Tough Dog Names for Male and Female Dogs

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tough dog names

Our collection of tough dog names themed around the bold, fierce, and even scary, are sure to inspire you. We’ve also included tips on creating your own personal and unique tough dog name collections, and games to help you make your final choice!

Best Tough Dog Names – The Collections

There are hundreds of names here so we’ve gathered them into collections based around a theme. We also recommend you build your own collections around themes that interest you too. Pick a theme first – a tough sport can be a great place to start. Maybe you like rock-climbing for example. Names like ‘Biner’, ‘Cam’, ‘Sherpa’, ‘Crag’ or ‘Flake’ might appeal to you.

Or perhaps motor vehicles are your passion? Names like ‘Porche’, ‘Ferrari’, ‘Axle’, ‘Beemer’ or ‘Diesel’ might work for you.  Write the name of your theme on a big sheet of paper and start to write words related to that theme randomly across it. And write quickly, don’t stop to try and evaluate each word, just get it out there on the paper and let your mind race around the topic until your sheet of paper is covered

Make two or more collections if you like, then it’s time to go through them and make your shortlist. That’s a list of ten to twenty names that especially appeal to you. You can use our collections below, as well as your own to get your shortlist down.

The Collections

Here are some classic tough dog name. There are lots more collections below!

Popular Tough Dog Names

Some names come and go, others are totally timeless. These tough dog names will stick around for a long while yet:

  • Fender
  • Butch
  • Dana
  • Dutch
  • Dragon
  • Damia
  • Gnasher
  • Mauser
  • Shredder
  • Marine
  • Vixen
  • Arya
  • Tank
  • Rowan
  • Atlas
  • Samson
  • Icon
  • Heath
  • Echo
  • Andrea

Once you have made a shortlist, its a great idea to pin it up on the wall somewhere prominent for a few days. It’s amazing how your views can change when you look at something every day! Here are some more collections to inspire you, and at the end of the article, we’ve got some fun games for you too.

Tough Female Dog Names

The best tough girl dog names can be feminine and fierce simultaneously. Or just plain hard and gritty. You can grab them out of the baby naming lists, or find them associated with bold or daring traits.

Inspired by fiction, or based in reality. Strong female dog names really are everywhere. Whether the names have an air of menace or simply an association with a tough woman, get inspired with these ideas.

  • Amber
  • Arya
  • Astra
  • Avril
  • Breanne
  • Briana
  • Bridget
  • Carla
  • Damia
  • Erin
  • Harley
  • Jenna
  • Kahlan
  • Kelsey
  • Kitana
  • Lara
  • Matilda
  • Nina
  • Rogue
  • Rowan
  • Roxie
  • Sheba
  • Storm
  • Trixie
  • Ursa
  • Valkyrie
  • Zelda


Tough Male Dog Names

Tough boy dog names can come from a huge range of inspired places. Although they are often human names too. Whether you are choosing your favorite tough mystical, mythical or 100% real character, there are a lot of ideas to choose from. And I bet you’ll love some of these great traditional tough boy dog names too.

  • Ajax
  • Archer
  • Ares
  • Axel
  • Blake
  • Brick
  • Brutus
  • Buck
  • Dane
  • Ethan
  • Griffin
  • Hale
  • Heath
  • Holt
  • Jax
  • Jet
  • Knox
  • Lex
  • Preston
  • Ryder
  • Samson
  • Scrapper
  • Stone
  • Wayde
  • Zane

tough dog names

Tough Guard Dog Names

Some of the toughest dogs around have guard dog duties. They make their owners and families feel safe and secure. However, most of our family pet dogs aren’t actually going to guard our house any time soon.

If we’re honest, our Labs are more likely to welcome burglars in with open paws than with a fierce growl. But that doesn’t mean their name can’t conjure up a serious impression when heard by anyone who passes by!

  • Bouncer
  • Buckler
  • Colonel
  • Gauntlet
  • General
  • Helm
  • Major
  • Marine
  • Marshal
  • Master
  • Officer
  • Sentinel
  • Shield
  • Trigger
  • Warden
  • Watcher

Our Labs are definitely more likely to give any intruders a thorough licking than send them packing. But that doesn’t mean it’s not fun to mess around with tough ideas. And what’s a step up from guard dog? Police dog!

Tough Police Dog Names

Although in reality most police dogs have rather standard human style names, if we were in charge of naming them they’d get something a lot more dramatic. Not to mention tougher! Here are some powerful dog names that would suit any police dog down to the ground.

  • Bear
  • Beretta
  • Blue
  • Blazer
  • Bruin
  • Caesar
  • Charger
  • Colt
  • Hooper
  • Hawk
  • Lobo
  • Mauser
  • Odin
  • Ranger
  • Rex
  • Rhodes
  • Sable
  • Scout
  • Trooper
  • Walther

And if they aren’t tough enough, how about taking a step towards something out of the ordinary?

Spooky Dog Names

That haunting feeling that sends a shiver down your spine can be an inspiring place to look. Even if your cute pup is hardly likely to freak anyone out.. Well, maybe during the dreaded puppy biting phase! But that soon passes, and the teeth are never intended to be malicious.

Yet that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun thinking up spooky names or nicknames for her. Here are some ghastly ideas for the grimmest tough dog names around.

  • Banshee
  • Beast
  • Demon
  • Diablo
  • Fang
  • Ghost
  • Ghoul
  • Goblin
  • Gremlin
  • Haunt
  • Hellhound
  • Hellion
  • Maniac
  • Mutant
  • Ogre
  • Phantom
  • Serpent
  • Sneer
  • Spectre
  • Spook
  • Troll
  • Villain
  • Wrath
  • Zombie

Fierce Dog Names

What could be cuter than an adorable puppy with a name that strikes terror into the hearts of your companions? Or funnier to call out at the dog park! These fierce dog names give a great twist to the tough tale!

  • Barbarian
  • Brute
  • Chaos
  • Cobra
  • Cutthroat
  • Dragon
  • Fiend
  • Fury
  • Gunner
  • Ire
  • Jaws
  • Poison
  • Punk
  • Rage
  • Rowdy
  • Sabre
  • Savage
  • Scar
  • Shredder
  • Spite
  • Torment
  • Vandal
  • Venom

Perhaps fierce dog names just aren’t tough enough for you? Big dog names can also make a massive impression on your friends and family. But maybe you were looking for a different take on tough? Then let’s slip on over to a more felonious world…

Villain Names For Dogs

How many tv and movie bad guys have given across a real tough attitude over the years. They can be a great way to find the perfect tough dog names that really pack a punch.

Although your pup would obviously never be dastardly, you might feel the shoe fits as they sneak off with their teething toys to hide in their lair. Here are some of our favorite bad guys that could make great names for dogs too!

  • Bane
  • Cruella
  • Cyborg
  • Doom
  • Draco
  • Dracula
  • Dredd
  • Gollum
  • Gothel
  • Gruber
  • Hades
  • Hannibal
  • Krueger
  • Loki
  • Magneto
  • Ursula
  • Ra’s
  • Ratched
  • Stryker
  • Vader
  • Vector
  • Voldemort
  • Zod
  • Zoom

Hench Dog Names

What says tough more firmly than strength? Whether it’s inner strength or sheer muscular poundage, the most muscular are almost always associated with being the toughest. And dogs are no different.

Whether you give your pup a name that literally means strong, or one that has ties to a character, there are loads of great choices. They don’t have to be serious, but can also be a tongue-in-cheek nod to strength too! What do you think of these?

  • Andra
  • Angus
  • Brunt
  • Beefcake
  • Brawn
  • Burly
  • Hercules
  • Jedi
  • Juggernaut
  • Khaleesi
  • Mighty
  • Mountain
  • Odinson
  • Ragnar
  • Red
  • Superman
  • Tarzan
  • Thor

Military Names For Dogs

Names on a military theme can be a great choice for a dog. Try one of these

  • Captain
  • Alpha
  • Tank
  • Bullet
  • General
  • Scout
  • Bomber
  • Rifle
  • Soldier
  • Sabre
  • Delta
  • Sergeant
  • Warrior
  • Gunner
  • Skipper
  • Tango
  • Pistol

Tough Dog Names For Labradors

Labs might be some of the friendliest dogs around, but they can still rock a tough dog name. Toughness goes hand in hand with love, protectiveness and loyalty. Which are all Labrador traits!

  • Amaya
  • Artemis
  • Diesel
  • Dutch
  • Dorado
  • Duke
  • Fender
  • Hags
  • Jett
  • Max
  • Onyx
  • Raven
  • Ravenna
  • Sunna

Why A Tough Dog Name?

Tough sounding dog names don’t automatically mean that your pup is the meanest on the block. But they do present a fun attitude.

Whether you want to give an air of serious business to your fur baby, or you just love a serious name, there are some great ideas in the world of tough dog names.

Tough names can also be a great way to show off a big dog breed. There is something about tough dogs that has an enduring appeal. And they don’t have to actually be tough. Just look that way! Big square heads, broad bodies and a stance that says they mean it.

Even lovely Labs can rock this look – especially the broader English style dogs. A slightly tough look, inevitably followed up by dozens of licks, snuggles and a seriously cheerful doggy grin.

Games For Choosing The Best Tough Dog Names For Males and Females

Any dog can have a tough dog name. Whether you are using them with a heavy hand or irony, or total seriousness, they can be a really fun choice. But making your final choice can be tough too!

There are some great ways to make that final pick from your shortlist without going into battle with the rest of your family – here are a couple of our favorites!

Last Name Standing!

In this game you simply get the family to write their favorite names on post it notes. Let everyone have three notes and pin or stick them all up on a noticeboard or on the refrigerator in the kitchen. names on a board

It doesn’t matter if some people choose the same name. That name will stand a better chance of being picked.

The Labrador Handbook by Pippa Mattinson

Then each day, allow one family member to remove one of the names. The name they like the least. Take it in turns over the next few days, and gradually the least favorite names will come down and eventually you’ll be left with the winner. If it’s your dog and your final say, you can stop the process when there are three names left and pick the winner yourself.

Lucky Dip

In the lucky dip game, each family member folds up a piece of paper and places it in a jar or tin. And again, you could let each person have three choices.  Stir the pieces of paper around and let a nominated person pick the winner out of the jar, unfold the paper and read out the name.

Need more inspiration? Check these out:

What’s your dog called? We’d love to hear your own ideas for the best names. Let us know in the comments below!

Find even more great ideas here.

The Labrador Site Founder

Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.

She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program 

Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website

2 COMMENTS

  1. Our dogs names are Stig, Dillon, Apache, Icarus, Chaos, Kiowa, Xaka-Zulu and Ute
    We like to name them for specific reasons as i imagine most people do. Love our dogs to bits, even though we now only have 5 left the other 3 are still with us.

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