Wackiest Dog Names
Pet Owners Describe How They Named Their Dogs
For many a dog owner, Max sounds mundane and Bailey is simply boring. In order to pay homage to those who take pride in their pets’ unconventional names, VPI Pet Insurance set out for the third year in a row to find the 50 most unusual dog names in the United States. VPI employees selected 50 unusual dog names from the company’s database of more than 485,000 insured pets, and narrowed them down by voting for the most unusual names in each category.
Here, the most popular dog-naming winners reveal how they came up with such quirky names.
Pickle Von Corndog
Sometimes a dog just looks like what he is, and for owners Jason and Siobhan Engdahl, their 1-year-old mixed breed looked like a “Pickle.” “We like to pickle and brew things in our home,” Jason says, “We happen to have a lot of pickle cookbooks as well. One day Siobhan came home with the little woofer, and I had just looked at a cookbook called "Pickled" and I said ‘Pickle.’ And Siobhan said ‘Pickle,’ and Pickle wagged his tail. It just seemed right.”
The addition of “Von Corndog” came a few days later when the Engdahl’s decided that name was a good one as well but that they didn’t want to wait to add another dog to their home before using it. Thus, “Pickle Von Corndog” was born. Pickle’s interests include resting in laps, hording tennis balls, tagging along during bicycle rides and, interestingly enough, foreign languages. “We recently found out that Pickle speaks French,” Jason says. “After returning from a recent bike trip in France, we said "Cornichon! Allons-y!" (“Pickle! Let’s go!”), and he responded the same way as when we spoke English. We really had no idea that he was so continental.”
Lord Chubby Pruneface
When it comes to naming your dog, you don’t want to repeat yourself. “My husband and I have a dog named ‘Mr. Waddles,’” says Lord Chubby Pruneface’s owner, Maryann Plettenberg, “so we didn’t want to go with another ‘Mr.’ name. That would be too confusing.” After tossing around more conventional monikers, inspiration struck when Maryann decided on the royal prefix “Lord” for the pug.
“We eat at a restaurant called ‘Chubby’s,’ so that’s how we came up with that. It’s fun to say.” However, the Plettenberg’s felt the name still needed a little something extra. “We kept looking at him and looking at him, and we decided he reminded us of a prune because his face is wrinkly. So: ‘Lord Chubby Pruneface’.” While Maryann says she prefers pet names that are “different,” she has her limits. “Just remember that at night, you’re going to have to call the dog in,” she says. “So you don’t want to go with ‘Here, ‘Sissy Face!’”
“Badonkadonk” might not be the first name that comes to mind when you think of a lean, muscular Doberman pinscher. But as the saying goes, sometimes a name just fits. “Back when we got Badonkadonk seven years ago,” says owner Melissa Hummer, “we had recently heard the word on a TV show. Then we heard it in the song ‘Work It’ by Missy Elliott. We liked the word and used to joke around saying the word with friends. As it happens, the little girls I was nannying for at the time thought the word was funny. When we got our new puppy, the little girls insisted we name him Badonkadonk and we thought it was perfect.” Aside from placing 3rd in this year’s VPI “Wacky Dog Names” list, Badonkadonk can count community service as another of his accomplishments. “He does charity work for a program called K9 Connection,” Melissa says. “K9 Connection places at-risk youth with shelter dogs and helps the dogs get trained so that they are better candidates for adoption.”
If it weren’t for owner Emily Meyer, you would not be reading about Ninjastar Dangerrock now. “Her given name at the shelter, ‘Cinderella,’ was not going to do,” Emily says. “I adopted Ninja when she was 8 months old,” she continued, “and she was already a fetch fanatic. At the shelter, they had small fenced in dog runs where we would throw the ball everyday until the paperwork went through for adoption. Occasionally, the ball would bounce off a tree in the middle of the run, and Ninja would actually run up the tree and acrobatically push off to catch the ball mid-air. ‘Ninjastar Dangerrock’ better exemplified her assassin skill set.”
Ninjastar Dangerrock continues to love playing with her ball, either by making sure everyone she meets has a chance to have a round of fetch with her or by coming up with games to play by herself. “She’s always playful,” Emily says, “so I’ll take her out in the morning before work, which can be pretty dark except for streetlights outside our yard. She went through a phase where she would only run in the shadows cast by the streetlights.” Once a ninja, always a ninja.
Erin Whitcomb likes to look at a dog’s personality when choosing a name. And to Erin, her mixed puppy looked like a fighter. “She had a tough start,” Erin says of her young mix. “She had ringworm and a lot of other health issues. As she got healthier, we thought of the ‘Unsinkable Molly Brown,’ and Molly stuck out for us even though it’s so common.” Erin and her fiancé went further and considered how the dog’s markings might come into play. “She’s a unique half-Lab/half-shepherd, we think, and the markings make her look like she’s had a hard night of drinking. That’s how we got ‘Molly McBoozehound.’” Erin admits she occasionally gets funny looks when introducing Molly McBoozehound to new people. “People laugh a little bit,” she says. “People are like ‘Oh…’ They probably think my fiancé and I drink a lot!”
Leave it to a kid to take a good name and make it awesome. “‘Dog Vader’ came from a long battle of naming our new family dog,” explains owner Heather Figueroa. “He’s a purebred male German shepherd and most owners like to name their shepherds with a German name. So, as we searched on the Internet and tossed around names, we came up with the name ‘Veder,’ a German name.” This is where Heather’s son came in. “He said, ‘How about ‘Vader’? You know, as in Darth Vader?" Heather’s husband mulled that one over and eventually removed “Darth” and replaced it with “Dog.” Heather said people love the name and always get a laugh out of it. “They ask if he’s gone to the Dark Side,” she says. “Dog Vader is a very vocal shepherd,” Heather continues. “The sounds he makes can be quite funny. He’s a great soccer player, Frisbee catcher, Chuck-it fanatic, and loves a good butt rub.” Impressive. Most impressive.
What else are you going to do when your medium-sized Boston terrier bears a resemblance to a cartoon character and her defining characteristic is — well, we’ll let owner Patricia Kline explain it: “Bettie looks like Bettie Boop,” she says. “Little mole, black and white, and huge black eyes. But when we adopted her, she was very sick. She had serious stomach problems that caused her to … poop.” In the years since finding Bettie Poops, Patricia has put her dog on a special diet of senior dog food and uses a slow down bowl to keep the dog’s sensitive stomach under control. “She’s fully healthy now,” Patricia says. “But she’s still gassy at times.”
Bobby Mazza wasn’t so sure about getting a dog at first, but his partner Craig Caldwell talked him into visiting a Jack Russell terrier breeder. “They were so small and wiggling all over the place,” Bobby says of the Jack Russells swarming around his feet. “It was just constant movement. Finally Craig shouted, “Geez Louise, will you just stand still?!” In the middle of the puppy frenzy, one female stopped in her tracks. “Craig scooped her up,” Bobby said. “I said, ‘What do we call her?’ and Craig said, ‘I think she’s got her name already!’” Bobby wasn’t initially sold on “Geez Louise.” “I thought, my mother’s middle name is Louise – we can’t call her that!” While he was reluctant at first to take the plunge into pet ownership, Bobby said he has no regrets. “We’re even thinking about getting another dog,” he says. “We’re batting around the name ‘Good Gravy.’”
Inspiration doesn’t always strike immediately for new dog owners, and a little thought has to go into what to call the latest addition to the family. This was the case for the Grasska family. “We sat around the table with myself, my husband, our son and daughter and both of our mothers and just had a brainstorming sessions tossing out different names,” says Grace Grasska. “All of a sudden my husband came up with ‘Barnaby Bones,’” a play on the name of the 1970s TV detective Barnaby Jones. “It was an instant hit with all of us.”
Although Barnaby Bones was 4 years old at the time of his adoption, Grace said he fit in with the rest of the Grasskas from the start and considers him “Mommy’s little boy.” She adds, “He isn’t very social with other animals and doesn’t even like seeing them on TV. If there are animals on the TV screen, he will jump off the couch or my lap and go after them. If they go off the screen, he goes to the side or back of the TV to see where they went. He is an absolute treasure and always brings a smile to our faces no matter what the day was like.”
If you enjoyed reading about these fun dog names, you may also like to read about the top wackiest cat names. Want to be inspired? Read the complete list of 50 wackiest dog and cat names.
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