I am writing a novel and I need a one word/short phrase for the most common way an individual would praise a dog in German. Either the equivalent of the English phrase "Good Boy" or a popular alternative that a fluent German reader would recognize right away.


2 Answers 2


It is very difficult, if not impossible, to tell the "most common/popular" phrase.

In my opinion, an often heard phrase to praise a dog is

Braver Hund!

Other possiblities would be

Guter Hund!
Fein gemacht!

I think all would be recognized by a German speaker in that sense. I would prefer the first, but it's your decision, which you like best.

  • 2
    Ei, guter Hund!
    – Janka
    Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 9:44
  • Interestingly, both fein and brav are loan words of latinate origin (which also exist in English). Which begs the question: How did Germans praise their dogs in 1000 AD?
    – David Vogt
    Commented Jan 24, 2019 at 18:32
  • @DavidVogt What are the latin words for fein and brav?
    – IQV
    Commented Jan 29, 2019 at 7:47
  • @IQV You mean which words are they derived from? Old French fin and Spanish bravo or French brave, according to etymological dictionaries.
    – David Vogt
    Commented Jan 29, 2019 at 9:55
  • @DavidVogt Genau das war die Frage zu dem Kommentar. Ich hatte nur Schwierigkeiten den Bezug zu subtilis und probus herzustellen. Aber ich habe das jetzt so verstanden, dass er sich nicht auf "lateinische" Herkunft sondern eher "latinisierte" Herkunft bezieht.
    – IQV
    Commented Jan 29, 2019 at 10:00

To praise dogs in German we usually use the phrases

Guter Junge


Gutes Mädchen

depending on the gender.

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