Why Are Dogs Getting Human Names?

Human names like Max, Molly, Charlie, and Lucy are being used more and more often these days for dogs.


Stan Coren, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia, thinks there are two reasons:

  • Dogs occupy a new place in our lives, and
  • The number of female dog owners is on the rise.

The first point makes sense. Dogs were once used for work — hunting, herding, transportation, defense, rescue, and so forth. Nowadays, most dogs are companions. We see them as family members, and the human names we give them reflect this upgraded status.

I’m not sure if the second point holds water, though. There may be more female dog owners, but the article didn’t include any data to back up Coren’s claim that “women favour [sic] human names more than men do.”

What are your thoughts on this? Why do you think dogs tend to get human names nowadays?

Source: Names increasingly reflect dogs’ integration into the family

4 thoughts on “Why Are Dogs Getting Human Names?

  1. I think it’s funny that names I always thought of as having made the transition from people name to dog name (Max, Molly, Sadie, Jack) have now made the transition back to baby names. When we got our new dog, my first instinct was to name her Molly but I know too many human babies named Molly now!

    Instead we went with Princess Leia. Which is a human name, too, but if you name your baby Princess Leia, well her sharing her name with a dog is the least of your worries.

  2. I once gave some thought to “worst possible human names to give to a dog”. At that time, I came up with Janice and Diane.

    Diane Otherday should have been the name of a Bond girl, though. :-)

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