The Top Most Popular Dog Names In 2021, and the Meanings Behind Them

The top most popular dog names in 2021, and the meanings behind them

Dog names are getting a boost in 2021. 2020 saw a surge of “pandemic puppies” as well as rescue dogs finding their forever homes. Animal Shelters across the country were empty, while breeders and pet stores ran low. Now that those puppies and dogs are settling into their new families, they’re also learning their new names.

If you’re one of the lucky families that have welcomed a furry friend into your home, it’s safe to say you’ve been tasked with choosing the perfect name. Perhaps it was an easy decision, or maybe you’re still looking for the perfect fit. Either way, this is one of the toughest decisions new pet owners face.

Maybe you’re a fan of a classic boy name like Cooper, Max, or Milo. Or perhaps you’re looking for something a bit more feminine such as Bella, Daisy, or Luna. Whatever the case may be, your newest friend deserves a fitting name.

To help new owners narrow down their list, The American Kennel Club released the top 10 most popular dog names of 2021. Below you will find those names and their meanings.

The top most popular dog names in 2021, and the meanings behind them


Maximus, Maximilian, Maxwell, or simply Max. A name with roots in Aboriginal, English, and German cultures. Max means “greatest” and is one of the most commonly used names around the globe.

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Originating from Charles, the name Charlie comes from the German word that means “free man”. Now that it has gained an established place in popular culture, with mentions from Charlie’s Angels to Charlie Puth, the name has become ubiquitous across all genders.


Cooper was originally a used as a surname meaning “barrel maker”, just as one would be named Mason or Hunter. A hunting dog or similar working breed might be the perfect fit for this strapping name.


Bud or Buddy, whichever you choose, it will always mean “friend”. Buddy is your right-hand pal that will see you through the best of times and the worst. A timeless name that will be fitting for any pup.

The top most popular dog names in 2021, and the meanings behind them


From the German word for “soldier and merciful” to Miles in Latin meaning “soldier”, to the Slavic word Milu for “merciful”. If one thing is clear in the history of the name, Milo is an honorable choice for the most loyal of dogs.


Bella, oftentimes short for Isabella, has similar roots in Spanish, Latin, Portuguese, and Greek. Each of these languages shares the meaning “beautiful”. With records of the name back to the 13th century, a surge in popularity occurred when the infamous Twilight book series was published.


Luna, the goddess of the moon, according to Roman mythology. Luna, the moon, when speaking in Latin. Luna, a name of Italian origin. Given the moon’s association with enlightenment, feminism, and love when found in literature, this makes the perfect name for a sweet, intuitive pup.


Latin for “lux”, Lucy comes with the meaning of “light”. Lucia and Lucy are both names that were historically given to girls born during dawn hours. This might just be a great name if you have a pup that’s up before the sun.


Daisy, with the meaning of “day’s eye”, comes from English origins. The literal meaning comes from the fact that the petals of the Daisy open at daybreak. If one is looking for a whimsical name for a youthful dog, look no further.


With English origins, the name Maggie was derived from Margaret, and can also be short for Magnolia. Any of the options are wonderful when the meaning is “pearl”. Elegant and unique, Maggie is the perfect fit for the signature beauty in anyone’s life. What is your dog’s name and what is the meaning behind it? Share your thoughts and leave a comment!

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