1. Education

Dog and Cat Names in German

Hunde- und Katzennamen

Cool Names for Your Dog or Cat

More of this Feature
Part 2: Katzenkrimis
Names: Haustiernamen
Hundekommandos
Related Resources
Hundenamen
• Bello
• Hasso
• Baldur
• Laika
Katzennamen
• Minka
• Max
• Moritz
• Muschi

One of the questions that German teachers hear most frequently (besides "why is a table masculine?") is: "What are some popular German names for dogs/cats?"

Francis
Ein «Katzenkrimi» von
Akif Pirinçci.
More about
this German "cat detective
novel" in Part 2.

But Germans don't always use German names for their pets, any more than they do for their children! (See "German First Names.") Although there are German versions of names like "Fido," "Spot" or "Tabby," just as those English names are fairly uncommon for pets today, so are many "typical" German pet names. Dog names like "Bello" or "Hasso" are viewed as clichés. Very few dogs in Germany answer to those names, or any German name, today.

«Der Zoo» (tsoh) is a zoo, but it's
also the German word for a pet store.

If you don't believe me, look at this edited sample list of suggested dog names taken from a German "Hundenamen" Web site: Aida, Ajax, Alice, Amy, Angel, Angie, Aron, Babe, Baby, Bandit, Barney, Beauty, Benny, Berry, Billy, Bingo, Blacky, Blue, Buffy, Butch, Calvin, Candy, Chaos, Charlie, Cheese, Chelsea, Cheyenne, Cindy, Cookie, Criss-Cross, Curly and Curtis. And that's just taken from the A-C section! Yes, I left out some of the more Germanic names from the original list, but you can see the Germanic names in our own Haustiernamen list. The point is that "exotic" English and other non-German names are popular with German pet owners. Even the "detective" hero of the bestselling German cat mystery novel Felidae was named Francis, not Franz. Most German name lists for pets contain about 90 percent non-German names.

der Hund
Wie heißt der Hund?
What's the dog's name?
But you probably would prefer a German name for your dog or cat. In our list you can choose a name that suits your tastes and your pet. You may wish to use the name of a famous literary or other German: Kafka, Goethe, Freud (or Siggi/Sigmund) and Nietzsche are some possibilities. Prefer music? How about Amadeus or Mozart or even Beethoven? The names of German pop singers like Falco (who was Austrian), Udo Lindenberg or Nena are also popular for pets. Or perhaps you'd like the name of a figure out of German literature. Perhaps Siegfried (m.) or Kriemhild (f.) from the Nibelungenlied or Goethe's Faust versus Mephistopholes. On the lighter side you could go with Idefix, the dog in the popular European "Asterix" cartoon series, the rotund Obelix character or the hero Asterix himself.

Then you may wish to have a good old Germanic name or word with a certain meaning: Adalhard (noble & strong), Baldur (bold), Blitz (lightning, fast), Gerfried (spear/peace), Gerhard (strong spear), Hugo (smart), Heidi (based on fem. names containing heid or heide; Adelheid = noble one), Traude/Traute (dear, trusted) or Reinhard (decisive/strong) are just some options. Although few Germans today would be caught dead with such names, they're still great pet names.

Other categories for pet names include movie characters (Strolch, Tramp in "The Lady and the Tramp"), colors (Barbarossa [red], Lakritz[e] [licorice, black], Silber, Schneeflocke [snowflake]), drinks (Whisky, Wodka) and other characteristics of your pet. Choosing a name for your dog, cat or other Haustier is after all a very personal decision. You can use our name list to help you make that decision. On the next page we discuss some German cat names.

NEXT > Part 2: Cat Names and Katzenkrimis
NAMES > German Dog and Cat Names - Find a name

MORE > German Dog Commands

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