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The year’s top dog names revealed
8th December 2016

By Karen Pickwick


Leader of the pack is Max

With names like Bono, Marley and Atticus, the days of calling our dogs Rover and Spot appear to be well and truly over.
 
A new study of 2,000 British dog owners by Butcher’s Pet Care reveals the top 20 dog names of 2016 and the nation’s dogs are beginning to sound like they should be signing autographs or sitting at the family table, rather than walking in the local park.
 
Leading the pack is Max, which takes top spot for another year, with Bono, after the U2 frontman, a close second. A more regal sounding Charlie is the third most popular name among the nation’s 8.5 million dogs.
 
The research also found striking similarities between what we name our babies, and what we name our dogs. Eleven of the top 20 dog names in the Butcher’s poll are also on the Office of National Statistics’ most popular baby name lists. In fact, nearly one in 10 dog owners confessed to accidentally calling their child or partner by their dog’s name from time to time!
 
What’s more, almost a quarter of dog owners in the UK admitted to spending hours surfing the web, watching TV or reading books for inspiration on what to name to their dogs.
 
A spokesman for Butcher’s Pet Care which commissioned the study, said: “Our research found that people’s childhood dogs tended to be named after physical traits such as their colour, or their deposition. Thirty years ago, research has shown that there was also a clear line drawn between dog’s names and people’s names where you would seldom hear of a dog named Jack or Lucy, but now these are among the most popular names for dogs according to our poll.
 
“Another big change over the years has also been the growing popularity of smaller dog breeds in comparison to 30 years ago. According to Euromonitor data, many dog owners have been opting for smaller dogs, which are better suited to smaller households and our increasingly busy lifestyles.”
 
It is predicted that the small dog population will grow by a further 6% next year. As a result Butcher’s has introduced a new format to its range – The Butcher’s Choice Pouch, which is specifically designed for smaller dogs to provide all the vitamins and nutrients they need, in one complete meal.
 
Of those surveyed, over 35% owned a small dog such as a Jack Russell or a dachshund, for which the top three most popular names were Max, Charlie and Molly, further highlighting the trend of people treating their pets as members of the family.
 
Nevertheless, popular culture is continuing to have the biggest impact overall in terms of what the nation names their dog. A quarter of those polled named their dog after a famous celebrity, with pop stars (Bono and Marley), Disney and cartoon characters (Elsa, Mickey, Minnie, Casper, Scooby), TV and comic heroes (Thor, Loki, Xena) and even football players (Pedro, Pepe, Terry, Rio) all inspiring what we call our beloved canine companions.
 
Politicians (Boris, Lincoln, Churchill), historical figures (Atticus, Wordsworth, Sherlock, Troy), and even members of the Royal Family (George, Harry, Charlotte), were all popular choices for those who wish to pay homage to their favourite heroes by engraving their names on the tags of their best friends.
 
In addition, food and drink have a part to play, with over half (52%) of people naming their dog after their favourite snack (Chilli, Brownie, Cookie, Chip), chocolate bar (Chomp, Twix, Fudge, Kinder, Rolo), or alcoholic tipple (Brandy, Tequila, Guinness, Pimms and even Smirnoff!).
 
Some of the strangest names included were Bilbo Baggins, Jon Snow, Zeebo and Vader, drawing inspiration from The Lord of The Rings, Game of Thrones and Star Wars. One dog owner even admitted to naming their dog Jermaine Defoe, after the Premier League striker, and another Tinky Winky after the popular CBeebies show Teletubbies.
 
TOP DOG NAMES 2016
 
1.      MAX
2.      BONO
3.      CHARLIE
4.      BEETHOVEN
5.      MOLLY
6.      JACK
7.      DAISY
8.      ALFIE
9.      BUDDY
10.   BAILEY
11.   MARLEY
12.   POPPY
13.   BEN
14.   ATTICUS
15.   CASPER
16.   LUCY
17.   TOBY
18.   BROOKLYN
19.   BELLA
20.   SCOOBY