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To show the world how special your dog is, you’re determined to find a unique dog names that no other dog has. The name that makes everyone who hear it ask for the origin and your inspiration. They demand to know where you came up with the idea. And you never get tired of telling the story.
Choosing a unique name for your dog is challenging task. You have to think:
- Will you end up going SO obscure that no one understands the reference? (Think of all those vintage sci-fi novels in the attic)
- Could you fall in love with a name that’s difficult to spell or pronounce? (I did this when I named a cat Nimue—Nim-a-way—after the Celtic goddess of the moon. It caused so much trouble)
- Or will your need for uniqueness prompt more questions than admiration?
Here at Rover, we skimmed through our name database for the most unusual names (for any gender) entered by dog parents. These are names that fall within the top 1,100 dog names but are on the bottom of the list. Chances are you won’t find dogs named like this at your vet, dog park, or neighborhood.
20 Rare Female Dog Names
If you’re looking for a unique female dog name for your stellar girl, you won’t hear many of these at puppy kindergarten.
- June Bug
- Lil Bit
20 Rare Male Dog Names
Do you have boy who makes one-in-a-million facial expressions? These rare and unusual male dog names are sure to inspire.Ali
40 Distinctive Names for Dog of Any Size
Dogs come in different shapes and sizes. And taking that variety into consideration is a perfect inspiration for a rare dog name. We compiled the strange and unusual regarding the tiny and large.
Rare small dog names
Rare medium dog names
- Sweet Pea
Rare large dog names
Rare extra-large dog names
Funny Unique Dog Names
Some of the best weird names provoke a chuckle or giggle. What’s the use of being unique if you can’t be funny? These names are our favorites for making people smile.
- Jimmy Chew
- Jimmy Kibble
- Beau Dacious
- Koby Teeth
- Reeses Puppycups
- Casper the Friendly Dog
- Baby Boomer
- Buzz Pawldrin
- Winston Furchill
- Crunchwrap Supreme
Unique Food Names for Dogs
Foods is one of the best categories for dog names, but you also have to get away from the standard burgers and fries.
- Colby Jack
- Jack Daniels
Top 100 Rare and Uncommon Dog Names from A to Z
- Sweet Pea
Where to Find Inspiration for Unique Dog Names
Anything can serve as inspiration! First, skip over any of the most popular lists in your research. Then consider:
- People you know: You probably want to check with your relatives before you borrow their names, but reading through lists of baby names is an excellent place to start.
- Foods: Do you have a dish that brings you joy? Ue that as your inspiration for a rare or weird dog name.
- Secondary characters: The most popular main characters in movies, television, and books usually turn into dog names. But what about secondary characters? This is a way to pay homage with a unique spin.
- Colors: There are many ways to describe colors beyond your standard Red, Sable, and Snowy. Sit down with a box of crayons and see how they label similar colors.
- Your roots and culture: Does your family culture have roots in a different language? Or does your dog’s breed come from a foreign country? Those backgrounds may not seem unique, but when you choose a word or name from that region, it sounds inspired.
For instance, Gobi is Filipino for “night.” Night, by itself, is a basic vocabulary word. And naming a black dog “night” isn’t that unusual. But there aren’t too many named Gobi out there. It instantly elevates your dog to special. And it allows you to discuss your heritage or your dog’s background!
As long as you take the time to think through the process, you’ll end up with one you—and your dog—can live with. You can also…
Get inspiration from the AKC
A pedigree name is an official designation for dog owners with registered purebred dogs. The impressive names, such as GCHG CH Lagniappe’s From The Mountains To The Bayou in 2021, are long to help differentiate the dog from every other registered under that breed. You can look through the AKC’s site to see what names populate the registry of your dog’s breed.
But even if you don’t have a purebred, this practice can be a good way to find your dog’s unique name. Use your imagination to create a history for your dog.
Create a long name with 36 characters and then shorten it, to a nickname. GCHG CH Lagniappe’s From The Mountains To The Bayou’s call name? Bayou.
Use nicknames to create a rare dog name
Let’s take Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious for example. Sure this name wouldn’t be common, but it’s a mouthful. Odds are your dog will lose interest before you get all those syllables out!
However, you can shorten the name down to Docious. Still unusual, but not complicated. And when someone asks, you can launch into how your favorite movie is Mary Poppins.
Leaning into your roots and culture
Does your family culture have roots in a different language? Or does your dog’s breed come from a foreign country? Those backgrounds may not seem unique, but the average person doesn’t recognize them. So when you choose a word or name from that region, it SOUNDS inspired.
For instance, Gobi is Filipino for “night.” Night, by itself, is a basic vocabulary word. And naming a black dog “night” isn’t that unusual. But there aren’t too many named Gobi out there. It instantly elevates YOUR dog to special. And it allows you to discuss your heritage or your dog’s background!
Verify your rare dog name with a sniff and search
There’s an easy way to test whether your dog’s name is truly unique.
Run a quick search on the popularity of the name:
- Google “Name + breed” and see what results come back. (You may not see ANYTHING if you went super-unique)
- Go to Instagram and look for #Name. How many results pop up? Do you see pet photos?
- Search TikTok videos for “Name” and see if you find dog videos.
In this case, the FEWER results you find, the weirder—and rarer!—your dog’s name. Don’t overthink naming your dog though. There are still basic rules for naming a dog to consider.
More Dog Name Inspiration
Choosing a unique name challenges your brain to think outside the box. But this is only the tip of the iceberg.
If you’re looking for more inspiration in your rare dog name hunt, look below:
- Top Cute Names for Dogs
- Gorgeous Flower Names for Dogs
- Literary Dog Names for Bookish Dogs
- Top Black Dog Names
- Best White Dog Names
- Common Brown Dog Names
…and the list goes on! You can always duck into our name generator for more rare and weird ideas.
Need Dog Care?
Your unique dog deserves great dog care. You’ve found that unusual name, and now it’s time to find the perfect pet sitter or dog walker.
Find your dog’s perfect match, right from your phone—and then hit the road happy.