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.)
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 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.
Here are my top male French names for dogs:
- Ami – friend
- Asterix – famous french comic book character
- Beau – handsome
- Camembert – a type of french cheese
- Etienne – star
- Franc – old name for French person
- Gaston – guest
- 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). Anyway, here are the top female French dog names, along with their meaning in English.
- Amie – friend
- Antoinette – 2nd name of French Queen Marie-Antoinette
- Babette – nickname version of Elisabeth
- Baguette – a french bread
- Belle – beautiful
- Bisette – version of bisous meaning kiss
- Brie – a french cheese
- Brigitte – after French actress Brigitte Bardot
- Chanel – after Coco Chanel, French fashion designer
- Cherie – my dear (a french term of endearment)
- Coco – after Coco Chanel, French fashion designer
- Coquine – Tease
- Cosette – small and tiny
- Eclair – a French dessert
- Esme – beloved
- Fleur – flower
- Juliette – french version of Juliet
- Lilou – version of loulou meaning my dear
- Loulou – my darling
- Reine – Queen
- Sophie – smart
- Vivienne – alive
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:
- Bijou – jewel
- Bisou – kiss
- Bleu – blue
- Bonbon – candy
- 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) – the name of several French Kings
- Matisse – French painter
- Milou – worker
- Monet – French painter
- Parfait – perfect
- Remy – oarsman
- Souffle – a French pastry dish filled with cheese
☞ READ MORE: 34+ French Unisex Baby Names that are fantastic
Picking a French name
Now, there are several tips to picking a French cat name:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
¹ Featured Image: Dakota Monk
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