If you’re a dog lover and you’re learning Spanish, you must already know how to say dog. But as you may have noticed, most of the time, in Spanish we have other popular terms for the same word.
So even though perro is a standard term to say ‘dog’ in Spanish, in reality, there are other very common words that you can be using for the same purpose. For that reason, in this article, we compiled 11 different ways to say ‘dog’ in Spanish. Even though these terms are very common, some of them will only be applicable in certain situations or with certain types of dogs.
Additionally, some words may be only used in a few Spanish speaking countries while others will be standard terms. Read the descriptions and the examples below carefully and choose the best option for you and your four-legged friend.
By the end of this, you will know many different ways of how to say dog in Spanish like a native dog lover.
1. Perro – Dog
As you may already know, perro is one of the most popular and standard terms to say ‘dog’ in Spanish. This word can also be used in both formal and informal situations and, as a standard term, it’s popular in all Spanish-speaking countries.
‘Perro’ is a general term that Spanish speakers use to refer to any type of dog. However, keep in mind that in Spanish the gender is very important. As a result, if you’re referring to female dogs, you will need to use the term perra.
Here are some examples of how to use ‘perro’ and ‘perra’ in real-life situations. Be aware that the following basic structure is very general and you can add or remove adjectives to describe your dog.
[Subject] + [Verb conjugated] + [determiner] + perro/perra + (adjective)
¿No te gustan los perros grandes?
You don’t like big dogs?
Nuestros perros son muy tranquilos
Our dogs are very quiet
En mi casa tenemos muchos perros
We have a lot of dogs in my house
La vecina tiene un perro muy bonito
The neighbor has a very pretty dog
Mis primas tienen una perra blanca y un perro gris
My cousins have a white female dog and a grey male dog
2. Cachorro – Puppy
In Spanish, cachorro is the direct translation of ‘puppy’. As a result, this word is only used when referring to baby dogs. Additionally, you can use its diminutive form cachorrito as a more affectionate way to talk about your dog.
Just like ‘perro’, ‘cachorro’ is used as a general term and as a word to refer to male baby dogs. But if you want to talk about a female, you will need to use ‘cachorra’ or ‘cachorrita’. Here are some examples:
Mira qué cachorros tan bonitos
Look, what beautiful puppies
Mi papá nos regaló unos cachorritos
My dad gave us some puppies
Nuestra perra tuvo tres cachorritas
Our dog had three puppies
Agustín tiene un cachorro muy juguetón
Agustin has a very playful puppy
¿Qué comen los cachorros?
What do puppies eat?
Take Note: In Spanish, cachorro is a general term that can be used to refer to some baby mammals such as lions, tigers, dogs, wolves, and bears. So depending on the type of animal, ‘cachorro’ could be translated as ‘puppy’ or ‘cub’.
La leona cuida a sus cachorros
The lioness takes care of her cubs
3. Firulais – Dog
In Mexico, Firulais is an informal and funny word that people use to say ‘dog’. Even though this word is more commonly used to refer to street or stray dogs, Mexican speakers still use this dog as a funny and cutesy way to refer to their own dogs.
Firulais used to be (and still is) a popular name for a dog and it became so common that people adopted it as a generic and casual way to say ‘dog’ in Mexican Spanish. Additionally, it can also be used as a way to call a dog whose name you don’t know.
Since it’s a name, this word may not always have a direct translation. In some cases, it’s simply translated as ‘dog’.
Corre, Firulais, ve por la pelota
Run, Firulais, go for the ball
Annie, ¿dónde está el firulais?
Annie, where is the dog?
El firulais rompió el jarrón de mi mamá
The dog broke my mom’s jar
Pobrecito firulais debe tener hambre
Poor dog, he must be hungry
Funny Fact: Firulais comes from the expression ‘free of lice’ a phrase that American custom agents used to ask Mexicans if their dogs had lice. This mispronunciation became so popular that Mexican speakers adopted it as a term.
4. Chucho – Cur / Dog
Chucho is a common and informal word that means ‘dog’ in Latin American Spanish speaking countries. In general, this term is used to refer to street dogs, but pet owners also use it with their own dogs if they’re upset with them or just as a playful way to refer to them.
As a result, depending on the context, chucho and its feminine form chucha may not be very affectionate words to refer to dogs. Additionally, since this word is used to talk about street dogs, ‘chucho’ can be translated as:
Los chuchos de mi cuadra no me dejaron dormir
The mongrel on my street didn’t let me sleep
¡Baja a tu chucho de mi cama!
Get your pooch off my bed!
¡Qué chucha tan desobediente tiene tu hermana!
Your sister has such a disobedient dog!
Mamá, tus chuchos mordieron mis zapatos
Mom, your pooches bit my shoes
El chucho del vecino mordió a mi hermana
The neighbor’s mutt bit my sister
Take Note: Chucho can only be used in informal situations. Additionally, keep in mind that ‘Chucho’ is also a popular Spanish nickname for the name ‘Jesús’. So don’t be surprised if you hear someone calling a person ‘Chucho’.
5. Can – Hound / Dog
Can is a very formal way to say ‘dog’ in Spanish, as a result, it’s a popular term that is used in written contexts, news, dog competitions or any other formal situation. Even though ‘can’ is the direct translation of ‘hound’, in Spanish, we can use this word to refer to any type of dog.
Unlike other words from this list, ‘can’ can be used to refer to both female and male dogs. Here are some examples of how to apply this word in real-life situations:
Los canes atacaron a una persona
The dogs attacked a person
¿Cuál es el nombre de su can, señorita?
What’s the name of your dog, Miss?
¿Qué tipo de can me recomienda tener en una granja?
What type of dog do you recommend me to have on a farm?
Señor, le recomiendo que lleve a su can al veterinario
Sir, I recommend you to take your dog to the veterinarian
Creo que es uno de los canes más bonitos que he visto
I think it’s one of the most beautiful hounds that I’ve ever seen
6. Perrito – Doggy / Dog
Perrito is the diminutive form of ‘perro’ and it’s a very affectionate and cute word to say ‘dog’ in Spanish. ‘Perrito’ literally means ‘little dog’. But, depending on the context, it can also be translated as ‘doggy’ or ‘dog’.
Since it’s an affectionate word, ‘perrito’ and ‘perrita’ can be used to refer to small dogs, puppies, but also big dogs. In general, dog lovers use these words when talking about their own dogs or when referring to someone else’s dog. ‘Perrito’ and ‘perrita’ can be used in both formal and informal contexts.
Mi perrita tuvo cinco perritos
My dog had five doggies
Nuestra perrita se llama Chocolata
Our dog’s name is Chocolata
¿Cuántos perritos te gustaría tener?
How many little dogs would you like to have?
Christian y yo queremos adoptar un perrito
Christian and I want to adopt a dog
Las perritas de mis primos tienen tres meses
My cousin’s doggies are three months old
7. El guau guau – Dog
In Spanish, guau guau (you pronounce it ɡwau̯ ɡwau̯) is the onomatopoeia for a dog’s bark. Therefore, some people may use this set of words as a cutesy and informal way to say ‘dog’ in Spanish. Since it doesn’t contain difficult sounds to pronounce, el guau guau is a popular term among little Spanish speakers that cannot say ‘perro’ and their parents.
This term is very well-known in all Spanish speaking countries because more than one kid in our family had issues pronouncing perro. Even though ‘guau guau’ is the direct translation of ‘woof-woof’, in this context’, ‘el guau guau’ means ‘dog’.
[Verb conjugated] + el guau guau
¿Te gusta el guau guau?
Do you like that dog?
¿Te asustó el guau guau, mi amor?
Did the dog scare you, sweetie?
Mira, mami, qué bonito guau guau
Look, mommy, what a beautiful dog
Ay qué guau guau tan latoso tienes
Oh my God, you have such an annoying dog
No te acerques a los guau guau, hija
Don’t get closer to the dog, baby
8. Peludo / Peludito – Hairy / Furry
Nowadays, peludo or peludito have become popular terms among dog lovers as an affectionate, casual and cutesy way to say ‘dog’ in Spanish.
Even though this term is meant to talk about any hairy pet, people associate it more with dogs and, generally speaking, it’s only popular on social media or among dog owners.
Unlike other words from this list, peludo and peludito are words that can be used to refer to both male and female dogs. Just keep in mind that these terms are mostly used in very casual conversations.
Additionally, these words are the direct translation of ‘hairy’ and ‘furry’, but in this context, they can also be translated as ‘dog’ or ‘doggy’.
Adopta a un peludo
Adopt a dog
Linda extraña a su peludito
Linda misses her furry
Mi peludito está en el veterinario
My doggy is at the vet
¿Ya viste que bonito está ese peludo?
Did you already see how pretty that doggy is?
Este grupo es para compartir consejos sobre nuestros peluditos
This group is meant to share tips about our dogs
Take Note: In standard Spanish, peludo is an adjective that is used to describe a hairy or bearded person. Notice that when using it as an informal synonym of ‘dog’, peludo is a noun. Make sure you pay attention to the context and the sentence where it’s being used.
¡Córtate el cabello! Te ves muy peludo
Cut your hair! You look very hairy
9. Perrihijo – Dog-son
In Spanish, perrihijo is the fusion of the words ‘perro’ and ‘hijo’. This catchy word has become very popular among owners that love their dog very much.
Depending on the context, this word can be a mocking term to refer to owners that treat their dogs like children, but it can also be a cutesy and playful way to refer to your dog.
Since it’s a new term, perrihijo tends to be used more in casual conversations. Additionally, this word doesn’t have a direct translation, but it means ‘dog-son’ or ‘dog’.
¿Cómo está tu perrihijo?
How is your dog-son?
¿No trajiste a tu perrihija?
You didn’t bring your dog-daughter?
No quiero que tus perrihijos se suban al sillón
I don’t want your dogs to get on the couch
Mira los juguetes que le compré a mis perrihijos
Look at the toys that I bought for my dogs
Samuel quiere llevarse a sus perrihijos a España
Samuel wants to take his dogs-children to Spain
10. Lomito – Dog
Just like ‘peludo’ and ‘peludito’, lomito has become a popular Spanish word on social media to say ‘dog’. This expression is very affectionate, cutesy and very common among dog lovers. In this case, ‘lomito’ can be used to refer both to any type of dog: puppies, small, big, female or male dogs.
Since it doesn’t have a direct translation, lomito is closer in meaning to ‘dog’ or ‘doggy’.
Mi perrito es el lomito más tierno del mundo
My dog is the cutest doggy in the world
¿No te gustaría tener un lomito?
Wouldn’t you like to have a dog?
Gustavo va con su lomito a todos lados
Gustavo goes everywhere with his doggy
Este lomito está perdido, ¿alguien sabe quién es su dueño?
This doggy is lost, does anybody know who is its owner?
Oigan, ¿alguien me recomienda un buen veterinario para mi lomito?
Hey, guys, can someone recommend a good vet for my doggy?
11. Chusco – Mutt
In Peru, chusco is a word that people use to refer to street or mixed-breed dogs. This informal term can be translated as ‘mutt’ or ‘dog’. Even though ‘chusco’ is very popular in Peru, keep in mind that other Spanish speaking countries may have their own terms. Here are a few:
- Mestizo – Mexico
- Caquero – Costa Rica
- Calingo – Honduras
Notice that these variations are used to refer to mixed-breed dogs. However, ‘chusco’ can also be used to talk about street dogs.
Mi hermano adoptó un chusco
My brother adopted a mutt
Nuestro perro es mestizo
Our dog is a mutt
Hay muchos chuscos en la calle
There are a lot of dogs in the street
Si vas a la tienda, cuidado porque hay un chusco muy bravo
If you go to the store, be careful because there’s a very fierce dog
Knowing different words to say ‘dog’ in Spanish will not only allow you to expand your vocabulary, but it will also allow you to communicate better among other dog lovers.
For that reason, in this list, we compiled 11 different Spanish words for ‘dog’. Remember that some of these terms may be only applicable to certain situations or countries.
If you were wondering how to say dog in Spanish, now you have 11 different terms that you can put into practice when calling Firulais. Good luck 😉