Victory’s Bella, an American bulldog staffie cross, is just one of 73 dogs called Bella registered in Nelson - making it the most popular dog name in the city. Photo: Kate Russell.

Nelson’s most popular dog names revealed


If you call out Bella to retrieve your dog, you may find several heading your way – as it’s the most popular dog name in Nelson.

A total of 73 dogs are named Bella, with Ruby, Max, Poppy and Charlie following close behind, according to the latest dog registration statistics from Nelson City Council.

Jess, Molly, Lilly, Millie and a tie between Lucy and Buddy round out the top 10.

And while the top names appear to all be popular human names, there are some more ‘unique’ one-off names in the list including Blood, Happy, Bumblebee, Duchess Dinky Doll and Bogan.

There is an abundance of food and beverage-themed names, including Biscuit, Honey, Caramilk, Cinnamon, Pepsi, Coffee, Mallowpuff, Cookie, Marmite, Cheezil, Peanut, Milo, Muffin, Pie and Raisin.

While others have chosen to name their pooch after their favourite alcoholic drink, such as Heineken, Whiskey, Kahlua and Gin, or even their favorite fruit – Mango, Peaches and Plum.

Then you’ve got your favourite movie and television characters – we’ve got a Frodo, Gandalf, Jon Snow, Batman and Chewbacca all walking the streets of Nelson.

One of the 73 dogs in Nelson called Bella is two-and-a-half-year-old American bulldog staffie cross – although she is often referred to as ‘Bell-Bells’ or ‘Crazy’ by her owner Naomi Hobson.

“We went through a long list of names and just went with whatever she responded to. For ages she was just ‘puppy’ but then Bella just stuck.”

A Nelson City Council spokesperson says so far in the current registration year period (2018/19) there have been 5604 dogs registered. There were 5869 dogs registered in 2017/18.