Many people in the English-speaking world have at least some German heritage. It’s probably not all that surprising, then, that German names tend to be very popular for many of the things we interact with in our daily life. Even more popular, though, are those German names that we use for the pets who mean the most to us.
If you’re a fan of the German language or German culture, you might want to think about finding great dog names inspired by it. Doing so means taking some time to not only look at the dog names with German origins that are the most popular, but also figuring out what those names mean. Fortunately, this guide can help you to figure out the perfect German name for your pet.
Male German Dog Names
One of the great things about picking dog names in German is that you can actually get a great sampling of names that are both very common in the United States as well as names that seem a little more exotic. Knowing what they all mean, though, can help you to figure out a name that not only sounds great but that can do a good job of helping to represent your dog’s personality.
Looking alphabetically, the list of German dog names starts with Alaric, a name which means ‘noble ruler’ followed by Ancel (deity) and Arvin (friend to all/everyone). We’ve also got the excellent dog name Axel, which sounds tough but actually means ‘peaceful’. If you’re looking for something tougher, though, you’ll find it in names like Ballard (warrior) or even Barrett (strong like/strength of a bear). Blitz is likewise a fairly tough name in and of itself, but one of the most popular dog names (Chance) is actually of German origin as well.
Next up comes a dog name that is relatively rare like Clovis, followed by one of the most famous – Dino (again, warrior). Donner (thunder) can be a great name for a dog, but so too can Duxi (warrior, again), Ellard (noble and brave), or even Emery. Emmett is another common English-language name that has German roots, but it still works well as a name for your pet.
Feeling a little more adventurous? Why not try a name like Falk (wolf) or Felix (lucky)? Ferdinand might seem a bit more Spanish in nature, but it’s actually another German name that means adventurous. Fischer can be a great name for a dog who loves water, Frederick (peaceful ruler) for calm, big canines, while Garin (warrior) is for a tougher dog. You can also go with names like Griswold (gray forest) or Gunther (another warrior!), or perhaps even Hertz (kind-hearted), Jaeger (hunter), or Jarvis (spear-wielder)— all great male German dog names.
Kaiser is a famous German name for a ruler, while Kasper is a cool-sounding name that actually has pretty mundane origins (treasurer). A dog with a big personality might be Lamar (famous), while Lance (squire or attendant) could be more of a follower. Leopold is one of those dog names that always sounds great, but so too are famous warrior names like Lothar and Luther. You can also look for names like Miles or Milo (powerful), Odo or Otto(rich), or Panzer (tank) to find something that’s a bit more unique.
Rounding out the list are some unusual names like Ritter (knight), Roth (red-haired), and Saxon (sharp blade or sword). There is also a brace of famous wolves like Rolf, Rudi, and Rudolf to name your dogs after, as well as natural symbols like Stein (stone) and Strom (stream). You can also look at names like Schnapps (the drink), Vilhelm (William), or Waldo (ruler) for your dog, or choose something like Walker (worker), or Ziggy to give your dog a unique German name.
Female German Dog Names
There are also a number of fantastic names for female dogs that come right from German. From those denoting beauty to those about nature or strength, these are the names that can help set your dog apart from the crowd.
As you might imagine, a number of the most German names for female dogs have to do with beauty. Arabelle literally means ‘beautiful eagle’, for example, while Keyla means ‘beautiful as the night’. Unlike the dog names from many other languages, though, the German names for female dogs rarely just mean beauty – instead, they refer to beautiful things. These names include Ella (fairy maiden), Floriane (blooming), Gretchen and Greta (pearl) as well as Klara (bright), and Lena (shiny).
Nobility, however, tends to be far more directly important when it comes to female German dog names. That’s why you’ll see names like Ada and Addie which specifically mean ‘noble’, as well as Heidi, which means to be of noble birth. You’ll also see a number of religious names like Annette (‘The Lord has favored me’), Astrid (‘God is Good’), Elsa (‘Pledged to God’), Gabby (‘Woman of God), Mischa (godlike), and Selma (divine protector). You’ll also see a number of names that refer to positive qualities like Amelia (work), Annika (graceful), Beatrix (bringer of happiness), Bernadette (brave like a bear), Britta and Ebba(strong), Ida (industrious), Ines (pure), Matilda and Raina (mighty), and Richelle (brave().
There are also a handful of great names that don’t fit those patterns but that are still popular. These include names like Alena (small), Anka (purse), Ava (life), and Brunhilde (armed). Other names like Edwina (prosperous), Emma (universal), Frieda, and Fritzi. Helga (holly), Hilda (warrior), and Kaja (alive) are all popular, as are Lara (famous), Leona (lioness), and Marta (lady). Lola, the Lady of Sorrows, is an incredibly cool dog name to take from German, as is Millie (gentle strength).
You can name your dog Petra (rock solid) or Nixie (a fairy) if you like or maybe even Olina (a protector). Other great names include Sofie (wise), Thea (goddess), and Ursula (little she-bear). You also can’t go wrong with names like Wanda (shepherdess) or Zelda (fight maid) if you are looking for something that will truly stand out.
Picking the Right German Name for Your Dog
With all of these fantastic names available, you might find it difficult to pick the right one for your dog. This can be a fairly stressful choice for many dog owners, as picking a name is something that involves not only choosing something that represents your own tastes but something that will stick with your dog for the rest of his or her life. As such, it’s best to keep a few things in mind.
Think About The Sounds
It’s vital that you think about how your dog’s name is going to sound, especially if you’re choosing a name from a language that you do not speak. A bad choice can lead to years of having to correct how others pronounce your dog’s name, with worst-case scenarios leaving your dog with a name that sounds like something rude or offensive. As such, it’s a good idea to think about just how much work you want others to put into being able to say your dog’s name.
The Yelling Factor
How easy is it to yell out the name that you’ve chosen for your dog? While no dog owner wants to yell at his or her pet, there are times during which you’re going to have to call out to your dog for his or her safety. As a rule, you don’t want something that’s going to be too hard to yell because that’s going to make it harder to communicate with your pet. Instead, make sure that you choose either something that you can easily pronounce or something that you can shorten if necessary.
Pay Attention to the Dog
Perhaps the most important thing you can do when choosing a dog name is to make sure that you’re actually paying attention to your dog. It can be very easy to find yourself attached to a name, but that’s something you might have to get over once you actually meet your pet. Not every name fits every dog, after all, so make sure that you have a good list with several options available so that you can pick the right one for your new dog.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are some German names for dogs?
There are many great German names for dogs. Since you’re pulling from another language, you’ve got not only the usual list of human names to pull from but also a number of words in that language that you can use. One of the best parts of choosing a name from German is that you can not only pick a name that’s got a big connection to German culture and heritage but that you can also choose a name that’s fairly well-known in the English-speaking world. That’s why names like Otto or Elsa make such great choices, as well as names like Matilda or Miles.
2. What is a badass name for a dog?
Choosing a badass name for a dog really requires you to take a second to figure out what you think of as tough. Does badass mean traditional to you? If so, a name like Rex or Killer might be appropriate. If you’re looking for something a little more modern, though, naming the dog something like Caliber or Magnum might be a good idea. You can even go with names that are held by heroic characters like Hercules or Siegfried. What’s really important is that you have a dog that can actually back up that name, as few people are going to find any name to be particularly badass if it isn’t given to the right dog.
3. What is the coolest name for a dog?
Cool is really one of those things that’s in the eye of the beholder. To some people, a cool name is always going to be traditional – something like Lassie, Riley, or Champ, for example. For others, though, it’s all about finding something that comes from another language or that is going to stand out in the crowd. In those cases, names like Nixie or Blitz might sound an awful lot cooler. What’s important, though, is that you feel like the name that you have chosen is actually cool enough for your dog. Though it might take some effort, you’ll be surprised by the sheer number of cool names that you can find if you’re willing to do some reading.
4. What should I name my German Shepherd puppy?
It’s really important that you choose a name that’s appropriate for your dog. It’s not too surprising that many people choose to give their German Shepherd puppies German names, and there are actually some fantastic names out there for these dogs. A male dog could have a name like Milo, Jaeger, or Hunter, while a female dog could have a name like Elsa, Matilda, or Annika. With that said, there’s absolutely no reason that you need to give your dog a German name just because its breed is German. After all, the most famous German Shepherd is still a dog named Rin Tin Tin – a name that’s got very little to do with Germany.