Most Popular Names for Small Dog Breeds

We've looked at the most popular names for large and medium-size dog breeds, and, now, it's time for small dogs! We dug into our database of more than 3.2 million names for the 10 most popular small dog breeds to determine which ones are most common among the pint-size canine crowd.

We went to the American Kennel Club to determine the 10 most popular small dog breeds and came back with the following list: Yorkshire Terrier, Miniature Schnauzer, Shih Tzu, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Pomeranian, Boston Terrier, Chihuahua, Havanese, Maltese and Pug. In the slideshow below, you'll find the top three names (in order from No. 1 to No. 3) for each breed. And don't miss some of the interesting data we discovered down the page!

Most Popular Names for Top 10 Small Dog Breeds

Pug Tongue Out Looking at Camera

Leesia Teh, Animal Photography

No. 10: Pug

Female: Bella, Lucy, Daisy
Male: Max, Pugsley, Otis


Eva-Maria Kramer, Animal Photography

No. 9: Maltese

Female: Bella, Molly, Daisy
Male: Max, Buddy, Charlie


Sally Anne Thompson, Animal Photography

No. 8: Havanese

Female: Bella, Lucy, Sophie
Male: Max, Charlie, Buddy

Chihuahua dog breed

Sally Anne Thompson, Animal Photography

No. 7: Chihuahua

Female: Bella, Princess, Daisy
Male: Chico, Buddy, Peanut

Boston Terrier

Karin Newstrom, Animal Photography

No. 6: Boston Terrier

Female: Lucy, Daisy, Molly
Male: Buster, Buddy, Max


Karin Newstrom, Animal Photography

No. 5: Pomeranian

Female: Foxy, Princess, Bella
Male: Bear, Teddy, Gizmo

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Leesia Teh, Animal Photography

No. 4: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Female: Bella, Molly, Lucy
Male: Charlie, Max, Winston

Shih Tzu

Sally Anne Thompson, Animal Photography

No. 3: Shih Tzu

Female: Molly, Bella, Daisy
Male: Gizmo, Max, Buddy

Salt and pepper Miniature Schnauzer standing on stairs

Karin Newstrom, Animal Photography

No. 2: Miniature Schnauzer

Female: Heidi, Molly, Maggie
Male: Max, Pepper, Buddy

Yorkshire Terrier dog breed

Sally Anne Thompson, Animal Photography

No. 1: Yorkshire Terrier

Female: Bella, Molly, Sophie
Male: Max, Buddy, Toby

Most Common Monikers

Bella, the most popular female puppy name of the year, made the top 10 for every breed on this list. It was No. 1 for six small dog breeds (with eight total appearances in the top three), which is particularly interesting given that Bella only nabbed that top spot for one medium and two large breeds. Max fared just about as well, with a top-10 spot for all 10 small breeds, eight of them in the top three and five at No. 1.

Other names that popped up over and over in the top three were Buddy with seven appearances, Molly with six and Daisy with five.

Breed-Specific Names

Some of these names were so perfect for certain breeds that they didn't show up in the top three for any other breeds. The Pug, for example, was the only breed with Pugsley, and nobody but the Chihuahua had Chico at the top of the list. But it was really the Pomeranian who had the standout names among the small breeds. The top female name, Foxy, certainly fits this Spitz breed's fox-like appearance. Two of the top three most popular male Pom names were also related to this cute little guy's appearance: Teddy and Bear. Aww.

Others that appeared only in the top three for one breed were Pepper and Heidi ( Miniature Schnauzer), Peanut ( Chihuahua), Winston ( Cavalier King Charles Spaniel), Buster ( Boston Terrier), Otis ( Pug) and Toby (Yorkie). One name that truly surprised us was Maggie — although it appeared in the top three four times each for both large and medium breeds, it grabbed only one spot for small breeds, as No. 3 for the Miniature Schnauzer.

What About Poodles?

Wondering where the Poodles are? It's true; the Miniature and Toy Poodles both belong in the small breed category, and, in fact, would rank as the AKC's second most popular small breed after the Yorkie. However, the data for the most common names of  Poodles was not broken down into Toy, Miniature and Standard, so we elected to leave it out of the slideshow. The top  Poodle names lined up pretty well with many of the other popular names on this list: Molly, Bella and Daisy for females; and Max, Buddy and Charlie for males.

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