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The Most Popular Dog Name in Each State

Are you a part of the pack or doing your own thing?

by Sio Hornbuckle
January 26, 2024
German Shepherd Dog And Woman In Coutryside.
Balazs Kovacs / Stocksy

Every state has its own identity. California has palm trees and surfing, Minnesota has accents and parkas, Maine has lobsters and Stephen King…you get it. But when it comes to naming dogs, it turns out that we’re a pretty undivided nation, after all. A U.S. News report breaks down the most popular dog names by state — and let’s just say, some states are a little more creative than others. 

Three names are the most popular in a majority of states

If you’re curious which dog name is the most beloved (or overdone, depending on your point of view) in your state, odds are it’s one of three. Yep — only three dog names are the most popular name in all states but four. 


If you call “Bella!” in a dog park, chances are a good number of pups will turn their heads. Bella topped the list as the most popular dog name nationwide — in fact, it’s the most popular name in over 37 states, plus Washington D.C. Five percent of all dogs in the U.S. are named Bella. 

States where the most popular dog name is Bella are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington D.C., West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Whew. 

These might not be the most original states in the nation, but on the other hand, it’s a classic for a reason. There are plenty of Bellas to go around.


Another favorite throughout the ages, Luna is the most popular dog name in California, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, Vermont, and Washington. A name that’s in Roman mythology and the Harry Potter books? Other puppy names don stand a chance. 


Only two states have Charlie as their most popular pick: Nebraska and North Dakota. According to the report, Charlie is the fifth most popular dog name in the nation. 

States with unique top names

Only four states had a most popular name that was totally unique. We tip our hats to Alaska, Hawaii, Iowa, and Montana (not that we don’t love the Bellas, Lunas, and Charlies of the world). 


Copper is the most popular dog name in Alaska, home to the Copper River. Nationwide, it didn’t even place in the top 100 most popular dog names. That’s true local pride. 


In Hawaii, more pups are called Boo than any other name. Boo doesn’t place in the top 100 dog names nationwide, either — props to Hawaii for individuality.


Lucy is the most popular pup name in Iowa. It’s not quite “Copper” or “Boo” level unique, though: Lucy places in the top five most popular dog names in many states and is the eighth most popular dog name in the nation. 


Okay, so really three and a half states have unique top name choices: Montana’s most popular name is actually in a tie with Luna. Molly is the twelfth most popular dog name nationwide. 

Some more findings

Interestingly, Max and Daisy are the third and fourth most popular dog names in the country overall, but they weren’t the most popular choice in any individual state. The other names in the top ten (besides Bella, Luna, Charlie, Lucy, Max, and Daisy) are Coco, Buddy, Milo, and Bailey. 

People really like naming their dogs after deities (hey, we get it). Zeus is the 40th most popular name nationwide, Thor is the 76th, and Loki is the 38th. 

Bella, the most popular pup name nationwide by far, didn’t even make the top five most popular dog names in South Dakota and North Dakota. 

Whatever your pup’s name (and however common it may be): We know, they’re perfect. If their name is Bella, they’re the best Bella of them all — and they’re in great company. If their name is Copper, they’re perfect, too…and we wish them luck sticking out that Alaska winter.

Sio Hornbuckle

Sio Hornbuckle is a writer living in New York City with their cat, Toni Collette.

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