Australia’s top-trending dog names of 2020 – including Kobe, Gigi, Walter and Dixie

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Sporting legends and music icons have inspired the greatest number of Australian dog names in 2020 so far, new research reveals.

A study based on 156million Google searches by pet food company Hill’s Nutrition found the nation’s top-trending moniker for pups is now Kobe, the first name of late basketball star Kobe Bryant who died tragically in a plane crash on January 26.

The research – which analysed Australian searches related to dog adoption, getting a new dog, breeds and names – identified second and third favourites as Walter and Dixie.

And perhaps it’s no surprise that in a year characterised by isolation, TV also heavily influenced naming trends, with Elsa – the protagonist princess in Disney’s Frozen – and Shelby, the surname of the notorious gangster family in Netflix‘s Peaky Blinders, both featuring inside the top 10.

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Sporting legends and music icons influenced dog naming in Australia in 2020 (stock image)

Sporting legends and music icons influenced dog naming in Australia in 2020 (stock image)

Top 10 most searched for dog names 

1. Kobe

2. Dixie

3. Walter

4. Boomer

5. Bear

6. Hunter

7. Odie

8. Elsa

9. Gigi

10. Shelby

Source: Pet Hill’s Nutrition

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Top 10 most searched for dog breeds 

1. Cavoodle

2. Golden Retriever

3. French Bulldog

4. Australian Shepherd

5. Border Collie

6. German Shepherd

7. Pomeranian

8. Rottweiler

9. Pug

10. Labradoodle

Source: Pet Hill’s Nutrition 

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Also on the list were more traditional dog names like Bear and Boomer.

Touchingly, Gigi – the nickname of Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna who died with him – also scraped inside the top 10 in ninth position.

Demand for ‘fur babies’ has surged since the start of the COVID pandemic in March, with a staggering 6.2million Google searches related to ‘dog adoption’ and ‘getting a new dog’ in the first half of 2020 alone.

That’s a 111 percent rise in interest compared to the same period in 2019, data shows.

And as pets continue to play an increasingly important role in the lives of many Australians, it’s interesting to note the crossover between top-trending dog and human names. 

In an ode to late basketball legend Kobe Bryant (pictured left on the court in 2012), Kobe was the most popular dog name

Closely followed by Dixie, the former name of the iconic country band now known as the Chicks (pictured in 2014)

In an ode to late basketball legend Kobe Bryant (pictured left on the court in 2012), Kobe was the most popular dog name closely followed by Dixie, the former name of the iconic country band now known as the Chicks (right, in 2014)

The cavoodle - a hybrid of a cavalier King Charles spaniel and a toy poodle (pictured in Sydney on April 8, 2020) - was Australia's favourite breed

The cavoodle – a hybrid of a cavalier King Charles spaniel and a toy poodle (pictured in Sydney on April 8, 2020) – was Australia’s favourite breed

Roughly 30 percent of the top 25 dog names are also popular for babies, with Hunter and Daisy a favourite choice for both. 

Analysis of Google searches into 480 breeds revealed the cavoodle – a hybrid of a cavalier King Charles spaniel and a toy poodle – took pole position as the country’s most searched for pedigree.

Animal lovers in New South Wales favoured bulldogs over other breeds, while Tasmanians as well as South and West Australians preferred herding dogs and residents of the Northern Territory plumped for greyhounds.

Meanwhile Golden Retrievers, pugs and Pomeranians remained popular Australia-wide.

Notably absent from the list is the Staffordshire Bull Terrier or ‘Staffy’, which has long been one of Australia’s most popular breeds.

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