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Bird Dog Names, From A to Z

The Lab may be the most popular breed in America, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find an original name.

The Lab may be the most popular breed in America, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for an unoriginal name.

I’ve admitted – repeatedly – that I’m a dog name ‘Snob’ with a capital “S.” So without further adieu, allow me to offer a dog name I love for each letter of the alphabet . . . with a couple extras thrown in for good measure.

A is for Aspen.  Although this name is on the edge of too common, since I know three co-workers with dogs with this name, I must admit I love the multi-level nod to a place this name inspires. It could be referencing a town in Colorado or a favored grouse-y habitat.  Either way, I can picture it, smell it and embrace it as a dog’s moniker.

B is for Bine.  Pronounced “BeNay.”  I’m incredibly reluctant to put this name in print because I’ve ear-marked it for myself and believe it’s so dang cool that people are going to “steal” it in droves. And, you all know how snobbish I become when a dog name reaches too high a popularity level. So, at the risk of exposing my next dog’s name to the world, I introduce you to the Ojibwe name for ruffed grouse: Bine. Have a listen to its pronunciation.

C is for Como.  Wayne Carlson, a friend of mine, named his spectacular Brittany after the St. Paul, Minnesota neighborhood where he and his wife, Emily, reside. I love bird dog names referencing places people cherish.  #SenseOfPlace

D is for Dude.  The Big Lebowski.  I don’t think I need to write any more. If you don’t get it, don’t name your dog “The Dude.”  If you do get it . . .

E is for Eve.  According to Internet folklore, the band Eve 6 came up with their name after watching an episode of the X-Files also called “Eve.” I love both the X-Files and Eve 6, so naturally gravitated to this name, not to mention the underlying “Adam & Eve” references.

F is for Fydrich.  Fidrych references Mark “The Bird” Fidrych, the deceased Detroit Tigers pitcher, 1976 American League Rookie of the Year, Yankee killer, and pop culture transcending character. “The Bird” was known for his quirky personality, which included grooming the mound and talking to the baseball between pitches. To me, Fidrych’s nickname – The Bird – makes it a perfect fit for a bird dog’s name. Unfortunately, my wife VETOED this name during the process of naming of our last puppy. NOTE: This is also the first appearance of a recurring theme that will most likely irritate all non-Michiganders. I have a strong affinity for dog names associated with Detroit and Michigan sports figures.

G is for Griswold.  “Fletch” was a first-runner-up in the “F” section, but Chevy Chase hits the list with his signature character Clark W. Griswold of the National Lampoon’s Vacation series.

H is for Herman.  Herman, the Munsterlander . . . Thanks to anonymous STEVE for this fun name he left in the comment section of my blog entry Naming Your New Bird Dog Puppy.

I is for Iago.  “My name is Iago Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die,” was the memorable line from the popular character in the 1987 movie, The Princess Bride.

J is for Jacques.  In general, I’m against using common people’s names for dogs.  My biggest complaint stems from a hunt where my companion’s dog was named “Bob.”  Needless to say, confusion ensued. However, I believe “Jacques” is uncommon enough a guy’s name (outside of Quebec) that it’s tailor-made for that new French Britt I’ve been contemplating.

K is for Klinger.  Jamie Farr’s popular character Corporal Max Klinger provides a bird dog name with a nod to all those Baby Booming M*A*S*H fans out there looking for a piece of nostalgia.

L is for LaBatt.  Since Pheasants Forever doesn’t currently have a national beer sponsor, I am free to admit my favorite barley soda is LaBatt Blue.

M is for Montana.  There is no doubt this name borders on the edge of being too popular; however, if you’ve ever been to “Big Sky” then you know . . . it’s the most under-rated of all the top bird hunting states. Only big running bird dogs deserve the name “Montana.”

N is for Nirvana.  “Load up on guns, bring your friends,” is the first line of Nirvana’s breakthrough grunge classic, “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” It sounds to me like Kurt Cobain just wanted someone to go on a classic South Dakota pheasant drive.

O is for Orion.  Thanks to anonymous BRENNEN for this fun name he left in the comments section of my blog entry Naming Your New Bird Dog Puppy. “I named by yellow Lab ‘Orion,’ as in the hunter.  The greatest hunter in the universe”

P is for Pebbles.  What comes after Pebbles?  Bamm-Bamm! Sounds like a great bird dog’s name to me.

Q is for Q.  Let’s face it, there aren’t a lot of options here; however, the simplicity in syllables makes “Q” an attractive choice, particularly for Quail Forever members.

R is for Rocky.  I have always loved boxers (the dog) named after boxers (the fighters).  Although boxers aren’t hunting dogs, I think there is room in the bird dog niche for a few male pups named Rocky Balboa.  For some reason, I think of a muscle-ripped English pointer when I think of a fitting breed for dogs named “Rocky.”  Wirehairs also seem to fit the name in my mind.

S is for Seven.  Without a doubt, this was the most controversial letter in my selection process.  I have two great friends who both own fantastic bird dogs with unique “S” names. Anthony Hauck, PF’s Online Editor, has the marvelous English cocker spaniel “Sprig,” and my radio partner Billy Hildebrand has a tremendous Brittany named “Snap.” So, I avoided the conflict and selected George Costanza’s favored baby name, “Seven.”  If you’ve never watched this episode of Seinfeld, then you MUST check out this clip.

T is for Trammell.  If you’re a frequent reader of this blog, then you know my first GSP is named in honor of former Detroit Tigers great Alan Trammell, my childhood idol. “Trammell,” the dog, is my pride and joy, so I will always be partial to this name and forever reserve the right to name another pup down the road in her honor, rather than in the baseball player’s homage the second time around. It’s also important to me to point out that my childhood dog, a Brittany, was named “Tinker.” Tinker was also a great dog, but there was considerable debate between my brother and me about whether we were naming her in reference to Tinker Toys or Tinker Belle. As I recall, I was on the Tinker Toys side.

U is for Uno.  A simple, single syllable name for your first bird dog.

V is for Vern.  “Know what I mean Vern?”

W is for Wingnut.  What do you want your bird dog to be? Crazy about birds . . . a “Wingnut!”

X is X.  It’s a simple name for a simple pointing dog equation . . . “X” marks the spot.

Y is for Yzerman.  Readers of this blog have come to know her as “Izzy,” but her real name is “Yzerman.” Steve Yzerman is my generation’s Gordie Howe. The retired center and captain of the Detroit Red Wings, Yzerman was to hockey fans from Michigan what Alan Trammell was to Tigers fans during my childhood years of the ‘80s.  I’ve never encountered another hunting dog with the name and it personalizes the pup to me while adding on to the story of my Michigan upbringing with Trammell as my bird dog tag team.

Z is for Zetterberg.  Yes, I did it again and closed out my list with another Detroit Red Wings favorite. “Z” for short will likely be my first German wirehaired pointer some ten years down the road from today.

There you have it, my favorite bird dog names from A to Z. I don’t expect you to like all (or any of these). I guess that’s not necessarily the point. Dog names should be unique to the individual doing the naming and hopefully that will create some originality in the process.  That being said, what’s the most original new dog name you’ve come up with as a result of reading this list?


Please Don’t Name Your Bird Dog That

Please Don’t Name Your Bird Dog That Either

Please Don’t Name Your Bird Dog “Bob”

Naming my Second Bird Dog, Part 1 of 2

Naming my Second Bird Dog, Part 2 of 2

Naming Your new Bird Dog Puppy

The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.  Follow Bob on Twitter @BobStPierre and listen to Bob and Billy Hildebrand every Saturday morning on FAN Outdoors radio on KFAN FM100.3.

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20 Responses to “Bird Dog Names, From A to Z”

  1. john wallace says:

    Wouldn’t Uno be 2 syllables?? :)

    I like Zeke for Z. As a waterfowler, Deke is popular…Zeke puts a spin on it…

  2. Skye Kreger says:

    “Z” Zilla—our big-headed chesapeake bay retriever

    “S” Sapphire (Phire for short)—our female chesapeake

    “K” Kustom—our new female puppy chesapeake

    We try our best to not use the names that everyone else uses.

  3. F is for Fritz, a yellow lab born for Bird hunting !

  4. “S” is for Steve. That’s my griff’s name.

  5. We got our latest Black Lab when my son was in his “Cars” (animated movie) phase – so our Lab wound being “Hudson” after the fabulous Hudson Hornet character.

  6. Nice names. I think you must develop a great bond with the animals you have, especially if they are part of many activities. Thanks for inspiring us.

  7. Ryan says:

    “N” is for Nali (Short for Denali National Park)

    “Z” is for Zulu (Sucker for Stanley Baker’s film)

  8. Matt says:

    I=Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride.
    Iago was the parrot’s name from Disney’s Aladdin.

  9. JT says:

    R = Riggins (Redskins running back John Riggins) – my first hunting dog
    D = Doak (Heisman Trophy winner Doak Walker) – wore my favorite number 37. I was going to continue to name all my hunting dogs after football players, but funny when you add two kids in the mix. Our 18 month old yellow lab is named Roscoe after a cartoon character Roscoe the Robot?!?

  10. Bob St.Pierre says:

    Great comments & names. I love JT’s “but funny when ou add two kids in the mix” comment. Great stuff. Keep it coming!
    Thanks for reading.

  11. LD says:

    D – Dakoda
    T – Teagan
    The stage names of 2 of my favorite dancers from way back in the day…

  12. Irving Cryderman says:

    T is for Tebow

  13. Bob St.Pierre says:

    It’s been called to my attention “Uno” is actually two syllables . . . and upon further review . . . I did make an error there. Poor mistake coming from a guy that double majored in English. Ouch!

  14. john wallace says:


  15. Bob St.Pierre says:

    Thanks John. Someone’s gotta keep me honest.
    Sorry, no Cincy Reds names . . . Barry Larkin went to the U of MI, so “Lark” was in contention, but I’m still sour about his HOF recognition and Trammell continuing to be snubbed :)

  16. john wallace says:

    S for Sabo? Bo for short?

  17. Bob St.Pierre says:

    If memory serves . . . Sabo also is a U of MI alumn. I dig it.

  18. Ryan Baumgartner says:

    I asked the wife if I could name our next dog Bine. She responded “like the toilet thing in France?” I wonder how many times that would happen with that name.

    For some reason “C” as in Cuddyer or Cuddy for short was left out of my first post.

  19. Rich Wentworth says:

    Just have to say as a Michigan Native and a Red Wings-nut. Thanks for Y and Z. Two greats!

  20. wisc14 says:

    s is for Sayner, named after a town in Northern Wi where I love to camp, fish, and grouse hunt


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