Austin and America’s top dog names of 2016 reflect the year’s pop culture trends

If this year’s top dog names from Austin and the rest of the country are are any indication, it looks like the news and pop culture events of 2016 have spread to the monikers we give our pets.

 

Debbie Duncans dog, Austin, enjoys the pool in Rosewood Park in celebration of 8th Annual National Pit Bull Awareness Day on October 23, 2016. Dave Creaney/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Debbie Duncans dog, Austin, enjoys the pool in Rosewood Park in celebration of 8th Annual National Pit Bull Awareness Day on October 23, 2016. Dave Creaney/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

According to Rover.com, a blog that compiles data on dog breeds, dog names and other pet stories, Americans liked to name their pets in 2016 after politicians, pop culture figures, fictional characters, alcoholic drinks and Pokemon.

As for the city of Austin, the top dog name for males was Max, while the top female name was Bella. But other, more Austin-centric names were on the rise, like Brisket, Pickle and Taco, which saw a 13 percent uptick in 2016.

And as Austin’s tech industry grows, so does the number of technically-named pooches in the city: Names like Mac, Pixel and Tesla were up 3 percent. So-called “hipster” names like Mason, Bowtie, Brewery (seriously?) and Sushi were reportedly on the rise, though there were no numbers available to back that up. Surprisingly, “Willie” and “Nelson” weren’t anywhere in the Austin rankings.

From Rover.
From Rover.

But the more fascinating data comes from Rover’s compilation of national trending dog names, which mirrored America’s pop culture fascinations and political hopes during 2016.

Bella and Max won nationally, as they did in Austin, but dogs named for video game and fantasy TV characters were especially popular among the nation in general and Millennials in specific.

Pet names from “Pokemon Go” (Haunter, Skitty, Bayleaf), “Harry Potter” (Luna, Harry, Dobby) and “Game of Thrones” (Arya, Snow, Khaleesi) saw high increases among pet owners. Netflix’s summer smash “Stranger Things” also found some representation, with names like “Eleven” and “Barb” rising nearly 12 percent (what, no love for Dustin?). “The X-Files” fans also dubbed their pets with higher rates than usual (names like Mulder and Scully were up 10 percent).

More: This mashup of Harry Potter and ‘Stranger Things’ is actually kind of great

Dogs named for powerful women also rose 13 percent this year, where America saw its first major-party female nominee. The biggest increase in that category? Dogs named for Eleanor Roosevelt, rising at a rate of 42 percent. Meanwhile, dogs named for Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump also saw an increase.

Perhaps the most telling way dog names acted as a mirror to America in 2016 was in the “Dogs Named For Food” category. Junk-food-themed names like Taffy, Twix and Milano rose 2 percent, as did booze-themed names like Brandy, Guinness and Whiskey. And dogs named for health foods decreased 17 percent.

Lastly, the infographic from Rover said animal names like Bear, Moose and Tiger grew 8 percent from last year.

The report examines names that were input into Rover.com’s dog name database throughout 2016. Take a look at the full report here.

‘Pokemon Go’ players can now ride a bus around Austin to catch ’em all

Sarah Boutwell captures the Pokemon character Pikachu while playing augmented reality mobile game Pokemon Go at the Capitol Monday July 11, 2016. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Sarah Boutwell captures the Pokemon character Pikachu while playing augmented reality mobile game Pokemon Go at the Capitol Monday July 11, 2016. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

If you thought for even a moment that the ‘Pokemon Go’ craze was starting to fizzle out, this might prove otherwise — there’s now a bus that takes players on a tour around Austin in order to catch ’em all.

Read: ‘Pokemon Go’ craze spawns day care and chauffeur services in Austin

Pokemon Go City Tours, which launched this weekend, was created by Austinite Phillip Loyd. According to KVUE, he guides passengers by live tracking Pokemon on the site PokeVision and alerting passengers on what they’re about to catch, when and how long they have.

Read: Here’s where you probably shouldn’t play ‘Pokemon Go’ in Austin

A tour ticket costs $15 to $25 and tours can last up to three hours. With Loyd giving historical background along the way, passengers may end up in hot spots like the Texas State Capitol, Auditorium Shores and Burnet Road.

Read: How and why did ‘Pokemon Go’ happen

“We’re planning something much bigger than just Austin,” Loyd said in an interview with The American Genius. “The goal is to set up shop in every major US city in the next month featuring everything from bus tours to hot air balloon rides, all with a Pokemon spin on it.”

Do you drive and Pokémon Go? TxDOT wants you to stop

In the short time the game has been released to the public, Pokémon Go has started a frenzy with gamers. Stories of kids finally going outside, businesses being turned into PokéStops and generational gaps being bridged as a result of the game popped up routinely since its wide launch last week. And if that’s not enough, the mobile boon is a hit for Nintendo as well-— the free app’s popularity caused Nintendo’s stock to rise $7.5 BILLION when the markets opened this week.

But there are real-world problems for would-be augmented reality Pokémon trainers. Armed robbery. Dead bodies. Private property issues. People playing the game at the Holocaust Museum and finding the gas-related Koffing.

And now, the Texas Department of Transportation has created a campaign to stop one of the biggest safety hazards of Pokémon Go: playing the game while driving.

On Monday, TxDOT sent this tweet:

That’s when safety-conscious Pokémon trainers sent in their own suggestions for a “Don’t Pokémon Go and Drive” campaign.

CantDoBoth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PokemonBureau

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All the comments and memes spurred TxDOT to actually create a campaign. Users jumped at the opportunity to contribute.

FrequentStops

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Someone even made a video for the campaign.

To submit your own slogan or design, go to TxDOT’s Facebook page. And remember— If you want to catch ’em all, make sure you’re not driving at all.

 

What Pokémon have you caught in Austin, and where?

Austin, much like the rest of America, is on the hunt.

Brothers Jon and Ryan Edmonds play the augmented-reality smartphone game Pokémon Go in downtown Texarkana, Arkansas on Saturday, July 9, 2016. Released July 5, the game allows players to "catch" characters that appear to be in the real world using GPS and the smartphone camera. Even after living in Texarkana for years, the brothers said they never ventured downtown for pleasure until they downloaded the game. (Joshua Boucher/Texarkana Gazette via AP)
Brothers Jon and Ryan Edmonds play the augmented-reality smartphone game Pokémon Go in downtown Texarkana, Arkansas on Saturday, July 9, 2016. Released July 5, the game allows players to “catch” characters that appear to be in the real world using GPS and the smartphone camera. Even after living in Texarkana for years, the brothers said they never ventured downtown for pleasure until they downloaded the game. (Joshua Boucher/Texarkana Gazette via AP)

With the release of the new Pokémon Go app, which has sent Nintendo’s stock soaring since its release last week, Austinites are out and on the look for the rare, the common and the adorable.

What is Pokémon Go if not a real life rendition of the late 1990s sensation Pokémon Snap? We want to see pictures of your captures! Tweet us @statesman or email them to us at readerphotos@statesman.com. Check out some of the Pokémon Austin users have found so far below:

READ: Austinites assemble to advance in ‘Pokémon Go’

We hope you get out there and catch them all, but as some users have reported, that might prove difficult in Austin. Several people have pointed out that Austin has essentially become a Pokémon Go desert. While some took to Twitter to tweet their frustrations, the official Pokémon Go Austin Reddit thread (yes, there’s one of those now) posted a call for users to report the “lack of content” in the city on the app’s support page.

If you’re looking to make a connection with fellow Pokémon Go-ers in the area check out some of the Austin events and groups popping up on Facebook:

PokéWalk, Austin PokéCrawl & Dirty present: PokéRanch 1

Pokémon Go Austin (and friends)

Pokémon Go Austin