250+ Native American Dog Names

Names By Meg Marrs 19 min read October 18, 2023

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Native American Dog Names

Are you interested in a name for your dog with Native American roots? Maybe a moniker with more behind it than meets the eye?

You may want to consider a Native American dog name!

These four-footed monikers are often full of meaning, and many have powerful stories behind them.

Below, we’ll share the best Native American dog names from various tribes, plus tips for picking the best name for your pooch.

250+ Native American Names for Dogs

husky mix in the forest

Native American dog names come from all corners of the land, with ample male, female, and unisex choices available. Let’s meet some all-star standouts together.

Male Native American Dog Names

German shepherd with Native American hut structure

Looking for a male moniker of Native American roots for your Rover? Check out these boy Native American dog names and words.

  • He-dow: “Meadowlark” in Shoshone
  • Hento: Dakota for “blue”
  • Kekai: “The sea” in Hawaiian
  • Kekino: Hawaiian for “strength”
  • Kialo: “Digging out” in Hawaiian
  • Kuruk: Pawnee for “bear”
  • Kwahu: “Eagle” in Hopi
  • Lansa: “Spear” in Hopi
  • Micco: “Chief” in Seminole
  • Moki: “Deer” in Hopi
  • Mukitou: Cree for “black powder”
  • Oshkosh: “Claw” in Menominee
  • Papewes: “Lucky man” in Cree
  • Paytah: “Fire” in Sioux
  • Popoquan: “Gun” in Shawnee (This makes an excellent choice for a hunting dog name!)
  • Tahatan: “Hawk” in Sioux
  • Tasunke: “Horse” in Dakota
  • Wirasuap: “Bear spirit” in Shoshone
  • Wuyi: “Soaring turkey vulture” in Miwok

Want more boy dog monikers? Check out over 1,000 male dog names!

Female Native American Dog Names

mixed breed dog with flopped ears

Have a lady doggo in need of a great name? Browse these beautiful Native American dog names for girls.

  • Apani: “Butterfly” in Siksika
  • Aquinnah: “End of the island” in Wampanoag
  • Catecahassa: “Black hoof” in Shawnee
  • Cholena: “Bird” in Lenape
  • Kamea: “The one” in Hawaiian
  • Kanui: “The big” in Hawaiian
  • Keasik: “Sky blue” in Cree
  • Kiele: Hawaiian for “gardenia”
  • Leikea: “White flowers” in Hawaiian
  • Luyu: Miwok name meaning “wild dove”
  • Macawi: Sioux for “coyote”
  • Mahalo: “Thanks” in Hawaiian
  • Muna: “Spring” in Hopi
  • Okeema: “Chief” in Shawnee
  • Paksskii: “Broad face” in Siksika
  • Paskus: “Rising” in Cree
  • Pinquana: “Sweet smelling” in Shoshone
  • Pizi: A Sioux name meaning “bravery”
  • Ska: Sioux for “bird”
  • Snana: “To jingle” in Sioux
  • Tiva: Hopi for “dance”
  • Wailani: “Heavenly water” in Hawaiian
  • Weetamoo: Wampanoag for “sweetheart”
  • Yoki: “Rain” in Hopi

Love some of the powerful picks above? See more strong female dog names!

Gender Neutral Native American Dog Names

mixed breed dog in grass

Want a mutt moniker that works for a male or female dog? Check out these unisex Native American dog names.

  • Halona: Iroquois for “of good fortune”
  • Kangee: Sioux for “crow”
  • Katonah: Lenape name meaning, “big mountain”
  • Kawena: Hawaiian name meaning “the glowing one”
  • Keona: “Attractive” name of Hawaiian origin
  • Mahikan: “Wolf” in Cree
  • Maskwa: Cree for “bear”
  • Mochni: “Talking bird” in Hopi
  • Nakosi: “Bear” in Seminole
  • Paeta: “Ash man” in Cheyenne
  • Peechee: Cree for “mountain lion”
  • Sipala: “Peach” in Hopi
  • Tanamara: “Lonely wind” in Cherokee
  • Tupi: “Salmon” in Miwok
  • Ukiuk: Inuit for “winter”
  • Yona: “Bear” in Cherokee (An excellent choice for a tough dog name!)
  • Yuka: “Bright star” in Inuit

Native American Dog Names By Tribe

mixed breed dog in field

After a Native American dog name from a certain tribe? We’ve grouped names into the tribe they’re most often linked to, though there may be some overlap here and there. Browse these amazing Native American dog names and meanings to find the perfect one for your pup.

Algonquin Native American Dog Names

Native American dog

The Algonquin people hail from modern-day Michigan, Wisconsin, and portions of Canada. Traditionally, Algonquins called birch bark mikiwam structures home, with the ornate wood-weaving design as eye-catching as it is resourceful.

Meet these Algonquin-related Native American dog names and see if any work for your woof.

  • Abequa: Meaning “she who sits alone,” it’s perfect for an independent doggo!
  • Abukcheech: “Mouse”
  • Ahanu: “He laughs”
  • Alawa: “Pea”
  • Amimosh: “Dog”
  • Anang: “Star”
  • Bizhiki: “Buffalo”
  • Kanti: “Sings”
  • Keme: “Secret”
  • Kitchi: “Brave”
  • Maahe: “Arrow”
  • Mahigan: “Wolf”
  • Makwa: Meaning “bear,” this is great for a large, hairy dog with giant paws!
  • Matunaaga: “Battle”
  • Matwau: “Enemy”
  • Meegwun: “Feather”
  • Mukki: “Boy”
  • Mundoo: “Great spirit”
  • Nakoma: “I do as I promise”
  • Nenemehki: “Thunder”
  • Niben: “Summer”
  • Nodin: “Wind”
  • Numees: “Sister”
  • Nuttah: “My heart”
  • Sinopa: “Kit fox”
  • Suki: Meaning “black,” this unisex pick works well on a Labrador or Newfoundland
  • Takhi: “Cold”
  • Tapa: “Water antelope”
  • Wapun: “Dawn”
  • Wawetseka: “Pretty woman”

Cherokee Native American Dog Names

mixed breed dog in tall grass and rocks

Historic Cherokee lands include portions of modern-day North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, and Georgia. In Cherokee culture, families were traditionally centered around the mother, with children born into the mother’s clan and women controlling the family’s property.

Check out these amazing Native American dog names with Cherokee connections.

  • Adohi: “Timber”
  • Adsila: “Blossom”
  • Ama: “Water”
  • Amatha: “Fish”
  • Aya: “I” or “Me”
  • Deyani: “Successful”
  • Enoli: “Black fox”
  • Gola: “Winter”
  • Kanuna: “Bullfrog”
  • Mohe: “Elk”
  • Noya: “Sand”
  • Salali: “Squirrel”
  • Sequoyah: “Sparrow”
  • Tsu-la: “Kingfisher”
  • Usdi: “Baby”
  • Wohali: “Eagle”
  • Woya: “Dove”
  • Yansa: “Buffalo”

Like the upbeat air of Cherokee pup picks? Meet dog names that mean “happy!”

Choctaw Native American Dog Names

brindle dog in water

Modern-day Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Oklahoma make up traditional Choctaw territory, a land known for its woodlands and bayous. Skilled hunters, fishers, and traders, Choctaw people also valued fun, famously playing Choctaw stickball, which is believed to be the oldest field sport in North America.

See if any of these Choctaw-connected Native American names for dogs suit your sniffer.

  • Chula: “Fox”
  • Coahoma: “Red puma”
  • Fala: “Crow”
  • Habik: “Mountain”
  • Hushi: “Sun”
  • Iakaya: “To follow; pursue”
  • Kinta: “Deer”
  • Minco: “Chief”
  • Nashoba: “Wolf”
  • Nita: “Bear”
  • Shimmi: “To split”
  • Tiyuk: “Pine”
  • Tula: “Leaping water”
  • Tuscaloosa: “Black warrior”
  • Yakni: “Earth”

Comanche Native American Dog Names

fluffy mixed breed dog

The Comanches hail from what is today the Southern Plains area of the United States, including Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico. Known to be skilled horseback riders, they traditionally hunted large game in the region, like bison, and traded with nearby friendly tribes and settlers.

Connect with Comanche-themed Native American dog names and see which might work for your woof.

  • Amawoo: “Apple”
  • Haniibi: “Corn”
  • Kahuu: “Mouse”
  • Kasaraibo: “Angel”
  • Mukwooru: “Spirit talker”
  • Nadua: “Someone found”
  • Onaa: “Baby”
  • Paaka: “Arrow”
  • Pecos: “Pecan”
  • Pihi: “Heart”
  • Puhi: “Leaf”
  • Pui: “Eye”
  • Saril: “Dog”
  • Sia: “Feather”
  • Taabe: “Sun”
  • Tabukina: “Rabbit”
  • Tanasi: “King”
  • Tasiwoo: “Buffalo”
  • Topsannah: “Prairie flower”
  • Wasape: “Bear”
  • Yuhtuka: “Candle”

Hawaiian Native Dog Names

Mixed breed dog lying on the beach

Native Hawaiians arrived at the Hawaiian islands more than 800 years ago from Polynesia, explaining the threads of Polynesian life you might spy in Hawaiian culture. Given their island home, Hawaiian life is centered around the sea, but they also have a vibrant religious side, with Hula dancing, traditional chanting, and drums used to honor the gods.

See if any of these Hawaiian-rooted Native American dog names fit your floof.

  • Aloha: “Love, hello, and goodbye”
  • Kahuna: “Held in high esteem”
  • Kalia: “Flower wreath”
  • Koa: “Strong and brave”
  • Liko: “Bud”
  • Lilo: “Generous”
  • Lokelani: “Heavenly rose”
  • Mahana: “Warmth”
  • Mahina: “Moon”
  • Maili: “Pebble”
  • Makani: “Wind”
  • Makoa: “Fearless”
  • Malana: “Light”
  • Manawa: “To feel”
  • Meli: “Honey”
  • Nahele: Meaning “forest,” this is a surprise nature dog name!
  • Nakoa: “The warriors”
  • Nalu: “Surf; wave”
  • Nohea: “Handsome”
  • Ohana: “Family”
  • Oli: “Chant”
  • Opono: “To make things right”
  • Piki: “Peach”
  • Pono: “Goodness”
  • Popoki: “Cat”
  • Puhi: “To burn”
  • Ululani: “Heavenly inspiration”
  • Upai: “Tall and thin”
  • Wailele: “Waterfall”
  • Waipuna: “Spring water”

Love these island-inspired mutt monikers? Meet more Hawaiian dog names!

Hopi Native American Dog Names

brindle mix dog with flowers on collar

Modern-day Arizona is home to the Hopi, a tribe whose name translates to “behaving one.” The Hopi have a strong woman-connected culture, organized into clans dependent on your mother’s lineage versus the more common patriarchal structure. They value togetherness and the sacredness of the land.

Browse these amazing Hopi-linked Native American dog names.

  • Ahote: “Restless ones”
  • Cha’risa: “Moose”
  • Chosovi: “Bluebird”
  • Chumana: “Young snake”
  • Hongvi: “Strong”
  • Honovi: “Powerful deer”
  • Hoonaw: “Bear”
  • Hotsko: “Owl”
  • Kawayo: “Horse”
  • Kele: “Sparrow”
  • Kotori: “Screeching owl”
  • Kwewu: “Wolf”
  • Mansi: “Plucked flowers”
  • Mochni: “Talking bird”
  • Momo: “Bee”
  • Pahona: “Beaver”
  • Pakwa: “Frog”
  • Pòoko: “Dog”
  • Sakuna: “Squirrel”
  • Sihu: “Flower”
  • Taaho: “Snake”
  • Taavo: “Rabbit”
  • Toho: “Cougar”
  • Tsiro: “Bird”

Inuit Native American Dog Names

husky mix puppy in snow

The Inuit are indigenous people native to portions of modern-day Canada and Alaska. “Inuit” is a broad term, with various groups, including Aleut and Yupik, who’re often lumped in with the label, though they don’t always self-identify this way.

Inuit cultures are heavily shaped by the harsh conditions of the north, with these Arctic-dwelling people some of the most resilient around. Their fishing and hunting feats are next-level, taking on some of the world’s largest, most formidable prey.

Meet these Inuit-connected Native American dog names.

  • Aklaq: “Black bear”
  • Amarog: “Wolf”
  • Aput: “Snow”
  • Capun: “Coal”
  • Desna: “Boss”
  • Ikiaq: “Red spruce”
  • Ila: “Companion”
  • Kanut: “White goose”
  • Kissimi: “Alone”
  • Lusa: “Midnight”
  • Miki: “Little
  • Nanuq: “Polar bear”
  • Panuk: “Island”
  • Qimmiq: “Dog”
  • Sakari: “Sweet”
  • Sesi: “Snow”
  • Tikaani: “Wolf”
  • Tiquanna: “Adopted son”
  • Tuktu: “Caribou”
  • Ugruk: “Seal”
  • Yura: “Beautiful”

These Northern picks sound great on a husky, right? Discover more husky dog names.

Miwok Native American Dog Names

Small mixed breed in colorful harness

Hailing from what is today northern California, the Miwok name translates to “people” in the Miwok language. Their name is also spelled as Miwuk, Mi-Wuk, and Me-Wuk, depending on the tribe. Miwok culture varies greatly by tribe, with Coastal Miwok having a more water-based lifestyle than inland tribes.

See if any of these mighty Miwok-linked Native American dog names match your mutt.

  • Awanata: “Turtle”
  • Chuku: “Dog”
  • Elki: Meaning “to drape over,” this is great for a Velcro dog breed
  • Enyeto: “Walks like a bear”
  • Honan: “Bear”
  • Kiku: “Water”
  • Kome: “Moon”
  • Kosumi: “Salmon fishing with a spear”
  • Koto: “Grasshopper”
  • Leyati: “Shell”
  • Liwanu: Meaning “bear growl,” this is a good protector dog name
  • Lokni: “Rain through the roof”
  • Misu: “Rippled stream”
  • Molimo: “Walk in the shadows”
  • Saji: “Maple”
  • Sanuye: “Cloud”
  • Susu: “Wood”
  • Talakasu: “Three”
  • Tenaya: “Evening star”
  • Tuktuk: “Fish hawk”

Navajo Native American Dog Names

mixed breed dog in desert

Nearly 400,000 people are members of the Navajo Nation, making them the largest federally recognized tribe in the United States. Famous for hunting, gathering, and weaving incredible blankets and tapestries, the Navajo call themselves “diné,” meaning “people.” Portions of modern-day Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah have the highest Navajo population in the U.S.

Explore these Navajo-rooted Native American dog names.

  • Ahiga: “To fight each other”
  • Atsa: “Eagle”
  • Awéé’: “Baby”
  • Bodaway: “Fire maker”
  • Chooli: “Mountain”
  • Dichin: “Hungry”
  • Doli: “Bluebird”
  • Gaagii: “Raven”
  • Kéyah: “Land”
  • Kilchii: “Red boy”
  • Mai: “Bright flower”
  • Ma’ii: “Coyote”
  • Nascha: “Owl”
  • Niséyá: “To go and return”
  • Nízhánee: “Lucky”
  • Nizhóní: “Beautiful”
  • Sani: “The old one” (This makes a great old dog name!)
  • Shilah: “Brother”
  • Sicheii: “Grandfather”
  • Tsintah: “Among the forest”
  • Yazhi: “Little”
  • Yuma: “Son of the chief”

Sioux Native American Dog Names

Large shepherd mix in field

Also known as the Dakota and Lakota tribes, the Sioux people are known for being hunters and warriors, valuing physical strength and bravery in daily life. Sioux territory includes parts of modern-day South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Montana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Wyoming, along with areas of Canada.

Check out these Native American dog names connected to Sioux culture.

  • Anoki: “Actor”
  • Asanpi: “Milk”
  • Chapa: “Beaver”
  • Chaske: “Junior”
  • Chaytan: “Falcon”
  • Chumani: “Dewdrops”
  • Dakota: “Friend
  • Ehawee: “Laughing maiden”
  • Enapay: “Roars bravely in the face of danger”
  • Hanska: “Tall”
  • Hanwi: “Moon”
  • Hotah: “Grey”
  • Kadoka: “Hole in the wall”
  • Kola: “Male friend”
  • Mato: “Bear”
  • Mini: “Water”
  • Niya: “Ghost”
  • Okaga: “South Wind”
  • Takoda: “Friend to everyone”
  • Tunkan: “Venerable one”
  • Wamblee: “Eagle”
  • Wanzi: “One”
  • Washta: “Pretty”
  • Wasna: “Pemmican”
  • Waziya: “Of the north”
  • Wi: “Sun”
  • Wichahpi: “Stars”
  • Win: “Woman”
  • Yanpa: “East Wind”
  • Yate: “North Wind”
  • Zikana: “White

Other Native American Dog Names

mixed breed dog on log

There are still heaps of Native American names for dogs to explore, including familiar finds you might recognize and those from legends. Let’s meet them!

Common Names and Places With Native American Roots

red mixed breed by creek

These picks are more common than most we listed or are familiar places and words in everyday language. Do any of these potential monikers match your pup’s personality?

  • Alabama: Tribe name from the Alabamas people
  • Alaska: Inuit for “peninsula”
  • Arizona: Said to be from the Aztec word for “silver-bearing”
  • Arkansas: An Algonquin word of disputed meaning
  • Cheyenne: A tribe name
  • Chicago: An Algonquin word for “onion” or “skunk”
  • Denali: “Great one” of Koyukon people’s origin
  • Idaho: Disputed, though often attributed to a Shoshone phrase meaning “light on the mountains”
  • Illinois: “Men” or “warriors” in the Illini language
  • Iowa: Tribe name meaning “sleepy ones”
  • Kansas: Named from a tribe of Sioux people whose name means “wind people”
  • Kenai: A term from Native Alaskan people meaning “flat lands”
  • Kentucky: Disputed, though commonly said to come from a term meaning “meadow land”
  • Koda: From Dakota, meaning “friend”
  • Kodiak: A Native Alaskan term meaning “island”
  • Lakota: A branch of Sioux people whose name means “allies or friends”
  • Massachusetts: From an Algonquin word meaning “great hill; small place”
  • Michigan: Algonquin for “big lake” or “great water”
  • Mississippi: Means “great river” (The nickname Missy is super cute!)
  • Missouri: Tribe name for “muddy water”
  • Nayeli: A Zapotec name meaning “I love you”
  • Nebraska: Sioux for “shallow water”
  • Ocala: “Big hammock” in Timucua
  • Ohio: An Iroquois word for “beautiful river”
  • Oklahoma: A Choctaw word for “red people”
  • Oswego: An Iroquois word meaning “pouring-out place”
  • Picabo: From a native word meaning “silver water”
  • Seneca: A tribe of Iroquois people based in the New York region
  • Shania: An Ojibwa name meaning “I’m on my way”
  • Suwannee: From the Cherokee word sawani meaning “echo river”
  • Tahoe: This mighty lake’s name comes from the Washo word for “lake”
  • Tallulah: A Choctaw name that means “leaping water”
  • Tennessee: A Cherokee tribe name
  • Tequesta: Named after the Tequesta tribe
  • Texas: An indigenous word for “making friends” or “making allies”
  • Truckee: This famous river is named after a Paiute chief
  • Tuckahoe: This plant was used by Native Americans (specifically the Lenape) for food
  • Utah: Named after the local Ute people
  • Winona: A Sioux name meaning “firstborn daughter”
  • Wisconsin: A Native American word of disputed meaning, potentially “wild rushing channel”
  • Wyoming: Multiple meanings are attributed to the word, with the most common being “extensive plains” from a Leni-Lenape word
  • Yosemite: “Grizzly bear”
  • Yukon: “Great river”

Names from Native American Lore

dog in pine

Another option is to use the name of a creature featured in Native American lore for your doggo. As with any mythological dog name, it’s important to remain respectful and not use religious figures in jest or mockery. Check out these usable mutt monikers from Native American legends.

  • Amaroq: Inuit lore speaks of this humungous wolf that eats anyone reckless enough to hunt alone at night. This mighty moniker could work well on a large malamute or similar breed.
  • Laka: Laka is the goddess of Hula and the forest in Hawaiian mythology. She’d make a great namesake for a graceful doggo or outdoor maven of a mutt.
  • Moskim: This trickster rabbit is found in Mohican and Lenape lore. Said to be benevolent, he’s also somewhat silly, making him a good name for a goofy canine.
  • Nagi: In Dakota and Lakota legends, the Nagi is a spirit that has never been a man, so it’s untethered in this world, roaming free. This could be a good name for a free spirit of a pup who does his or her own thing more often than not.
  • Pukwudgie: This small creature of Wampanoag folklore is a shapeshifting, sometimes malevolent force known for trickery. The silly-sounding name would be an excellent match for an oddball dog with clownish antics.

Picking a Name For Your Dog

shepherd mix

Stumped on which name fits your floof or can’t come up with a great contender? Check out these quick tips for selecting a mutt moniker for your four-footer.

When picking your dog’s name:

  • Follow your heart: Ultimately, this is a name you will use daily, even if it eventually evolves into a tidal wave of nicknames. Go with a mutt moniker you love versus something trendy you may grow tired of.
  • Watch the syllables: Names that are too long are clunky to use, making it hard to efficiently issue commands to your canine or even call him without becoming tongue-tied. Worried a potential pup name is too long? Practice saying it a few times aloud and see how it feels.
  • Consider other household names: Sure, Max is a lovely name, but if you have another dog named Jax or a daughter named Maxine, it can get confusing. If you call one, all could come running, or you might get tripped up a time or two when summoning one over.
  • Don’t shy away from creativity: A popular name is popular for a reason, but it can be a real headache at the dog park if you call your Buddy over and five other floofs follow. A more unique twist on the name like Amigo, Amico, or Freund offers the same “buddy” meaning without the popularity.
  • Eye up your interests: Often, the best canine namesakes are right under your nose in what you enjoy most: your hobbies! A football player might like Blitz or Pocket, while a reader would love literary dog names like Austen, Hemingway, or Tolkien.
  • Test names out: Every name needs a trial run to see how it fits. Practice calling your pup over with the name, or imagine making a vet appointment with the moniker. Does it feel right? You only know if you try! A day or two of name trial won’t confuse your canine too much. Ultimately, if the name is not a good fit, you can try another!

For more helpful tips and tricks, see our full article How to Pick Your Dog’s Name.

Native American Dog Breeds

Alaskan huskies

Several dog breeds that are still around today have Native American roots. Let’s meet some of these notable native doggos.

Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan malamute

This big, furry sled dog was developed by an Inuit tribe called the Mahlemiut, giving the breed its moniker. Speed wasn’t the goal with this doggo, but strength was, as demonstrated by his size. Coming in at a maximum of 85 pounds and standing up to 25 inches at the back, he’s designed to haul heavy loads across tough terrain, with much of this working drive still running deep in the breed.

Daily exercise is important for Malamutes, though they’re not as off-the-wall hyper as huskies. A long walk or hike paired with backyard play will do.

The most challenging part of the Malamute is handling his dense coat that sheds tremendously a few times yearly. It leaves massive hair tumbleweeds around your house, requiring daily brushing during these times to control the shed. Luckily, he’s one of the easier breeds to train, though socialization is essential, as his natural watchdog instincts can leave him wary of newcomers.

Canadian Inuit Dog

Canadian Inuit dog

Also called the Greenland dog and Canadian Eskimo dog, this large canine dates back thousands of years to the Thule people. While similar in appearance to the Alaskan Malamute, Siberian husky, and Alaskan husky, he’s a distinct breed. He has a dense, double coat like other cold-weather dog breeds, insulating him against the bitter cold of the Arctic region. This sheds heavily seasonally, so he’s a poor match for neat freaks.

As a sled dog at heart, he needs daily physical and mental exercise to stay content. It must be more than a stroll around the block, too, or he’ll act out his frustrations around the house, sometimes redecorating by shredding your curtains or couch. He’s a great candidate for hiking, jogging, or dog joring.

Carolina Dog

Carolina dog

Sometimes called the American dingo or Dixie dingo, this multi-monikered mutt is an ancient breed that descended from canines that accompanied the first humans who traveled to the Americas over the Bering land bridge from Asia. He’s still pretty primitive in many ways, and he remains independent and reserved around strangers. Proper training and socialization are essential, with a focus on positive reinforcement, as aversive methods will damage your bond and his spirit.

This is a medium-sized pup, weighing between 30 and 55 pounds and standing a maximum of 19.5 inches at the shoulder. He comes in an array of colors, too, including black, buff, and yellow. He’s an easy keeper when it comes to grooming, only needing occasional brushing and bathing as needed. Moderate daily exercise is also important in keeping him in tip-top shape.



As sassy as he is sweet, the Chihuahua is a surprise Native American breed to many. This pint-sized cutie is an ancestor of the Techichi, a larger version beloved by the Toltec people of Mexico. Over time, the Techichi was bred down in size, especially by the Aztecs, forming the foundation of the breed we know and love today.

The Chihuahua is the epitome of a big dog in a small package, packing a ton of attitude in his six-pound-or-less frame. He’s one of the best lap dogs around and an excellent canine for traveling, loving nothing more than taking on the world at your side. That said, proper training and socialization are vital with a Chihuahua, as building his confidence helps avoid small dog syndrome. Due to his fragility, he’s best matched with adults-only families or those with teenaged children.



Also called the Xolo for short, this hairless pup is named after the Nahuatl god Xolotl and hails from Mexico. The breed comes in toy, miniature, and standard sizes, weighing anywhere from 10 to 55 pounds. They’re also a relatively long-lived dog breed, thriving for up to 18 years in some cases.

As expected, his hairless nature makes grooming easier, but he’ll need sunscreen to avoid sunburn. Potential health issues include dental problems, eye disorders, and joint issues, including hip dysplasia and luxating patellas.

Temperament-wise, the Xolo is affectionate and playful, but he’s not always a good match for families with kids if he’s on the small side. He’s known to be friendly, though it’s important to focus on early training and socialization to build his confidence and avoid nuisance barking.

Native American Dog Names: FAQ

mixed breed running in field

Do you still have questions about Native American dog names? Check out these most commonly asked questions about them and the corresponding answers.

What is the Native American word for coyote?

“Coyote” has a different name in each tribe. The Nahua people call it the “coyotl,” and the Navajo use the word “máii.” Coyotes are often described as tricksters in Native American legends.

What is the Cherokee name for dog?

The Cherokee word for “dog” is “gi-tli.” That could make a cool canine name! The Cherokee word for “wolf” is “wa ya.”

What is the Navajo name for dog?

The Navajo word for “dog” is “łééchąąʼí.” This is pronounced like “laych-eye.”

What is the Sioux word for dog?

The word for “dog” is “sunka” in the Lakota language. The Dakota tribe also uses “cunka.” The Lakota and Dakota tribes make up the Sioux people.

What is the Choctaw word for dog?

The Choctaw word for “dog” is “ofi’.” While cute in sound, Ofi’ might be a confusing mutt moniker if you use “off” as a command.


Do any of the Native American dog names we listed match your new pup? Is there another we missed that your doggo has? Share with us in the comments! We’d love to hear!

Interested in more dog names from around the world? Check out our lists of Korean dog names, Chinese dog names, and Roman dog names for more namespiration.

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Written by

Meg Marrs

Meg Marrs is the Founder and Director of Marketing at K9 of Mine. She is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! She loves iced coffee, hammocks, and puppy-cuddling!


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