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
We've chosen the top 10 masculine dog names based on factors like name's history, popularity, and how tough they sound.
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.
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.
Rufus is a male name that would suit a scruffy dog. In Latin it means, “red” or “red haired”.
Baron is a title of nobility as well as a boy’s name that means “warrior”.
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.
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.
Brutus is a Latin name that means heavy or muscular - perfect for a Rottweiler.
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”.
Marco is a good one if you’re looking for manly Italian dog names. It means “warlike”.
Victor is a name with a Latin background that means “winner” or “conqueror”.
Manly Dog Names for Big Dogs
BIG dogs need BIG names, so here are some strong masculine male dog names for your big pup's shoes to fill.
Seeing as many dogs were originally bred to help hunters and hunt themselves, Hunter makes a good dog name.
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).
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
Have a big, clumsy, lovable chomper on your hands? Why not name them after the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex?
Arnold is a manly Germanic name meaning eagle power. Famous Arnolds include Schwarzenegger (actor, former Governor of California) and Palmer (golfer).
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.
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.
There are many famous Bruce’s you could name your dog after, like Wayne, Willis, and Springsteen.
The name Clarence is connected to a town named Clare in Suffolk. It means “bright or illuminated one”.
Bruiser is the perfect name for a tough, intimidating guard dog. Mind you, the chihuahua in Legally Blonde was also named Bruiser...
Darius is a unique manly name. One famous Darius is Darius the Great, a Persian King who reigned from 522 - 486 BCE.
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.
Diesel is a popular dog name. It’s associated with the German engineer, Rudolph Diesel, as well as Diesel fuel.
Garth would be a manly name ideal for fans of American singer/songwriter Garth Brooks.
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.
Archer was originally a name used for those who practiced archery. It’s popular today because of the American sitcom with the same name.
If you think your dog can’t get any bigger, why not name them after the mighty Hulk?
Moose is a great name for a large dog that’s big and hefty.
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.
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.
Charlie is a classic Old German name meaning “free man”.
Jack is an English name that means “God is gracious”.
Ben one of those solid manly dog names (for a) male. It can stand alone and be short for Benedict or Benjamin.
Buzz is a cool, uncommon dog name. Think Buzz Lightyear, American astronaut Buzz Aldrin, or the older brother from Home Alone, Buzz McCallister.
The name Milo comes from Miles and means “soldier”.
Give your small dog a manly name (and some authority) by naming them after a title, like Captain, Boss, Chief, etc.
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”.
Dave is a simple, manly name. A few famous Dave’s include American stand-up comedian Dave Chappelle and American guitarist Dave Navarro.
If you’ve got a thing for the dark and macabre, why not name your dog Edgar after Edgar Allen Poe?
Apollo was the son of Zeus and is one of many possible manly Greek dog names. The name Apollo means Destroyer.
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.
Forrest is an English name that means “of the forest”. It is famously known from the 1994 film Forrest Gump.
If you’ve got a little dog that likes to GO, GO, GO, turbo might be just the name for them.
Ford is a great name whether you’re a fan of the vehicles, Harrison Ford, or just like way it sounds.
Jerry is the name of the fictional mouse from Tom & Jerry and famous American comedian Jerry Seinfeld.
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.
Kevin is the anglicized version of a popular Irish name that means “handsome birth”.
Norman is a manly sounding name that is a combination of the worlds “nord” or north, and man.
Fred, sometimes short for Frederick, is the English form of the German name Friedrich and means “peaceful ruler”.
If you’ve got a quick little dog on your hands, consider the name Bolt from the 2008 Disney film.
If you’re looking for a unique dog name for your macho dog, why not choose something inspired by your favorite drink?
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
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:
Max can be short for the Latin name Maximillian which means “the greatest”. It is also short for Maxwell in English.
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.
If you were around in the 70s and 80s you may remember the Benji movies, about a lovable mutt that saved two kidnapped children.
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.
After another famous and lovable pup, Clifford is a cute name for a dog that is also a manly English name.
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.
Runt as a dog name is an endearing jab at your dog’s size, referring to the “runt” of the litter.
Historically, Webster was the occupational name for a weaver, but it also makes a hip dog name.
Teddy is a cute name for a small, snuggly dog. It can also be short for Theodore or Edward.
Hercules is a Roman God who is known for his strength and heroism.
The name Bradley, or Brad, is derived from the name of English places that mean “broad wooded clearing”.
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.
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.
The name Ghost would work if you’re searching for cool manly dog names to suit a creepy looking or white dog.
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.
Harry is a medieval form of the name Henry. A great option if you’re a fan of the Harry Potter series.
Leo is a masculine Latin name that means “lion”. One famous Leo is Russian writer Tolstoy, who wrote War and Peace and Anna Karenina.
The name Jethro comes from the Hebrew word for “abundance” and was used by the 70s rock back Jethro Tull.
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.
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 -
Barkley is a cute dog name that’s especially fitting if your dog tends to bark a lot.
Tucker is an old English occupational name meaning “softener of cloth”.
Manly Dog Names Inspired by Foreign Languages
If you need more inspiration, here are several strong manly dog names inspired from places around the world.
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.
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.
Abram is a name with Hebrew origins. It means “high father” and was the name of several biblical patriarchs.
The name Albert comes from the Germanic name Adalbert, “adal” for noble and “beraht” for bright.
Looking for French manly dog names? Andre is a French name and a variation of the Greek name Andreas, which means “manly”.
The name Bruno comes from the Old German “brun” meaning brown.
Cassius is a Latin name that means “vain”.
When it comes to manly Spanish dog names, Diego (short for San Diego) is an excellent choice.
The name Gunther comes from the Old German name Gundahar, which means “war”.
Hank is a strong male name from German descent that means “ruler of an estate”.
Ivan is a Slavic name that means “God is gracious”.
Jamal is a masculine sounding Arabic name that means “beauty” or “handsome”.
The name Kane is of Irish and Gaelic origin. It means “little warrior”.
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.
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.
Hugo is an Old German name that means “bright in mind and spirit”.
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”.
Odin is a Scandinavian name meaning “frenzy, rage, inspiration” and was the highest Norse God.
Zeus is a Greek boy’s name and the name of the highest Olympian God.
The name Sergei means “servant” and is among the most manly Russian dog names.
Igor is a Russian name that means “warrior of peace”.
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.
Want more ideas for dog names? Check out our other articles: