Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.
Japanese Names for Dogs
Are you looking for an authentic Japanese name for your authentic Japanese dog?
The Shiba Inu was bred to hunt small game; the Akita was bred to hunt large game like boar, and the Tosa? The Tosa is so big that all he is good for is pushing around other dogs in the ring. They may vary in size, and they may vary in purpose, but they are all Japanese, and all of these names are great for Japanese dogs.
This list contains mostly names with two syllables and a few with one syllable. There are a lot of Japanese names with three and four syllables—fine, but nothing you should expect a dog to answer to during training. If you want one of those names, you'll need to look elsewhere.
If you want an authentic Japanese name, here are some good choices. First on the list are some great Japanese names that are given to boys and girls. The Japanese word is on the left (in bold), and the English translation is on the right.
Names for Boys and Girls
- Hiro: This means generous.
- Kin: Gold
- Masa: Elegant
- Michi: Pathway
- Nori: The law
- Sora: The sky
- Yori: Public servant
- Yuki: Snow
- Yoshi: Nice
Names for Boys With Great Character
- Goro: The fifth son
- Jiro: The second son
- Juro: The tenth son. This would be a good name for a puppy from a REALLY big litter.
- Kenji: A healthy second son
- Koji: The shining second son
- Kuro: The ninth son
- Shiro: The fourth son
- Taro: The oldest son
- Toshi: Alert and intelligent son
- Yuji: A brave son
Descriptive Names for Girls
- Bunko: Daughter who enjoys literature
- Kami: Daughter with a long life
- Kimi: A noble daughter
- Mana: Affectionate daughter
- Miko: Beautiful daughter
- Riko: A daughter like jasmine
- Yoko: Sunny daughter
- Yuko: Helpful daughter
Other Great Names
- Fuji: Wealthy
- Ichi: The number one
- Jishin: Earthquake. I like this for a Tosa or big Akita puppy who lumbers around the house.
- Kami: Hair. How about a hairy dog?
- Katsu: Victory
- Kazi: Wind
- Kenta : This is a great name for a Tosa since it means big and strong.
- Kiri: Foggy
- Kuro: Black
- Goji: Five o'clock, as in, “It's five o'clock somewhere”.
- Neru: To sleep.
- Shima: Island
- Shiro: White
- Uki: Big
Female Names for Common Objects
- Chika: Scattered flowers
- Gina: Silver
- Hana: A flower
- Hoshi: Star
- Kiku: The chrysanthemum flower
- Mika: Perfume
- Momo: Peach. This sounds like a perfect name for a playful Shiba Inu puppy.
- Saki: Blossom
- Sango: Coral
- Shika: A deer
- Shinju: Pearl
- Suzu: A bell
- Umi: Plum blossom
Names for the Seasons
- Aki: For a male or female; it means Autumn.
- Kiko: A daughter of the spring
- Shiki: Four seasons
Good Animal Names
- Kuma: Bear
- Tora: Tiger
- Washi: Eagle
And don't forget about . . .
- Inu: Dog
Did You Find the Right Name?
I hope you found several names you like. If you choose to use a three-syllable name not on this list, you should call your dog only the first part of it so that your training sessions will go smoothly.
Since you are not writing your dog's name in Japanese script, do not expect the pronunciation to be perfect. Don't worry about it. Just have fun with your new puppy.
Good luck finding a name for your Japanese dog.
More Dog Name Ideas
- Tough and Badass Dog Names for 2020: Outlaws and Gangstas
Some dogs are outlaws—some just jump on their bikes and pretend to be. One of these names will be the perfect accessory to make your dog tough (or at least sound tough)!
- Best Dog Names From Brazil
Does your new puppy lie around the house most of the day? Does she seem more interested in her pedicure than her new toy? If your dog jumps up into the hammock every chance she gets, maybe she should have a Brazilian name.
Dowg on April 10, 2020:
My dogs name is inari
and it means goddess of foxes
Moaning girl on November 29, 2019:
Real Japanese on October 23, 2018:
Kuro means black not ninth son,
shiro means white not fourth son.
SamanthaLove on May 10, 2016:
Got my self a female japenese Akita puppy and named her Yuki. Glad to see that the name and meaning is on this list
Japaneseengraving on February 01, 2016:
I can create a dog tags in Japanese!! Email me at email@example.com
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on June 25, 2014:
Thanks, RaeDawn. If you write more about Shibas be sure to check out the photos available on flickr. There are a lot of great ones--of course, those little dogs are photogenic, as you already know! I appreciate you stopping by.
Rae Blair from ON, Canada on June 25, 2014:
Cute article! Voted interesting and useful. :)
We named our male Shiba Inu Seth, though he responds much better to his Japanese name: Sesu! They are a fantastic breed, like all spitz breed dogs.
hachiko on September 10, 2013:
i love japanesse akitas and american i have american akita named lily but i want a puppy japanesse akita