Western Dog Names: Most Beloved and Cherished Dog Names

western dogs
John Walton
Written by John Walton

If you live in the United States, Europe, or Canada, it is normal to favor western dog names. These types of names are more mainstream and can easily be understood by the majority of people around you.

Naming your dog “normally” is important because you don’t want to offend other people especially if you don’t know the meaning of the name. It will also be easier for you to pronounce the name correctly, and considering you will be calling out to your dog several times a day, you wouldn’t want to mispronounce the name.

Some people who live in the United States don’t like to give their dogs western names because they feel that they are too common. This is not true. In this article, we will give samples of western dog names that are unique, beautiful, and classic. Check out our name suggestions for your dogs.

The Classics

Common or not, you can never go wrong with the classics. Yes, other dogs will have the same name, but this only means that many people find the name beautiful or befitting their pets.

Here are some great examples of classic western dog names for girl dogs and boy dogs. These names have been around for generations, so their longevity and popularity speak to their timelessness.

#1: For Girl Dogs

white dogs on grass

  • Angel – well behaved, angelic. Also ideal for white colored dogs.
  • Avery – an American classic. This is a timeless name suitable from puppyhood to senior citizen status.
  • Beauty – what else can you call the most beautiful pooch in the whole world?
  • Casey – another timeless western dog name.
  • Chloe – sounds French but is actually Greek in Origin. It means “blooming or verdant.” It’s a popular name in the west.
  • Coco – ideal for brown colored dogs. In Spanish, it actually means “skull,” so it’s not as sweet as it sounds.
  • Daisy – simple but colorful name. If you like flower dog names, check out this article.
  • Dakota — ideal name for your best friend because it means “allies.”
  • Dixie – it’s actually short for Richard but is widely popular as a girl’s name.
  • Fluffy – what else can you call a fluff ball of a dog?
  • Ginger – it means “pep or lively.”
  • Holly – an English baby name given to girls.
  • Honey – sweet and an instant hit.
  • Ira – it means “watchful.”
  • Jade – did you know that the Jade stone purifies your energy field? How about your dog?
  • Jane – after the feminine character in Jane Eyre.
  • Kelly – means “bright-headed.” If you’ve got a smart dog, check out our tips on clicker dog training.
  • Kerry – name your dog after the amazing Kerry Washington.
  • Lady – another timeless classic.
  • Lassie – a very popular dog name after the famous Lassie TV series.
  • Lexy – short and cute form of Alexandra.
  • Lily – the symbol of purity, innocence, and beauty.
  • Lola – short and exotic-sounding.
  • Lonnie – cute name for a beloved pooch.
  • Lucy – this name never goes out of style.
  • Mackenzie – this name means “child of a wise leader.”
  • Maggie – the short form of Margaret.
  • Marley – after the great Bob Marley. This is actually a unisex name.
  • Missy – for that sassy but loveable pupper.
  • Molly – another form of Mary.
  • Montana – named after the Treasure State.
  • Nevada – meaning “snow covered.” A unique name for a white dog.
  • Penny – pet form of Penelope.
  • Princess – for the royalty in your life.
  • Rosie – good name for somebody that brightens your day.
  • Roxy – short and cute form of Roxanne.
  • Sadie – a nickname for Sarah which means “princess.” Your princess deserves to be treated to all the good things in life. Maybe you can make a cake for her?
  • Sandy – short for Alexandra, meaning “defender of man.” Fitting, right?
  • Sasha – another shortened version of Alexandra.
  • Stella – for “the stars.”
  • Sugar – sweetness overload.
  • Zoe – means “life” in Greek.

#2: For Boy Dogs

yellow puppy running

  • Alex – short form of Alexander.
  • Bailey – after Jazz musician Buster Bailey and NY Yankee Andrew Bailey.
  • Bandit – for the mischievous pupper in your life.
  • Bear – if it looks like a bear, it must be a dog!
  • Blaine – means “yellow or fair-haired.”
  • Boomer – for the pooch that has a big bark. If you would like some peace and quiet sometimes too, check out our article how to get a puppy to stop barking.
  • Brandy – smooth and relaxes you after a long day at work.
  • Bryce – means “valor and strength.”
  • Buddy – your bestest friend in the whole world.
  • Champ – a very good pupper.
  • Charlie – cute nickname for Charles.
  • Cooper – good name for a brown or red colored dog.
  • Dylan – after the great Bob Dylan.
  • Evan – another form of Ivan or Ian.
  • Fido – classic dog name.
  • Gizmo – high tech name for the old faithful.
  • Gus – short and sweet.
  • Hunter — great name for a serious, hard-working dog.
  • Jack – can be short for Jackson.
  • Jake – it means “God is gracious.”
  • Jesse – truly a rebel like Jesse James.
  • Jordan – after the Jordan River, or Michael Jordan.
  • Julian – from Julius, meaning “downy beard.” Perfect for a bearded breed like the Tibetan Terrier.
  • King – for the king of your heart.
  • Lee – old English name meaning “meadow.” For dogs that love the outdoors.
  • Louie – means “warrior or knight.” Very apt name for a dog.
  • Luke – for Luke Skywalker.
  • Max – cute and short version of Maximilian.
  • Milo – means peaceful or calm.
  • Patches – a great name for a multi-colored dog.
  • Rex – old form of “king.”
  • Riley – means “valiant.”
  • Sam – can be short for Samuel or Samson.
  • Scout – a good name for a reliable dog.
  • Shadow – great option for a black dog.
  • Sparky – for the dog who sparks up your life.
  • Spot – popular name for spotty dogs.
  • Teddy – alternative for Bear or if your dog is a cuddler.
  • Tucker – means “walker.” What better name for a dog, right?

As you can see, these beloved names are old but are still some of the most popular choices for dog names even today.

In the stock market, the trend is your friend. The same is true when it comes to dog names. There’s nothing wrong with choosing a popular, classic name. This type of name only goes to show that many people share the same choice as you when it comes to naming their canine friends.

The Unique

sunny dog jumping

If you didn’t like any of the classic names and would rather pick from a list of unique western names because your dog is one-of-a-kind, treat yourself to our comprehensive list below. We’ve included the meanings of these names, so you’ll be able to pick the one that suits your dog’s personality the most.

  • Bailey — bailiff.
  • Cody – cushion.
  • Darryl — darling.
  • Ellery – from the elder tree island.
  • Fortune – luck.
  • Glen – secluded valley or glen.
  • Greer – watchful or guardian.
  • Harley — from the hare’s meadow.
  • Jan – God is gracious.
  • London – fortress.
  • North – from the north.
  • Oak – meadow of oak trees.
  • Omega – great.
  • Paris – lover.
  • Pepper – from the pepper plant.
  • Quarry – thickset or portly; somebody who lives near a quarry.
  • Quinn – fifth.
  • Reed – redheaded.
  • Reese – ardor.
  • Robin – bright flame.
  • Sage – wise.
  • Shelby – a village on the edge.
  • Silver – lustrous.
  • Stormy – tempestuous.
  • Sunny – sunny or joyful.
  • Sydney – wide meadow.
  • Taylor – to cut.
  • Tracy – harvester.
  • Umber – shade.
  • Utah – people of the mountains.
  • Vega – star.
  • Verdi – green.
  • Whitney – from the white island.
  • Wren – ruler.
  • Xen – zen.
  • Yale – fertile moor.
  • Yarrow – the name of a plant used as an herb.
  • Zan – well fed.
  • Zooey – life.

For Working Dogs

serious dog

Dogs were originally domesticated by men to help them at home. Dogs today still go to work as watchdogs, guard dogs, bomb-sniffing dogs, therapy dogs, seeing-eye dogs, and other jobs. You can’t go wrong with job-oriented names like:

  • Alpha – number one; the best.
  • Axel – tough name for a tough dog.
  • Bones – scary, mean, and serious.
  • Boots – cute but still respectable.
  • Buster – reveals hidden things.
  • Camo – great name for an army dog.
  • Cannon – defends and fights till the end.
  • Charger – always on protective mode.
  • Chief – the fearless leader.
  • Chip – cute but multi-dimensional dog name.
  • Colt – named after the ammunition manufacturer, not the baby horse.
  • Dagger – sleek and deadly.
  • Diesel – rough and tough.
  • Echo – somebody who always comes back to you.
  • Einstein — one smart pupper.
  • Friday – the best day of the week.
  • General – you can’t help but say “yes sir.”
  • Glory – always ready to serve.
  • Gordon – serious name for a dog with a serious job.
  • Gunner – ready to fight and fire.
  • Hawk – serious, deadly, and accurate.
  • Honor – the virtue name used by the Puritans.
  • Hooch – your favorite partner.
  • Hotshot – for the exceptional dog.
  • Humvee – strong and dependable.
  • Jag – sharp and smart.
  • Justice – a lawful pooch.
  • K-9 — classic working dog name.
  • Lava – good choice for a dog with red coat.
  • Magnum — powerful and explosive.
  • Midnight – a good and more unique alternative for Shadow.
  • Navy – for a dog that serves in the Navy.
  • Oscar – means “God’s spear.”
  • Patriot – the loyal dog.
  • Phantom – ghostly and stealthy pups.
  • Ranger – means “forest guardian.”
  • Rascal – the free-spirited pooch.
  • Ricochet – for the dog that likes to bounce around.
  • Rip – short but fierce-sounding name.
  • Rocket – sounds like an adventurous pupper.
  • Rocky – strong like Rocky Balboa.
  • Sarge – dependable and hardworking.
  • Scout – a good boy that likes to be prepared.
  • Sherman – loud and strong like a tank.
  • Skipper – nickname for a high spirited dog.
  • Slugger – a strong fighter.
  • Striker – stealthy but smooth dog.
  • Tango – classic buddy cop name.
  • Tank – sounds strong and indestructible.
  • Tesla – after Nikola Tesla the great inventor and genius.
  • Tex – another short and classic western dog name.
  • Titan – they were a band of immortal and powerful giants in the Greek mythology.
  • Trooper – always ready for your orders Sir!
  • Victor – the victorious puppy.
  • Zeus – means “sky.” In Greek Mythology, he is the highest of all gods.

These names all sound strong, reliable, and smart. What better way to name a reliable and trustworthy worker.

See Also: Training a Service Dog

By Personality

If you’re confused how to name your dog, you can always take a few days and get to know them first. This way you can observe their personalities and look for a suitable name.

Naming your dog by personality is wise because it immediately gives other people an accurate first impression of your dog and will make them feel closer to your dog.

Here great western dog name suggestions based on personality.

#1: For Girl Dogs

happy puppy

  • Agnes – sacred, chaste.
  • Aida – helpful.
  • Annabel – adorable.
  • Annie – gracious, merciful.
  • Athea – healer.
  • Audie – has noble strength.
  • Bella – beautiful.
  • Blythe – joyful.
  • Bonnie – attractive.
  • Brianna – strong.
  • Delilah – delicate.
  • Emma – industrious.
  • Farrah – happy.
  • Hannah – gracious.
  • Heidi – graceful and noble.
  • Hillary – cheery, humorous.
  • Ida – hardworking.
  • Joy – happy.
  • Katelyn – chaste, pure.
  • Luana – content.
  • Marian – rebellious.
  • Sophia – wise.
  • Trixie – happy.

#2: For Boy Dogs

champion puppy

  • Ace – the best.
  • Al – handsome.
  • Austin – majestic.
  • Barnett – leader.
  • Barron – warrior.
  • Beale – handsome.
  • Bert – bright.
  • Caleb – faithful dog.
  • Carly – champion.
  • Chuck – strong.
  • Darby – free.
  • Duke – leader.
  • Everett – strong as a wild boar.
  • Ezra – helper.
  • Felix – happy.
  • Ferdinand – brave but peaceful.
  • Gaines – clever.
  • Geoffrey – peaceful.
  • Hart – a fast runner.
  • Hector – steadfast.
  • Ike – somebody who brings laughter.
  • Ira – alert.
  • Jagger – hunter.
  • Jenner – cunning.
  • Ken – handsome.
  • Kurt – wise counsel.
  • Lennie — brave as a lion.
  • Leroy – king.
  • Lex – defender of man.
  • Madison – mighty in battle.
  • Marcus – warlike.
  • Nolan – noble.
  • Odin – fury.
  • Orion – hunter.
  • Patrick – noble.
  • Pax – peaceful.
  • Reece – enthusiastic.
  • Rover – wanderer.
  • Sherwin – swift.
  • Solomon – peaceful.
  • Stacey – productive.
  • Tate – cheerful.
  • Trevor – prudent.
  • Valiant — brave.
  • Witt – wise.

Each dog is an individual, and they all have their own unique brand of personality. Some dogs can be quieter while others can’t seem to stay still for more than five seconds at a time.

You can also choose a name from the list above according to the personality trait that you would like your dog to assume as they grow up. For example, if you will train your dog to be a guard dog, name them Odin, which means “fury.” Or Valiant, which means “brave.”

By Color

puppies of different colors

Sometimes the easiest way to name them is by color. Let’s face it—dogs come in many colors, and their coats are often very beautiful. But don’t just settle for Whitey and Blackey because we have other suggestions below.

  • For dogs with bluish coats, good names include: Azure, Cobalt, Iris, Ocean, River, and Sapphire.
  • Dogs with red coat can be named: Adam, Amber, Cherry, Crimson, Flynn, Ginger, Phoenix, Scarlet, Poppy, Roy, Rufus, or Rusty.
  • Brown-haired dogs can be called: Caramel, Cinnamon, Khaki, Fawn, Tawny, Bruno (German for brown), and Choco.
  • Sandy or yellow colored dogs can have the following names: Boyd, Bowie (Gaelic for yellow), Daffodil, Sunshine, Sandy, and Topaz.
  • Names for dogs with grey coat are: Ash, Dove, Jin (or Gin), Slate, Sterling, Sky, Storm, Stone, Smokey, and Steel.
  • Good names for white-haired dogs are: Candice, Crystal, Fiona, Gavin, Gwen, Ivory, Pearl, and Jennifer (Cornish version of “white”).
  • For black coated dogs you can choose: Jett (or Jet), Onyx, Raven, Ebony, Charcoal, Cole (or Coal), Melanie, and Sable.
  • For dogs with patches on their coat, you can name them: Patches, Quilt, Puzzle, Chess, Polkadot, and Spots.

Tips for Naming Your Dog

We know that choosing a name is not only an exciting moment—it is also a very confusing one. There are so many names to choose from, and we all worry about giving our pets the wrong name.

Luckily, we have some tips for you to remember so that you can narrow down your choices and pick the most suitable name for your beloved canine friend.

#1: Take Your Time

small puppy

Your dog does not have to be named overnight. While it is important to teach your dog their name the soonest, there is no need to rush. It is better to wait a couple of days to let the excitement cool down so that you can be reasonable.

If you name your dog in haste and teach it to them, you might regret it in the future especially if it does not fit their personality.

If “Angel” is actually a rebellious pupper, giving yourself a few days can help to avoid this mistake. A couple of days of observation will reveal their traits, personality, and intelligence so that you can bestow a more fitting name for your friend.

#2: Try Out a Couple

If you’re still confused, try a couple of names before settling for one. For example, you can choose three names and see how it rolls off your tongue and how your dog responds.

Give each name 2-3 days to see how it suits your pet and then move on to the next. It’s best to pay attention to their response because they will be able to tell you if they liked the name or not.

Once you’ve chosen a name, teach it to your dog so that they will remember and answer you when you call.

#3: Remember to be Considerate

walking with a puppy

Your dog will not always stay at home, or you might need to yell their name in public. It is always important to remember to refrain from naming your dog anything that is considered as offensive.

For example, avoid racial slurs and politically incorrect terms. Not only will you dignify your dog, but you will also avoid fights or embarrassing yourself should you need to call their name in public.

Aside from racial slurs and offensive terms, avoid using names of loved ones that have passed away. While it is perfectly normal to want to remember a departed family member or friend, it might offend their family.

If you plan to name your dog after your dead grandfather, ask permission from your grandmother first. While most of us consider dogs our family, not all people (family included) feel the same way when it comes to pets.

#4: Avoid High-Pitched Sounds

Dogs do not actually understand you when you call their names or issue commands. According to experts, dogs respond to the pitch of your voice. In this case, it is better to avoid names that sound similar to commands.

For example, Kit can easily be confused with “sit.” The same is true for Bo (go or no), Neil (heel), Faith (wait), Clay (stay), and other commands. Dogs are smart but can’t actually distinguish individual words. They can only understand using pitch and sound.

Wrap Up

western dog

It is perfectly normal to go through a lot of thought when you’re naming a dog or puppy. After all, a dog’s name speaks volumes in terms of our own insights, personality, and sense of humor.

Every time you call your dog’s name, you’re revealing a little bit about yourself to strangers who pass by. For instance, the woman who was calling her dog “Bella” in the dog park must be a Twilight fan. If you call your dog “Einstein,” there might be other science or physics lovers nearby and can help you spark up a conversation—all because of your four-legged best friend.

So don’t be afraid to wait a couple of weeks before naming your dog. After all, names are very important, and it says a lot about you and your dog. Always remember that your dog deserves a good name. They give you unconditional love and companionship, and the least you can do is to reciprocate and to choose a worthy name.

Do you have any good western dog names? What do you think about our suggestions above? How do you go about choosing a name for your dog? Tell us by leaving a comment below. Once you’ve named your new pup, you’ll want to start helping them learn their name and training them in other things. Check out our article on puppy training schedule for help.

About the author
John Walton
John Walton

John Walton lives in Somerville, MA, with his two dogs, two sons, and very understanding mate. He is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, a mentor trainer for the Animal Behavior College, an AKC Certified CGC Evaluator, and the Training Director for the New England Dog Training Club.