How To Choose A Yorkie Name

The Yorkshire Terrier

Your new Yorkie puppy: How do you choose the perfect name?
Your new Yorkie puppy: How do you choose the perfect name?

Your Yorkie puppy: Getting the name right

Yorkshire Terriers, or Yorkies, are a Toy breed- but they make up for their small stature with rather large personalities! The breed originated in Yorkshire in England’s north in the 1800s. The exact mix of pedigrees that went into the Yorkshire Terrier ‘melting pot’ isn’t exactly known: however, the breed was developed initially to be a working dog. True terriers, Yorkies have well-developed hunting instincts, and their small size and high intelligence meant that they were the perfect dog to hunt and kill rats and other vermin in mills.

So the Yorkie is small, agile and alert- they have an engaging personality, are filled with dauntless courage, are very intelligent, easy to train, splendid as a watchdog, fearless and tenacious and totally lovable. They are wonderful pets and companions and of course they look adorable with their long silky textured coats.

So, how to choose a name?

There are so many ways to select a name for your Yorkshire Terrier puppy: in fact, it can be somewhat overwhelming if you just start searching lists of names for inspiration. Far better to have some inspiration in mind, so that you can quickly narrow down your search to find the perfect name.

On what basis can you narrow the search? Here are some suggestions that may be helpful...

Size

The Yorkie is a small dog with a big personality, so names either end of the size spectrum could be quite suitable. To honor her small stature, perhaps consider names of small things or that mean small. You might consider names of fairies and elves, or think of small creatures, or use a name of something that’s small. For a female puppy you could consider names like Minnie, Tinkerbell, Sparrow, Fairy: or for him, Leprechaun, Elf, Sprout or Dumpling.

To recognize the size of the dog they think they are, consider names that mean large, or that have associations with large or powerful personalities. The Greek and Roman gods are a great source of inspiration: think Zeus, Jupiter, Juno, Titan, Amazon, Sparticus. Or consider heroes and heroines of the ages: Boudicea, Columbus, Washington, Robin Hood, Cleopatra. Then of course there are big names like Maximus and Magnus- a little tongue in cheek perhaps, but lots of fun.

The Nature of the Yorkie Breed

We have already described various traits of the Yorkshire Terrier breed: they are agile, bright, protective and brave, clever, friendly and cheerful. There are many names that have these meanings: here are some examples:

Males: 

  • Ziven- Vigorous and lively 
  • Finn-  Bright, fair 
  • Liam-  Resolute protector 
  • Leopold- Brave people 
  • Frodi- Wise, learned 
  • Jebediah- Beloved friend 
  • Tate-  Cheerful 

Females: 

  • Valeria- Vigerous and strong
  • Yelena- Bright, shining one
  • Bronya- Protector
  • Dustin- Brave
  • Ulima- Astute, wise warrior
  • Nakota- Friend to all
  • Bonnie- Beautiful and cheerful

Personality

Your particular Yorkie pup might be calm and thoughtful, or bouncy and bumptious! She might have a regal air about her (Juno = Queen of the heavens): or she might be more serene and thoughtful (Serena = tranquil or serene). Perhaps she’s very cheeky (Lalita = playful, charming): or full of never ending energy (Amelia = Energetic) . If your puppy is male, you might consider Rex or Malik (both mean King), Sage (wise), Finley (fair-haired hero) or Garrick (mighty warrior). It can be great to select a name that reflects your Yorkie puppy’s individual personality.

Origin

Where did your Yorkie pup come from: is the name of the town, county, state or country a good name source? (I’m thinking London, America, Ainslie, Bronx). Were you visiting somewhere special when you decided to adopt a Yorkie? Do you live at the beach (Sandy, Shelly, Ocean) or between the mountains (Camden = winding valley)? What time of year was your puppy born (Summer, Autumn, Winter are all great names: so is Christmas: or what about the name of the month?)

The breed Yorkshire Terrier originated in the north of England: so the history or traditional names of Yorkshire might also offer some great inspiration.

With a little thinking, a name that reflects your Yorkie’s origin may be the perfect name!

Favorite things

What are some of your favorite things? Do you have a favorite spice or herb (Tarragon, Mustard, Camomile), or tree (Elm, Cedar, Maple, Oak)? What about a flower (Clover, Lotus, Periwinkle), or color (Butterscotch, Amber, Indigo, Russet) or gemstone (Jade, Garnet, Agate, Ruby). Do you have a favorite book or movie that might have a character name that suits your puppy? A favorite composer or artist?

Family Name

Consider your family name as you’re selecting your Yorkie’s name. There are no rules here: you just have to be happy with the effect. Some families love the idea of the puppy’s name rhyming with the family name (Gandalf Randalph) or adding to the meaning (Juniper Berry)- other families hate the idea.

Initials

Similarly, some families don’t worry too much about the initials that a puppy’s name generates, and other families place great meaning on them. Just consider the initials and make sure you are happy... Oscar King?

Ease of saying the name

Some names are very easy to say (Olive, Basil, Amy): others are difficult to say, Meriadoc, Helysoune), or it can be hard for people to know the correct pronunciation if they only see the written name (Hermione, Persephone, Aphrodite, Peridot). Make sure you are happy with the way the name rolls off your tongue, and the tongues of your children (or parents).

Ability to shorten the name, or not

Once again, some families are quite happy for their puppy’s name to be shortened, while others prefer the name to be used in exactly the same way as it was given. I know a family who own Penelope- and Heaven help the unknowing guest who calls her Penny!

Familiarize yourself with the possible abbreviations of the name, and make a decision as a family: nickname- yes or no?

Familiar or unusual?

Some families name their Yorkies with name you wouldn’t ordinarily hear on the street: Mimosa, Cobalt, Gaia, Jupiter, Hermes, Meteor, Okie Dokie- the list is endless! So too is the list of more familiar names: Taylor, Ebony, Archie, Edmond, Jasmine, Nicholas...

You can certainly give a Yorkie puppy a far more adventurous name than you would ever give to a human child, and certainly this provides an enormous list of possibilities, which of course is why it is sometimes so difficult to choose! Having such options means you really can use your sense of adventure or fun when naming your Yorkie puppy.

Who has used the name before?

This is possibly where your initial choice of name might require modification: what creatures, people or stories does the intended name conjure up for people?

For example, Lassie is a lovely name, but when you call out Lassie at the dog park, people expect to see a collie! Felix is a name more associated with felines than canines, which is a shame because it means fortunate and happy, which would be quite appropriate as a Yorkie name. Basil is adorable, but some of us associate it with a fox (or a bumbling waiter!), and Coco will remind some of Chanel, and others of a clown!

Sometimes it is worth trying the name out on a few people before affixing it permanently to your puppy... you never know what associations might be lurking for a perfectly gorgeous name!

Does the puppy seem to like the name?

This is ultimately how some families make the final decision: shortlist the names, and call the puppy with each name in turn to see if he or she responds best to a certain name. Or be a bit ‘Paul the Octopus’ (of the recent World Cup fame), and place three or four treats on the ground, each attached to a shortlisted name. The first treat the puppy reaches and eats determines the name he or she will bear.

I hope this has been of some help. For more great ideas for Yorkie names, visit this site where you will find plenty of interesting lists: you’re sure to find inspiration there...

Please share your Yorkie puppy name ideas! 3 comments

Eco_Ali profile image

Eco_Ali 6 years ago from Central New Jersey ~Trenton/Princeton area

Hi, loved your very informative hub on Yorkies. Mine will be twelve this month. She was already 9 pounds at 12 weeks when I got her but didn't grow much more after that. Because she always jumped at houseflies, trying to catch them in her mouth, I named her "Venus, fly trap" but we affectionately call her "De Beans" or "De Beanie Baby" or sometimes "Angel Puppy" all of which bring a cheery tilt of the head and many many kisses. EVERYONE should have a toy dog at least once in their life...especially a Yorkie!!


TattooKitty profile image

TattooKitty 5 years ago from Hawaii

Great advice for all dog owners! Finding a name for your pet is a process that should be taken seriously. My fiancée and I debated on this subject for days before we finally ended up with the name "Ziggy" for our Yorkie. It's hilarious to think back on all the crazy names we considered- Max Power, Buzz Lightyear, Ocho-Cinco...LOL! Our pitbull was so much easier to name since War's song "Cisco Kid" blared on the radio during our first car ride together ;)


Monica 2 years ago

Me and my sister had a yorkie and we called him Toby he was really cute

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