Sprite
  • Fresca
  • Vernors
  • A&W
  • Hires
  • Faygo (Don't forget to explore individual flavor names!)

Beer Names

Do you see yourself unwinding at night with a cold brew and your dog at your side? If so, consider naming your dog after your favorite craft beer, or choose one of these other fun options.

  • Budweiser
  • Michelob
  • Corona
  • Pabst
  • Guinness
  • Busch
  • Brewski (Not a real brand, obviously, but still in the spirit)

Wine-Inspired Names

Naming your dog after your favorite wine is kind of cool, and many of these names sound quite classy. Even the official bottle sizes names have a wonderful ring to them.

  • Beaujolais
  • Cabernet
  • Chardonnay
  • Chianti
  • Lambrusco
  • Madeira
  • Merlot
  • Moscato
  • Pinot
  • Prosecco
  • Reisling
  • Sangria
  • Zinfandel

Alcohol Dog Names

If you appreciate a good stiff drink, one of these alcohol-inspired names might be just what you're looking for. You can go with a basic alcohol type name, but some brand names also make terrific hard liquor dog names.

  • Brandy
  • Bourbon
  • Cognac
  • Gin
  • Mezcal
  • Tequila
  • Whisky or Whiskey
  • Vodka
  • Captain Morgan
  • Cuervo
  • Jameson
  • Jim Beam
  • Johnnie Walker
  • Kessler
  • Seagram's
  • Smirnoff
  • Stoli

Cereal Names

If you still harbor a soft spot for a favorite childhood cereal, consider naming your new dog after it.

  • Quaker
  • Captain Crunch
  • Cheerios
  • Trix
  • Chex
  • Wheaties
  • Lucky Charms
  • Kashi
  • Kellogg

Magazine Names

Are you a slave to fashion? Or do you have a subscription to a favorite rag, why not name your dog after this publication?

  • GQ
  • Maxim
  • Marie Claire
  • Ebony
  • Mademoiselle
  • Vogue

Famous People and Musical Acts

Does your dog remind you of some? Have you had a long standing interest in a singer, band or sport's team? If so, you have a wealth of names to choose from for your dog.

Dog Names Inspired by Music

Some dogs just love to sing; often these dogs do not even bark and appear to be quiet in nature. Watch the look on your new neighbor's face when he realizes why your canine crooner is named after a famous musical act.

Image of a Black Labrador Retriever barking
  • Queen
  • Fleetwood Mac
  • AC/DC
  • Van Halen
  • Evanescence
  • Aerosmith
  • Coltrain
  • Yo Yo Ma
  • Mozart or Amadeus
  • Chopin
  • Elvis
  • Sinatra
  • Aretha
  • Pavarotti

Sport Teams and Athlete Names

If you have a favorite team or sports hero, here's a great opportunity to give your dog a clever and meaningful name.

  • Laker
  • Piston
  • Shaq
  • Green Bay
  • Bronco
  • Steeler
  • Brady
  • Moreno
  • Yankee
  • A-Rod
  • Gretsky

Names Inspired By Your Dog

Sometimes the perfect humorous or clever name is nearly as clear as the nose on your dog's face.

Spotted Dog Names

Depending on the color combinations and spot patterns, one of these names may be just perfect for your dog:

  • Moo
  • Rorschach
  • Polka
  • Dot
  • Speckles

Three-Legged Dog Names

If you happen to adopt a dog with only three legs, you can help people smile at him rather than pity him by giving him a light-hearted name:

  • Tripawd
  • Hopalong
  • Tres
  • Lucky

Big Dogs

If you have a very large dog, you may wish to point out his grandeur by giving him an amusing name to match his size:

Saint Bernard dog laying on the grass
  • Hummer
  • Tank
  • Jurassic
  • Marmaduke

Fluffy Dogs

Fuzzy dogs tend to make people smile with their cute appearance. They may also have a cute or funny name that makes them even more endearing:

  • Swiffer
  • Tumbleweed
  • Mopsy
  • Duster

Mover and Shakers

Like some people, there are dogs that create chaos wherever they go. Here are a few appropriate names for these good-natured, rough and tumble dogs:

  • Seismic
  • Boomer
  • Rugby
  • Tsunami

Ironic Dog Names

Another way to give your dog an amusing or clever handle is to call him something that is the opposite of what he is. For example:

  • Naming a white dog "Spot".
  • Calling your Chihuahua "Sasquatch".
  • Giving the name "Fluffy" to a Rottweiler.
  • "Snowball" would be a hilarious name for a black dog.
  • Name your boxer or French bulldog Palomino or another horse-inspired name.

Your Choice

By now, your wheels are probably turning. Surely you can think of many other genres you could mine (such as puns!) for terrifically clever dog names, whether your dog is male or female. Above all, be willing to explore territory you would never have considered before. Who knows, you might just pioneer a unique new dog naming trend among your friends and family.

Clever Dog Names