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Brown Dog Names: 109 Names That Avoid the Everyday

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When someone asks you to name an exciting color, maybe brown isn’t the first to come to mind. Brown fades into the background. But that doesn’t mean brown isn’t interesting. There are so many gradations to the shade. And it features so prominently in the world. That includes canines. Plenty of breeds come in different tones of brown. Perhaps you may not consider them as unique or exciting as black dogs or white dogs, but that doesn’t mean they’re not beautiful in their own way. And it isn’t fair to saddle your pup with an ordinary name. Because, let’s face it, the usual brown dog names? They’re over-used. Good thing we have 109 names that break the usual mold and allow your dog to strut their stuff at the dog park.

Brown Dogs

The genetics of dog color SOUND simple. At the most basic, dogs only have two color pigments: black (eumelanin) and red (phaeomelanin). But then you add in eight other genes to the mix. And depending on WHERE those genes attach, you get different coat colors out of the mix. For brown dogs, it’s the B locus that goes to work. (Yes, “B” for brown – no one said scientists were creative)

As with most genes, you have two options: dominant and recessive. If your dog ends up with two recessive copies of the B locus, they’ll have a brown coat (it dilutes the eumelanin). A dominant can produce a lighter brown or liver (a rusty brown). And if you add the B locus to pheomelanin, your dog gets a brown nose and paw pads.

Of course, that’s not the ENTIRE story behind brown dogs. Other genes go into the mix to produce pale brown, fawn, or patterns. This is why that “ordinary” color? Is actually pretty special. For your pup to get that lovely shade of chocolate, all of the genes needed to line up precisely. It’s actually LESS work for a dog’s coat to turn out black!

Brown dogs range in shade from deep chocolate to liver

Popularity of Brown Dogs

Various shades of brown appeal to everyone – at least in the canine world. Plenty of people gravitate to brown dogs when it’s time to bring a new puppy home. You’ll find these pups relaxing with the likes of Amanda Seyfried, Resse Witherspoon, and Kelly Rutherford – to name a few. Even Bill Clinton shared the White House with a chocolate Labrador Retriever named Buddy. Buddy and Socks didn’t exactly get along, though, and Socks tended to steal most of the show.

However, the soft shades of reddish-brown to dark chocolate appeal to a large fan base. Brown dogs don’t languish in shelters and rescues the way their sable cousins do. If you take a quick peek through your neighborhood, odds are you’ll find at least one brown dog (assuming you don’t have one yourself).

Brown Dog Names

With brown dogs fairly thick on the ground, some common names start to emerge. (Admit it – you know AT LEAST one Cocoa) It’s almost as if the brown color – so familiar to all of us – blocks imagination and creativity. But these gorgeous pups deserve the same thought process and attention to naming we use with any other dog. Why settle for an everyday name when you can take the time to delve a little deeper and find something special? The color brown ISN’T limited to flat shades, after all!

And who says you’re limited to a single color palette? There’s no restriction on pet names! We have an entire database waiting for your perusal. Nothing’s out of reach. (And, honestly, there’s no such thing as a “dog name” or “cat name” – names are names) But, here, we have 109 brown dog names to get your mind thinking out of the box.

Famous Brown Dog Names

Have you ever paid attention to how many brown dogs have appeared in our movies, comic strips, and television? Maybe not. The color often fades into the back of our minds. Or maybe it’s because it’s expected. However, when you start LOOKING for brown dogs, they pop out at you. And it’s easy to pick these pups out all of a sudden. So why not look to these famous canines as inspiration for your brown dog name? Odds are, at least one was already a long-time favorite of yours.

  1. Bailey: Or, more appropriately, “Baily, Bailey, Bailey, Bailey.” The hero of A Dog’s Purpose, the canine goes through a few brown dog iterations. And you can even go with one of the other names from the journey: Toby, Ellie, or Buddy.
  2. Duke: In The Secret Life of Pets, Duke ends up as Max’s partner in crime. There’s never any specification on Duke’s breed, other than something large and fluffy.
  3. Marmaduke: Everyone’s favorite Great Dane from the funny pages got his start in 1954.
  4. Pluto: As long as anyone can remember, Pluto’s been Mickey Mouse’s faithful companion.
  5. Santa’s Little Helper: Okay, so it’s a bit long in the name department, but The Simpson’s Greyhound made his appearance in episode one, and he’s been a staple ever since.
  6. Scooby-Doo: Whether you started watching the original cartoon or fell in love with one of the more recent incarnations, everyone adores this talking Great Dane and his love for Scooby Snacks.
Brown dog names don't need to be ordinary

Brown Dog Names Based on Color

Okay, so there’s no way around it: you have a brown dog. Does that mean you need to NAME your dog “brown dog?” Of course not. Or can you? Why not look at brown dog names with an interesting slant? Plenty of variations on “brown” exist out there. And if your pup has different gradations to the shade, all the better. Once you break out the thesaurus, you can fuel your creativity. It beats something boring and ordinary!

  1. Bronze
  2. Copper
  3. Dusty
  4. Hazel
  5. Khaki
  6. Penny
  7. Rusty
  8. Sienna
  9. Suede
  10. Tawny
  11. Umber

Brown Dog Names Based on Food

I’m not going to lie: this particular list? It’s not complete. Because the number of brown foods and drinks? It’s huge! If you sit back and start to think about your favorites, you’ll find the list stretching longer and longer. It’s astonishing. For instance, how many types of chocolate can you name? I couldn’t possibly come up with all of them. Feel free to run wild with your favorites! And spices? I ran through the entire cabinet and blinked in amazement. Almost everything in there is SOME shade of brown. So when it comes to brown dog names with a culinary thought process? You can find SOMETHING to stimulate your brain.

  1. Allspice
  2. Anise
  3. Brandy
  4. Brownie
  5. Bosco (A brand of chocolate syrup)
  6. Bourbon
  7. Caramel
  8. Cardamon
  9. Chai
  10. Chocolate
  11. Cinnamon
  12. Clove
  13. Cocoa
  14. Cookie
  15. Cumin
  16. Folger
  17. Fudge
  18. Ginger
  19. Gingersnap
  20. Hershey
  21. Honey
  22. Kona
  23. Mocha
  24. Mylo (A hot chocolate drink from Australia)
  25. Nutmeg
  26. Peanut Butter
  27. Potato
  28. Pumpernickel
  29. Ras El Hanout
  30. Reese
  31. Snickers
  32. Starbucks
  33. Tea
  34. Toffee
  35. Tootsie
  36. Truffle
  37. Whiskey
The natural world provides the perfect inspiration for brown dog names

Brown Dog Names Based on Nature

Plenty of different trees and animals share that beautiful brown color. So why not use the natural world as inspiration when thinking about brown dog names? Whether you decide on a particular color to match your dog’s shade, feel an animal looks similar, or want to match personalities, any of those ideas work. And it beats the usual route of settling on the name “Teddy Bear.” (Okay, so it’s a KIND of brown bear, but not always the most creative) Once you start skimming through the nature channel, you’ll find your mind picking up on plenty of possibilities.

  1. Acorn
  2. Aspen
  3. Bear (Yes, I admit – I included a bear, but NOT Teddy Bear)
  4. Bunny
  5. Cedar
  6. Kiwi (The birds have brown feathers…of course, the outer covering of the fruit’s brown, too)
  7. Mahogany
  8. Maple
  9. Monkey
  10. Moose
  11. Owl
  12. Sandy
  13. Squirrel (There ARE brown squirrels – plus the irony’s hard to resist)
  14. Teak
  15. Woody

Brown Dog Names Based on Popular Culture

You know, I’m not going to lie: this was the first time I struggled to find pop culture references. As it turns out, brown isn’t a popular color for superheroes to don. However, plenty of your favorite characters have brown hair, so you can always go down that route (and that’s WAY too many people for me to name). And while it took some scrambling, I DID find a few references to pull from if you want to choose brown dog names with a popular slant.

  1. Chewbacca/Chewy (Okay, if I can’t work Harry Potter in everywhere, I CAN get Star Wars in)
  2. Curious George (The little monkey many children grew up reading and sharing adventures with)
  3. Hawkeye (Not as much in the Avengers movies, but Hawkeye’s primary costumes are brown)
  4. Molly Brown (The “unsinkable Molly Brown” was the socialite who encouraged rescuers to return to the site of the Titanic to look for survivors)
  5. Rocketeer (This Disney movie hero wears a leather jacket as part of his disguise)
  6. Serenity (Or, you know, choose your favorite Brown Coat from the series)
  7. Squirrel Girl (Believe it or not, she IS a Marvel superhero)
  8. Willy Wonka (Everyone’s favorite Chocolate Factory owner)
  9. Wolverine (If you ignore the original X-Men comics, the superhero usually dons a leather jacket)

Unique Brown Dog Names

Maybe brown dogs are pretty common. That doesn’t mean you need to settle for an ordinary name. Why not look for something special? You’ll challenge the minds of everyone who asks about your dog. And maybe we’ll start to encourage the world to stray away from the “good old standbys” when it comes to brown dog names. With a little creative thinking, you can find the perfect name for your chocolate-colored pup. And everyone will marvel at your unique creativity!

  1. Aruna (Hindi for “reddish-brown”)
  2. Burnell (French for “small brown one”)
  3. Canela (Spanish for “cinnamon”)
  4. Cleveland (In case you happen to be a fan of the Cleveland Browns)
  5. Cronan (Gaelic for “deep brown”)
  6. Henna (This Indian tradition of hand-painting is brown)
  7. Kahawa (Swahili for “coffee”)
  8. Kahvi (Finnish for “coffee”)
  9. Kasha (Ukrainian for “buckwheat”)
  10. Kobicha (A brown color traditionally used in Japanese kimonos)
  11. Kopi (Indonesian for “coffee”)
Chocolate's a common color in dogs

Brown Dog Names – Different Languages

Of course, when you feel like “brown is best,” you always have an entire globe of languages to choose from. Plenty of different languages offer you the chance to pick your brown dog names. You’re using “brown” without necessarily SOUNDING like you are. Unless someone speaks that particular language (or you choose one of the options that sound similar), no one will know! It’s a clever option no one will suspect.

  1. Barna (Hungarian)
  2. Braon (Bosnian)
  3. Braun (German)
  4. Bruin (Afrikaans)
  5. Brun (French)
  6. Bunaa (Arabic)
  7. Bunni (Somali)
  8. Castanho (Portuguese)
  9. Coklat (Indonesian)
  10. Donn (Gaelic)
  11. Kahverengi (Turkish)
  12. Kannella (Maltese)
  13. Kasshoku (Japanese)
  14. Kayumangii (Filipino)
  15. Marrone (Italian)
  16. Marron (Spanish)
  17. Nau (Vietnamese)
  18. Rudas (Lithuanian)
  19. Ruskea (Finnish)
  20. Zongse (Chinese)

Anything But Ordinary

Brown, as a color, doesn’t get the attention it deserves. And brown dogs? They don’t seem to get the creative and fun names their coat’s worthy of. While you may find plenty of chocolatey-coated pups out there, that doesn’t mean settling for an expected name. Brown dog names can be fun and exciting, too. With the proper time and thought, you can find a name that stands out from the crowd.

Even if your dog tends to blend in!

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Andria Kennedy

Andria Kennedy

Andria Kennedy worked as a Licensed Veterinary Technician for 10 years, focusing on Emergency/ICU and later Cardiology, as well as volunteering at both the Philadelphia Zoo and Virginia Living Museum for over six years. She's now a freelance writer, but she gravitates toward writing projects with a focus on animals (once an animal-lover, always an animal-lover). She lives in Virginia with her husband, three cats (one "works" as her personal assistant), and a Greyhound who thinks she's a big cat — all of them rescues.

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