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20 Cherokee Native American Names for Your Dog

Updated on November 28, 2019
Teeuwynn Woodruff profile image

Teeuwynn has owned dogs her whole life. She has enjoyed the companionship of everything from Pugs to Newfoundlands.

Dogs are our greatest companions and we want to find names that fit there nature. The Cherokee language is a beautiful, unique one with wonderful pronunciations and meanings. When you name your dog something that has meaning it can give you an even greater connection to your dog than you already have. Your dog’s physical look, spirit, or even personality quirks might lead you to the perfect name. So, take a look at these names and see if any of them might fit a puppy or dog you are thinking of getting now, or one day, or maybe even a dog that needs a new start - and a new name.

Cherokee pronunciatiations are very different from English ones. Some of the letters are pronounced significantly differently. I have provided a pronunciation key for each name.

Weimeraner patiently waiting for her new Cherokee name.
Weimeraner patiently waiting for her new Cherokee name.

Female Cherokee Dog Names

The following 10 names are all taken from female Cherokee names. However, if you like a name for a male dog there is no reason you cannot choose to name your male dog one of these names.

Ahyoka (ah-YOH-kah) “She brought happiness.”

This bright, uplifting name works well for a friendly girl who loves rubbing her head on your chest and fishing for carrots. It could also work well with a dog who has a bright sense of humor or is especially gentle with kids.

Ama — AH-mah — “Water”

This simple name reminds us of the stuff of life. Water can be calming and rejuvenating, but it can also whip up into terribly destructive storms.Thus the name could be good for a puppy who has a particularly calm temperament or who has flashes of destructive energy followed by periods of calm. (I had a friend who's generally sweet-natured Great Dane decided to literally eat their entire couch while they were out one day. They still don't know why.)

This name could also indicate a smart dog who reacts fluidly in all manner of situations, quickly assessing the situation and moving with the flow to keep out of trouble.

Atsila — aht-SEE-lah — “Fire”

Goddess of the sun and, hearth, fire, and the personification of the sun.

A dog with this name could be a true homebody, curled with her family by the fire, but this sort of dog is likely to defend their families to the death if needed. Another version of the name say those with it take others into their home and help them before they have to venture out into the cruel world again. As for the personification of the sun, this name could bring out the shining goddess in your dog. Of course, this name could also work for any golden or red dog.

This male dog would make an excellent Atsila.
This male dog would make an excellent Atsila.

Gola — GOH-lah — “Winter”

Because of the name’s meaning of winter, this name might work best for white dogs, dogs who love the snow, or for strong dogs that can stand the elements. It could also be great for a dog who likes to do the doggy equivalent of hiding under the covers and napping through the cold nights.

Inola — ee-NO-lah — “Black Fox”

This lovely name has the sly meaning of black fox. Obviously, this name would work well for a black or dark colored dog. However, you also use it as a wonderful way to concentrate on the sneakier aspects of the name. A dog with this name might be able to wheedle her way info all sorts of situation.

Kamama — kah-MAH-mah — “Butterfly”

Kamama is a delicate word that conjures images of butterflies dancing in the sun. This name might be great for a female dog who has very refined behaviour or a sunny, disposition and likes to fly around the house. It could also work well for a dog with lovely patchy markings that remind you of a butterfly’s patterns.

Salali — sah-LAH-lee — “Squirrel”

This quirky name is great for a mischievous dog who likes to scamper around and have fun. If your dog likes to hide her toys and favorite things around the house or in the yard this name is also especially apt. Finally, if your dog is a furry brown or grey this name fits your dog’s coloration extremely well.

Tayanita — TAH-yah-NEE-tah — “Young Beaver”

Since beavers are so industrious, this name is really good for a female dog with a real go getter temperament or one who won’t give up easily. If your puppy or dog loves to slap her tail enthusiastically all over everything this name might also be ideal. It could also work for slick brown dogs with bright eyes.

Just look into my eyes... My Cherokee dog name could be Tayanita.
Just look into my eyes... My Cherokee dog name could be Tayanita.

Tsula — JOO-lah — “Fox”

Foxes are crafty creatures who are great at, well, outfoxing others. These handsome creatures make a great base for a name for a lovely female dog, especially one with red or reddish brown fur.

Woya — WOH-yah — “Dove”

The dove is a symbol of peace and hope. This stirring symbol makes a wonderful name for a sweet white dog or for a dog whose personality radiates calm, comforting love.

Yona — YOH-nah — “Bear”

This strong name is great for large breeds with powerful female representatives such as Newfoundlands, Great Pyrenees, Bernese Mountain Dogs and the like. But the name could also work ironically for toy dogs such as pugs, Chihuahuas, Yorkshire terriers, and the like.

Male Cherokee Dog Names

The following 10 names are all taken from male Cherokee names. However, if you like a name for a female dog there is no reason you cannot choose to name your female dog one of these names.

Male spaniel waiting for a Native American name from the Cherokee tribe.
Male spaniel waiting for a Native American name from the Cherokee tribe.

Ahuli — ah-HOO-lee — “drum”

This name leads a steady drumbeat. You can count on the dog that has this name. He is a companion who will be with you through thick and thin. Another possible interpretation is if you have a large dog like a Great Dane he may have an unfortunate habit of sweeping his tail back and forth in a steady beat, knocking things off of tables as he goes.

Kanuna — kah-NOON-ah — “Bullfrog”

Bullfrogs love to make loud noises, making themselves heard for miles around. This name could be a good name for a dog that likes to voice his opinion.

Onacona — OH-nah-COH-nah — “White Owl”

The beauty and serenity of this name is wonderful. Just imagine a white owl gliding silently beneath the forest canopy at night. This name would work for any white dog or for a male dog with a very calm, quiet temperament.

Sequoyah — say-KWOH-yah — “Sparrow”

Sparrows are small birds that flitter about from tree to tree. So this name might work best for a smaller dog who likes to run around a lot and maybe enjoys making his opinion known with some exuberant barking.

This little Chihuahua looks like he has enough personality to be named Seqouyah!
This little Chihuahua looks like he has enough personality to be named Seqouyah!

Tsiyi — JEE-yee — “Canoe”

Tsiyi means canoe in Cherokee. The canoe was crucial to the Cherokee nation. This name would be good for a solid, reliable dog. It would work even better for a dog that does well in the water like a Labrador, Golden Retriever, or Newfoundland.

Unaduti — OO-nah-DOO-tee — “Wooly Head”

Since this name means “wooly head” it would probably work best for any dogs with particularly fuzzy or curly hair on their head. A Bichon Frise or Old English Sheepdog would both be great candidates for this name.

Waya — WAH-yah — “Wolf”

This powerful name reminds us of the wolves who are such close relations to our domestic companions. This name could be good for any largish dog with a wild spirit or if you have a dog with wolf blood in him this name would be very fitting.

Wesa — WAY-sah — “Cat”

Ironically, this name means cat. However, some dogs have more cat-like reflexes. The Vizsla, Manchester Terrier, and and Papillon are all examples of breeds that sometimes behave more like cats. It’s also sometimes fun to name your giant dog something ironic like a name that means “cat.”

Wohali — woh-HAH-lee — “Eagle”

This soaring name’s meaning is one of the most majestic birds around. Wohali could work for any dog with a noble, protective temperament, but it might also be good for a dog with white and brown markings.

Wohali and friend waiting to help protect the humans in their lives.
Wohali and friend waiting to help protect the humans in their lives.

Two Bonus Names!

Atsadi aht-SAH-dee — “Fish”

This slippery name is super for any male dog that loves to play in the water. Any retrieving dog like a Labrador, Golden Retriever, or an Irish Water Spaniel would certainly fit the name.

Tayanita — TAH-yah-NEE-tah — “Young Beaver”

The female name Tayanita is another name that works for dogs that love to swim or splash in the water a lot. This could also be a really terrific name for dogs who love to play with sticks, making piles or hiding caches of them.

More Information on the Cherokee Language

© 2018 Teeuwynn Woodruff


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