Ways To Say Dog In German

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Written By Jessica Knight

Founder of Linguatics. Passionate multilinguist.

Are you interested in learning how to say ‘dog’ in German? Look no further! In this article, we will explore various ways to express this furry companion in the German language.

From the standard term ‘Hund’ to more informal and endearing terms like ‘Wauwau’ and ‘Hündchen,’ you will discover a range of options to suit different contexts and preferences.

We will also delve into playful terms like ‘Wuffi,’ regional variations such as ‘Bello,’ and even delve into literary and old-fashioned terms like ‘Fellnase’ and ‘Köter.’

Additionally, you will explore breed-specific terms, such as ‘Dackel’ for Dachshunds, and slang terms like ‘Kläffer.’

By the end of this article, you will be equipped with a comprehensive understanding of the diverse ways to refer to man’s best friend in the German language.

So, let’s dive in and expand your German vocabulary for dogs!

The Standard Term: ‘Hund’

When it comes to the standard term for dog in German, it’s ‘Hund’. This word is widely recognized and commonly used by native German speakers. Hund refers to any type of dog, regardless of breed or size. It’s a straightforward and simple term that’s easy to remember and pronounce.

If you want to talk about dogs in German, using the word Hund is the way to go.

Informal Term: ‘Wauwau’

One of the cutest and most endearing ways to refer to man’s best friend in the German language is with the informal term ‘Wauwau’.

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This term is commonly used among friends and family to describe dogs. It has a playful and friendly tone, adding a sense of affection to the conversation.

‘Wauwau’ is a fun and lighthearted way to talk about dogs, making it a popular choice among German speakers.

Endearing Term: ‘Hündchen’

With its soft, gentle tone, the endearing term ‘Hündchen’ paints a picture of a small, fluffy companion nestled in the arms of its adoring owner.

This term is often used to describe a cute, little dog, emphasizing its small size and adorable nature. It conveys a sense of affection and tenderness, reflecting the strong bond between the dog and its owner.

‘Hündchen’ is a delightful way to refer to your beloved furry friend.

Playful Term: ‘Wuffi’

Imagine the joy in your heart when you playfully call your furry friend ‘Wuffi’ and their tail wags with pure excitement.

This playful term is a fun and endearing way to refer to a dog in German. ‘Wuffi’ captures the playful and energetic nature of our canine companions.

It’s a term that brings a smile to your face and creates a bond of affection between you and your beloved four-legged friend.

Regional Variation: ‘Bello’

When you affectionately call your furry companion ‘Bello’ in different regions, it adds a layer of cultural richness and diversity to your interactions.

‘Bello’ is a popular regional variation for ‘dog’ in many German-speaking areas, particularly in southern Germany and Austria. This term reflects the warm and friendly nature of dogs, and using it shows your appreciation for your canine friend.

Embrace the regional variations and immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of German dog terminology.

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Formal Term: ‘Vierbeiner’

Discover the elegance and sophistication of referring to your beloved furry friend as a ‘Vierbeiner’ – a formal term that showcases your appreciation for your canine companion.

This term, which translates to ‘four-legged creature,’ emphasizes the regality and grace of your dog. By using ‘Vierbeiner,’ you’re conveying a sense of respect and admiration for your loyal companion.

This formal term demonstrates your understanding and recognition of the importance and significance of your dog in your life.

Literary Term: ‘Fellnase’

Moving on from the formal term ‘Vierbeiner,’ let’s explore a more literary way to refer to a dog in German: ‘Fellnase.’ This term, which translates to ‘fur nose,’ is often used in literature to describe our furry friends. It evokes a sense of warmth and affection, highlighting the close bond we share with our dogs.

So, next time you want to refer to your dog in a more poetic manner, try using the term ‘Fellnase.’

Old-fashioned Term: ‘Köter’

An old-fashioned way to refer to man’s best friend in the German language is through the term ‘Köter,’ which brings a touch of nostalgia and rustic charm to the description of our loyal companions.

This term, although regarded as somewhat derogatory in modern times, was commonly used in the past to refer to dogs of mixed breed or street dogs.

It carries a certain ruggedness and authenticity, evoking images of dogs roaming the streets and countryside with a free spirit.

Breed-specific Term: ‘Dackel’ (Dachshund)

You’ll absolutely adore the unique charm of the German breed-specific term ‘Dackel’ when referring to the beloved Dachshund.

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This term perfectly captures the essence of this adorable breed with its long body, short legs, and inquisitive nature.

The word ‘Dackel’ carries a sense of affection and admiration, highlighting the Dachshund’s loyalty, intelligence, and playful personality.

It’s a term that truly encompasses the beauty and character of this wonderful breed.

Slang Term: ‘Kläffer

Imagine yourself walking down a bustling street in Germany, when suddenly you hear the distinctive sound of a ‘Kläffer’. A ‘Kläffer’ is a slang term for a small, yappy dog that barks incessantly. This term is often used to describe dogs with high-pitched barks, such as Chihuahuas or Yorkshire Terriers. ‘Kläffer’ is derived from the German word ‘kläffen’, which means to bark. So, if you happen to come across a ‘Kläffer’ in Germany, be prepared for some noisy encounters!


In conclusion, there are several ways to say ‘dog’ in German, each with its own unique connotations. The standard term, ‘Hund,’ is the most commonly used and understood. However, there are also informal terms like ‘Wauwau,’ endearing terms like ‘Hündchen,’ and playful terms like ‘Wuffi.’

Regional variations like ‘Bello’ and literary terms like ‘Fellnase’ add even more variety. It’s important to note that there are also old-fashioned terms like ‘Köter’ and breed-specific terms like ‘Dackel’ for Dachshunds. And finally, there’s a slang term, ‘Kläffer,’ which is used to refer to a barking dog.

With these different options, German speakers have a rich vocabulary to describe their furry friends.