It seems odd that there could be a list of the worst dog names, out there because it’s almost impossible for me to imagine any name not being cute somehow. However, there are some names that spill into the category of being inappropriate, or even offensive.
Besides this, there is actually a science behind how what you name your dog impacts your relationship with them, sometimes not in a good way.
So, if you have even the tiniest suspicion that your name pick is a little too weird, you may want to check up on a list of the worst dog names.
Names with an unconscious bias.
According to The Wildest, there are names that can trigger emotions in owners — good and bad— and impact how they see their dog's behavior. For example, if you name your dog “Baby,” you are more likely to excuse their bad behavior, which could lead to serious problems down the road.
Names that cause alarm.
How we refer to our dogs not only affects how we see them but how others do as well. For example, your German Shepherd could be the nicest on the block, but with a name like “Danger,” or “Killer,” it would be harder to see them that way. It could make your neighbors more hesitant around your dog, or worse, be taken out of context when you are calling them. If you were at a park and someone yelled “Killer,” a nice dog is probably not the first thing you think they are referring to, per The Wildest.
Names that are offensive.
Some of these may seem obvious, but you never know. Names like “Al Coholic,” “Adolf,” curse words, or really anything you wouldn’t want to say in public because of how it could affect people is not a good name for your dog, or generally anything, per Bark & Co.
Names that could be mistaken for another word, possibly a rude word.
This category is more of a warning. If you name your dog “Buck,” there is a chance people will think you are yelling something else. So, take careful consideration when you are choosing names that rhyme with other words, per Pet Helpful.
Names with no thought and no creativity.
This is a much less serious category, but still arguably important. Names that lack any sort of creativity, or even thought for that matter, just don’t translate well in the dog-lover community. For example, naming your dog "Brown" because they are brown, or "Dog" just because they are a dog. Yes, there is nothing wrong with this, but you may get some looks at the dog park when you let “Brown” or “Dog” off the leash, per Pet Helpful.
Here are some examples of bad names:
If you just came here for a list of what not to do, some obvious no-gos would be names like: Help, Fire, Thief, Bomb, or any emergency terminology, per The Wildest.
Need more examples? In 2021, Reddit user u/Lia_Julee asked "Vets of Reddit, What was the worst pet name you have ever encountered in your job?" Among the worst responses were names like: Sexy, Meat Stack, Dump Truck, and Dave.
If it’s too late and your puppy is already christened with their not-so-good name, there is always the nickname route.