How to Say "Dog" in French

dogs in front of the louvre

For those of us who love dogs, there's something special about calling a canine companion by its name. If you've just started to wander into the rich language of French and want to know how to refer to man's best friend, you're in the right place. "Dog" translated into French is "chien"—pronounced like "she-an." But as with every language, there's a palette of words and phrases that paint the fuller picture of our furry pals.

If you would like to specify the gender of the dog, you can use the following:

Male dog: "chien"

Female dog: "chienne"

So, "chien" is used for both male and dogs, while "chienne" specifically refers to a female dog.

When you immerse yourself in a new language, especially one listed as one of the 'most romantic' on countless charts, it's not just about vocabulary; it's about inflection, context, and the essence that each word brings to the conversation. Here's how to talk about your favorite companion in the language of love.

framed photo of two dogs in paris


Beyond "Chien": Other Dog-Related Words in French

Breed Names

When you begin to identify different types of dogs, you'll come across various breed names. For instance, the 'Labrador' remains 'Labrador' in French, but with the native accent of a French speaker, it sounds more like 'Lab-rah-doh'.

Doggy Behavior

Understanding and expressing dog behavior can help you communicate with other dog enthusiasts. The French word for "bark" is "aboyer" which sounds like "ah-booh-yay," and a "tail" is "queue" or "koo."

Pet Conversations

Of course, language lessons for dog lovers wouldn't be complete without essential pet expressions. "Come here" is "Viens ici," (vee-ehn-zee), and "Good dog" can be translated to "Bon chien" (bohn she-ehn).

Pet Places and Things

The word "leash" is "laisse" (less), and a "doghouse" becomes "niche" (neesh). Keep practicing these terms, and you'll be conversing about dogs like a native speaker.

Short Answer FAQ:

What is the French Slang for Dog?

If you're looking for some French slang, the most common would be "Toutou" or "Minou" which are affectionate words for a dog or cat, most commonly used by children.

What Do French Call Pets?

French people usually refer to their pets as "animal de compagnie", meaning a companion animal, but more casually as "animal" or "bête" (beht).

What is the Word Puppy in French?

The word for "puppy" in French is "chiot" (shee-yo), and it's as adorable to say as the little critters are.

What is the Old French Word for Dog?

For those who love a bit of historical linguistics, the Old French word for dog is "chien," which is also the modern word. In fact, the Old French and modern French for "dog" remained relatively the same, which speaks to the word's longevity and pervasiveness.

Mastering a few words in a new language isn't just about conversational etiquette; it's about appreciation. Each language carries with it a unique approach to expression and love for our furriest friends. With these French translations and phrases, you're now equipped to chat about dogs with Francophone friends and fellow pet enthusiasts. Keep practicing, and soon you'll be barking like a local in no time!

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