Critter Culture
The Best Names for Black Dogs

The Best Names for Black Dogs

Critter Culture Staff



Maybe you love black dogs because of their stunningly beautiful, dark coats, or because of the thousands of years of folktales surrounding them. Regardless, there’s no denying it: black dogs are special. Because they’re such wonderful animals, it feels like we need to give them the perfect name. One that both represents their color and what they’re like. Choosing the right name can be extremely difficult. Thankfully, there are many places to pull inspiration from.


Use synonymous names

When naming your black dog, the easiest route to take is using a name that is just a synonym for their coloration. Each word has a different connotation so pick one that you feel best matches your pup.

Names like Inky and Soot are perfect for cute, energetic dogs. Sable and Slate fit more mature, calmer pets. Of course, there are classic names like Ebony, Flint, Ash, or Charcoal.

black dog fence Shooki / Getty Images


Pull names from nature

You can also pull names from your surroundings and nature. They don’t always have to be explicitly black objects. Draw your inspiration from things that remind you of black or what you feel the color represents.

If your dog’s coat reminds you of the starry night sky, try Cosmo or Luna. You can also name them Stormy after dark storm clouds. Minerals and gemstones like Obsidian or Onyx are also great choices.

black dog nature vikarus / Getty Images


Use a mythological name

If you comb through mythology and folklore, black dogs pop up in every culture’s tales at one point or another.

Perhaps the most famous black dog in mythology is the three-headed guard dog of the Greek Underworld, Cerberus. A similar dog, named Garm, appears in Norse mythology. The British Isles have plenty of stories of black dogs, though Shuck is probably their most famous. Anubis, though technically a jackal, also works great as a name for a noble hound.

black tibetan mastiff tongue xingmin07 / Getty Images


Literature is a great source

Literature, especially the fiction and fantasy genres, are full of dogs and characters who have deep ties to the color black. The "Harry Potter" series is one of the biggest contributors to the list, with dogs like Fluffy and Fang. Sirius Black, also known as Padfoot, works in multiple ways since he has a black motif and also turns into a large, black dog.

Many characters from the "Song of Ice and Fire" series can also inspire some names, with the most famous example being Jon Snow.

Other options include Yennefer from "The Witcher" series or the titular character from "Anna Karenina," who both have rich, dark hair.

dog icy lake Sparty1711 / Getty Images


Films can inspire names

Black dogs make an appearance in many popular movies. Special shoutout to Pipit, the iconic dog with a stick from "Jaws."

Although she's a human, Allison from "The Breakfast Club" is one of the best examples of a movie character with a black motif.

Fans of "Star Wars" can take their pick since all of the Sith qualify. Notable options include Kylo, Dooku, or Ventress.

Alternatively, Amélie from "Amélie" is a sweet-but-shy girl with dark, ebony hair.

dog field flowers IrinaFuks / Getty Images


Other bits of pop culture

You can use names from any kind of pop culture, including songs, video games, or TV. The entirety of the Addams Family could serve as inspiration, with Morticia and Wednesday being two phenomenal choices.

Comic books and graphic novels are overflowing with characters with black themes, such as Black Widow or Batman. If their monikers are a bit too on the nose for you, try their real names: Natasha or Bruce.

dog sitting field Linas Toleikis / Getty Images


Look at foods

A huge number of the foods we eat are black and work perfectly as names. Plus, you can match the food to the personality of your pup.

Blackberry, or Berry for short, works great for a sweet, caring dog. Pepper is a perfect choice for a dog with some attitude. Other popular choices that may work for you are Licorice, Turtle, Coffee, or Espresso.

black dog plate table -------------------------------------- / Getty Images


Harness other languages

English only has so many words that match the coat of a black dog, so why not go beyond it?

Noir is the French word for black and also has an air of mystery. Nero is Italian and has a regal feeling. Kuro is Japanese and is an extremely common name for dogs with darker coats. You can expand this to other words like shadow, which then translates to words like Sombra or Ombre.

german shepherd running field Prepperka / Getty Images


Embrace the spookiness

In folklore, black dogs often represent the arcane or the occult. In some countries, they are a portent of death, while in others they are guardians and protectors. Ultimately, there are many spooky tales of black dogs, so why not choose an appropriate name?

If you’re feeling an Edgar Allen Poe vibe, you could name your dog Raven or Poe. In Bram Stoker’s "Dracula," the titular character transforms into a black dog, so perhaps use Stoker or Dracula. Alternatively, you could name your dog after people famous for their spookiness, such as Aleister Crowley, Helena Bonham Carter, or Vincent Price.

dog spooky halloween Kesu01 / Getty Images


Get creative with it

Feel free to get creative with your dog’s name. Traditional names or names you pull from elsewhere may not fit your dog even if they suit its black coat. You can also go with some ironic names, like Pearl or Ivory. Finally, you could abandon all of these options and just pick a classic name, like Rocky or Bella.

dog lying river bank Media Whalestock / Getty Images


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