Sports Names for Dogs

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that people are interested in sports names for dogs. I mean, people come up with the wildest reasons for naming their pets as they do.

While not a sporty name, I’ll never forget the Great Dane who lived next door to my childhood home. The dog’s name was Hamlet. It wasn’t until I got to high school and started reading Shakespeare that I got the tongue-in-cheek reference to the dog’s name.

Until I started thinking about writing about this topic, I never realized how many people I knew had actually named their dogs for a favorite sports team, sport or athlete.

For example, my cousin Ryan has a dog named Sandberg. It’s after Ryne Sandberg who played 2nd base for the Cubs–my cousin’s favorite team. I should explain how much of a sports nut Ryan is.

One, he played baseball in college. Two, he married his sweetheart in a ceremony held at home plate of a minor league baseball stadium in Indiana. Finally, he named his first son Colt for his beloved Indianapolis Colts–so he likes football, too. So giving his pup a sports-inspired name makes perfect sense.

Speaking of sports, these colleges have dog mascots for their sports teams.

Sports names for dogs

In researching this article, I discovered that there were a few common themes to sports names for dogs. That is, there were certain sports that inspired the most names. 

For example, I had the easiest time finding the following:

  • Baseball dog names
  • Basketball names for dogs
  • Football dog names
  • Hockey dog names
  • Soccer names for dogs
  • Tennis names for dogs
  • Golf-inspired names for dogs

Then, within these sports themes, there are name ideas for male dogs and female dogs.

Also, like my cousin Ryan, there are lots of athlete names for dogs. In other words, people who name their dog after their favorite athlete like Ryan did.

Some people combine the two–name a dog after a favorite athlete from a favorite team. Others actually name their dogs after their favorite team, not a specific player.

On the other hand, maybe you want to name your dog with a theme similar to your favorite player. For example, Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes has two dogs named after elements, says People Magazine. They are Silver and Steel.

So, what are some of these sporty names for dogs you might consider? Here are my suggestions, grouped together by sport or theme.

Baseball names for dogs

As I mentioned my cousin Ryan named his dog Sandberg after his favorite baseball player. 

After learning that, I found out that a friend from the Bronx, New York, has a dog named Yankees. However, I wasn’t able to confirm if the dog is pinstriped like the Yankees uniform.

Some other baseball-inspired names for dogs might include:

  • Babe or Ruth
  • Yogi or Berra
  • Willie or Mays
  • Roberto or Clemente
  • Cal or Ripken
  • Camden (for Camden Yards)
  • Sox
  • Astro
  • Angel
  • Cub
  • Giant
  • Brewer
  • Tiger
  • Ranger
  • Ray
  • Red
  • Marlin
  • Royal
  • Rocky
  • Catcher
  • Pitcher
  • Homer
  • Coach
  • Strike
  • Mitt
  • Slugger
  • Wrigley
  • Dugout
  • Peanut
  • Popcorn
  • Cracker Jack
  • Stretch
  • Ball boy
  • Ball girl
  • Rookie
  • Shortstop
  • Shea

Basketball names for dogs

I’ll bet you can come up with clever names for dogs based on your favorite basketball players or teams (NBA or WNBA), or something else related to the sport. 

Here are some ideas.

  • Larry or Byrd
  • Charles or Barkley
  • Kobe or Bryant
  • Magic
  • Shaq
  • Nettie 
  • Maverick
  • Knick
  • Piston
  • Riley
  • Jordan
  • Air
  • Julius
  • Wilt
  • Jazz
  • Buck
  • Pacer
  • Ace 
  • Sky
  • Point
  • Guard
  • Coach
  • Storm
  • Sparks
  • Mercury
  • Lynx
  • Raptor
  • Brooklyn
  • Timberwolf
  • Grizzly
  • Nugget
  • Hornet
  • Thunder
  • Wizard
  • Hoops

Football names for dogs

A friend of mine who lives in State College, Pennsylvania, let me know that Nittany is a popular name for dogs there. That’s no surprise since State College is home to Penn State University and Penn State is the Nittany Lions.

You have to wonder if dogs associated with the University of Michigan end up as Wolverine or the University of Alabama as Roll Tide or the University of Florida as Gators.

Truth is, most of the football names for dogs that I know are actually more closely aligned with professional NFL teams and team players. 

sports names for dogs

Here are some names to consider:

  • Tom or Brady
  • Gronk
  • Peytor or Eli or Manning
  • Joe or Montana or Namath
  • Patrick or Mahomes
  • John or Elway
  • Eagle
  • Viking
  • Packer
  • Giant
  • Chief
  • Patriot
  • Dolphin
  • Buck or Buccaneer
  • Raider
  • Bronco
  • Bear
  • Raven
  • Brown
  • Bengals
  • Colt
  • Jet
  • Saint
  • Charger
  • Ram
  • Panther
  • Titan
  • Jaquar
  • Texan
  • Falcon
  • Steeler
  • Tackle
  • Touchdown
  • Spike
  • Quarterback
  • Pocket
  • Holding
  • Flag
  • Coach
  • Punter
  • Blitz

Finally, with the passing of Pittsburgh Steelers legend, Franco Harris, I wonder if we’ll see a lot of male dogs named Franco or Harris.

Football fan but love dogs? Then you must check out the Puppy Bowl this year.

Soccer dog names

With the popularity of the soccer TV show “Ted Lasso,” do you think people are naming their dogs Ted or Lasso now? What about Roy or Kent? Or Richmond for the fictional Richmond Greyhounds? Or Earl for the team’s greyhound mascot?

Of course, you can always name your dog after real-life, well-known soccer players, such as:

  • Mia Hamm
  • David Beckham
  • Hope Solo
  • Carli Lloyd
  • Brandi Chastain
  • Lionel Messi
  • Cristiano Rinaldo
  • Pele
  • Alex Morgan
  • Megan Rapinoe
  • Abby Wambach
  • Briana Scurry

Hockey dog names

Another cousin of mine named a dog for an athlete, but this time for a hockey player. Here’s what she told me: 

“We had a rescue lab mix that we named Ulf, after Ulf Samuelsson, a defensemen for the New York Rangers, cause we really liked him as a player.”

I imagine there are probably lots of dogs that have been named Gretzky.

On the flipside, I learned that a friend of mine, who lives near Denver, had a white lab named Avalanche when she was growing up. You know, as in the Colorado Avalanche hockey team.

So, if you’re looking to name your dog after your favorite hockey team–or words associated with hockey–consider these ideas:

  • Puck
  • Ice
  • Goalie
  • Rink
  • Bruin
  • Canuck
  • Duck
  • Oiler
  • Devil
  • Penguin
  • Kraken
  • Saber
  • Knight
  • Black or Hawk or Blackhawk
  • Senator
  • Wild
  • Flyer
  • Jet
  • Islander
  • Capital
  • King
  • Lightning
  • Hurricane
  • Star
  • Panther
  • Predator
  • Shark
  • Blue or Jacket or Blue Jacket
  • Coyote
  • Blues

Tennis inspired dog names

Some of the greatest tennis players have some of the greatest names. So if you love tennis and are looking for a name for your dog, consider these ideas:

  • Wimbledon
  • Naomi or Osaka
  • Billie Jean or King
  • Chrissy or Evert
  • Althea or Gibson
  • Steffi or Graff
  • Martina or Navratilova
  • Bjorn or Borg
  • Venus or Serena or Williams
  • Andre or Agassi
  • Rafael or Nadal
  • Pete or Sampras
  • Arthur or Ashe
  • John or McEnroe
  • Boris or Becker

You can also go with brands associated with playing tennis, such as:

  • Wilson
  • Izod
  • Nike
  • Adidas
  • Lacoste
  • Tretorn

Golf inspired names for dogs

I’ll admit that I’m not a big golfer or golf fan so my suggestions for golf names for dogs isn’t as extensive as for other sports. But, here goes:

  • Tiger or Woods
  • Arnold or Palmer
  • Tom or Watson
  • Jack or Nicklaus
  • Rory or McIlroy (he’s one of the celebs on Peloton)
  • Annika or Sorenson
  • ​​Babe or Didrikson or Zaharias
  • Spike
  • Birdie
  • Mulligan
  • Caddie
  • Divot
  • Putter
  • Driver
  • Chip
  • Links
  • Callaway
  • Titleist
  • Augusta
  • St. Andrews

Here are some ideas for holiday-themed names for dogs.

Leave a Comment