Tough Dog Names – Scary, Fierce, Strong, Guard Dog Inspired Ideas


If you’re looking for tough dog names that will let everyone know exactly how strong and brave your pup is, you have absolutely come to the right place.

Tough dog names are the perfect way to let everyone know that your dog means business. They’re a walking advertisement for loyalty and strength.

Looking for tough female dog names? Tough male dog names? Whatever you’re in search of, there are tons of ideas here!

Top Tough Dog Names

Naming trends come and go, but we are firmly convinced that these names are destined for greatness.

Our ten favorite tough dog names for 2019 are:

  1. Fender
  2. Dutch
  3. Damia
  4. Mauser
  5. Marine
  6. Arya
  7. Rowan
  8. Samson
  9. Heath
  10. Andra

Why Choose A Tough Dog Name?

I have to admit, I have a serious soft spot for tough dogs.

And when I say tough dogs, I mean those that look tough.

Big square heads, broad bodies and a stance that says they mean business. Even lovely Labs can rock this look – especially the broader show line dogs.

A slightly tough look, inevitably followed up by dozens of licks, snuggles and a seriously cheerful doggy grin.

Tough sounding dog names don’t automatically mean that your pup is the meanest on the block. Sometimes, they just denote a super loyal pup.

On the other hand, tough police dog names, for example, definitely serve a specific purpose.

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.

Tough Female Dog Names

Tough girl dog names can be feminine and fierce simultaneously.

In fact, there are loads of examples you can find straight out of the baby naming books. Girls names are often associated with strong traits.

Tough sounding female dog names can be inspired by fiction or reality.

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
  • Harley
  • Jenna
  • Kahlan
  • Kelsey
  • Kitana
  • Matilda
  • Nina
  • Rogue
  • Rowan
  • Roxie
  • Sheba
  • Storm
  • Trixie
  • Ursa
  • Valkyrie
  • Zelda

Fancy a feminine name but not sure about those? Check out our massive list of more female dog names here.

Tough Male Dog Names

Tough boy dog names are often based on human names.

These could be names that famous tough guys had, whether in reality or in the world of fiction.

I bet you’ll love some of these great traditional tough dog names.

  • 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

Not masculine enough for you? Well, how about taking a look at our huge male dog names list over here.

What’s tougher than tough? Scary, of course!

Scary Dog Names

Let’s face it, your pup isn’t likely to be scaring anyone any time soon. Or hopefully later either!

Well, maybe a little during the dreaded puppy biting phase.

But that soon passes, and the teeth are never intended to be malicious.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun thinking up scary 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

Now the fact is that scary dog names are also quite funny. And if funny is your thing, there are a host of funny naming ideas here!

We know your pup is no monster, and so does the average person on the street.

But a more serious way to give your dog a name that means business is to move over to the world of guard dog names.

Tough Guard Dog Names

Are you looking for tough dog names because you want to give the impression of safety and security?

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
  • Captain
  • Colonel
  • Gauntlet
  • General
  • Helm
  • Major
  • Marine
  • Marshal
  • Master
  • Officer
  • Pistol
  • Private
  • Sentinel
  • Sergeant
  • Shield
  • Trigger
  • Warden
  • Watcher

Your average family pet dog is more likely to snuggle up on the sofa than watch the door for intruders.

But it’s still fun to play around with guard dog names. So why not knock it up a notch further with some tough police dog names?

Tough Police Dog Names

Of course, not all actual names for police dogs sound like tough police dog names.

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But we’ve compiled some that certainly do!

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

Do these law enforcement inspired names ring any bells for you?

If not, don’t give up! We’ve got plenty more ideas to run through.

It’s time for some truly fierce names.

Fierce Dog Names

Do you want to give your friends a good laugh when they find out your cuddly pup has a name riddled with terror?

Will you enjoy happily calling out their fierce name while chilling at the dog park?

Then fierce dog names could be right up your alley.

And don’t forget, fierce female dog names can be the same too.

  • 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 the world of baddies!

Villain Names For Dogs

If you want a tough dog name that doesn’t have the immediate impact of a descriptive word, then you might like the sound of a villain-inspired name.

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 (otherwise known as their crate).

Plenty of dogs get named after heroes from fiction, but what about those poor baddies?

I’ve taken some of my favorite villains from the world of fantasy, movie and television.

Let’s see if any of these take your fancy as good tough names for your new pal.

  • 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

Strong Dog Names

What says tough more firmly than strength?

Whether it’s inner strength or sheer muscular poundage, the strongest 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 strong character, there are loads of great choices for strong names.

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

Tough Dog Names For Labradors

For a happy-go-lucky Lab, a tough dog name may seem as though it doesn’t really fit.

But tough dogs are usually tough out of love, protectiveness, and loyalty to their humans.

And Labs are certainly loving, protective, and loyal!

So here are a few Lab-centric tough names to investigate, most inspired by the various Lab coat colors.

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

Tough Dog Names Summary

Your dog doesn’t have to be traditionally hard as nails to deserve a tough dog name. In fact, your tough puppy might even have a cuter name!

Used ironically or literally, tough dog names are a great choice when it comes to picking your pup’s handle.

They’re often short, and giving your dog an easy to say name will help him along the way to a good recall.

It’s a long journey from finding a good breeder to getting a puppy.

After all the hassle of researching health tests and preparing for potty training, when it comes to naming you just want to have fun. And the best fierce names are the ones that make you smile.

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.

References and Further Reading

This article has been extensively revised and updated for 2019.

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


  1. please put in these names for some of the female names. Midnight, Twilight, Moon, Galaxy, Night, Star, ans Fire. And shark, tooth for the male ones.

  2. I just got an 8week old pit lab mix he’s going to pretty big but I want an off the wall name something you barely hear he’s tan in color and has red nose and green eyes my husband likes chaos but idk

    • Hello Tracy. I bet you already got the name of what you want to name him… But I would just like to give you a few in case you get more doggo’s! Here are my suggestions; Cargo; Sun; Beam; “Just think Beam is a cool name for him because it’s like, ‘Sunbeam’. Patch; Gibson; Clayton; Boscoe; So, that is my suggestions! hope you like it! please comment if you like one of them!

  3. I’m getting a French mastiff so we were think of naming him this it’s a boy: Rocky, jaws, diesel, Reiko, Chicago, red, bluey, storm, ace, smokey, Axel, Arnold, Arnie, Bruno, Diego, Bruce, Rambo, Duke, charger, hooch, Turner, hulk, suggestions down below and let me know if you guys have anymore also if u don’t then maybe let me know out of them names which to call him

  4. I have a chihuahua named Moose, a black lab named Happy and a wolf named Charlie. All of them live up to their names. They have formed an all-male backyard pack, and Moose is the wannabe alpha.

    • We have a chihuahua named Moose, our lab Trigger just died and in a few weeks we are getting a new yellow lab puppy. Looking for name suggestions. We respect your names please weight in. By the way our Moose thinks he is the alpha male as well.

  5. Amethyst, mario, luigi, princess, kraken, tux, obsidian, trooper, hunter, fang, blaze, delilah, aladdin, leonidas, crusher, Cyclops, eagle, buff, tiny, scrappy, scissors, Cerberus, lycan, cheetah. Puma, raptor, justice, chaos, lazer, lawless, cherokee, dozer, tank, rhino, blaze, myers, miles, bundy, teddy, manson, blue, red, black, yellow, brownie, yeller, cannibal, tough, blade, razor, machete, camelot, arthur, willard, gandolf, froto, golem, mischief, mayhem, lava, chiller, trident, kane, cain, able, snaps, saw, hootch, cujo, moose, rex, ravage, rush, vigilante, murder, zorro, crook, felon, homicide, ninja, shadow, imp, death, king, queen, knight, bishop, maverick, wolf, ice, glacier, pawn, goose, rooster, leader, auto, cutter, lynch, battle, war, warrior, moon eclipse, rascal, randal, willow, widow, quake, Fisher, seal, crimson, hacker, lucky, clover, buffalo, elk, chains, metalica, steel, iron, angel, banshee, groot, hazel, astro, venus, pluto, tyrant, patriot, freedom, tyranny, assassin, matrix, neo, Napoleon, menace, menacer, caller, phsyco, sinister, malevolent, insidious, einstein genius, genie, templar, ranger, bomber, bonnie, clyde, hex, cursed, crash, brawler, 8 ball, champagne, beer, buzz, gash, stitches, warlock, grunt, terror, cruiser, bruiser, tekken, raiden, ryu, scorpion, misty, glory, stone, tracker, skywalker, sky, sith, jedi, kooper, leo, messiah, maddam, merker, berzerker, virtue, valkyrie, rampage, rampant, danger, zero,

  6. Gator, Croc, mamba, Alexander, Vlad, Sid, Diamond, Gem, Gotti, achilles, gabriel, gabe, michael, david, goblin, Hydra, cyrax, tigger, bagheera, khaun, gage, alazae, vodka, mage, batista, zeus, medusa, athena, xena,

    • A large full blood German Rottweiler showed up at our house one day and we adopted him.We named him Zeus because he was so smart. We loved him so much and he returned his love. We lost our gentle giant to a snake bite. Zeus is a perfect name for your dog.

  7. My daughter and her ctawesum significant other received an adorable male blue pit and they wanna name the dog but not sure of correct spelling lol I found what I believe is close to it. Here goes “Achilles” the “ch =k
    Akelees or akeelias

  8. Pitbulls are my breed. I had 13 puppies. Name ideas.


  9. I have a Great Dane Mastiff male that my kids named – Champion Danger
    I am picking up a female Great Dane this weekend. . . We have Zodiac picked out for first part. . . But coming up blank for second …. (my kids believe they should have middle names because they do) any ideas what to put with zodiac

  10. i am getting 2 German Shepherd/Rottweiler puppies TOMORROW and i need to find names i was thinking Loki and Thor

  11. i had a german shepard i named him “AGRO” short for AGRESSIVE but he wasnt , people kept asking me does he bite i would tell them jump the fence tonight and find out no one ever did !

  12. Tobias. This is on our short list for our new German Shepherd puppy we’re getting. I like Kaiser too but I’ve been informed that name may not be appreciated by some history buffs. I hated history so I had no clue he was a bad man. Lol! I still like it.

  13. My shep/lab is Damascus named after the Damascus blade – very strong knife blade. My dog is as strong and beautiful as the knife.

  14. Cute article.
    We have a Silver Lab, he is 11 months. I got him for my husband, who is a veteran living with PTSD. We are training him to be a service dog. His name is Paxil.
    Paxil is a drug used for anxiety and depression and helping those who suffer cope. This is why I got this dog for my husband. To help him with his anxiety, depression and ptsd. PAX is also greek for Peace.

    I am so grateful for this dog.