Big Dog Names

Big Dog Names

Big dogs need big dog names: names that mean large or great, names too dramatic or wild to use on a baby. Naming your large dog can be a chance to use one of those guilty pleasure names, a name that was just a bit too imposing to use on a baby, or a name that gives your pooch dignity and gravitas.

Popular names for big dogs include Bear, Rocky, Zeus, Moose, Athena, and Tank. Unique names for big dogs include Gulliver, Alpha, and Odin. Big dog names can also spin things in the opposite direction with names that mean small, such as Bambalina, Newt, or Ninetta.

Names for big female dogs include Maxie, Stella, and Xena. Names for big male dogs include Cosmo, Jupiter, and Ringo.

Here, big dog names for your giant pooch, ordered by their current popularity on Nameberry.

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  1. Stella
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "star"
    • Description:

      Stella is a name with star quality and sparkle, that manages to sound both ethereal and earthy. Celestial but not otherworldly, it lands somewhere between the popular Ella and bold Seraphina.
  2. Magnus
    • Origin:

      Scandinavian from Latin
    • Meaning:

      "greatest"
    • Description:

      Magnus is a Latin name, literally meaning "greatest," that has a Scandinavian feel. It dates back to Charlemagne being called Carolus Magnus, or Charles the Great. Norwegian king Magnus I, named after Charlemagne, introduced it to his culture, and thus Magnus was the name of six early kings of Norway and four of Sweden. It is still a highly popular name in Denmark and Norway.
  3. Beau
    • Origin:

      French
    • Meaning:

      "handsome"
    • Description:

      Beau suggests someone devilishly handsome, with a large measure of southern charm—a nice image to bestow on your boy. Often solely a nickname in the past, it's now standing firmly on its own. Beau has been on the Social Security list non-stop since 1969.
  4. Wilder
    • Origin:

      Surname or word name
    • Description:

      New to the US Top 1000 in 2015, Wilder is on many parents' possibility lists, one of the new generation of bad boy names growing in popularity. Wilder got a big boost in interest through Goldie Hawn's grandson, born in 2007, via son Oliver.
  5. Willa
    • Origin:

      Feminine variation of William
    • Meaning:

      "resolute protection"
    • Description:

      Willa has become increasingly fashionable, with its combination of Willa (born Wilella) Cather-like pioneer strength and the graceful beauty of the willow tree.
  6. Max
    • Origin:

      English and German diminutive of Maximilian or Maxwell
    • Meaning:

      "greatest"
    • Description:

      Max was derived from Maximilian, a Latin name that originated from the Roman family name Maximus. The character name Max in the children's classic Where the Wild Things Are had an impact on baby namers. Max is a widely used name internationally.
  7. Juno
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "queen of the heavens"
    • Description:

      Juno is an ancient name that feels as fresh as if it had been minted — well, not yesterday, but in 2007. Since the release of the popular indie film Juno, this lively but strong o-ending Roman goddess name has become more and more prominent as a potential baby name — Coldplay's Will Champion chose Juno for one of his twins (whose brother is the kingly Rex).
  8. Cosmo
    • Origin:

      Greek, Italian, English
    • Meaning:

      "order, beauty, universe"
    • Description:

      We all heard it on Seinfeld as the long-concealed first name of Kramer, then considered a punchline. Now some pioneering parents are embracing this expansive Greek name, which makes a creative and cool choice for a baby. Influential celebrity couple Scarlett Johansson and Colin Jost chose it for their son, born in 2021, which will likely drive Cosmo up in popularity. In the UK, it currently ranks within the Top 1000 boy names and is trending upwards.
  9. Apollo
    • Origin:

      Greek mythology name
    • Meaning:

      "destroyer"
    • Description:

      With mythological names rising, the handsome son of Zeus and god of medicine, music, and poetry among many other things might offer an interesting, if high-pressure, option.
  10. Ziggy
    • Origin:

      German, diminutive of Siegfried and Sigmund
    • Description:

      The ultimate nicknamey name, à la Ziggy Stardust or the comic-strip character Ziggy. Then again, there's Ziggy Marley, and most anything Marley is cool. Originally named David, his father Bob Marley gave him the nickname "Ziggy" due to the soccer move of the same name.
  11. Scout
    • Origin:

      Word name
    • Description:

      Scout, a character nickname from To Kill a Mockingbird (her real name was Jean Louise), became a real-life possibility when Bruce Willis and Demi Moore used it for their now grown middle daughter, followed by Tom Berenger a few years later. A unisex choice that is growing in popularity for both genders -- but given to girls about four times more often than to boys -- it was picked by skater Tai Babilonia for her son and Kerri Walsh for her daughter Scout Margery.
  12. Titus
    • Origin:

      Latin, meaning unknown, possibly "title of honour"
    • Meaning:

      "title of honour"
    • Description:

      Titus, once seen as a slightly forbidding Roman, New Testament, and Shakespearean name, was brought back to contemporary life in the USA by the TV series Titus 2000, increasing in popularity along with other revived ancient names like Linus and Silas.
  13. Rufus
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "red-head"
    • Description:

      Rufus is a rumpled, redheaded (it was the nickname for red-haired King William) ancient Roman name popular with saints and singers (e.g. Rufus Wainwright); now, Rufus is on the cutting edge of cool.
  14. Bear
    • Origin:

      Animal name
    • Meaning:

      "bear"
    • Description:

      Bear has suddenly lumbered onto the baby name landscape. Perhaps inspired by British adventurer Bear Grylls (born Edward Michael), first celebrity chef Jamie Oliver used it as the middle name for his boy Buddy, and more recently Alicia Silverstone called her son Bear Blu., followed by Kate Winslet's Bear Blaize. It's part of a current trend normalizing once aggressive animal names like Wolf and Fox. Bear is now Number 218 on Nameberry and in the Top 900 in England.
  15. Odin
    • Origin:

      Variation of Óðinn, Old Norse
    • Meaning:

      "god of frenzy; poetic fury"
    • Description:

      Odin is the name of the supreme Norse god of art, culture, wisdom, and law — who was handsome, charming, and eloquent into the bargain. The name projects a good measure of strength and power and has excellent assimilation potential.
  16. Dexter
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "dyer, right-handed"
    • Description:

      The jazzy, ultra-cool Dexter, like most names with an "x," has a lot of energy and dynamism. Over the years, it's been attached to a number of diverse real and fictional personalities—C. K. Dexter Haven, the witty Cary Grant character in The Philadelphia Story; Dexter Green, the protagonist of the F. Scott Fitzgerald story "Winter Dreams"; great jazz tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon; the boy-genius protagonist of cartoon Dexter's Laboratory; and the most recent TV series Dexter based on the books by Jeff Lindsay, whose lead happens to be a genial but sociopathic serial killer.
  17. Chester
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "fortress, walled town,"
    • Description:

      Chester is a comfortable, little-used teddy-bear of a name that suddenly sounds both quirky and cuddly.
  18. Rex
    • Origin:

      Latin
    • Meaning:

      "king"
    • Description:

      Now that many dogs are named Max, it's safe to use this sleek, solid, regal name again for your child. And with the charm of its final x, its regal meaning, and its offbeat simplicity, Rex is definitely one to consider.
  19. Ryder
    • Origin:

      British surname
    • Meaning:

      "cavalryman, messenger"
    • Description:

      Ryder, one of the current favorite er-ending boys’ names, has been in the spotlight since Kate Hudson and her rocker husband Chris Robinson chose it for their son in 2004. Very popular in several provinces of Canada, Ryder was chosen by John Leguzamo for his son and adorns Boy Meets World star Ryder Strong.
  20. Wilbur
    • Origin:

      German
    • Meaning:

      "resolute, brilliant"
    • Description:

      Wilbur is a stylish name in the UK whose merits are just starting to be discovered in the US. Wilbur, the loveable pig who Charlotte of the Web called Some Pig, is an inspirational hero. And Wilbur and Orville Wright were early aviationists.