153+ Cool Japanese Dog Names [+Meanings]

There's no doubt that Japanese dog names can be the cutest and most unique option for naming your canine buddy. Whether you love anime, have a Japanese dog breed, or just love all things Japanese, we have a great list of 153 of the most popular, and unique Japanese dog names that you will love, along with what they mean. Let's get started!

Top 10 Japanese Dog Names

We're going to start off with the current top 10 popular Japanese dog names that you can name your furry friend, along with their meanings in English.

Popular Japanese dog breed
  1. 1
    Koko ~ here
  2. 2
    Momo ~ peach
  3. 3
    Maron ~ chestnut
  4. 4
    Sora ~ sky
  5. 5
    Chokoreto ~ chocolate
  6. 6
    Hana ~ flower
  7. 7
    Reo ~ leo
  8. 8
    Moka ~ mocha
  9. 9
    Moko ~ fluffy
  10. 10
    Maru ~ circle/purity

Male Japanese dog names

Our next list of Japanese dog names looks at the top 30 male names that you can choose for your pet.

  • Reo: Leo
  • Sora: sky, can be used for a boy or a girl
  • Kotaro: grand, shining son
  • Rikuto: land
  • Maron: chestnut
  • Maru: means circle or purity
  • Chokoreto: chocolate
  • Kotestu: little or small
  • Fuku: good luck
  • Kai: has a number of meanings including ocean, shell, restoration and recovery.
  • Katashi: firm, hard or unyielding
  • Taiki: great radiance
  • Takashi: prosperous, noble
  • Hideki: excellence
  • Hiroaki: kind, gentle
  • Hiroshi: generous
  • Kaede: maple, can be used for a male or female
  • Itsuki: tree
  • Kaito: ocean, sea, or to soar
  • Naoki: honest
  • Akihito: bright one, or autumn
  • Haru: spring child
  • Haruki: shining sun
  • Takahiro: of great value, nobility
  • Maron: chestnut
  • Maru: means circle or purity
  • Chokoreto: chocolate
  • Kotestu: little or small
  •  Haruto: sun, sunlight, or to fly
  • Keitaro: blessed
  •  Riku: land
  • Hinata: sunflower, can be used for male or female
  • Masashi: commander or general
  •  Hotaru: firefly
  • Akio: bright man or hero
  • Akira: bright or clear
  • Atsushi: warm, as in a warm personality
  • Daiki: great glory
  • Daisuke: great help
  • Hayate: smooth
  • Hideo: excellent man

Female Japanese dog names

If you are looking for a female Japanese dog name, we have a list of 30 here that are cute and cool.

  • Akira: bright or blue
  • Kiku: chrysanthemum
  • Kimi: noble, or she who is without equal
  • Chieko: child of intelligence or wisdom
  • Chika: scattered flowers
  • Chiyo: world, or one thousand generations, which is a good name for breeds that have been around for a long time.
  • Yuina: to bind together, or inseparable
  • Chiyoko: another version of Chiyo that means child of a thousand generations
  • Ceiko: child of splendor
  • Emi: beautiful blessing
  • Emiko: smiling child
  • Hanako: flower child
  • Hary: spring
  • Akemi: bright or beautiful
  • Haruko: spring child
  • Haruna: spring flowers
  • Hideko: child of excellence
  • Aiko: child of love, or little loved one
  • Airi: pearl, or love with jasmine
  • Hikari: light, radiance
  • Hina: sunflower
  • Hiroko: generous child
  • Hiro: generous
  • Hiromi: generous beauty
  • Hisako: child of long life
  • Yuka: gentle flower
  • Tomomi: beautiful friend
  • Tomiko: child of wealth and fortune
  • Eri: blessed prize

Dog names inspired by Japanese cuisine

Yes, some people have named their pets after their favorite Japanese food! Japanese has some beautiful words though that make great names for either male or female dogs.

  • Sushi: a food preparation that combines rice and other ingredients, such as vegetables and raw seafood
  • Sake: a Japanese wine made from rice
  • Soba: also known as buckwheat, this is often used to make noodles
  • Ramen: a well known Japanese soup dish
  • Tempura: vegetables or seafood that has been deep-fried or cooked in batter
  • Udon: a Japanese cuisine that is a thick noodle made from wheat flour
  • Sashimi: this is a popular delicacy in Japan made with either fish, or meat that is raw but very fresh, sliced into thin pieces
  • Manju: this is a popular Japanese confection that is made from sugar and boiled beans
  • Ryokucha: Japanese green tea
  • Matcha: another popular tea in Japan
  • Mochi: a Japanese rice cake
  • Wasabi: Japanese horseradish

Dog names inspired by Anime characters 

What about naming you dog after your favorite Anime character? Anime has become very popular over the last decade and many people have chosen names of their favorite anime characters for their pets.

  • Akamaru: Kiba’s dog from the Manga series Naruto 
  • Alexander: the family dog of the Tucker family from Fullmetal Alchemist
  • Apo: Hibito’s pug from the series Uchuu Kyoudai, or Space Brother
  • Armageddon: Fumi Hibino's dog from Hayate no Gotoku! Cuties
  • Bee: a Labrador dog from Dragon Ball Z
  • Black Hayate: another from Full Metal Alchemist, this is Riza’s dog from FMA: Brotherhood
  • Blue: a wolfdog that is black/blue in color from Wolf’s Rain
  • Ein: a Pembroke Welsh Corgi from Cowboy Bebop
  • Den Rockbell: or Den for short, is the family pet of the Rockbell family from Fullmetal Alchemist
  • Gin: means silver in Japanese and is the name of the dog from Ginga Nagareboshi Gin
  • Guts: this is the Mankanshoku's family pet pug from Kill la Kill
  • Heen: Madam Sulliman's errand dog from Howl’s Moving Castle
  • Iggy: a cute Boston Terrier from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken)
  • Kazuhito Harumi: a young boy who is turned into a Dachshund from Dog & Scissors (Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyou)
  • Koromaru: an Albino Shiba from a video game that was turned into an anime movie called Persona 3 the Movie 1: Spring of Birth
  • Maru: a stray dog that is taken in by main character Pedro Martinez from Kimi ni Todoke
  • Menchi: also known as emergency food supply, is Excel’s dog who is always trying to escape, from the Excel Saga
  • Pakkun: a ninja dog from Naruto
  • Pluto: a demon hound, nicknamed Plu-Plu, belonging to the Fantomhive family from Black Butler
  • Potato: a fluffy stray puppy from Air
  • Sadaharu: a pet/mascot belonging to the Yorozuya family from Gintama
  • Shiro: Momotaru's companion, who punishes people in hell who have abused animals, from Hoozuki no Reitetsu
  • Tadakichi-san: a white Great Pyrenees the belongs to a boy named Chio from Azumanga Daioh

Dog names inspired by Japanese cities and regions

Japan has no end of beautiful cities and regions that also have beautiful names to use for your dog or puppy, regardless of their gender. Here is some inspiration: 

  • Toyko: the capital of Japan, means "Eastern Capital"
  • Osaka: one of Japan's largest cities, and means a "large hill"
  • Kobe: a city near Osaka and means "God's Door", this makes for a great puppy name for a boy or a girl
  • Kyoto: a city in central Japan,  borrowed from Middle Chinese 京都 (kˠiæŋ tuo), referring to a "capital city of a country"
  • Kawasaki: a city located between Tokyo and Yokohama, the name means "river cape"
  • Fuji: a central Japanese city whose name means "sacred place"
  • Fushimi: a shrine in Kyoto honoring the Emperor Fushimi
  • Ashi: one of Japan's scenic bodies of water. The word Ashi has many meanings, one being “evil” and another meaning "a means of transportation"
  • Oki: Similar to Okinawa, this is a chain of over a hundred small islands and means “open sea”
  • Sapporo: the 5th largest city in Japan and known for its famous Snow Festivals and Ramen
  • Yoko: a shortened version of Yokohama, a city that is south of Tokyo has a number of meanings, "light, sun, male", "ocean" and "child".

Japanese names for puppies

These are good names for puppies, as well as small dogs. Here are some examples of both female and male Japanese dog names for puppies :

  • Ume: female name meaning Plum
  • Hazumu: bouncy
  • Sukoshi: little
  • Shojo: little girl
  • Taru: small flower
  • Happi: happy
  • Jagaimo: potato
  • Chibi: little
  • Mai: dance
  • Dango: dumpling (cute name for a puppy)
  • Mami: beautiful
  • Pikachu: from Pokemon
  • Ishiko: little stone
  • Jin: tenderness
  • Bottan: button

Japanese dog names inspired by nature

Even nature lovers can find a great Japanese for their dogs! Here are a few:

  • Ayame: for the flower Iris
  • Fuyuko: winter
  • Hayako: falcon, great for boy
  • Honoka: harmony
  • Izumi: fountain, or spring
  • Kasumi: mist
  • Mio: cherry blossom
  • Moriko: forest
  • Ran: orchid
  • Suzume: sparrow
  • Tsukio: moon
  • Hoshi: stars
  • Ame: rain
  • Yuki: snow
  • Kasai: fire
  • Chikyu: earth
  • Mizu: water
  • Kuki: air
  • Yama: mountain
  • Renja: ranger
  • Hanta: hunter
  • Koya: wilderness

How to teach your puppy his name

So, you've got your name picked out for your furry friend.

How do you get your puppy to understand and learn his name

You want your dog to recognize their name when you call them as part of their training. It can be a safeguard should your dog get off its lead or run further than you can see them, as most curious dogs will do.

For those who have adopted a dog and have changed the name (or don't know what the previous name was), this can take a bit of time. But, you can get them to recognize their name with a bit of work.

One way to do this is by using Positive Reinforcement Training, which is how most dogs are taught basic skills. The sessions you do need to be fun for you both, and your aim is getting your dog to understand that their name means something good.

What you do is say your dog's name, and then say “yes” while giving them a treat

Wait for a few seconds and then do it again. You should do this for 5 minutes a few times a day.

You'll start to notice that your puppy or dog starts to make that link between the sound of their name and treats. You can then move on to the next step, which is to call their name when they aren't focused on you. While they are distracted call their name. When your dog looks at you, say “yes” and then give them a treat.

When you first begin this part, you might want to have your dog on a leash. If they don't look at you when you call their name, gently tug on the leash until they do look at you and then say “yes” and give them a treat. Do this exercise in different environments and as often through the day as you can.

Some common mistakes....

There are some situations where you shouldn't use your dog's name, such as for correction purposes, punishment, or shouting angrily at them. It will start to make them associated their name with negative things and undo all of your positive training. If your dog associates his name with being yelled at for something, he will start to not respond to you when you call him. Your dog needs to want to stop and give you his attention and that won't happen with a negative association.

Another bad habit is using your dog's name as a command, such as when calling them to come over to you. Their name is purely to get their attention. If you want them to come to you, call their name, pause, and then say come. Otherwise, it gets confusing for them.

Using their name too casually for anything other than getting their attention is also a bad habit. Doing this can cause them to treat their name as a background noise that they then ignore. 

And lastly, try not to give your dog nicknames.

They may learn to respond to these but it can get confusing to them and be less effective over time.

I hope you have found some inspiration for your dog's name and wish you good luck with your name recognition training!

Of all the Japanese dog breeds, only six of these are recognized as being true native Japanese breeds: Shiba Inu, Shikoku, Kishu, Kai Ken, Hokkaido, and Akita. However, regardless of breed, all these make great name choices for your female or male furry family member.

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