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Naming Your New Bird Dog Puppy

My dad with his Brittany featuring an original name: "Bleu Skye St.Pierre"

My dad with his Brittany featuring an original name: “Bleu Skye St.Pierre”

Earlier this week, Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s Online Editor, asked me to write a blog about my favorite bird dog names.  Actually, what he said was, “you’ve sort of cornered the blog market on posts about names . . .

Soooo, why don’t you write a blog about some of your favorite bird dog names?”

 

Admittedly, I am a name snob.  A dog name snob in particular.  Ironic coming from a guy named “Bob,” I know.  I get it.  We all have our “issues.”
Well Anthony, challenge accepted.  To start, here are a few of my five categories for coining a good bird dog name.

 

1) Be Original.  I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to beat this theme until I never meet another dog named “Remy.”  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!  IMMEDIATELY rule out names referencing your favorite shotgun (Remy, Reta, Benelli, etc.).  Also eliminate “Drake” and “Hunter.”  A bird dog is a unique opportunity to be creative, personal and original.  Embrace the opportunity.

 

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. However, let it be known naming your Brittany “Spears” is a jailable offense for man, woman or child.

 

4) Sense of Place.  I really like dog names that reference a special place in a person’s life.

 

5) Fit the Breed.  When possible, it’s cool to match the pup’s name to the breed or your heritage with the dog’s name.  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, here are five dog names that stick out as favorites of the hundreds of pups I’ve encountered during the decade I’ve served with Pheasants Forever.

 

1)      Sprig (Original).  Anthony earns honors for coming up with a name for his Cocker as he references his favorite duck, the pintail.

 

2)      Bleu (Stories).  Truth be told, I didn’t fall too far from the “weird tree.”  My dad named his Brittany pup using one of the weirdest decision trees ever conceived. At the time he received his new Brittany pup (it was a gift from me & my brother), my dad was addicted to blue PowerAde.  He also happens to love bleu cheese.  Consequently, it made sense in his mind to name his brand new pup “Bleu Skye St.Pierre” or “Bleu” for short.  It’s odd . . . but, it’s original.  I like original.

 

3)      Kirby (Homage).  It’s not a secret I like baseball.  My first bird dog is named in honor of my childhood hero, Detroit Tigers great Alan Trammell.  Similarly, my co-worker Bill Fisher named his pup “Kirby” in honor of the Minnesota Twins great, Kirby Puckett.  However, the best story of this name came from another Twins great, Kent Hrbek.  Kent was fond of saying Minnesotans named their dogs “Kirby,” but they named their cows “Herby.”

 

4)      Como (Sense of Place). Wayne Carlson, a friend of mine who is also a Ramsey County Pheasants Forever Chapter officer, named his spectacular Brittany after the St. Paul neighborhood where he and his wife, Emily, reside.  I love bird dog names referencing places people cherish.  Dakota, Kota, Montana, and Aspen are other good place-based names that come to mind.

 

Como, a bird hunting machine with a cool name

Como, a bird hunting machine with a cool name

5)      Valborg (Ethnicity).  Bob Larson, Pheasants Forever’s Chairman of the Board, has deep Scandinavian roots.  So deep that he named his bird hunting poodle “Valborg” to honor his heritage.

 

What method did you employ to generate an original name for your bird dog pup?

 

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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12 Responses to “Naming Your New Bird Dog Puppy”

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  1. Brennen says:

    I named my yellow lab “Orion” as in Orion the hunter, the greatest hunter in the universe. Call him Rye for short. It matches well with his golden yellow coat.

  2. Kelly VanWyk says:

    We named our Weimeraner Stormy, it was suppose to blizzard the day we were suppose to pick her up ( but it didn’t ) and she is a gray color like stormy skies. :)

  3. We have a number of Shorthairs, and I think their names are unique maybe even a little weird and few more common names used, we have Mira, Priss, Drawdoow (said like drawdoo), Mavrick, Studley, Gorge (short for Gorgeous), Woody, Damsel, Turbo, and a Duchess. Its amazing how their names fit their personalities, my favorite thing to do is the name search. Their registered names are even weirder, lol.

  4. Diane Lueck says:

    My favorite ball player was Harmon Killebrew. I think EITHER would be a great name for a dog! (My PF dog life member, Derby, was an adjustment from his previous name at the shelter–Derf. Good grief.)

  5. Lucas wendl says:

    My dad picked up a pair of litter mate shorthairs, both males. the big, dark colored ones, no white on them. i was about 12 and had a bird hunting addiction. he wanted “Gangster” dogs, so naturally we picked the names Barney and Clyde. I know, its supposed to be Bonnie, but they were both males. The famous outlaws robbed a bank in Stuart, Iowa in the thirties, about 15 miles from our home.

  6. Scott Siman says:

    I prefer one syllable names (Luke, Buck) so it’s pretty hard to come up with the great names. It takes lots of time but yields the best names ever. My older dog is Buck and my 1 year old black lab is named after my all-time favorite football team. His name is Colt.
    I agree that Hunter, Drake, Rem, etc. show a decided lack of imagination and anyone naming a beautiful dog like a Brittany, Spears should lose their ownership rights and be tried for inhumane treatment of an animal.

  7. rod says:

    Getting the call name to match the pedegree name is always tricky. But with our current yellow pointing lab we came up with ‘Brie’ or Champagne Brie of Bearpoint. Her 2 toned coloration resembles the color change of a good brie cheese or the difference in color of champagne and the bubbles. Also both are expensive – like the dog!

  8. Fred says:

    What if my dog is named after my favorite type of gun not just the brand name, Remi-automatic? In all seriousness, when I was thinking of a name I thought long and hard about something original instead of Remington, the name given to my dog by the original owner’s kids. But I kept coming back to Remi because it was a good strong field name and it just seemed to fit him. I totally understand the complaint about unoriginal names but my warning to people is to not get so tied up into pedigree names that it always seems to get reduced to something like “Daisy” or “Mac”. Also, pick a name that works in the field so you don’t end up being “that guy” that keeps yelling “Prometheus” across the grass to a dog that ignores him every time. I can imagine hunting with Rod and a dog that hears a strong and unconfusing name like Brie. Oh, and along with Remy and all the other names add Bandit, Ammo and Griz.

  9. deb says:

    Two Brittnays, 1 male, one female…thier names? Jack and Jill. Story is self explanatory. Jack and Jill went over the hill to fetch a downed pheasant

  10. Steve says:

    How about a Small Munsterlander named Herman. Get it, Herman Munsterlander.

  11. Bob St.Pierre says:

    Great names folks! I particularly like “Herman” the Munsterlander.
    Thanks for reading the blog & posting thoughtful comments.
    Sincerely appreciated,
    Bob

  12. Chuck says:

    My Dad called every dog I ever owned “Bosco” no matter what their name was…. I broke down and now have a great looking Vizsla named Sergeant Bosco Red, Bosco for short! My 87 year old Dad smiled from ear to ear!

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