New York City's WNYC radio recently published a map of the most popular dog names by ZIP code in New York City, based on 81,542 dog registration records from the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. In honor of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, which begins on Monday in New York, Yahoo News has repurposed that data (which WNYC generously published in its raw form) to show the 25 most popular dog names in New York since 2000.
If you're familiar with the Baby Name Wizard visualization of popular human monikers over time, this should look familiar. Like human names, dog names rise and fall in popularity, often in accordance with pop culture phenomena. It is surely no coincidence that "Bella" is also the name of the heroine in the "Twilight" vampire novels.
Of course, you might be wondering: Are New York dogs really a worthy sample of American canine culture? Are certain canine demographics underrepresented in registration data? The website Vetstreet published its own list of top dog names of 2012 in December, and "Bella" and "Max" topped its list as well. The 40 dogs named "Jeter" registered in New York, meanwhile, are probably not representative of the U.S.