What is a Male Dog Called?

By Kevin Myers | 2020 Update

What nickname have you chosen for your pooch? Most dog parents we know have at least three. Of course, that doesn’t mean the canine will deign to respond to any of them. In any case, whether the names are for your satisfaction or not, here are some terrific black dog names to tide you over.

But that’s not the only thing you came here for. Most of us are familiar with the term to use for a female dog. Flip the genders of a pooch, though, and confusion ensues. So, what do you officially call them? Do we use the same term for both genders? Namely, if a female dog is a bitch then what is a male dog?

In-depth research from our side showed that things aren’t as simple. What you’d call a male dog will depend on several factors. Some of them are:

  • Which stage of life are they in?
  • What country are you in
  • If the pet is neutered or not

The Simplest Answer

Simply put, a standard male dog is just a dog! But when you bring in the technicalities, that changes. The word, dog, is suited to canines that aren’t used for breeding and haven’t fathered any young. That’s similar to a female dog called bitch unless she’s borne puppies. Then, she becomes a dam.

Once, though, male dogs were also referred to as curs. However, just as the word, bitch, has negative connotations attached to it, so does cur. In fact, it was also an insult used for men. Thankfully, we see less usage of this term today in the cases of both men and dogs.

Most Popular Dogs in the World (1885-2019)

Most Popular Dogs in the World (1885-2019)

Does It Matter Which Stage of Life They are in?

Sure, it does. As we all know, a younger male dog is a puppy. It is only after they grow up that the other specific names enter the picture!

How Does Breeding Change a Name?

As we mentioned above, a female dog is a bitch in general. But she becomes a dam in breeding technology. That term also comes into use when listing her pedigree. In the same way, breeding terminology differs for male dogs too.

Prior to fathering young, male breeding dogs are stud dogs or studs. Once they father a litter, they become sires. The same term is used when listing a male dog’s pedigree.

What’s more, you shouldn’t use the word, sire, to indicate any dog that has fathered litters in the past. More accurately, sire is in reference to a specific litter. As in the litter they have just had when you’re talking about them.

How Can I Avoid Looking Like a Weirdo?

In addition, it would seem weird to your neighbors, if you began referring to your pooch — or theirs’ — as a sire. Therefore, only make use of these terms when talking about breeding or discussing pedigree.

So, instead of spouting, My dog is a sire, only say, This dog is this litter’s sire. That is a much better response to someone who asks about the gender of the dog you own. And, sure, it can be confusing but we have a nifty solution to prevent that.

Unless you’re talking to a breeder — or an official of a canine judging contest — stick to the terminology that you think is most suitable. That means, boy dog is good a term as any other.

What Will I Do When I Am In Another Country?

Unsurprisingly, you’ll find different names for male dogs are in use in different English-speaking areas. The culture and the environment of a place will determine the name they have for male dogs.

For instance, a male dog is called a rude in the UK. When you travel to the Australian countryside, though, that word is replaced with mongrel. You won’t necessarily find the urbanites calling their male dogs mongrels there. It is mostly in use in the rural areas of Australia.

So, What Honorific Do I Use When I Call Buddy?

For people who come across other breeders, sticking to sire and dam is best. They apply to both pedigree and breeding. But not all breeders will take the word to mean what you want it to mean.

In that case, use these words to avoid confusion when referring to a certain canine:

  • Male or Female
  • Neutered (males) or Spayed (females)

Other Related Questions

Sire or Not, Does My Male Dog Go into Heat?

The short answer to this is: no. Estrus — heat — is a stage in the reproductive cycle of female dogs. Generally, that’s when they begin noticing male canines and signal they might be interested in mating. The American Kennel Club, says that male pooches don’t enter estrus. Instead, they become fertile when they’re six months old. After that, they can conceive at any time.

So, They Don’t Go into Heat. But Should I Separate from Female Dogs in Estrus?

Female scent signalling is vital for several reproductive reasons. Therefore, when a female dog enters estrus, she will produce hormones. When your male dog scents them, it could drive a pooch to distraction. Intact male dogs shouldn’t be left with females in heat if you aren’t in the mood to juggle puppies.

You can distract them with independent exercise and activity. Some pheromone sprays can also keep a male dog’s attention away from the females. But we’d suggest speaking to the vet before using those.

Now I Know What to Call a Male Dog. But What Do I Name Mine? And What Does it Mean?

You’ve become familiar with the technical terms that breeders will use for male dogs. Additionally, you also know what a male dog is called in different regions of the English-speaking world. But knowing the term and giving your canine companion a nickname are two different things. That’s where this amazing list of funny dog names comes in!

Furthermore, here are the meanings behind names most commonly used for canines in the US:


With German origins, the name Charlie denotes masculinity and strength. Usually, it suits dogs who are friendly, warm, and loyal-hearted. It will also be great for playful pooches who like chewing and fetching games.


The Max’s of the canine world owe their title to the Latin language. Mostly, they love company and adore petting. A Max is also independent and knows how to keep itself from entering over-aggressive territory.


As you suspect, this honorific is wholly American. It means a messenger. Buddy’s are often mixed breeds. You’ll find them occupying the homes of dog lovers who just want a pooch to spoil. So, these good-hearted individuals will adopt from shelters and off the streets. Buddies are generally loyal and cute.


The name originates from the French language. Mostly, Ollies and Oliver’s are independent and peace-loving pets. But it is hard for them to remain calm, particularly when they spy something interesting. That’s when they really get excited!


This name has roots in Hebrew and means, a listener. Bestow it on your canine if they’re sensitive but playful and entertaining. A dog called Sammy is ideal for quiet and introverted dog parents.


This special name doesn’t just indicate fortune; it also means happiness. We’d recommend giving it to a pooch who has seen some ordeals in their life. New additions that end up in your family from a shelter will carry this name well. Sometimes, the owners will name their dog Lucky because they think that the dog will bring fortune to their family. Other times, they use it so the unfortunate dog will become lucky after living a hard life.


We sincerely hope that this article will clear up any confusion you have about what a male dog is called. Moreover, we also think, the next time someone asks what are boy dogs called, you can tell them too!

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