Canines’ names quite a collection

Dog owner Tim Hogan, of Dunedin, crouches with his 7-month-old Hungarian Vizsla puppy Luna...
Dog owner Tim Hogan, of Dunedin, crouches with his 7-month-old Hungarian Vizsla puppy Luna yesterday. Luna has the 10th most popular name in the city, sharing her moniker with 128 furry friends. PHOTO: LINDA ROBERTSON
The names chosen by Dunedin dog owners range from the banal to the bizarre.

In 2021, 234 dogs were called Bella, which made the moniker the most popular name for the fifth year running.

The 2021 top 10 was rounded out by Poppy (206), Charlie (199), Molly (196), Max (186), Ruby (174), Lucy (140), Toby (137), Luna (128) and Ted (123).

In 2021, out of the 4667 registered names held by the council, 2865 were unique, including Boi Boi, Lord Furball Mac Fluffy, F1 Hippo and Sam M’Man.

In a taxonomically puzzling trend, many canines appear to have been named after other animals, including Bear (89), Tui (87), Wolf (16), Mouse (15), Raven (12), Panda (10), Badger (8), Bee (7), Possum (5), Goose (4) and Midge (3) and Caribou (1).

Many were also named after plants, such as Daisy (119), Lily (79), Willow (69), Holly (62), Fern (25), Clover (7), Tussock (5) and Dandelion (1).

Many Dunedinites showed their love of the modern age by bestowing on their best friend a name with a mechanical theme, including Rusty (52), Jet (44), Diesel (42), Harley (57), Gizmo (27), Dozer (17), Rocket (15), Turbo (5) and Sparks (1)

However, names such as Pixel (2) and Meme (1) remain in the single digits, suggesting Dunedin residents are slow to embrace the digital revolution.

Naming dogs after food was more popular, as shown by Honey (63), Pepper (57), Milo (54), Basil (35), Olive (26), Chilli (10), Biscuit (6), Brie (4), Marmite (3), Pickle (2) and Potato (1).

Missy (63), Boy (18) and Lady (16) show that there is an appetite by some for unambiguously gendered pet names.

Other names had divine themes, such as Loki (47), Zeus (46), Odin (23), Thor (12), Pluto (7), Athena (5) and Venus (3).

A number of dogs appeared to be named after veiled drug references, including Blaze (35), Ice (13) and Bud (10), however, all these names are less common than they were in 2018.

When it came to alcohol, Dunedin residents seemed to show little abatement in their passion for intoxicant themed dog names in 2021.

Whiskey (4), Guinness (4) and Beer (2) all increased in popularity since 2018, while Speights (4) and Shiraz (2) stayed steady.

One of the odder names given to multiple dogs was Gooseberry Wiggles (2).

Bus Stop, Rona, Bombus, Cloud Marshmallow, Missy Moo, Rip 1 and Ella Bella Rocket Snake were other completely idiosyncratic offerings.

Most common dog names registered in 2021:

  1. Bella
  2. Poppy
  3. Charlie
  4. Molly
  5. Max
  6. Ruby
  7. Lucy
  8. Toby
  9. Luna
  10. Ted



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