Bella is the most popular dog name in the Western Bay, shared by more than 330 monikered mutts.

Molly, Max, Charlie and Poppy round out the top five, according to dog registration data from Tauranga City Council and the Western Bay of Plenty District Council.

About 21,000 dogs are registered across the two districts, an increase of about 2000 dogs in five years.

Of those, there are 51 dogs registered as dangerous and 344 as menacing.

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The oldest registered dog is 21.

Labrador is the most popular registered breed, making up nearly 15 per cent of the canine population, followed by border collie, fox terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier and jack russell terrier.

Desexing is more common in the city, with about 65 per cent of dogs desexed in Tauranga City, compared with about 30 per cent in the Western Bay.

There are more than 5000 unique dog names in the Western Bay region. Among them were five dogs named Dog and one named Cat.

Other represented species included Skunk, Rhino, Wombat, Hippo, Pig, Cougar, Panda, Moose, Wolf and Possum.

The shortest names were V and B, while the longest looks like a family effort: Teddy Snowey Elsa Emma Murray.

Famous film dog names were popular, with more than 100 Marleys (Marley and Me) and many Shadows (Homeward Bound) and Otises (Milo and Otis), plus a few Napoleons, Lassies and one Beethoven.

Cartoon pooch names included multiple Snoopys, Scoobys, Scrappys, Mutleys, Plutos, Snoweys, Cliffords and Opies, plus 1 Dug and 1 Goofy.

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The region's one Tramp has his work cut out for him with 34 Lady dogs.

Booze-loving Bay residents have christened pups Beer, Rum, Wine, Shiraz, Bourbon, Pinot, Merlot, Whiskey, Brandy, Shandy, Tequila and Gin.

Alcohol has the edge in the battle of the brands too, including Woodstock, Speights, Guinness, Coruba, Hennessy, Stella Artois, Jagermeister and Smirnoff.

No surprise there is a Tipsy out there - and a Rehab.

If you are planning to do Dry July you might want to stick to Pepsi, Coke, Juice, Latte, Coffee, Soda, or Water instead.

Culinary canines include Custard, Chocolate, Pumpkin, Pizza, Schnitzel, Noodle, Biscuit, Beetroot, Apple, Cupcake, Toast, Bread, Pretzel, Gherkin, Pickle and Bagel.

In pop culture, the Star Wars universe is well represented, with Luke, Leia, Vader, Jabba, Kylo, Finn, Poe, Solo, Jedi, Chewbacca, Anakin Lord of the Sith, Yoda and Spock (just kidding).

Frodo and Bilbo are there, along with Smeagol and Galadrial from Lord of the Rings.

Some names contain breed clues: Pippy Longdog, Vincent Van Doodle, The Corgster.

Popular patriotic names include Marmite, Mate, Kiwi, Rimu, Anzac, and Haka.

Sporting stars Beatrice Faumoina, Sonny Bill, Piri Weepu, and Jono Lomu have namesakes.

If you're calling for "Bru" in the park, you might meet Brugal, Brew, Brewster, Bruno, Brucie, Bruiser, Bruntsfield, Brut, Bruzo, Bruce, Brutus, Brumble, or, if you're lucky, Bruno Mars.

Top Western BOP dog names

Bella
Molly
Max
Charlie
Poppy
Ruby
Jack
Roxy
Jess
Coco

Sources: Tauranga City Council and Western Bay of Plenty City Council

How do SPCA pups get names?

Many SPCA puppy names are chosen by their foster families, says Tauranga SPCA volunteer Kristel Saul.

"They spend so much time with the puppy, and get to know their personality.

"I think our foster parents do such a great job, so it's the least I can do to keep the name they have picked for them."

Ms Saul said some dogs come to the centre with a name. Some names are kept and others are changed to something similar sounding for confidentiality reasons.

In other cases, centre staff and volunteers look for names based on characteristics.

People who adopt dogs are welcome to give them new names, she said.

"It is always nice to see the kids coming together to name their new addition."


Reminder: dog registrations due soon

- Registrations for 2017/18 are due 30 June
- Dogs not reregistered by 1 July are unregistered dogs
- Register before 31 July for a discounted rate
- The new colour tag for 2017/18 will be red