Animals in German

The German language has a lot of fun words for animals. In fact, the German language has some cool animal names that you will want to learn. This guide will teach you the basics of animal vocabulary in German, from Bären [bears] to Füchse [foxes].

Whether you are a beginner or an intermediate speaker of German, this guide will definitely teach you something about German pets and other animals. Read on.

Pets – Haustiere

The German people are very passionate about their pets. Today, there are almost 35 million pets in Germany! The German language reflects this love of animals. Here is a list of some common German names for pets and their translations.

Animals in German

Note that there are other translations possible as well, but these are the most commonly used ones. Have fun learning them!



der Hund

the dog

die Katze

the cat

der Welpe

the puppy

der Vogel

the bird

der Fisch

the fish

der Papagei

the parrot

die Maus

the mouse

der Ratte

the rat

der Hamster

the hamster

das Kaninchen

the rabbit

das Meerschweinchen

the guinea pig

die Schlange

the snake

die Eidechse

the lizard

die Schildkröte

the turtle

Farm Animals – Nutztiere

Let’s take a look at the farmyard animals – this will help you both in daily conversations as well as in restaurants when placing an order [if you’re a meat eater, of course].

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it should give you a good start if you want to learn some of the basic words for farm animals and young animals in German.



das Schwein

the pig

die Kuh

the cow

das Kalb

the calf

das Huhn

the chicken

das Küken

the chick

das Schaf

the sheep

das Lamm

the lamb

die Ziege

the goat

das Pferd

the horse

der Esel

the donkey

die Ente

the duck

Animals in German

Terrestrial Wildlife – Land Wildtiere

The animals described below all live on land, so they are referred to as "land wildlife" [Landwildtiere] in the German language. Learn their names and make sure you can sound more fluent when talking to native speakers – especially when visiting a zoo.



der Hase

the jackrabbit

das Eichhörnchen

the squirrel

der Wolf

the wolf

die Fledermaus

the bat

der Igel

the hedgehog

der Hirsch

the deer, usually describes the male of the species

das Reh

the deer, usually describes the female of the species

der Bär

the bear

der Elch

the moose

die Spitzmaus

the shrew

das Wildschwein

the wild boar

These were the most commonly found wild animals in the German lands. And now, let’s take a look at more exotic animals:



der Löwe

the lion

die Giraffe

the giraffe

der Tiger

the tiger

der Elefant

the elephant

das Zebra

the zebra

der Leopard

the leopard

der Panther

the panther

der Affe

the monkey

der Gepard

the cheetah

die Antilope

the antelope

das Flusspferd

the hippopotamus

der Pavian

the baboon

das Nashorn

the rhinoceros

der Gorilla

the gorilla

das Erdmännchen

the meerkat

das Warzenschwein

the warthog

der Mungo

the mongoose

das Kamel

the camel

das Erdferkel

the aardvark

Animals in German

Marine Wildlife – Wasser Wildtiere

Did you know that there are around 240,000 species of animals that live in the water? In German, these creatures are known as "Wasserwildtiere," or water wildlife. Learning their names can be both informative and fun. Let's take a look at some of the most common ones.



der Otter

the otter

der Wal

the whale

der Hai

the shark

die Robbe

the seal

das Walross

the walrus

der Delfin

the dolphin

die Krabbe

the crab

der Hummer

the lobster

die Garnele

the shrimp

der Seestern

the starfish

der Seeigel

the sea urchin

der Tintenfisch

the squid

der Krake

the octopus

die Grüne Meeresschildkröte

the green sea turtle

der Stachelrochen

the stingray

der Seelöwe

the sea lion

der Pinguin

the penguin

der Narwal

the narwal

And a quick look at the pond life:



der Frosch

the frog

die Kröte

the toad

die Kaulquappe

the tadpole

der Karpfen

the carp

der Wassermolch

the newt

Flying Fauna – Fliegende Fauna

In addition to the more common English words like "bird" and "butterfly", there are also uniquely German names for various types of flying creatures. Learning these words can help you better understand and appreciate the rich biodiversity of Germany.



die Taube

the pigeon

die Elster

the magpie

der Spatz

the sparrow

die Schwalbe

the swallow

die Amsel

the blackbird

die Weiße Taube

the dove

die Eule

the owl

die Seemöwe

the seagull

die Krähe

the crow

die Gans

the goose

der Falke

the falcon

der Wellensittich

the budgie

der Geier

the vulture

der Pfau

the peacock

Insects – Insekten

All around the world, people of all ages are either fascinated or scared by insects. These tiny creatures can be found almost anywhere you look, and with a little knowledge about their names in German you will be able to better understand them.

Let’s take a look at the names of the most common insects of the German language:



die Spinne

the spider

die Ameise

the ant

die Biene

the bee

die Wespe

the wasp

die Hornisse

the hornet

die Qualle

the jellyfish

der Skorpion

the scorpion

die Giftschlange

the poisonous snake

die Spinne

the spider

die Zecke

the tick

die Mücke

the midge

der Moskito

the mosquito

die Bremse

the horse fly

die Bettwanze

the bedbug

der Käfer

the beetle

die Küchenschabe

the cockroach

German Animal Parts

Of course, when talking about different animals in German, you might want to talk about their parts, such as big horns, tails, or stingers. Here’s a short list of German animal parts you might find helpful:



der Schwanz

the tail

die Schnauze

the snout

die Pfote

the paw

die Pranke

the paw of a lion, tiger or bear

der Pelz

the animal fur

die Feder

the feather

das Gefieder

the plumage | feathering

der Stoßzahn

the tusk

das Horn

the horn

der Stachel

the stinger

How to Practice Your Animal Vocabulary

It's important to practice new vocabulary because the more you use a German word, the faster you can recall the word. Finding the right way of practicing is essential though – because if you use methods that don’t suit or interest you, there’s a low chance that you will succeed.

To practice vocabulary on German animals better, you can quiz yourself with flashcards, write out the words and recite them, or find videos or pictures online of the animals you're learning about and use them for context clues. Here are our top-3 ways to learn new vocabulary in German quickly and easily:

Use Flashcards

One tried-and-true method for learning new words is using flashcards. This is a simple way to quiz yourself on new vocabulary, and it can be adapted to fit your own needs and interests. If you’re someone who likes visual aids, then using pictures on your flashcards is a great way to learn. You can also find online flashcards apps if you prefer online learning.

Animals in German

Another advantage of using flashcards is that you can carry them with you wherever you go, so you can practice any time you have a free moment. This is a great option if your schedule doesn’t allow for regular language classes or study time.

Learn the Common Words in English and German

When you’re learning a new language, it’s always helpful to learn some of the common words in that language that have similar translations in your native tongue. This way, when you come across a new word you don’t know, you can use its equivalent in English to help you figure out what it means. For those who already speak English, German comes with a few advantages.

For example, when learning about different animals in German, it’s helpful to learn some of the similar words for animals in English. This will make it easier for you to remember the new words, and it will also give you a little practice with pronunciation. After you are done with that, move to the vocabulary you will use often – for example, if you’re a dog owner, learn the common German words for dogs.

Pay Attention to Gender

As we have already mentioned, German nouns have a gender, which is either masculine, feminine or neuter. This might seem like a trivial detail, but it actually plays an important role in the language. For example, the definite article (“der, die, das”) changes depending on the gender of the noun it’s modifying.

This can be helpful when learning new animal vocabulary because you can associate a specific definite article with each gender, making it easier to remember the word. For example, the word for “lion” is Löwe in German, and it is masculine. Learn the noun together with the article – der Löwe – and this will help you remember the gender further on.

Final Thoughts on Learning German Animal Vocabulary

Learning animal vocabulary in German can be both informative and fun. There are many different words for animals in German, some of which have similar words in English, while others do not. To practice your new vocabulary, you can use flashcards, learn the common words in English and German, read German stories, and pay attention to gender.

With a little bit of practice, you will be able to fluently converse about different animals in German. And no matter what method of learning you choose, make sure you take the time to really learn and understand the meanings of these new German words – they'll come in handy on your next trip to Germany!

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Beata Hardzei

Beata Hardzei loves languages and shares this passion through her writing. Speaking English, Polish, Russian, and French, she explores the nuances of foreign languages, aiming to make learning feel more like a journey than a task. Beata's background as a teacher and translator enriches her insights, helping you see language learning as an accessible, enriching experience.