Bear Names – Naming Your Strong Dog

Picture of a Grizzly Bear

Do you have a strong reaction to bears? Some people fear the sight of them while others are drawn to them. For some people, the sight of cubs playing elicits smiles and laughter. Or, you might be nervous about mama bear lurking nearby. Or, maybe bears put you in mind of that wonderful childhood friend, the teddy bear!

If you are a bear lover, there are numerous bear-themed names that make excellent names for a dog.

What you need to know about bears

There are three kinds of bears found in North America: the American black bear (which isn’t always black); the grizzly or brown bear; and the polar bear. The black bear can be shades of black, brown, or white at times. It is found in 40 of the 50 United States and in all of the provinces and territories of Canada except Prince Edward Island. This species is not endangered and its numbers are increasing. While black bears are a respectable size (200-300 pounds), they usually are the smallest of the three kinds of bears found in North America. However, some black bears can be very large, weighing up to 800 pounds.

Grizzly bears are found in the mountain west of the United States – Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and Washington. They are also found in British Columbia, Alberta, the Yukon, and the Northwest Territories in Canada. Along coastal areas, grizzly bears are often called brown bears or Kodiak bears. Male grizzly bears usually weigh between 300-650 pounds, but this can vary.

Because of their coat colors, which can be similar in some animals, and the overlap in their sizes, it can be difficult to tell the difference between an American black bear and a grizzly at times.

Polar bears live in the northern parts of Canada, Alaska, Russia, Norway, and Greenland. There are currently estimated to be between 22,000-25,000 polar bears in the world and their population is considered to be stable. They are considered to be a “vulnerable” species. Male polar bears can weigh nearly 1000 pounds.

While you probably won’t see a polar bear in the lower 48 states, it’s not uncommon for hikers and others to see bears. Visitors to national parks may see them or, if you live in wooded areas or even near farmland, bears may roam around. Gatlinburg, Tennessee, near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, has many sightings of American black bears each year. Some bears even break into cars and cabins, looking for snacks.

The bear personality

People who understand bears say that they are intelligent, social creatures. They are gentle and tolerant – at least with other bears. Mother bears are protective, devoted, and affectionate with their cubs. Cubs and even older bears enjoy playing. Bears have a hierarchy for social behavior. They are also said to be able to distinguish between human behavior that is threatening or non-threatening.

Bears have very strong senses, with an excellent sense of smell and hearing. They can see in color and have vision similar to human vision. They are also fast and powerful.

Bear names

If you have a dog that has some of these bear-like qualities or that reminds you of a bear in some way, there are many good names you can choose.

Arcadia or ArcadiusDerived from the Greek word Arktos which means bear
ArktosIn Greek, it means bear
ArmelFrom Arthmael, Old Breton for bear chief or warrior prince
ArtShort for Arthur, which in Celtic, means bear-man
ArtairThe Scottish version of the Celtic name Arthur
ArthfaelWelsh form of Arthmael
ArthmaelMeans bear chief in Old Breton
ArthurMeans bear man, also means strong as a bear
ArtiePet form of Arthur
Arto or ArttuThe Finnish version of Artie
ArtoriusLatin form of Arthur
ArtturiFinnish form of Arthur
ArturEarly English form of Arthur
ArturasLithuanian version of Arthur
ArturoSpanish and Italian form of Arthur
ÅsbjörnMeans divine bear in Swedish
AvonacoCheyenne, lean bear
BarneyEnglish pet form of Bernard
BearnardGaelic form of Bernard
BenatBasque form of Bernard
BeornheardAn Anglo-Saxon version of Bernard
BeowulfA metaphorical expression in Old English that means bear
BerYiddish name that means bear
BeraMeans she-bear in German
BerdineShortened form of Bernardine, the feminine version of Bernard in French
BerendLow German form of Bernhard
BerengarItalian name meaning bear-spear, derived from the Latin name Berengarius
BerengariaFeminine form of Berengarius
BerengariusLatin, bear-spear
BerengerOld French form of Berengarius
BeringarIn Old German, “ber” means bear and “ger” means spear, hence the name means bear-spear
BernadetteFeminine form of Bernard
Bernadine or BernardineMeans bold as a bear, feminine form of Bernard
BernardMeans bold as a bear in Anglo-Saxon and Norman French
BernardinoItalian pet form for Bernardo
BernarditaSpanish feminine version of Bernardo
BernardoSpanish and Italian form of Bernardus
BernardusLatin form of Bernhard
BernatCatalan form of Bernardus
Bernd or BerndtLow German name meaning bold as a bear
Bernhard or BernhardtOld High German name meaning bold as a bear
BernieEnglish pet form of Bernard
BernouDutch, sacred female bear
BernatHungarian form of Bernhard
BiornaGaelic name meaning bear
BjarneThe modern form of Bjorn, also means bear
BjarniIcelandic form of Bjorn
BjornOld Norse name meaning bear
BjörneSwedish pet form of Björn
ChyanneMeans loving bear
CinnamonIn reference to the cinnamon bear, a subspecies of the American Black Bear
DovIt means bear in Yiddish and Hebrew
DurojAlbanian, bear
EnyetoMiwok, it refers to someone who walks like a bear
EspenThe Swedish name meaning divine bear, derived from Old Norse Ásbjorn
GlacierIn reference to the glacier bear, a subspecies of the American Black Bear that has gray or silver-blue hair
GobiA brown bear, this species is found only in the Gobi desert
GrizzlyIn reference to the grizzly bear, which has a grizzled fur color
HonawHopi, tbear
IbatuMaltese word for bear
IomairScots-Gaelic, bear
K’eyushInuit, bear cub
KumaJapanese, bear
KurukPawnee, bear
MahonDerived from the Irish Gaelic name Mathuin, it means bear calf
MathuinFrom the Old Gaelic Mathghamhain, the name means bear calf
MatoskahIn Sioux, the name refers to a white bear
MechoIn Bulgarian, this is a pet name for a teddy bear
MonarchA Californian wild grizzly bear
NadineGerman, the courage of a bear
Nanook or NanukIn Eskimo mythology, it refers to the master of bears; also means polar bear in Inuit
NitaIt means bear in Native American Choctaw
NokoskiIt means bear in Seminole
OrsinaFemale form of Orsino, an Italian name that means bear-like
OrsinoFrom the Latin Ursinus
OrsoItalian form of Ursus, the Roman Latin word for bear
OrsolaMeans she-bear in Italian, from the Latin name Ursula
OrsolyaHungarian form of Ursula
OrsonDerived from Old Norman French, it means little bear or bear cub
OsbeornAnglo-Saxon name meaning divine bear
OsbourneA variant of Osborn
OtsoFinnish, bear
OursFrench, bear
PandaGiant pandas also belong to the same family as bears
PrebenShortened form of the Danish name Predbjørn
PredbjørnA Danish name that means magnificent bear
SapataMiwok, dancing bear
SunThe Sun Bear is found in Southeast Asian forests
TaqukaqInuit, grizzly bear
TarbenOld Norse, it means Thor’s bear or thunder bear
Thorben or ThorbernDanish name derived from Tarben, also means Thor’s bear
ThorbjornNorwegian variant of Thorbern
ThorburnScottish variant of Thorbern
TuretiLithuanian, bear
TuriSpanish and Celtic, bear
UffoGerman, wild bear
UrolaRussian, little bear
UrsFrom the Latin Ursus, the German name that means bear
UrsaShortened form of Ursula
Ursala or UrsulaLatin, it means little she-bear
UrselGerman form of Ursula
UrsellaEnglish variant form of Ursula
Ursina or UrsineVariant of Ursula
UrsinusDerived from the Latin word Ursus, it is a Roman name that means bear-like
UrsusDerived from Ursus, it is a Roman name that means bear
UschiA German name that means little she-bear, the pet form of Ursel
UzumatiNative American Miwok, grizzly bear
VorsilaGreek, bear
WahkoowahSioux, charging bear
WybornScandinavian, war bear
YonaCherokee, bear

Saying Bear in European Languages

Many of these “bear” words from other languages would make interesting and unique names.

LanguageWays to say bear









Saying Bear in Asian Languages

LanguageWays to say bear

Saying Bear in African Languages

LanguageWays to say bear

Saying Bear in Austronesian Languages

LanguageWays to say bear

Saying Bear in Other Foreign Languages

LanguageWays to say bear
Haitian Creolepote

Famous bears

You can probably think of many famous bears. Here are some that we thought of. Some of these names would be very cute as dog names.

Smokey Bear

Fozzie Bear

Yogi Bear

Baboo (The Jungle Book)

Winnie The Pooh

Knut The Polar Bear

Chicago Bears, Chicago Cubs or some of their players, if you are a sports fan

Memphis Grizzlies or some of their players, if you are a basketball fan


If you have a dog that reminds you of a strong, powerful bear in some way, why not consider one of these names? You could go old school and choose a name from history that means “bear.” Or, choose a unique name from another language that will have your friends scratching their heads! Whatever you choose, bears have many fascinating qualities and we hope that you and your dog find the perfect name.


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