If you’ve just gotten that cute little puppy and are looking for the perfect French doggy 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?)
Anyway, 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.)
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.
|Year||Name starting with||Examples of Possible names|
|2007||C||Cacahuète, Chipounette, Coquette, Coquinou|
|2008||D||Démoiselle, Dagobert, Douce, Doudou|
|2009||E||Etoile, Essy, Eiko, Eureka|
|2010||F||Figaro, Fleurette, Fadou, Filou|
|2011||G||Galipette, Gaillard, Gin, Gommette|
|2012||H||Hipo, Hisop, Henki, Houpett|
|2013||I||Isa, Isabeau, Irvine, Ilko|
|2014||J||Joie, Jouer (m), Joueuse (f), Joujou|
|2015||L||Léna, Linette, Laure, Leroy|
|2016||M||Manu, Magou, Margot, Marcel|
|2017||N||Naf-naf, Noemie, Nanette, Nostradamus|
|2018||O||Obelix, Orfeus, Oursin, Océane|
|2019||P||Philou, Pipou, Plouf, Pipeau|
|2020||R||Rafale, Ratatouille, Roquette, Risette|
|2021||S||Salomé, Sucette, Stylo, Sartre|
|2022||T||Tahiti, Tartare, Tchoupi, Thibert|
|2023||U||Ubert, Uno, Ubu, Unis|
|2024||V||Vero, Vanille, Vicomte, Valentin|
|2025||A||Amour, Abeille, Anais, Aslan|
|2026||B||Babouchka, Biquette, Boulette, Brioche|
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. Here are some more French dog names to give you a few 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.
|Male Dog names||Meaning in English|
|Asterix||famous french comic book character|
|Camembert||a type of french cheese|
|Franc||old name for French person|
|Hugo||after Victor Hugo|
|Idéfix||the dog in the Asterix comics|
|Pascal||related to easter|
|Tintin||famous french comic book character|
|Victor||after Victor Hugo|
|Voltaire||famous french writer|
|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).
|Female Dog Names||Meaning in English|
|Antoinette||2nd name of French Queen Marie-Antoinette|
|Babette||nickname versio of Elisabeth|
|Baguette||a french bread|
|Bisette||version of bisou meaning kiss|
|Brie||a french cheese|
|Brigitte||after French actress Brigitte Bardot|
|Chanel||after Coco Chanel, French fashion designer|
|Coco||after Coco Chanel, French fashion designer|
|Cosette||small and tiny|
|Eclair||a French dessert|
|Juliette||french version of Juliet|
|Lilou||version of loulou meaning my dear|
Unisex Dog Names
If you are looking for a French unisex name, I’ve got you covered:
|Unisex Dog Names||Meaning in English|
|Croissant||french breakfast pastry|
|Elysée||Palais Elysée, the official residence of the French President near the Champs Elysées in Paris|
|Fondue||melted cheese used as a bread dip|
|Louis (Louie)||name of several French Kings|
|Souffle||a French pastry dish filled with cheese|
☞ READ MORE: 34+ French Unisex Baby Names that are fantastic
So have you found your perfect name? Comment below with the name you decided to go with.
¹ Featured Image: Dakota Monk
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