When choosing a name for your dog, why not pick something that references one of your passions? Here are over 100 nautical names for dogs that cruise fans, boaters, and people who just enjoy the ocean will love.

I’ve hand-picked all of these names from the world of sailing ships, maritime literature and history, sea creatures, mythology, and bodies of water. This isn’t just a list of maritime words—you’ll find lots of great nautical names for girl dogs and boy dogs alike. Each includes the meaning or story behind it to help you choose the perfect name for your pup.

Check out my alphabetical list to find some nautical inspiration for naming your dog. Lots of these names will work well for other pets as well!

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Nautical dog names starting with A

Admiral

The commander in chief of a fleet of ships, or a naval officer of the highest rank.

Ahab

Captain Ahab, the protagonist of Melville’s Moby-Dick, was obsessed with the pursuit of a white whale.

Anchor

A device that holds a boat or ship from moving. Perfect for your steadfast companion!

Aqua

From the Latin for water, Aqua is a great name for dogs who love the ocean—or one with blue eyes!

Ariel

Everyone’s favorite Little Mermaid, Ariel is a pretty name for a female puppy.

Aruna

A sea god in Hittite mythology, Aruna was the son of the healing goddess Kamrusepa. Aruna is also the Hittite word for “sea”.

Nautical dog names starting with B

Bay

An inlet of the sea or other body of water in nautical terms, “bay” can also refer to the color of a reddish-brown animal.

Bayou

A marshy arm of a lake or river, Bayou can be a romantic, southern-style name for a boy or girl dog.

Beacher

Do you have visions of your dog romping in the sand as you walk along the beach? Consider this fun name for your new pup.

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Beacon

A guiding light, often from a lighthouse, to keep mariners safe and secure.

Bermuda

This lovely puppy name will bring back memories for anyone who’s traveled to the tiny island in the Atlantic.

Billy Budd

The handsome sailor from Herman Melville’s 1924 novella could be a good choice for your charismatic doggy. You can call him Billy or Buddy for short.

Bitt

A strong post that projects above the deck of a ship, used for securing cables or lines, Bitt is a strong, masculine name for your new dog.

Blackbeard

Are you adopting a furry black puppy? Blackbeard was the nickname of notorious pirate Edward Teach.

Boomer

Slang for a nuclear submarine armed with ballistic missiles, Boomer also makes a good name for a rambunctious dog.

Bosun

A variant of boatswain, the ship’s officer in charge of rigging and anchors.

Brig

A two-masted sailing ship, square-rigged on both masts.

Brizo

From the ancient Greek word βρίζω meaning “to slumber”, Brizo was an ancient Greek goddess known as the protector of mariners, sailors, and fishermen.

Nautical dog names starting with C

Captain

The leader or commander of a boat or ship.

Caravel

A small Spanish or Portuguese sailing vessel used during the Middle Ages.

Catalina

An island off the coast of southern California often visited by cruise ships.

Charon

In ancient Greek and Roman mythology, Charon was the ferryman who brought the souls of the dead across the Styx.

Clipper

A three-masted sailing ship built and rigged for speed.

Commodore

The officer in command of a convoy. Commodore is also used for the president or head of a yacht club.

Convoy

A ship or fleet accompanied by a protecting escort.

Cruise

This would be the perfect name for a cruise fanatic’s puppy! Cruiser is a similar alternative, and sounds a bit more unisex.

You may also like: 22 Inspirational Cruise Travel Quotes (With Photos)

Cuddy

A small room or cabin at the bow of a boat, especially one under the poop deck.

Cutter

A single-masted workboat built for speed.

Nautical dog names starting with D

Dory

A small boat with a flat bottom, high bow, and flaring sides. Dory is also the name of the forgetful blue tang from the Finding Nemo movies!

Nautical dog names starting with E

Ebisu

The Japanese god of fishermen and luck. Ebisu is considered one of the Seven Gods of Fortune.

Electra

In Greek mythology, Electra was an Oceanid, a water-nymph daughter of Oceanus and his sister-spouse Tethys. Electra comes from the ancient Greek Ἠλέκτρα Ēlektra meaning “amber”. This would be the perfect name for a caramel-colored female puppy!

Ensign

A naval flag or banner used to indicate nationality. Also a naval or Coast Guard officer.

Erasmus

St. Erasmus is the patron saint of sailors. He’s also sometimes called Elmo.

Nautical dog names starting with F

Fathom

A nautical unit of measurement equal to six feet (1.8 meters).

Nautical dog names starting with G

Gale

A very strong wind, usually used in a nautical context.

Galene

An ancient Greek goddess who personified calm seas. Galene is from the ancient Greek Γαλήνη, meaning “calm weather”.

Gilligan

The accident-prone first mate of the SS Minnow on the 1960s TV show Gilligan’s Island.

Grommet

A nautical term for a ring of fiber or wire used as a seal or gasket. Using an alternate spelling, Gromit is also the name of the beagle in the animated Wallace and Gromit films.

Growler

An iceberg large enough to be a navigational hazard. This could be a fitting name for certain dogs!

Gunner

A naval term for a person skilled in handling ammunition and gunnery equipment.

Guppy

A small freshwater fish often kept in aquariums. Guppy would make an adorable name for a small dog who loves to swim!

Nautical dog names starting with H

Halyard

A line used for hoisting a spar, sail, or flag into position on a ship.

Harbor

Part of a body of water along the shore, deep enough for anchoring a ship. A harbor is usually situated to provide protection from winds, waves, and currents.

Haven

A harbor or port that’s also a place of shelter and safety. Wouldn’t Harbor and Haven be adorable names for two littermates?

Hitch

An easily loosened knot or loop made to temporarily attach a rope to something on a ship.

Horatio

Horatio Hornblower is a fictional Royal Navy officer during the Napoleonic Wars in a series of novels by C. S. Forester.

Hudson

Both a river in New York and a bay in eastern Canada are named after Henry Hudson, the 17th-century English sea explorer and navigator.

Nautical dog names starting with I

Ishmael

The narrator in the maritime novel Moby-Dick by Herman Melville.

Nautical dog names starting with J

Jack Tar

A slang term for a sailor. Cute doggy nicknames could be Jackie or JT!

Jib

A triangular ship’s sail set forward of a forestaysail or fore-topmast staysail.

Jolly Roger

The iconic flag flown by pirates, with a white skull and crossbones on a black field.

Jonah

The biblical prophet who was thrown overboard from his ship and swallowed by a whale or large fish. Jonah stayed in its belly for three days before being cast onto the shore unharmed.

Nautical dog names starting with K

Kellet

A weight used to prevent a ship’s anchor from dragging in rough weather.

Nautical dog names starting with L

Lagoon

An area of shallow water separated from the sea by sandy dunes. The Italian version, Laguna, is a pretty alternative.

Laker

A ship that carries cargo on the Great Lakes of North America.

Nautical dog names starting with M

Magellan

Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan discovered what is now called the Strait of Magellan and was the first European to sail across the Pacific Ocean.

Marina

A boat basin offering dockage and services for small boats. Also a very pretty nautical dog name!

Mariner

A sailor, or a person who directs or assists in a ship’s navigation.

Marlin

A large saltwater game fish of the genera Makaira and Tetrapterus, with a spearlike structure on the upper jaw.

Marsh

A low wetland area near rivers and seas characterized by grasses, sedges, cattails, and rushes.

Mate

A deck naval officer aboard a merchant vessel. Matey is a fun alternative.

Mayflower

The English ship that brought the Pilgrims to the New World in 1620. The ship was named after May-blooming plants like hawthorn or cowslip.

Melville

Herman Melville was an American novelist, short story writer, and poet. Melville often wrote about nautical themes, especially in Moby-Dick and Billy Budd, Sailor.

Mermaid

A sweet name for an ocean-loving pup, Mermaid evokes the romance of the mythical half-human, half-fish creatures.

Minnow

The common name for various small, freshwater fish. Perfect for a puppy who loves to swim in the lake!

Molly

Molly is a sweet name for a female dog, and it has a nautical meaning as well! Mollies are small, often brightly colored tropical fish found in fresh, brackish, or salt water.

Morgan

Captain Henry Morgan was a 17th-century Welsh privateer who later became Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica.

Nautical dog names starting with N

Nelson

Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson was a legendary officer in the British Royal Navy, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars.

Nemo

Captain Nemo is a fictional character who appears in two works by French novelist Jules Verne: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas and The Mysterious Island. Nemo is Captain of the submarine Nautilus.

Of course, Nemo is also the name of the adorable clownfish in the Finding Nemo movies.

Neptune

The Roman counterpart of the Greek god Poseidon, Neptune was the god of freshwater and the sea.

Nautical dog names starting with O

Ocean

If you love the sea, why not name your dog after your passion? Girl dog parents might also consider Oceana or Oceania.

You may also like: 40 Ocean Quotes for Everyone Who Loves The Sea

Orca

From the scientific name for killer whale, Orcinus orca. So cute for a black-and-white puppy!

Nautical dog names starting with P

Pearl

The jewel of the sea, Pearl would make a great name for a cream-colored or white dog.

Pilot

A person who steers ships into or out of a harbor or through difficult waters.

Pirate

Why not name yer trusty dog after the marauders o’ the seven seas, me hearties?

Poseidon

The ancient Greek deity was god of the sea, storms, earthquakes and horses, and protector of seafarers. His Roman equivalent was Neptune.

Pugwash

A fictional pirate in the classic British children’s comic strips and books, Captain Horatio Pugwash sails the high seas in his ship the Black Pig. So cute for a water-loving pug puppy!

Nautical dog names starting with Q

Queequeg

In the 1851 novel Moby-Dick by Herman Melville, Queequeg is the son of a South Sea chieftain who left home to explore the world by sailing ship.

Nautical dog names starting with R

Rigger

A person employed in fitting the rigging of ships. A cute name for an active puppy!

Riptide

A tide that opposes another tide, causing a violent disturbance in the sea.

River

A sweet name for a peaceful, water-loving dog that goes with the flow.

Rover

HMS Rover was an 18-gun corvette built for the Royal Navy in the 1870s. Rover used to be one of the most popular dog names—Shakespeare even referenced a dog named Rover in A Winter’s Tale. It’s time to make a comeback!

Rudder

A vertical blade at the stern of a boat or ship that’s used to change the vessel’s direction.

Nautical dog names starting with S

Sailor

A fitting name for your canine boating companion!

Salty

Salt water, salt air, salty sand—dogs who love the ocean are covered in it.

Sandy

Beach lovers might want to choose Sandy as a name for their seashore-loving pup. This name would work especially well for a sable-colored dog. (Sable, the French word for sand, could be another option.)

Schooner

A sailing ship with a foremast and mainmast, with fore-and-aft sails on all lower masts.

Scuba

A portable breathing device for free-swimming divers. Also a really cute name for a dog!

Scupper

The drain at the edge of a ship’s deck that’s exposed to the weather, to let water flow into the sea or into the bilges.

Sinbad

Sinbad the Sailor is a fictional mariner and hero of Middle Eastern folklore. During his seven voyages around the seas east of Africa and south of Asia, he has fantastic, magical adventures.

Skipjack

A name for various fish that leap above the surface of the water, like tuna and bonito. A skipjack is also the term for an American one-masted sailing vessel.

Skipper

The captain or master of a boat or ship, especially of a small fishing or trading vessel.

Slocum

Canadian-American Joshua Slocum was the first person to sail solo around the world in 1898, aboard his 12-meter sloop the Spray.

Sounder

An echo sounder pulses sound waves from the hull of a ship to locate submerged objects like the ocean floor, wrecks, or large schools of fish.

Sounder is also the loyal coonhound in the 1969 young adult novel of the same name by William H. Armstrong, later made into a film.

Spinnaker

A large, usually triangular sail used by yachts when running before the wind.

Splash

A cute name for a water-loving dog, especially if it has splash coloration!

Stevedore

Someone who loads and unloads ships in port. Stevie for short?

Nautical dog names starting with T

Tanker

A cargo ship with tanks for carrying bulk liquids. Perfect for a stockier-breed doggy!

Trawler

A vessel used for fishing with a trawl net.

Triton

An ancient Greek god of the sea and the son of Poseidon and Amphitrite, Triton is often depicted as a merman. Inspired by this mythology, King Triton was Ariel’s dad in Disney’s The Little Mermaid.

Tug

Short for tugboat, a powerful boat used for towing and pushing ships. Tug would be the perfect name for a strong, playful pup.

Nautical dog names starting with U – Z

Zabra

A small Spanish sailing vessel resembling a small frigate.

Zephyr

A gentle, mild breeze.

What are your favorite nautical names for dogs? Is your dog’s name nautical-themed? Let me know in the comments below!

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100+ Nautical Names for Dogs With Meanings

About the Author

Carrie Ann is the founder of Should Be Cruising and a lifelong travel fanatic. A former flight attendant, she now prefers cruise ships over airplanes and spends several months each year cruising and exploring cruise ports. Facebook | Instagram

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24 Comments

    1. Hi Kerr, I’m so glad you enjoyed reading about the meanings of these dog names. It was so fun researching them and picturing what kind of puppies fit with the names!

  1. Lots of choices for dog names I’m sure all dog lovers would love these names. We don’t have dogs for now but I would love to maybe in the future.

  2. I didn’t realize there were so many nautical options for dog names. And now I have the meanings for all of the names. I like having meanings. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Dominique, I really like knowing the meaning of names, too. It really helps to know a name’s background when you’re trying to match a potential choice to a dog’s personality. Thanks for reading!

  3. Thanks for sharing this name guide for dogs. I wish I have one, but maybe I could use this guide for our new cat 🙂

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