Is your dog named Luna, Bella, or Charlie? If so, you might be a trendsetter. These names are among the top 10 most popular dog names right now.

Keep reading to see trending dog names by breed and size, as well as head-to-head comparisons of dog names from pop culture.

We’re grateful that millions of pet owners have chosen Embark to test their dog’s DNA. To find these dog name trends, our scientists analyzed our database of over two million Embarked dogs.

“We compared dog names against outputs of Embark’s results algorithms—like a dog’s breed or breed mix, or their predicted weight as an adult—to find patterns that only emerge in large data sets,” says Thom Nelson, PhD, Senior Scientist at Embark. “When analyzing any particular dog name, we required that we find at least 150 dogs with that name in our database (that still leaves a lot of dog names* in a database this size!) so that no one dog can influence our results too much.”

*Did you know? We have over 150 dogs named Nimbus, Schatzi, and Bruce Wayne!

  1. Luna
  2. Bella
  3. Charlie
  4. Lucy
  5. Daisy
  6. Cooper
  7. Bailey
  8. Max
  9. Sadie
  10. Penny

While most breeds shared the 10 most popular dog names shown above, there were a few exceptions. Here are the standouts that made into the top 10 names for certain breeds:

Dog names according to dog size

Some names are great for big dogs and some names are perfect for little dogs. We asked, on average, how big are dogs with a given name?

Here, Dr. Nelson shares the top 30 dog names according to dog size, shown alongside the average predicted weight for each name.

Small dogs

These dogs may be small, but we’re sure they have large personalities. The names on this list celebrate all things tiny:

  1. Peanut (29.5 lbs)
  2. Mini (29.3 lbs)
  3. Muffin (29.1 lbs) 
  4. Mitzi (28.3 lbs)
  5. Gidget (28.0 lbs)
  6. Mimi (28.0 lbs)
  7. Wicket (27.3 lbs)
  8. Pepe (27.0 lbs) 
  9. Scruffy (26.8 lbs)
  10. Toto (23.3 lbs)

Medium-sized dogs

We found many common human names among the names in this category. These medium-sized dog names are anything but mid:

  1. Rylee (45.8 lbs)
  2. Aria (45.8 lbs)
  3. Peyton (45.8 lbs)
  4. Raya (45.8 lbs)
  5. Lucas (45.8 lbs)
  6. Sailor (45.8 lbs)
  7. Shelby (45.9 lbs)
  8. Marley (45.9 lbs) 
  9. Meadow (45.9 lbs)
  10. Noah (45.9 lbs)

Large dogs

The top names for large dogs evoke the world of fantasy. These are the dogs of myth and legend, kings of the underworld, and gods of war:

  1. Hades (62.7 lbs)
  2. Cain (62.8 lbs) 
  3. Ares (63.0 lbs)
  4. Creed (63.4 lbs)
  5. Kane (63.5 lbs)
  6. Barrett (63.7 lbs)
  7. Bane (64.1 lbs)
  8. Kaiser (64.4 lbs)
  9. Drogo (64.8 lbs)
  10. Kratos (65.8 lbs)

With over two million dogs and counting, there’s no shortage of epic names. We thought it would be fun to settle some friendly debates and see who comes out on top!

For the following head-to-head matchups, each winner is shown in bold, and the number of dogs with each name is shown in parentheses.

Here are the results of some of our favorite epic rivalries between popular fictional characters:

  1. Batman (234) vs. Superman (11)
  2. Tom (118) vs. Jerry (406)
  3. Mario (124) vs. Bowser (530)
  4. Thor (2,455) vs. Loki (5,749)
  5. Iron Man (7) vs. Captain America (34)
  6. Barbie (132) vs. Ken (28)
  7. Edward (110) vs. Jacob (162)
  8. Bert (293) vs. Ernie (680)
  9. Peeta (22) vs. Gale (17)

We suspect that the popularity of Batman among Embark customers might have something to do with the Batman gene, MC1R, which can give a dog a black “mask.”

Interested in more dogs from popular fiction? Read about how we decoded Clifford, Scooby-Doo, and Max from How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Peanut butter or jelly? Coke or Pepsi? We settle the debate for good.

  1. Vanilla (48) vs. Chocolate (105)
  2. Hot Dog (7) vs. Hamburger (326)
  3. Waffles (679) vs. Pancakes (44)
  4. Peanut Butter (125) vs. Jelly (184)
  5. Coke (5) vs. Pepsi (133)
  6. Soup (22) vs. Salad (2)

Two million dogs means a lot of one-of-a-kind names. Read more about Lieutenant Dan, Mason Mason, and Bamm-Bamm, three of the many special dogs who have tested with Embark.

Interested in more dog data? Read about the most cuddly dog breeds or check out The State of Dog Care to see how your state ranks in popular dog care trends.

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At Embark, we’re constantly working toward making new discoveries using our DNA data—and we can’t do it without your help. Join us and contribute to research at Embark by filling out your dog’s health surveys in their Embark profile.

Thom Nelson, PhD Scientist

Thom Nelson, PhD, is a Senior Scientist in Computational Biology at Embark. He manages and analyzes research data at Embark, including our research surveys. Prior to his role at Embark, Thom earned his PhD at the University of Oregon studying genetics and evolution and was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Montana studying wildflowers across the American West. Outside of work, Thom is a runner, a baseball fan, and a loving but often irritated dog dad to Willie.

Read more about Thom Nelson, PhD

Mimi Padmabandu Contributor

Mimi Padmabandu is a scientific writer and Content Strategy Lead at Embark Veterinary. She has over a decade of experience writing about science and genomics for leading biotechnology companies. She holds a bachelor's degree in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology from UCLA and a master’s degree in Early Modern English Literature from King’s College London.

Read more about Mimi Padmabandu

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