Scandinavian dog names: fun ideas for your new puppy

If you’re already a dog owner, or are thinking about becoming one, why not choose a Scandinavian name for your pooch? 

Why not choose a Scandinavian name for your dog?
Photo by Pxhere (CC)


Dog names with their roots in Norway, Denmark and Sweden are becoming increasingly popular among pet owners who want their dog’s name to stand out from the crowd. 

After all, shouting ‘Dave’ after your dog just doesn’t have the same ring to it as ‘Floki’ or ‘Odin’.

Why choose a Scandinavian name for your dog?

The Scandinavian countries are known for having a high quality of life, a strong sense of culture and community, and a peaceful, natural environment.

Choosing a Scandinavian name for your dog is cool
Stig Nygaard (CC)

Those could all be good things to encourage now that you have a new furry family member.

Many traditional names from Scandinavia are also nicely suited to dogs. Lots of the most popular Scandi dog names are simple and just two syllables long, making them perfect for those long, loud calls when they run away. 

And let’s face it – another big reason for choosing a Scandinavian dog name is that they just sound…cool. Why wouldn’t you want your four-legged friend to be named after a powerful god or goddess, or some Viking Age king? 

Many traditional names from Scandinavia are well suited to dogs.
Alex Berger (CC)

If you have family ties to Scandinavia, choosing a Nordic name for your dog makes a lot of sense too.

Every time you see your little four-legged pal wagging its tail, you’ll be reminded of your heritage (until it’s time to go walkies again).

Should you choose a first name or a surname for your pooch?

If you live in an English-speaking country, you might get away with using a Scandinavian first name and or traditional Nordic second name for your dog.

For example, Björn (meaning bear) is one of the most popular boy names in Norway. It might be a bit of an odd choice for a dog living in Norway, but it could be just perfect for a cuddly new pup growing up in the UK or the USA.

Bjorn means 'bear' in Sweden and could be a great name for a fluffy St Bernard dog

On the other hand, a traditional Nordic second name like Olsson could be a cute, fun alternative that gives a subtle nod to Scandinavian culture.

Meaning is everything

Before rushing to a decision about what to call your doggie, it’s important to consider the meaning behind the name. 

Loki is a fun Scandinavian name for a dog – he was the god of mischief!
Ninara (CC)

Many Scandinavian names have direct translations and may even be associated with a particular type of breed. 

The name Loki, for example, is derived from Norse mythology and may be associated with a mischievous pup. 

If your dog is one of the Scandinavian breeds, try something that matches. ‘Swedie’ could be a fun name for a Swedish vallhund, for example, or perhaps you could name your Norwegian buhund ‘Boo’.

Other names that are super popular in Scandinavia – and which wouldn’t cause a single raised eyebrow in the Nordic countries – might be best avoided in English-speaking countries. Unless you like the idea of shouting ‘Fanny’ in the park, that is.

The top 10 Scandinavian names for dogs

To help you pick a name that fits the personality of your pooch, here are some of the most popular Viking and Scandinavian names for dogs:

  • Freja – meaning ‘lady’ in Norse
  • Odin – meaning ‘ruler of the gods’ in Norse
  • Axel – meaning ‘father of peace’ in Swedish
  • Saga – meaning ‘story’ in Swedish
  • Rolf – meaning ‘famous wolf’ in Old Norse
  • Bjorn – meaning ‘bear’ in Swedish
  • Sigrid – meaning ‘victory’ in Old Norse
  • Kalle – meaning ‘strong and manly’ in Swedish
  • Ingrid – meaning ‘beauty’ in Old Norse
  • Lars – meaning ‘renowned warrior’ in Scandinavian

Female Scandinavian dog names

  • Anniken – meaning ‘grace’ in Old Norse
  • Frida – meaning ‘peace’ in Old Norse
  • Gunhild – meaning ‘fight’ in Norse
  • Henrika – meaning ‘ruler of the home’ in Old German and Swedish 
  • Lauha – meaning ’gentle’ or ‘mild’ in Finnish
  • Lilja – meaning ‘lily’ in Swedish and Finnish
  • Rana – meaning ‘nobility’ in Norse
  • Sirke – meaning ‘perky’ or ‘lively’ in Finnish
  • Tova – meaning ‘beautiful Thor’ in Norse
  • Ylva – meaning ‘female wolf’ in Old Norse

Male Scandinavian dog names

  • Armas – meaning ‘beloved’ in Finnish
  • Arne – meaning ‘eagle’ in Old Norse
  • Baldar – meaning ‘prince’ in Norse and Icelandic
  • Flykra – meaning ‘snowflake’ in Norse
  • Enar – meaning ‘fighter’ in Old Norse
  • Loki – the Viking god of mischief
  • Onni – meaning ‘luck’ in Finnish
  • Sven – meaning “boy” or “lad’ in Danish and Norwegian
  • Ulf – meaning “wolf’ in Norwegian
  • Vaito – meaning ‘silent one’ in Finnish

Need more suggestions? Check out these guides:

Finnish names for boys
Finnish names for girls
Icelandic names for boys
Icelandic names for girls
Swedish names for boys
Swedish names for girls
Norwegian names for boys
Norwegian names for girls
Cool Viking names for boys
Cool Viking names for girls

With so many unique and beautiful options, you’ll be sure to find the perfect fit for your furry friend!

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