DOG NAMES

Celtic Dog Names: Which Meaningful and Unique Moniker to Choose?

John Walton
Written by John Walton

Some of the most popular dog breeds originated from Celtic countries like Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Corgis, Border Collies, and Irish Setters are just some of the most adorable breeds from these Celtic countries. If you’ve got one of these, don’t you think Celtic dog names are just right for your pet?

Celtic-inspired names for pets are so meaningful and unique, your pet will surely stand out if you give them one of these beautiful and fitting monikers. Whether you simply like the sound of Celtic names or you want to honor your pet’s Celtic heritage, you will surely find a Celtic-inspired pet name that will truly fit your beloved dog.

In this article, we’ll first take a look at some breeds of Celtic origin. Then, to help you choose the best name for your pet, we’ll give you some of the coolest and trendiest Celtic names for male dogs. We’ll also give you a list of some of the prettiest and cutest Celtic names for female pets. Next, we’ll give you excellent name choices for your pet based on Celtic mythology. And lastly, we’ll give you a list of Scottish names that are great for any dog breed hailing from the Highlands.

10 Popular Dog Breeds Closely Associated with the Celts

When we hear the word Celtic, we almost always associate it with Ireland and Scotland where Gaelic, the ancient Celtic language, is still spoken. Celtic-inspired dog names are most fitting for dog breeds that come from one of the Celtic countries, so here are 10 native dog breeds you may want to consider.

#1: Irish Setter

Irish Setter

Tough and tireless, Irish Setters are excellent sporting dogs. These dogs have a distinctive red coat, either of a deep mahogany shade or a rich chestnut red shade. Irish Setters are known to be hardy, intelligent, loving, fun, and extremely active.

If you’ve got an Irish Setter, be prepared to do a lot of running and frolicking as this breed loves to play and have fun.

#2: Irish Terrier

Irish Terrier

If you’re looking for a truly native Irish breed, you can’t go wrong with an Irish Terrier. These dogs are so fearless and intelligent, they were actually used as messenger dogs during the First World War.

Loyal, friendly, and hardy, your Irish Terrier will remain devoted to you, no matter what happens.

#3: Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhound

The Irish Wolfhound is considered a living symbol of Ireland’s Celtic legacy. These large Irish hounds have been documented since the first century A.D. In fact, the name of Cu-Chulainn, one of the central Irish mythological heroes, translates to “the hound of Culann.”

Irish Wolfhounds are also referred to as the Big Dogs of Ireland. Adult males are at least 32 inches in height and 120 pounds in weight, but they can grow taller and heavier than that. In fact, they’re considered the tallest breed among all the accepted American Kennel Club breeds.

#4: Kerry Blue Terrier

Kerry Blue Terrier

A true Irish breed originating from Kerry County in Ireland, the Kerry Blue Terrier has a distinctive blue coat that’s wavy, dense, yet soft. The Kerry Blue Terrier used to be a farm dog and was originally used for hunting small game and birds. These dogs were also noted as excellent herders of sheep and cattle.

The Kerry Blue Terrier has a well-developed body, dark eyes, and a sporty beard. These dogs are known for their intelligence and bravery. A fiercely devoted companion, the Kerry Blue Terrier is an alert and adaptable watchdog.

#5: Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

The name of the breed accurately describes the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier’s coat—soft, slightly wavy, silky, and of wheaten color. The Wheaten is an exuberant farm dog. They’re known to be friendly and devoted, and they’re sturdy and hard-muscled.

Fun-loving and easygoing, Wheatens make excellent family dogs. These dogs are highly people-oriented, and they’re great with kids. They’re very adaptable, so they can adjust to almost any kind of environment.

#6: Border Collie

Border Collie

An amazing breed, the Border Collie is considered by some as the most intelligent dog breed. Border Collies can be trained to perform almost any role or responsibility, and they’re known as one of the best herders of flock and cattle. Border Collies have a hallmark intense gaze that’s often referred to as the “herding eye.”

Their medium-sized bodies pack a lot of muscles. Border Collies are known for their athleticism, agility, as well as trainability. They’re very active dogs so you will need to match their energy to play and exercise with them every day.

#7: Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers

One of the most famous Scottish dog breeds, Golden Retrievers are muscular, powerful, and intelligent sporting dogs of great beauty. Known for their distinctive appearance, with their short ears, straight muzzle, and gold-colored coat, Golden Retrievers are easily one of the most popular dog breeds in the world.

Golden Retrievers are trustworthy and outgoing, plus they’re very easy to train. These energetic large dogs are actually very friendly and tolerant, which makes them excellent family pets.

#8: Bearded Collie

Bearded Collie

You may have heard of Bearded Collies by their other names. These resilient working dogs are also referred to as Highland collies, beardies, or mountain collies. Bearded Collies were originally bred for herding sheep and cattle. Bearded Collies are excellent competition dogs, especially in herding, agility, and obedience.

Bearded Collies are extremely energetic and playful. If you’ve ever seen them in action, you may have noticed that beardies don’t walk, rather, they bounce around like balls of pure energy.

#9: Shetland Sheepdog

Shetland Sheepdog

The Shetland Islands lie off the coast of Scotland, and that’s where the Shetland Sheepdog hailed from. Originally bred to stand guard for farmers, Shetland Sheepdogs are great herding dogs.

These small dogs are very active and smart. They’re known to be very protective and will bark at anyone or anything they’re not familiar with, either to alert you that something’s amiss or to warn the stranger not to come near. Shetland Sheepdogs are very trainable, willing to please, and highly athletic.

#10: Scottish Terrier

Scottish Terrier

One of the most notable Scottish breeds, the Scottish Terrier or Scottie is unique-looking. Small yet solid and compact, Scottish Terriers are known for their independence and persistence. In fact, Scottish Terriers are nicknamed “the Diehard.”

These feisty little dogs are intelligent, sensitive to praise and blame, quite stubborn, and sometimes outrightly hilarious. Adorable in their short legs, Scottish Terriers can be quite dignified, stoic, and aristocratic if they feel like it. But once they decide that they like you, you can depend on their loyalty for life.

Cool and Trendy Celtic Names For Male Dogs

Wolfhound

Celtic names are some of the coolest names for pets. Not only do they sound beautiful and unique but they’re also very descriptive. If you’ve got a male canine pet, here are some of the best name choices for your pet.

NameMeaning
AidanMeans little and fiery; a great name for small dogs with fiery personalities
CaedmonMeans brave warrior; a perfect name for fearless watchdogs
ConanMeans little wolf; an excellent name for Irish Wolfhounds
FiacraMeans eagle; a good name for hunting dogs
FinnMeans fair or white
HerneIn reference to a Celtic mythical hunter god; an excellent name for hunting dogs
KieranMeans little dark one
Neil or Niallan or NyleMeans champion; a good Celtic name for any dog
OrinMeans white; another great name for any white dog
Owen or OwinMeans young fighter; a fitting name for brave dogs
PryderiMeans care; perfect for any pet that you care for
ReaganMeans regal; an excellent name for dogs with regal bearings
SloaneMeans warrior; a fitting name for any fearless watchdog
TeyrnonAnother name that means regal
TristenMeans outcry; a fitting Celtic name for a dog that loves to bark at anything and everything
TuriMeans bear; if you've got a large dog, this would be a great name
WeylynMeans son of the wolf; a good name for any dog but most fitting for Irish Wolfhounds
WynneMeans fair; a nice name for fair-colored dogs like the Wheaten

Pretty and Cute Celtic Names For Female Dogs

white dog

Celtic names are some of the most beautiful-sounding names for pets. Plus, some of them are downright cute while others have deep meanings. Here are a few you can choose from for your female dog.

NameMeaning
AifeMeans warrior woman; a strong name for any female watchdog
AinaMeans joy; a cute name for the joy of your life
Aleen or AleenaMeans fair; perfect for any white female dog
Briannah or Brienna or BriettaMeans strong; a pretty name for strong and sturdy working dogs
Brigid or Brygid or BridgetteAnother pretty name that means strong
CaraMeans friend in Celtic; because dogs are our best friends
CiaraMeans little dark one
DoniaMeans dark-skinned; another pretty name for female dogs with dark-colored coats
EdnaMeans fire; perfect for Irish Setters or any red-colored female dog
EileenMeans bright or shining one; a pretty name for female dogs with bright personalities
ElshaMeans noble; if you've got a regal pet, this is a really pretty name for her
EthneMeans fire; a good name for red-coated dogs or dogs with fiery personalities
GlendaMeans fair and good; a beautiful name for any female dog
IsoldeMeans fair; in reference to one of the main characters in "Tristan and Isolde"
KeeliaMeans slender or comely; perfect for any female canine pet
KennochaMeans lovely; because your pet is simply lovely
LavenaMeans joy; another pretty name for female pets that bring joy to you and your family
MaeveenMeans nimble; a beautiful name for any alert, active, and agile female dog
Mirna or MornaMeans tender; perfect for any sweet and affectionate female dog
MorriganMeans war goddess; if you've got a female watchdog, this is an excellent name for her
Nara or NareenaMeans contented; a pretty name for calm and gentle female dogs
OrianaMeans blond; a pretty name for a Wheaten or any blond-colored female dog
RowenaMeans white or comely; a beautiful name for any pretty female dog
ShanaMeans small and wise; a fitting name for small intelligent dogs
Winnie or Wynne or WynnieMeans white or fair

Meaningful Dog Names Inspired By Celtic Mythology

black dog

For pet owners who don’t like giving their pet just any random name, Celtic mythology-inspired pet names are excellent choices for dogs. You can choose to name your pet after a mythical hero or after one of the noted Celtic kings.

NameMeaning
AngusA truly Celtic name, it means exceptional strength; in Irish mythology, Angus was the Celtic god of love and beauty
ArawnA Celtic God, he was the king of the underworld
BalorHe was the king of gigantic Fomorians; an appropriate name for gigantic dogs like the Irish Wolfhound
CináedIn reference to the first King of Scotland; the name is pronounced KIN-ay or KIN-ee
ConallA great name for an Irish Wolfhound; it means strong wolf
Duff or DubhIt means dark; an excellent Celtic name for powerful dogs with dark-colored coats
DuncanIt means brown warrior, which is a great name for terriers
Fermac (or Fer Mac)In Irish mythology, this is the name of a particolored furred dog; legend has it that Fermac was a giant dog by day and a small lapdog by night
Finn MacCoolIn reference to the fictional warrior who became wise after roasting the Salmon of Wisdom
FáilinisInvincible in battle, he was Lugh's hound; a great name for pets that are excellent watchdogs
LirIn reference to the Irish Lord of the Sea; an excellent name for champion swimmers like Irish Water Spaniels
LughIn reference to the Celtic god of sun and lightning
Niels or NaillIn reference to Niall of the Nine Hostages, who was considered one of the greatest High Kings of Ireland

Scottish Celtic Dog Names For Your Pet

dog like bear

Scottish names are some of the most adorable and meaningful names you can choose for any pet. And if you’ve got a Golden Retriever or a Border Collie, then these names will be just perfect for your pet. Of course, these names are also great for any other dog breed.

NameMeaning
AifricMeans pleasant; a strong name for a pleasant canine companion
AileenMeans desired; perfect for that special puppy you have long desired to own
AindreaMeans manly; a strong name for a strong dog
AlanMeans rock; perfect for trustworthy and dependable pets
AlasdairMeans leader of men; a good one for your alpha dog
AlbaRefers to Scotland; a charming name for any Scottish dog breed
AlpinMeans white; a cute name for any all-white dog
ArranIn reference to an island in Scotland; a good name to honor your pet's Scottish heritage
ArtairMeans bear; if you've got a bear of a dog, then this one's a really good name
AtholIn reference to a region in Scotland; another short but charming name to honor your pet's Scottish roots
BairnMeans baby; because your pet is your precious baby
BeathanMeans life; a beautiful name for any dog that's full of life and energy like the Bearded Collie
BeitrisMeans traveler; a pretty name for a pet that loves to wander around
BhaltairMeans ruler of the army; another strong name for a charismatic dog
CannieMeans smart or clever; because your pet is one clever pooch
CaoimheMeans gentle; a good name for gentle and calm dogs
CináedMeans born of fire; a beautiful name for red-colored dogs
CoinneachMeans handsome; because your pet is simply so good-looking
DaftyMeans silly; a fun name for a silly pet who loves to engage in mischievous antics
DuffMeans dark; a short but great name for dark-colored dogs
EalairMeans cheerful; a fitting name for energetic and playful dogs
EffieMeans well-spoken; a fitting name for dogs that love to talk to their owners
EimhirMeans swift; a powerful name for swift dogs like Golden Retrievers
FergusMeans man of vigor; an excellent name for sturdy and strong dogs
FinlayMeans white warrior; a great name for a white watchdog
GreerMeans alert; a good name for a watchdog that's always keen and alert
LassieMeans young woman; also in reference to the very famous Rough Collie
MornaMeans festive; a good name for a playful and cheerful dog
MungoMeans gentle; perfect for your docile and gentle pet
Murdag or MurdoMeans sea warrior; an excellent name for dogs that love to swim
RorieIn reference to the Red King; a good name for dogs with red coats
RuadhMeans red; another short but cute name for red dogs
StuartMeans steward or guardian; a perfect name for your guardian pet

Wrap Up

welsh corgi dogs

Whether you’ve got an Irish, Scottish, Welsh, or any other dog breed, Celtic names for dogs are some of the most culturally-rich and unique monikers you can choose for your treasured pet. Do you have a favorite Celtic-inspired name for dogs? Please share your comments and suggestions with us.

Celtic dogs are often very smart and reliable, so you might want to start training them early. Check out our article on puppy training schedule so you’ll be able to start off on the right foot.

About the author
John Walton
John Walton

John Walton lives in Somerville, MA, with his two dogs, two sons, and very understanding mate. He is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, a mentor trainer for the Animal Behavior College, an AKC Certified CGC Evaluator, and the Training Director for the New England Dog Training Club.

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