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Adding a new large breed dog to your family can be quite an ordeal and saddle you with a ton of responsibilities. You’ll have to find a good vet and get your new pet vaccinated, you’ll need to purchase all of the toys, beds, crates and other items your dog will need, and you’ll need to start teaching your dog the house rules.
But you’ll have one other crucial duty to perform: You must name your big dog.
This is usually one of the fun things new owners get to do, but it can also cause a bit of consternation. After all, naming your dog is a big decision. With a bit of luck, you’ll be using your dog’s name for a decade or more, so it is important to pick a good one.
We’ll try to help you do exactly that below. We’ll discuss some of the principles to keep in mind when picking a name and provide 400 different big dog names that you may find suitable for your pet.
Even if you don’t find a name you like among those listed here, they may provide a bit of inspiration, which will help you come up with one on your own.
There aren’t many rules to follow when naming your dog, but you will want to keep a few things in mind when christening your pet. This includes:
While you can give your dog a one-syllable name, two-syllable names tend to work best and roll off the tongue more effectively when you’re calling your pet. Three- or four-syllable names will work, and they’re likely more effective than one-syllable names, but they can be a bit of a mouthful to say repeatedly.
It’s also important to note that most basic commands you’ll teach your dog will be one-syllable worlds, providing yet another reason to opt for a two-syllable name.
Dogs may be able smart animals who can learn dozens of spoken commands, but they don’t really understand language. They’ll frequently confuse words that sound alike, and this includes words that rhyme. So, think through the most common commands you’ll teach your dog, and try to avoid picking a name that rhymes.
For example, you may want to avoid naming your dog “Shay,” as it rhymes with “Lay.”
Many owners get a bit mischievous or silly when naming their dog, but you should use caution when doing so. Your dog doesn’t care what his name is, but you’ll be forced to share his name with your vet, people at the dog park and when traveling with your pet.
Accordingly, you should avoid giving your dog any name you’d be too embarrassed to utter in public.
You’ll need to emblazon your new big dog’s name on his ID tag, and many owners also like to have their dog’s water bowl, bed or other items monogrammed. This is usually easy for dogs with short names, but it can become a problem if you give your dog a lengthy name.
We’ve listed 400 of the best big dog names below. Feel free to use any of the ones listed or use them as inspiration for other names you devise on your own.
We’ve grouped the names into a few categories to help make the list easier for you to browse. However, many of these names could arguably fit into several different categories, so don’t take our groupings too seriously.
We’ve also tried to provide a roughly (pardon the pun) 50-50 mix of male dog names and female dog names, but many are equally appropriate for dogs of either sex.
Classic names are those that have been used a million times before, and they’ll likely be used a million more times in the future. You aren’t going to win any creativity contests with these names, but there is a reason most of these have become so popular.
Owners who like to make people giggle may enjoy giving their dog a humorous name. Just be careful not to be offensive while doing so.
If you acquired a dog to keep an eye on your house and help you feel safer, you may find that an intimidating name is most appropriate.
Pop-culture names are currently popular among many dog owners. Just remember that you aren’t limited to other dog names – you can also name your dog after celebrities, TV characters, athletes and musicians too.
Some owners like to give their dog a name that speaks to their heritage. For example, you may want to select a Russian dog name for your black Russian terrier or an Italian dog name for your Cane Corso.
Here are 100 more names that some of our readers submitted. Feel free to recommend your own additions in the comments below!
Remember to have fun while picking your dog’s name. It is a big and long-standing decision, but as long as you don’t mind yelling it in the middle of the night when your dog’s barking in the backyard, then you can select just about anything you like.
Let us know your favorite big dog names in the comments below. We may even add your suggestions to our list.
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