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20 Cherokee Names for Your Dog

Teeuwynn has owned dogs her whole life. She has enjoyed the companionship of everything from Pugs to Newfoundlands.

Picking a Dog Name Can Be Difficult

Dogs are our greatest companions, and we want to find names that fit their nature. The Cherokee language is a beautiful and unique one with wonderful pronunciations and meanings. When you name your dog something that has meaning, it can give you a greater connection to your dog. Your dog’s physical look, spirit, or even personality quirks might lead you to the perfect name. So, take a look at these names and see if any of them might fit a puppy or dog you are thinking of getting now or in the future. You could even use these names for a dog that needs a new start and a new name.

Cherokee pronunciations are very different from English ones. Some of the letters are pronounced significantly differently. I have provided a pronunciation key for each name.

Weimeraner patiently waiting for her new Cherokee name.

Weimeraner patiently waiting for her new Cherokee name.

Female Cherokee Dog Names

The following 11 names are all taken from female Cherokee names. However, if you like a name for a male dog, there is no reason you cannot give your male dog one of these names!

1. Ahyoka (“She brought happiness”)

This bright, uplifting name (pronounced ah-YOH-kah) works well for a friendly girl who loves rubbing her head on your chest and fishing for carrots. It could also work well with a dog who has a bright sense of humor or is especially gentle with kids.

2. Ama (“Water”)

This simple name (pronounced "Ah-mah") reminds us of the stuff of life. Water can be calming and rejuvenating, but it can also whip up into terribly destructive storms. Therefore, the name could be good for a puppy who has a particularly calm temperament or who has flashes of destructive energy followed by periods of calm. (I had a friend whose generally sweet-natured Great Dane decided to literally eat their entire couch while they were out one day. They still don't know why.)

This name could also indicate a smart dog who reacts fluidly in all manner of situations, quickly assessing the situation and moving with the flow to keep out of trouble.

3. Atsila (“Fire”)

Goddess of the sun, hearth, fire, and the personification of the sun.

A dog with this name (pronounced aht-SEE-lah) could be a true homebody, curled with her family by the fire, but this sort of dog is likely to defend their family to the death if needed. Another version of this name says that those with it take others into their home and help them before they have to venture out into the cruel world again. As for the personification of the sun, this name could bring out the shining goddess in your dog. Of course, this name could also work for any golden or red dog.

This male dog would make an excellent Atsila.

This male dog would make an excellent Atsila.

4. Gola (“Winter”)

Because of the name’s meaning of winter, this name (pronounced GOH-lah) might work best for white dogs, dogs who love the snow, or strong dogs that can stand the elements. It could also be great for a dog who likes to do the doggy equivalent of hiding under the covers and napping through the cold nights.

5. Inola (“Black Fox”)

This lovely name (pronounced ee-NO-lah) has the sly meaning of black fox. Obviously, this name would work well for a black or dark-colored dog. However, you can also use it as a wonderful way to concentrate on the sneakier aspects of the name. A dog with this name might be able to wheedle her way into all sorts of situations.

6. Kamama (“Butterfly”)

Kamama (pronounced kah-MAH-mah) is a delicate word that conjures images of butterflies dancing in the sun. This name might be great for a female dog who has very refined behavior or a sunny disposition and likes to fly around the house. It could also work well for a dog with lovely, patchy markings that remind you of a butterfly’s patterns.

7. Salali ("Squirrel”)

This quirky name (pronounced sah-LAH-lee) is great for a mischievous dog who likes to scamper around and have fun. If your dog likes to hide her toys and favorite things around the house or in the yard, this name is also especially apt. Finally, if your dog is a furry brown or grey, this name fits your dog’s coloration extremely well.

8. Tayanita (“Young Beaver”)

Since beavers are so industrious, this name (pronounced TAH-yah-NEE-tah) is really good for a female dog with a real go-getter temperament or one who won’t give up easily. If your puppy or dog loves to slap her tail enthusiastically all over everything, this name might also be ideal. It could also work for slick brown dogs with bright eyes.

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Read More From Pethelpful

Just look into my eyes... My Cherokee dog name could be Tayanita.

Just look into my eyes... My Cherokee dog name could be Tayanita.

9. Tsula (“Fox”)

Foxes are crafty creatures who are great at, well, outfoxing others. These handsome creatures make a great base for a name (pronounced JOO-lah) for a lovely female dog, especially ones with red or reddish-brown fur.

10. Woya ("Dove”)

The dove is a symbol of peace and hope. This stirring symbol makes a wonderful name (pronounced WOH-yah) for a sweet white dog or for a dog whose personality radiates calm, comforting love.

11. Yona (“Bear”)

This strong name (pronounced YOH-nah) is great for large breeds with powerful female representatives such as Newfoundlands, Great Pyrenees, Bernese Mountain Dogs, and the like. But the name could also work ironically for toy dogs such as pugs, Chihuahuas, Yorkshire terriers, and the like.

Male Cherokee Dog Names

The following nine names are all taken from male Cherokee names. However, if you like a name for a female dog, there is no reason you cannot give your female dog one of these names.

Male spaniel waiting for a Native American name from the Cherokee tribe.

Male spaniel waiting for a Native American name from the Cherokee tribe.

1. Ahuli (“Drum”)

This name (pronounced ah-HOO-lee) leads a steady drumbeat. You can count on the dog that has this name. He is a companion who will be with you through thick and thin. Another possible interpretation is if you have a large dog like a Great Dane, he may have an unfortunate habit of sweeping his tail back and forth in a steady beat, knocking things off of tables as he goes.

2. Kanuna ("Bullfrog”)

Bullfrogs love to make loud noises; they can be heard for miles around. This name (pronounced kah-NOON-ah) could be good for a dog that likes to voice his opinion.

3. Onacona (“White Owl”)

The beauty and serenity of this name (pronounced OH-nah-COH-nah) is wonderful. Just imagine a white owl gliding silently beneath the forest canopy at night. This name would work for any white dog or for a male dog with a very calm, quiet temperament.

4. Sequoyah (“Sparrow”)

Sparrows are small birds that flit about from tree to tree. So this name (pronounced say-KWOH-yah) might work best for a smaller dog who likes to run around a lot and maybe enjoys making his opinion known with some exuberant barking.

This little Chihuahua looks like he has enough personality to be named Seqouyah!

This little Chihuahua looks like he has enough personality to be named Seqouyah!

5. Tsiyi ("Canoe”)

Tsiyi (pronounced JEE-yee) means canoe in Cherokee. The canoe was crucial to the Cherokee nation. This name would be good for a solid, reliable dog. It would work even better for a dog that does well in the water, like a Labrador, Golden Retriever, or Newfoundland.

6. Unaduti (“Wooly Head”)

Since this name (pronounced OO-nah-DOO-tee) means “wooly head,” it would probably work best for any dog with particularly fuzzy or curly hair on its head. A Bichon Frise or Old English Sheepdog would both be great candidates for this name.

7. Waya (“Wolf”)

This powerful name (pronounced WAH-yah) reminds us of the wolves who are closely related to our domestic companions. This name could be good for any largish dog with a wild spirit. If you have a dog with wolf blood in him, this name would be very fitting.

8. Wesa (“Cat”)

Ironically, this name (pronounced WAY-sah) means cat. However, some dogs have more cat-like reflexes. The Vizsla, Manchester Terrier, and Papillon are all examples of breeds that sometimes behave more like cats. It’s also sometimes fun to give your giant dog an ironic name.

9. Wohali (“Eagle”)

This soaring name refers to one of the most majestic birds around. Wohali (pronounced woh-HAH-lee) could work for any dog with a noble, protective temperament, but it might also be good for a dog with white and brown markings.

Two Bonus Names!

Here are some additional names to consider.

Atsadi (“Fish”)

This slippery name (pronounced aht-SAH-dee) is super for any male dog that loves to play in the water. Any retrieving dog like a Labrador, Golden Retriever, or an Irish Water Spaniel would certainly fit the name.

Tayanita (“Young Beaver”)

The female name Tayanita (pronounced TAH-yah-NEE-tah) is another name that works for dogs that love to swim or splash in the water a lot. This could also be a really terrific name for dogs who love to play with sticks, make piles, or hide caches of them.

Other Dog Name Articles!

I've written some other dog naming articles you might be interested in.

More Information on the Cherokee Language

© 2018 Teeuwynn Woodruff

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