Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.
In westernmost Ireland, in three isolated areas where the wind blows off the ocean and black tea is known to be a common cause of leukanemia, the people still speak Gaelic. My favorite is the sound of the people from Kerry, a green county in the west. The west coast/east coast rivalry exists in Ireland, just like in the United States. The Kerry people may sound odd to those from other regions, but then again, they think everyone else speaks strangely—especially those people from back east.
I have put together a few names that work for dogs, and many of them are from Kerry. I hope you consider giving your Irish dog a Kerry name. They are great for Irish Wolfhounds, of course. Those that claim the Irish Wolfhound is not even Irish anymore because of all the outbreeding do not know much about Irish history.
Kerry Blue Terriers should like these names, too. Even Anglo-Irish dogs, like the Irish Setter, will sound appropriate with one of these names. You can name him Jack instead of Conan and no one will notice, but all you need to do is choose the best from the list.
Anyone fluent in Gaelic might disagree with my pronunciation. Too bad. Words vary from county to county, and if I do not choose to say a word the same way you do, it is only wrong to you.
Unique Irish Dog Names
Can you tell what your puppy's personality is going to be like? Here are some great names for some unusual dogs.
- Ailean (pronounced al-an, “like a rock”)
- Anluan (pronounced on-lin, “great hound”)
- Aodh (pronounced oogh or hugh, “Celtic god of fire”)
- Artair (“like a bear”)
- Bran (“raven”)
- Brian ( “strong”)
- Cailean (pronounced cahl-een, “young girl”)
- Cathal (pronounced ca-hool, “mighty in battle”)
- Coilean (pronounced Collin, “young pup”)
- Cona (“wolf pup”)
- Conan (“hound”)
- Conchur (“wolf lover”)
- Conmhaol (pronounced con-vel, “wolf warrior”)
- Conn (“intelligent man”)
- Connal (“powerful" or "strong as a wolf”)
- Connor (“lover of hounds”)
- Conry (“king of the hounds”)
- Cosgrach (pronounced cosk-ruch, “victor”)
- Faolan (pronounced phe-lan, “wolf”)
- Eochaidh (pronounced yoch-ee, “warrior on a horse”)
- Latharn (pronounced Lorne, “like a fox”)
- Luag (pronounced lu-ag, “the winner," the name of the god of the sun)
- Madadh (pronounced mad-ug, “dog”)
- Madin (“little dog”)
- Maidrin (“little puppy”)
- Milish (“sweetie”)
- Mungan (“beloved”)
- Murchu (pronounced mur-fee, “hound of the sea”)
- Onchu (“mighty dog”)
- Olcan (“wolf”)
- Sionn (pronounced shon, “fox”)
Gaelic Names for Your Dog's Color
More Names From Ireland
- Aiden (popular boy's name that means “born of fire”)
- Blarney (castle in Cork County)
- Blasket (islands off the Kerry peninsula)
- Boru (surname of Brian, one of the greatest Irish kings in history)
- Caeli (pronounced “kaylee," an Irish folk dance)
- Darragh (pronounced di-re, a popular boy's name based in mythology)
- Derry (city and a river in the north)
- Dingle (peninsula in Kerry County)
- Dylan (popular boy's name that means “faithful and loyal”)
- Keeva (popular girl's name that means “gentle and precious”)
- Kerry (county)
- MacCool (the surname of Fionn, a giant from Ireland)
- Niamh (popular girl's name that means “radiant”)
- Shannon (a famous river)
- Siobhan (popular girl's name pronounced shev-awn)
- Tara (burial place of the Kings of Ireland)
Tips for Naming a Dog
If you've decided to call your puppy “MacCool,” “Connor,” or one of the other great names on this list, go ahead and try it out and see how he responds. If you choose a name that is not on this list, though, keep a few things in mind:
- Don’t make your dog walk around with one of the overused dog names. He is special, unique, and deserves a special name that emphasizes his Irish heritage.
- Do not give your dog a name that sounds like his training commands. Avoid anything that sounds like sit, stay, come, and any other words you are going to use.
- Don’t give your dog a long name (three or more syllables) that he is not going to remember and respond to.
- Do not give him a name that sounds like a dog that you already have. Your old dog will be confused every time you call the puppy, and your puppy will be confused if you call the old dog but not him!
- Do enjoy your new puppy! Take lots of pictures!
Name Tags Are Important
Get a name tag for your puppy as soon as possible. Name tags should include a name, your name, and your telephone number. If your dog is lost and he does not have a name tag, you may never see him again. You can find out about microchipping on the next visit to your puppy's veterinarian.
More Dog Name Guides
- Macho Dog Names
If your dog is not the toughest one at the dog park, at the very least he needs to strut around with a macho name!
- Tough Dog Names: 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!
- Sitcom And Other Funny Dog Names
It doesn't matter if you grew up with Barney Fife, Mork, or Cosmo Kramer--one of these names are perfect for a little dog who will keep you entertained!
S Reid on January 31, 2019:
I have always wanted a wolfhound and hope to be fortunate enough to adopt one. I have always liked the names Willow, Fern and Winston! I loved the video, very cute.
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on May 05, 2018:
Ben, when I was living in Ireland the old people (Gaeltacht speakers) would refer to leukemia as "leukanemia". I was told if you were to drink your tea without milk you would certainly come down with that disease.
Ben Keating on May 03, 2018:
The following is written above ... "... and black tea is known to be a common cause of leukanemia, the people ..." What is 'Leukanemia'?
Shelly on November 11, 2017:
My wolfhounds name is Eoghan. He is almost 3. I love him desperatley! I will gave more wolfhounds in my life as their temperment is amazing.Gentle Giants!
Sharon on April 06, 2017:
My Wolfhound's name was Yorick. He lived 9 years and I miss him so very much.
Pamela on April 22, 2016:
I know one man with a grey Irish wolf hound and he's called it Paddy
C on March 18, 2016:
I think I will name my dog whatever I want. The name is not important when training if you have a call name. Anyone who works with show dogs should know this. Furthermore everyone else should name their dogs whatever suits them. Don't forget you have to be able to pronounce your dogs name not just spell it. I enjoyed the list of names but the entire article was ruined for me when you started telling me how to name my dog.
ilikedogsbruh on February 06, 2016:
Great! Irish, naming my dog after Kerry!
healinghands1668 from Chicago, IL on October 28, 2014:
I'm more of a cat person than a dog person. I like dogs, but I grew up with cats, so I'm more used to them. But if I were ever to get a dog, I would want a wolfhound. Also, Kerry is my cat's name. Her sister's name is Clare, after another Irish county.
Pamela Dapples from Arizona now on October 23, 2013:
Nice lists of names. Great video! And now I know how big a dog an Irish Wolfhound is.
I chuckled at your joke. I'll definitely not make my dog 'walk around with an overused dog name'. I will be fortunate enough this coming year to get a dog.
Elizabeth Parker from Las Vegas, NV on July 13, 2013:
I love these! Our dog Brandi is a golden retriever (though we think she might be part Irish Setter). I saw the name Bran listed on here which is her nickname! Thanks for posting. Always enjoyable to read these.
Judy Specht from California on July 12, 2013:
Great names for amazing dogs.