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130+ Black Dog Names with Meanings for Your New Dog

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Whether you are looking for a name for your newly-adopted black dog or you’re looking for names to help adoptable dogs gain some extra attention, we have you covered with this list of the best black dog names.

We’re fetched names–and their meanings–from everything from foods to nature names to international words that are the perfect fit for your new black dog–and we’ll even tell you how we settled on the name of our black dog!

Why It’s So Important for Black Shelter Dogs to Have Great Names

Black dogs are often overlooked in shelters, so much so that the all-too-common fate of longer shelter stays or perhaps not getting adopted at all has been termed “Black Dog Syndrome.”

A great name can help draw attention to wonderful dogs who otherwise might get overlooked.

To help adoption rates, there’s even a National Black Dog Day, celebrated every October 1st.

Food Names for Black Dogs

  • Anise: Also known as aniseed, the name would be a good fit for a newly-adopted dog who is sowing the seeds of a new life as part of a forever family.
  • Black Bean
  • Blackberry
  • Coffee
  • Cola
  • Espresso
  • Java
  • Licorice: Because your dog is sweeter than candy!
  • Nori: a red seaweed that turns to black when dried.
  • Olive: Black olives
  • Pepper
  • Raisin

Black Dog Names Inspired by Nature

  • Ash — If your dog’s black coat also features undertones of grey or brown, you might want to name your best friend after a fire’s remnants.
  • Baby Bear
  • Bat – Did you know that the Chinese word for bat means “good luck?”
  • Bear
  • Blackbird — Fans of The Beatles might want to name their fab Fido after this Lennon and McCartney-penned tune.
  • Carbon
  • Charcoal — A deep gray that borders on black.
  • Coal or Cole — Used as a fuel source, the name for this sedimentary rock would be a good fit for an energetic dog with boundless energy.
  • Cosmos
  • Cricket
  • Crow — Did you know that the crow is a symbol of intelligence and adaptability?
  • Dahlia — A name for a dog whose pet parent loves flowers.
  • Ebony — Did you know that this somber shade denotes wealth and elegance?
  • Grackle — The grackle is a symbol of bravery!
  • Ember
  • Evening
  • Eventide
  • Flint
  • Graphite
  • Inky — Just like a tattoo, your love for your new dog will always be with you.
  • Jet, Jett or Jetty: usually referencing Jet, a type of lignite. A stone that is thought by some to offer spiritual guidance. (Our black cat is named Jetty!)
  • Lava
  • Lead
  • Marble
  • Melanite — A stone which is believed by some to protect and calm.
  • Midnight — Just as your dog is enjoying the dawn of a new day in his or her life, so midnight denotes the beginning of a brand new day.
  • Murky
  • Night
  • Nighthawk — While budding ornithologists may want to call their dog the name of a nocturnal bird, comic book fans might consider naming their new best friend after characters from DC Comics and Marvel Comics.
  • Obsidian — Did you know that this volcanic glass rock is said to be a protector against negative energy?
  • Onyx — There are those who believe that this semiprecious stone brings increased happiness.
  • Pitch
  • Panther
  • Raven — Did you know that this black bird is a symbol of insightfulness?
  • Sable
  • Shade or Shady: For the dog who has found shelter in your home.
  • Shadow: A sweet name for a dog who loves to follow you.
  • Silhouette
  • Sirius: the Dog Star in the night sky.
  • Slate: A type of carbon that is a shade shy of black.
  • Sloe
  • Smoke
  • Smoky
  • Soot
  • Squid: The black ink of the squid gives its color to many foods and has been shown to have health benefits.
  • Starling
  • Stormy
  • Sunspot
  • Swarthy
  • Twilight: a good name for the dog of anyone who is a fan of author Stephenie Meyer’s tale of immortal love, or for those who love the time of day just before the black of night falls.
  • Umbra: shadow
  • Yin: The dark half of the yin/yang symbol, which is intertwined with its opposite, yet corresponding, light “yang” force.

Popular Culture Names

  • Batman/Batgirl: A name for the dog of a comic book enthusiast.
  • Black Panther: Wakanda forever! Comic book buffs might want to name their new fur baby after the Marvel Comics superhero.
  • Black Pearl: for the Pirates of the Caribbean buffs!
  • Black Velvet
  • Black Widow: Marvel comics fans might want to name their new fur baby after the super heroine, or call their dog after the character behind the costume, Natasha Romanov.
  • Blackjack — It’s a sure bet that your dog will love this name!
  • Blackboard
  • Cosmo
  • Darth: For the Star Wars fans!
  • Domino
  • Hershey
  • LBD: It doesn’t just have to mean little black dress…how about little black dog?
  • Limo or Limousine
  • Padfoot: Name of Harry Potter character Sirius Black in dog form
  • Sirius Black: Harry Potter fans will remember that Sirius Black, Harry’s godfather, was able to change into a black dog. (Don’t miss our list of other Harry Potter dog names.)
  • Tux or Tuxedo
  • Zorro

Historic Names

  • Blackbeard: perhaps you might want to name your dog after the Caribbean’s most famous pirate.
  • Johnny Cash (or just Cash or JC): for the four-legged man in black in your life.

International Names and Words with Meanings

  • Amaya: (Arabic) night rain; usually a girl’s name.
  • Anubis: The ancient Greek god of death; used by the ancient Egyptians and seen as a man with a canine head.
  • Aswald: (Arabic) Form of Aswad or black.
  • Bärli: (Swiss-German) little bear
  • Cardew: (Welsh) dark
  • Cethin: (Welsh) dark, swarthy
  • Charna: (Yiddish) dark
  • Ciardha: (Irish) black haired
  • Duff: (Celtic) dark
  • Dunstan: This Middle English name is formed from two words meaning dark stone.
  • Erebus: Greek mythological deity representing the personification of darkness.
  • Gethen: (Celtic) dark
  • Hesper: (Greek) Evening star
  • Isra: (Arabic) journey of the night
  • Kuro: (Japanese) black
  • Layla: see Leila
  • Leila: (Arabic) night or (Persian) dark haired; usually a girl’s name.
  • Maroulis: (Greek) dark
  • Mascara: Not only a lash darkener, mascara is also the Spanish word for “mask.”
  • Maura: (derived from Latin) dark
  • Maurice: (Latin) dark
  • Mauricio or Maurizio: (Italian) dark
  • Maury: form of Mauricio
  • Melaina: (Greek) dark
  • Melanie: derived from Melaina
  • Moritz: (German) form of Maurice
  • Morris: derived from Maurice
  • Nacht: (Dutch and German) night
  • Natt: (Swedish) night
  • Nero: (Italian) black
  • Nisha: (Hindi) nighttime; most often a girl’s name.
  • Noche: (Spanish) night
  • Nocturna: a black dog name for your furry family member who wants to stay up at night!
  • Noir: (French) black; or coffee drinkers could go for a double name of Cafe Noir.
  • Notte: (Italian) night
  • Orpheus: (Greek) derived from word for darkness of night
  • Semira: (Arabic) nighttime companion, (Hebrew) from the heavens.
  • Sullivan: (Irish surname) created from Gaelic words meaning dark eyes.
  • Swartz: This common last name was derived from the German word for black.
  • Ursa: (Scandinavian and Latin) Little She-Bear
  • Ursula: Derived from the Latin for bear, meaning little bear.
  • Vesper: (Latin) Evening star or evening prayer.
  • Wasabe: (Sioux) Black Bear

“Black” in Different Languages

  • Danish — Sort
  • Dutch — Zwart
  • Finnish — Musta
  • French — Noir
  • German — Schwartz
  • Hawaiian — Ele’ele
  • Italian — Nero
  • Maori — Pango
  • Portuguese — Preto
  • Somanli — Madow
  • Swahili — Nyeusi

Our Black Dog’s Name


Our own dog, Bärli, is a black dog; his name means “little bear” in Swiss-German.

He had been named Baby Bear by his shelter. We loved the idea but wanted a one-word name– so we did some searching and found a name that suited him just right!

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Pin it to remember these names for black dogs!

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