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Please Don’t Name Your Bird Dog That

Good training can overcome even the worst name for your dog.

A good name may not make your pup a better bird dog, but a solid name for your pooch will keep your hunting buddies off your back.

Got a new bird dog puppy at home?  Having trouble picking out that perfect name?  The name you choose says as much about the bird hunter as it does about the bird dog.  Choose wisely and you’ll be the envy of your hunting party.  Choose poorly . . . well, your hunting buddies won’t likely let you up for air.

I know that ragging on a hunter’s bird dog can lead to a fist fight.  If your dog is named one of the following below, then let me please apologize right now- 

A)    Yes, the performance of a dog is more important than its name. 

B)    Yes, you are probably more secure in your masculinity than I am and can indeed hold your head high as you call “Muffin” back to you with a rooster in her mouth.

C)    Yes, having a popular name isn’t a bad thing.  You probably did think of it first.

D)    Yes, my female dog has the name of retired male baseball player that last took the field almost 15 years ago (Trammell).  I am indeed living in the past.

E)     Yes, my bird dog has an affinity for skunks and is sprayed by them regularly.  I should probably have named her “Stinky.”

Without further adieu, here’s a short list of hunting dog names I would personally avoid. 


You’d think the problem for a pheasant hunter owning a dog named “Rooster” would be obvious, but I encounter a “Rooster” every year.  The problem with the name surfaces any time you hunt pheasants in a group.  The dog’s owner shouts “Rooster” only to have his entire hunting party jerk their heads and gun barrels to the sky only to see blue.  Meanwhile, the obedient “Rooster” returns to the oblivious owner as instructed.


Although naming your dog “Drake” doesn’t cause the same problem as “Rooster,” it is likely the most common dog name on the planet in today’s bird dog world.  I actually like the name, but “Drake” must represent 40 percent of the hunting dog world.  Coming in a close second in “commonly good” names are bird dogs named after an owner’s favorite brand of shotgun; “Remy,” “Winchester,” “Beretta,” and “Benelli” for example.   

Note: According to VPI Pet Insurance, the top 5 most common names for male dogs in 2009 were Max, Buddy, Rocky, Bailey, & Jake.  The top 5 most common names for female dogs in 2009 were Bella, Molly, Lucy, Maggie, & Daisy.

Rascal, Trouble, Dizzy, Tank, or Rampage

Ever met a dog that lived up to its name?  Well name your dog “Rascal” and I guarantee that bird dog will live up to all the negative connotations of being a rascal.

Buck, Huck, Luck, Puck, or Tuck

Yelling your dog’s name should never sound like a swear word.  Be careful about what rhymes with “Tuck.”


Head-over-heels for the gal you are married to, engaged to, or dating?  That’s great; but, draw the line at fluffy names for the family hunting dog.  Remember, you’re the one that’s gotta call the dog while afield with all your buddies around.  If your gal is a bird hunter too, then she’ll understand from the get-go.

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88 Responses to “Please Don’t Name Your Bird Dog That”

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  1. Grant Hatch says:

    My female Yellow Lab has always been sweet on me so, we call her Sugar. When we registered her we couldn’t remember exactly what the breeder had told us but we got it close. Her official name is Whisky Raiders Sugar and She’s an amazing hunter and when She’s not it’s Buger! I also had a nice surprise last Sunday while watching the BDC on the Outdoor Channel. There were two dog competing that turns out are realeted to Sugar. I checked her papers and seems her Grand Father is Rik’s Risky Raider. No wounder She hunts so well!

  2. Rich Boyd says:

    Yeah, when in doubt, name your male labrador something like “Mike.” Safe bet. I always thought, “Taxi” was a great name — you step out the door and yell, “Taxi-i-i-i!” Maybe with a hand in the air for effect. And, with a nod to “It’s a Wonderful Life,” I thought, “Savings and Loan” or “Bedford Falls” would be good names (ala Taxi) — upon seeing your wee doggy you yell, “Hello, Savings and Loan!” Or, “Hello, good ole Bedford Falls!” Creativity is to be encouraged, eh?

  3. Laura Adcock says:

    We have a female german short hair and we named her Bowdey. Her registered name is Bowdey get em up. We get a lot of crap for namin her a boy name. But the story behind it is that we were on our honeymoon and saw a town called Bodi(different spelling lol) but I said to my new hubby that the next new dog I wana name that. 2 days later we picked up Bowdey. We love her and is one of the best hunters out there. Thanks I really enjoyed this article :)

  4. Jason Adams says:

    I am an Army Field Artilleryman and so my naming convention follows that line. My two current black lab males are Gunner and Archer.

  5. Robert Gibbons says:

    My best hunting dog’s name was Camie (RIP). A female black lab registered as Camellia Cheeseburger, she had decent lineage on both sides. She was one of those labs that pointed (not trained to) on upland birds. I’ve hunted with some dogs that have funny names like Buckshot, Cash, and Milo.

    My current dog’s name is Lucy. How original.

  6. Diane says:

    My older setter is named Kota…my younger setter is Loki….both easy to say and can beller their names when needed!

  7. Joel says:

    My first Lab’s name was Deacon. And my current Lab’s name is Diesel. I like to think I’ve been fairly original.

  8. logan says:

    named my new brittany after the first one he had ever had Avery and was one of the best he had and so far my pup is living up to the name… my dad didnt know that there was a dog supply company call avery until i told him a few weeks ago

  9. Randy says:

    I obtained an AKC registered Brittany Spaniel that was already named Maggie Mae (must have been a Rod Stewart fan). She’s pushing 14 now and is retired. I didn’t realize Maggie was so common but I’ve talked to a lot of dog owners that have a dog so named. I named my new, pick of the litter, black Lab, Deke, as in decoy, hoping and thinking it was fairly original. Lo and behold, DU has a new lab pup with the same name. Ok, but the problem came when a new hunting buddy has a black lab named Zeke. I guess it really takes some thinking to name a pet something that won’t rhyme with something inappropriate or another dog’s name, and is actually original.

  10. Rachel says:

    A setter named Champ (RIP), GSP named Allegheny (Allie) and a new Orange Belton named Coach. We also liked Trigger, Bullet, Blaze, Shane, Jade, Guage, Scout, Teal and Madison! Names are hardest part!

  11. Mrs Killer says:

    Our 3-1/2 Y/O Hybrid Chocolate Lab is Gus. We just got a 6 week old Chesapeake we call Otis. Fact is, most of the time we call them Bubba and Chunk. Oh well.

  12. Blake says:

    I’m so tired of all of these names. I’ve always liked Sir Enchilada Von Ringworm

  13. Jen says:

    I like names a little less usual….I did have a Ben and a Dot but other than that…other Australian Shepherds were BJ, Pilot, Olga, Rondee, Justin, and Ridge….a mix named Jappeloup and another named Ikkus. Two chihuahuas named Eddie and Brie.

    My Dad had hunting beagles and said to never name a beagle Peanut…..lol….sounds like you are out in the woods calling your penis….ha ha

  14. Brittney says:

    Our 15 yo female chocolate lab is Reload. Working for a vet in a rural area I encountered many hunting dogs named, Remington, Mallard, Ruger, Browning, Buckshot etc. so, we wanted something original.

  15. Laurence Friedman says:

    My female GWP is named Cookie because she looked like an oreo when she was a pup. The problem is when I yell “Cookie come!” all the dogs come and expect a treat.

  16. I have GSPs named Texas Belle (call name Belle), Madrone Heavenly Halo (called Halo), Madrone Johnny Ringo (call name Ringo), and Yellow Rose’s Gift of Song (call name Fauna). I have never come across any other GSPs with those names. Fauna is my first bred by bitch and she is getting ready to have a litter and I will keep a girl and plan on naming her Yellow Rose Blame it on the Bossa Nova and call her Nova. I have fun with the names and my two bred by girls names have personal special meanings too. The first had a grandmother named Song and we lost Song the day before she was born. The theme of that litter was Disney so Fauna is the fairy that gave aurora the gift of song. My new little girl is named after the old 1950s song about the dance of love. You can imagine what the breeding was like.

  17. Steve says:

    As I approached my 50th birthday, my wife asked me what I wanted to celebrate this (unfortunate) milestone. I told her I had always wanted a red Porche. So she came home with a beautiful red Vizla puppy and we named her Portia! Now I have my red Portia, and she is built for speed and performance. She recently earned a “Prize I” award at the NAVHDA ‘Natural Ability’ trials. I may not be able to drive her, but hunting behind her is a blast! :)

  18. jessica says:

    We have a Nova as well…she’s a great little GSP! I have met over a dozen Gunners and Rugers and Remingtons plus a few Benellis and a Kimber. I prefer the less well-used names too. Our first GSP was named Flapjack.

  19. Joseph Matthews says:

    My black lab has been named boots ,after my first ever dog and my wife’s nickname.

  20. Cathy Bowman says:

    My late husbands first hunting dog was a golden retriever that was the runt of the litter; looked so much like a lab{had short hair}. My husband named him Harvey after the Harvey Walbanger he was drinking and the puppy knocked it over. Of all the hunting dogs we’ve had over the years he would always say Harvey was the best dam hunting he ever had.

  21. Jim Warren says:

    My labs name is Black rose, call her rose..

  22. Bill Wittress says:

    I have a French Brittany named Lillie Rose. That’s what happens when you let your 9 year old name your hunting dog. And when she’s not in the field, she lives up to her name and is every bit the princess you’d expect with a name like that. However, there is one advantage to having a dog with a funny name. I guarantee that there is never a issue about which dog I mean when I am trying to recall her. Thank God she is an amazing hunter. That’s the only way I can live down the shame of that name.

    P.S. Most times, I call her LR in the field. :)

  23. Rodger Suprise says:

    I have male lab named Rocky and female thats part Chesapeake and lab and her name is mossy oak the kids named her

  24. Tgrosely says:

    I hate typical dog names, so my Chocolate lab male is named Sully, and the German Wirehaired male that is on the way will be named Hoot..

  25. DeNae Hyman says:

    I have a Golden Retriever named Jaxon (Jax) and a Black Lab named Cash (after the man in black himself, of course) and I can honestly say I’ve only run into one other owner who duplicated either of those names when we met a poodle named Jax.

  26. Ali says:

    we’ve had 2 bird dogs the first was named Trixie because she was full of tricks and you wouldn’t find a better food thief for miles
    the 2nd one is our current dog mom named her Roxie just because the problem is she gets Roxie and Trixie mixed up alot

  27. Bruce Youngberg says:

    My current GSP is named Patsy, my dads GSP was also named that, they are now both gone. I also love Patsy Cline so there for the name.

  28. Jerry says:

    Named my liver Brit Patches by Plane as that’s how I brought him home. In the field he just got better and better so we d be telling him Patch “You the Man” after a weekend of pointing Roosters everywhere and so it grew to Patchman as a play on the video game Pac Man. He’s now know to everyone as Patchman…..and he never disappoints.

  29. Jim says:

    I have two yellow labs Loki and Maui. I always liked Loki, Maui is the Hawaiian trickster god keeping the theme alive. The most creative names that I have ever heard come from my father in law. He has Weiser, Light and Bud. Try rearranging those a bit.

  30. Kelly says:

    My GSP is named Ozzy, yes after the crazy singer. Yes, he lives up to his name. He is super smart and a great hunter, but is one crazy dog. My sister has his mom and his younger brother. They give up on trying to keep up with him and just watch him run and jump over everything. His motto is “Why go around it if you can jump over it, and why walk when you can run”

  31. Scott says:

    Ace in the Hole, call name “Boomer” great hunter, field trailer, and hunt test champion. RIP 1996-2007

  32. Graeme says:

    My yellow lab is Mistka pronounced mishka. Found it when I googled wolf names as I was looking for something different

  33. Steve says:

    Black GSP, Barkevious Mingo. Named after an LSU defensive end, who now plays for the Browns. Called Mingo of course!

  34. Sharon says:

    My GSP is named Fritz. We didn’t pick the name, but we love it!

  35. Carryn says:

    Our last Lab was a copper. We had asked the children for ideas for a name. I wanted to name her Heidi to honor my husband’s German mother. My daughter thought she was the color of honey and my son said that she ran around like a buzzing bee. So her registered name ended up being Heidi Honey Bee. After she had grown I wanted to add PIA to the end of her name but hubby wouldn’t let me. LOL She was an awesome girl that was lost in a dog food recall.

    Our new girl’s name is Adalia, registered Jewel vom Kennedy. A super awesome Drahthaar that has a mind of her own. I think Nobel and Just may or may not fit, not quite sure.

  36. Kevin says:

    5 year old black lab…..56 year old owner…..huge Johnny cash fan….owner and maybe the dog..Man in black..black dog..had to name him Cash!!!!!

  37. Stonewater says:

    I bet no one has this one!

    We have a charcoal male. We named him Fifty Shades of Gray.
    He’s a great hunter and at the latest hunting trials when they called his name over the loud speaker when announcing the qualifiers all the ladies in the crowd were like “woooo weeeeee – we like that 50″ :)

    2 more trials and he will have his Junior Title!


  38. Steve bode says:

    I have a Springer named “Cosmo” named after the character on Seinfeld. Cosmo is a good English name and it fits him well. He is 11 1/2 years old and has taken over 300 pheasants during his career.
    Last fall I added a second dog. He was two years old and a Brittany named Tbone. He was originally from Council Bluffs ( or as many like to say ” Couciltucky”) which explains his name.
    He’s got some natural bird talent but has a long way to go before he’ll match my Springer.

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