Strong Dog Names: 20 Irish and Scottish Names for Male Dogs From Mythical Kings and Legend

Updated on February 21, 2018
Solaras profile image

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

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.

Lir - Irish Lord of the Sea. His children were turned into swans by his jealous second wife. Under this curse the waited 900 years for St. Patrick to come to Ireland and ring the Christian Bell, and free them from the spell.

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.

Finn MacCool - Also Fionn. Legendary warrior, Finn MacCool, roasted the Salmon of Wisdom. While he roasted the great salmon on the fire, its juices spit on his thumb. Finn sucked his thumb to cool it, and in so doing gained all of the knowledge possessed by the Salmon of Wisdom. Later in life, when confronted with a lack of knowledge, Finn had only to suck his thumb to receive understanding of his situation.

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

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

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

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • profile image

        trish 

        3 months ago

        i am adopting a male Scottish Terrier puppy and would like a name that would have a Scottish flair to it. any suggestions??

      • profile image

        JeanBakula 

        2 years 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.

      • Solaras profile imageAUTHOR

        Solaras 

        5 years ago

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

      • DrMark1961 profile image

        Dr Mark 

        5 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

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

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, pethelpful.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://pethelpful.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)