250+ Animal-Inspired Names for Dogs

portrait of a fox

Growl, Hiss, Chirp, Croak, and Roar! It’s time to go on a wild adventure through the animal kingdom to find the perfect animal-inspired dog name for your pooch. From the majestic roar of a lion to the graceful flutter of a butterfly to the mischievous antics of a cheeky monkey, animals have fascinated us for centuries. 

Whether your heart skips a beat for the cute, fluffy mammals, or you’re excited by the graceful slither of a snake, or even if you prefer to explore the depths of the ocean, we have got you covered on this comprehensive list. All these creatures embody a sense of wonder, strength, and charm that can truly reflect the spirit and personality of your canine companion. 

There are a menagerie of possibilities to explore when choosing to honor your love of wildlife in your dog’s name. So grab your binoculars, fasten your adventurer’s hat and join us on an inspiration safari to explore some unforgettable dog names.

🎖️ Dog Names Inspired by the Incredible Achievements of Animals in Real Life

laika stamp
A Laika stamp

As an animal lover, you are no doubt familiar with the phrase “we don’t deserve them”, and never is this more apparent than when you look at some of the brave, heroic and downright unbelievable things the animals on this list have done. From a cat who survived 3 shipwrecks, to a gorilla who learned to communicate via sign language, to the pigeon who got shot, yet kept flying to save soldiers in WW1 – these animals are the epitome of incredible. 

Looking for a name for your pup? Try our brand new dog name generator!

Over the past few years, we have curated more than 20,000 dog names.

In just a few easy steps, you can discover a wide array of wonderful names, each selected to match your dog’s size, color, gender, personality, and beyond. Plus, there's the option to save your top picks and share them with friends or family.

It will only take two minutes and it's completely free!

AlexAfrican Gray Parrot who could count, identify colors, things and actions and even solve math problemsMale
AprilApril the giraffe gave birth via livestream for millions of viewersFemale
BaltoSiberian Husky who saved the town of Nome, Alaska from diptheria in 1925Male
Cher Amipigeon who flew 25 miles in 25 minutes to save an American battalion of soldiers in France in WW1Female
Congoa chimp who was also a talented painterMale
DollyDolly the sheep – first animal to be clonedFemale
ElsaLioness from Born FreeFemale
GambitPatriarch of uShaka Marine World – one of the oldest documented dolphins, he lived to be 48Male
Gustavpigeon who carried the first news of the D-Day landings in Normandy, flying more than 150 miles in 5 hours to deliver the messageMale
Hamfirst monkey in space in 1961Male
Henrythe oldest captive Nile crocodile – will be 123 in December – lives at Croc World in KwaZulu NatalMale
Hubertaa hippo who went on a 1600km walk from the St. Lucia estuary to the Eastern Cape (South Africa)Female
JetAlsation trained as a search and rescue dog during WW2 – he recovered 150 people from buildings destroyed in the German raidsMale
Jima horse who learned to read, write and do mathMale
Jonathana tortoise that is at least 179 years old (the worlds oldest living animal)Male
KokoA gorilla who learned to communicate via sign languageFemale
LaikaSoviet Space DogFemale
LekiEndangered Okapi calf born at Dublin ZooMale
PhilPunxsutawney Phil – groundhog who predicts the weatherMale
PicklesA Collie who thwarted a robbery of the Jules Rimet trophyMale
SamUnsinkable Sam – a cat who survived 3 shipwrecks in WW2Male
Seabiscuitmost famous horse of all timeMale
ShamuSeaworld OrcaFemale
Tirpitza pig that was the mascot of the HMS Glasgow during WW1Female
Wojteka bear adopted by Polish troops during WW2, becoming their companion and helperMale

📺 Dog Names Inspired by the Most Famous Animal Characters in Pop Culture


We all have our favorite movie animals – from the happy-go-lucky dancing bear, Baloo, to the brave lion, Simba to the hilarious antics of the world’s most loved cat, Garfield. There are some of the most iconic characters in pop culture history on this list and they make for some great dog names. We love the name “Thumper” for a pup who is always wagging his tail.

BalooMowgli's sidekick – The Jungle Book – movie and bookMale
BambiThe most famous deer – movieMale
BugsBugs Bunny – cartoonsMale
GarfieldJon's lazy ginger cat – comics and moviesMale
HedwigHarry Potter's snowy owl – Books and moviesFemale
Jawsa terrifying shark (his name was actually Bruce)Male
Lassieheroic Rough Collie – depicted in almost every kind of mediaFemale
MarmadukeA Great Dane who is always causing unwitting trouble – movieMale
Nemoa clownfish – Finding Nemo – movieMale
PaddingtonEngland's famous bear – books and moviesMale
PascalRapunzel's pet chameleon – Tangled – movieMale
PeppaPeppa Pig – TV Show and BooksFemale
Scooby DooGreat Dane who solves mysteries – TV ShowMale
SimbaThe Lion King – movieMale
SnoopyCharlie Browns DogMale
SonicSonic the Hedgehog – Video game and movieMale
ThumperBambi's rabbit friend – Bambi – movieMale
TweetySylvester the cats nemesis – Tweety and Sylvester cartoonsMale

🐹 Dog Names Derived From Adorable Domestic Mammals

greek goat

If you are anything like us, you love a touch of quirky and this list delivers that ten-fold. We adore the name “Munchkin” for any small breed (extra quirky points if you give your Great Dane this name!) But our top pick would have to be “Meatmaster” for all those chicken-guzzling hounds out there (wait – that’s all dogs!)

Clydefor the Clydesdale horse breed
Colta young male horse
Dwarfa breed of rabbit and hamster
Goatif you think your dog is the Greatest. Of. All. Time
GooseA great name for a noisy pup
Hamsterlots of cute nicknames “Hamlet”, “Hammy”, “Ham” etc..
Havanaa breed of rabbit
Meatmasterbreed of sheep native to South Africa
Munchkinsausage cat breed
PupA baby dog
Pygmya breed of goat
Ragamuffincat breed
Rexa breed of rabbit
Silkiea breed of fluffy chicken
Stalliona male horse

🐻 Fierce Dog Names Inspired by Wild Mammals


Take a walk on the wild side with any one of these fun wild animal names. We don’t know about you, but any animal that smells like buttered popcorn is a winner in our books!

We absolutely love the names “Grizzly” and “Bongo”.

Bilbydesert-dwelling marsupial omnivores native to Australia
Binturong“Binty” for short – these tree-dwelling creatures are said to smell like buttered popcorn
Bongobiggest species of forest antelope
Grizzlyfor the grizzly bear
KoalaMarsupial native to Australia
Leofor lions
Loristhe slow loris is a nocturnal primate with big eyes
Monkeya tailed primate
Okapiforest dwelling creature with zebra stripes on its rear end
Pandaboth the black and white kind and the red kind
Pikarelated to rabbits and hares
Quokkaknown as the happiest animal in the world – native to Australia
Squirrelarboreal woodland creatures
Wolfiefor all the breeds of wolf
Zebra“Zeb” for short

🐬 Adventurous Dog Names Inspired by the Wonderous Deep-Sea Marine Mammals


The ocean is mysterious and fascinating, full of big and small creatures that are both awe-inspiring and a little terrifying. We think the name “Baiji” is the best one on this list.

Baijifreshwater dolphin (possibly extinct)
Bluetype of whale
Cuviertype of whale
Duskytype of dolphin
Harptype of seal
Lionsea lions
Narwhaltype of whale
Orcatype of whale
Ottersea otters
Spinnertype of dolphin
Vaquitamost endangered marine animal – it is a small porpoise
Walruslarge marine mammal

🐦 Beautiful Dog Names Inspired by Common Birds


Birds have some truly beautiful names to draw inspiration from when naming your furry friend. We love the name “Raven” for a pitch black Newfie girl and “Warbler” is the perfect name for a vocal “Husky.


🦅 Dog Names Inspired by Birds of Prey


Birds of prey are elegant and fierce and have a commanding presence, and incidentally they offer up a great selection of dog names to choose from. We love the name “Raptor” for a loyal and protective Rottweiler.

Barny (for the barn owl)
Buzzard (“Buzz” for short)
Cooper (Cooper’s Hawk)
Harpy (an eagle)
King (King Vulture)
Merlin (small species of falcon)
Milvus (medium sized bird of prey)
Raptor (birds with hooked beaks and sharp talons)
Tawny (an owl)

🦜 Dazzling Dog Names Inspired by Vibrant and Colorful Exotic Birds

quetzal bird
The Quetzal, a brightly-colored tropical bird, famous for having a long tail

Exotic birds are rare and have exquisite and striking plumage. They are melodious in their songs and have playful natures – does this sound like your pup? Whether you have a rare breed like the Lagotto Romagnolo or a colorful breed like the Australian Shepherd, you are sure to find a suitable name on this list. We love the name “Puffin”.

Aracari (the Green Acari is a member of the Toucan family)
Cassowary (“Cass” for short – found in New Guinea and Australia)
Hoopoe (colorful birds known for their crown of feathers)
Lorikeet (“Lori” for short)
Quetzal (lives in tropical rainforests)

Tongue Flicking Dog Names Inspired by Lurking Lizards

chameleon sleeping

Calling all reptile lovers – this list is for you! There are some great names here to choose from, but our top pick has to be “Chameleon” simply for its unisex adaptability.

Basilisk (“Basil” for short)
Beardy (bearded dragon)
Chameleon (“Cami” for a girl – “Leon” for a boy)
Gila (Gila monster)
Iguana (“Iggy” for short)
Komodo (Komodo dragon)
Panther (Panther Chameleon)
Savannah (Savannah Monitor Lizard)
Thorny (Thorny Devil)
Tokay (a nocturnal arboreal gecko)
Whiptail (New Mexico Whiptail)

🐝 Dog Names Inspired by All the Creepy-Crawly Insects

beetle on green leaf

Are you a bug-lover? Then why not give your little mini-beast an insect-inspired name. We love the name “Bee” for a black and tan Airedale Terrier, or how about “Cricket” for your Whippet who loves to jump?

Roach (for cockroach)
Spider (an arachnid, not technically an insect)

🐟 Dog Names Inspired by Common Fish


It is one of the most peaceful and tranquil activities to relax in front of a fish tank – completely mesmerizing. And if you have a furry companion to relax alongside you? Well, you couldn’t ask for more. We love the name “Angel” for a calm Bichon Frise who would love nothing more than cuddling up next to you to watch the fishies.

Arrowtoothtype of eel
Bluegill“Gill” for short
Floundera type of flatfish – also the name of Little Mermaid's friend
GoblinGoblin Shark
Goldfish“Goldie” for short
Guppypopular tropical fish
JacksonPort Jackson shark
MakoShortfin Mako shark
Pikefreshwater fish
RainbowRainbow trout
Swordfishpredatory fish
Tigertiger shark

Dog Names Inspired by Breath-Taking Exotic Fish

cardinal fish

The coral reef is an underwater paradise teeming with a diverse ecosystem of incredible fish. These colorful creatures have some truly exotic names for your special pooch. It seems a shame not to name your Dalmation “Dottyback” – yes, yes, we are suckers for terrible puns! Or what about “Pupfish” for your Portuguese Water Dog?

CardinalCardinal Fish
Dottybacksmall, brightly colored aggressive fish
Dragonetcoral reef fish
FairyFairy Basslet
FangtoothFangtooth fish – rarely sighted deep sea fish
Flowerhornflowerhorn cichlid
Gobycarnivorous fish
MollyMolly fish
PupfishThe Devil's Hole Pupfish – rarest fish in the world
SiameseSiamese fighting fish (Betta fish) – “Sia” for short
Snappermarine fish
TequilaThe Tequila Splitfin – Mexican freshwater fish

🦑 Dog Names Inspired by Other Sea Creatures for Pet Parents with a Sense of Humor

crab on a beach

The ocean is an aquatic wonderland that goes way deeper than fish. There are so many wonderful creatures that provide inspiration for dog names. We love “Lobster” for a red Irish Setter and its a missed opportunity not to name your Tibetan Mastiff, “Shrimp”!

Starfish (“Star” for short)

🐸 Dog Names Inspired by Frogs, Toads, and Amphibians

Natterjack toad

While not the most mainstream animals to love, no animal kingdom list would be complete without including amphibians – and just look at the awesome names they have – it doesn’t get better than “Hellbender” for a mischievous Labrador Retriever (move over Marley!).

We also quite like the idea of a Chihuahua named “Goliath” – you are guaranteed some chuckles at the dog park.

ArcheyArchey's frog
Axolotl“Axo” for short
Baw Bawfrog
FowlerFowler's toad
Hellbenderspecies of giant aquatic salamander
Olmaquatic salamander
PeeperSpring Peeper frog
Salamander“Sal” for boys – “Sally” for girls
TinkerKroombit and Northern Tinker frogs

Slitheringly Special Snake Inspired Names for Dogs

cobra snake

These forked-tongued wonders are graceful and elegant and are fascinating to watch as they move. We love the name “Copperhead” for a red Afghan Hound who is regal and graceful. But there couldn’t be a better name for a Samoyed, than “Puff”.

Anaconda (“Ana” for short)
Boa (Boa constrictor)
Indigo (Eastern Indigo Snake)
Mamba (green and black)
Puff (Puff Adder)
Rattles (for the Rattlesnake)
Rosy (Rosy Boa)

😁 Funny Animal-Inspired Dog Names for your Comical Canine

If you’re looking for some natural conversation starters at the dog park, this is the list for you. A great way to showcase your unique sense of humor is to choose a dog name that shows it off. We love the name “Pom Pom” for a sweet little Pomeranian.

Pom Pom

🌐 Animal-Inspired Dog Names from Around the Globe for all the Worldly Woofers Out There

Go around the world in 80 barks with this incredible list of international dog names for all the globe trotting pet parents out there. We love the name “Tembo” for a strong and mighty African Boerboel. 

Adlereagle in German
Chuileopard in Swahili
Fuchsfox in German
Gatocat in Portuguese (masculine)
Injadog in Zulu
Inudog in Japanese
Lobowolf in Spanish (masculine)
Nekocat in Japanese
Oiseaubird in French
Orsobear in Italian (masculine)
Perrodog in Spanish (masculine)
Renardfox in French (masculine)
Shikadeer in Japanese
Temboelephant in Swahili
ToroBull in Spanish (masculine)
Tumbilimonkey in Swahili
Twigagiraffe in Swahili

🔮 Mystical and Enchanting Dog Names Based on Mythical Animals

No dog name list would be complete without delving into the wonderful world of mythology. We love the name “Vixen” for a Shiba Inu and the name “Bigfoot” is perfect for a Great Pyrenees.

Amarokgigantic Inuit wolf believed to devour anyone who hunts alone at night
Bigfootthe Yeti
ChimaeraLions head, goats body and a dragon tail
Griffinhalf lion, half eagle
Hippogriffhalf eagle, half horse
Hydraserpentine monster with many heads
Jackalopehalf jackrabbit, half antelope
Kelpiewater horse
Krakensea monster
NessieLoch Ness Monster
Pegasus“Peggy” for short – winged horse
Phoenixfire bird
Selkiehalf seal, half human
Unicornhorse with a horn on its head
VixenCadmean Vixen – enormous fox that was destined to never be caught

Final Thoughts

Whether you seek a name that reflects your dog’s wild nature or one that showcases their elegance and grace, the animal kingdom offers a treasure trove of inspiration which we have only begun to scratch the surface of on this list. So go wild, choose adventurously, and let us know your favorite name in the comments below.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *