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Looking for a name for your German shepherd? Choosing the perfect name for your dog can feel like a big challenge.
You might go through hundreds of names before coming across something that feels right, but finding the perfect name really is about exposing yourself to lots of inspiration and ideas and then following your instinct.
In this article, we will share some of the most popular names for German shepherds, as well as names linked to German religion, celebrities, and language.
While you might not find the perfect name on our list, hopefully, you will find something that inspires you and points you in the right direction.
We’ll also share our top tips for sense-checking your chosen name and making sure it is appropriate before settling on your final choice.
Most Popular Male German Shepherd Names
If you are interested in choosing a popular name for your male German shepherd, consider these 50 popular names for Alsatians.
Most Popular Female German Shepherd Names
Do you have a female German shepherd? Consider these 50 popular names for your sweet girl.
German Dog Names
Since you are adopting a German shepherd, why not dig out your German language dictionary and see if you can find any inspiring words for naming your dog. Here are some ideas and their English translation:
- Alder – eagle
- Aldo – old or wise
- Alger – noble or bright
- Alfred – counselor
- Arnold – eagle power
- Arvin – a friend to all
- August – exalted and revered
- Axel – peaceful
- Bernard – brave as a bear
- Bismark – famous German statesman
- Cayden – spirit of battle
- Clovis – famous warrior
- Damian – the fighter
- Dieter – people’s ruler
- Donner – thunder
- Duxi – warrior of the people
- Emmett – industrious or string
- Ellard – noble or brave
- Felix – lucky
- Ferdinand – adventurous and courageous
- Franz – free
- Frederick – peaceful ruler
- Frido – powerful
- Garin – warrior
- Gunther – warrior
- Hamlin – one who loves his home
- Harbin – little shining fighter
- Helmar – famous protector
- Hendrik – home ruler
- Hugo – wise man
- Jaeger – hunter
- Keene – bold or sharp
- Klaus – the people’s victory
- Leopold – a bold leader
- Luther – warrior
- Manfred – man of peace
- Max – greatest
- Meyer – bringer of light
- Milo – beloved
- Mozart – the famous German composer
- Norbett – hero
- Otto – prosperous or rich
- Ozzy – divine spear
- Prinz – prince
- Rainer – warrior
- Ritter – knight
- Rowland – famous in the land
- Schatzi – sweetheart
- Sigrid – beautiful victory
- Theobold – the boldest
- Tobias – God is good
- Ugo – mind, heart, and spirit
- Verner – defending army
- Waldo – ruler
- Wilfred – determined peacemaker
- Wolfgang – wolf journey
- Zelig – blessed one
- Zenzi – to spring up, grow, or thrive
- Ada – noble or kind
- Annika – graceful
- Aubrey – noble
- Ava – evening
- Berta – intelligent or glorious
- Britta – strength
- Elsa – noble
- Frauke – little lady
- Frieda – peaceful
- Gerda – protected
- Gretchen/Greta – pearl
- Heidi – noble or serene
- Helga – pious
- Ida – hard working
- Kaja – alibe
- Katrin – great beauty
- Leona – brave as a lioness
- Liebe – love
- Liesel – God is my oath
- Lorelai – alluring
- Lotti – little woman
- Matilda – mighty in battle
- Milla – industrious
- Nadja – hope
- Nia – bright
- Olinda – protector of property
- Raina – mighty army
- Romey – obstinate or rebellious
- Sascha – defender of mankind
- Skye – sheltering
- Tilli – battle maiden
- Trudi – strong spear warrior
- Ula – pearl
- Ulrika – all-ruling or wolf ruler
- Vera – faith or truth
- Vala – singled out
- Winifred – peaceful friend
- Zelda – battle maiden
Names Based On The History Of The Breed
German shepherds, also known as Alsatians, are a medium-to-large dog breed from Germany originally used for herding and guarding.
The intelligence, trainability, and strength of the dog meant that it was soon adapted for other purposes, such as being police dogs, military dogs, and, of course, household pets.
German shepherds have a rich history, and this can offer some interesting naming options.
- Beowulf – one of the first puppies of the breed, ideal for strong dogs with sweet personalities
- Heinz von Starkenburg – one of the first puppies of the breed, perfect if they are sweet like baked beans
- Hektor Linksrhein – after the father of the breed, a great name if you are adopting an older German shepherd
- Horand von Grafrath – Horand or Grafrath after the very first German shepherd recognized at shows, the ideal name for sleeker examples of the breed
- Max von Stephanitz – Max or Stephan (or Stephanie) after the founder of the breed
- Phylax – after the Phylax society founded in the late 19th century to standardize the breed
- Pilot – one of the first puppies of the breed, and a name for a dog that likes to take the lead on walks
Names Of German Gods And Goddesses
Pre-Christian Germanic religion is a rich and interesting culture linked closely to the Norse religion. Why not name your German shepherd after one of their fierce gods or goddesses?
- Alcis – pair of young brothers worshiped by the Naharvali Germanic tribe, a great name if you have more than one pup
- Balder – the god of light and the most beautiful of all the gods
- Bragi – the god of poets, and perfect for a barker
- Dellingr – the personification of the day, for the dog that lights up the room
- Donar – the German version of Thor, the god of thunder, perfect for a barker
- Forseti – god of justice, ideal for guard dogs
- Freyr – fertility god, perfect for dogs that are into everything
- Heimdall – the guardian who brightens the world, ideal for guard dogs
- Hermod – a messenger deity, for pups that like to bark
- Hodr – their name means warrior, but the god is blind so this is perfect for older German shepherds
- Lodur – the god that animated mankind, ideal for a pup full of energy
- Loki – the trickster, and a great name for dogs that get into everything
- Mani – the moon, and a good name for dogs that stay up at night, or howl at the moon
- Mimir – the rememberer and holder of knowledge, and the perfect name for dogs that learn quickly
- Meili – the lovely one, ideal for your beautiful pup
- Njordr – the god of the sea and fair winds, perfect for dogs that enjoy swimming
- Odr – the frenzied one, like a Berserker warrior, for dogs that go from zero to 100 in no time
- Tiw – linked to the Norse Tyr, the bravest and noblest of the gods, for the bravest of dogs
- Tuisto – the legendary divine ancestor of the German people, and maybe German shepherds
- Vali – the chosen one, for the pup you chose from the litter
- Wodin – linked to the Norse god Odin, the principal deity of the pantheon, and the principal dog in our family
- Yngvi – fertility god, and a great name for dogs that have lots of energy
- Baduhenna – war goddess whose grove killed 900 Roman soldiers, ideal for feisty pups
- Bil – goddess that follows the moon, ideal for dogs that stay up at night or howl at the moon
- Beyla – the goddess who serves, perfect for a dog in training
- Eir – Valkyrie with medical skills, ideal for a strong but caring dog
- Eostre – goddess of the spring, perfect for spring pups
- Freyja – goddess of love and beauty, and the perfect name for beautiful dogs
- Frigg – matron and motherly goddess, a great name for older dogs
- Fulla – the secret keeper, choose this name for dogs that don’t bark much
- Gerdr – her name means “fenced in” so give it to a dog that can’t stand fences!
- Gullveig – warrior queen of the Vanir gods, ideal for feisty pups
- Hariasa – goddess with lots of hair, perfect for shedders
- Idis – the well respected and dignified goddess, and pups with a royal demeanor
- Ilmr – the goddess with the pleasant scent, if you love the smell of your pup
- Irpa – the goddess whose name means dark brown, perfect for brown German Shepherds
- Nanna – the daring one, and the perfect name for daring dogs
- Nehalennia – a goddess of the sea, and a name for dogs that like to swim
- Ran – her name means theft and is ideal for dogs that steal shoes
- Sigyn – the victorious companion, ideal for a dog that sticks to you like glue
- Skadi – goddess of snow and skiing, great if you live in colder climates
- Sunna – goddess of the sun, and the name for a dog that lights up the room
- Syn – goddess of defensive refusal, ideal for stubborn pups
Names Of Famous German Shepherd
If none of those seem right, maybe name your pup after one of the many famous German shepherds from history, literature, and television.
- Apollo – this German shepherd was important in the 9/11 search and rescue operations
- Buddy – the first seeing eye dog was also a German shepherd
- Bullet – Bullet the Wonder Dog appeared regularly on the Roy Rogers Show in the 1950s
- Lady Jule – the mate of Strongheart who bred many celebrity dogs
- Maximillion – the bionic dog in the third season of the Bionic Woman, he had four bionic legs, a bionic jaw, and could run 90 miles an hour and bite through steel
- Nemo – this dog was stationed on Tan Son Nhut Air Base in Vietnam in 1966, and when both Nemo and his handler were shot, Nemo was still able to attack the enemy and then crawl back to his handler and cover him with his body for protection
- Rin Tin Tin – Saved from a war zone in WWI by Lee Duncan, the dog made 27 Hollywood films
- Strongheart – originally christened Etzel von Oerigen, this German shepherd starred in man American movies in the 1920s
Celebrities With German Shepherds
Why not name your dog after one of the many celebrity German shepherd owners, or their pampered pups.
- Bella Thorne – the American actress, singer, and model
- Ben Affleck – the Good Will Hunting and Batman actor
- Bo Derek – the sexy American actress
- Claudia Schiffer – one of the original supermodels
- Enrique Iglesias – the Spanish singer and songwriter
- Jake Gyllenhaal – the Donnie Darko and Brokeback Mountain actor
- Jennifer Aniston – Rachel from Friends
- Jennifer Lopez – the Latina singer and Hustlers actress
- Kristen Stewart – the Twilight and Diana actress
- Meryl Davis – the American ice dancer
- Michael Jackson – the king of pop
- Miley Cyrus – the Hannah Montana singer
- Nikki Reed – the American actress
- Reese Witherspoon – the Legally Blonde actress
- Shania Twain – the country music star
- Tom Hanks – America’s favorite actor
Names Taken From Famous Germans
Not satisfied with American celebrities? Why not name your dog after some of the famous Germans that have made their mark on history.
- Albert Einstein – the man behind the theory of relativity
- Albrecht Durer – famous Renaissance scholar
- Angela Merkel – the politician
- Arthur Schopenhauer – created the philosophy of pessimism
- Bertolt Brecht – German playwright
- Boris Becker – the tennis player
- Carl von Clausewitz – Prussian soldier and military strategist
- Clara Schumann – composer and pianist of the 19th century
- Claudia Schiffer – the supermodel
- Diane Kruger – the actress
- Erich Maria Remarque – 20th-century author
- Frederich Nietzsche – the philosopher of supermen
- Gerhard Richter – artist
- Grimm Brothers – writers of fairy tales
- Heidi Klum – the model and presenter
- Herman Hesse – poet, novelist, and painter (plus Nobel Prize winner)
- Immanuel Kant – the philosopher
- Johann Sebastian Bach – the Baroque composer
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – the great poet
- Johannes Brahms – great German composer of the 19th century
- Kaethe Kollwitz – the artist of grief
- Karl Lagerfeld – the designer
- Ludwig van Beethoven – perhaps the most famous composer of all time
- Martin Luther – the founder of Protestantism
- Michael Schumacher – the race car driver
- Oscar Schindler – who outwitted the Nazis
- Steffi Graff – the tennis player
- Werner Herzog – the director
How To Choose A Name For Your Dog
While there are no strict rules for what you should name your dog, there are a few common sense things to keep in mind when making your final decision.
Keep It Short
Choose something short, ideally only one or two syllables, or at least something that can be shortened.
This is because it is easier for dogs to learn shorter names, which means they will start responding when you call sooner than if you chose a longer and more complicated name for them.
If you want to give your dog a long and complicated name such as “Sirius Black” or “Lucy Lawless”, remember that you will need a shorter nickname for daily use, like “Siri” or “Lucy”.
Considering that it is the nickname that you will be using most often and that they will recognize best, make sure you consider their nickname just as carefully as their full name.
Consider The First Letter
It is a good idea to choose something that starts with a sibilant consonant or blend consonants, such as an S or an SH, or a hard commanding consonant like a K or C.
These subtle choices will make it easier for your dog to distinguish their name from all the other ambient noise around them, which means it will also be easier for you to get their attention.
Avoid Names That Sound Like Other Important Words
Avoid names that sound too much like commands that you will use regularly, as this can just confuse your pup.
Remember: while dogs are very intelligent, they don’t actually understand language in the more complex way that humans do; they are just recognizing familiar sounds.
If their name sounds too much like a command that you use regularly, such as sit or stay, they may confuse the two words.
This will probably result in the offending command being less effective than it should be, as they won’t be sure whether you just want their attention or if you want them to do the specific task.
Remember that you will often need to use your dog’s name in public, sometimes shouting it loudly, and sometimes using it in front of children and strangers. This is why it is rarely a good idea to choose something rude or potentially offensive.
All too often, people give their dogs names that they think are funny at the time and then find they are embarrassed to use it later. Remember, everyone in your family who is responsible for your dog will also need to be able to use their name with ease.
Read our complete guide to puppy names here.
You can read our guide to teaching your dog their name here.
Finding the perfect name for your dog really is about exposing yourself to lots of inspiration and ideas until you come across something that feels right.
After that, you should sense-check your name to make sure it works. You wouldn’t name your child without ensuring their name didn’t rhyme with any unpleasant words, would you?
Hopefully, the lists in this article have provided you with some inspiration and our guidelines for checking a name can help you find the perfect name for your German shepherd pup.
Do you have any recommendations for the perfect name for a German shepherd?
Share them with the community in the comments section below.
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