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
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
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!
Judi Brown (author) from UK on April 14, 2016:
Thanks for commenting Sam - I had friends who chose the names of rocks and minerals for their dogs - people are ingenious!
Sam Shepards from Europe on April 10, 2016:
Cool names! We've had dogs with names of certain lesser known mythological deities etc.
Judi Brown (author) from UK on April 11, 2015:
Thanks - glad you liked them :)
Avanti on April 03, 2015:
Judi Brown (author) from UK on September 04, 2012:
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.
Priscill Anne Alvik from Schaumburg, IL on September 03, 2012:
Love this piece!!! I am a dog lover extrordinare and I can tell you are also from your words!!! Awesome!
Judi Brown (author) from UK on September 03, 2012:
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 from Michigan on September 02, 2012:
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 from United States on August 28, 2012:
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 Brown (author) from UK on August 28, 2012:
@ 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 :)
Penelope Hart from Rome, Italy on August 28, 2012:
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.
Jake Frost from London, United Kingdom on August 28, 2012:
It really is no problem, I only say what I think.
Again, well done!
Judi Brown (author) from UK on August 28, 2012:
Hi Jake - thanks very much, glad you enjoyed reading this one. Thanks for taking the time to comment, I appreciate it!
Jake Frost from London, United Kingdom on August 27, 2012:
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.