What Is a Male Dog Called?

You’re well aware of what female dogs are referred to but aren’t sure what to call a male dog. This article will answer your most burning questions!

What is a male dog called? A male dog is usually known as a dog, but sometimes also a sire or a stud if the dog is used for breeding. A sire refers to male dogs that fathered a dog litter and a stud is a dog that hasn’t fathered a litter. The term jerry is sometimes used as well, but more informally.

In this article, we’ll take a much deeper dive into these dog names so that you know which is which and when to use them. I have lots of great information to share ahead, so make sure you check it out!

What Do You Call a Male Dog?

When referring to a male dog, most people will simply call him a dog, or perhaps a canine, pup, or four-legged friend. He could also be titled by his breed.

Other names for male dogs that are more on the technical side are below as well as an explanation of each.


The first of these names is stud.

A stud is a breeding dog. His owner will have registered him with the American Kennel Club or a domestic registry that meets AKC standards.

According to the AKC’s site, studs are only eligible for registration if they were born in the United States (including its territories and possessions) and the owner lives in the US as well.

Plus, the AKC only wants certain dog breeds in its AKC Stud Book, so dogs outside of those breeds–as well as mixed-breed dogs–are usually ineligible.

Finally, the registration requires that you, the dog owner, is on the registration and that the dog’s name appears exactly as it does on its domestic registry certificate.

Stud dogs are typically young, anywhere from seven months to 12 years. Above all else, they’re healthy so they can perpetuate a strong bloodline.

If yours is a stud dog, an interested party who owns a female dog would pay you to temporarily use your dog for breeding purposes. They’re not taking over ownership of the dog though.

The amount of money this other party would pay is called a stud fee. The stud fee can be a few thousand dollars to six figures, although those kinds of stud fees are usually reserved for horses.


When a stud successfully procreates with a female dog, or even in an everyday setting where two dogs mate, the new parents both have different names.

At that point, you could refer to the male as a sire. The female would be known as a dam.

As for the name of the puppy? That would be a whelp. Technically, when a dam gives birth, it’s known as whelping.


Finally, there’s the least informal of the terms in this section, and that’s a jerry.

This is one of those terms that may very well soon be in the next section, which will be names for male dogs that have since fallen out of use.

A jerry is a male dog that’s undergone a form of neutering.

For most male dogs, they’ll receive an orchiectomy, which is the traditional neuter surgery. 

During this procedure, the surgeon removes both testes. This prevents reproduction as well as the unwanted behaviors tied to breeding.

Some male dogs receive only a vasectomy, in which the surgeon takes out the vas deferens. 

The procedure impedes the dog from releasing sperm if it reproduces and thus, the dog cannot cause a pregnancy.

Since the dog still has his testes and those make hormones, breeding behaviors can continue, including aggression, humping, and spraying. 

The dog would still be a jerry though.

Terms for Male Dogs That Are No Longer in Use

As I touched on in the last section, there exist some terms that were once used for male dogs but that you will rarely if ever hear these days.

Let’s take a look at these names so you know what they are. 


The term cur has always been derogatory. It’s sometimes been ascribed to people, usually men, and describes a scoundrel or rascal.

When applied towards dogs, cur usually means a dog in poor condition or one who’s overly aggressive. 

The term sometimes refers to ugly dogs as well.

Another instance in which you might hear a male dog called a cur is if the dog’s breed is indistinguishable.

More appropriate terms for that type of dog might include mongrel, hound, cross-breed, or half-breed.


Just as bad is the term bastard, which–depending on who you ask–might be perceived as a nicer form of the term cur. 

Both words still mean the same thing, which is an oft-times aggressive dog that doesn’t have a definable breed.

When Do You Use These Dog Names?

I just introduced you to a lot of different names for male dogs. You may be scratching your head and wondering when you would use which one.

Well, for dogs that have yet to usher in the birth of a dog litter, you could call them dogs or studs, but really only the latter if your dog is being used for specialty reproductive purposes.

If your dog ever creates the next lineage of dogs, then he’d be a sire.

All that said, don’t feel like you have to use these terms. 

Maybe if you are a breeder or you’re speaking to a breeder, you’ll hear words like sire and stud, but most people don’t refer to male dogs that way.

You can simply call him a dog and you’d be fine. If you’re not using terms like bastard or cur, then you’re not going to offend anybody!

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