Pug Dog Names: Distinctive Names for Your Unique Dog

pug on blue background
Emily Young
Written by Emily Young

Are you looking for a name for a pug? One look at your dog can give you many ideas especially if you know where to look. Pugs come with distinct features. Inspired by that, there are many pug dog names that you can choose from.

Apart from their obvious small size and wrinkled facial features, pugs have this comical expression that gives you an instant smile. They also have very distinctive personalities. Some pugs may seem lazy, while others are very affectionate and others yet are quite protective even though they are quite small. Their unique characteristics give rise to many great naming inspirations.

We have made it easier for you to choose a name for your pug. Below, we have compiled a list of our findings. We have included the meaning of each name and the inspiration behind it where applicable. This will ensure that the name you choose for your canine companion best suits them. Have your pick below.

Pug Dog Names by Gender

Did you get a male or a female pug? Either way, you’re going to find the perfect name for them on our list, and we’ve made it easy for you by separating our list into names for female dogs and names for male dogs.

#1: Female Names

pug wearing dress

Female pugs can be protective and stubborn. However, they are also affectionate and sweet in their own way. Whichever quality your female pug chooses to dwell on, there are several options.

  • Bambi. The name is of Italian origin. It’s derived from the name ‘Bambina’ which means ‘young girl’ or ‘child.’ It will suit a female pug especially one who is a show dog. Bambina can be used as variant while Babs will do as a nickname.

  • Caramel. Give your dog a name that is sweet and descriptive of her coat color. The name is of Hebrew origin and means ‘garden or orchard’. As we all know, it’s also a sweet substance derived from heating brown sugar, which is used a sweetener, coloring, or flavoring agent.

  • Cashew. This is an evergreen tropical tree or the brown edible seeds that it produces. The tree also produces yellowish flowers that bloom in open clusters. The small size of the fruit may remind you of your cute pug.

  • Fern. The name comes from Old English word ‘fearn’ which was used to refer to a fern plant. It gained use in the mid 19th century when flower and plant names became popular. For your tiny pug, you can take inspiration from the small girl in E. B. White’s children’s book, Charlotte’s Web. In the tale, Fern saved Wilbur the pig, making the name perfect for an animal-friendly pug. Nicknames include Ferny, Fernio, Fernanda, and Fernie.

  • Goldie. The name is of English or Yiddish origin. It used to refer to things made of gold or with a golden color. The moniker is also used to refer to girls with golden or blond hair. Since your dog is surely a shining jewel in your life, the moniker will be appropriate. Variants of the name include Goldy or simply Gold.

  • Honey. Give this name to your lovely and sweet pug. The name originates from America where it’s used as an endearment term for spouses or people in love.

  • Mabel. The moniker comes from the Latin word ‘amabilis’ which means ‘lovable, my beautiful one, or dear.’ The name can be traced to the middle ages where it was a popular feminine name with variations such as Maible, Mable, and Isabel. The name brings into mind the lovable nature of a pug that knows no bounds.

  • Muffy. The moniker is a short form of ‘Muffin.’ The name is usually used as a playful term for a child. It’s rare to have Muffy as a proper given name; most people use it as a nickname for Margaret or Mary. The name will do for a female pug with a fawn or black coat—one that resembles the sweet baked goods.

  • Peanut. The name is commonly given to babies just to draw attention to their small size. It’s also used playfully to refer to loved ones. The name will do just fine for your small and lovely female dog. Pea and Nut will do as sweet nicknames.

  • Penny. This is a prominent female name in America, and it means ‘flower.’ The name is also used as a nickname of Penelope, which stands for ‘silent worker.’ Whichever meaning you choose to go with, the name will do for your pug considering that a ‘penny’ is also a small currency denomination—one-cent coin.

  • Pumpkin. Your pug may not have orange fur, but she sure does have features that remind you of a pumpkin—from the wrinkly skin to the small compact body. The name is of Greek origin from the word ‘pepon’ which means ‘large melon.’ The moniker is used a term of endearment, especially when referring to a child.

  • Sweet Pea. The moniker is a flower name that symbolizes delicate pleasure or a positive experience. The blossom is usually used in floral arrangements for joyous occasions. The name is also used as an endearment for babies. It will do for a pug who is sweet on you—one who loves to be cuddled or petted.

  • Tinkerbell. The name is borrowed from the ‘Peter Pan’ book by J.M Barrie. In the fairy tale, Tinker is a mischievous female fairy who is always going out of her way to help her friends. Fairies are ‘small people’ hence the name fits a pug perfectly.

#2: Male Names

black pug

Male pugs are considered a bit laid back, more affectionate, and less attentive. On the other hand, you will be surprised at how different any two pugs can be. Based on your own assessment of your dog’s characteristics, you have quite a number of options below.

  • Almond. This is a family name of British origin. The name can be found among the families of early New England settlers. It’s borrowed from the fruits or the tree that go by the same name. The color of the fruits and their strong outer shell does resemble the coat of a pug.

  • Bailey. Is your furry friend loving and protective of everyone in your house? If so, then here is a name that you can go with. It’s an Old English occupational name. Bailey or Bailiffs were keepers of the royal houses. It was a term used to refer to crown officials in a country or a town.

  • Bear. If you love humor, then naming your small dog Bear will be spot on. Bears are vicious and protective of their territory. Hence a territorial pug can be said to be bear-like. You can also get inspiration from the cute teddy bears that are beloved by both children and adults.

  • Brody. Give your playful and happy-go-lucky furry friend a name that is befitting his personality. Brody is a Scottish masculine name which means ‘ditch.’ The name is derived from the Gaelic word ‘broth.’ The Irish variant means ‘a muddy place’; if your pug loves to play in the mud, then the name fits even better.

  • Bruno. The name originates from Old High Germanic word ‘brun,’ which means ‘shield, armor, or protection.’ The moniker can also stand for ‘brown.’ The name will suit a fawn-colored pug who is protective of his owner or other pets. One of the famous possessors of the name was St. Bruno of Cologne, a monk who started the Carthusian Order.

  • Brutus. Give your strong and muscular pug a befitting name borrowed from Latin. The moniker means ‘heavy’ and was a favorite name among the elite and royals of the ancient Roman republic. Among the famous bearers of the name was Lucius Junius Brutus, the founder of the Roman Republic. Another one is Marcus Brutus—a politician who was involved in the assassination of Julius Caesar.

  • Buddy. The name will do for a dog who is a good pal to be around. If he is well trained in playing catch, running agility courses, and doing tricks around the house, then he really is a good buddy. Bud will do as a nickname.

  • Carlin. In France, Italy, and Spain, pugs were earlier known as Carlin. The name stemmed from Carlo Bertinazzi ‘Carlin,’ an Italian theatre actor who used to wear a black face mask. Dog lovers came to associate black pugs with the actor’s masks, and the name stuck. Carlino was used as a variant, mostly by the Spanish and Italians.

  • Gizmo. Borrow a name from the English-American slang word for toys and gadgets. It also means ‘playful, handsome, or bitter’ depending on different interpretations. The name will suit a dog who is fascinated with technology—one who enjoys listening to music, watching tv or playing with electronics. Variants of the name include Gismo, Gysmoe, Gyzmo, and Gysmo. Check out our article on music for dogs if you think this name suits your furry friend.

  • Gremlin. If you love the ‘80s movie, then you must know of ‘Gremlins,’ a Warner Bros comedy horror film by Joe Dante. In the film, Gremlins are small, destructive creatures with large ears, wrinkly faces, and large eyes. Your dog might not be destructive, but he sure does remind you of a Gremlin. Among the characters that you can choose from include: Mogwai, Gizmo, Stripe, Brian, Mohawk, and Greta.

  • Harry. The name will suit a beloved pug—one who feels entitled and likes to ‘lord’ over the household. Harry is an English name derived from an Old Germanic word ‘Henri’ which means ‘home leader or ruler.’ You can also take inspiration from the boy wizard Harry Potter, a character from J. K. Rowling’s book series of the same name. Henry will also do as a variant.

  • Louie. Is your dog protective of you? Does he play a parental role by looking over everybody and acting all bossy in the company of other pets? Then look no further for the perfect name; Louie is an English name that means ‘famous warrior.’ It’s derived from the French name Louis.

  • Oscar. A pug does love being held and adored much like a trophy. The famous Academy Awards, the Oscars are a good inspiration for your small and equally powerful dog. The name is of Irish origin and stands for ‘God’s spear or champion warrior.’ Among notable bearers of the moniker was Oscar I, a 19th century King of Sweden.

  • Rocky. With a muscular body and a solid color, your dog looks like a small boulder, especially when he is asleep. A befitting moniker for him would be Rocky, an Italian masculine name which means ‘rest.’ For English speakers, it means ‘stony, stone, or craggy.’ Variants of the name include Rock, Roque, Rocco, and Roc.

Cute Pug Dog Names

pug wearing yoda costume

Whichever criteria you choose to base your pug’s name on, there is always a sweeter and cuter version. The names below have a nice ring to them.

  • Amber. The name gained popularity in the 19th century, as a jewel inspired name. It refers to the gem that is formed from fossilized resin. It can also be used to refer to an orange-yellow color which is similar to what a fawn coated pug looks like. The name will do for a fiery or overactive dog.

  • Baby. Though pugs are not babies in any way, their small size can give you the impression of a baby. If you think of yours as one, go ahead and christen them baby.

  • Bean. The name stands for the hard seed of coffee, cocoa, or bean plant, but it is also used to denote a small amount or a little of something. If you like to think of your pug as a bean of a dog, then the name is a perfect fit.

  • Bella. All dogs are beautiful and naming yours as such will only add to the appeal. The moniker originates from the Italian and Latin word ‘bella,’ which stands for ‘beautiful.’ It’s also used as a shortened form of Isabella. In French, Belle is the variant. Bell and Ella will do as nicknames for your dog.

  • Buttercup. The name is borrowed from a flowering plant. The herb has yellow or white flowers and beautiful alternate leaves. The name is also used to refer to a lovely child or as an endearing term for a loved one. It will suit a female dog who is active and happy all the time.

  • Chai. If you are into exotic names or places, then this moniker will suit your dog. The moniker is usually used as a masculine name across many cultures. It commonly refers to a flavor of tea, but for the Jewish people, ‘am Yisrael Chai’ is a prayer phase which means ‘the people of Israel live.’

  • Crinkles. One of the main characteristics of a pug is wrinkled facial features. You can refer to them in a nice kind of way by calling them Crinkles. Another way of saying it would be Wrinkles.

  • Mini. A pug is a kind of miniature dog and so naming yours thus will not be out of the ordinary.

  • Mr. Big. It is an odd name for a small dog, but then it also describes something or someone of great importance or seriousness. This is the perfect name for a pug with a big heart.

  • Pixie. This is a small imaginary creature. Pixies are believed to be short and childlike. Another characteristic associated with the mythical beings is their love of dancing or wrestling and pointy ears. The name befits a pug with pointy ears. Other variations of the name include Pixi and Pigsie.

  • Shortcake. This is another name for shortbread. It is also used to refer to females who are younger or shorter. The name suits a sweet and cute female pug.

  • Shorty. This is a common nickname for people who are exceptionally short. It is also American slang for someone’s female friend. When you combine your female pug’s short stature and the friendship that the two of you share, you have a winner.

  • Stumpy. The name describes something that is short and thick. Sometimes, pugs are described as ‘a lot of dog in a small space.’ It is a good name for a fat and lazy pug. Another variation is Stumpie.

  • Teenie. This is a common nickname for small people. The moniker is also used endearingly to refer to teenagers. It brings into mind a playful, full of energy, and carefree dog.

  • Yoda. Are you a fan of Star Wars? This is where you meet Master Yoda. He is a legendary Jedi master, small in size but very strong and wise. Little is known of his species, but he was believed to have trained every Jedi master in the galaxy. The name suits a powerful and smart pug.

Names Inspired by Famous Pugs

pug wearing crown

You might find some satisfaction in giving your dog a famous name. This could be borrowed from a favorite show, a celebrity’s pet, or pugs that are significant in the breed development. See if you can get a suitable name from the list below.

  • Basco. Borrow a name from one of the dogs bred by Queen Elizabeth II. The 19th-century monarch was a dog lover who kept and bred pugs. Her other pugs were named Pedro, Venus, Rooney, Olga, Fatima, Minka, and Ayah.

  • Dizzy. The pug belonged to the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. The couple’s love remains one of the most famous relationships of the 20th century. The dog was named after Benjamin Disraeli, the British Prime Minister back then. In total, the couple kept 11 pugs. Among them were Dizzy, Winston, Day Crockett, Mr. Chu, Rufus, Minoru, Trooper, Ginseng, Diamond, and Impy.

  • Fortune. Borrow a name from the royal houses of France; Josephine Bonaparte, the wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, owned a pug named Fortune. It is said that during her wedding night, her husband refused the dog to joining them in bed. This started an adversarial relationship that ended with the dog biting Napoleon in the leg.

  • Frank. Name your dog after Frank, the pug in the American science fiction film “Men in Black.” In the film, Frank is an alien who has disguised himself as a dog. He is an intelligent species who can talk and is very good at cracking jokes. In the film, the character was played by Mushu, a trained pug.

  • Lamb and Moss. If yours is a multi-dog household, then now you’ve got yourself two names for siblings. The names are borrowed from the two pugs that started the modern breed that you have fallen in love with. They belonged to Chinese loyalty and were acquired by the British during their conquest on China in 19860. When they were bred, they produced Click—a male that is credited with overall improvement of the breed.

  • Mimi LaRue. The dog of Tori Spelling, an American actress and TV personality; the dog became famous after making appearances in the actress’s reality shows, “Tori & Dean: Inn Love” and “So noTORIous.”

  • Mohiloff. The name belonged to a fawn pug which belonged to the Duke of Enghien. When the French noble was accused by Napoleon of conspiring to assassinate him, his loyal pug accompanied him during the arrest and stayed by his wagon as he was transported through Europe. The name will do for a pug who is fiercely loyal.

  • Mops. Marie Antoinette owned a pug named ‘Mops.’ This was during her early teenage years and long before she became a famous French Queen. She carried her dog from Austria to France where she married King Louis, making Mops a royal dog.

  • Otis. If you are into social networking, then you are probably active on Instagram. Otis is one of the most popular pugs with an Instagram account—with over forty-two thousand followers and counting. Other pugs with massive following include Gwen, Alfie, Giles, George, Teddy, Mr. Biscuit, CupCake, Homer Pugalicious, Granps, and Doug.

  • Pompey. The name was given to a pug that belonged to William the Silent, Prince of Orange. The dog is credited with warning his master of an impending assassination; as assassins made their way into the prince’s tent, the dog barked, scratched, and even jumped on his master’s face to wake him up. Pompey’s loyalty was immortalized in a sculpture, where he sleeps at his master’s feet to this day.

  • Punchy and Missy. Name your sibling furbabies after the pugs of Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin.’ In the book, she addresses the plight of African American slaves. Her work was influential in the abolition of slavery.

  • Sid. Borrow a name from Jessica Alba’s pug. The American Actress rescued the dog and named him after Sid Vicious, an English bassist and vocalist. Sidney together with the actress’ other dog, Bowie, a Bulldog, have made appearances in animal magazines alongside their owner.

  • Trump. The dog of William Hogarth, an English artist; his owner was an accomplished painter, printmaker, social critic, and cartoonist. It’s only natural to assume that he accomplished all this with the pug at his side.

Wrap Up

pug puppies

Choosing a name for your dog is a big responsibility; they get to keep it for a lifetime, and so, above everything else, it should be a unique representation of who your dog really is. Additionally, it should be easy to learn for both you and your pug.

Pugs are adorable little dogs with funny and distinctive features. These features may give you great ideas when choosing a name, but there is more to pugs than how they look; they come with beautiful personalities and unique coat colors too. This gives you many name options to work with. You will find one that incorporates all of your dog’s qualities into one name.

Did you fall in love with any of the names on our list? Tell us about it. Which other names would you consider? Share this and any other information in the comments below. Next, check out our article on healthiest dog food brands, so you know what to feed your new friend.

About the author
Emily Young
Emily Young

Emily is originally from China where she graduated from The University of Hong Kong with high distinction learning about fashion and design. During university she opened her own magazine about Dog Fashion as dogs were always in her heart. She was surprised, when she moved to a beautiful British Columbia 10 years ago, to see many great Boutiques with dog's designer clothing and desire of pet owners to make their babies look nice.