Best Small Dog Names

Turning Points 3 min read

Walk down any street these days and you’re likely to see dogs—lots of dogs. And you may also notice many of the same breeds1, including French bulldogs, beagles, dachshunds (all of which made the American Kennel Club’s Top 10 list this year), and Queen Elizabeth’s all-time favorite, corgis (AKC #11), which might be more regally referred to by their full name, Pembroke Welsh corgis.

Yes, little dogs are having a moment (or really, several moments). Definitions of “small” vary from under 20 pounds to under 25 pounds to even under 30 pounds., though, pegs it somewhere in the middle, at between 2 and 22 pounds.2

And if you, like many of the 23 million Americans who have adopted pets since the start of the pandemic,3 are feeling the urge to welcome your own wee canine into your home, it’s time to think about names.

Of course, you’ll want to get to know your dog’s personality before you choose a name. But to help you get started, we’ve picked eight winning monikers that you and your family will never get tired of calling out, and that hopefully, your new dog will be happy to respond to for many happy years to come. See if any of these little dog names suit your pooch.

1. Cricket

This small dog name picked by the people at is just right for the near-insect-size pup in your life who’s dark brown and shiny—think short-haired Chihuahua.

2. Hobbit

Have you brought home a tiny dog tyke who just happens to have enormous hairy feet?5 A Shih Tzu, perhaps? Then this name, selected by, might appeal. You could also go straight to specific hobbit names like Frodo, Sam, and Bilbo.

3. Thor

Admittedly, the Norse god of thunder doesn’t immediately come to mind for most people when they behold a very small dog. But if your new family member turns out to have an oversized and demanding personality ( puts Jack Russell terriers and cocker spaniels in the high maintenance category),6 Thor—one of Travel + Leisure’s top dog names of 20207—might fit the bill. Runners-up: Zeus and Titan. Both are small but mighty dog names for your fur friend.

4. Furby

Obviously, this Cosmopolitan choice, just right for small dogs, has especial relevance for the very furry pups out there8—think Pomeranians, Pekingese, Westies, and Yorkies. And this choice is a lot less likely to jinx your pet’s future behavior than some other adorable-sounding names like Jimmy Chew and Arf Vader.

5. Peanut

Another pick, this one does double-duty as a nickname for your small human child. Experiencing a new-parent brain from too many sleepless nights strung together? Pick one name that you’ll be more likely to remember than two names! We think a pug makes a good candidate for the name Peanut.

6. Lincoln

Perhaps you’ve come home from the shelter or the breeder with a somber-looking puppy with a long face. Maybe a Pocket Beagle, for example? Give a hat tip (har-har) to their serious demeanor with an equally serious-sounding name9—this one is from the AKC’s most recent list of top 100 boy dog names.

7. Minnie

This is a great all-purpose dog name (also an AKC pick) for pretty much any mini-size girl who captures your heart.10

8. Kipper

Naming pets after food has been popular for as far back as we can remember (Dumpling, Momo, and Pork Chop are among the pet food-names we’ve known and loved before). Kipper—the word used in the U.K. to describe a salted and smoked herring—is a choice for snack-related names.11 We think a wire-haired dachshund is the perfect, jaunty recipient for a name like this.

The last word

Picking the perfect name for your pup is typically top of mind for new pet owners, but have you also looked into getting pet insurance? For any pet owner, finding a comprehensive policy should be a top priority to help keep your furry friend healthy and safe. Pets Best offers a range of flexible plans that include wellness and routine care coverage, as well as injuries and illness coverage. That way, you’ll have peace of mind so you can focus on the fun stuff—like playing with your pooch!

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