Tough and Badass Dog Names for 2020: Outlaws and Gangstas
A lot of dogs need tough names. Well, maybe not need, exactly. But, a lot of dogs look great wearing a tough name—whether it's a guard dog that needs a gangsta name to match its brawny exterior or a little, scrawny dog that needs some street cred.
In this article, we'll look to real world and pop culture for tough-name inspiration. Since dogs respond best to two-syllable names, here is a list of two-syllable dog names inspired by:
- Rappers, singers, and bands
- Names that mean tough things
- Mythological figures
- Tough sounding words
Male and Female Dog Names Inspired by Rappers, Singers, and Bands
A lot of musicians adopt “gangsta,” outlaw images. Some of them are real, some of them are just acting up for the videos, but all of them have great names:
- Arcade (short for Arcade Fire, an alternative rock band)
- Dido (female)
- Fergie (female)
- Ice Cube
- Ke$ha (female)
- Pitty (female, a Brazilian singer)
- Twisted (short for Twisted Sister, an older acid rock band with a tough, “We´re not gonna take it” image)
- Waylon (a country singer with an outlaw image)
Does this list give you any ideas? There are a lot of new bands that I have not put on the list—if one of them has a name that gives off the vibe you want for your dog, consider using it. Again, just keep in mind that good names for a dog need to be two syllables, like those in the list above. "Chamillionaire" might be a cool name, but it isn't something you should expect your dog to respond to.
Outlaw Dog Names
Here are famous outlaws, both real and fictional, that you can name your dog after. The suggested name is in bold—for example, for "Baby Face Nelson," it's much easier to call "Nelson" than "Baby Face."
- Bonney: Billy the Kid's last name
- Bonnie: from Bonnie and Clyde
- Lizzie Borden: ax-murderer
- Butch Cassidy: bank and train robber
- Al Capone: the boss of the Chicago mafia
- Genghis Khan: founder of the Mongolian Empire. Though not everyone considers him an outlaw, it's impossible to deny that he killed thousands of people.
- Jesse James: murderer and bank and train robber
- Theo Kojak: NYPD detective lieutenant from the 70's TV series
- Baby Face Nelson: murderer and bank and train robber
- Robin Hood: fictional English outlaw who stole from the rich and gave to the poor
- 'Tila: short for Attila, the Hun who ruled over a huge swath of Asia and Europe in the 400s
- Darth Vader: fictional villain in Star Wars
- Pancho Villa: famous general in the Mexican Revolution
- Vlad the Impaler: the prince of Wallachia who fought the Ottoman Turks
- General Zod: fictional villain in various Superman comic-book series
Or you can avoid all of these and just call him “Outlaw” or “Bandit."
This might not be for everyone, but you could always name your tough dog after a notorious prison:
- Chino: a state men's prison in San Bernardino County, California
- Folsom: a state prison near Sacramento, California
- Hatfield: a men's prison and Young Offender's Institution in Yorkshire, UK
- Lompoc: a federal men's prison in California
- Parchman: the oldest maximum security men's prison in Mississippi
- Raiford: Florida's state prison, which houses its execution chamber
- Rikers: New York City's correctional facility, which sits on Rikers Island
- Sing Sing: a maximum security state prison in New York
- Yodok: a political prison camp in North Korea famous for its human rights violations
People With Tough Names
Father of peace
Strong in faith
Strong in battle
Short for Alexander; a defender of men
Man of steel
Short for Alexander; a defender of men
As soon as you find a name, get your tough puppy a name tag. Be sure to include your cell phone number on the tag. His or her life may depend on it some day.
Also talk to your vet about a microchip the next time you visit.
Tough Guys From Mythology
Here are famously tough men and women from various religions and Greek and Norse mythology:
- Ares: the Greek god of war
- Atlas: the Titan in Greek mythology who carries the world on his back
- Ajax: a hero in Greek mythology who was so strong and skilled in battle that he held off the entire Trojan army at one point during the Trojan War
- Bacchus: the Greek god of wine. I am not sure how tough this god was, but he did get up every morning and throw another party, never taking a day off to nurse a hangover.
- Hades: the Greek god of the underworld
- Hera: as Zeus's wife, she was the queen of Greek gods. Known for her vengeful personality, Hera is the mother of Ares, mentioned above, and Eris, the goddess of discord.
- Loki: a Norse god or giant, Loki is a shapeshifter famous for causing trouble. After being punished by the gods, who tie him up with his son's entrails and leave him under a venom-dripping serpent, his convulsions are said to be the cause of earthquakes.
- Maia: one of the daughters of Atlas who helped teach Bacchus as a child and eventually turned into the constellation Pleiades.
- Neptune: the Roman name of “Poseidon,” the Greek god of the sea. This name is a great choice for a dog that likes water
- Samson: a biblical man of superhuman strength
- Shaitan: Satan's Arabic name
- Thor: the Norse god of thunder
- Titan: Titans were the Greek giants of incredible strength who preceded the Olympian gods
And there are a few words that just sound tough:
I named my pit bull “Ajej,” which is the Moroccan Arabic word for “sandstorm.” That may not seem tough enough for some people, but the storms in north Africa are fierce enough to drive grains of sand into your flesh, and I have seen bikers lose control of their motorcycles when hit with one of these winds. That's a tough storm.
There are a few rules you should remember when naming any tough puppy:
- Don’t forget to choose a name that has one or two syllables. A lot of good names with three or more syllables did not make this list. A lot of people would like to have a dog called “Dillinger,” for example, but names longer than two syllables are difficult to use for commands. Of course, if you have a long name that you really like, you should use it, but be sure to find a good nickname.
- Do not use any name that sounds similar to the name of a dog you already have.
- Don´t give your new dog a name that sounds like one of his training commands—“Grit” may be tough, but it sounds too much like “sit”! If you give him a name that sounds like one of his basic commands, he is going to get confused and not perform when he should. None of the dog names I have suggested in this list sound like any commands.
- Give your dog a name that commands some respect and stay away from the dog names I would not use. Most tough dog lists will recommend movie names like Rambo and Rocky. There are worse choices, but I would not want to make my dog go through his life with a name like that.
- Do not name your dog “Puddles” after an accident at the carpet. It may be funny at first, but will get old real fast.
- Do not brand your new dog with one of the overused dog names. Cody and Buster may sound good, but they are also going to be one of the most common names you run into when you take your dog to the park or to the vet. Your dog is an individual, and the last thing he needs is to be just another Harley. Every dog deserves a unique name!
More Dog Names
- Strong Dog Names: Boxers
Powerful puppies that love to play need strong names to keep bullies away. Every one of these boxer names will let your puppy show off and feel strong! Just pick.
- Great Dog Names from Germany
Do you have a German dog breed? Consider choosing a germanic name. This article will give you plenty to choose from.
- Best Names for My Cane Corso
Are you searching for a great name for your new Cane Corso puppy? Check out this list!
More About Dogs
- Five Large Dog Breeds for Tough Guys
Looking for a large dog that will keep the meter reader away from your house? Here are five of the toughest breeds around.
- Five Best Personal Protection Dog Breeds
If you need a dog for protection, find out which breeds will do the job. Here are photos, videos, and descriptions of the five best protection dog breeds to help you decide which is best for you.
Questions & Answers
I have a six-week-old Pit Bull puppy. She is brown and white, she has baby blue eyes, and she is very sweet, but she can also be serious and mean. Her dads' name was Zeus. I'm having trouble coming up with a name for her, could you help me?
Is she a red nose? Zeus is kind of overused in Pits, so I came up with this list that might help: https://hubpages.com/dogs/best-name-for-a-red-nose...
(My red nose has an Arabic name, but a name like Crimson or Rufus sounds great too.)Helpful 50
I have a Border Collie-German shepherd and can't think of a good name. Can you suggest some?
I like fast names for a dog like that. Flash, Sonic, Jordan, etc. Try this list and see if there is anything else you like: https://hubpages.com/dogs/best-names-for-a-border-...Helpful 39
I have a brother and sister blue nose pocket bullies, and I am having a hard times coming up with names. Do you have any ideas?
Since you have a brother and sister, how about naming them after the brother and sister that started it all: Zeus and Hera. The names work for bullies.Helpful 32
I have an Alaskan Malamute. It's grey and white in color. What should I name it?
Try to look at a map of Alaska and find some native words that are two syllables, preferably ending in a vowel. I also have a list of authentic words for Siberian Huskies if you care to reference it: https://hubpages.com/dogs/best-names-for-a-siberia...Helpful 23
I have a Brindle Cane Corso he is eight-weeks-old and I am having a hard time with names for him. Do you have any ideas?
I like authentic names. Here are some good choices for a Cane Corso:Helpful 4
© 2013 Dr Mark