66 Fun Hawaiian Dog Names and Their Meanings

Types of water dogs - Spanish Water Dog

Written by Kellianne Matthews

Updated: October 4, 2023

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When you bring a dog into your life, one of the most important tasks is giving your new canine companion a name. We often like to choose names with meaning—a name that fits your dog’s appearance, your dog’s personality, or perhaps a name that has a special connection for you. You could name your dog based on her appearance: is she fluffy? Is she small or large? What color is she? On the other hand, you could name your dog based on his personality: is he fierce? Is he gentle? Does he have a lot of energy, or is he more laid back? Another option is to name your dog after something that inspires you. Whether you have Hawaiian heritage or if you simply have a love of the Hawaiian Islands, a fun, Hawaiian dog name might be just the thing for your new furry friend.

Hawaii is a magnificent place filled with endless natural beauty and rich culture. Situated in the Pacific Ocean, the state of Hawaii comprises 137 volcanic islands, including the “Big Island” of Hawai’i. Visitors from all over the world come to Hawaii all throughout the year to enjoy its beautiful sandy beaches, lush rainforests, stunning mountains and waterfalls, and the deep roots of its unique Polynesian culture. Hawaiian names not only sound beautiful, but each has its own uniquely rich meaning. Let’s look at 66 fun Hawaiian dog names and their meanings.

Hawaiian Language

Maui Hawaii

An important aspect of Hawaiian culture is the connection we have to one each other as well as to the natural world around us.

You might already be familiar with a few Hawaiian words, such as “Aloha” or “Ohana”. Hawaiian is a beautiful language that holds much of the islands’ cultural heritage, identity, history, and traditions. Unfortunately, when the United States annexed Hawaii in 1898, the Hawaiian language began a steady decline as it was replaced by English. Today Hawaiian is a critically endangered language. However, much of the language is slowly returning to a place of prominence on the Hawaiian Islands. You can help add to its revival by choosing one of these fun Hawaiian names for your dog.

A quick note about the Hawaiian language: The Hawaiian alphabet uses only 13 letters (eight consonants and five vowels). They use a glottal stop, called Okina, which is the pronunciation of an apostrophe. This actually functions as one of the Hawaiian consonants, but it is not considered a part of the alphabet. Hawaiian words have a lot of vowels, and they are often pronounced individually. And, another fun fact, Hawaii is the only state in America with two official languages.

Naming Your Dog

Adorable and adopted laying down at the dog park.

Dogs have a unique connection to humans and can recognize an average of 165 words, including their own name.

Giving your dog a name is an important task. Make sure that you choose a name that is easy to pronounce and that gives you a good feeling when you say it. It is also helpful if the entire family can agree on a name—you don’t want to confuse your dog with several different names. Names with two or three syllables are typically best, but most importantly, choose a name that works best for you and your furry friend! Here are 66 unique and fun Hawaiian dog names and their meanings—check them out to see if one is the right fit for your dog!

Dog Names Inspired by Hawaiian Culture

Coconut tree

Coconut trees in Hawaii can grow up to 100 feet tall.

The Hawaiian Islands have such a rich culture and heritage, connecting humans to one another as well as the natural world. Whether it is from Hawaiian folklore, a traditional Hawaiian food, or a name with a beachy vibe, one of these names might be just the thing for your dog.

  • Maui: According to legend, Maui was an ancient Hawaiian chief who created the Hawaiian Islands, brought fire to humanity, and tamed the sun and sky. Maui is also the name of Hawaii’s second-largest island.
  • Pele: In Hawaiian folklore, Pele is the goddess of fire and volcanos. She has both the power to create as well as to destroy. In some stories, Pele travels with a white dog.
  • Pearl: Although it is not specifically a Hawaiian word, pearls are produced inside mollusk shells, like abalones, mussels, and oysters. They are also associated with the ocean. Hawaii also has a Pearl City, located on the Island of Oahu on the north shore of Pearl Harbor.
  • Kona: Kona is a famous Hawaiian coffee from the district of Kona on the Big Island of Hawai’i.
  • Meli: Meli means “honey” or “bee
  • Poi: Poi is a traditional food from Hawaii.
  • Coco (Koko) or Coconut: Coconut trees can be found all over the Hawaiian Islands.

Dog Names Inspired by Hawaiian Dogs

Man walking dog on the beach at dusk

The Hawaiian name for “dog” is ” ʻīlio “

You could always give your dog a more traditional name like “Spot” or “Fluffy”, but why not use a Hawaiian version for an extra fun twist?

  • Ilio: Dog or wolf
  • Kiko: Spot
  • Kikokiko: This would be a great name for a dog with several spots or markings, since Kikokiko means “speckled” or “spotted”.
  • Ole: Fang
  • Weuweu: Fluffy or fuzzy

Dog Names Inspired by Hawaiian Flowers

Shiba Inu puppy smelling a flower

Shiba Inus are bright, loyal, and adaptable. A Hawaiian flower name might be the perfect fit for this charismatic dog.

Hawaii is known for its vast natural beauty and landscapes filled with tropical plants and flowers. Here are a few Hawaiian flower names that would make great names for a sweet puppy or dog.

  • Kapua: Flower
  • Pua: Flower blossom
  • Liko: Bud
  • Kiele: Gardenia
  • Lokelani: Red small rose
  • Melia: Plumeria
  • Oliana: Oleander

Hawaiian Dog Names Inspired by Nature

Hawai’i Island is the largest island in the United States.

Hawaii has some of the most beautiful islands in the world. Maybe a Hawaiian dog name inspired by Hawaii’s natural beauty is just what your dog needs.

  • Mano: Shark
  • Palila: The palila is a Hawaiian honeycreeper bird.
  • Ahi: Ahi means fire or lightning in Hawaiian; ‘Ahi also refers to a type of tuna fish.
  • Alani: Orange fruit tree
  • Keanu: Cool mountain breeze
  • Awapuhi: Wild ginger
  • Nalani: Calm skies
  • Keala: Pathway
  • Pekelo: Stone
  • Makani: Wind
  • Noe: Fog; misty
  • Haukea: White snow

Hawaiian Dog Names Inspired by the Sky and Heavens

Siberian Husky at the beach

Lani would make a great name for a

Siberian Husky

since their eyes are blue like the sky.

Hawaiian skies are always a beautiful sight. Perhaps a Hawaiian dog name inspired by the lights in the heavens would be a good choice for your dog!

  • Mahina: Moon or moonlight
  • Kahoku: Star
  • Alaula: Light of daybreak or early dawn
  • Ānuenue: Rainbow
  • Aolani: Heavenly cloud
  • Hoku: Night of a full moon; the Hawaiian word “hōkū” also means star.
  • Kalama: Flaming torch or light
  • Kalani: Sky, heavens; royal
  • Lani: Sky, heavenly, majestic, royal
  • Aka: Shadow
  • Malana: Light, buoyant

Hawaiian Dog Names Inspired Water and the Ocean

Types of water dogs

Labrador Retrievers often enjoy swimming and playing in the ocean.

What is an island without the ocean? Here are some Hawaiian dog names inspired by water, the ocean, and the sea. If you have a water-loving pooch or simply love the ocean yourself, one of these names might be the perfect name for your dog.

  • Kawai: Coming from water
  • Kai: Ocean
  • Iniki: Strong and piercing wind
  • Kaikala: Sea and sun
  • Kailani: Sea and sky
  • Kaimana: Diamond
  • Kai Mana: Ocean or sea power
  • Lanikai: Heavenly sea
  • Moana: Ocean

Hawaiian Dog Names Inspired by Your Dog’s Personality

Amazing twin Wailua waterfalls on Kauai island, Hawaii

Hawaii is full of natural beauty, like the twin Wailua waterfalls on Kauai Island.

And last but not least, here are some Hawaiian dog names inspired by the personality or attributes of your canine companion.

  • Amoka: Strong
  • Lilo: Generous one
  • Asera: Lucky
  • Nani: Great beauty
  • Etana: Strong
  • Kaipo: Sweetheart
  • Kekipi: The rebel
  • Kekoa: The brave one
  • Koa: Fearless; bold and brave
  • Laka: Gentle
  • Laki: Lucky
  • Miki: Quick
  • Polo: Large and plump
  • Amana: Warrior
  • Alika: Defender, helper, guardian

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About the Author

Kellianne Matthews is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is on anthrozoology, conservation, human-animal relationships, and animal behavior. Kellianne has been writing and researching animals for over ten years and has decades of hands-on experience working with a variety of different animals. She holds a Master’s Degree from Brigham Young University, which she earned in 2017. A resident of Utah, Kellianne enjoys creating, exploring and learning new things, analyzing movies, caring for animals, and playing with her cats.

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