The 130 Best Gangster (and Gangsta) Dog Names

Written by Drew Wood
Published: December 11, 2023
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Maybe you’re tough and want to name your dog to match your aesthetic. Or maybe you and your dog are absolute wimps, but you want to give the little ankle-biter an ironic name. Either way, a “gangster,” or a “gangsta” dog name might be just what you’re looking for. And no, those don’t mean the same thing. Nick Spicher, a January 2018 Jeopardy! contestant, found out the hard way: he lost $3,200 for mispronouncing the title of Coolio’s 1995 song “Gangsta’s Paradise!” Read on to find out the difference and discover some “bad dog” names for good dogs!

Gangster vs. Gangsta


vintage Italian mafia gangster in 1930's in New York

If you find yourself in this office in 1930s New York, looks like you have yourself a gangster problem!

©serpeblu/ via Getty Images

The Oxford English Dictionary says a gangster is “a member of a criminal gang, esp. one involved in organized crime.” Think of 1920s Chicago mafia bosses like Al “Scarface” Capone. Or Bonnie and Clyde, the notorious couple who went on a robbery and murder crime spree during the Great Depression. Think of the kinds of traditional mafia families fictionalized in The Godfather. Think of “Keep the change, you filthy animal!” – the movie line made famous by Home Alone.

But mafia families are not just a thing of the past. The FBI reports 24 mafia families are still active in the United States. In addition to the traditional Italian mafia, crime families and organizations from Russia, Albania, Japan, and other countries continue to work in the shadows. The bottom line is that these are sophisticated, multinational organizations that have long-established traditions and may even operate legitimate businesses as fronts for criminal activity.


Portrait, gang and dog with man friends and their pet outdoor in a dangerous neighborhood together. Street, crime and culture with male gangsters and their bulldog puppy on an urban background

If you roll up to a stoplight and see this, you might have a gangsta problem.

© – Yuri A/

Back to the Oxford English Dictionary: a gangsta is “a member of an urban territorial gang.” So, we’re thinking now along the lines of Crips and Bloods, the Latin Kings, the Asian Boyz, or MS-13. These street gangs are especially associated with the drug trade, prostitution, and violent territorial battles in decaying urban areas.

But “gangsta” can also refer to “gangsta rap” artists who present a dangerous, larger-than-life image without necessarily being affiliated with an actual gang. Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Tupac, Eminem, and Lil’ Kim are gangsta rappers with wide popular appeal.

In urban culture, calling someone “gangsta” is most often a compliment. It means they’re tough, fearless, cool, or awesome. And if you do something truly incredible, you could be called the “OG” (“original gangsta.”)

Cultural Icons

Dog, Costume, Devil, Pets, Pet Clothing

Giving your pet a “bad dog” name doesn’t mean they, or you, are actually bad.


As you can see, “gangster” and “gangsta” refer to different types of criminals, of different eras. Of course, we don’t want to glorify violent criminals who have caused suffering for many people. But the images of both terms have risen above criminals. These cultural icons are associated with certain ways of dressing, confident swagger, extravagant wealth, and musical styles. Names from either of these cultures can give your dog an “alpha” image, even if their bark is humorously bigger than their bite.

Gangster Names

If you want your dog to be really OG, name them for a notorious mobster. Google your favorites to find out what they did before saddling your little criminal with a reputation.

image of dog hat white background

©Gorlov Alexander/

Real Gangster Names for Male Dogs

Dog NameGangster NameDog NameGangster Name
1Baby FaceGeorge “Baby Face” Nelson11GiganteVincent Gigante
2BonannoJoseph Bonanno12GottiJohn Gotti
3BugsyBugsy Siegel13GuzikJake Guzik
4BurkeJimmy Burke14KellyMachine Gun Kelly
5CaponeAl Capone15LegsJack “Legs” Diamond
6CarmineCarmine Galante16LucianoCharles Luciano
7CarnaJoseph Carna17MerloMike Merlo
8DevilJohn “White Devil” Willis18ScarfaceAl “Scarface” Capone
9DillingerJohn Dillinger19Tick-TockAlbert “Tick-Tock” Tannenbaum
10GambinoCarlo Gambino20VitoVito Genovese
diva lady girl dog posing for a lovely mugshot, as a criminal and thief with broken sunglasses and scarf

©Vibe Images/

Real Gangster Names for Female Dogs

Dog NameGangster NameDog NameGangster Name
1BarkerMa Barker11KellyKathryn Kelly
2BelleBelle Starr12MariaMaria Licciardi
3BerniceOpal “Bernice” Long13OpalOpal Long
4BillieBillie Frechette14ParkerBonnie Parker
5BlancheBlanche Barrow15QueenieStephanie “Queenie” St. Clair
6BonnieBonnie Parker16RosettaRosetta Cutolo
7BudaHelen Julia “Buda” Godman17PearlPearl Elliot
8CharmaineCharmaine Roman18PingSister Ping
9DiamondAlice Diamond19SisterSister Ping
10GillisHelen Gillis20StarrBelle Starr

Gangsta Names

For edgy gangsta names, we’ve drawn upon well-known rappers. We chose these just because their names sounded cool, but of course, there are hundreds more, and these may not all currently be the most popular in the fast-changing music scene. If you like a name, look up the artist’s bio and listen to some of their work to see if it’s a good fit for your little boo! Many rapper names are single word and letter combinations that sound good together.

Golden retriever enjoying music on headphones


Gangsta Names for Male Dogs

Rapper NameRapper Name
12 Chainz11Lil Bow Wow
221 Savage12Lil Scrappy
342 Dugg13Lil Wayne
450 Cent14Offset
5BlocBoy JB15Post Malone
6Chance the Rapper16Quavo
7Drake17Snoop Dogg
9Ice Cube19Wiz Khalifa
10Ja Rule20YG
Funny dog wearing blonde wig and sunglasses

©Tracy Hirai/

Gangsta Names for Female Dogs

Rapper NameRapper Name
1Awkwafina11Honey G
2Azealia Banks12Lil Kim
3Cardi B13Lizzo
4Cha Haiti14Missy Elliott
5Coi Leray15Nicki Minaj
6Da Brat16Tay Money
8Dior18Toky Jetz
10Gangsta Boo20Yo-Yo

“Ruff” and Tough Names

If the names of real gangsters and gangstas aren’t what you’re looking for, maybe you want a more generic intimidating name. Here are some suggestions to give your dog the street cred they deserve.

dachshund sausage dog holding a police department banner , as a mugshot photo, at police office

©Javier Brosch/

“Tough Guy” Names for Any Dog

1Bad Guy11Criminal21Hoodlum31Punk41Shadow
3Bandit13Culprit23KO (Knockout)33Robber43Shark
7Brawler17Enforcer27Mugger37Scamp47Tough Girl
8Bruiser18Fierce28OG (Original Gangsta)38Scandal48Trouble

All Dogs Are the OG!

Small and large dogs standing face to face

Big or small, every dog is a little bit gangsta.

©eAlisa/iStock via Getty Images

It’s no wonder dogs are man’s (and woman’s) best friend. Their personalities and lifestyles are as diverse as ours, and they are our “perfect” little babies. But you have to admit, they all have an inner criminal streak. If you doubt it, try leaving your steak near the edge of the table for 10 minutes and see what happens.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Kashaeva Irina/

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About the Author

Drew Wood is a writer at A-Z Animals focusing on mammals, geography, and world cultures. Drew has worked in research and writing for over 20 years and holds a Masters in Foreign Affairs (1992) and a Doctorate in Religion (2009). A resident of Nebraska, Drew enjoys Brazilian jiu-jitsu, movies, and being an emotional support human to four dogs.

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