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155 Dog Names Starting With R: Radical and Resplendent Options

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By Nicole Cosgrove

akita dog resting in the grass

Dogs may not have an alphabet, but if they ever created one, it would undoubtedly start with “R.” Few people know that the 18th letter is the littera canina or the “canine letter,” which is a connection to dogs dating to ancient Rome and the poet Persius. Over the centuries, references to the association found their way into works from legendary artists, including Alexander Barclay, Ben Jonson, and William Shakespeare. This shaped and reinforced the letter’s relationship with man’s best friend.

With that kind of significance, the letter “R” is a perfect starting point for figuring out a name for your new pup. How cool would it be to add that extra layer of meaning, a clever exclamation that yours is the doggiest of dogs? Find the perfect handle for your new best friends in this list of 155 dog names starting with “R.”


Male Dog Names Starting with “R”

The letter “R” is a classic opening to a powerful male name, but Richard and Robert can feel a little too boring for a dog. Give your good boy the most fitting title possible with these male dog names starting with “R.”

  • Rajah
  • Raleigh
  • Ralph
  • Ramone
  • Ramses
  • Randall
  • Ranger
  • Ransom
  • Raoul
  • Raphael
  • Ravi
  • Ray
  • Red
  • Reed
  • Reese
  • Reggie
  • Regis
  • Remington
  • Remy
  • Ren
  • Rex
  • Richie
  • Ricky
  • Rico
  • Ridge
  • Rio
  • Roderick
  • Rodney
  • Roger
  • Rohan
  • Rolf
  • Roman
  • Romeo
  • Ronaldo
  • Rondo
  • Ronnie
  • Rooster
  • Rory
  • Rosco
  • Ross
  • Rover
  • Royal
  • Royce
  • Ruben
  • Rudy
  • Rufus
  • Rupert
  • Russell
  • Rusty
  • Ryan
  • Ryder

Jack Russell Terrier dog in the park on the street in the arms of woman
Image Credit: matsiukpavel, Shutterstock

Female Dog Names Starting with “R”

Finding female names in the “R” category isn’t as easy as rattling off boy names. But if you want an edgy or timelessly cool name for your four-legged lady, there’s no better place to look. Get inspired with these 30 girl dog names.

  • Rachel
  • Radcliff
  • Rain
  • Ramira
  • Ramona
  • Randy
  • Rani
  • Raquel
  • Rashida
  • Raya
  • Rayssa
  • Regan
  • Regina
  • Rene
  • Rhea
  • Rhonda
  • Ridley
  • Riley
  • Rita
  • Robin
  • Romy
  • Rooney
  • Rosaria
  • Rose
  • Rosie
  • Rowena
  • Roxanne
  • Roxie
  • Ruby
  • Ruth

cream female french bulldog with red collar standing on table
Image Credit: Jantanee Boonkhaw, Shutterstock

Fun Dog Names Starting with “R”

The best part of naming dogs is that the standard rules don’t apply. While there are a few unique considerations, which we’ll discuss later, you’re not bound to what we might call “typical” human names.

You can pull ideas from almost anywhere, from popular book characters to favorite foods, using nouns, verbs, and adjectives that perfectly capture your pup’s persona. Although no list could ever include every possible name, these quirky options starting with “R” are excellent fits for the unique dog in your life.

  • Rabbit
  • Racket
  • Radish
  • Raffle
  • Ragamuffin
  • Ragtime
  • Rainbow
  • Raisin
  • Ramrod
  • Rascal
  • Raspberry
  • Rasputin
  • Rasta
  • Ratchet
  • Ravioli
  • Razzy
  • Reebok
  • Rhino
  • Rhubarb
  • Ribbit
  • Rice
  • Rigatoni
  • Rocket
  • Rodeo
  • Roo
  • Rubble
  • Ruckus
  • Ruffles
  • Rugrat
  • Rummy

irish doodle puppy dog lying down on the floor
Image Credit: Joca de Jong, Shutterstock

Cool Names for Dogs Starting with “R”

“Cool” may be a subjective concept when describing a dog name, but some carry an unmistakable edge. If your pup shows a little extra style, see how these names might fit them.

  • Racer
  • Radar
  • Raider
  • Ranger
  • Raptor
  • Raven
  • Razor
  • Reaper
  • Rebel
  • Reef
  • Remix
  • Rev
  • Rhiannon
  • Rhythm
  • Riot
  • Ripper
  • River
  • Rocker
  • Rogue
  • Rowdy
  • Rumble
  • Rumor

Celebrity and Character Names for Dogs

Naming a pet after a celebrity, historical figure, or famous fictional character is always an easy way to create an image for your pet. But full names can sometimes get a little lengthier than you might want. Keep it short and sweet with an instantly recognizable single-word pop culture name like these.

  • R2
  • Rafiki
  • Raichu
  • Rambo
  • Rango
  • Rapunzel
  • Ratso
  • Reba
  • Remus
  • Renesmee
  • Rerun
  • Rey
  • Rhett
  • Riddick
  • Rihanna
  • Riker
  • Ringo
  • Rizzo
  • Rocko
  • Rocky
  • Rubeus
  • Rupaul

French Bulldog and Pug mix puppy looking at the camera
Image Credit: Max DeMaere, Shutterstock

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The Top 5 Tips for Choosing a Stellar Dog Name

A name is usually forever, especially when your dog starts responding to it. Once it’s set in their mind, you don’t want to regret the name later because it sounds awkward or doesn’t fit your pup. It’s a tough decision, but you can still make it confidently by following a few vital pieces of advice.

1. Keep It Brief

The shorter the name, the easier it will be for your dog to learn. Two or three syllables are ideal lengths, as they are more challenging to mishear than a one-syllable word. The change in speaking tone between syllables is also more likely to catch your dog’s attention and effectively convey your feelings.

Woman holding adorable Brussels Griffon puppy indoors
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

2. Avoid Names That Sound Like Commands

You won’t have many long conversations with your dog, but ideally, you’ll embed essential terms in their mind during training. You’ll need distinct sounds to prevent confusion between their name and the other words you’ll use in command training. You don’t want to name your dog Rollo while expecting to teach a “roll over” command. Minor considerations like these will keep your dog stress-free, easy to train, and happy with their name.

3. Consider Housemate Names

A dog’s name should be as unique as possible relative to the other people and pets in the home. If they’re too similar to housemates, you’re likely to see frequent uncertainty whenever you call for one of them. As with training commands, you don’t want names that share the same first letter or rhyme with someone else in the house.

4. Try for a Unique Name

A social dog can benefit from a handle that won’t create confusion around others. Calling out a common name at a park could lead to unexpected interactions with other dogs that share it. You may even face a potential conflict between pets when your dog gets involved. Similar issues can occur for others at the vet, doggy day camps, and boarding facilities. Shoot for a meaningful “R” name, but if you can keep it unique, that’s all the better.

5. Test Out the Name

One of the most entertaining parts of picking a new dog name is trying it out. Act out a few scenarios where you praise your pup, offer a command, or use their name in a typical sentence. It should roll off the tongue smoothly no matter what you say around it.

Labrador puppy in training
Image Credit: Katrin B, Pixabay

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Final Thoughts

Consider your dog’s personality, breed, and environment, and pick an appropriate name that brings joy and excitement whenever they hear it. There aren’t many wrong answers when choosing a name. Whether or not you select a dog name starting with “R,” we hope you appreciate the power to think outside the box and have fun with the process.

Featured Image Credit: Roman Zaiets, Shutterstock

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