Sam Shephard is an experienced German Shepherd owner and has learned throughout the years how to optimize the breed's health and wellness.
You can’t wait to bring your new German Shepherd home. You’re getting everything prepared—the food, the toys, the dog bed and even a training plan. But there’s still one big question: What are you going to name him? It can be a hard choice—you want to choose a name that you love and that fits your dog.
There are lots of ways to choose; maybe you already have a favorite name in mind, or maybe you want to be inspired by your new dog’s looks or personality. If you’re stuck on ideas, check out our list of suggestions below.
Our collection of male German Shepherd names includes popular male dog names, unique name ideas, and suggestions for how you might come up with ideas of your own. Drawing inspiration from mythology, history, pop culture and more, we hope it will help you find a great dog name for your pup!
Animal Names for Dogs
There’s no denying that German Shepherds are big dogs. Sometimes, the best way to capture their size and athleticism is with the name of another animal. Or opt for a cute and funny name by playing upon opposites with a small animal name.
Personality Trait Dog Names
German Shepherds are known for their intelligence and strength, so you might want to pick a dog name that celebrates that. Or perhaps your dog is a little on the lazy side, or you want to highlight one of their other unique personality traits.
Mythological Dog Names
Want a majestic, powerful name? Then you can’t go wrong choosing the name of a god from the pantheon of ancient mythology. All of these mythological characters are associated with different traits and practices, so you can pick something that fits your lifestyle or your German Shepherd’s personality.
- Apollo—the Greek god of music, arts, and archery
- Ares—the Greek god of war
- Hades—the king of the underworld and ruler of the dead in Greek mythology
- Heimdall—the watchman of the Norse gods
- Hermes—the god of travel, trade, and communication and messenger of the Greek gods, known for his winged sandals
- Loki—the mischief-loving trickster Norse god
- Odin—the king of the Norse gods, the god of poetry, war, and death
- Poseidon—the Greek god of the oceans and rivers
- Thor—the Avengers movies have made Thor an especially popular character, but he’s been important as the Norse god of thunder and the protector of humanity for centuries
- Zeus—the ruler of Mount Olympus and king of the Greek gods, master of the sky, thunder, and justice
Famous German Names for Your Dog
Maybe you want to play on the German heritage of your shepherd by choosing the name of a famous historical Germans. Here are some name ideas inspired by the country’s most famous men.
- Albert—after Albert Einstein
- Beethoven—after the composer (Ludwig would also work!)
- Charlemagne (Karl or Charlie for short)—the famous ruler of the Carolingian empire, king of the Franks from 768–814
- Friederich (or Freddie)—after the philosopher Friederich Nietzsche
- Hans—after the composer Hans Zimmer
- Johann—after the 18th-century playwright Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
- Karl—after the philosopher Karl Marx, author of The Communist Manifesto
- Martin—after the religious reformer Martin Luther
- Max—after the theoretical physicist Max Planck, known for his contributions to quantum mechanics
We could throw in Hans, Heinz, Ulrich, Otto, Erwin, and a boatload of other famous German Philosophers, scientists, and literary figures.
Nothing wrong with using last names either, although a lot of them tend to be rather long or difficult to use when calling your dog in a hurry, like Schopenhauer, Schleiermacher.
Are you a history buff? Outside of German history, there are lots of impressive historical characters who would make great inspiration for choosing a male dog name. Although some of the characters here classify as literature rather than pure history, I believe there are great choices in this list for good German Shepherd dog names.
- Alexander (Alex for short)—after Alexander the Great, king of Macedon and ruler of a vast empire across Asia and northern Africa
- Abe—after Abraham Lincoln, president of the United States from 1861 to 1865
- Achilles—the famous Greek soldier during the Trojan War, celebrated in The Iliad
- Darwin—after Charles Darwin, the 19th-century scientist who came up with the theory of evolution
- Hector—if you prefer the Trojan side of the Trojan War, Hector is the most famous Trojan warrior
- Leonardo (or Leo for short)—after Leonardo da Vinci, the Italian painter and scientist
- Napoleon—the emperor of France from 1804 to 1814
- Winston—after Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of Great Britain during World War II
- Argos—the famous dog of Odysseus, loyal to his master
- Buddha or Jezus/Jésus—well, they don't need an introduction, I guess
Male German Shepherd Names from Film and Literature
Your favorite character from a book or a movie can be a great choice for a dog name. That way, your dog will be associated with a trait and story you already love.
- Arthur—after King Arthur from centuries of legendary stories
- Aragorn—from The Lord of the Rings (you could also use his nickname, Strider)
- Balto—from the movie Balto about an Alaskan sled dog, based on a real story
- Dodger—named after the Artful Dodger in Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist, also popularized as Dodger the stray dog in the Disney movie Oliver and Company
- Gromit—from Wallace & Gromit
- Harry—from the Harry Potter series (and probably also an accurate description of your dog!)
- Kirk—based on Captain Kirk from the Star Trek series
- Lancelot—the best knight from Arthurian legend
- Luke—the Jedi in the original Star Wars trilogy (although I prefer Han; Luke is boring)
- Ned—from A Game of Thrones
- Neo—from Keanu Reeves’s character in The Matrix trilogy or Morpheus if he likes to sleep, what most dogs do.
- Robin—based on the legendary thief Robin Hood or Batman’s sidekick, take your pick!
- Samwise—after Samwise Gamgee from The Lord of the Rings
- Rick or Morty—why not?
Especially if you just adopted a German Shepherd puppy, you may want a name that captures how cute and cuddly he is. These sweet names are some of the most popular male dog names, and you might love them for your pup too.
Food-Inspired Male Dog Names
Is your new dog so cute that sometimes you swear you could just eat him up? Then maybe a name based on a tasty treat is just right. These names are great for fun-loving dogs and families who like a light-hearted take on pet names.
We hope these dog names have given you some ideas and helped you find a unique name for your German Shepherd puppy!
A word of caution—be careful with the joke names, as they can get old rather fast. If you pick a joke name, pick it as a second name you use during play once in a while. You really need a decent short name to call your dog when needed. For example, I knew someone who named his dog 'Help', which can be funny the first ten times you need to call for him, but rather annoying for people shortly after that.
Male German Shepherds are strong and active dogs, you'll need to make sure he'll be able to hear the name loud and clear in the heat of the moment, if there is ever such a time. Many names are also language-specific; as a native Dutch speaker, we have a couple of extra sets of names to consider that are rather useless for the English-speaking world.
No matter what dog name you pick, as long as you say it with love, your dog will love it too. Check out this article if you are looking for a female German Shepherd name.
© 2020 Sam Shepards