Strong Dog Names – 18 Irish and Scottish Names for Male Dogs from Mythical Kings and Legend

Ancient Celtic Image of intertwined dogs
Ancient Celtic Image of intertwined dogs

Looking for an unusual name for your new male dog? Celtic history and legend provide a rich pantheon of untapped dog names. But remember, names may have the power of a self-fulfilling prophecy, so choose your dog’s name wisely. Here is a list of strong Irish and Scottish names from myth and legend for dogs of all sizes, breeds and colors.

Dog Names from Irish Mythology

Angus — Both Irish and Scottish, Angus was the Celtic god of Love, Beauty and Dreams. Derived from Old Irish, “Oengus” it means exceptional strength, unique choice, chosen one and unique strength. His tale and those of his many loves has been told for over 5000 years in Irish Mythology.

Perhaps the most famous is the tale of his love from Caer. Every night Angus dreamt of a lovely dark haired beauty, and every day he searched the Earth for this lovely girl. He searched until he grew weary and ill from disappointment. Finally he was too ill to continue the search, and fearing for his life, the other gods set out to search for the lady of his dreams. They finally found her near a lake, and sent word to Angus that she had been found. However, upon his arrival he learned that she was bewitched. She was a lady by night, but a swan by day. In order to be with his great love, Angus mirrored the transformation; they are man and woman by night and swans by day. If your seeking a loving companion, choose Angus to fulfill your dreams.

Arawn - Celtic God - Mythical King of the Underworld. A good name for a dark dog.

Balor or “Balor of the Evil Eye.” In Irish mythology, Balor was a king of the Fomorians, a race of giants. He is remarkable for having one eye on his forehead and the other directly at the back of his head. This eye prevented enemies from sneaking up on him. Additionally, the eye at the back of his skull, the evil eye, had the power to burn with a deadly eye beam and wreak havoc on his enemies. Name your dog Balor if you want a giant, ever-watchful guard dog.

Lugh – Celtic God of the sun and lightening. Strong and radiant, he is master of all skills including carpentry, masonry, Druidry and poetry. He is also a smith of precious metals and a doctor of healing. Call your dog Big Lugh if you want to call forth the characteristics of Discipline, Strength and Courage.

Fáilinis - The treasured hound of Lugh (see description above), he was invincible in battle; he caught every wild beast he encountered, and could transform the running water he bathed in into wine. He was used as a guard dog and provided the gods an endless source of wine. Name your dog Failinis if you’re looking for a guard or hunting dog that likes to party.

Fermac (or Fer Mac), is another dog of Irish mythology sharing similar qualities to Failinis. Fermac is described as a parti-colored furred dog, who belched out wine, gold and silver. Though Fermac was a huge dog by day, he shrank down to the size of a lapdog by night. Legend has it that two watchmen, in defiance of a specific warning, spied on the threesome from Iruaid (the owners of Fermac) at nighttime. However they suffered the consequences for their disobedience. Fermac, in the form of a lapdog, swirled up a druidic wind with his tail, and “the watchmen were swept away, their swords driven into each other's bodies.” Name your dog Fermac if you have giant guard dog that thinks he is really a lapdog.

The god Cernunnos  depicted on the Gundestrup Cauldron.
The god Cernunnos depicted on the Gundestrup Cauldron.
Duncan I King of Scotland Bane
Duncan I King of Scotland Bane

Names of Legendary Scottish and Irish Kings

Airell - Celtic - Meaning - Nobleman.

Cináed - pronounced "KIN-ay" or "KIN-ee." The modern form is Kenneth, and its pronunciation is very close to “Kenny.” Cinaed was the name of the first King of Scotland and King of the Picts. It means “born of fire” or “wise ruler.” A perfect naming choice for large working and herding dogs.

Conall – Means “Strong Wolf” in Gaelic. Used by both the Scottish and Irish, this is the name of several characters in Irish legend as a mythic warrior and also a legendary king. Use this name for Wolfhounds, Huskies and Malamutes.

Duff or Dubh– Scottish –meaning “dark.” A King of Scotland, he reigned a brief 5 years until his murder. It is said that his body was hidden beneath a bridge, and that the sun did not shine until his body had been recovered. It is now known that an eclipse of the sun occurred at the same time as the day of his recorded death, confirming the veracity of the legend of his life and death. A great choice for a powerful dark dog like a Rottie, Newfie or Dobbie.

Duncan – Scottish meaning “brown warrior.” The name of two Scottish kings including one featured in Macbeth. A good choice for terriers and German breeds.

Niels or Naill – Meaning “champion.” Derived from Niall of the Nine Hostages, the greatest of the Irish High Kings; he lived in the 5th century. The nine hostages were royal hostages sent as tributes to the high king. They included one from each of the 5 Irish provinces and one each from Scotland, the Saxons, the Britons and the Franks. St. Patrick was also brought to Ireland as a captive during the 9th year of Niall’s reign. Name your dog Niels or Naill if you want him to be a supreme champion.

Celtic Knot
Celtic Knot
Helps you and puppy survive the teething phase.
Helps you and puppy survive the teething phase. | Source

Gentle Giants: Meaningful Irish and Scottish Names for Strong Dogs

Arden - Celtic - Meaning Eager, Ardent. An amazing name for a performance dog.

Artek - Celtic - Variation of Arthur. Meaning strong as a bear, strong like a rock.

Dermid – Scottish – Means without envy. Variations include Dermot, Derry and Diarmad. Use this name for a gentle giant.

Guinness - Still the most popular alcoholic beverage in Ireland; name your dog Guinness if you want everyone to love him.

Seumas — (pronounced SHAY-muhs) means the "the supplanter" or "substitute"; it is the Gaelic form of James. Name you dog Seumas if you find your new canine companion has taken over the household!

Simeon — A Hebrew name long used in Scotland and associated with Clan Fraser means "listener"; Variations include Simon, Symon and nicknames include Sim, Sym, Syme. If you want your new dog to be an obedient dog that listens carefully, name your dog Simon or Simeon.

Suggested Further Reading

Still looking for inspiration? Check out these Names for male dogs from Ancient Greece and Greek Mythology

15 Female Greek Names That Make Cool Dog Names: Here is a list of cool Greek Goddesses and Heroines whose names will bestow awesome powers on your canine companion.

44 Meaningful Native American Indian Words That make Great Female Dog Names

Looking for the perfect dog for your family? Here is a breeder's perspective on what you need to look for to find a Reputable Dog Breeder

Portable dog play pen
Portable dog play pen | Source

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DrMark1961 profile image

DrMark1961 3 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

Some good choices--I just put this on my Pinterest "dog names" page.

Solaras profile image

Solaras 3 years ago Author

Thanks Dr. Mark - I always enjoy your hubs as well. You have a great sense of humor and knowledge of dogs.

JeanBakula 8 months ago

Interesting. I'm thinking of getting a female Siberian Husky and want her to have an Irish name. I was thinking of Maeve. Any ideas? I liked your Greek names too. Very clever.

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