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Choosing the perfect name for your dog can be challenging and can feel like a big responsibility!
After all, your pup will be wearing it for life. Plus, finding the perfect name while you are still getting to know your pup can make the whole process feel even more challenging.
Finding inspiration in your dog’s physical appearance or breed is often a great place to start when thinking of names, as these traits will also stick around over the years.
If you happen to be adopting a Great Dane, then you are in luck, as they have plenty of traits that can serve as great inspiration for names, such as their massive size and distinctive ears.
Check out our list below of the best dog names for Great Danes. If you don’t find the perfect name on the list for your pup, hopefully, it will at least provide some inspiration for further brainstorming.
I’ve also shared some top tips on choosing the right name for any dog.
Great Dane Characteristics
As I touched on earlier, looking to your dog’s physical characteristics is a great way to find inspiration for their name.
Great Danes are German dogs, also known as the German Mastiff or Deutsche Dogge. They are descended from hunting dogs in Germany from as far back as the Middle Ages.
The most obvious characteristic of a Great Dane is its size – it is one of the world’s largest breeds. They can reach up to 90 cm tall and weigh almost 200 pounds!
They can come in a variety of colors, though black, fawn, blue, and harlequin are among the most common. They have naturally floppy ears, though sometimes they are cropped. They have a long muzzle and a wide, drooping mouth.
While they are large and athletic dogs, they are also incredibly friendly and crave physical affection.
They love a good cuddle, despite their intimidating size and appearance. If you’re still struggling with naming your Great Dane, keep reading for more specific name suggestions organized into helpful categories.
German Male Dog Names
Why not celebrate your dog’s long German heritage with some of these great German dog names?
- Alger – meaning “noble” or “bright”
- Arvin – means “friend to all”
- Axel – meaning “peaceful;” perfect for these gentle giants
- Bernard – brave as a bear
- Bismark – after the famous German statesman
- Cayden – name refers to the spirit of battle
- Clovis – a famous German warrior
- Duxi – meaning “warrior of the people”
- Gunther – another tough, unique warrior name
- Hamlin – for one who loves his home
- Hugo – meaning “wise man”
- Jaeger – means “hunter”
- Leopold – a name for a bold leader
- Luther – meaning “warrior,” and also refers to the original Martin Luther
- Manfred – means “man of peace”
- Norbert – meaning “hero”
- Otto – a name meaning “rich and prosperous”
- Oxxy – a name referring to a divine spear
- Ritter – this name means “knight”
- Schatzi – loosely translates to “sweetheart”
- Theobold – means “the boldest”
- Zelig – a name meaning “blessed one”
German Female Dog Names
But what if your giant German beauty is a girl? Try one of these great German names on for size.
- Ada – meaning “noble” and “king”
- Annika – translates to “graceful”
- Beate – means “happy”
- Britta – a name meaning “strength”
- Dagma – this one translates to “famous and glorious”
- Elsa – means “noble” (and is a Frozen reference)
- Frieda – means “peaceful”
- Kaja – translates to “alive”
- Mareike – a name meaning “obstinate and rebellious”
- Milla – this one translates to “industrious”
- Nia – meaning “bright”
- Nadja – a name that translates to “hope”
- Olinda – “protector of property;” perfect for a guard dog
- Sascha – a name meaning “defender of mankind”
- Tilli – a name for a battle maiden
- Vala – a name that translates to “singled out”
- Vera – this one means “faith” and “truth”
- Zelda – another name for a battle maiden
- Zenzi – translates loosely to “growing and thriving”
Large Dog Names
Since there is no doubt that your Great Dane is going to be big, why not give them a name to celebrate their immense size?
- Bear – both big and cuddly
- Behemoth – a grand and mysterious biblical beast
- BFG – as in, “big friendly giant”
- Big Mac – the iconic McDonald’s burger; good for dogs that live for their food!
- Bozorg – the world for “large” in Persian
- Brutus – a slightly intimidating name
- Chunk – for dogs that are both big and sturdy
- Dreadnought – a famously large British battleship
- Everest – as in Mount Everest; perfect if they are a little on the lazy side
- Hippo – a notoriously big and dangerous animal
- Hound – not only another word for “dog,” but of Game of Thrones fame
- Jumbo – like a jumbo jet; matches a big dog with big ears
- Mammoth – especially if they have long hair like the now-extinct wooly mammoth
- Mountain – both an unmovable object and another Game of Thrones character
- Ookii – means “big” in Japanese
- Reef – as in the massive, sprawling Great Barrier Reef; perfect if they love to swim
- Rex – as in T-Rex (just don’t tell him they are related to chickens!)
- Sasquatch – the legendary larger-than-human beast
- Sequoia – the largest type of tree
- Stilts – ideal for tall and skinny pups
- Tank – there’s nothing stopping your dog when they put their weight behind them!
- Thunder – big as a thunderclap; perfect for a dog with a big bark
- Whale – the largest animal in the world
- Whopper – a delicious burger that delivers a big taste
Divine And Mythological Dog Names
The Great Dane breed is sometimes known as the Apollo of dogs, so why not choose a divinely inspired name for your pup?
- Ajaz – mighty hero of the Trojan war
- Apollo – Greek god who wards off evil
- Athena – the Greek goddess of wisdom
- Atlas – the leader of the Greek Titans who holds on the world on his back
- Calliope – the muse of epic poetry
- Diana – the Roman goddess of the hunt
- Fauna – Roman goddess of animals
- Freya – the Viking god of love and beauty
- Gaia – mother Earth in Greek myth
- Hera – the ferocious and vindictive divine wife of Zeus
- Hercules – the Greek demi-god and hero
- Juno – the queen of heaven in Roman religion
- Loki – the Norse trickster giant
- Luna – the Roman goddess of the moon
- Mars – the Roman god of war
- Nyx – goddess of the night
- Odin – the principal god among the Vikings; god of both war and wisdom
- Pluto – the Greek god of the underworld (and the Disney dog)
- Thor – Viking god of thunder (and rock and roll)
- Valkyrie – semi-divine warrioresses in Norse religion
- Vulcan – the Roman god of fire
- Zeus – the mighty lightning bearer in Greek religion
Famous Dog Names
Quite a few Great Danes have graced our screens or otherwise made a name for themselves. Why not see if one of these famous names inspires you?
- Astro – the dog of the futuristic Jetsons was a Great Dane
- Chestnutt – this Great Dane has imaginative ways of hiding from his new owners in Chestnutt: Hero of Central Park
- Duke & Turk – the two Great Danes that appear in the 1960s film version of the Swiss Family Robinson
- Dynomutt – the dog wonder robotic dog was also a Great Dane
- Einstein – the Great Dane in Oliver & Company
- Elmer – was the name of the Great Dane in Oswald the Lucky Rabbit by Walter Lantz
- Fang – while Hagrid’s dog in Harry Potter is said to be a boarhound, it is played by a Great Dane
- Jean-Jacques Rousseau – an unnamed Great Dane knocks the philosopher to the ground, allowing him to find peace and suspend his identity
- Just Nuisance – this Great Dane is the only dog to be officially enlisted in the Royal Navy, done mainly for morale during World War II
- Marmaduke – the classic comic book character is a Great Dane
- Mars & Jupiter – the names of the two Great Danes that appear in the Mel Gibson film The Patriot
- Rinka – was the Great Dane of Norman Scott, but he was unfortunately killed in a bungled assassination attempt on his owner
- Schmeichel – appears on Coronation Street as the pet of Chesney Brown (UK fans know what I’m talking about!)
- Scooby-Doo – the famous detective dog is based on a Great Dane but is designed to be the opposite of perfect pedigree
Celebrity Great Dane Lovers
Why not name your Great Dane after one of the many celebrities that love the breed and have one of their own?
You can always shorten their names a bit if you find they’re a bit of a mouthful!
- Harry Clayton Lloyd – American actor and comedian from the silent film era
- Gary Cooper – American actor
- Carmen Dell’Orefice – American model and actress
- Cameron Diaz – American actress
- Glenn Hughes – Rock vocalist from Deep Purple and Black Sabbath, among others
- Kendall Jenner – American model
- Karolina Kurkova – Czech model and actress
- Hedy Lamarr – American actress and inventor, sometimes called the perfect woman
- Greg Louganis – American Olympic diver, LGBTQ+ activist, and author
- Jayne Mansfield – American Actress
- Marilyn Munroe – real name Norma Jean, the undeniable bombshell
- Randolf Scott – American actor
- Adam West – the original Batman actor
- Vanessa Williams – American singer and actress
- Lauryn Williams – American sprinter
Looking for something a bit more popular? You can find some of the most popular dog names listed here.
Tips For Naming Your Dog
There are no hard or fast rules for what you should call your dog.
However, if you are struggling to choose between names or just want to check a name you have chosen to make sure that it will work, consider the following tips.
1. Avoid Anything Too Long.
Remember that as intelligent as your dog may seem, they do not understand language in the same way as you. They can learn sounds and associate them with things, but they can’t construct new words from sounds. This means very long multisyllabic names are going to be lost on your dog.
Something short will be easier for your dog to recognize and associate with them. One or two syllables is best.
If you want to give your dog a long and fancy name, then at least consider a shorter nickname that you can integrate into their training.
2. Make It Distinguishable From Other Important Words.
Since dogs learn sounds rather than words, you don’t want your dog’s name to sound too much like other important words that they will need to learn, such as “sit” and “stay.”
While names like Sid, Ray, or Tay might sound very cute and simple, your dog might find it difficult to distinguish when you want to get their attention and when you want them to sit down.
3. Choose Sounds That Your Dog Can Distinguish From Ambient Noise.
You are going to want your dog to be able to pick out their name from everything else that is going on, whether that is a conversation you are having with a friend or just the background noise of your local dog park.
While a short name is usually simple enough for most dogs to understand, you can make life even easier for your dog by choosing a name that starts with sounds they can more easily distinguish from other ambient background noise.
For example, consider names that start with a sibilant consonant or blend consonants, such as an S or an SH, or a hard, commanding consonant like a K or C.
4. Make Sure It Is Appropriate.
You wouldn’t call your child something rude, and most parents spend a lot of time making sure they haven’t given their child a name that might result in them getting teased.
Unfortunately, though, a lot of people think that it is OK to give their dogs pretty rude or even outright offensive names.
While a super edgy name might seem fun and amusing at the time, consider it in practice. Imagine you need to get control of your dog in a large public park because they are getting a little too friendly with a small child.
Their behavior is innocent, but the child is getting scared. You are some distance away, so you need to shout their name loudly in front of everyone–and in the direction of the child that is beginning to scream.
Now, imagine that it isn’t you who has to shout the name but rather your child, niece, nephew, or another young person who is temporarily responsible for the dog, but isn’t responsible for picking that name!
Your dog is a member of your family and not a joke, so their name shouldn’t be a joke, either.
The Verdict On Great Dane Names
Sometimes the perfect name for your pooch will just come to you, but it could also take some serious searching to find something that is just right for your dog.
If you aren’t sure where to look for inspiration, it’s a good idea to start with the physical characteristics of your dog and anything special about their breed.
Great Danes provide lots of inspiration. The “Apollo of dogs” is distinctive in its great size, and it has German ancestry going back to the Middle Ages. Great Danes have also inspired quite a few famous dog characters.
Remember, when naming your pup, keep these tips in mind:
- Choose something short, preferably one or two syllables
- Choose something recognizable that doesn’t sound too similar to other common command words like “sit” or “stay”
- Avoid offensive, rude, or edgy names
Hopefully, you’ll find the perfect name for your Great Dane on our list, or you will at least find some inspiration that helps you give your dog a name that sticks.
What are your favorite dog names for Great Danes? Share your suggestions with the community in the comments section below.
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