Male dog names: Top 20 trending dog names and Meaning

If you’re looking for some trending male dog names, I have 20 really cute and unique male dog names that will fit any dog’s personality or breed.

Let’s start with the basics. Like baby names, dog names tend to go in and out of style. Some of the most popular names right now include MAX, KOBE, OSCAR….

When I need to come up with dog name ideas I check out name lists for inspiration. I write down a list of all the names I like, and then move onto the hard part — finding one the whole family agrees on. I can’t help you when it comes to finding one everyone will agree on, but I can give you plenty of dog name ideas for inspiration.

If you’re looking for the perfect name for your new dog here’s 20 of the trending dog names to help get you started.

  1. MAX

Max is the most popular name for male dogs in the US. From a short form of the personal name Maximilian, a Latin name that originated from the Roman family name Maximus. 

The name Max is of German, English, Aboriginal origin meaning “greatest”. In fact, today, the simple name “Max” is the most common of all the Max names (followed by Maxwell, Maximus and Maximilian). 

Foreign variants include Maximilien (French), Massimo (Italian), Miksa (Hungarian), and Maksimilian (Russian). Similar English names include Mack, Maddox, Rex and Felix. 

MAX is the most popular male dog name
  1. BUDDY

BUDDY is the most popular name for male dogs in the US. From the English word meaning “friend”. It probably originated as a nursery form of the word brother. 

Bud, is probably an abbreviated version of this. It can also be used as a nickname for Robert, William, or Donald.

The majority of dogs named Buddy are mixed breed dogs owned or named by men.

Why do people name their puppies buddy? Because when calls a male dog “Buddy,” he imbues him with a sense of fondness and belonging.

  1. ROCKY

Rocky is a dog name reserved for the strong-willed male pup, regardless of size. 

Ever since Sylvester Stallone played the title character in the 1976 film, Rocky has been a popular name for dogs, both big and small.

Derives from English, named after Saint Roch; it is a common pet name for Boxer as it refers to the famous movie character Rocky. 

What does Rocky mean in slang? unstable, wobbly

Nickname for Rocco (Italian), the name of a 14th-century saint.

  1. LEO

Leo is another new puppy name to make the top ten in 2020. Leo beat out the name Duke.

Stemming from the Latin word for lion, the name Leo dates back centuries. In German, it has its own translation, serving as a short version of Leon or Leopold most often and meaning “brave people” or “lion-hearted.” In Spain, leo is a holy oil used for anointing in the church.

Leo is a name that signifies a freedom-loving and free-spirited individual. 

How Popular Is the Name Leo? Leo also held some relative popularity in the early part of the 20th century, ranking in the top 100 from 1900 to 1937.

  1. KOBE

Since his rise to stardom, the name “Kobe” has become a common choice for a name. People have been apparently naming their pets in honor of Kobe Bryant. Kobe was up 16%.

The first known use of the name was in Biblical times when the name “Koby” was used as a pet-name for Jacob. The Hebrew meaning is rooted in the words Yakov (Jacob) meaning “Yahweh (God) may protect. The Swahili meaning of the name Kobe translates to “tortoise” or “turtle”.

  1. OSCAR

The name Oscar can be associated with dogs of just about any size or breed. These dogs are generally happy and well meaning.

Derived from Old Norse origin meaning ‘gentle friend’ and is a popular male dog name in the US and variations include Oskar, Ossie, Ossy, Ozzie and Ozzy.

dog boy name
ZEUS has always been a favorite name for male dogs
  1. ZEUS

Zeus is consistently a favorite dog name, regularly in the top 50 most popular male dog names year after year.

Many people may describe dogs named Zeus as “handsome”. They can be well trained if given the opportunity. Zeus was a Greek ruler of the gods in Greek mythology. Origin: Greek. The meaning is: Father of the Gods.

  1. CHARLIE

Classic names like Charlie are still among the top 100 popular dog names.

Charlie is a great dog name and is used on just about every breed, shape and size. Most “Charlie’s” are warm-hearted loyal dogs with friendly personalities. They generally like to play and enjoy either fetching or chewing. Origin: German. The meaning is: Man; strong and masculine.

Though in the US, Charlie is a preferred name for female dogs, there are still quite a few male pups out there with this name.

  1. COOPER

Cooper is a very popular human name in Australia, so it might be perfect for an Australian Shepherd. Dogs named Cooper are fairly fun and happy dogs.

The name Cooper is of Old English origin and means “barrel maker.” It was originally used as a surname for the occupation.

What’s a nickname for Cooper? Coop, Coops, Coopey, Super Cooper, Coop-man, Coop-Dog, Coopster, Cooper the Pooper Scooper, Coopa Troopa.

  1. MILO

Milo took spot number five for top boy puppy names. Of German origin, Milo can mean both “soldier or merciful.” It stems from the Latin word “miles” which means soldier, but there’s also evidence that it might have come from the Slavic root “milu”, which means merciful. For a gentle or easy going dog, the name Milo could be a suitable fit.

  1. BAILEY

Bailey is a great puppy name for both girl and boy dogs. It comes in at number eight on the girl’s list and number 44 on the boys.

Dogs named Bailey are often loyal and good-natured. They are smart dogs, eager to please and respond well to obedience training if given the opportunity. Origin: English. The meaning is: Bailiff; Trusted Guardian.

The popular moniker was recently given to the main character in the film A Dog’s Purpose.

  1. OLIVER

Dogs named Oliver, are wonderful dogs. They can be ornery and eager to get into things. Many Oliver’s are keen chewers and need to be given frequent opportunities to play and appropriate chew toys. 

The name Oliver is derived from the old Norse name Áleifr, meaning “ancestor’s descendent.” Introduced by the Normans to England, the name also has roots in France.

The best and easiest nickname for Oliver is of course “Olly” or “Ollie.” It’s a little cutesy, but it could still age well. 

  1. BEAR

Historically, the dog name ‘bear’ has an American origin. The name, Bear, originally refers to large dogs with thick hair and large body; comical choice for the toy breeds. The name is more befitting for a strong and brave dog. If you own a dog that has bulky hair with a tendency of being brave and aggressive, naming her ‘bear’ could be suitable.

The English word “bear” comes from Old English bera and belongs to a family of names for the bear in Germanic languages, such as Swedish björn, also used as a first name. This form is conventionally said to be related to a Proto-Indo-European word for “brown”, so that “bear” would mean “the brown one”.

unique male dog names
DUKE is a very unique male dog name
  1. DUKE

Dogs named DUKE are loving and loyal to their owners.  Duke is a Latin name which means “Leader of the Herd; high-ranking nobleman”. Dogs named DUKE have a friendly and often energetic demeanor with sweet personalities. They are healthy dogs and loyal companions.

  1. LUCKY

From a nickname given to a lucky dog. Each dog owner is dreaming a lucky dog, because a lucky dog will bring both the dog and the owner good luck.

The surname Lucky was first found in Berwickshire where this surname is derived from the name of an ancestor as in ‘the son of Luke,’ which is popularly Luck and Luckie on the Scottish border.

Some other lucky names: Edmund means “good fortune”, Asher means “fortunate”, Evangeline means “bearer good news”. 

  1. RUGER

Ruger isn’t one of the most common names, so your dog will certainly stand out. If you love the name, you should pick it!

Meaning of the name Ruger. Tough, manly, a magnificent marksman. Origin of the name Ruger. American.

What does Ruger mean in German? A German surname derived from the Middle High German “rüegære,” meaning … wait for it … “complainer.” And trust, your little Ruger will definitely live up to that from time to time.

  1. BEAU

The name Bo is Slavic in origin and the definition of the name is “living.” Alternate spellings of this name include “Beau”. When a male dog is the only “child” of the household this is a good name choice.

A short and sweet French name, Beau means handsome. Beau Name Origin: French.

boxer dog names boy
BAXTER is a very popular male dog name
  1. BAXTER

Baxter is a cute name for your baking partner because it is an old English occupational name for a baker.

Where did the name Baxter come from? Northern English and Scottish: occupational name from Old English bæcestre ‘baker’, variant (originally a feminine form) of bæcere (see Baker).

  1. AXEL

Along with old-school badass dog names like Buster and Butch, cool new badass names such as Axel, Hendrix, and Maverick are popular for puppies today.

A mighty name with a striking style, Axel is a Scandinavian form of the Hebrew name Absalom. He has the incredible meaning of “my father is peace,” and is a memorable name that is impossible not to love.  Alternate spellings: Aksel, Axl.

  1. BRUCE

Bruce is a one-syllable dog name, making it short and snappy. Bruce isn’t one of the most common names, so your dog will certainly stand out. If you love the name, you should pick it!

The English language name Bruce arrived in Scotland with the Normans, from the place name Brix, Manche in Normandy, France, meaning “the willowlands”.

The variant Lebrix and Le Brix are French variations of the surname.

Australian slang: A man.

About the Author

Henry Mark
Mark is Editor at dognamesbest.com covering Information about breeds, naming dogs. He's a graduate in veterinary medicine at the agricultural academy.