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Choosing the perfect name for your pup is no easy feat. You need to find something that suits their personality, will fit in with the rest of the family, and that they will be able to understand and respond to.
With this latter consideration in mind, it is a great idea to choose a name that starts with an S.
Dogs are more easily able to distinguish words that start with S from the ambient noise than words that start with other letters or sounds, so it will be easier for them to distinguish, learn, and respond to their name.
To help you make this decision, we have put together a collection of some of the best dog names starting with S to give you some inspiration. We’ve also shared some top tips on choosing the perfect name for your dog and teaching it to them.
Why Choose A Dog Name Starting With S?
Why choose a dog name starting with the letter S? Remember that dogs don’t understand language in the way that we do, but they can recognize sounds and associate them with certain meanings.
This is how they learn commands, and also how they will learn their name.
To recognize its name your dog needs to distinguish the sound of its name from the surrounding ambient noise, which is a lot harder without the context of language.
You may have realized this yourself if you have compared how easy it is to distinguish words and sounds in your native tongue as compared to foreign languages.
Years of study suggest that it is easier for dogs to distinguish the letters CH, S, SCH, SH, or K at the start of a word. Experts also think that dogs respond best to words ending in vowels and words of no more than two syllables.
So, that’s the science of why you should consider a name starting with S for your dog. K names are also great, and you can find our list of K name recommendations here if none of these S names trip your trigger.
Popular Girl Dog Names That Start With S
Are you bringing home a female dog to become a member of the family? Consider these popular female dog names starting with S.
- Sage – as well as the herb, it means a wise one with sound judgment
- Sally – a sweet name that means princess in Hebrew
- Sandy – perfect for yellow dogs, a reminder of Olivia Newton-John in Grease
- Sapphire – for your perfect gem
- Sari – after the Indian dress, for beautiful dogs
- Savannah – a southern name for dogs that love to run
- Serena – the name means peaceful, ideal for a strong female like Serena Williams
- Shade – perfect for dark-colored dogs
- Simone – a sophisticated dog name
- Siri – Apple’s assistant
- Skye – for big dogs with big dreams (and dreamy eyes)
- Snow – ideal for white dogs
- Sophie – derived from ancient Greek, the name means wisdom
- Sora – a gender-neutral Japanese name that means sky
- Sparkle – when they have a mischievous sparkle in their eye
- Star – idea for dogs who love to be the center of attention
- Stella – a beautiful name made famous by A Streetcar Named Desire
- Storm – for volatile pups that leave destruction in their wake
- Sunny – for the pup that lights up your life
- Sweetie – when they have a loving disposition
- Sylvie – a reference to the wild woods and perfect for a wild pup
Popular Boy Dog Names That Start With S
Bringing a male pup home from the breeder or shelter?
Consider these male dog names beginning with S.
- Sailor – great if they love to swim
- Saint – ideal for frequent sinners
- Sam – possibly the most popular dog name of all time
- Samson – based on the biblical warrior with his enchanted hair
- Samurai – when you know that your pup is a ninja
- Samy – add the ending vowel to Sam to make their name more recognizable
- Sancho – when you know that they are going to be a troublemaker
- Saturn – after the malevolent god
- Scrabble – if figuring them out is a puzzle
- Scooter – perfect if they are always getting underfoot
- Scotty/Scottie – perfect for Scottish breeds and Star Trek fans
- Scorpio – especially if they are snappy and have a short temper
- Scout – perfect for alert dogs always eager to learn and impress
- Scruffy – when you know that long mane is going to give you trouble
- Scuba – especially for swimmers
- Seal – perfect for gray dogs
- Sergio – for intelligent pups
- Shaggy – ideal if they have a long coat
- Sharky – especially if they have vicious-looking teeth!
- Shep – a cute name for a German Shepherd
- Sherwood – especially if they love to steal your socks
- Shiva – this Indian god is gracious and benign
- Sid – ideal for rebels like Sid Vicious
- Silver – great for light gray dogs
- Simone – Simon and Garfunkel? Simon Cowell? Any man you love, or love to hate
- Skipper – when they are the head of the pack
- Sly – as in Sly Stallone, or for sneaky pups
- Smoky – cute name for gray pups
- Sonny – as in Sonny and Cher
- Spot – a common name for spotted dogs
- Stark – Game of Thrones fans need no explanation
- Sterling – because their love is priceless
- Stuart – a refined name great for smaller breeds
- Snoopy – the world’s most famous cartoon dog
- Spike – for pups with attitude
- Sprocket – for little dogs with lots of energy
- Sven – great for a Nordic warrior
- Sumo – for rounder, heavier breeds
Food-Based Dog Names
Many people give their dogs names inspired by food since we all love food and our dogs tend to be delicious enough to eat!
Check out these food-related dog names starting with S.
- Sabor – simply means tasty in Portuguese
- Saffron – expensive and spicy
- Sake – packs a punch
- Salsa – a spicy friend
- Sashimi – the perfect accompaniment for the perfect companion
- Satay – spicy and nutty
- Saucy – pups with attitude
- Sausage – plump and delectable
- Schnapps – the perfect tipple
- Schnitzel – good enough to eat, especially good for German breeds
- Schweppes – refreshing and bubbly
- Scone – delicious but heavy bread
- Shiraz – a very good bottle of red wine
- Shortcake – small but sweet
- Skittles – deliciously fun
- Snickers – delicious and full of nutty surprises
- Spaghetti – ideal for tall or long dogs like Greyhounds
- Strudel – deliciously sweet
- Sugar – for your sweetie
- Sushi – something good that comes in a small package
Names Based On Place Names
David and Victoria Beckham named their kids based on where they were conceived. While we don’t really recommend that for dogs, naming them after some of the amazing places in the world is a great idea.
Check out these names based on cities, countries, and other landmarks, all beginning with S.
- Safari – parklands for exotic adventures
- Sahara – as in the African desert
- Saigon – a nice name for Asian breeds
- Saitama – in Japan
- Sakai – a small Japanese city
- Salem – for wicked pups
- Salvador – the original capital of Brazil
- Samara – a Russian city
- Samoa – the island nation
- Sanaa – the city in Yemen
- Sangli – a distinctive Indian city
- Santiago – the capital of Chile
- Sarajevo – the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Seoul – the South Korean capital
- Seville – the famous Spanish city
- Siberia – the Russian wasteland
- Skopje – the capital of North Macedonia
- Sofia – the capital of Bulgaria
- Sokoto – found in Nigeria
- Soweto – the South African region
- Soy – the spicy dark sauce
- Suez – as in the Suez Canal
- Summit – perfect for big dogs
- Surat – the historic Indian city
- Sydney – the name means wide meadow and is also an Australian city
Names Based On Famous Characters
It can be fun to name our dogs after famous characters as it can be a fun reference to something about their personality or something that you love. Here are some of our favorite names starting with S based on famous characters.
- Sabrina – like the teenage witch
- Salvatore – for fans of The Vampire Diaries
- Sansa – after the auburn Lady Stark
- Saruman – one of the wizards from Tolkien’s Middle Earth
- Sauron – for Lord of the Rings fans
- Scooby – Scooby Doo where are you, perfect if they are a bit goofy
- Scrooge – do they not like to share their things?
- Seska – Star Trek: Voyager fans will love the reference
- Sheeba – for the Queen of Sheeba
- Sheldon – for The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper
- Shera – the cartoon warrior maiden
- Sherlock – for crime-solving Holmes who doesn’t play by the rules
- Shredder – the villain in the Ninja Turtles
- Shrek – the big and smelly ogre with a heart of gold
- Silas – another Easter egg for Vampire Diaries fans
- Simba – our favorite lion cub from The Lion King
- Sinbad – especially if they love the water
- Sirius – for Sirius Black from Harry Potter
- Sith – after the bad Jedi in Star Wars
- Socrates – for deep thinkers
- Solomon – for pups in charge
- Sonic – especially if they are full of energy
- Sookie – as in Stackhouse from True Blood
- Snape – the bat-like bad guy hero from Harry Potter
- Spencer – for Pretty Little Liars
- Spock – for Star Trek fans
- Stefan – if you love The Vampire Diaries
- Stewie – the baby from Family Guy
- Stig – for fans of Top Gear
- Stitch – from Lilo and Stitch
Names Based On Celebrities
Celebrity culture inspires a lot of modern life, so why not consider naming your pup after one of your favorite celebrities with an S name?
- Salma – for Salma Hayek
- Sam Waterston – any fan of Law and Order or Friends will understand why this works
- Sandra – for Sandra Bullock
- Saoirse – for the charismatic Irish actress Saoirse Ronan
- Sebastian – as in Sebastian Stan, The Winter Soldier
- Sacha – for comedian Sacha Baron Cohen
- Scarlett – for Scarlett Johansson
- Sean – for the one and only Sean Connery
- Selena – for Selena Gomes
- Seth – for comedian and writer Seth MacFarlane
- Shakira – for the Latina songstress
- Shailene – for young actress Shailene Woodley
- Sharon – for the impeccable Sharon Stone
- Shia – for the volatile Shia LaBeouf
- Sia – the quirky Australian Chandelier singer
- Sienna – for British actress Sienna Miller
- Sigmund – as in Sigmund Freud
- Skarsgard – for the group of Nordic actors
- Stallone – as in the Rocky actor
- Stanley – for the character actor Stanley Tucci
- Steve – there are so many, but Steve McQueen may be the best
- Sylvester – as in Stallone
Other S Dog Names To Consider
Still haven’t found what you are looking for? Here are some more S names to consider for your dog.
Saachi, Saber, Sadie, Saffi, Sail, Sal, Sandy, Sarah, Sassy, Satin, Sawyer, Saxon, Scott, Seamus, Sergeant, Shane, Shelby, Sherman, Shiloh, Siegfried, Sissy, Slinky, Solo, Sora, Sosa, Sox, Sparrow, Sting, Striker, Stone, Suitor, Sully, Summer, Suzy
A Guide Pup With An “S” Name
Finally, we can’t forget our very own guide dog puppy, Stetson! Way back in 2007 I had to come up with a puppy name that started with the letter “S”.
Here’s my email thread from the naming of Stetson:
ME: It was kind of late so I thought I’d send you an email. I thought of some more names: Stetson, Snoopy (my dog’s name is Linus), Simba, Satchmo, Sancho. I like those names better than Stu. Let me know if any of those work.
PUPPY MANAGER: I really like Stetson and I think Sancho would be o.k. also.
ME: I’d love to go with Stetson. Can we use that name? If not, let me know and I’ll send over a few more names.
PUPPY MANAGER: Stetson is GREAT!
And that’s how my first Guide Dog puppy, Stetson found his groove (I mean name) 🙂
How To Teach Your Dog Their Name
Once you have chosen a name for your pup, it is important to teach them to recognize their name. How else are they meant to know that this word represents them?
Training your dog to recognize their name is essentially the same as teaching them to recognize a command, though the desired response to the word is more fluid.
Principally, you should teach them to give you their attention when you say their name and reinforce this behavior through rewards (treats, praise, or play).
Start with five-minute training sessions daily during which you have your dog in an attentive situation and then say their name. When they respond to you, give them a treat. Repeat this several times over a couple of minutes every day for a few weeks.
Next, you need to teach your dog to respond to you when you don’t already have their attention. Take them out on the leash (even if it is only into the yard) and let them explore.
Then, while walking your dog, call their name. If they turn and give you their attention, that’s a success, so reward them with a treat.
If they don’t turn in a timely manner, lightly tug on the leash to get their attention and say their name again. When they do turn towards you, you can say their name again and then reward them for their response.
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, remember not to be too clever. You will 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.
Is it bad to give your dog multiple names?
With the right training, your dog can be taught to respond to multiple names. You can even change their name; however, you do have to put the work in to do so.
It is much easier to teach your dog to recognize and respond to their own name if you use the same name consistently. The same rule is true for all canine commands.
Should you use your dog’s name a lot?
While your dog’s name is different from 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.
There are many things to consider when choosing the perfect name for your dog. But one consideration that can make a big difference is what letter their name starts with.
Certain letters can make it easier for your dog to distinguish their name from the ambient noise than others.
S is one of the best letters for starting your dog’s name, and fortunately, there are plenty of great names out there starting with the letter S. Hopefully you will find some inspiration in our list of the best dog names starting with S.
Do you have any top tips for naming dogs?
Share them with the community in the comments section below.
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