Barbara Fitzgerald is an AKC Breeder of Merit and author of the column "Conversations with Champions" for the BCSA magazine, Borderlines.
Badass Names for Dogs With Masks
While masks are worn by both villains and heroes, the style of the mask tells us who the good guys are and who has evil intent. Masks that cover just the eyes tend to belong to heroes, while masks that cover half or all of the face lend a sinister character to the wearer. These superheroes and villains make unique names for dogs with two-toned faces.
- Avenger: Masked Avengers, Chinese martial arts film.
- Balaclava: Fancy term for ski mask, Balaclava-clad characters represent the mindless, faceless force of evil.
- Bane: Mask wearing bad guy in Dark Knight Rises.
- Batman: Rich guy, Bruce Wayne, dons a cape and cowl to transform himself into Batman, the more mature half of the Caped Crusaders.
- Batgirl: Commissioner Gordon's daughter, Barbara Gordon, is the love interest of Dick Grayson, aka Robin, and cowled Batgirl.
- Crusader: The Caped Crusaders, Batman and Robin, both wear good guy masks referred to as their "capes and cowls." Name your dog Crusader and you can call him Cruise.
- Domino: A "domino mask" is that which only covers the eyes.
- Erik: Given the name of the Phantom of the Opera, opera ghost.
- Hit-Girl: Kickass companion, Mindy McCready, dons a mask and uses martial arts to become a ten-year-old vigilante.
- Kickass: A teenager and fan of comic books, Mark Lizewski set out to become a real-life superhero, in spite of the fact that he possesses no superpowers.
- Ninja: Masked man proficient in the martial arts Ninjutsu, known for stealth.
- Phantom: Badly scarred composer, the Phantom of the Opera wears an oddly-shaped white mask to hide his facial deformities.
- Robin: Bruce Wayne ward, Dick Grayson, seconds Batman as the younger, smaller half of the Dynamic Duo.
- Ski: Mask which covers everything but the eyes and mouth, frequently worn by bank robbers.
- Zorro: Latino vigilante, Zorro leaves his mark by etching a "Z" into walls and curtains to sign his good deeds and acts of vengeance.
Unique Names for Two-Toned Black and White Dogs
- Ansel: Famous black and white photographer, Ansel Adams.
- Appaloosa: American horse breed known for its spotted coat pattern. Can be black and white or red and white.
- Barkley: The Barkleys of Broadway, Fred Astaire Top hats and Tuxedo Coat Tails movie.
- Bonaparte: Penguin Family.
- Checkers: Boardgame and the name of Nixon's dog.
- Chessie: Short for Chess.
- Dice: White cubes with black spots.
- Domino: Tile game with white slates and black spots.
- Emperor: Penguin breed.
- Gentoo: Penguin Breed.
- Grevy: Specie of Zebra.
- Humboldt: Penguin Breed.
- Hydrox: Oreo's predecessor.
- King: Penguin Breed.
- Oreo: Black and white cookie.
- Oxford: Black and white shoes, popular in the 1950s.
- Panda: China's national symbol and gentle giant.
- Pepper: Peppercorns come in a variety of colors: black, white rose and green.
- Puffin: Black and white bird with an orange bill.
- Scrabble: Board game with white tile and black letters on them.
- Silky: Silk Stockings, Fred Astaire Top hats and Tuxedo Coat Tails movie.
- Snares: Penguin breed.
- Swing: Swing Time, a Fred Astaire Top hats and Tuxedo Coat Tails movie.
- Tux: Formal wear; the Tuxedo is traditionally black and white.
Fashion-Inspired Multi Colored Dog Names
- Argile: A pattern of overlapping diamonds and diagonal lines, argyle is intended to give a three-dimensional effect to the pattern.
- Calico: A tri-colored cat with large patches of color.
- Camo: Camouflage, military pattern used to conceal.
- Chevron: A "V" shaped badge or insignia, often seen on coats of arms.
- Damask: A weave found in the city of Damascus, the damask possesses a high quality of finish, with contrasting finishes of matte and glossy threads.
- Gingham: A coarse cloth woven with a checkerboard pattern.
- Puzzle: A test of ingenuity, the puzzle solver must piece together disparate pieces in order to form a logical solution.
- Tartan: Tartan is a Scottish pattern consisting of crisscrossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colors, typically called plaid.
- Tweed: A cheviot pattern usually in plain, twill or herringbone pattern, achieved by mixing colored yarn before weaving.
Meaningful Tri-Color and Parti-Colored Dog Names
- Bling: Show dog expression for lots of white highlights.
- Brindle: Coat pattern seen on dogs, cattle and sometimes horses.
- Chrome: Show dog expression for white highlights.
- Cryptic: Complex
- Divers: Various or diverse.
- Eclectic: Diverse.
- Hat Trick: Scoring three goals by the same player or three consecutive successes of the same kind. Name your dog Hat Trick and you can call her Hatty.
- Hue: Shade or tint.
- Jumble: Mixed up.
- Kaleidoscope: Device that reflects light to mirrors and presents them in repeated patterns of color.
- Legion: Diversified.
- Mazy: Complex.
- Melange: French for mixture.
- Mezcla: Spanish for mixture.
- Mosaic: Made of many colors.
- Motley: Mixed or varied, a nod to the band Motley Crew.
- Rainbow: Refracted light following a rainstorm.
- Parti: Parti-colored or multicolored.
- Patches: Blocks of color, repairs to cloth.
- Pied: Having many colors.
- Pinto: Paint markings on a horse, nickname of Animal House character.
- Prism: Device that fractures light into multiple colors.
- Psychedelic: Richly saturated colors inspired by psychedelic experiences.
- Puzzle: Jigsaw puzzles are made of tiny color blocks that create a complete image once assembled.
- Splash: Small area of bright color.
- Streak: Layers of colors.
- Sundry: Various.
- Tabby: Brown or grey blending in a tiger or mackerel pattern.
- Ternion: Set of three.
- Tie: Short for Tie-dyed. Tie or Tye is a good name for both male and female dogs.
- Trifecta: A bet in which the gambler correctly predicts the first three finishers. In horse racing that is Win, Place and Show.
- Trine: Trilogy
- Trinity: Grouping of three, often holy. Name of the female lead character in the Matrix.
- Trip: Psychedelic experience.
- Troika: Russian, Trilogy.
Mythological Names for Split-Face Dogs
In dreams and often in mythology, a two-headed creature represents the coming together of opposite forces. Such opposing forces may be masculine and feminine, past and future or conscious and unconscious. The split-face dog, often with a white side and a dark side, allows for many comparisons from ancient mythology as well as modern mythology, the comic book series.
- Adam: According to the Talmud, Adam was originally created with one body and two heads, which was later split into two bodies, creating Adam and Eve.
- Agni: Hindi god with two heads, Agni is a fire god.
- Angel: Vampire of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel is a vampire cursed with a human soul and the capacity for remorse. Angel struggles with his two faces throughout this series, and its spinoff, Angel.
- Aurora: Marvel Comics, a heroine with multiple personality disorder. Aurora has two distinct "faces," quiet, religious Jeanne-Marie and outgoing, heroic Aurora.
- Bele: Two-toned alien, played by Frank Gorshin, from Star Trek episode, "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield." One half of his face is white, the other is black. He is the mirror image of his nemesis, Lokai.
- Cain: The Zohar speaks of the descendants of Cain as having two heads.
- Cerberus: Mythological Greek monster that guards the entrance to Hades, a canid with three heads.
- Chaos: Captain Chaos is the alter ego of the Dom Deluise character Victor Prinzim in the Cannonball Run series.
- Chimera: Mythological Greek monster with the head of a lion and a goat. Also a synonym for dream or fantasy.
- Dent: Harvey Dent, Batman nemesis is known as Two Face.
- Duela: Duela Dent is the daughter of Two Face in the Batman comic series. She is a member of the Suicide Squad and the Teen Titans.
- Harvey: Batman villain, Two Face, whose full name is Harvey Dent.
- Hecate: Greek goddess of witches, crossroads, and nightmares, often depicted with three heads.
- Janus: Two-faced god depicted on Roman coins. Janus looks to the future and the past; he is the god of duality, transitions, passages and new beginnings.
- Jekyll and Hyde: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde share the same body in Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Hyde.
- Lokai: Star Trek character whose face is half white and half black, from the episode, "Let This Be Your Last Battlefield." A morality play regarding two peoples, locked in immortal hatred, whose only difference is which side of their face is black and which is white.
- Orthrus: Mythological Greek two-headed dog owned by the giant Geryon.
- Yin and Yang: The Chinese philosophy in which all forces opposite are interconnected and inseparable.
Barbara Fitzgerald (author) from Georgia on March 23, 2020:
Hi JC - sorry for your loss of your dear companion.
JC Scull from Gainesville, Florida on March 23, 2020:
Excellent article. It made me think of my dog, whom I greatly miss.
Liz Westwood from UK on June 18, 2019:
You have come up with a thorough and interesting list.
The 4 Main Coat Colors
Australian Shepherds come in four officially recognized colors. Any other colors outside these four are considered mongrel dogs (mixed with other breeds). For those with other color combinations, they are disqualified as purebred Aussies .
Australian Shepherds come in these four accepted coat colors:
- Blue Merle
- Red Merle
You might have noticed the title stating there are 14 different Aussie colors. Although these four colors are the main color groups, each group has several variations.
Let’s further examine each main color category and their variations.
A multitude of Merle Dog Breeds
Now that you have the scoop on all things merle let’s check out breeds that frequently carry the gene.
1. Australian Shepherd
The most notable merle pupper is the Australian Shepherd or Aussie, a lovable, high-energy pup who dominates the agility scene with his bounce and enthusiasm.
A herding breed, the Aussie requires frequent exercise and mental stimulation to prevent destructive behavior and mischief.
Say hello to this adorable little friend. Usually referred to as dapple in the breed, merle is found in the world’s smallest doggo, too. A pint-sized pup with a big-dog attitude, chihuahuas make wonderful lap dogs and watchdogs.
3. Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Easily recognized as the corgi with a tail, merle Cardigans are in high-demand.
A boisterous pup affectionately called Cardis (not to be confused with the rapper, though they do have a cool bark) this pupper got his start in herding, believe it or not. This makes him an excellent candidate for agility.
4. Shetland Sheepdog
What a cute floof! While most of us usually think of the traditional sable sheltie, blue merle pups appear as well. A high-energy honey with a strong desire to please, shelties excel in obedience and agility competitions.
That long, flowing coat does require some heavy-duty grooming, however, so take that into account before scooping one up.
5. Catahoula Leopard Dog
An all-American hunk with strength and a thirst for adventure, the Catahoula is known for his striking good looks.
Bred as a hunting dog, Catahoulas are excellent jogging companions. They do require early socialization and training, however, to avoid serious behavioral problems.
Like Chihuahuas, the merle coloring is referred to as dapple in dachshunds. A handsome hound with a big personality despite his stumpy legs, the dachshund is a great companion.
His build doesn’t allow him to be a traditional athlete, but that doesn’t stop him from being the obedience class clown.
7. Smooth Collie
A sleek variation of collie, the smooth collie offers all the fun and playfulness of their rough-coat counterpart without the mountain of fur to worry about.
These canine athletes are a fixture on the agility circuit and make incredible hiking and jogging buddies. Regular exercise is a must to keep naughtiness at bay, however.
A relatively rare cutie from Down Under, the Koolie is a scrappy breed who isn’t afraid of a little fun in the sun.
He got his start in herding livestock, so he has as much energy and drive as the Energizer Bunny, making him an all-star athlete. Like similar breeds, the Koolie needs to stay busy to prevent destructive behavior.
9. Pit Bull
Pitties come in all sorts of colors — including merle. He’s an active breed that needs a great deal of exercise to stay out of trouble, though he’ll happily transform into a house hippo to snooze on your sofa between runs.
A holder of the dynamic terrier temperament, early socialization and training are needed to prevent animal aggression and curb chasing instincts.
A French herding dog that also has a background in police work, the Beauceron is a working breed to the bone.
He lives to please his owner and does best in an environment where he’s always busy. He’s a natural guard dog and is reserved with strangers, so early training and socialization are required.
11. Border Collie
Like the Aussie, the Border collie is a regular on the agility scene. He’s another shining star of the merle look, the breed one of the most common carriers of the gene.
He seems to beast every task in front of him, from dock jumping to herding to obedience. Because of this high level of intelligence and athleticism, he needs daily exercise (both physical and mental) to remain happy and non-destructive.
12. Great Dane
A gargantuan merle carrier, the Great Dane is the largest dog breed with an even bigger heart. He started off as a hunting dog in Germany, though today, he’s more likely to be hunting treats on your countertops.
He’s very much a gentle giant, and while he needs regular exercise to keep trim, avoid overdoing it to prevent joint issues.
A tiny spitz with a foxy personality, the Pomeranian is a beloved companion and surprisingly effective watchdog. He’s naturally feisty and alert, making him unafraid of sounding the alarm at the slightest noise.
His thick coat does need regular upkeep to stay stunning, though his exercise needs can be met with a daily walk.
Isn’t merle a majestic coloring? Do you own a merle pup? Tell us about your pooch in the comments below (or share photos via our uploader)! We’d love to hear about your merle fur baby.
Now let's put together the list above to create some great dog names based on color.
Apricot: A very pale orange color
Browns: This group can include mahogany, chocolate, liver, gray browns mixture of black and brown (brindle), or a mid-tone brown.
Gold and Tans: include those breeds that have a reddish yellow appearance, but also fawn, apricot, wheaten, tawny, straw, mustard, sandy, honey yellow, lemon, and buff.
Grays: Shade can be Slate, charcoal, silver, pepper, grizzle, steel. Sometimes blues are called gray.
Reds: Color tones range from orange, chestnut, roan, rust, tan or ruby. Tawny and Blenheim (Red-brown and white) would fall into this group. Some are much redder in appearance than others.
Blues: Normally blues look more like a dark grey, metallic grey, gunpowder gray, with the nose color being more of a slate gray.
Blacks: Pure black is the most common, but when black is mixed with red, it is often referred to as seal
White: Usually pure white but can also refer to light cream color or very light lemon coloration
Creams: Pale yellow to almost white whereas fawns are more of a yellow, tan or very light brown that has a black or dark colored face mask. Creams vary among breeds and also can appear as ivory or blond.
Choosing a dog name by color is a fun way to name your puppy. Look at your pup's hair color and match it to the colors listed below.