No wonder we get queries about giving children names shared by family dogs.
Corrected. (And link made into a link, since it was triggering the word verification anyway.)
It's interesting that a few non-people names persist in the list for male dogs—well, they're still people nicknames, but not many parents are actually bestowing Buddy, Duke, Rocky, or Bear as given names—but all of the names on the list for female dogs are pretty standard name-names.
Also, can someone explain the name Bear-for-a-dog to me? When I was a child we had neighbors with a large black dog with this name, and it confused the heck out of me. Was it really a bear? Was it part-bear and part-dog? It wasn't hairless, and all dogs were generally naked otherwise, so I knew it wasn't really named Bare. My three-year-old brain just could not compute, and while I've since figured out that it was just a plain dog I'm still not clear on what makes this a logical name ;).
Did the dog look like a bear/teddy bear? Or did it as a puppy? I think thats how a lot of dogs get that name, especially fluffy dogs like Newfoundlands. (You can google 'dogs that look like bears' for some cute photos and decide for yourself if they do!)
I prefer using people names on my pets; it gives me a chance to use some of my favorite names.
It could have been that. I remember it as pretty much dog-shaped, maybe a labrador? and very big (but it probably wasn't actually huge, as I was very little then). My memories of its coat are pretty vague and not bear-like, but it might well have been a fluffy puppy.
Also, OMG, googling "puppy that looks like a bear" is a serious rabbit hole of cute.
A black dog (maybe labrador, maybe doberman cross, can't remember) bounded out from behind a tree in the woods at me in Vancouver once and I thought it WAS a bear. Nearly fell over backwards with fright. I can definitely see the name on anything big, fluffy or not!
I know a family with a dog named Kitty. They went to the shelter to adopt a cat, but picked a small dog instead and named her Kitty to commemorate the event. Later they got a large dog, and named him Bear. I think it was to continue the dog-named-for-another-animal theme and to recognize his largeness compared to Kitty.
I had a dog named Fluffy that wasn't particularly fluffy. I had had a larger dog as a child, and my parents were worried that he would attack my newborn sister. I suggested a "little white fluffy dog" as an alternative (I was thinking of a Bichon Frise, without knowing the name or anything about them other than that they were little, white, and fluffy.) My parents bought a brown shih tzu, which I named Fluffy to commemorate the fluffy dog I had expected.
Heh, my family actually had a dog named Kitty many years ago. My mother wanted an "old-fashioned" girl's name for our new puppy, and after rejecting what felt like hundreds of names I facetiously suggested Kitty. We got the puppy to help my four-year-old brother get over a fear of dogs after a doberman attack (he wasn't badly injured, but it was very scary for all involved), so he got a bigger vote on the name than the rest of us. He thought a-dog-named-kitty was the funniest joke he had ever heard, so the name stuck.
Bear as a name for a particular dog doesn't seem totally inexplicable, it's just surprising to me that it fits enough dogs/appeals to enough dog-owners to be a top-10 name. But I believe Tiger used to be a very common dog name, back when dog names tended more toward Rover and Spot, so I guess it's probably just a shift in fashion for the particular ferocious predator name?