Most popular dog names of 2021: What made the Top 10?

Beagle Freedom Project rescue mission, Photo provided by Beagle Freedom Project
Beagle Freedom Project rescue mission, Photo provided by Beagle Freedom Project /
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The Most Popular Dog Names of 2021. Photo by Rover.
The Most Popular Dog Names of 2021. Photo by Rover. /

What are the most popular dog names of 2021 for female dogs?

The most popular dog names of 2021 for female dogs saw many of the same names returning, though the order was slightly shuffled from last year.

Falling outside the Top 10 this year were Chloe and Sadie, which were No. 10 and No. 6 last year, respectively.

Unless otherwise noted, all name origins and meanings come from Bruce Lansky’s 1998 book The Very Best Baby Name Book in the Whole World. 

No. 10 – Molly

2020 rank – No. 8

Molly is an Irish nickname for “Mary,” which is Hebrew for “bitter.” Harry Potter’s Molly Weasley likely plays a large role in this name’s resurgence over the past few decades, though it also just sounds playful and charming, which are very positive canine qualities.

No. 9 – Stella

2020 rank – No. 7

Stella is Latin for “star,” and given how much our pets brighten our lives, it seems quite fitting.

No. 8 – Bailey/Baylee/Baileigh

2020 rank – No. 10

This is an English name meaning “bailiff,” which is a court official who keeps order and occasionally looks after prisoners, among other duties. There are many, many spellings of this name, and possible inspiration could come from YouTuber/makeup artist Bailey Sarian or the Bailey family in the Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life.

No. 7 – Lola

2020 rank – No. 5

According to Lansky, Lola is Spanish in origin, and a shortened version of Carlotta, Dolores and Louise, which mean “womanly,”  “sorrowful” and “warrior,” respectively.

For most pet parents today, it instantly brings to mind Space Jam’s Lola Bunny, and given Zendaya taking over voicing the character in this summer’s Space Jam: A New Legacy, it’s not much of a surprise that it continues to stay highly ranked.

No. 6 – Lily

2020 rank – No. 15

A lily is a wildflower, of course, and actress Lily James and the Harry Potter character of Lily Potter likely contribute to the continued popularity of this name.

No. 5 – Zoe/Zoey

2020 rank – No. 14

Zoe is Greek for “life,” which seems like a perfect name for dogs, given how they live so in the moment all the time.

The TV series Zoey 101 and Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist probably contribute to this name’s high ranking in the popular consciousness, along with the Sesame Street Muppet of the same name.

No. 4 – Daisy

2020 rank – No. 4

Daisy is, of course, a pleasant wildflower, and has been one of the top girl dog names for what seems like forever.

Star Wars actress Daisy Ridley, the Nintendo character Princess Daisy (Princess Peach’s sister and Luigi’s girlfriend) and Chloe Bennet’s Agents of SHIELD character Daisy Johnson may have been inspirations here as well.

No. 3 – Lucy

2020 rank – No. 3

Lucy comes from Latin for “bringer of light,” and Lansky notes that it’s a female form of the male name Lucius.

Some of the inspirations for this name may include actresses Lucille Ball and Lucy Lawless, or Lucy Van Pelt from the Peanuts comic strip.

No. 2 – Luna

2020 rank – No. 2

Luna comes from Latin for “moon,” and it’s where we get the word “lunatic” from.

No. 1 – Bella

2020 rank – No. 1

Lansky says that Bella comes from Latin for “beautiful,” and it’s a simple two-syllable name that’s easy and quick to spell, while the final vowel stretches out a nice distance when hollered.

It also could be a shortened form of Isabella (for Phineas and Ferb fans) or an alternate version of Beauty and the Beast‘s Belle.

Now it’s time for the most popular dog names of 2021 for boy dogs.