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100+ Golden Retriever Dog Names – What Should You Name Your Puppy?

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One of the first tasks at hand after finding out we would be getting a new English cream golden retriever was trying to pick a name that everyone in the family agreed upon.

In all honesty, the process took us about a month and consisted of brainstorming, online research, discussions, and the final cut.

Check out our top 10 list of male (we’re having a boy!) golden retriever dog names:

  1. Charlie
  2. Homer
  3. Spark
  4. Franklin
  5. Yogi
  6. Oscar
  7. Branch
  8. Norman
  9. Yeti
  10. Finnegan

I never expected that naming our golden retriever puppy, Charlie, would be so challenging.

I’ve had 4 dogs in my lifetime but they were all pound puppies or from rescues. Since all my previous dogs had been adopted, they already came with names or my parents took on the task of naming them.   

Our first family dog was a pound puppy named Cleo. She was part chow, part golden retriever. 

My parents ended up naming her Cleopatra because she had the appearance of having dark eyeliner around her eyes. She was fluffy like a chow, with the coloring of a red golden retriever and a purple tongue

Golden Chow Mix sitting next to young girl
My first retriever mix, Cleopatra (Cleo)

Another one of my childhood dogs was a sweet golden retriever mix named Sienna. Her coat was an earthy orange color, hence her name, Sienna. 

She had the sweetest temperament and was a fast learner.  My parents thought she may have been trained as a therapy dog before she came to our family.

The first dog my husband and I adopted together was a rescue named George. He was a German shepherd mix and the only male in his litter.

We called him Geo, Georgie, or Georgieman. He was the largest of his litter and very handsome, so George was a fitting name for him. 

Since Charlie came from a breeder, he was given a litter name. My niece was the one who actually chose the theme for the litter, the movie: Trolls World Tour.

Charlie’s given name was Branch. We thought Branch was a fun name but wanted to rename our new golden retriever pup and include our daughter in the naming process.

Below is a look at the steps we took to pick out a name for our golden retriever puppy.

Naming Your Golden Retriever Puppy

Here’s our 4-step process for choosing our most recent Golden Retriever puppy name, Charlie:

  1. Brainstorming
  2. Online Research
  3. Family Discussion
  4. The Final Cut

1. Brainstorming

The first step in picking out a name for our puppy was brainstorming. During this step, we just threw out any boy’s name that we could think of and wrote it down on a piece of paper.

Oddly enough, we even put down names of family pets of years past such as George and Ralph. This step took us about a week as we racked our brains for any and every name we could think of for our puppy.

2. Online Research

Now some of my readers might say, “Heck with the first step,” and just move right along to online research.

That’s OK, but don’t sell yourself short on what you can come up with. If you use your own brainpower, the name might have more meaning to you and your family.

Remember, your search doesn’t have to be just dog or pet names. We actually searched for baby names because we have an affinity for pets with human names.

If you are including your kids in the process, you are sure to come up with some quirky names that will have the whole family laughing. 

Additionally, once we found names we liked, we went and did a little research on the meaning of the names.

This was a fun learning activity for our daughter, too. For example, who knew that the meaning of Charlie is “free man” and that it is of Old German origin?!

3. Family Discussion

Family discussion played a huge role in how we came up with our Top 10 List. This step was crucial because it gave everyone a chance to voice their opinion on which names they liked best.

Every couple of days, we would go through the list and cross off names that we agreed would not be a good fit. If we didn’t like the name, we would simply cross it off the list.

4. The Final Cut

When our list was whittled down to about 10 names we had to make a final decision. I wanted Franklin (Frankie) and my daughter wanted Spark (Sparky.) The tiebreaker went to my husband and he chose Charlie.

We sometimes call him Chuck or Charlie B., which stands for Charlie Branch.  When he is in big trouble, we call him Charles, because it is a much more serious version of Charlie.

Here’s Charlie looking like a Charlie!

In case you couldn’t tell, I really love dogs with human names. More than that, I love a good nickname.

My Top 100+ Golden Retriever Dog Names

Here are my top 50 human-style dog names with the best nicknames you’ll find.

Boy Golden Retriever Puppy Names

  1. Charlie (Chuck, Charles, Chucky)
  2. Norman (Norm, Normy)
  3. Homer (Homie, Homes)
  4. Franklin (Frankie, Frank)
  5. Finnegan (Finn, Finny)
  6. Oscar (Ozzie, Oz)
  7. Benjamin (Ben, Benny)
  8. Henry (Hank)
  9. Baron (Barry, Bare)
  10. Philip (Phil)
  11. Stuart (Stewy)
  12. Arthur (Art, Artie)
  13. Morgan (Mo, Momo)
  14. Asher (Ash)
  15. Edward (Ed, Eddie, Ned)
  16. Theodore (Ted, Teddy, Theo)
  17. George (Geo, Georgie)
  18. Jackson (Jack, Jackie)
  19. Quincy (Quin)
  20. Ralph (Ralphie, Rafa)
  21. Boscoe (Boz)
  22. Wilson (Will, Willy)
  23. Remmington (Rem, Remi)
  24. Nelson (Neli, Neil)
  25. Lawrence (Larry)

Girl Golden Retriever Puppy Names

  1. Cleopatra (Cleo)
  2. Cecelia (Cici, Ceece)
  3. Ginger (Gigi, Ginny)
  4. Lucille (Lucy, Lu, Lulu)
  5. Amelia (Mimi, Mia, Lia)
  6. Charlotte (Char, Lottie)
  7. Georgette (Georgie, Gigi, Getta)
  8. Josephine (Jo, Jojo, Fifi)
  9. Margaux (Marge, Margie, Mary, Maggie)
  10. Lydia (Lydi)
  11. Nikita (Nicki, Nick)
  12. Winifred (Winnie, Freddie)
  13. Isabella (Iz, Isa, Bella)
  14. Michelle (Micki, Shelley)
  15. Eleanor (Elle, Nora, Nelly)
  16. Beatrice (Bird, Bea, Trixie, Busy B)
  17. Desiree (Desi, Des, Reyrey)
  18. Molly (Polly, Lolli)
  19. Delilah (Lilah, Lily, Dilly, Dede)
  20. Camille (Cami, Cam, Millie)
  21. Phoebe (Pheebs, Fifi)
  22. Lola (Lo, Lolo)
  23. Rosalyn (Rosie, Rosa, Ro)
  24. Dahlia (Lia, Dahl)
  25. Antoinette (Toni, Nettie)

If you want your dog’s name to be memorable and meaningful, it’s important to think about your interests and passions.

Since my husband loves the 80s, here is a list of 80s-inspired dog names that are totally awesome! 

80’s Inspired Dog Names

Radical Boy Dog Names

  1. Reagan – the 40th President of the United States.
  2. Screech – Is he 80’s or 90’s? Saved by the Bell – RIP Dustin Diamond.
  3. Charles – He’s in Charge!
  4. Calvin – read number 5
  5. Hobbes – read number 4
  6. Prince – Purple Rain!
  7. Journey – Don’t Stop Believing!
  8. Rusty – National Lampoons Vacation
  9. Clark – See Above.
  10. Elliot – E.T. phone home.
  11. Biff – McFly your shoes untied!
  12. Marty – Back to the Future!
  13. Chett – Weird Science
  14. Wyatt – More Weird Science
  15. Ferris – It’s his day off. Got any John Hughes fans here?
  16. Vern – Stand by Me
  17. Teddy – See Above
  18. Gordie – See Above
  19. Buck – Buck Rogers? Oh wait, he’s from the 25th century. Must be Uncle Buck.
  20. Roman – Uncle Buck again!?
  21. Lloyd – In your eyes…
  22. Gizmo – Gremlins!
  23. Max – We don’t need another hero! And it’s Mel Gibson, not Tom Hardy.
  24. Rambo – First Blood
  25. Chunk – Do the truffle shuffle! 

Radical Girl Dog Names

  1. Molly – Pretty in Pink
  2. Madonna – The Material Girl
  3. Stacy – She’s got it going on!
  4. Queenie – Peavy
  5. Frankie – Goes to Hollywood
  6. Madison – Splash!
  7. Samantha – Fox Naughty Girls Need Love Too
  8. Heather – Chandler, Duke, McNamara
  9. Tina – What’s Love Got to Do With It?
  10. Stevie – Nicks or Wonder
  11. Whitney – How will I know?
  12. Sheena – Easton or a Punk Rocker?
  13. Sloane – Bueller? Bueller?
  14. Claire – It’s a family name.
  15. Linda – I’ll be back.
  16. Andy – Goonies Never Say Die
  17. Sally – that girl or When Harry Met
  18. Penny – Dancing or Inspector Gadget
  19. Debbie – Blondie
  20. Joan – I Love Rock and Roll
  21. Punky – Brewster
  22. Joanna – Kool and the Gang
  23. Dolly – Parton
  24. Trudy – Facts of Life
  25. Dana – Ghostbusters

I hope these lists get you off to a great start on naming your new puppy. However, if you find yourself wondering, “What if I picked the wrong name?”  Don’t worry, it’s OK to rename your new puppy. 

Is it OK to Rename My New Puppy?

So, you thought your puppy looked like a Skeeter but now that you’ve had him home for a few weeks, he’s definitely a Scooter. There’s no need to fret, according to Petfinder. Your puppy can learn his/her name in just a few days.

Here are some simple steps to help your puppy learn his/her new name:

  1. Decide on the new name
  2. Have treats on hand to reward your pup when he/she responds to his/her name
  3. Randomly call out his/her new name and when he/she responds, give them praise and a treat.
  4. Even if the puppy doesn’t respond, when you call the new name, give him/her a treat so the word is associated with a yummy treat.

Naming your new puppy shouldn’t be a tedious experience, it should be enjoyable and memorable. Taking your time during the naming process will ensure that whatever name you choose, will be special and from the heart.  

Do you have a favorite theme for dog names?

Let us know in the comments section below.

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100+ Best Golden Retriever Dog Names - English Cream Golden Retriever puppy sitting on pebbled concrete
100+ Best Golden Retriever Dog Names

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  1. We named one of our Golden’s Charlie too! I can’t wait to hear about your journey with lil’ Chuck.

  2. Hi Nettie,
    Book characters are another great way to find name inspiration. I love that your grandson made the final decision and what a great name!
    Hope you are doing well!

  3. Hi Kristen,

    Love your story about naming Olive! We need to get Charlie and Olive together for a playdate soon. I’m sure they would be buds!
    Take care,

  4. Hi Lorrie,
    I love all your pictures of Cocoa Bunny. I didn’t mention it in the article, but we definitely thought of naming Charlie “George II.” I just love that name and you’re right, we could remember him always that way.

  5. Hi Allison,
    I love that name, too! Bueller….Bueller….Bueller.
    Thanks for reading my article!

  6. What a fun article, Rissa! Congratulations on your handsome Charlie. I currently have no pets but my daughter has a new pup and asked for suggestions from the human grandparents. One suggestion was a character from a favorite book (Atticus or Scout) from “To Kill a Mockingbird”. I suggested Morgan (as in the Pirate) because he had a black patch of fur circling one eye. All fun for the family and inclusively creative. Ultimately, my grandson awoke one morning and out of the blue called him “Rex” … it stuck.

  7. Love the article Rissa. It definitely is a big task on picking a name. Your steps will help many families pick the best name for their newest members.

  8. Great job Rissa…if I was getting a dog, I would refer to all of your suggestions.Charlie is so cute. His name fits him perfectly. Good Luck with puppy training. 😉

  9. Great article Rissa. We have always been very fortunate to get the right name for our pups, and family choice is always the most important for us from your list. Our current pup was named over a dinner in a restaurant before picking her up the next day. We were deciding between Sydney, and another name, and then Michael was drinking a Martini and pulls out the skewer of olives from his drink and says “What about Olive?”, and just like that we all knew that was her name! Fits her perfect!

  10. Great article, Rissa! One thing we’ve done which others may or may not like is name the next dog (in our case) Chocolate Lab the same as our previous precious pup. Cocoa Bunny was the OG and our current girl is Cocoa Bunny II. We loved our first so much. We just get to keep saying her name again and again. My rescue bichon came with the name Tootsie. Didn’t suit her. She was navigating a new home with 2 big sister dogs and we noticed she favored taking shortcuts, as in scooting under the bed or tables. So, changed her name to Short Cut. Of course, we call her Shorty, for short. 🤣 Fun topic!

  11. Awesome article!! I’ll definitely refer back to this list when I get a new puppy. Sloane is a favorite…I love Ferris Bueller!!

    I always worry about “am I picking the right name”, but you’re right, it should be a fun experience! And the name always ends up matching the dog (or vice versa)…funny how that works out.

    Thanks for the tips!

  12. Great job Rissa! Growing up, I had a poodle named Snuggles. When my girls found out my childhood dog’s name, they wanted to name their dog that as well. So oddly enough, I have had two dogs named snuggles! 🙂

  13. Tons of great names here. We actually named one of our Golden Retriever puppies Charlie too :), but you already know that.

    You mentioned one of my best tips when trying to choose a name for your puppy. That is think about different themes. Your favorite movies, your favorite bands, places you’ve been, and of course the 80’s 🙂

    Great job on your first blog post!

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