Top dog: New Zealand’s favourite dog names and breeds revealed

Top dog: New Zealand’s favourite dog names and breeds revealed

You’re standing at your local dog park and calling out to Bella. There’s a good chance you’ll run into several, and an even better chance it’s probably one of about 10 popular dog breeds.

The same goes for dog names like Charlie, Coco, Molly, Max, Ruby, Luna, and Buddy.

The Kiwi love for our four-legged friends has only grown and Aotearoa is now home to more than 605,000 dogs.

However, some of our dog names are far from original, according to data from city councils across New Zealand.

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The pandemic increased the number of dogs registered in Wellington from about 12,000 to about 14,000. (file photo)

Such results should not come as a surprise.

The New Zealand Companion Animal Register, which has registered 1.13 million names since 2007, found the country’s most popular dog names for 2022: Luna (1), Bella (2), Charlie (3), Poppy (4) and Coco (5th). ). .

Such names were also popular with cat owners.


The Capital’s Coolest Dogs (in order) were Charlie, Bella, Poppy, Coco/Cocoa, Molly, Max, Ruby, Archie, Millie, Milly, which was in the top 10 most popular dog names registered with Wellington City Council.

Notable and interesting dog names submitted by the council’s LGOIMA action team included Margaret Wigglesworth, Pinot Noir, Pablo Escobark and Miss Dolly Pawton.

Wellington has seen a massive increase in its canine population in recent years, going from about 12,000 pre-pandemic puppies to almost 14,000 (registered) dogs.

The most common included Labrador Retrievers, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Border Collies, Miniature Schnauzers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Shih Tzus, Jack Russell Terriers, Bichon Frizes, Fox Terriers and Huntaways.


Loose Leash’s Phil Krieg shows how he leads a pack of 14 dogs on a walk along Wellington’s south shore (video released July 2021).


The number of dogs making Auckland home has also increased by 5.5%, from 118,552 registered dogs to 125,016 – almost the four-legged equivalent of the number of two-legged residents of Hastings and Napier combined.

A spike in numbers has been attributed to more Aucklanders welcoming dogs to their whānau during the lockdown, and reduced veterinary de-sexing capacity was causing significant strain on the council’s field staff teams, a council spokesman said.

The most popular names again included Charlie (of which there were 1035), Bella (1539), Max, Molly and Poppy, Luna, Coco, Ruby, Buddy and Toby.

A selection of interesting dog names included Edgar Alan Pug, Gnochhi, Pepperoni (the sausage dog), and several dogs named Richie McPaw.

Labrador Retrievers topped the list, followed by Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Border Collies, Miniature Schnauzers, Shih Tzus, German Shepherds, Jack Russell Terriers, Golden Retrievers, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Maltese.

The rare breeds, only one each registered with Auckland City Council, included a Beauceron, a Bergamasco Sheepdog, an Icelandic Sheepdog and an Otterhound.

Andrew Brosnan walks his dog, Poppy, on Hamilton Lake.  (file photo)

Kelly Hodel/Waikato Times

Andrew Brosnan walks his dog, Poppy, on Hamilton Lake. (file photo)


Hamilton, home to 13,135 registered dogs, also claimed Bella, Charlie, Luna, Molly Poppy, Max, Coco, Buddy, Ruby, and Toby as some of its top dog names.

The most common breeds included Labrador Retrievers, Miniature Schnauzers, Labrador Retriever crosses, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Border Collies, German Shepherds, Staffordshire Bull Terrier crosses, Fox Terriers, Golden Retrievers and Rottweilers.


The South Island’s largest city, Christchurch, is home to more than 32,529 dogs, making it the second largest dog city after Auckland.

Further south, little has changed when it comes to favorite dog breeds: Labrador Retrievers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Border Collies, Bichon Frises, Jack Russell Terriers, Mini Schnauzers, Cocker Spaniels, Golden Retrievers, Huntaways and Shih Tzus.

Wellington native Will Spencer and his dog Cooper - not pictured - enjoy the breeze.  (file photo)


Wellington native Will Spencer and his dog Cooper – not pictured – enjoy the breeze. (file photo)

A few new names were introduced, however.

Again, Bella and Charlie were at the top of the list, followed by Poppy, Molly, Ruby, Max and Luna. The new names included Archie, Daisy and Rosie.


Among the 19,342 dogs currently registered with Dunedin City Council are well-known favourites.

Bella, Charlie, Poppy, Molly, Max, Millie, Luna, Lucy, Daisy and Buddy all make the top 10.

When it comes to favorite dog breeds, the list includes several that they liked so much that they decided to crossbreed them: Labrador Retriever, Border Collie, Labrador Retriever Cross, Jack Russell Terrier, Mini Schnauzer, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Golden Retriever, Staffordshire Bull Terrier Cross , border collie cross and huntaway.

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