200+ Clever Dog Names That Unleash Your Creativity

From ironic names, to names that show off your dog's intelligence and skill, these clever dog names have something for everyone.

Updated November 22, 2023
Happy couple with their newly adopted puppy

Selecting a name for your dog is a joyful task, and while cute monikers have their allure, opting for a clever name adds an extra layer of charm and personality. Clever dog names go beyond mere sweetness; they capture your canine's intelligence, unique traits, or playfulness through clever wordplay, puns, or cultural references. We've gathered a range of suggestions that will make you grin and highlight your pup's distinct character.

Clever Names for Female Dogs

Dog lying on bed

If your search is focused on finding clever names for a female dog, there are several sources you can explore for inspiration. Consider perusing a list of exquisite flowers or diving into mythology to review the names of powerful goddesses. You can also flip through a dictionary to find names that match your dog's attitude or looks.

  • Aster: A flower name symbolizing patience and elegance
  • Cleo: Short for Cleopatra, meaning "glory of the father" in Greek
  • Echo: A nymph in Greek mythology known for her voice
  • Lily: A beautiful flower
  • Luna: Moon in Latin
  • Nyx: The Greek goddess of the night
  • Raven: A bird often associated with mystery and intelligence
  • Scout: An adventurous, exploratory nature
  • Ursa: Bear in Latin
  • Willow: A tree symbolizing grace

Clever Names for Male Dogs

When searching for a strong and masculine name for a male dog, starting with Greek mythology is an excellent idea. These stories are filled with powerful and heroic figures, each with deep historical and cultural roots. The dictionary is also a vast resource where you can stumble upon unique and impactful words that may not be commonly used as names.

  • Atlas: After the Greek titan who held up the sky
  • Beau: French for handsome
  • Blitz: Lightning in German
  • Cedar: After the strong and aromatic tree
  • Dante: Enduring in Latin
  • Jasper: A precious stone symbolizing tranquility
  • Loki: A trickster god in Norse mythology
  • Nimbus: As in the type of rainy cloud
  • Orion: After the hunter constellation
  • Rex: King in Latin

Ironic Dog Names

boy cuddling with dog on couch

Another way to give your dog an amusing or clever handle is to call them something that is the opposite of what they are. 

  • 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.

Dog Names After Cities

Naming your dog after a city can be super fun, especially if there's one you're particularly fond of. I have a special place in my heart for San Diego (even though I live in New York). If you have a special place, think about it and see if there's any way you can twist it to be the perfect dog name.

  • Angeles: Los Angeles, California
  • Atlanta: Atlanta, GA
  • Boston: Boston, MA
  • Branson: Branson, MO
  • Bronx: New York City, New York
  • Buffalo: Buffalo, NY
  • Chicago: Chicago, IL
  • Columbus: Columbus, OH
  • Diego: San Diego, CA
  • Honolulu: Honolulu, HI
  • Houston: Houston, TX
  • Jackson: Jackson, MS
  • Madison: Madison, WI
  • Miami: Miami, FL
  • Nash: Nashville, TN
  • Orlando: Orlando, FL
  • Orleans: New Orleans, LA
  • Phoenix: Phoenix, AZ
  • Raleigh: Raleigh, NC
  • Sacramento: Sancramento, CA
  • Savannah: Savannah, GA
  • Seattle: Seattle, WA
  • Tampa: Tampa, FL
  • Tulsa: Tulsa, OK
  • Vegas: Las Vegas, NV

Store Names for Dogs

Chihuahua smiling

One way to find clever dog names that are slightly off the beaten path is to name your dog after a place you visit. Others will know what they are, but it would be surprising for you to find another dog with the same name. If you frequently shop or visit the mall, consider naming your dog after your favorite shopping spot. 

  • Abercrombie
  • Dillard
  • Fitch
  • Kohls
  • Kroger
  • Macy
  • Nordstrom
  • Sears
  • Sephora
  • Target

Restaurant Names for Dogs

Are you a foodie or someone who dines out often? If so, consider naming your dog after a favorite dining spot. It could even be your favorite diner down the street. It doesn't have to be a franchise. 

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

Soda Names for Dogs

Woman getting a kiss off her pet puppy dog

Many soda and soft drink names can make a fun, one-of-a-kind name for the family pup. 

  • A&W
  • Crush
  • Dew
  • Fresca
  • Hires
  • Faygo 
  • Pepsi
  • Pibb
  • Shasta
  • Sprite
  • Surge
  • Vernors
Quick Tip

Don't forget to explore individual flavor names!

Beer Names for Dogs

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

  • Brewski
  • Budweiser
  • Busch
  • Coors
  • Corona
  • Guinness
  • Heineken
  • Michelob
  • Miller
  • Pabst

Wine-Inspired Dog Names

Young Woman cuddles her Golden Retriever Puppy

Naming your dog after your favorite wine is kind of cool, and many of these names sound quite classy. Even the official bottle-size names have an elegant 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
  • Captain Morgan
  • Cognac
  • Cuervo
  • Gin
  • Jameson
  • Jim Beam
  • Johnnie Walker
  • Mezcal
  • Seagram's
  • Smirnoff
  • Stoli
  • Tequila
  • Vodka
  • Whisky or Whiskey

Dog Names After Delicious Foods

If you're a total food junkie, naming your dog after your fave food is not only funny but also super clever. It can be an entire meal or even a tiny snack. What's on your grocery list? 

  • Alfredo
  • Cannoli
  • Chimichanga
  • Chowder
  • Ciabatta
  • Fettucine
  • Meatball
  • Mozzarella
  • Pudding
  • Spaghetti

Cereal Names

If you still harbor a soft spot for a favorite childhood cereal, that could also provide some hearty inspiration. What was your favorite? Did any of these make the list? 

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

Fashion Magazine Names for Dogs

Young woman playing and hugging her jack russell terrier dog

Are you a slave to fashion? Or do you have a subscription to a favorite magazine? Consider a name that reflects that passion. 

  • Allure
  • Cosmo
  • Ebony
  • Elle
  • GQ
  • Harper's 
  • Mademoiselle
  • Marie Claire
  • Maxim
  • Vogue

Musical Dog Names for Lyric Lovers

Some dogs just love to sing, like Goober, my English Springer Spaniel. He's pretty quiet most of the time, but if you get him started, he'll give you a long musical number full of howls. Watch the look on your new neighbor's face when he realizes why your canine crooner is named after a famous musical act.

  • 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 for Dogs with Spots

Sometimes the perfect humorous or clever name is nearly as clear as the nose on your dog's face. Depending on the color combinations and spot patterns, one of these names may be just perfect for your dog:

  • Checkers
  • Domino
  • Dot
  • Moo
  • Oreo
  • Panda
  • Patches
  • Polka
  • Rorschach
  • Speckles

Three-Legged Dog Names

If you happen to adopt a dog with only three legs, you can help people smile at him by giving him a light-hearted name. To be honest, they really aren't different than four-legged dogs. They can still run, play fetch, and do pretty much everything else a four-legged dog can do!

  • Bouncer
  • Hopalong
  • Lucky
  • Pi
  • Pogo
  • Skip
  • Tripawd
  • Tres
  • Trike
  • Trinity

Clever Names for Big Dogs

If you have a dog that seems to be as big as Clifford, consider showing off their grandeur by giving them an amusing name to match their size. Or, if you want to be super clever, give one of these giant dog names to your teeny pup. 

Two Great Dane dogs cuddling in bed together
  • Axel
  • Beethoven
  • Brutus
  • Buck
  • Goliath
  • Hercules
  • Hummer
  • Jurassic
  • Marmaduke
  • Tank

Clever Names for 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. Some fluffy pup names include:

  • Cotton
  • Duster
  • Harry
  • Mopsy
  • Scruff
  • Scruffy
  • Shaggy
  • Swiffer
  • Teddy
  • Tumbleweed

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:

  • Banshee
  • Boomer
  • Crush
  • Magnum
  • Rugby
  • Seismic
  • Striker
  • Trigger
  • Tsunami
  • Uzi

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.

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200+ Clever Dog Names That Unleash Your Creativity