Top 10 Trendiest Dog Names of the Year

We've already examined the most popular puppy names of 2012, but just finding out which names we're most likely to hear at the dog park wasn't quite enough. We wanted to look at which monikers were on the rise, so we dug a little deeper to determine the 10 trendiest names of 2012.

To do so, we hit up Vetstreet's data, which includes information about 1.26 million dogs. We looked at where the names were in 2003 and 2012; those that moved up the most made the list. Of course, some names fell off the list completely in the past decade — Elvis, Ozzie and Cassie among them. Some of these were replaced by newer names like Thor and Athena that, despite a late entry to the Top 100, have become popular enough that they, too, were included. [See Also: 10 Least-Trendy Dog Names]

Exploring 2012's Dog Name Trends


No. 1: Dexter and Luna

Dexter rose in popularity the most of all male dog names, starting at No. 99 in 2003 and landing at No. 25 in 2012.

Luna's rise in popularity was even more meteoric, also beginning at No. 99 in 2003 and rising to No. 19 last year.


No. 2: Thor and Layla

Although Thor didn't even appear on the Most Popular list back in 2003, it climbed to No. 27 in 2012, after making the list for the first time in 2010. Not coincidentally, the movie Thor came out in 2011, and the main character in that movie also starred in last year's top film, The Avengers.

Layla, at No. 37, might not have box office stats to compare to Thor, but it’s also risen quickly, cracking the Top 100 in 2004 and hitting No. 37 last year.


No. 3: Gunner and Piper

Gunner first came on our radar in 2004, and ever since then, it’s climbed in popularity, ranking now at No. 28.

Piper, which now holds the No. 42 spot, broke into the Top 100 in 2006 and quickly gained steam.


No. 4: Bentley and Nala

Bentley is a star on the rise, joining the Top 100 in 2002 and hitting No. 7 last year. It’s been one of the Top 10 male dog names for the past three years.

Nala, a name from one of our favorite animated films, The Lion King, was the No. 25 most popular name last year, after first making the Top 100 back in 2003.


No. 5: Jax and Stella

At No. 35, Jax isn’t one of the most popular names, but it’s moved up the ranks quickly considering it wasn’t in the Top 100 until 2009. One interesting tidbit: The name Jackson has declined over the past five years, and this is the first time Jax has earned a more popular spot than its longer counterpart.

Stella made the Top 100 for the first time back in 2001 and hit No. 22 last year. Could the adorable Frenchie on Modern Family have something to do with the name's rise in popularity?


No. 6: Ace and Willow

Ace first made the Top 100 in 2003. It rose to No. 31 in 2012, perhaps due to the recent trend of owners choosing old-school human nicknames for their pets.

Willow, hitting the Top 100 in 2009, has made quite the impression, rising to No. 59 last year.


No. 7: Leo and Maya

Leo, the 30th most popular name overall, made the Top 100 list for the first time in 2001 and has been climbing up the chart ever since.

Maya joined the Top 100 list back in 2005, rising to No. 60 by 2012.


No. 8: King and Athena

Although it may seem like an established and stately name, King, the No. 51 name, didn’t break into the Top 100 until 2006, making it a relative newcomer.

Athena is an even more recent addition to the list of popular names, joining the Top 100 in 2010 and rising sharply over the last couple of years, hitting No. 62 in 2012.


No. 9: Simba and Charlie

Simba, currently No. 53, first became popular during the mid-nineties, thanks to The Lion King. It dropped out of the Top 100 in 2001, but came back in 2009, seeing a major surge in popularity over the past few years.

Traditionally a male dog name, Charlie has become a favorite for female dogs, joining the Top 100 in 2010.


No. 10: Milo and Ella

Milo claimed the No. 17 spot in 2012, marking its first entrance into the Top 20.

Ella joined the ranks of the Top 100 in 2006 and has remained a prevalent pick since then, grabbing the No. 64 slot in 2012.

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