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HOW TO Name Your Bird Dog

My Dad's Brittany is named "Bleu." Depending on the day, he'll tell you that references his love of blue Powerade, a character in the movie "Old School," or his affinity for hunting under blue skies. Needless to say, it's original and creates a story.

I received the following email yesterday:

So you seem to think of yourself as an expert in naming bird dogs.  What do you suggest I name my new pup that starts with the letter “L?”

Considering my past blogs titled Please Don’t Name Your Bird Dog That and Please Don’t Name Your Bird Dog That Either, I thought the emailer had a fair question for me (a.k.a. Mr. Smarty Pants). 

Here are my top five suggestions on naming your new bird dog.

1) Be Original.  Ever hunted in a group with three dogs all named “Remy?”  Think how confusing that is for you, let alone all three of those pups!

2) Names Tell Stories.  I believe you should have to tell a story to explain your pup’s name to someone.  The conversation ends when your pup is named “Phil.”

3) Pay Homage.  A dog’s name is a terrific way to honor someone or something special in your life.

4) Don’t be Silly.  Last year, VPI Pet Insurance published a list of the top ten most unusual dog namesClose circuit to the person naming their pup “Lord Chubby Pruneface:” Seek professional help. 

5) Fit the Breed.  When possible, it’s cool to match the pup’s name to the breed.  There are lots of fun ways to connect a dog’s German, English, French, Spanish or Irish heritage through their name.

With those five bits of advice in mind, I suggested that the emailer consider their favorite characters from novels, people they admire, or names of favorite hunting grounds.  Undoubtedly, there will be an “L” word that connects these dots.  In the end, I did not offer a list of names starting with the letter “L” to the emailer.  Picking that pup’s name and having it mean something special has to come from the owner. 

The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.

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15 Responses to “HOW TO Name Your Bird Dog”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Pheasants Forever, : Billy, Kari Murray, Anthony, Bob St.Pierre and others. Bob St.Pierre said: After blogs about HOW NOT to pick a name for your bird dog, this one gives a little HOW TO advice. http://bit.ly/dRDHDi [...]

  2. Chris says:

    My labs are named Willie & Waylon. The next one is gonna be Hank. Classic country stars are the way to go.

  3. Chris,
    I dig your Lab’s names. Great theme!

  4. We love “sense of place” names that include nomenclature of important local areas, such as Sandhills, Plainsman and Fontenelle (after Fontenelle Forest). For example, our male Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is AKC Sweetgrass Plainsman Samson.

  5. Great suggestion Charity!

  6. Scott LaPlante says:

    The “pay homage” approach gets to be quite a contest with some people I know. The naming of a dog using the middle or last name of a hunting buddy has taken on a life of its own in my circles. Makes for interesting conversation and a quite a bit of fun.

  7. Matt Bachelor says:

    Hey guys… my motto is “the key to a dogs name is 1 syllable”. I named my weim Girl. 1. because john waynes dogs were always named Dog, and since I got a female( they dont get sidetracked by having to pee on everything) I named her Girl because Dog just didnt seem feminine enough. But I’m a strong believer that when walking through a field, you want your dogs name to be 1 syllable.

  8. Winghunter says:

    Remember, your pup’s response to you is improved by giving him a name with a hard sounding first consonant. It just makes sense.

    Your pup doesn’t care how inventive your are in spelling the name but, it will make both your jobs easier.

  9. brittluvr says:

    See I like a 2-syllable name that can be shortened to one. Our current britt has a one syllable name, and I’ve added a -bo to the end of it. When calling the pack it’s always “boys”, probably will stay that way even though I’m adding a girl (maybe). Although the person who named their Brittany, “Spears” should be slapped.

  10. Bear Child Potts says:

    I named my German Shorthaired Pointer female ‘Ute’ (pronounced ootah). That is a fairly common German girls name, to go with her breeding. However, the real reason I choose the name is that I have fond memories of a Radio Operator on a German Freighter that I met many years ago during my seafaring days!

  11. Tim says:

    Ike = President/general
    Edie = Wifes grandmother
    Tillie = My grandmother
    Gracie = Granddaughter
    Ruby = Granddaughter got to pick a name
    Smokey = Forgot why I named him this

  12. Rick says:

    I named my red lab Fern for “where the red Fern grows”. I looked for ways to tie her color in and to the point of having a story, I always have something to explain when telling someone her name.

  13. Ted says:

    My daughter actually came up with the name I gave my German Shorthaired Pointer. The name ‘Shatze’ is a variation of the German word Shatz meaning treasure or love. Turns out be a pretty good description of how I feel about my companion.

  14. Derek H says:

    I have a English Pointer named Chief. The name came from the movie The Fox and The Hound. I have waited almost 25 years or more to name a dog that. The name is very fitting for him he pretty rules the house, maybe King would be a good one for him.

  15. Carol says:

    New to the blog and just read through all your dog name blogs. We received 8 month old Booker, our red lab in 2009. Couldn’t decide on a name, so continued to use “Booker” which was given by breeder. After watching him rocket off after his dummies and of course tennis balls, we knew the name was perfect. 3 years later he still has the same speed as he did at 8 months.


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