Top 100 Manly Dog Names [Tough, Macho and Badass]

October 14, 2022 / Dog Names / By: Krystine Therriault

An adult rottweiler in the park in autumn

Picking a name for your pet is like a rite of passage welcoming them to the family.

It’s important to pick a name that suits your dog and your taste, because you’ll be using it for a while.

If you’re searching for strong masculine male dog names, you're probably not a fan of cutesy ones.

We understand if the thought of calling your dog 'Fluffy' or 'Cuddles' every day makes you cringe. Here are 100 manly dog names that sound great and will maintain your dog’s dignity too.

Top 10 Manly Names for Dogs

Macho dog names

The Dogue de Bordeaux is a powerful dog with a very muscular body

We've chosen the top 10 masculine dog names based on factors like name's history, popularity, and how tough they sound. 

1. Rambo

Rambo is a film series starring Sylvester Stallone, who plays a former U.S. Special Forces soldier and all-around tough guy. It is one of several manly celebrity dog names to make this list.

2. Prince

The name Prince would make a handsome dog name. It can refer to several things, including a title (like Prince Harry or William) or the American singer/songwriter.

3. Rufus

Rufus is a male name that would suit a scruffy dog. In Latin it means, “red” or “red haired”.

4. Baron

Baron is a title of nobility as well as a boy’s name that means “warrior”.

5. Clyde

Clyde is a Scottish name that referred to people who lived by the River Clyde. The name is popular with fans of the infamous gang members, Bonnie and Clyde.

6. Luther

Luther is an Old German name that means “soldier of the people”, although the name also has links to English and Greek origins. Also the baddass villain in the Superman movies.

7. Brutus

Brutus is a Latin name that means heavy or muscular - perfect for a Rottweiler.

8. Vader

Vader is perfect if you’re looking for manly black dog names and are a Star Wars fan. According to George Lucas, the name for Darth Vader comes from the German/Dutch word for “father”.

9. Marco

Marco is a good one if you’re looking for manly Italian dog names. It means “warlike”.

10. Victor

Victor is a name with a Latin background that means “winner” or “conqueror”.

Manly Dog Names for Big Dogs

Masculine Dog Names for Big Dogs

The Cane Corso is a working dog who absolutely loves having a job to do

BIG dogs need BIG names, so here are some strong masculine male dog names for your big pup's shoes to fill. 

1. Hunter

Seeing as many dogs were originally bred to help hunters and hunt themselves, Hunter makes a good dog name.

2. Duke

The name Duke means “leader”. It’s English in origin and is one of the titles given to nobility (i.e., William the Conqueror was Duke of Normandy).

3. Thor

Thor, God of Thunder, protected both people and Gods from the forces of Evil. Whether you’re a fan of Greek mythology, the Avengers, or both, Thor is an excellent name for a big dog.

4. Rocco

Rocco is a unique name that gained popularity in the 2000s after Madonna and Guy Ritchie named their son Rocco Ritchie. It has Italian roots and means “rest”.

5. Blaze

Trying to find manly dog names for German Shepherd? Blaze was the name of the German Shepherd who played Rin Tin Tin on the 1950s show The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin.

6. Rocky

Like Rocco, the name Rocky is traced back to the Italian word for “rest”. Famous Rocky’s include fictional boxer Rocky Balboa and the flying squirrel from Rocky and Bullwinkle.

7. Henri 

The name Henri became popular in England during the Middle Ages and was shared by eight kings. It comes from the Germanic words “heim” meaning home, and “ric” which means power or ruler.

8. Rex

Have a big, clumsy, lovable chomper on your hands? Why not name them after the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex?

9. Arnold 

Arnold is a manly Germanic name meaning eagle power. Famous Arnolds include Schwarzenegger (actor, former Governor of California) and Palmer (golfer).

10. Asher

Asher is a name of Jewish origin, meaning “happy” or “blessed”. It is referenced in the Bible and is also a popular male name in the U.S. today.

11. Bernard

Bernard is a masculine name from Medieval Europe. It comes from the words “bern” meaning bear and “hard” meaning brave or hardy. This name might work if you’re considering manly hunting dog names.

12. Bruce

There are many famous Bruce’s you could name your dog after, like Wayne, Willis, and Springsteen.

13. Clarence

The name Clarence is connected to a town named Clare in Suffolk. It means “bright or illuminated one”.

14. Bruiser

Bruiser is the perfect name for a tough, intimidating guard dog. Mind you, the chihuahua in Legally Blonde was also named Bruiser...

15. Darius

Darius is a unique manly name. One famous Darius is Darius the Great, a Persian King who reigned from 522 - 486 BCE.

16. Eric

Eric is an interesting name with a Norse background. It means “ever ruler” or “eternal ruler” and was the name of several early Scandinavian Kings.

17. Diesel 

Diesel is a popular dog name. It’s associated with the German engineer, Rudolph Diesel, as well as Diesel fuel.

18. Garth

Garth would be a manly name ideal for fans of American singer/songwriter Garth Brooks.

19. Tyson

If you’re a wrestling fan you may want to consider a name like Tyson for your pup, after a fighter that you admire. It’s one of those manly dog names for pit bulls that look tough, but you know are really softies once you get to know them.

20. Archer

Archer was originally a name used for those who practiced archery. It’s popular today because of the American sitcom with the same name.

21. Hulk

If you think your dog can’t get any bigger, why not name them after the mighty Hulk?

22. Moose

Moose is a great name for a large dog that’s big and hefty.

23. Tank

The name Tank comes from the ancient Norman name Tancred, and also refers to large armored vehicles.

Manly Small Dogs Names

Let’s break the stereotype that manliness and small dogs don’t mix and find the best possible name for your pooch, shall we?

Here our favorite names for small dogs.

Dog names for small dogs

Long-haired chihuahua is the smallest purebred dog in the world! Image by @chihuahua.dingding

1. Dexter

Dexter is an English name that means “dyer of clothes”. It’s been used by several fictional characters, including the TV shows Dexter and Dexter’s Laboratory.

2. Charlie

Charlie is a classic Old German name meaning “free man”.

3. Jack

Jack is an English name that means “God is gracious”.

4. Ben

Ben one of those solid manly dog names (for a) male. It can stand alone and be short for Benedict or Benjamin.

5. Buzz

Buzz is a cool, uncommon dog name. Think Buzz Lightyear, American astronaut Buzz Aldrin, or the older brother from Home Alone, Buzz McCallister.

6. Milo

The name Milo comes from Miles and means “soldier”.

7. Captain 

Give your small dog a manly name (and some authority) by naming them after a title, like Captain, Boss, Chief, etc.

8. Cooper

Cooper is a common dog name in the United States and very masculine sounding. It comes from a Middle English occupational name that means “barrel maker”.

9. Dave

Dave is a simple, manly name. A few famous Dave’s include American stand-up comedian Dave Chappelle and American guitarist Dave Navarro.

10. Edgar

If you’ve got a thing for the dark and macabre, why not name your dog Edgar after Edgar Allen Poe?

11. Apollo

Apollo was the son of Zeus and is one of many possible manly Greek dog names. The name Apollo means Destroyer.

12. Fang

Fang is the name of Hagrid’s large dog in Harry Potter and would be a good name for your small dog if you want to throw people off.

13. Forrest

Forrest is an English name that means “of the forest”. It is famously known from the 1994 film Forrest Gump.

14. Turbo

If you’ve got a little dog that likes to GO, GO, GO, turbo might be just the name for them.

15. Ford

Ford is a great name whether you’re a fan of the vehicles, Harrison Ford, or just like way it sounds.

16. Jerry 

Jerry is the name of the fictional mouse from Tom & Jerry and famous American comedian Jerry Seinfeld.

17. Vincent

The name Vincent is formed from the Latin word “vincere”, to conquer. There was a famous lab named Vincent in the movie Lost, making this is one of several good manly dog names for labs.

18. Kevin

Kevin is the anglicized version of a popular Irish name that means “handsome birth”.

19. Norman

Norman is a manly sounding name that is a combination of the worlds “nord” or north, and man.

20. Fred

Fred, sometimes short for Frederick, is the English form of the German name Friedrich and means “peaceful ruler”.

21. Bolt 

If you’ve got a quick little dog on your hands, consider the name Bolt from the 2008 Disney film.

22. Guinness

If you’re looking for a unique dog name for your macho dog, why not choose something inspired by your favorite drink?

23. Houdini

Do you have a tiny escape artist on your hands? Houdini is a great name for a fly dog that likes to take off on you any chance they get.

Cute Badass Dog Names

Cute badass dog name

Chow Chows were used as guard dogs for homes and livestock over 2000 years ago.

Maybe you need to compromise with a name that’s both cute and manly, either to appease family members or make sure you’re fully representing your manly little dogs multifaceted personality.

We have ideas for that too:

1. Max

Max can be short for the Latin name Maximillian which means “the greatest”. It is also short for Maxwell in English.

2. Bear

Bears are fierce and beautiful creatures. The name is cute for dogs that look like big fuzzy bears, for example if you’re looking for manly Bernese Mountain Dog names.

3. Benji 

If you were around in the 70s and 80s you may remember the Benji movies, about a lovable mutt that saved two kidnapped children.

4. Bandit

If your doggy has face markings like a raccoon or loves stealing things – like your food or your shoes – Bandit might be just the right name for them.

5. Clifford

After another famous and lovable pup, Clifford is a cute name for a dog that is also a manly English name.

6. Fido

The name Fido comes from a Latin name meaning “to trust, believe, confide in”. It was made famous by an Italian dog who showed extreme faithfulness to his owner, even in death, and because it was the name of Abraham Lincoln’s dog.

7. Runt

Runt as a dog name is an endearing jab at your dog’s size, referring to the “runt” of the litter.

8. Webster

Historically, Webster was the occupational name for a weaver, but it also makes a hip dog name.

9. Teddy

Teddy is a cute name for a small, snuggly dog. It can also be short for Theodore or Edward.

10. Hercules

Hercules is a Roman God who is known for his strength and heroism.

11. Bradley

The name Bradley, or Brad, is derived from the name of English places that mean “broad wooded clearing”.

12. Champ

Although not common today, Champ is a Middle English name that means “warrior” and is one of those good manly dog names (for a) boy.

13. Rubble

Rubble is the name of the adorable construction pup on Paw Patrol. Using this name if you have kids might win you brownie points, but if you just like the name that’s ok too.

14. Ghost

The name Ghost would work if you’re searching for cool manly dog names to suit a creepy looking or white dog.

15. Goliath

Goliath is Hebrew in origin and means “exile”. It was the name of a giant in the bible which also makes it a funny small dog name.

16. Harry

Harry is a medieval form of the name Henry. A great option if you’re a fan of the Harry Potter series.

17. Leo

Leo is a masculine Latin name that means “lion”. One famous Leo is Russian writer Tolstoy, who wrote War and Peace and Anna Karenina.

18. Jethro

The name Jethro comes from the Hebrew word for “abundance” and was used by the 70s rock back Jethro Tull.

19. Huck

The name Huck is short for Huckleberry, made famous by Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. It’s also the name of a character on the American thriller show, Scandal.

20. Yoda

Yoda is the name of Star Wars’ small but powerful and wise Jedi Master.

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” 

- Yoda - 

21. Barkley

Barkley is a cute dog name that’s especially fitting if your dog tends to bark a lot.

22. Tucker

Tucker is an old English occupational name meaning “softener of cloth”. 

Manly Dog Names Inspired by Foreign Languages

Shiba Inu puppy

The Shiba Inu - most popular breed in Japan!  Image by

If you need more inspiration, here are several strong manly dog names inspired from places around the world.

1. Axl

Axl is Hebrew in origin, meaning “father is peace”. If you’re a Guns N’ Roses fan, you may consider naming your dog Axl, or Axel after their singer, Axl Rose.

2. Dante 

The name Dante means “everlasting” and has it’s roots in Latin culture. One of the more famous Dantes was a medieval Italian poet, philosopher, and author of a poetic trilogy called The Divine Comedy.

3. Abram

Abram is a name with Hebrew origins. It means “high father” and was the name of several biblical patriarchs.

4. Albert

The name Albert comes from the Germanic name Adalbert, “adal” for noble and “beraht” for bright.

5. Andre

Looking for French manly dog names? Andre is a French name and a variation of the Greek name Andreas, which means “manly”.

6. Bruno

The name Bruno comes from the Old German “brun” meaning brown.

7. Cassius

Cassius is a Latin name that means “vain”.

8. Diego

When it comes to manly Spanish dog names, Diego (short for San Diego) is an excellent choice.

9. Gunther

The name Gunther comes from the Old German name Gundahar, which means “war”.

10. Hank

Hank is a strong male name from German descent that means “ruler of an estate”.

11. Ivan

Ivan is a Slavic name that means “God is gracious”.

12. Jamal

Jamal is a masculine sounding Arabic name that means “beauty” or “handsome”.

13. Kane

The name Kane is of Irish and Gaelic origin. It means “little warrior”.

14. Paul

The name Paul is derived from the Roman family name Paulus, meaning “small” or “humble”. Famous Paul’s include British singer/songwriter Paul McCartney and American actor Paul Rudd.

15. Gaston

Gaston is a French name meaning “from Gascony, France”. It is popularly associated with the manly character of Gaston from Beauty and the Beast. As far as manly Disney dog names go, this one’s at the top of the list.

16. Hugo

Hugo is an Old German name that means “bright in mind and spirit”.

17. Luc

The name Luc is a short for of Lucas or Luke. In Latin it means “from Lucania” and in French it means “bringer of light”.

18. Odin

Odin is a Scandinavian name meaning “frenzy, rage, inspiration” and was the highest Norse God.

19. Zeus

Zeus is a Greek boy’s name and the name of the highest Olympian God.

20. Sergei

The name Sergei means “servant” and is among the most manly Russian dog names.

21. Igor

Igor is a Russian name that means “warrior of peace”.

22. Paco

Paco is a Spanish name that means “free”.

Tips for Choosing The Best Male Dog Name

Choosing the best manly names for a dog doesn’t have to be difficult.

Whether you’re making the decision by yourself or with others, start by writing down answers to these questions:

  • What names do I like?
  • What names do I dislike?
  • What characteristics stand out about my dog (size, personality, color, etc.?)
  • Is there a name I like that reminds me of my family's hobbies, heritage, interests, etc.,?

Jot down the first things that come to mind, to help pick out a suitable name for your dog.

What Makes a Name Manly?

You might be asking yourself, what makes a name manly anyways?

A big part of it is just the way the name sounds. According to Scientific American, names have an inherent gender and usually come across as either masculine or feminine.

Other factors you can use to judge name manliness aside from sound are the origins of the name and what the name makes you think of. This could be a concept, like Bruiser, or other people/characters with the same name.

There are many manly dog names for both small and big dogs out there. Hopefully, with guidance from this article you’ve found one that fits your dog perfectly. 


Krystine Therriault

Krystine Therriault is an accomplished writer. With a passion for all creatures cute and furry, Krystine's life has been touched by many beloved dogs over the years. She is also a loving mother of two boys and an avid yogi.

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