How Do You Say Dog in German? (And Learn Some Basic Dog Commands in German!)
Germany is a very dog-friendly country. You very rarely get to see the sign “No dogs allowed” there. One of the common stereotypes about Germans is that they are disciplined. It looks like their dogs are disciplined as well!
In today’s article, you will learn how to say “dog” in German. They are welcome members of German society. Sometimes, it might even look like Germans get on with their dogs better than with their fellow citizens.
Don’t forget to take a look at our unique German Frequency Dictionary series. You will learn only practical vocabulary listed by frequency and alphabet. Learning new vocabulary by frequency is a great way to learn a language effectively!
How Do You Say Dog in German
The word for dog in German is quite simple and short, which is rather surprising considering what language we are talking about. It is (der) Hund. It is pronounced [hʊnt] in the IPA transcription. It has the same origin as the English hound, and the plural form is Hunde.
How to Translate “Good Dog” into German
The phrase braver Hund does not mean a brave or braver dog. Brav means good in the meaning well-behaved. Say it if you want to praise a German-speaking dog.
Standard Dog Commands in German
It is not uncommon to hear English-speaking owners to use commands in the German language when they train or call their dogs. Police dogs in the United States usually speak German as well. This is partly connected to the tradition of them being trained in Germany, but it also ensures someone else does not accidentally give them a command by mistake.
Let’s take a look at some of the basic commands in German:
- Sitz! – Sit! (Sitz is the 2nd person singular imperative form of sitzen – to sit. It is pronounced [ˈzɪts].)
- Platz! – Place! (Platz (M) means place but also a square or a seat. Its pronunciation is [plats].)
- Bleib! – Stay! (Bleib is the imperative of bleiben – to stay. It is pronounced [blaip])
- Steh! – Stand! (The infinitive form of steh is stehen – to stand. It is pronounced [ʃteː].)
- Aus! – Drop it! (Aus is a preposition meaning “from” or “out of.” Its pronunciation is [aʊs].)
- Bring! – Fetch! (The infinitive is bringen – to bring or to fetch. The imperative form is pronounced [bʁɪŋ] in the IPA transcription.)
Names of Dog Breeds in German
The majority of police dogs are German shepherds. They are called deutscher Schäferhund or deutsche Schäferhunde in the plural.
How do Germans call other dog breeds? Dachshund is clearly a name of German origin. It literally means “badger dog.” Germans sometimes call dachshunds Dackel. The same goes for Schnauzer (der Schnauzer).
Other names include:
- Der Pudel – Poodle
- Die Deutsche Dogge – Great Dane or German Mastiff
- Der Neufundländer – Newfoundland Dog
- Der Irische Wolfshund – Irish Wolfhound
Other breeds have similar names in German and in English, such as der Retriever, der Foxterrier, or der Boxer.
How Do Germans Call Their Own Pets
The most popular dog names are, for example, Adler (meaning eagle), Bach (der Bach is a stream but also a surname of Johann Sebastian Bach), Heinrich (the German equivalent of Henry), or Siegfried (meaning victorious peace).
Let’s take a look at some other popular names for dogs in Germany
- Kaiser (der Kaiser is the emperor)
- Stein (der Stein is the stone)
- Albern (albern means crazy)
They often use standard human names for dogs as well, such as
What Do Dogs Do in German
They have amazing abilities and can be trained to perform countless tasks. What are the common verbs related to dogs?
- One of their favorite pastimes is barking. In German, you would say for example: Bellen diese Hunde? – Do these dogs bark?
- They can growl, too: Fritz knurrte mich an. – Fritz growled at me.
- Have you ignored the warning signs? Der Postbote wurde von deinem Pudel gebissen. – The postman was bitten by your poodle. Gebissen is the past participle of beißen (to bite). Don’t forget to change the sharp S (ß) into “ss” in the past forms of this verb (beißen – biss – gebissen).
- If you don’t want any unpleasant surprises in unexpected places, you should take it for a walk regularly. Könntest du bitte Adler morgen früh ausführen? – Could you take Adler out for a walk tomorrow morning?
- Happy dogs wag their tails. In German, you would say, for example, er wedelt mit dem Schwanz.
Dog-related Idioms in German
We have already established that they play an essential part in the daily life of most Germans. It’s no wonder, there are countless idioms and sayings about them. Let’s look into the most common ones.
Hunde, die bellen, beißen nicht
Barking dogs seldom bite. Like in English, it is used for people who make threats but rarely carry them out.
Ein Hundeleben führen
Ro lead a dog’s life. It means that someone has a miserable life. Of course, the dog in question is not from Germany in this case. They lead a wonderful life there!
Sie vertragen sich wie Hund und Katze
They fight like cats and dogs. The (lack of) love between cats and dogs does not require further explanation.
Viele Hunde sind des Hasen Tod
Many hounds soon catch the hare. It means that there is not much one can do against many.
Da liegt der Hund begraben
This literally translates to “this is where the dog is buried.” It means that’s where the problem is.
Die Hunde bellen, die Karawane zieht weiter
The dogs bark, but the caravan passes. This saying is of Oriental origin and it is used in many languages. It means that progress goes on no matter the criticism it may attract.
It is such a simple word, and still, you can see how widely used it is. If you learn a foreign language, it helps to focus on words that are most commonly used. It will make it easier to understand the majority of all daily communication or written texts.
Our German Frequency Dictionaries are a great source if you want to boost your fluency fast. You will learn 10,000 most-used words in German together with their translation, pronunciation, and basic grammar information. Moreover, we have carefully selected 10,000 example sentences and translated them into English to show you word usage in context.