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115 Native American Names for Male Dogs

Barbara Fitzgerald is an AKC Breeder of Merit and author of the column "Conversations with Champions" for the BCSA magazine, "Borderlines."

Consider one of these strong and meaningful indigenous names for your dog.

Consider one of these strong and meaningful indigenous names for your dog.

Native American Nature Spirit Name Inspiration

Native American words and names evoke mighty images of courage, strength, and the forces of nature. Nature spirit names from myth and legend lend powerful nuances to the call names of dogs. From lapdogs to noble guard dogs, these 99 meaningful, indigenous words make eloquent and unique names for any dog breed, large or small.

For strong male dogs, consider names that conjure images from the animal kingdom of the Wild West. Bears, buffalo, foxes, and wolves were revered in Native American cultures; the use of these lyrical names can bestow health and long life on their namesakes.

Here are the best meaningful call names, canvased from native languages from around North America, including Hawaii and Alaska. Feel free to add your own favorite name suggestions in the comments section.

Native American dog sculpture, c. 200 BC–500 AD

Native American dog sculpture, c. 200 BC–500 AD

Animal Spirit Dog Names From Indigenous Languages

NameTribe or LanguageMeaning

Kuruk

Pawnee

Bear

Honovi

Hopi

Powerful Deer

Animosh

Algonquin

Dog

Omitaa

Blackfoot

Dog

Makwa

Algonquin

Bear

Nokosi

Seminole

Bear

Honan

Miwok

Bear

Honaw

Hopi

Bear

Miwak

Miwok

Growl of a Bear

Keme

Algonquin

Thunder

Ahonu

Algonquin

He Who Laughs

Maska

Strong and Brave

Koa

Hawaiian

Strong and Brave

Kitchi

Algonquin

Brave

Tonka

Dakota

Bull

Yansa

Cherokee

Buffalo

Dog effigy vessel, Jalisco

Dog effigy vessel, Jalisco

Native American Words Meaning Wolf, Coyote, and Fox

NameTribe or LanguageMeaning

Hemene

Nez Perce

Wolf

Tikaani

Inuit

Wolf

Apisi

Blackfoot

Coyote

Kiyaya

Yakima

Howling Wolf

Amarog

Inuit

Wolf

Honi

Arapaho

Wolf

Honiahaka

Cheyenne

Little Wolf

Maikoh

Navajo

Wolf

Maiyun

Cheyenne

Wolf

Maheegan

Algonquin

Wolf

Waya

Cherokee

Wolf

Tokula

Lakota

Fox

Tsu lal gi

Creek

Fox

Cu la al ke

Creek

Fox

òkwës

Lenape

Fox

Tëme

Lenape

Wolf

Tëmetët

Lenape

Coyote

Native American dog vessel, c. 200 BC–500 AD

Native American dog vessel, c. 200 BC–500 AD

Strong Native American Names Meaning Chief or Boss

NameTribe or LanguageMeaning

Desna

Inuit

Boss

Akiak

Inuit

Brave

Micco

Seminole

Chief

Alii

Hawaiian

Chief

Kahuna

Hawaiian

Held in High Esteem

Hiamovi

Cheyenne

High Chief

Awan

Algonquin

Somebody

Yuma

Navajo

Son of the Chief

Bidziil

Navajo

He Who is Strong

Nayarit dog vessel, c. 200 BC–500 AD

Nayarit dog vessel, c. 200 BC–500 AD

Indigenous Spirit Animal Names

NameTribe or LanguageMeaning

Kele

Hopi

Sparrow

Mochni

Hopi

Talking Bird

Sequoyah

Cherokee

Sparrow

Miki

Inuit

Little

Mansi

Hopi

Plucked Flowers

Mukki

Algonquian

Child

Nikan

Potawatomi

My Friend

Nuttah

Algonquian

My Heart

Ogin

Wild Rose

Pakwa

Hopi

Frog

Pules

Algonquian

Pigeon

Rozene

Rose

Salali

Cherokee

Squirrel

Sihu

Hopi

Flower

Dog Names From American Indian Colors

NameTribe or LanguageMeaning

Hento

Dakota

Blue

Sioux

Kangee

Crow or Raven

Kilchii

Navajo

Red Boy

Muraco

White Moon

Skah

Sioux

White

Suki

Algonquin

Black

Sesi

Inuit

Snow

Fala

Choctaw

Crow

Gomda

Kiowa

Crow

Native American curled dog vessel, c. 200 BC–500 AD

Native American curled dog vessel, c. 200 BC–500 AD

Meaningful Tribal Names for Rescued Dogs

NameTribe or LanguageMeaning

Tiquanna

Inuit

Adopted Son

Arawak

Tupi

Spirit

Hok'ee

Navajo

Abandoned

Dakota

Sioux

Friend

Nikan

Potawatomi

Friend

Takoda

Sioux

Friend to Everyone

Aloha

Hawaiian

Love, Hello, and Goodbye

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Spirit Names From Nature

NameTribe or LanguageMeaning

Abedabun

Cheyenne

Sight of Day

Abetzi

Omaha

Yellow Leaf

Adsila

Cherokee

Blossom

Aiyana

Eternal Blossom

Alawa

Algonquin

Pea

Ama

Cherokee

Water

Amitola

Rainbow

Aponi

Butterfly

Awanata

Miwok

Turtle

Awantia

Fawn

Chapa

Sioux

Beaver

Cholena

Bird

Chumani

Sioux

Dewdrops

Kele

Hopi

Sparrow

Kewanee

Potawatomi

Prairie Hen

Kinta

Choctaw

Deer

Koko

Blackfoot

Night

Leotie

Flower of the Prairie

Lulu

Rabbit

Mika

Intelligent Racoon

Native American Indian dog whistle or flute

Native American Indian dog whistle or flute

Strong Indian Names That Celebrate Great Deeds

NameTribe or LanguageMeaning

Adoette

Kiowa

Big Tree

Bly

Tall

Wyome

Algonquian

Large Plain

Bidzill

He is Strong

Enyeto

Miwok

Walks like a Bear

Eyota

Great

Hanska

Sioux

Tall

Hiamovi

Cheyenne

High Chief

Holata

Seminole

Alligator

Ituha

Sturdy Oak

Kai

Willow Tree

Liwanu

Miwok

Growling Bear

Machk

Algonquian

Bear

Mato

Sioux

Bear

Songaa

Strong

Tasunke

Dakota

Horse

The Algonquin Language

Originally one of the most populous and widespread Native American groups, the Algonquins ranged over much of the Northeast and throughout Canada and the Great Lakes region.

Today, several hundred thousand Americans identify themselves with the Algonquin tribes, which include the Miami, Sauk, Lenape (aka Delaware), Cree, Ottawa, Potawatomi, Mahican, Arapaho, Blackfoot, and Cheyenne, among many others.

The Algonquin language unifies the many tribes with variations from region to region.

5 Famous Native Americans

These are the names and histories of a few famous leaders and warriors.

Cochise

Translated from Apache, Cochise means "Strength of an Oak." An Apache leader and fighter against expansion by both the Mexicans and the Americans, he is second only to Geronimo as an Apache war leader.

Hollywood and television have had an ongoing fascination with Cochise and his only white friend, Tom Jeffords, in films such as Broken Arrow and Fort Apache.

Geronimo

Translated from his native Apache tongue, Geronimo means "One Who Yawns." His mother, wife, and children were killed by Mexican troops in 1858, and he sought revenge over the next 25 years, fighting against both American and Mexican settlers and troops in his territory.

Feared and highly respected in the art of war, Geronimo was eventually forced to settle on a reservation himself. He died in 1909 and was considered a prisoner of war.

Chief Crazy Horse

One of the best-known Native American warriors, Chief Crazy Horse also had visions that brought him strength and courage in battle. He was named "Ogle Tonka Un" or "shirt wearer" by the Lakota, meaning "war leader."

His battle with General George Crook, the Battle of the Rosehead, while not significant in loss of life, managed to delay the US Army from joining General Custer's troops at Little Big Horn, thus ensuring Custer's defeat.

Tecumseh

The iconic hero of the Shawnee, Tecumseh dreamed of an independent Native American nation located in present-day Indiana. He recruited other tribes to join them, and in the War of 1812 they aligned themselves with the British. Together with the British, they defeated Ft. Detroit. However, in 1813, Tecumseh was killed in battle and his league of tribes disintegrated with his death.

William Tecumseh Sherman was named for the great Shawnee chief, and was known to his close friends and family simply as "Cump."

Pontiac

An Ottowa leader, Pontiac lead a rebellion against the British government in 1763, known now as Pontiac's Rebellion. The city of Pontiac, Michigan, and the former automobile company are named for him.

The Cherokee People

The Cherokee are identified with the Southeast of the United States. They speak an Iroquoian language, suggesting that they migrated from the Northeastern part of the continent. Today over 800,000 people identify themselves as having Cherokee blood in their heritage.

Considered one of the Five Civilized Tribes, the Cherokee were eventually the first Native Americans to gain US citizenship. Many of the Cherokee who did not wish to assimilate were relocated to the Oklahoma territories following the passage of the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The relocation was known as the Trails of Tears, as many died of starvation and exhaustion during the march.

Famous Cherokee descendants include Will Rogers, Tom Mix, Cher, Walter Brennan, Johnny Depp, and James Earl Jones.

Settlements, Land Features, Cities and States Derived From Native American Names

Arizona - From the O'odham meaning "having a little spring." The wacky film Raising Arizona makes a cute pun for rearing a puppy named Arizona.

Caribou - Abnaki for "one who gets their food by pawing or shoveling."

Denali - Alaskan mountain, meaning the "tall one" or the "great one."

Hialeah - Muskogee for "pretty prairie." Also a famous Florida race track.

Idaho - Used by the Apache to describe the Comanche, it means "enemy." Name your puppy Idaho, and you can raise your own private Idaho.

Malibu - Chumash for "it makes a loud noise there all of the time." A cute name for a noisy dog.

Merrimac - Algonquin for "ugly water."

Mohawk - Algonquin name for their Iroquois neighbors, meaning "cannibals" or "hungry wolves."

Ohio - Means beautiful river, a great name for a water dog.

Sachem - Algonquin for "chief."

Texas - Derived from Caddo, means "friend."

Topeka - "Good place to dig wild potatoes."

Tuskegee - Koasati word for "warrior."

Wabash - Miami for 'it shines white" or "pure white."

More Unique and Meaningful Name Ideas for Dogs

Comments

Dr. Dan Way Harper on August 13, 2020:

Help!

"Little Bear" in a Native American language. I am in So. Oregon.

Thanks.

Nancy on April 03, 2019:

I have an Australian Shepherd - English Shepherd cross that has the color and markings of an Appaloosa horse along with the blue eyes. Right now his name is Bear, which doesn't really fit him. I would like either an name for Appaloosa or bear.

Angelina on January 03, 2019:

I have a pit bull who’s a rescue. He started out terrified of every living thing. But now he is confident. So i wanted to name him confident but in Algonquin.

Natalya on November 01, 2018:

I am getting a black and white dog soon and I have been looking for a name that means either that or many colors.. anybody jelp me out?

Kelly on September 19, 2018:

Hello need help findkng a name dor my new black male chow chow

Carole Bugg on July 13, 2018:

My mini schnauzer puppy needs a First Nations name, please. Preferably Yakama Nation. Any suggestions?

Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on February 28, 2018:

Desna or Micco mean chief or boss, which might be nice for the high drive puppy. Dakota or Nikan mean friend, which could be nice for the lower drive puppy's name.

Jerry Wanko on February 27, 2018:

I have 2 puppy boys, both Dachshunds

One is tan and white

The second one is Black and Tan. This one is high energy, spunky and real playful. Need suggestions on naming them

Makwa on February 16, 2018:

À Tribe

apricot kiss on February 14, 2018:

I have a little fawn pug. He is 9 weeks old and I have not named him yet. I would like a strong name for him. He is a singleton pup and very independent. I want him to grow up to follow his name.

solaras on February 13, 2018:

Here is the Blackfoot word for warrior: áwaawahkao’tsii . Oniiniiwat is another variation on the translation from warrior. I hope that helps!

solaras on February 13, 2018:

Here is the Blackfoot word for warrior: áwaawahkao’tsii . Oniiniiwat is another variation on the translation from warrior. I hope that helps!

David on February 12, 2018:

What is the black foot word for protector and warrior?

Debbie on November 25, 2017:

I just got a beautiful make Yorkie. I'm looking for a Native American name meaning strength and friendship. He's the runt, always my favorite, and should top out at 4-5 lbs. He will go everywhere with me. He has some chocolate coloring now, but should shed off to be blonde. I'd really appreciate your suggestions! Thanks so much!!