In at second is Bella – 151 dogs, followed by Poppy – 139, Molly – 120, Max – 115, Coco – 108, Ruby – 104, Archie – 85, Luna – 82 and Toby – 79.
But we’re not the Creative Capital for nowt – and it’s in the lower reaches of the dog-moniker popularity list that things get – depending on your outlook – strange, inspired, brilliant or just bonkers.
Pop culture, sports and even high art are apparently acknowledged with dog names including Virginia Wolf, Snoop Dog, Sonny Bill, Ru Paul, Richie McCaw, Dre, Jerry Collins, Van-Go, Monet, McCahon, Scarlett O’Hara, Satchmo, Lady Ga Ga, Jarvis Cocker, Humphrey Bogart, Huey Lewis, Hadlee, Billy Connolly, Captain Jack Sparrow, Douglas Biggie Smalls, and even Ellie-Mae (for those fans of The Beverley Hillbillies).
Bowie has proved popular – with 15 dogs bearing the name.
Star Wars gets a look-in with dogs called, for example, Obi-wan Kenobi (2), Ewok and Chewbacca while there’s a nod to Game of Thrones with Princess Arya of Winterfell.
And historical geopolitics gets a nod with dogs called Winston Churchill and the presumably-conflicted Castro Kennedy.
One interesting trend (is this just a Wellington thing?) is the growth in quite formal human names for some dogs – with posh names like Nigel, Anne, Monica, Terence, Stuart and Gordon – even Jeeves.
One owner has affixed a very posh name, Fenton, to his trusted companion – but we can only hope that’s in tribute to this legendary Youtube video.