Sit, Chocolate Pudding, sit. Good boy.
Japan's sweet tooth was again evident in an annual ranking of popular dog names.
In late October, Tokyo-based pet insurance firm Anicom Insurance Inc. released its list of the most popular dog names in Japan for 2011, based on roughly 112,000 policies taken out over the past year for canines less than one year old. This ranking, which commemorates Japan's Dog Day (November, 1), again had a heavy sprinkling of sugary-sweet names.
The most popular dog name in Japan for 2011 was Koko, followed closely by Marron (French for "chestnut"). Choco (chocolate) slipped to the No. 3 spot after reigning as the most popular dog name here for six straight years.
"Japanese people like pet names that sound cute and somehow match the color of the animal," said Keiko Yamanoi, a housewife in Tochigi Prefecture, scratching behind the ears of her shepherd-mix named Cookie.
Other sweets-inspired names on the list included Momo (peach) at No. 4, Cocoa at No. 5, Mocha at No. 9 and Shocora (chocolate) at No. 16. The top 50 names also included Pudding, Rum and the Japanese words for "apricot" and "walnut."
"We named our French poodle Marron," said Kiyomi Muranaka, an office worker in Saitama Prefecture. "The name sounded cute and my daughter likes to snack on sweets, so it just seemed to fit."
So the Japanese can turn to supermarket snack corners for tasty treats and inspiration for naming their new schnauzers. Sweet!