Ways To Say Dog In French

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Written By Jessica Knight

Founder of Linguatics. Passionate multilinguist.

Are you learning French and want to expand your vocabulary? Well, you’re in luck! In this article, we’re going to explore various ways to say ‘dog’ in French.

From commonly used terms to regional and literary expressions, you’ll discover a whole new world of canine vocabulary. So, whether you’re looking to have a casual conversation about man’s best friend or impress your French-speaking friends with your linguistic skills, this article has got you covered.

You’ll learn that the most commonly used term for ‘dog’ in French is ‘chien,’ but did you know that there are also formal terms like ‘canine’ and informal terms like ‘toutou’? We’ll even delve into regional terms like ‘médor’ in Paris and ‘cabot’ in Southern France.

So, get ready to dive into the fascinating world of French dog names and expand your linguistic repertoire.

Commonly Used Term: "Chien"

You’ll often hear the word ‘chien’ when you’re in France. It’s like a little bell that rings in your ears whenever someone mentions a dog.

This word is the most commonly used term for dog in French. It is simple, concise, and widely understood by native speakers.

So if you’re ever in France and you want to talk about a dog, just remember to say ‘chien’ and you’ll be understood.

Formal Term: "Canine"

Contractions are commonly used to refer to the formal term for ‘canine’ in the French language. Instead of saying ‘le chien,’ which is the commonly used term, you can use ‘le canidé.’ This term sounds more formal and precise.

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It is important to note that ‘le canidé’ is not as commonly used in everyday conversation. However, it is more frequently used in formal or scientific contexts.

Informal Term: "Toutou"

Don’t forget, when talking about man’s best friend in a more casual manner, you can use the informal term ‘toutou’ in French.

It’s a cute and endearing way to refer to a dog. The term ‘toutou’ is commonly used by children or in friendly conversations.

It adds a playful tone to your speech and shows affection towards our furry companions.

So next time you want to talk about your dog in French, remember to use the term ‘toutou’!

Regional Term (Paris): "Médor"

Parisians have a unique way of referring to their beloved dogs, using the regional term ‘Médor’ to add a touch of local charm to their conversations.

This term is exclusively used in Paris and is a popular choice among locals when talking about their furry companions.

It is a term that reflects the affection and closeness Parisians feel towards their dogs, showcasing the special bond they share with their four-legged friends in the city of love.

Regional Term (Southern France): "Cabot"

Indulge in the local charm of southern France by referring to your beloved canine companion as a ‘Cabot’. This term exudes the rich cultural heritage and affectionate bond shared between residents and their four-legged friends in this enchanting region.

In southern France, ‘Cabot’ is a regional term used to affectionately describe dogs. By using this term, you will not only embrace the linguistic diversity of France but also showcase your appreciation for the unique traditions and customs of the southern region.

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Slang Term: "Cafard"

Feeling down and in need of a pick-me-up? Well, if you’re in France, you might hear locals refer to that feeling as having a case of the ‘cafard’.

This slang term is commonly used to describe a state of sadness or depression. It’s an interesting way to express feeling blue, and it adds a touch of local flavor to the language.

So, if you ever find yourself feeling a bit low in France, just remember, it’s called having the ‘cafard’.

Literary Term: "Milou"

So you’ve learned a slang term for dog in French, ‘Cafard’.

But did you know that there’s also a literary term for our furry friends?

Meet ‘Milou’, the beloved white Wire Fox Terrier from the famous comic series Tintin.

Created by Hergé, Milou is Tintin’s loyal companion, always by his side on their thrilling adventures.

This literary term adds a touch of elegance and charm to the word ‘dog’ in French.

Poetic Term: "Loulou"

Loulou, a poetic term in French, evokes a sense of endearment and tenderness, capturing the essence of a beloved canine companion. This term is often used to express affection towards dogs, emphasizing their playful and loyal nature.

It conveys a deep bond between humans and their furry friends, highlighting the joy and companionship they bring. Loulou beautifully encapsulates the special connection between humans and dogs, celebrating the unconditional love they share.

Affectionate Term: "Toutoune"

Now let’s delve into another term that the French use to express affection for their beloved companions: ‘Toutoune.’

This endearing term is often used to refer to a dog, emphasizing the bond and love between the owner and their furry friend. It’s a playful and intimate way to address your beloved pet, creating a warm and affectionate atmosphere.

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So next time you want to shower your dog with love, call them ‘Toutoune’ and watch their tail wag with joy.

Diminutive Term: "P’tit Chou

‘Toutoune’ is an adorable term, but have you heard of the diminutive term ‘P’tit Chou’?

This charming expression is often used to refer to a small and cute dog in French. ‘P’tit Chou’ literally translates to ‘little cabbage,’ and it conveys a sense of endearment and affection.

It’s a playful way to show love for your furry friend. So next time you want to express your adoration for your dog, try calling them ‘P’tit Chou’!


In conclusion, the French language offers a variety of ways to say ‘dog.’ The commonly used term is ‘chien,’ while the formal term is ‘canine.’

If you’re looking for a more informal term, you can use ‘toutou.’

In Paris, the regional term for dog is ‘médor,’ while in Southern France it is ‘cabot.’

If you’re feeling literary, you can use ‘milou,’ and for a poetic touch, ‘loulou’ is a great option.

Lastly, if you want to express affection, ‘toutoune’ is the way to go.

So, whether you’re speaking formally or informally, there’s a term for every dog lover in French.