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Arabic and Moroccan Names for Dogs

Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.

A Moroccan dog looking out.

A Moroccan dog looking out.

The Arabic Language and Naming Your Dog

There are not a lot of great dog breeds in the Arab world, and the only contribution from Morocco is a livestock guard dog that few people have even heard about. (According to Wikipedia it is called the Aidi, but no one ever calls it that—my neighbors and co-workers always referred to my dog as a kelb rihali, or a nomad dog.)

Despite the poor contribution to the world of dogs, the Arabic language has a lot of great words that make excellent dog names. Maybe one of them will work for your dog.

A guard-dog-to-be in Morocco.

A guard-dog-to-be in Morocco.

Best Arabic or Middle Eastern Dog Names

Most of the names listed here are in Moroccan dialectical Arabic. Classical Arabic, the language of the Koran, is, like Latin, a language not spoken anymore but still studied. I did not add any classical words to this list.

I do not speak the dialect of Arabic common in the Middle East, but if there are any Saudis or other Arabic speakers who would like to leave comments, I would be glad to add more words to the list.

  • Ajej: Sandstorm
  • Bibi: My turkey
  • Dari: My house
  • Dasri: My bad one
  • Dibi: My wolf
  • Doobie: My bear (Not what you were thinking, right?)
  • Kelbi: My dog

A lot of these words are fun. Just use your imagination!

  • Bezef: Too much
  • Kabeer: Big
  • Kirshi: Stomach (Would be good for a little puppy with a round tummy that enjoys eating all the time.)
  • Safee: Enough already (We have all had a Sa-fee around the house!)
  • Shokran: Thank you
  • Sukkar: Sugar (Or how about Sweetie?)
  • Deba: NOW! (This is also a great command, as in “Come on, now!”)
  • Wahad: Number one (Main dog in the house?)
  • Zweeni: My beauty (Lots of dogs deserve this name!)
A mountain dog at the Tizi-n-Tichka pass.

A mountain dog at the Tizi-n-Tichka pass.

Arabic Commands for Training

Arabic verbs are short, usually only three letters long, and they make good commands. A few of the letters are hard to pronounce for native English speakers, but even when the word is mispronounced, it still sounds fine to the dog. I have trained my own dog in this language so that she does not become confused when I am giving commands to another dog.

Some of the most basic Darija (Moroccan Arabic) commands are:

  • Sit: Gls
  • Down: Nas (I pronounce it like “naaas” and with all commands use a hand signal to make it easier for my dog to respond)
  • Stay: Qof
  • Come: Ajee (I do not use this since it is so much like my dog´s name)
  • Wait: Bleti
  • Look: Shoof
  • Okay: Wakha (It sounds so much like okay that I just use the English word)

I give the commands for “heel”, “touch”, and “leave it” in English.

And the most basic Darija command, of course:

  • No: La

Every dog hates that one, no matter what language you are speaking!

A city dog in Morocco.

A city dog in Morocco.

Did You Find a Name Yet?

Did you find any good Moroccan Arabic words you would like to use? There are a lot of great words but most of them do not make good dog names. None of the colors are good, few of the body parts, and only the number I have mentioned.

If you have a number (like the third dog in your house), you might also find a name you like. Leave a comment or check out all the great web sites for Moroccan Arabic.

This dog is resting in front of Ait Ben Haddou, Ouarzazate.

This dog is resting in front of Ait Ben Haddou, Ouarzazate.

Another urban dog in Morocco.

Another urban dog in Morocco.

Questions & Answers

Question: What is an Arabic name for a female pitbull?

Answer: Any of these names will work. My Pitbull is named "Ajej," which is the Moroccan Arabic word for "sandstorm."

If she is a really great looking dog, how about using "Zweena"? (The an at the end of some words makes it feminine. It is the feminine of the masculine word Zweeni.) Dogs respond well to that name.

Any Suggestions?

mohamed on April 29, 2015:

nice photos from morocco here

capncrunch on September 27, 2013:

sloughi master race

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 25, 2013:

Thanks Laura I am glad you like this information. It was nice putting it all together after all these years.

I liked your comment about the hand signals for deaf dogs. My dog responds to hand signals better than spoken, and from what I have read that is pretty common.

I was surprised you picked Dasri, as that was the name of our Moroccan shepherd! (He was, too, but we enjoyed his antics as I am sure you do with Minnie)

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 25, 2013:

Hi Highland Terrier-dogs in Ireland, the UK, and the US certainly have it better than those in the Arab world. Moroccan livestock guard dogs do okay but it is a rough life for the owner, the herd, and the dog.

I think the best part about a strange name, though, is that you never forget it!

Thanks for coming by and commenting.

Laura Tykarski from Pittsburgh PA on January 25, 2013:

I loved this hub. The aspect of the Arab verb being short may help in the future training of dogs I rescue that are deaf or hearing-impaired. Hand signaling/incorporating American sign Language worked with my deaf Jack Russell, i.e. I will sigh the letters for down d...o...w...n... with a pointed finger down and ...she responds. It has been strangely effective for me although I started this from the time she was a puppy. When I rescue another like my furry soul-mate Minnie I will definitely go with the word Dasri as she has been since birth a handful. Thanks for another informative hub.

Highland Terrier from Dublin, Ireland on January 24, 2013:

I don't know about the dog names but the place looks very poor.

I think I stick with English names, with my memory I'd forget how I pronounced it.

I was under the impression that Arabic countries thought dogs where unclean. A friend of mine used to live in Irag and she told me the dogs got a terrible life. That they were constantly stoned by people, mine you it must be twenty ago