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Best Dog Names That Start With “M”

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In this article, you will find lists of the best dog names that start with M to help you find the perfect name for your pooch.

Choosing the perfect name for a new dog can be challenging. There are so many names out there, and you can feel a lot of pressure to pick something that is just right.

To make the search a bit easier, it can be a good idea to narrow down your options; for example, choosing a name that starts with the same letter as your last name, or another member of the family.

In this article, we will share some of the best dog names starting with M. We will also share some top tips on choosing a good name for your dog.

Dog Names That Start With M - Little girl sitting on couch with black Lab

There is no secret method of choosing the right name, though. The best approach is simply to expose yourself to as much inspiration as possible until you stumble across something that feels right and just works.

Even if you don’t find the perfect name on our lists, we hope you will find some inspiration that points you in the right direction.

Male Dog Names Starting With M

If you are bringing home a male puppy, consider some of these names for boy dogs, all starting with the letter M.

  • Mac – like a delicious mac and cheese
  • Macho – this Spanish name is ideal for manly dogs
  • Magic – for pups with magic eyes (and for Magic Johnson)
  • Magnum – for the ice cream and the famous P.I.
  • Magoo – perfect for slightly goofy dogs
  • Major – for commanding pups
  • Malone – like Bugsy Malone
  • Marcel – a young warrior belonging to Mars
  • Marco – like the explorer Marco Polo
  • Marlin – means “lake fortress,” ideal for swimmers
  • Marlow – means “driftwood,” another for swimmers
  • Marron – Portuguese word for brown
  • Marshall – the name means “lover of horses” in Scottish, and pups tend to go wild when they see horses
  • Mason – like Perry Mason, and for dogs the color of stone
  • Mater – exotic Belgian name
  • Matt – Hebrew name for a “gift from God”
  • Maverick – after Tom Cruise’s character in Top Gun
  • Max – a classic dog name
  • Miles – for diminutive but intelligent dogs
  • Milo – like the drink and the film Milo and Otis
  • Mini – perfect for companion dogs that feel like Mini Mes
  • Moe – short and sweet, and like the Simpsons’ bartender
  • Mofo – a South African name for “rain dance,” and a modern word for cool and charisma
  • Monty – perhaps for Monty Python
  • MooMoo – for dogs that love to howl
  • Moose – for bigger dogs
  • Morty – like Rick and Morty
  • Muddy – ideal for black and dark dogs
  • Murphy – Gaelic for “sea warrior”
  • Murray – Gaelic name for your lord or master dog

Female Dog Names Starting With M

Is it a female puppy that you are bringing home? Check out our list of the best girls’ names starting with M.

  • Mabel – a name from the Middle Ages meaning “loveable”
  • Macy – like the famous retail store
  • Maddie – ideal for eternal maidens
  • Madison – like Madison Avenue
  • Mae – Portuguese word for mother often used as a diminutive for children
  • Maeve – Irish name meaning “intoxicating one”
  • Maggie – an English name meaning “pearl”
  • Maisy – for your child of light
  • Mandy – a Latin name meaning “loveable”
  • Mare – Portuguese word for the sea, ideal for swimmers
  • Marina – ideal for dogs that love the water
  • Margot – a French name for your little pearl
  • Marla – means “star of the sea”
  • Marley – a marshy meadow for dogs that love the great outdoors
  • Marnie – from the sea
  • Matilda – an excellent name for Australian breeds
  • Masie – a Greek origin name meaning “pearl”
  • Maya – a Sanskrit name meaning “magic” or “illusion”
  • Meg – like Meg Griffin
  • Melody – a musical name for dogs that love to bark
  • Mia – with ancient Egyptian origins, it means “mine”
  • Millie – name for industrious girls
  • Mindy – means “black and beautiful”
  • Misty – a dewy name for dogs with white fur
  • Molly – a cute name, also great for red dogs after Molly Weasley
  • Moxie – the name means “energetic” or “spirited”

Dog Names Based On Food Starting With M

New puppies are often scrumptiously cute and look good enough to eat. Why not name your dog after one of your favorite foods that also starts with M?

  • Macadamia – for the delicious nut
  • Macaroon – for the tasty little dessert
  • Mackerel – for the smelly but tasty fish
  • Mahi-Mahi – another tropical fish
  • Malt – for your favorite pure malt whiskey
  • Mandarin – the snackable fruit
  • Mango – like the sweet tropical fruit
  • Maple – like the sweet syrup
  • Marmalade – the tasty preserve
  • Marshmallow – ideal for squidgy dogs
  • Martini – shaken not stirred, of course
  • Meatball – for a tasty little treat
  • Menu – for pups that eat everything
  • Meringue – ideal for fluffy white dogs
  • Mel – Portuguese word for honey
  • Mint – for dogs with fresh characters
  • Miso – like the Japanese soup
  • Mocha – after your favorite sweet coffee
  • Molasses – the thick and sweet syrup
  • Momo – delicious Tibetan dumplings
  • Mousse – the fluffy dessert
  • Mozzarella – for the delicious cheese
  • Muffin – the delicious little cake
  • Muscat – a delicious sweet wine
  • Mustard – the yellow sauce with a tangy taste

M Dog Names Based On Celebrities & Characters

Popular culture is often a source of inspiration, and it might also hold the key to finding the perfect name for your dog. These M names are based on celebrities and characters.

  • Macbeth – after the tragic Shakespearean hero
  • Machiavelli – for the famous Italian strategist
  • Mad Hatter – for the delightful Alice in Wonderland character
  • Magneto – after the X-Men villain
  • Magrid – the kind witch invented by Terry Pratchett
  • Maleficent – the villain from Sleeping Beauty
  • Mandarin – the Marvel supervillain
  • Mantis – the empathetic alien from Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Marian – as in Robin Hood’s Maid Marian
  • Marlin – the father from Finding Nemo
  • Marlowe – after the famous playwright
  • Marple – for the intrepid investigator
  • Marvel – after the popular comic book universe
  • Mattel – after the famous toy line
  • Maximus – the star of Gladiator
  • Maxine – as in Madame Maxine from Harry Potter, nice for large dogs
  • Medusa – for the Greek monster with hair of snakes and whose eyes can kill
  • Merlin – after the famous Druidic wizard
  • Meryl – for actress Meryl Streep
  • Messi – after the famous Argentinian football player
  • Mickey – like the famous mouse
  • Mila – for That 70’s Show actress Mila Kunis
  • Miley – like Miley Cyrus
  • Millie – for Stranger Things actress Millie Bobby Brown
  • Minnie – for smaller pups
  • Mim – for Madam Mim from The Sword in the Stone
  • Mischa – like Mischa Barton from The O.C.
  • Moana – for the famous Hawaiian Disney cartoon
  • Monroe – after Marilyn Monroe
  • Morgan/Morgana – after the villain in the Arthurian legend
  • Moriarty – for the Sherlock Holmes villain
  • Mozart – for the German composer
  • Mowgli – after the Jungle Book character
  • Mulan – the Japanese heroine
  • Munchausen – after the famous baron
  • Mustafa – Simba’s father in The Lion King
  • Myrtle – after Harry Potter’s Moaning Myrtle

M Names Based On Places & Nature

Just looking at the world around us can be a great source of inspiration when looking for an interesting name. Consider these places, names, and things in nature that start with M.

  • Macao – Vegas in the east
  • Macedon – after the Greek state of Alexander
  • Machu – for the famous site of Machu Picchu
  • Madagascar – the African island nation
  • Madeira – the Portuguese word for wood
  • Madrid – the Spanish capital
  • Magnet – for pups with magnetic personalities
  • Maine – the American state
  • Malaga – the Spanish resort city
  • Malawi – the exotic African nation
  • Maldives – the beach paradise
  • Malta – the Mediterranean island nation
  • Manchester – the English city and football team
  • Manhattan – the borough in New York City
  • Manila – the capital of the Philippines
  • Mansfield – English name made popular by Jane Austin
  • Massif – a group of mountains, for very big dogs
  • Maui – after the attractive holiday island
  • Meadow – for dogs that love to run
  • Mecca – after the Arabic holy city
  • Melbourne – for the large Australian city
  • Meso – for the ancient civilization of Mesopotamia
  • Meteor – celestial bodies that fall from the sky
  • Mexico – after the country “south of the border”
  • Midnight – great for black dogs and night howlers
  • Milan – the Italian capital of fashion
  • Minsk – for the Russian city
  • Molokai – a Hawaiian island
  • Monaco – for the exotic city-state
  • Monte – as in Monte Carlo
  • Morocco – for the tropical African island
  • Moscow – the Russian capital
  • Motown – for the home of jazz and blues (find the 100 greatest Motown songs here)
  • Mumbai – the Indian megacity
  • Munich – the German city

How To Choose A Dog Name

There are no rules for what you should call your dog, but there are a few things to bear in mind when assessing a name for your dog to ensure that it will work and that the name is not something that you will regret in the future.

  1. Choose something short, ideally only one or two syllables long, or at least something that can be shortened in an easily understandable way. This is because it’s easier for dogs to learn shorter names, which means they will be responding when you call sooner than if you chose a longer and more complicated name for them.
  2. Avoid names that sound too much like commands that you will use regularly, as this can just confuse your pup. Remember, while dogs are very intelligent, they don’t actually understand language in the more complex way that humans do; they are just recognizing familiar sounds. If their name sounds too much like a command that you use regularly, such as sit or stay, they may confuse the two words. Fortunately, there aren’t too many common commands starting with M, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble in this area.
  3. Remember that you will often need to use your dog’s name in public, sometimes shouting it loudly, and sometimes using it in front of children and strangers. This is why it is rarely a good idea to choose something rude or potentially offensive. All too often, people give their dogs names that they thought were funny at the time and then find that they are embarrassed to use them later. Remember, everyone in your family who is responsible for your dog will also need to be able to use their name with ease.
  4. Remember that you don’t have to give your dog a name the moment you bring them home. There is nothing wrong with taking a week or so to get to know your dog’s personality a little bit better first and then choosing something that suits them.

You can read our full guide to puppy names here.

How To Teach Your Dog Their Name

Once you have chosen a name for your dog, you will need to teach them to recognize it. This is not complicated and is much like teaching them any other command, except that in this case, they need to learn that their name represents them.

You can’t just say your dog’s name and then point to them or give them attention; this will leave them confused about what it means. The best thing you can do is show them that when you say their name, you want their attention.

Use basic reinforcement training, getting them to respond to their name and then rewarding them when they do. Start with them in a captive state, so that they start to get the idea that this new word means something.

Once you can get their attention in this situation, try in a situation where you don’t have their attention already.

Putting them on the leash and taking them into the backyard can be a good choice. If they don’t respond to their name immediately, you can give a light tug on the leash to help them understand what is wanted from them.

With this kind of training, your dog will learn to associate their name with good things, and they will always want to give you their attention. For this reason, avoid using your dog’s name in negative situations.

For example, don’t say “No, Rover;” just say “No” in order to avoid associating your dog’s name with negativity.

FAQs About Dog Names

What should you not name your dog?

It is best to avoid dog names that sound too much like other words that you will want your dog to recognize and respond to such as “sit,” “stay,” “heel,” and “no.”

This is because your dog can confuse the sounds and may be unsure whether you are just trying to get their attention or give a command.

While it is fun to come up with clever names for dogs, try not to be too clever. Remember, you will also need to use the name in public, and other people may also need to use the name to bring your dog under control.

Avoid anything too complicated to pronounce or anything that could potentially be offensive or controversial. 

Do dogs respond better to certain names?

Yes, dogs do respond better to some names than others. To be clear, they do not actually understand the name itself but instead are responding to a familiar and recognizable sound.

For this reason, names with two syllables are often best as they are long enough not to be confused with other words but are still short enough to grab their attention.

Names that start with consonants such as S, SH, C, and K are also easier for your dog to distinguish from the background noise of life.

Should you use your dog’s name a lot?

While your dog’s name is not exactly a command, they will still respond to it in the same way, treating it as a command for attention.

For this reason, you should avoid using it out of context. For example, you should not combine the name with other commands, especially negative commands. This way, the name will not develop negative connotations.

For similar reasons, it is best to say your dog’s name once when you want to get their attention rather than repeating it multiple times.

Want to learn more about dog training? Check out these common hand signals for dogs.

The Verdict

Sometimes you meet a dog and you know within minutes exactly what you should be calling him. Other times, choosing a name for a puppy or adopted dog can be a struggle, with nothing feeling quite right.

While there are good guidelines to bear in mind when choosing a name, there are no rules that can help you solve the problem. Your best approach is to expose yourself to as much inspiration as possible until you stumble across something that seems right.

It can also help to narrow down your choices in some way so that you know where to focus your energy. If you have decided to go with an M name, hopefully, you will find some useful inspiration on our lists of the best M dog names.

Do you have any recommendations for great M dog names?

Share them with the community in the comments section below.

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Best Dog Names Starting With Letter "M" - little girl sitting next to black lab puppy on couch

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