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Irish Dog Names: Unleashing the Charm of Celtic Canine Names

Dog names should reflect the personality, traits and character of your four legged friend. 

Finding the most suitable name can be a bit tricky at times. It is nice to have a name that suits your pooch perfectly. 

Many Irish dog names are creative, sound unique and have some interesting meanings and history associated with them. 

This article explores some of the top dog names from Ireland. 

We have also added some Irish themed choices, so you will be sure to find the best name for your new pet! (Especially if your dog happens to be one of the nine breeds of dog from Ireland!)

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Irish Dog Names

An Irish Red and White Setter in the woods.
An Irish Red and White Setter in the woods. (Photo: Natalia Fedosova via Shutterstock)

When it comes to searching for dog name ideas from Ireland, we have found plenty to choose from. 

Giving dogs “human” names is now quite a normal and popular thing to do. 

There are so many nice ones to pick from, it might just be a difficult task to narrow it down to one!

We have included Irish names for female dogs and their meanings. 

If you are looking for Irish names for boy dogs, we have covered that too. 

Place names can also be a source of inspiration for dog names. 

In this article, we have made a list of some of our favorites, as well as some funny ones that might make you smile. 

Why are Irish dog names Popular?

There are several reasons why dog names from Ireland have an enduring popularity. 

The unusual ring of the names and the strong cultural ties to the Emerald Isle are just some of the main factors. 

Irish Names

A distinctive name can really set your dog apart. 

Many of the words and sounds in the Irish language are unique and have unusual spellings. 

This appeals to many people, especially as the beautiful, soft sounding names are easy to listen to. 

Keep in mind that the pronunciation of Irish names can be a little tricky at times. 

One good tip is to check how to pronounce the Irish puppy names correctly, before you set your heart on a particular one. 

There are plenty of videos on Youtube to help you with this. 

When deciding on a name, try to keep it short if you can.

(Just think how many times you will be calling the dog when you are training them!)

Irish Names with History and Meaning

Portait of an Irish Wolfhound
An Irish Wolfhound. (Photo: Ashva_pictures via Depositphotos)

You will definitely encounter some Irish names with some fascinating history connected to them. 

Ireland has a rich culture of storytelling. 

Knowledge and history was often passed down through the generations by word of mouth.  

This has helped to give rise to a wide variety of names. 

The folklore, myths and legends associated with Ireland often include dogs, which we will explore in the article. 

Perhaps a Celtic name for dogs might be the one to catch your attention!

Rich Heritage and Ancestral roots

An Irish Setter running at full speed.
An Irish Setter running at full speed. (Photo: Orientgold via Shutterstock)

Throughout the world, people are proud of their Irish heritage and ancestral roots. 

This can be seen in the traditions that they decide to celebrate, not to mention the names that they choose. 

By naming their dog with an Irish name, dog owners may feel that they are more connected with their Irish cultural heritage. 

It may also be that the dog breed has Irish origins. In that case, an Irish name is particularly relevant. 

Irish Dog Breeds

There are 9 officially recognised Irish dog breeds. 

Eight of these are also acknowledged by the American Kennel Club (all except the Kerry Beagle). 

Another very popular new hybrid dog, the Irish Doodle, also can trace some of its origins back to Ireland.  

This is a mix between a poodle and an Irish Setter. 

Discover about each one of these charming dog breeds in our Guide to Irish Dog Breeds

It will give you an in depth guide to the traits, personality and dog behavior of these quirky and appealing breeds of dog.

Irish Female Dog Names

Irish Setter puppies on a table.
Irish Setter puppies on a table. (Photo: Glenkar via Shutterstock)

If you are looking for some female Irish dog names, then here is where you will find some great name ideas for your new dog. 

This list includes many popular Irish female names. It is a good overview of some of the best Irish names for girl dogs. 

These Irish female dog names and meanings will help you to get a better understanding of the names and their histories. 

Related Article: Best Female Irish Dog Names

(Pronounced: ee-fuh)

Aoife is a popular Irish name meaning “radiance” and “beauty”. It is also the name of the stepmother in the Children of Lir

(Pronounced: soy-iv)

The meaning of the name Sadhbh is “goodness”. This is a lovely name choice for a calm and good natured dog. 

(Pronounce: seer sha)

In Irish, “saoirse” translates to “freedom”. If your dog is very free spirited in nature, this might be one to consider!

Saoirse Ronan is a well known, Oscar nominated actor with this name. 

(Pronounced: ash-ling)

The English translation for Aisling is “dream” or “vision”. 

It is sometimes used to personify Ireland as a beautiful woman  in poetry. 

(Pronounced: tar-a)

The Hill of Tara in County Meath was an important political and spiritual location in ancient Ireland. 

(Pronounced: neeve)

This Irish name is a great option for a dog that radiates energy. 

The meaning is usually associated with “brightness” and “radiance”.

An Irish Doodle on a beach.
An Irish Doodle on a beach. (Photo: Joca de Jong via Shutterstock)

(Pronounced: fin-noo-lah)

Fionnuala translates into “white shoulder” in English. 

The eldest child of Lir, was called Fionnuala. She tirelessly cared for her brothers when they were transformed into swans. 

(Pronounced: deer-druh)

Deirdre was a heroine in Irish mythology, although a tragic one. Her name is often associated with sorrow. 

(Pronounced: ness-a)

According to legend, Nessa was the clever wife of the King of Ulster. 

She managed to get her husband to give his kingdom to his stepson. 

(Pronounced: gra-nyuh)

Grainne was a key figure in Irish mythology. 

It is also the name of the infamous pirate queen Grainne Mhaol (or Grainne O´Malley). 

She ruled the seas off the west coast of Ireland in the 16th century. 

(Pronounced: or-la)

This name translates to “golden princess” and is a great choice for a fair haired dog. 

(Pronounced: eth-na)

This name roughly translates to “kernel” or “grain”. 

If your four legged friend loves to be the center of everything, this might be a good choice!

(Pronounced: air-in)

Erin is a female name that means Ireland. For a dog with an Irish connection, this is an appropriate choice!

(Pronounced: ban-ba)

Banba is another name sometimes given to Ireland. This is an alternative name if you want to give your dog a name closely connected to Ireland. 

Irish Male Dog Names

These meaningful Irish dog names for boy dogs are sure to make your dog stand out in the crowd!

The list includes some Gaelic dog names, as well as some more recognizable English ones.

(Pronounced: fin)

The name means “white”, “bright” and “fair”.

Finn Mac Cool (sometimes spelled Fionn mac Cumhaill) was a major figure in Irish mythology. 

He is known for his wisdom, leading the Fianna warriors and his two dogs, Bran and Sceólang. 

(Pronounced: da-ra)

Dara is the word for “oak” in Irish. Oak Trees were revered in Celtic culture and were used as a symbol of the Celtic Tree of Life

An Irish Terrier in a park.
An Irish Terrier in a park. (Photo: otsphoto via Shutterstock)

(Pronounced: ush-een)

For gentle dogs, this name might suit well. Its meaning is “fawn” or “little deer”. 

Oisin featured in Irish mythology and traveled to “Tir an nÓg”, the Land of Youth. 

(Pronounced: mur-fee)

The meaning of Murphy can be traced back to “sea-warrior”. It is the most common Irish surname and ideal for a water loving dog. 

(Pronounced: sull-ee-van)

Sullivan, or O’Sullivan is another Irish Surname that is used as a given name. The meaning is somewhat debated, but could mean “hawk eyed”, “one-eyed” or “little dark eyed one”.

(Pronounced: aim-on)

The meaning of the name Eamon can be roughly translated to “protector” or “guardian”. This might be the preferred choice for your watchdog or guarddog. 

(Pronounced: ro-nawn)

The name Rónán means “little seal” in Irish. For dogs that love water, this might be a great choice of name!

(Pronounced: shay-mus)

Séamus is the Irish version of the name James, which can be traced back further to the Hebrew name of Jacob. 

It means “to supplant” or can be translated as the “one who grabs at the heel”.

(Pronounced. os-kar)

This Irish name can be translated as “friend of deer” and is suited to the gentle souled dog. Oscar was a figure in Irish mythology and was the grandson of Fionn mac Cumhaill. 

(Pronounced. o-ran)

Odhrán can be translated as “pale”. 

It is often written that the name means “little pale green”, but we found no evidence to support this. 

Traditional Names for Dogs in Ireland

A pug on a suitcase.
A pug on a suitcase. (Photo: Mr.Alex M via Shutterstock)

While not all of these names may have Irish origins, they are certainly popular when it comes to naming dogs in Ireland. 

  • Lucky
  • Max 
  • Charlie
  • Bailey
  • Kelly
  • Snowy
  • Shadow
  • Finnegan
  • Glen (perfect for the Irish dog breed, the Glen of Imaal Terrier)

Modern Irish Dog Names


Rua means “red haired” in Irish. A fox is called a madra rua, or red dog, for example. 

This is a popular option when it comes to naming Irish Setters


Lovers of Irish music will recognize this name as the famous singer. 

Enya grew up in an Irish speaking family. Her birth name is Eithne, which is pronounced as “Enya” in the dialect of her home place in County Donegal. 


It is worth noting that this name has Welsh and not Irish origins. 

We decided to include it in the list though because of Jenny, the donkey in The Banshees of Inisherin.

Jenny stole the hearts of many people who watched that recent Irish movie with Colin Farrel and Brendon Gleeson. 

Irish Mythical Hero Dog Names

For dogs with a strong sense of character, why not try one of the names of the Celtic Gods or Goddesses. 

These strong minded characters from Irish mythology have formidable stories which you can read about in our Celtic Gods and Goddesses article. 

Celtic Gods

Lugh – The Celtic God of Justice and Mischief

The Dagda – The King of the Gods and the Celtic God of Agriculture, Fertility and Seasons 

Aengus – The Celtic God of Love and Youth

Manannan – The Celtic God of the Sea

Donn – The Celtic God of Death

Belenus -The Celtic God of Fire (Who was possibly connected with the ancient pagan fire festival of Beltane)

Celtic Goddesses

Danu – The Irish Celtic Mother Goddess

Brigid – The Goddess of Healing, Poetry and Blacksmithing

Boann – The Celtic River Goddess of the Boyne River

Sínann – The Celtic River Goddess of the Shannon River

Morrigan – The Celtic Goddess of War

Irish Mythology Dog Names

An Irish Wolfhound in autumn leaves.
An Irish Wolfhound in autumn. (Photo: 84kamila via Shutterstock)

Cú Chullain

Cú Chullain, one of Irelan’s most famous warriors, got his name from a dog. 

Originally Cú Cullain was called Sétanta. When he was a skilled, young warrior he killed the hound of Chulainn in self defense. 

Sétanta offered to watch the house of Cullain as the dog had done, until a suitable replacement could be found. He therefore became Cú Chullain, or the hound of Culann. 

Cú is the Irish word for hound. 

Bran and Sceólang

Fionn mac Cumhaill (or Finn mac Cool) from Irish mythology had two Irish wolfhounds. 

These were no ordinary dogs. They were highly intelligent and were said to have had a human mother who was transformed into a dog while pregnant.

Bran was the male dog and the female was called Sceólang. 


The dog that belonged to the Irish God Lugh was known as Failinis. He was supposed to have been a formidable dog, who helped in battle. 

According to some legends Lugh acquired the dog after killing his owner to avenge his father’s murder. 

One interesting ability of this dog was being able to turn water into wine…apparently!


This is a famous Irish Wolfhound that is associated with Welsh history. 

In this tale, the loyal wolfhound is mistakenly blamed for harming a child and killed for the act. It is only later that the mistake is realized. 

According to some, this was a tale that was created to entice people to a rural area of Wales!

Unusual Irish Dog Names

An Irish Terrier playing in leaves.
An Irish Terrier playing in leaves. (Photo: otsphoto via Shutterstock)

The meanings of these dog names are a little obscure, but may be worth considering if you are looking for something a little different. 

(Pronounced: shee-og) 

This means fairy in the Irish language. 


This was the name of the ancient Celtic druid who foretold the birth of Cú Chulainn. 

(Pronounced: cool-in) 

This is a poetic name for Ireland. 

It comes from the name of the long hair hanging down the back of the Irish chieftains. This was in fashion until around the 14th century. 

It is also a type of melody. Might come in useful for Kerry Beagle dogs, which can bark in quite a musical way!

(Pronounced: pu-ka) 

For dogs that are always disappearing and are hard to find, the name Puca might be worth considering. Puca means “ghost” in Irish. 

Irish Place Names as Irish Dog Names

An Irish Red and White Setter on a beach. (Photo: rebeccaashworthearle via Shutterstock)

Not all names need to be divided into specifically Irish girl dog names and Irish boy dog names. 

These suggested place names from the island of Ireland are gender neutral and can be used as you see fit. 

Have you been to any of these places? If you have, then naming your dog after one of them might be a good idea! 

  • Kerry
  • Dublin
  • Limerick
  • Galway
  • Killarney
  • Cashel
  • Mallow
  • Blarney
  • Shannon
  • Clare
  • Malin (most northerly point of Ireland)
  • Mizen (most southerly point of Ireland)
  • Brandon
  • Aran
  • Inish (meaning island in Irish)
  • Hibernia (old name for Ireland)
  • Ireland
  • Derry
A woman and her dog enjoying the view in Ireland.
A woman and her dog enjoying the view in Ireland. (Photo: shawnwil23 via Shutterstock)

Some of the more funny Irish dog names connected with places include: 

  • Mallow
  • Schull
  • Dingle
  • Knock
  • Birr
  • Cong (location of The Quiet Man movie)

Irish Brands and Irish Symbols used as Dog Names

A border collie witha rose.
A border collie witha rose. (Photo: Julia Zavalishina via Shutterstock)

There are many internationally famous brands that come from Ireland. 

They are a perfect example of some of the more creative Irish dog names!

  • Bailey
  • Shamrock
  • Guinness
  • Whiskey
  • Jameson
  • Murphy
  • Beamish
  • Stout
  • Tullamore
  • Paddy
  • Leprechaun
  • Clover
  • Tayto
  • Harp
  • Fiddle

Famous Irish Dog Names

An Irish Red Setter in snow.
An Irish Red Setter in snow. (Photo: Kseniia Kolesnikova via Shutterstock)

In James Joyce’s Ulysses, “Garryowen” is the name of the Irish Setter being cared for by The Citizen in the Cyclops episode. 

Maria“, is the name of the Irish Water Spaniel in the Somerville and Ross stories about the English Resident Magistrate. 

Kerry Blue Terriers were a particular favorite of the Irish novelist and playwright, Samuel Beckett. One of his most beloved dogs was called “Wolf”. 

Michael Collins, the Irish nationalist, had a famous Kerry Blue Terrier called “Convict 224”. 

The dog was named after Austin Stack, who was imprisoned for his role in the Easter Rising of 1916. 

Discover more about these dogs in “The Curious History of Irish Dogs” by David Blake Knox. 

Irish President’s Dogs

The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, is a fan of Burmese Mountain Dogs. 

He currently has one dogs called Misneach. This translates to “courage”. 

This famous Irish dog has a large following in Ireland!

The President previously had other dogs of the same breed. One was called Bród, meaning Pride and the other Síoda, meaning silk or silky haired.

Irish Names for Pets

An Irish Doodle puppy with a ball.
An Irish Doodle puppy with a ball. (Photo: Joca de Jong via Shutterstock)

We hope you enjoyed these Irish dog names. Did we forget one of your Irish or Celtic dog names and meanings? Drop us a line if we did. 

For some more inspiration, you could always take a look at our Irish Pet Names article. This includes many more special names from Ireland and their meanings.

We also have other great name ideas for different cat breeds, if you are interested as well. Just check out our Irish Cat Names Guide

Please note that this article is only for general information purposes about the dog breeds and should not be used as a substitute for health, medical, dog nutrition and pet care advice from veterinary specialists.