Dog Names That Mean “Second Chance”: Notable Names For Your Underdog

Names By Kate Brunotts 6 min read May 24, 2021

Dog names that mean second chance

Is your pooch a bit of an underdog? Many dogs, especially pups from shelters all have an amazing history that adds to their unique pooch personalities. 

One thing is for sure — every dog deserves a second chance! If your canine has made quite the comeback, it may be a good idea to find a name that fits his story. 

Below, we’ll share some dog names that mean “second chance” so that you can find the perfect pick for your pooch. 

Male Dog Names Meaning Second Chance

"second chance" names are great for rescue pups

Does your heroic hound inspire you? If so, you’ll want to consider these male dog names meaning “second chance”. 

  • Altan — “Another chance”
  • Arta — “Fresh, new”
  • Aviv — “Springtime” 
  • Dag — “Dawn”
  • Griffin — “Strong nobleman” 
  • Irvin — “To renew” 
  • Janus — “A new year” 
  • Kader — “Chance, fate, destiny” 
  • Lazarus — “Rebirth, resurrection” 
  • Navin — “New” 
  • Ordell — “New beginning” 
  • Oscar — “Strength” 
  • Roanan — “To be renewed” 
  • Rohit — “Sun’s first rays” 
  • Tan — “New, renewal” 
  • Veasna — “Another opportunity” 
  • Von — “Hope” 
  • Xavier — “Bright, new” 
  • Zoran — “A new dawn”
  • Zorro — “Daybreak” 

Female Dog Names Meaning Second Chance

"second chance" names for adopted dogs

If you have a strong sweetheart at home, one of these female dog names meaning “second chance” are likely an amazing fit for your four-footer. 

  • Anastasia — “Rebirth” 
  • Audie — “Noble, strong” 
  • Aurora — “Dawn” 
  • Avail — “Renewal” 
  • Chae — “New beginning” 
  • Dagny — “Daybreak” 
  • Dawn — “Beginning of the day” 
  • Destiny 
  • Eos — “Goddess of the dawn” 
  • Fathia — “Victorious beginning” 
  • Isla — “Strong-willed” 
  • Joyce — “Strong” 
  • Kari — “Strong one” 
  • Karla — “Strong”
  • Kia — “A season’s beginning” 
  • Kiara — “First ray of sun” 
  • Lolaa — “A violet dawn” 
  • Nadia — “Filled with hope” 
  • Nina — “Strong” 
  • Oriana — “Another dawn” 
  • Renata — “Second chance at life” 
  • Renee — “Rebirth” 
  • Roxanne “Dawn” 
  • Senara — “Sunrise” 
  • Veasna — “Another chance” 
  • Zara — “Blooming” 
  • Zera — “New beginning” 
  • Zerlinda — “Sunrise” 

Unisex Dog Names Meaning Second Chance 

naming a second chance dog

These gender-neutral names are sure to capture your courageous canine’s spirit. 

  • Anastasius — “Rebirth, a new chance” 
  • Asier — “New beginning” 
  • Ausra — “New start” 
  • Chance
  • Dagian — “Sunrise, dawn” 
  • Fresco — “To freshen, renew”
  • Genesis — “Begin again” 
  • Hope 
  • Kader — “Destiny” 
  • Lucky 
  • Merrit — “Fortunate one” 
  • Neo — “New” 
  • Nouvel — “A new chance”
  • Phoenix — A bird from Greek mythology that rises from the ashes 
  • Zero — “New beginning” 

Non-English Names Meaning Second Chance 

names for dogs getting another chance at life

Here are some non-English names meaning “second chance” which can make amazing namesakes for your fur baby. 

  • Alula — Arabic for “first leap” 
  • Amari — African for “strength” 
  • Arun — A Hindi name meaning “dawn” 
  • Asha — Indian for “hope” 
  • Badu — An African name meaning “strong one” 
  • Beeja — Indian for “seed, new life” 
  • Bonaventure — French for “new adventure” 
  • Charise — French for “hopeful” 
  • Filomena — Greek for “friend of strength” 
  • Kaori — A Japanese name meaning “strong one” 
  • Magnar — Norwegian for “strong” 
  • Mika — Japanese for “new moon” 
  • Neoma — Greek for “new moon” 
  • Remo — Greek for “strong one” 
  • Sahar — Arabic for “dawn, awakening” 
  • Takeo — Japanese for “warrior” 

Names Inspired By Famous Characters Who Got A Second Chance 

movie inspired second chance names
Image from Fandom.

Here are some names inspired by famous characters and movie mutts who got a second chance. If your pooch inspires you, naming him after a favorite hero or icon is a great idea. 

  • Ariel (From “The Little Mermaid”) 
  • Babe (From “Babe”)
  • Bambi (From “Bambi”)
  • Cinderella (From “Cinderella”) 
  • Dumbo (From “Dumbo”)
  • Elsa (From “Frozen”) 
  • Flik (From “A Bug’s Life”) 
  • Hancock (From “Hancock”)
  • Hercules (From “Hercules”) 
  • Hiccup (From “How To Train Your Dragon”)
  • Quasimodo (From “The Hunchback of Notredame”)
  • Katniss (From “The Hunger Games”) 
  • Merida (From “Brave”) 
  • Mulan (From “Mulan”)
  • Nemo (From “Finding Nemo”)
  • Po (From “Kung Fu Panda”) 
  • Rango (From “Rango”)
  • Rocky (From “Rocky”)
  • Rudolph (From “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”)
  • Simba (From “The Lion King) 
  • Scooby-Doo (From “Scooby-Doo”) 
  • Underdog (From “Underdog”)

Love these name ideas? Make sure to also check out our list of Disney dog names!

How To Pick Your Dog’s Name 

dog name picking pointers

Picking a name for your new pooch can be an exciting adventure. While it’s important to enjoy the process, you’ll also need to take a couple of factors into consideration to make sure it’s a good fit. After all, some names work better for our canine companions than others.

Just remember to keep these pointers in mind when deciding on your doggo’s distinct name: 

  • Make sure it’s a name that’ll last. It isn’t the end of the world if you have to change your dog’s name in the future, but you’ll generally want to avoid changing your pup’s name. Our dogs build important associations with their names, so you’ll want to pick something that sticks now and 10 years down the road. 
  • Names that start with consonants can be helpful. While you certainly don’t have to pick a name that starts with a consonant, these names are typically easier to say loudly which can be useful. 
  • Pick a name that ends in a vowel sound. While constants are preferred for the beginning of your best buddy’s name, vowel sounds are helpful for the end of the name. My dog’s name “Spicy” follows this rule which makes her easy to call when she lunges after every bird she sees at the park. 
  • Two or three syllable names are usually best. There are exceptions to every rule, but two and three-syllable names are typically easiest to use when calling your canine. Shorter names can be difficult to string out, and longer names can be a bit of a mouthful. As an alternative, you can always create a shorter nickname for longer full names. 
  • Pick something distinct. You want to make sure your dog can differentiate when you’re talking to him, so avoid picking a more common dog name or something that rhymes with the names of the other pets in your home. Also, avoid names that sound too similar to common commands. For example, “Ray” may be too close to the command “Stay”. 

You can test out your new dog’s name for a “trial period” of a week or so to make sure it is a good fit. Once you found a name that fits your four-footer, it’s best to keep it consistent to avoid any canine confusion. 


All dogs deserve a second chance in life. If your pooch has an inspiring story, one of these dog names meaning “second chance” is sure to fit your furry family member. 

Looking for more dog name inspiration? Be sure to also check out our articles on dog names that mean “hope”, dog names that mean “loyal”, and dog names that mean “survivor”.

Which name was your favorite? What’s your dog’s story? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!

how to name your dog
Recommended For You

How to Pick Your Dog’s Name

Written by

Kate Brunotts

Kate is a dog-loving content specialist with over a decade of canine-care experience. She is currently a professional dog walker and pet sitter, with previous experience working at the Heart of Chelsea Animal Hospital in Manhattan. When not spending time with four-footers, she can usually be found crafting top-notch dog-care articles that pet parents can trust. Kate loves dogs of all shapes and sizes, but Bernese Mountain Dogs hold a special place in her heart.


Join our pup pack!

Get tons of great dog training advice and tips about gear!


No Comments

Leave a Comment

Email Address

Also Worth Your Time