169 French Dog Names: Unique Puppy names with meanings

Get the rules and guidelines to naming your dog the French way. Masculine, feminine and gender-neutral, find the perfect French dog name for your new puppy.
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If you’ve just gotten that cute little puppy and are looking for the perfect French dog name, you’ve come to the right place. French people love dogs. The stereotypical Parisian is the one who takes his dog everywhere but doesn’t clean up after him (!). (Let’s try not to do that, shall we?)

There are of course the typical and funny dog names like:

  • Monsieur Le Chien – Monsieur the Dog
  • Madame La Chienne – Madame the Dog
  • Chouchou – little cabbage
  • Monsieur/Madame Pattes – Mister/Missus Paws

But there are a lot more unique names than that, so let’s get to it, shall we?!

Naming a French Pure-bred

There’s a big difference when naming a dog in France, if the dog is a pure-bred versus a mixed-breed. There is actually a law. Dating back to 1926, the French rules say the name of the pure-bred dog must begin with the designated letter after the year that the dog was born in.

The letters run in alphabetical order, with certain letters like K, Q, W, X, Y, and Z have been excluded from the list. There were too few names starting with those letters, and it resulted in too many dogs having the same name. (French cat names for purebreds also are similarly regulated.)

Chiot –> Chien

English translation: Puppy –> Dog

These dogs are registered in a national database run by a Canine Association. The database tracks the dog’s family tree and DNA, and is used for breeding.

Based on the alphabet, you can pick whatever name you want, though the association does prefer that the names have two syllables.

YearName starting withExamples of names
2007CCacahuète, Chipounette, Coquette, Coquinou
2008DDémoiselle, Dagobert, Douce, Doudou
2009EEtoile, Essy, Eiko, Eureka
2010FFigaro, Fleurette, Fadou, Filou
2011GGalipette, Gaillard, Gin, Gommette
2012HHipo, Hisop, Henki, Houpett
2013IIsa, Isabeau, Irvine, Ilko
2014JJoie, Jouer (m), Joueuse (f), Joujou
2015LLéna, Linette, Laure, Leroy
2016MManu, Magou, Margot, Marcel
2017NNaf-naf, Noemie, Nanette, Nostradamus
2018OObelix, Orfeus, Oursin, Océane
2019PPhilou, Pipou, Plouf, Pipeau
2020RRafale, Ratatouille, Roquette, Risette
2021SSalomé, Sucette, Stylo, Sartre
2022TTahiti, Tartare, Tchoupi, Thibert
2023UUbert, Uno, Ubu, Unis
2024VVero, Vanille, Vicomte, Valentin
2025AAmour, Abeille, Anais, Aslan
2026BBabouchka, Biquette, Boulette, Brioche
Note: You can find the meaning of these names below.

Now, I should mention that France has one naming convention, while nearby French-speaking countries like Belgium and Luxembourg have different alphabet per year schedules. Same principle, different alphabet.

If you are like me though and you got your dog from the pound, you are not particularly fussed if your little doggy sticks to the above naming schedule. So here are some more French dog names and their meanings, to give you a few more ideas.

Male Dog Names

Now there are a lot of classic French names that I could have gone with here, but I stuck to cute names for dogs, that you wouldn’t necessarily give a child, like Asterix. Some of these names are quite popular for children as well, however, like Hugo.

Here are my top male French names for dogs:

  1. Ami – friend
  2. Aslan – meaning “lion”
  3. Asterix – famous french comic book character
  4. Beau – handsome
  5. Boursin – a type of French cheese spread
  6. Camembert – a type of french cheese
  7. Chanceux – lucky
  8. Dagobert – after a French King in a children’s song
  9. Descartes – after the French philosopher and mathematician René Descartes
  10. Enzo – conquering
  11. Etienne – star
  12. Figaro – named after a French newspaper called “le Figaro”
  13. Filou – short nickname for Philipe
  14. Franc – old name for French person
  15. Gaillard – popular name in the south of France, meaning courageous
  16. Gaston – guest
  17. Gin – for the alchoholic drink
  18. Henki – lord on earth
  19. Heureux – happy (female version is heureuse)
  20. Hipo – from the old French name Hippolyte
  21. Hisop – very old name
  22. Houpett – after the last name “huppe”, which is a type of bird
  23. Hugo – after Victor Hugo
  24. Idéfix – the dog in the Asterix comics
  25. Irvine – an Alsacian name, meaning army and friend
  26. Jouer – playful male (Joueuse is the female version)
  27. Leroy – after the French hardware store Leroy Merlin
  28. Magou – after the french word “magouille”, meaning a bit of a mess or a maneuver
  29. Manu – short for Emmanuel, meaning “God is with us”
  30. Marcel – old French name, meaning “dedicated to Mars”
  31. Mignon – cute (female version is mignonne)
  32. Nostradamus – after the French philosopher and astrologer from St-Rémy de Provence
  33. Obelix – from the Asterix and Obelix comic books
  34. Orfeus – meaning “obscurity in the night”
  35. Oursin – small bear
  36. Pascal – related to easter
  37. Philou – short nickname for Philipe
  38. Pipou – excited, awake
  39. Rafale – after the French fighter jet
  40. Sartre – after the French philosopher and writer Jean-Paul Sartre
  41. Stylo – meaning “pen” in English
  42. T’choupi – pronouced “choupi”, after the French children’s book series and cartoon
  43. Thibert – brilliant
  44. Tintin – famous french comic book character
  45. Ubert – illustrious
  46. Ubu – a cynic
  47. Uno – after the card game
  48. Valentin – Valentine in French (male)
  49. Vicomte – A French nobility title
  50. Victor – after Victor Hugo
  51. Voltaire – famous french writer
  52. Yves – after Yves St. Laurent, French fashion designer

☞ READ MORE: 139 French Baby Boy Names that you will love

Female Canine names

Some French names are traditionally used only for female dogs, such as baguette because in French the word for bread is feminine: une baguette. Most English speakers find this quite illogical though, as in why is chair (une chaise) feminine while the cushion (un coussin) is masculine.

As the famous expat-French joke says: If you can’t remember if it is “un baguette” or “une baguette”, just ask for “deux baguettes” (2 baguettes). Anyway, here are the top female French dog names, along with their meaning in English.

  1. Amie – friend
  2. Anaïs – grace
  3. Antoinette – 2nd name of French Queen Marie-Antoinette
  4. Babette – nickname version of Elisabeth
  5. Babouchka – grandma
  6. Baguette – a french bread
  7. Belle – beautiful
  8. Biquette – female goat
  9. Bisette – version of bisous meaning kiss
  10. Blanche – white
  11. Boulette – a small ball, an error
  12. Brie – a french cheese
  13. Brioche – a type of french bread/cake
  14. Brigitte – after French actress Brigitte Bardot
  15. Chanel – after Coco Chanel, French fashion designer
  16. Cherie – my dear (a french term of endearment)
  17. Chipounette – a french nickname of one you love
  18. Coco – after Coco Chanel, French fashion designer
  19. Coquine – Tease
  20. Coquette – one who teases
  21. Cosette – small and tiny
  22. Démoiselle – lady, from mademoiselle. Can sometimes be a courtesan.
  23. Douce – soft
  24. Eclair – a French dessert
  25. Esme – beloved
  26. Fadou – conscientious
  27. Fleur – flower
  28. Fleurette – a small flower
  29. Galipette – from the French expression “faire des galipettes“, meaning to tumble around
  30. Gamine – playful, young girl
  31. Heureuse – happy (male version is heureux)
  32. Isa – meaning “God is generous”
  33. Joie – joy
  34. Joueuse – playful female (Jouer is the male version)
  35. Juliette – french version of Juliet
  36. Laure – winner
  37. Léna – from the name Hélène, meaning a burst of sunshine
  38. Lilou – version of loulou meaning my dear
  39. Linette – linen
  40. Louloumy darling
  41. Manette – a video game controller (eg. for playstation)
  42. Margot – from the name Marguerite, meaning “pearl”
  43. Mignonne – cute (male version is mignon)
  44. NanaFrench slang for lady
  45. Nanette – Grace
  46. Noemie – loveable, agreeable
  47. Océane – ocean
  48. Reine – Queen
  49. Risette – one who sings
  50. Roquette – a type of salad leaf
  51. Rosette – rose
  52. Salomé – peace or plentitude
  53. Sophie – smart
  54. Sucette – a lollipop
  55. Tahiti – a French overseas territory
  56. Tulipe – the flower tulip
  57. Vanille – vanilla
  58. Vivienne – alive

☞ READ MORE: 183 French Baby Girl Names that are too chic for words

Unisex Dog Names

If you are looking for a French unisex name, I’ve got you covered. Gender-neutral and non-binary names have never been more popular, with parents of both human babies and animal puppies choosing them for their little ones.

Here are my top French unisex dog names:

  1. Amour – love
  2. Abeille – a bee
  3. Bastille – after the Place de la Bastille in Paris, where the French revolution started
  4. Bijou – jewel
  5. Bisoukiss
  6. Bleu – blue
  7. Bonbon – candy
  8. Cacahuète – a peanut
  9. Cezanne – after the French painter
  10. Chevalier – knight
  11. Coquinou – one who teases
  12. Croissant – french breakfast pastry
  13. Crêpe – a french pancake that can be savory or sweet
  14. Doudou – what small children in France call their stuffed toy
  15. Eiko – prosperous
  16. Élie – from God
  17. Eiffel – after Gustave Eiffel who built the Eiffel Tower.
  18. Elysée Palais Elysée, the official residence of the French President near the Champs Elysées in Paris
  19. Essy – a form of the French word “essayer”, meaning to try
  20. Étoile – a star
  21. Eureka – ancient Greek, meaning “I found it”
  22. Fleuve – river
  23. Fondue – melted cheese used as a bread dip
  24. Garnier – after the Opéra Garnier in Paris
  25. Givenchy – after French fashion house and designer Hubert de Givenchy
  26. Gommette – an eraser
  27. Hermès – after French fashion house and designer Thierry Hermès
  28. Isabeau – promise of God
  29. Joujou – from the French word “jouer”, meaning to play
  30. Lafayette – after the Marquis de Lafayette
  31. Libellule – dragonfly
  32. Louboutin – after the red-heeled shoes
  33. Louis (Louie) – the name of several French Kings
  34. Macaron – a type of French dessert
  35. Marseille – after the city in Provence
  36. Matisse – French painter
  37. Milou – worker
  38. Monet – French painter
  39. Montpellier – after the city in the South of France
  40. Naf-naf – a clothing store in France which used to be called Naphtaline
  41. Papillon – butterfly
  42. Parfait – perfect
  43. Pipeau – from the French expression “c’est du pipeau“, meaning “it’s not serious”
  44. Plouf – the french sound for “splash”
  45. Pogba – after the famous French football player Paul Pogba
  46. Pompidou – last name of a former French president
  47. Ratatouille – a famous dish from Provence
  48. Remy – oarsman
  49. Rivière – river
  50. Savon – soap
  51. Soleil – sun
  52. Souffle – a French pastry dish filled with cheese
  53. Tatin – after the dessert tarte tatin
  54. Triomphe – after the Arc de Triomphe in Paris
  55. Zidane – after the famous French football player Zinadine Zidane (1990s)

☞ READ MORE: 34+ French Unisex Baby Names that are fantastic

Tips for picking a French name

Now, there are several tips to picking a French dog name:

  1. First of all, make sure you understand the meaning of the name of your dog. If someone asks you at a work event what the name of your dog means, you should be able to explain it.
  2. Secondly, pick a short pronounceable name that you are comfortable calling out on an everyday basis. If you are trying to get the dog to follow commands while you are at the park, it needs to be a name that both you and the dog are comfortable with.
  3. And finally, pick the name you love! There is no need to worry about what other people think, pick a crazy, out-of-the-box name and you will be happier for it.
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And with that, congratulations on the new addition to your family! Have you found your perfect puppy name? Comment below with the name you decided to go with. For even more names, head over to my lists of girl, boy, and unisex baby names.

A bientôt!

¹ Featured Image: Dakota Monk

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169 French Dog Names: Unique Puppy names with meanings

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