Bella and Charlie have proved to be the most popular dog names in Auckland this year where people have also taken to naming their pooches after their favour food, drink and Star Wars characters.

Flashy names include Gucci and Rolex, foodie names include Walnut, Bacon and Jelly, and there's a Chewbakka, Jodie and Wookie from Star Wars. Four working dogs have been registered as Dog after the famous Footrot Flats cartoon character.

There are 16 dogs registered with the name Batman, one Batgirl and four Robins. There are no dogs named Spiderman. Yet.

The Auckland Council has released details about dog names and breeds across Auckland, where there are 96,699 registered dogs.


Labrador retrievers are by far the most popular dog, making up 14 per cent of the population. They are followed by Staffordshire bull terriers (5.9 per cent), border collies (5.4 per cent) and jack russell terriers (4.5 per cent).

There are also 14 one-of-their-kind in Auckland dogs, ranging from a Beauceron - a guard dog from northern France - to the Eurasier, a spitz breed that originated in Germany; and the Cesky terrier, a short-legged terrier from Czechoslovakia.

Throughout the year, the council's five animal shelters have run theme months for the naming of adoptable dogs. This year themes have included Shortland Street characters, gems and stones, cars and chocolate.

This year, 546 dogs have been adopted and found new homes from the shelters. Six dogs have been adopted into working dog groups, including to K9 Detection and one to the Australian Army.

The story of Brendon McCullum, the Border Terrier

They often joked about the name Brendon McCullum but after watching score 116* they were sold. Photo / Brett Phibbs
They often joked about the name Brendon McCullum but after watching score 116* they were sold. Photo / Brett Phibbs

When Genevieve O'Halloran and her husband Jonathon Earl were living in London they often joked about getting a dog and calling him Brendon McCullum.

After they watched Brendon McCullum score a century for the Black Caps it became a reality.

"We'd came back to New Zealand and we were watching a game from early 2010, we'd just bought the dog and we were still debating what to call it.

"In that game Brendon McCullum got 116 not out in a T20 game in Christchurch.


"That kind of sealed the deal, so Brendon McCullum he is," O'Halloran said.

Earlier this year she ran into the real Brendon McCullum - and yes, she told him about her dog.

The most popular dog in Auckland by far is the Labrador Retriever.
The most popular dog in Auckland by far is the Labrador Retriever.

"Normally under no circumstances would I ever approach someone and get a photo because that's really lame, but I thought under these circumstances I had to.

"I said 'I'm sorry you probably get this all the time to pose for photos,' and he said 'oh no it's fine'.

"I replied 'it's just that my dog's name is Brendon McCullum' and he said 'well actually, I don't get that all the time' and we had a quick chat," O'Halloran said.

After a quick photo McCullum - the man - asked if McCullum - the dog - was well behaved.

O'Halloran told the Black Cap legend that he is well behaved but wouldn't make a good cricketer.

"He's not very good at retrieving, he'll chase balls but not bring them back," she said.

Top 10 dog names in Auckland
· Bella
· Charlie
· Max
· Molly
· Poppy
· Ruby
· Coco
· Roxy
· Oscar
· Toby

Top 10 breeds (make up over 50% of Auckland's registered dogs)
· Labrador retriever (14%)
· Staffordshire bull terrier (5.9%)
· Border collie (5.4%)
· Jack russell terrier (4.5%)
· German shepherd (4.2%)
· Shih tzu (4.1%)
· Bichon frise (3.5%)
· Fox terrier (3.4%)
· American pit bull terrier (3.4%)
· Miniature schnauzer (3.2%)

There are 14 dogs that are the only one of their kind in Auckland.
· Beauceron
· Bracco Italiano
· Canaan
· Coonhound, English
· Eurasier
· Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen
· American fox hound
· Icelandic sheepdog
· Spanish mastiff
· Portuguese podengo
· Polish lowland sheepdog
· Field spaniel
· Cesky terrier
· German hunting terrier