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Tough Dog Names:  Great Puppy Names for Big & Little Dogs

Tough dog names are always perfect for that tough looking dog, but are equally great if you want to make a statement about your small breed dog.

A large breed working dog deserves such a name.  But why do small dog lovers find these names so irresistible?

I’ve already mentioned one reason, but beyond that the cuteness factor comes into play.   What could be cuter than a little black puppy with the name Darth (Vader)?  

Others are just looking for something different.  There are already too many Bellas, Mollies, Maxes, and Buddies in the small dog world. 

Maybe a name like Duke, Tonka, or Talon might be a little more unique.

So are you ready to search?  Need ideas for tough dog names?  We have compiled a list of names that work well with any breed of dog.   

What do All These Tough Dog Names Have in Common?

  • They all work well as dog names—short and easy to say.  
  • None can be confused with common commands such as sit or stay, so dogs won’t get confused.  
  • AND, of course, they all refer to toughness, whether the name is of a real person, a fictional character or just an adjective that means tough.  

Just in case some are not familiar, I’ve added a short description, but feel free to avoid the explanations and concentrate on the names.

Inspiration for Tough Dog Names

Tough Dog NamesTough Dog

Gods and Heros, outlaws and fierce animals all have one thing in common, they all have to be tough, not only physical but mentally robust. 

So these names are picked from lists of ancient gods, movie and television heroes and villains, and some real people who have left their own legacy of toughness. 

We’ve added a couple of animals—mammals, reptiles, birds that we think represent toughness in the animal kingdom.  Then I completed the list with objects that are always tough like granite.  

We Need Your Suggestions

Have a name or names to add?  Want to tell us about your dog who has a great tough dog name?  We want to hear from you.  Use the form below to contact us.

Tough Dog Names

  • Ares   (Greek God of War)
  • Ammo   (Short for ammunition)
  • Armour (protective covering that one wears)
  • Atlas (from Greek mythology, with the task of holding up the heavens)
  • Ajax (mythological Greek hero of the Trojan War)
  • Badger (an animal)
  • Bandit (an outlaw)
  • Bane (Batman Villain)
  • Biff (as in Biff Tannen, from 'Back to the Future.'
  • Bomb (gigantic explosive weapon)
  • Bligh (as in Captain Bligh from Mutiny on the Bounty)
  • Bolt (fictional character in the movie of the same name)
  • Bond (James Bond)
  • Bonnie (from Bonnie and Clyde)
  • Borden (Lizzie, the ax murderer)
  • Bouncer (a doorman or security guard employed in bars to keep order and remove those that might break the rules)
  • Bronson submitted by Eugene West from Canada
  • Bruiser (novel and movie of the same name)
  • Brutus (as in Marcus Junius Brutus, a politician in ancient Rome who assassinated Julius Caesar)
  • Buck (as in Buck Rogers)
  • Butch (as in Butch Cassidy)
  • Cain (brother of Abel)
  • Cobra (as in King Cobra, the snake)
  • Capone (as in Al Capone)
  • Caesar (name of ancient Roman Emperors)
  • Champ (Short for Champion)
  • Chucky (From the Horror movie, Child’s Play)
  • Clint (as in Clint Eastwood, the actor)
  • Crusher (as the name implies, a large truck that crushes large rocks into smaller sized rocks)
  • Conan (the Barbarian, the movie)
  • Darth (as in Darth Vader)
  • Dewitt (Booker, Bioshock infinite, the game)
  • Diesel (as in Diesel trucks or cars)
  • Dozer (Short for bulldozer)
  • Duke (from the Dukes of Hazzard, a US TV show of the 70s and 80s)
  • Krueger (as in Freddy Krueger from a Nightmare on Elm Street)
  • Fury (Movie)
  • Grizzly (as in A huge and fierce bear)
  • Granite (A very tough material;  Might make a great name for a dog with a brindle coat)
  • Genghis Khan (either name would make a good dog name – Mongolian Warrier)
  • Hades (in Greek mythology, Hades was the king of the underworld)
  • Hera (Greek Goddess of Marriage)
  • HAL (computer in the movie, 2001:  A Space Odyssey) 
  • Han Solo (Use either first or last name, from Star Wars)
  • Hero (Someone who risks their life for a greater good)
  • Hulk (from The Hulk, Marvel Cartoon Character or Hulk Hogan)
  • Hunter (Great name for a dog that likes to hunt or chase squirrels)

More Dog Names

  • Indie (as in Indiana Jones, character in the movie of the same name)
  • Jesse (James) (an outlaw from the old American West)
  • John Wayne (either first or last name could be used as a dog name; Famous Actor)
  • Kayto ( from the Green Hornet)
  • Jaws (from the Movie with the same name)
  • Joker (from Batman)
  • Junkyard (Junkyard dog?)
  • Kojak (from the 70's TV series)
  • Lecter (as in Dr. Hannibal Lecter, Silence of the Lambs)
  • Lex Luther (Superman):  Great name for a hairless breed
  • Mr. T (in the movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs)
  • Marco Polo (European explorer that traveled to Asia—either first or last name would make a good dog name.)Nelson (as in
  • Baby Face Nelson (Depression-era gangster)
  • Neptune ( Roman Sea God)
  • Ninja (fighting mercenary in ancient Japan)
  • Nitro (Short for Nitroglycerin)
  • Orca (Large Whale)
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi (any part of the name would work (From Star Wars)
  • Outlaw (A fugitive criminal)Panther (Large black wild cat):  Great name for a black dog
  • Panther (Large black wild cat):  Great name for a black dog
    Patton (from General George Patton) WW2 and in the movie Patton
  • Picard (as in Captain Picard from Star Trek, Next Generation
  • Rambo (Movie starring Sylvester Stallone)
  • Ratched (as in Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  • Robin (as in Robin Hood)
  • Rocky (as in Rocky Balboa, boxer in the movie of the same name)
  • Rhino (Short for Rhinoceros)
  • Samson (from the Bible Story, Samson, and Delilah)
  • Shark ( a predator)
  • Sisko (as in Captin Sisko from Deep Space Nine)
  • Spike (a fictional character in Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
  • Sniper (a lone marksman)
  • Solo (as in Han Solo from Star Wars)
  • Steel (very tough material)
  • Talon (claw of a predatory bird)
  • Tank (Great name for a super tiny dog)
  • Tarzan (the Jungle Hero)
  • Thor (Marvel Comic character;  also the name of a Norse God)
  • Thunder (That sound one hears during a storm)
  • ‘Tilla (as in Attila the Hun)
  • Titan (Mythical character)
  • Tonka (as inTonka Trucks)
  • Turbo:  A very fast dog
  • Tyson (as in Mike Tyson, the boxer)
  • Vader (as in Darth Vader from Star Wars)
  • Viper (a type of snake)
  • Villa (Pancho)
  • Vlad (as in Vlad III the Impaler, also short for the boy’s name Vladimir)
  • Wesker (From Resident Evil)
  • Zeus (Father of Gods)
  • Zod (as in General Zod, Comic book outlaw--Superman´s enemy)
  • Zorro (1950s Television Series)
  • Zulu (Movie)

Have Ideas to Add? 
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