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Naming my Second Bird Dog, Part 1 of 2

Pictured here is Hope, my new pup's dam. Photo courtesy of Top Gun Kennels

Bird dog names are a big deal to me.  Admittedly, they’re probably too big of a deal.  However, as I’ve written about in previous posts about dog names, a bird dog’s name says a lot about the owner as well as what you hope the bird dog will become. In naming a bird dog, there are two qualities I hold as important guidelines: creativity and personalization.



Although you may not realize it at first blush, a creatively named dog is an advantage in the field.  I’ve often been in hunting groups with multiple dogs named the exact same way.  Not only are the owner’s commands confusing for the dogs, they’re confusing for the other hunters too.  Under this guideline, I personally throw out the nation’s most popular dog names as well as a few names commonly popular to other bird hunters.  The names “Drake” and “Hunter” fall in this second category, as does any name referencing your favorite brand of shotgun.


If you’re struggling to find a creative name, consider a different language to fit the breed of dog you’re getting.  There are lots of fun ways to connect a dog’s German, French, Spanish, English or Irish heritage through their name.



For me, a bird dog’s name should tell a story about the owner.  Read some of the comments at the bottom of my Please Don’t Name Your Bird Dog That post and you’ll find fantastic examples of dog names in honor of people’s heroes, favorite book characters and idolized musicians, as well as fun stories of the circumstances surrounding the dog’s personality.


Admittedly odd for some to understand, I named my now five-year old female shorthair “Trammell,” in honor of a male Detroit Tigers baseball player, Alan Trammell, who retired two decades ago.  However, naming my pup “Trammell” immediately personalized that pup to me.  Her name has also always served as a conversation starter about my love of baseball and my roots as a grouse hunter from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.


Pictured here is Fletcher, my new pup's sire. Photo courtesy of Top Gun Kennels

Later this month, my wife and I will be adding our second bird dog to the family.  The new pup comes from the same Top Gun Kennel bloodlines as Trammell.  In the sequel to this post, I’ll finally spill the beans on our new pup’s name.  Got any guesses?


The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.  Follow Bob on Twitter @BobStPierre.

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21 Responses to “Naming my Second Bird Dog, Part 1 of 2”

  1. Shawn McCammon says:

    My black lab Hiway was found half starved on an isolated stretch of Interstate 65.

  2. Renee Williams says:

    Well since it’s a German Shorthair-how about “Ammo” or “Jager”

  3. josh hutchinson says:

    My dog finn, a lab setter mix or flat coat..I adopted so not sure,
    Was named after a character in an irish fairytale my dad used
    To tell me as a young boy.
    Its a very special feeling naming your dog.

  4. My girl now is Daysha (Top Gun product), already named when I got her. I always try to have something a little original, but somewhat themed. Ours are named after movie/tv characters. My wife’s setter is Jemma (Sons of Anarchy). The next 3 on the way are already named, Boyd and Raylan (Justified) and Trixie (Deadwood). Have to keep them simple, too. No more than 2 syllables. I have to quit coming up with names though. If I think of a good name, I always want to add another dog to fill it.

  5. Leon Grimes says:


  6. Jeremy says:


  7. Mr VJP says:

    Ace is a great name for a bird dog.

  8. Shelley says:

    “Nim” — Nimrod – from the Old Testament, was a “mighty hunter.”

  9. carrie says:

    I would think that if your next pup is a female, Faith would be an obvious choice but still a good one. It’s one syllable, goes along with Hope and says a lot about your relationship!

  10. cdy says:

    Names for a pair of Gsp’s Fritz & Frieda

  11. gspdave45 says:

    Whitaker, of course. Sweet Lou!

  12. John Idstrom says:

    Gotta go with one syllable names for field dogs. I like personalizing them and not a common name. My lab Roy is jointly named for my track coach and slide guitarist Roy Rogers (not the singing cowboy, the other one). Perfect name for him, makes everybody smile when he is introduced.

  13. matt miller says:

    My first vizsla I made up her name. I just said to my wife “how about Myla?” She liked it because it was unique. We later found out it is an actual name meaning “merciful.” Our second vizsla we named “Hazey”, again just sitting around the table shooting names back and forth. Our latest addition is a GSP named “Morgen” because I like sunrises more than sunsets.

    Be creative, and have some laughs with your significant other when you blurt out a not so good choice! We definitely had many nights of laughs.

  14. Dave says:

    Well if dad is Fletcher and mom is hope how about Hopes’ arrow called Arrow? a good hunting name.

  15. Dave says:

    heck both mom and dad point like an arrow.

  16. Names are a big thing to us. Although we are not breeders of Labrador Retrievers, we do register our dogs. We also call ourselves Team Tater… and the Tater theme started when our chocolate came home. We named him Tater… and then added “Sweet Paw’Tater.” Then we ordered custom license plates with the Tater name incorporated so when we got a little yellow sister for Tater… we named her Baked-in-the-Sun Boise Paw’Tater. She is a very white color with caramel coloring on her ear tips… like she is baked in the sun. Well… we lost Tater at a young age and we acquired a half sibling (same mom, different dad) for Boise. We named him Buckeye Twice-Baked Paw’Tater. Also an appropriate name as his mom had complications after a C-section birth so he was nursed by another bitch at the kennel who only had two pups… “twice baked.”

  17. Dave says:

    Caroline, my name for my golden is much like that. conection to the parents is cool. and litter themes are cool to. makes the naming of a pup more fun and in some cases meaniningful.

  18. Dan says:

    I have an ivory lab named Titan. We chose to name him that because he was going to be big. He has lived up to the name weighing in at 95 lbs with not an ounce of fat.

  19. Gary B. says:

    You take the time to pick out a pup. Don’t rush into a name. Take a day or so to see what kind of personallity your puppy is developing. My buddies agree with the names for my two English Pointers, Uno and Roscoe

  20. kabe says:

    i went out of the church yearbook/directory for my pups ALWAYS fun first was Signey… called her sigs then was Dagney called her dags or daggers then put the to together to get Digney only prob is i call her Digs…. guess what she like to do….

  21. brett says:

    Would have to agree with “Lou” for the Trammel/Whitaker double play combo. But Gibby (Gibson) or Jack (Morris) wouldn’t be bad names to pair with Trammel. My choice for my next female GSP will be “Porsche” and that’s 2 syllables: “pour” “sha” .


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