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15 Old-Fashioned Dog Names That Are Way More Appropriate For Fur Babies Than Human Children

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When you're welcoming a new dog into the family, one of the biggest decisions you have to make (after choosing the dog itself) is selecting just the right name. Some families know right away what they want to call their fur baby, while others are less certain. For the folks on the fence, you can't go wrong with an old-fashioned dog name that's both classic and memorable.

Some bygone names have zoomed back into popularity among parents looking to make their babies stand out among the crowd. Witness the Social Security Administration list of top baby names of the 2010s, which includes such turn-of-the-century choices as Caleb, Lydia, Ezekiel, Clara, Calvin, and Eliza. But some of the names that were common in our our grand- and great-grandparents' day still don't translate well to 21st-century children. Not so for dogs. In fact, the quainter and more retro the name, the more adorable it is.

Why does this trend work? Baby Name Wizard's Laura Wattenberg has a theory she shared with the website Quartzy. Dog owners are more likely now to consider their pets as children, so it's only logical that more dogs are being given human names. And old-fashioned names are considered "warmer" than contemporary ones, added Wattenberg, which makes them ideal for a pet that's valued for its unconditional love.

These are just a few of the fun older names out there that suit a Labrador Retriever or Dachshund just as well as — or even better than — a newborn child. Try them out for size and see if they don't make you smile.

1. Dexter

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Not everyone can carry off this Latin name that means "right-handed" or "fortunate," according to The Bump. But a dog can do it better than most. Your fur companion will also gladly answer to Dex when necessary.

2. Muriel

Even though the meaning of this Gaelic name is gorgeous (it's derived from the words "bright sea"), it feels a little too old for a baby girl — but not for a sweet pooch.

3. Amos

This Hebrew name meaning "carried by God" ranked in the top 200 in the 1880s, according to Nameberry, but barely makes a blip among baby boys today. For a dog, however, the name feels as comfortable as an old shoe.

4. Wilma

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Derived from the name Wilhelmina, which means "resolute protector," Wilma is the name of the Boxer who was up for the Best in Show title at this year's Westminster Dog Show, as reported by People. (And, of course, we can't forget the famous Mrs. Flintstone.)

5. Buster

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Depending on your frame of reference, Buster could put you in mind of either famed silent comic Buster Keaton, the old kids' shoe brand Buster Brown, Arthur the Aardvark's best bunny pal, or Buster Bluth from Arrested Development. Whichever you prefer, the name has a goofy charm that suits a fun-loving dog perfectly.

6. Shirley

This Old English name meaning "bright meadow" has been in decline since the late 1940s, according to The Bump. It doesn't show signs of becoming the next trendy girl's name, but it makes a nice feminine name for a female dog.

7. Archie

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Thanks to the popular comic series and its TV incarnation Riverdale, this Teutonic name meaning "truly brave" is a nickname for the longer Archibald. An appropriate name for a dog who will gladly protect you against criminals, strange dogs, and the occasional pigeon.

8. Millie

For a name that means "industrious" or "gentle strength," according to The Bump, Millie has a sweet and playful air that would suit a small dog who's always up for a romp in the yard or a game of fetch.

9. Jasper

This Persian name meaning "bringer of treasure" is on the rise among American baby names, according to Nameberry, as well as in the UK. It's the name of a gemstone and a Twilight character, not to mention the animatronic dog musician you see in Chuck E. Cheese arcades.

10. Maisie

Slowly gaining popularity as an American baby name, according to Nameberry, this nickname for Margaret has a sweet charm that still seems better suited to a good-natured pup.

11. Otis

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If you have fond memories of watching the movie The Adventures of Milo and Otis as a child, you can honor those memories by naming your new dog after one of the heroes of the film. Particularly appropriate if your pup is a Pug, like the Otis of the movie was.

12. Dottie

Is your dog a Dalmatian, or does it have a similarly spotted coat? Pay tribute to it with this variant name for Dorothy (which in itself means "gift of God") that's likely to stay more popular as a dog's name than as a trendy girl's name.

13. Ralph

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Thanks to a certain popular Disney video-game movie hero, this Old Norse name meaning "wolf counsel" (according to Baby Name Wizard) is back on everyone's radar. This would be a most fitting name for a rambunctious pup who does a lot of "wreck-it" behavior by accident.

14. Mabel

Since this old-fashioned girl's name comes from the Latin for "lovable," it certainly fits a dog of any breed to a T.

15. Floyd

Does your new best friend have a gift for music (like howling along to your piano playing)? Try this name out for size, which is reminiscent of both the rock band Pink Floyd and of The Muppet Show's band drummer, Floyd Pepper. Since the name means "gray-haired," according to The Bump, it would be perfect for a gray-coated breed like the Schnauzer.