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Names for German Shepherds

Updated on April 4, 2016

German Shepherd Dogs

German Shepherds, or Alsations, have only been around for a little more than a hundred years, yet they are now one of the most popular breeds in the world. Strong and intelligent, loyal and protective, the German Shepherd is an ideal working dog. Given the right training and socialization the breed make great family pets for active families.

So, if you bring home a German Shepherd puppy, what are you going to call it? There's plenty of scope. You could consider the puppy's colour, the fur type, the personality or of course, just go with a name you've always liked. If you're stuck for inspiration, here are some suggestions for German Shepherds of all kinds.

Flash the German Shepherd

My Dad and his German Shepherd, Flash - quite at home at the tea table!  Flash was named by my Dad, aged 11, for the popular film character Flash Gordon.
My Dad and his German Shepherd, Flash - quite at home at the tea table! Flash was named by my Dad, aged 11, for the popular film character Flash Gordon. | Source

German Names for German Shepherds

Why not consider going with the breed's heritage and giving the puppy a Germanic name? The German Shepherd breed was largely due to the breeding programme of Max von Stephanitz, a former cavalry officer who wanted an intelligent working dog. The first dog registered as a German Shepherd was a male, Hektor, whom he renamed Horand.

Here are some German names that might suit a German Shepherd.

Germanic Names for Female German Shepherds

Elsa - noble

Etta - perfect for smaller puppies - means "little"

Greta - good for a white haired girl - short for Margaret, which means "pearl"

Heidi - noble and serene

Helga - sacred and precious

Ida - hardworking

Lene - one for soft and silky GSD girls



Mena - strong

Milba - kind protector

Mitzi - pet form of "Mary" - star of the sea - so perhaps good for seaside dwelling GSDs

Nixie - good for water lovers - means "water sprite"

Selda - short for Griselda - "grey warrior maid"

Winola - charming friend

Germanic Names for Male German Shepherds

Abe/Abel - noble, resolute

Albie - form of Albert - noble and bright


Arnie - short form of Arnold - eagle strength

Axel - for quiet GSDs - it means "father is peace".


Bruno - brown haired

Conrad - means brave and bold

Dolf - short for Rudolf




Hobie - short for Hobart (Bart's hill)

Ivo - does your dog like the woods? This could be a good name - it means "Yew tree"

Keifer - German form of "Cooper"

Ludo - short for Ludovic



Siggy - short for Siegfried

Ulf - wolf

Long Haired German Shepherd Names

Some German Shepherds have beautiful long coats which can make them look like cuddly teddy bears. If you've got a long haired German Shepherd you might consider calling it "Bear" (one of my friends has a beautiful "Bear") or a name that has that meaning.

Names for Long Haired German Shepherd Girls


Godiva - made her naked ride covered only by long hair!

Nita - Choctaw name meaning "bear"


Zara - short form of Cesara - long hair

Names for Long Haired German Shepherd Boys

Aslan - the lion from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe


Bern - bear (Old German - so appropriate for a German Shepherd!)

Bjorn - bear (Scandinavian/Norse)

Caesar - long hair

Esau - hairy

Orson - originally a French Norman nickname. It's now usually a surname, but it means bear cub

Teddy - just a big teddy bear!

Urso - from the French for "bear"

Black German Shepherds

The most common colouring for a German Shepherd is black and tan, but there are a number of solid black German Shepherds too. Black dogs lend themselves to a variety of names; here are just a few ideas.

Black German Shepherd Names for Girls

Cari - dark one

Ebony - the black wood

Efa - darkness

Raven - the black bird

Sable - dark brown, almost black, fur

Black German Shepherd Names for Boys

Blake - an old English name, usually a surname, but originally for someone who was dark haired or dark skinned.

Cole - black as coal!

Dolan - Irish name for dark, bold or black-haired

Jet - jet black

Kizzy - short for Kieran, meaning black

Strongheart the Film Star

Strongheart did much to make German Shepherds popular after World War 1.
Strongheart did much to make German Shepherds popular after World War 1. | Source

Famous German Shepherds

The popularity of the German Shepherd rose following World War 1 when US and British servicemen returning home spoke highly of the dogs used by the German army. Strongheart was the screen name of a German police dog brought to the US by film maker Laurence Trimble. Strongheart's appearances in films like White Fang in 1925 helped to popularise the breed further.

Rin Tin Tin was actually rescued from the battlefields of World War 1. Lee Duncan, an American soldier, found a litter of puppies in a bombed out kennel just before the end of the war. He kept two, though one died. At his home in Los Angeles he trained Rin Tin Tin to do numerous tricks and was determined that he would be the next Strongheart. His dream came true and Rin Tin Tin was actually nominated for an Academy Award in 1929 (although he didn't win).

Batman also had a German Shepherd: Ace the Bat-dog!


Submit a Comment
  • Judi Bee profile imageAUTHOR

    Judi Brown 

    4 years ago from UK

    Thanks for commenting Sam - I had friends who chose the names of rocks and minerals for their dogs - people are ingenious!

  • Sam Shepards profile image

    Sam Shepards 

    4 years ago from Europe

    Cool names! We've had dogs with names of certain lesser known mythological deities etc.

  • Judi Bee profile imageAUTHOR

    Judi Brown 

    5 years ago from UK

    Thanks - glad you liked them :)

  • profile image


    5 years ago

    wonderful names.:)

  • Judi Bee profile imageAUTHOR

    Judi Brown 

    7 years ago from UK

    Hi picadilly - really pleased that you enjoyed this hub - and yes, I do love dogs too!

    Thanks very much for taking the time to comment, much appreciated.

  • picadilly profile image

    Priscill Anne Alvik 

    7 years ago from Schaumburg, IL

    Love this piece!!! I am a dog lover extrordinare and I can tell you are also from your words!!! Awesome!

  • Judi Bee profile imageAUTHOR

    Judi Brown 

    7 years ago from UK

    Hi farmloft - I think that there were may be more Rin Tin Tins after the original (but I'm not sure on that). I really don't know how many screen dogs there have been - why don't you do a hub!

    Thanks very much for commenting, I appreciate it!

  • farmloft profile image


    7 years ago from Michigan

    Growing up we had a German Shepherd named Brandy and my in-laws had one named King. I did not realize RinTinTin was that long ago. I would love to see another dog become "famous" on the big screen again. How many have there been?

  • vibesites profile image


    7 years ago from United States

    I don't have a dog (and have no plans yet to own one) but I am so delighted while reading this hub. Very interesting. :)

  • Judi Bee profile imageAUTHOR

    Judi Brown 

    7 years ago from UK

    @ Jake - thanks again!

    @GoodLady - thank you, I do like doing these name hubs, it's good fun! Good to hear from you, hope all is well with you :)

  • GoodLady profile image

    Penelope Hart 

    7 years ago from Rome, Italy

    My favorite is Guthrie - just a great name for such a great dog! (Female, I really like Nita). Nice Hub! Good choice of original, pertinent names.

  • JakeFrost profile image

    Jake Frost 

    7 years ago from London, United Kingdom

    It really is no problem, I only say what I think.

    Again, well done!

    ~ Jake

  • Judi Bee profile imageAUTHOR

    Judi Brown 

    7 years ago from UK

    Hi Jake - thanks very much, glad you enjoyed reading this one. Thanks for taking the time to comment, I appreciate it!

  • JakeFrost profile image

    Jake Frost 

    7 years ago from London, United Kingdom

    Excellent list here, and very well presented. I love the way you included a history of certain dogs and the formatting of your hub in general.

    Well done! Great hub, voted up and interesting.

    ~ Jake


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