Bark-bie world? Pink declared trendiest pet name of 2023

Bark-bie world? Pink declared trendiest pet name of 2023 has revealed the UK’s top dog names for 2023. And Barbie mania was officially the main driving force behind naming trends this year, inspiring the trendiest name of the year: Pink.  

While Ken was on the up from last year (+79%), he just wasn’t ‘Kenough’ to outshine Barbie, which not only made the top 3 list of trending names, but increased by a whopping 1079% in comparison. We must all be living in a Barbie world as popular characters Dolly, Sasha, and Alan were all ‘fashionable’ this year too. 

Top 10 Trending Dog Names for British Pups in 2023 

  1. Pink (+1479%) 
  2. Freddo (+1179%) 
  3. Barbie (+1079%) 
  4. Bolo (+1079%) 
  5. Chas (+1079%) 
  6. Deefer (+1079%) 
  7. Hovis (+1079%) 
  8. Jean (+1079%) 
  9. Karl (+1079%) 
  10. Lotta (+1079%) 

Barking mad?

The question of whether Brits are simply getting more creative when it comes to naming their dog, or if they’re just barking mad is apparent with the likes of Freddo (+1179%), Hovis (+1079%), Lotta (+1079%), and Deefer (+1079%) emerging in this year’s top ten trending names. However, only 29% claimed they chose their dog’s name at random, suggesting for the majority, there is in fact ‘method in the madness’.   

But with names like Lotta and Deefer sounding more like a child’s first word than a dog’s name, it’s unsurprising that more than a quarter (28%) admitted to letting their children choose the family dog’s name – explaining some of the more unusual entries this year.  

And speaking of passing something on to your kids, be it fame or a name, 8% of pet parents have actually named their pups after themselves, even adding ‘junior’ to the end. Infused with nostalgia, some other examples even included naming their dog after their old street name.  

 Honourable mentions this year include, Albus Dumblepaws, Bark-A-Lot, Billy Boo Boo, Chugsley Chugglesworth, and King Arthur Slobbergob.

Having a re-pink

But forget ‘pink to make the boys wink’, as it appears Britons are starting to break away from gender confinements when it comes to naming their pooches. Research from Rover revealed that over half (51%) of pet parents have a pup with a gender-neutral name, with a further 70% revealing they chose their pooches’ name before they even knew the gender of their dog. The favourites seemed to be Taylor, River, and Ali as they all rose through the ranks this year, with Charlie and Riley emerging as the most popular in volume.  

Grrr-l power

Despite narrowly missing out in the World Cup final to Spain, the Lionesses still have the nation’s backing – perhaps even more so than the men this year. National treasures Jill (Scott), (Alessia) Russo, and Rachel (Daly) all topped the trending list of names from the team, trending upwards by a whopping +579%, +191%, and +129% respectively.  

And following Man City’s incredible treble triumph in the summer, John (Stones) (+106%), and Kevin (De Bruyne) (+80%) were indeed both up, although not nearly as high as the girls, with other Man City stars Jack (Grealish) and Phil (Foden) trending down. With the Lionesses therefore in the lead, it seems it’s all to play for at the men’s Euros next summer to turn this score around in 2024.    

Pup culture

It was the year of the ‘nepo baby’, with the world outing young, baby-faced celebs for using their famous families to climb the social ladder. Despite their Howl-lywood roots being exposed, they continue to be a source of inspiration not just for style, but for our pet names too. Maya (Hawke), Miley (Cyrus), and Gigi (Hadid) were among the most popular, along with Kaia (Gerber) – up by a whopping +112%. Bending it like Beckham, Brooklyn was also trending upwards (+93%) – and is predicted to soar through the ranks even more next year following his family’s wildly popular ‘Beckham’ documentary.  

With Taylor Swift’s sell-out global tour ‘The Eras’, it’s no surprise she was trending up by +123%, along with Swift (+29%). Taylor’s love life not only inspires her songs, but pet parents too, with new beau Travis predicted to rocket in 2024 thanks to Taylor putting him on the map.  

Royal Tea

It’s been an incredibly momentous few years for the royals. While it was bad news last year for the King as Charles significantly declined, it seems there’s been a swift turnaround following his Coronation earlier this year, with his name now trending up +90%. There’s still work to do when it comes to Camilla as the name was trending down (-21%) this year, suggesting the nation is taking its time to warm up to our own new Queen.   

The release of Harry’s controversial memoir, ‘Spare’, got the whole country talking, with people choosing a side between Harry and the rest of the Royal family. With Meghan frequently referring to Harry as ‘H’ throughout the show which seemed to irk many, it’s of little surprise that ‘H’ (-62%) is trending downwards, and Meghan too, down by a significant 117%.      

AI predictions for 2024

With AI (Artificial Intelligence) already being a huge talking point in today’s society, Rover predicts that we’ll see a huge rise in pet parents using AI to help them name their dog in 2024.  

And speaking of a futuristic society, thanks to the viral ‘Roman Empire’ trend that got us all talking, (and offering a rather random insight into the mind of men), Rover foresees as a surge of ‘Roman Empire inspired names’ in 2024, such as Roman, Julius and Ceasar. 

Set to take place in the French capital, the 2024 Olympics are less than a year away, with names such as Paris, Olympus, Goldie expected to ‘high-jump’ their way through the ranks.  

And it’s the return of our own beloved panda warrior, as Kung Fu Panda 4 makes its return to the big screen after eight years, meaning Po, Panda, and Shifu could climb their way up the tables.  

Adem Fehmi, Rover’s canine behaviourist, comments, “Finding the perfect name for your pooch can sometimes be a difficult task, especially if a name doesn’t immediately spring to mind – or when you’re set on naming them something unique to the rest. And whilst it’s wonderful to see pet parents getting creative and thinking outside the box when it comes to naming their pup, remember, you’re the one that has to be comfortable shouting this across the park! So, whilst I encourage pet parents to have fun with naming their pups when they first get them, think about some potential repercussions if they are totally out of the blue.” 

For more advice on naming your dog, follow Adem’s tips: 

  1. A name is for life, not for Christmas!: To help determine your dog’s name, make a list of names you love, and really take your time to whittle these down to the one you feel suits your dog best, there’s no need to rush into a name. It can be very useful to observe your dog, their temperament, quirks, and personality as a whole. That being said, avoid ‘trying out’ different names on your pooch while you make your decision. Although naturally you will want to find the ‘right name’, you don’t want to confuse your new pup during this process.
  1. Do your leash-search: If you know that you are likely to frequent certain places with your dog, such as your local park, then it can be a good idea to visit these areas before you decide on your dog’s name. Listen carefully to the names being used and called, and if possible, avoid duplicating these names. It is not the end of the world if there ends up being two or three ‘Milos’ called at the same time, but this can certainly make it harder to get your dog’s attention - especially if they are off lead.                                          
  2. Pitch paw-fect! Consider choosing a name that has a vowel or vowel sounding consonant at the end, such as Luna or Poppy. This means you’ll be more likely to elongate the vowel sounds and change your pitch of voice for the second syllable, which is important when calling your pooches’ name to get their attention. This will help your dog to hear their name being called, and often these sounds sound more positive and inviting to your dog, encouraging them to respond accordingly.
  1. Avoid confurr-sion. It’s best to choose a name that cannot be confused with a command word, or other words you might frequently use when with your dog. Try to steer away from names like such as Kay as this could be confused with ‘stay’, or Teddy that sounds like ‘ready’. Similarly, opting for a short, snappy name not only makes it easier for your dog to learn their name, but to also hear clearly when they’re called.
  1. Make sure it’s the whole family’s ‘pup of tea’. You’ll need to mutually agree on your family pup’s name, as you want consistency when teaching commands and calling for your dog’s attention. If other members of the family or carers of your dog start using an alternative name because they don’t like the one chosen, then this could pose a problem.
Alessandra Pacelli

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