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Best German Shepherd Names for 2024 (And Their Meanings)

Last Updated: January 1, 2024

Being a new German Shepherd parent is a great feeling. It is discovering love at first sight and every sight. And when you experience it, you want to give your dog the world.

But no matter what you give them, what they give you will always be more precious. Still, you can try and start by giving them a name. A name that encapsulates what they mean to you.

In this article, you’ll discover dozens of German Shepherd names (female and male) alongside their meanings.

But you will also learn more!

Among other things, we’ll go over whether names affect the dog. We will also discuss optimal German Shepherd names for your state. But first, let’s discuss whether popular or unique names are better for your puppy.

German Shepherd Pups.

Popular vs. Unique: The Best Name for Your GSD

When it comes to naming a German Shepherd, you have two options. The first is to give him a name that is popularly associated with GSDs.

This could be because of a Hollywood German Shepherd, an animal character in a specific novel, or a famous hero dog having the same name.

Regardless of why the name is popular among GSD owners, one factor is indisputable: popular names are not unique.

Giving your German Shepherd a unique name is the second option. Quite self-evidently, this means that the name might not be a hit.

Names are appreciated for their sound, familiarity, or meaning. New and eccentric names can luck into having the perfect sonic effect, but it is still a risk.

In my opinion, the best name for your German Shepherd is the one that appeals to you. It is okay if said name happens to be common as long as it is not your neighbor’s dog’s name as well. 

Having two dogs with one name and one dog with two names is not an option. The pragmatic best name for your German Shepherd is one that is popular among GSD owners in other cities or states because it also has the added advantage of being unique in your state.

Best German Shepherd Dog Names 

I checked out multiple dog name directories and popularity polls to curate a table that features German Shepherd names that strike just the right balance between popularity and uniqueness in each state.

StateMale GSD NameFemale GSD Name
New HampshireLeoHoney
New JerseyJacksonBella
New MexicoKingElla
New YorkGhostLuna
North CarolinaMaxAbby
North DakotaRangerLuna
Rhode IslandRangerRiley
South CarolinaJacksonHoney
South DakotaBearHoney
West VirginiaGhostFreya
Popular German Shepherd names by US state

Female German Shepherd Names and Meanings

Below are the best German Shepherd names and their meanings for 2024 that may suit a female German Shepherd.

An 8 week old GSD puppy.
My GSD girl Willow – 8 weeks old


Would it be wrong of me to list the name of my German Shepherd girl at the top? Although Willow is a unisex dog name, I thought it deserved this spot!

The name Willow originated in England and stems from the willow tree. It is associated with life, fertility, elegance, grace, and harmony.

Dog characteristics associated with the name Willow are strong-willed, affectionate, loyal, and protective. Therefore, it is the perfect match for a German Shepherd.


The word Luna is the source of all words lunar. It represents the moon only because it was initially meant to stand for the Greek moon goddess.

It, therefore, represents all traits associated with the gentle female that stood in stark contrast to the terrifying sun kings of various myths. 

Luna is an excellent name for a dog that is empathetic and compassionate, has eyes that speak volumes, and is highly intelligent. All these traits are generally true for female German Shepherds.


Bella means “beautiful” in Italian. It is also a nickname for Isabella, which means “God Is My Oath.” Collectively, Bella signifies the purity and beauty of the soul. It is a good name to give to a German Shepherd that can connect with her owner on a spiritual level.


For literalists, this word represents the Hazel tree. However, as a meaning of a name, it contextually represents tradition.

It has a history in a time when botanical names became the norm in England and is one of the few that sounds pleasant enough to survive into modern times. It is a good name to give a dog that has the vibe of a matriarch in the making.


Arya is a German-origin word that means melody. It represents music, marching to your own tune, and having a poetic effect on others. You should name your German Shepherd Arya if the noises she makes are music to your ears or if music excites her.

Arya is also an excellent name for your girl German Shepherd if you are a Game of Thrones fan. Arya Stark was one of the strongest and bravest characters in Game of Thrones, and these two traits replicate the GSD.


Freya was the Goddess of love to the Vikings. But even if you’re not a fan of Norse mythology, you can give this name to your German Shepherd simply because it has been adopted worldwide.

Freya is the perfect name for a dog you love or one that represents what love means to you.


In smaller dog breeds, this is a unisex name, but among German Shepherds, it is used exclusively for females. It is a derivative of a similar-sounding old English word representing a small stream.

It is a good name for an active dog and a small baby at heart, regardless of age.


Abby is short for Abigail, which in human names has come to represent eternal joy. It is a biblical name given that its first popular record is in the Hebrew Bible’s Book of Samuel.

Abigail, the wife of King David, was known for her loyalty. You can name your GSD baby Abby to showcase how much you value German Shepherd loyalty or simply because she brings you joy.


Emma comes from the German-origin word “ermen,” which signifies the whole. Emma, in old English, represented everything universal.

It became a popular name because of how many babies mean the whole world to their parents. If your GSD is everything to you, you should name her Emma.


This one does not need much explanation. Though Honey has undergone little transformation since the earlier Germanic folks called it “hunig,” it has always represented sweetness.

Since the Renaissance of poetry, this representation has become more metaphorical. If you really want to say, “oh, honey!” every time your dog makes a mess, it might be a good idea to just name her Honey.


In old high German, Ella was Alia. Then, it became Al in Old English and was permanently retired by the modern English alternative, All. Al was briefly revived to the name Al Pacino, after which it was phased out again. 

If Alia morphed to All, why was there a need to branch off to Ella? Coz you’re not going to name your female German Shepherd Al Pacino. Ella represents the female “all” and is the perfect name for a dog that completes you!

German Shepherd Pup.

Male German Shepherd Names and Meanings

Below are the best German Shepherd names and their meanings for 2024 that may suit a male German Shepherd.


The word is a derivative of Maximum, which is a descendent of the word “Maximus.” All things Max are all things great.

A GSD named Max is a champion and is simply “the greatest.” This name is ideal for a German Shepherd that is brave, a good companion, and intelligent.


Believe it or not, Sylvester Stallone did not invent the name Rocky. Rokke was an Old English term for, well, rocky stuff. If a coastline has a lot of rocks, it would be called “rokke.” In Middle English, it started being called “rokki.”

The name became popular with Stallone’s films and represented the underdog with potential. If your dog has the traits of Rocky Balboa, name him Rocky.


Before it became an astrological excuse for men to be egotistical, Leo was a word used by Latin people to identify a lion. For old Germans, Leo was a contraction for Leon, a word that represented bravery.

Given that modern English derives from old German and Latin, the coincidence was too good to retire the word Leo after the invention of “Lion” and “Brave.” If your dog is lion-hearted and looks the part, name him Leo.


Milo comes from miles, which is Latin for soldier. It also coincides with Slavic Milu, which means merciful. This makes it the perfect name for male GSDs owned by single guys.

You can say you’ve named him Milo because “Milu” means merciful, and he has a kind heart. This can get an “aww” from almost every girl who doesn’t know you’ve simply named your dog ‘soldier’ but in a dead language.


Bear comes from Berra and Bjorn, both of which mean Bear but in older languages. It represents “largeness” and “majesty in the beast-like.”

If your German Shepherd belongs to a lineage that grows beyond average, it would be a good idea to name him Bear. King Shepherds are excellent GSD-adjacent candidates for the name.


Ace represents excellence and tact in names, though it has meant numerical ‘one’ and ‘unity’ in the literal sense.

If your German Shepherd is excellent at following instructions or generally makes you proud, you can name him Ace. Just don’t expect him to be up your sleeve!


Rang in old French meant what rank means now. By the time old French became Middle English, it was already ‘range’ and was used to describe a line of people, presumably in order or rank. Ranger is an explorer who follows orders.

And it is pretty evident why that would be a good name for a German Shepherd, especially if he doesn’t explore the same dog park daily.


All old versions of the word king mean king. It is a name fit for a German Shepherd who carries himself like a royal. Moreover, there is often a direct correlation between “king” and “large,” which is why no one calls half a French toast a “king-size” breakfast.


In old English and Germanic, gāst meant spirit. In today’s German, gāst means guest, which technically a ghost is. The old English version went from referring to spirits to referring to haunting spirits by the time it became a ghost.

Today, it stands for not replying to someone’s texts. Even though the name lacks depth, it is still a fun name to give a dark-colored German Shepherd.


Regardless of meaning, this would be an excellent name for your dog if your name is Jack. Jack in old English represented “common man,” but in names, Jackson represented music.

If your German Shepherd marches to the beat of his own drum or is a showstopper, name him Jackson; he’s earned it.


Titan in modern English comes from the Latin word Titan. Finding this out is like looking up 1/3 on a calculator and getting 1/3 as a fraction in the answer column. The word has retained its meaning and form for over 620 years.

GSD Pup In The Snow

Does a Dog’s Name Have an Effect?

There is significant evidence that names have a substantial effect on personality and even visual appearance.

Name your German Shepherd wisely, and choose a name you like so the dog can associate his own name with the pleasure he witnesses on your face when you call him. 

Among humans, a child’s name can influence how he sees himself. In dogs, you can be influenced by the name, so more than its meaning, how much you like it matters.

I would say that personal preference should be the highest priority, followed by what the name means and, finally, what people think of it.

But ultimately, the popularity of a name shouldn’t matter because your dog is a star anyway.

Still can’t decide? Are you looking for more names? Check out this article, Top German Shepherd Names (Cool, Popular, Cute & Badass).

Sharon Waddington
Sharon Waddington is the founder of World of Dogz. With over 30 years of experience working with dogs, this former Police Officer has seen it all. But it’s her trusty German Shepherd, Willow, who steals the show as the inspiration behind this website. As Sharon’s constant companion Willow has played a pivotal role in shaping her passion for dogs. Recently, Sharon has become deeply passionate about the plight of rescue dogs and is an active advocate for dog rescue, striving to make a difference in the lives of dogs in need.

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