Over 47% of New Jersey residents own a pet; that number is 29% for dogs. That’s a lot of dogs in the Garden State.

One of the most important first steps after taking a dog home is to give it a name. According to Camp Bow Wow, and reported by Shore News Network, the name should fit both their look and their temperament.

Animal Health and Behavioral Expert, Erin Askeland, MSc, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA, weighed in on the importance of dog names, stating that short, two-syllable names are best suited for training.


Askeland also answered one of the most common questions she gets: is it ok to rename a dog after it is adopted from a shelter? Askeland says, absolutely, you can rename the dog; just pick a name you’re going to stick with and give the dog a lot of positive reinforcement while breaking in the new name.

So, what then, is the most common name for a dog in New Jersey? It’s far from unique: a total of 25 states also claim it as the most popular.

Beagle dog running on a meadow
PrzemysÃÂÃÂâÃÂÃÂaw Iciak

That name is Luna.

Luna and Bella dominate the list; in fact, only seven states had a top name that wasn’t Luna or Bella:

🐶 Iowa = Lucy
🐶 Mississippi = Lucy
🐶 Utah = Charlie
🐶 Oklahoma = Buddy
🐶 Nebraska = Teddy
🐶 Rhode Island = Sadie
🐶 Illinois = Daisy

According to Camp Bow Wow, other names are rapidly becoming more popular, usually because of a pop culture influence. Some examples:

⚫ The series “Yellowstone” likely inspired a 254% increase in the name Dutton, the ranching family’s surname, and a 60% jump for Rip, the well-liked ranch hand
⚫ Hawkeye, the Marvel superhero, had an increase of 120%
⚫ Luca increased 60%, as a likely tribute to the Disney animated film of the same name

A man with his dog.
Gary Shannon

One final tip from the experts: never use your dog’s name in anger, only in a positive way.

LOOK: Longest-living dog breeds

To find out the longest-living dog breeds, Stacker examined data from the journal Genetics and American Kennel Club's 2023 breed popularity rankings. 

Gallery Credit: Sophia June

Check out these 50 fascinating facts about dogs:

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle only.

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