Posts Tagged ‘Bird Dog Names’

Hey, Nice “Pocket Rocket”…And Other Bird Dog Breed Nicknames

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

English cocker spaniels like the author's "Sprig" are often called "pocket rockets," pocket describing their size and rocket describing their drive. Photo by Anthony Hauck / Pheasants Forever

English cocker spaniels like the author’s “Sprig” are often called “pocket rockets,” pocket describing their size and rocket describing their drive. Photo by Anthony Hauck / Pheasants Forever

I consider nicknames terms of endearment, so please don’t be offended when I call your:

English cocker spaniel a “Pocket Rocket”

English setter a “Shag”

Labrador retriever a “Meat Dog”

German Wirehair an “Ugly Dog”

Golden Retriever a “Swamp Collie”

Pudelpointer a “Wookie”

Vizsla a “Velcro Dog”

Weimaraner a “Ghost Dog”

What bird dog breed nicknames am I missing?

Anthony’s Antics Afield is written by Anthony Hauck, Pheasants Forever’s Online Editor. Email Anthony at AHauck@pheasantsforever.organd follow him on Twitter @AnthonyHauckPF.

UPDATES: Izzy, Trammell and a Thank You

Monday, November 4th, 2013

Izzy found this brace of bobwhites during a Rooster Road Trip hunt last year in Nebraska

Izzy found this brace of bobwhites during a Rooster Road Trip hunt last year in Nebraska

I love to write.  However, as my wife, Meredith, so adeptly penned in her blog post, I was overcome with emotion at Izzy’s passing.  I knew I could never write a blog that would do justice to how much Izzy meant to our family.  I didn’t know where, or how, to begin.  Every time I thought about her potential in the field, I’d tear up.  Every time I’d think about her positive energy and unconditional love in our home, I’d sob uncontrollably.  As bird hunters, we spend a couple dozen days a year in the field with our dogs if we’re lucky, while the remaining 300 plus are spent in kitchens, back yards and walks around the block.  Izzy was the “energy” in our family that’s now gone.  While every dog owner knows he/she will outlive their canine best friend, we’re never really prepared for the day that inevitability comes home to roost, especially at 1 year, 7 months and 8 days.

Our Community

In the days since that fateful Saturday, October 19th, I’ve received more than 200 emails, voicemails, blog comments, Facebook messages and Tweets with words of support and wisdom.  To put it bluntly, I’ve been overwhelmed by the expressions of sympathy and friendship the Pheasants Forever, Quail Forever and bird dog communities have shown me.

As you can imagine, I’ve been brought to tears dozens of times in the days since Izzy was taken too early from us.  What I wasn’t expecting was that my little 1 ½ year old pup would inspire people to reach out to me to articulate their support for my personal well-being, Pheasants Forever’s habitat mission and my role within that mission.  People I’ve never met before or interacted with have grabbed the phone and keyboard to tell me what my words on the screen or over the radio waves have meant to them over the last several years.

Izzy and Trammell find a pair of late August sharp-tailed grouse in northwestern Wisconsin

Izzy and Trammell find a pair of late August sharptails

Trammell’s Recovery

When Meredith wrote her blog post, she did leave out one massive component of our terrible weekend when Izzy died.  She did so purposefully as a sign of respect to Izzy’s importance in our lives.  However, I feel it’s now appropriate to also bring to light just how close we came to losing both our dogs within 24 hours.  The night following Izzy’s passing, Trammell woke us up at 5AM.  She was dry-heaving and struggling to breathe.  This lasted for about thirty minutes before I was overcome by a sense of “I’m not going to lose both my dogs to tragedies in one day,” so we raced to a 24-hour pet hospital.  They immediately took X-rays and found two nails, a staple and a massive wad of grass in Tram’s stomach.  As you can imagine, I was shocked.  While definitely food-motivated, Trammell has never been a chewer.  I couldn’t comprehend how nails were now threatening her life.  The vet did an immediate endoscopy successfully removing one nail, but was unable to capture the second.  Emergency stomach surgery to remove the second nail surrounded by a massive ball of grass commenced and was thankfully successful.  I’ll never know how Tram picked up those nails; however, I am fearful they were intended for a wolf in a bait pile left in the same woods Izzy passed.  I hope my thoughts are purely those of an angry and grieving dog owner.  No animal – wolf, dog or other – deserves such a fate.  Thankfully, Tram’s stitches are now out and she is making a full recovery.

Borrowing a Dog

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been offered the services of a dozen people’s bird dogs.  Most of these offers have come from folks I’ve never met before.  I can’t express the measure of generosity I’ve felt from these offers.  Let’s face it; I haven’t had much luck with bird dogs recently.  For a stranger to trust me with their pup speaks volumes to their humanity.

While I’m eternally grateful to these offers, I’ve always had a rule about “borrowing” another’s bird dog (even before the tragedies of the last two weeks).  Under no circumstances will I ever put myself in a situation of being responsible for another’s pup.  Likewise, I’ll never lend out my own dogs.  My opinion is it’s simply too much of a risk for both parties to be in a situation of having to answer for unexpected circumstances.  Nevertheless, I do want to acknowledge the overwhelming gratefulness I’ve felt each time one of these offers arrived in my Inbox.  THANK YOU for trusting me.

Rooster Road Trip

The afternoon after Trammell’s surgery, I emailed Andrew and Anthony from my home after waking up from a sleep with Tram in bed.  In that email, I told the guys there was no way I’d be going out on this year’s tour without either of my dogs.  “Agony” is the word I used to categorize the feeling I’d have wandering five states “alone” to think about my departed Izzy and mending Tram.  As you’d expect from fellow dog guys, they understood completely and quickly enlisted Rehan Nana, Pheasants Forever’s Public Relations Specialist, to fill my slot.  I think you’d all agree, the trio did a marvelous job on this year’s Rooster Road in my absence.

Top Gun Yzerman "Izzy" v. St.Pierre

Top Gun Yzerman “Izzy” v. St.Pierre

Cremation and Rebirth

There were tears in our kitchen again last week.  Heavy tears.  Meredith brought Izzy’s cremated remains home from the vet in a tin urn.  As I write, that tin rests on our mantle next to Izzy’s puppy blanket . . . and I miss her a lot . . . and the tears stream down my face again.  1 year, 7 months and 8 days of joy.  Thank You, Izzy, for loving me and being my bird dog.  I’ll miss you FOREVER and hope to someday join you for another hunt.  Just you, me and Tram.  I love you . . .

Life and death, it is the incongruity of our existence.  Izzy’s passing has put the St.Pierre name on the list for a Top Gun litter again this spring. God willing, Izzy’s half-sister will join the St.Pierre family late next spring and you will have to endure another round of articles about dog names, potty training and first birds.  For Meredith and me, there was never any question we’d have to add another pup to our family as soon as possible.  The void Izzy’s departure has left in our home with her “big” personality is just too large to not try filling immediately.  I understand why some folks would take more time to grieve before getting another puppy.  Simply put, the opposite was needed for our recovery.

If you’d like to read a bit more about my beloved Izzy, here are a few links:

Finally, I just wanted to say “THANK YOU” for all the notes, love and support.  THANK YOU for all the messages and photos about your pups pointing in Izzy’s honor.  Most importantly, THANK YOU for giving your pup a scratch under the chin in Izzy’s memory.  That was always her favorite spot and I know she’s wagging her tail every time another pup gets a little love there.  THANK YOU.  I am humbled and thankful for your friendship.  Bob

Izzy's first pointed grouse came at the tender age of 7 months.

Izzy’s first pointed grouse came at the tender age of 7 months.

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.

Naming Your New Bird Dog Puppy

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

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.

 

Naming my Second Bird Dog, Part 2 of 2

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Introducing our second bird dog pup. Photo Courtesy of Kreig Jacque.

As I reported in the first installment of this blog, my wife and I will pick up our second bird dog this weekend.  The pup will be a 10-week old female German shorthaired pointer from the same bloodlines as my five-year old GSP, “Trammell.”  Trammell is named in honor of my childhood hero, Alan Trammell, who played baseball for the Detroit Tigers during my formative years growing up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

 

Truth be told, my wife used her veto power to overrule my favored name for this new pup.  Had I the sole vote in the matter, the new GSP would be named “Fidryich.”  You see, 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 – made it a perfect fit for a bird dog’s name.

 

Mark "The Bird" Fidrych graces the June 6, 1977 cover of Sports Illustrated.

My wife’s veto was used because of the tragic nature of “The Bird’s” life and untimely death.  You see, Fidrych flamed out after a torn rotator cuff injury ended his career after only a few shortened seasons.  Then in 2009, Fidrych died while working underneath his 10-wheeled dump truck.  In the best interest of a happy marriage, her veto ultimately ended this name’s contention.  And in all honesty, I can see her point.  It’s probably bad karma for the new pup to name her after such a tragic character.

 

So, back to the drawing board I went.  Finalists included:

  • Whitaker (call name Whit) – referencing Trammell’s double play partner with the Detroit Tigers, Lou Whitaker.

 

  • Yooper (pronounced You Pur) – I grew up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and some would say I’ve never left either.  Ultimately, this name didn’t make the cut because it also happens to be my nickname with some circles of friends.

 

  • Bine (pronounced BeNay) – The Ojibwa word for ruffed grouse was a contender for a moment, but ultimately it seems odd for a Pheasants Forever guy to have a dog name referencing a bird other than a pheasant.

 

So ultimately, I circled back to a name I’d penciled in years ago for bird dog number two:

 

Steve Yzerman on the cover of Sports Illustrated

Yzerman (pronounced I zer man / Call Name Izzy)

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.  Ultimately, the call name of Izzy will be an easy two syllable pronunciation in the field, 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.

 

Did we make the same choice you would have made in selecting our second bird dog’s name?

 

 

 

 

 

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

At 10 weeks, Izzy is already looking "birdy." Photo courtesy of Kreig Jacque.

 

Trammell & Yzerman are enjoying this morning's sunlight together

Naming my Second Bird Dog, Part 1 of 2

Monday, May 14th, 2012

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.

 

Creativity

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.

 

Personalization

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.

Have you been searching for Pheasant Tattoos with Tiffany Lakosky during October 2011?

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Believe it or not, the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is the most commonly searched breed of bird dog at www.PheasantBlog.org.

I was doing some research this afternoon about our blog’s traffic.  Of particular interest to me were the terms folks used in search engines before landing at www.PheasantBlog.org or at www.QuailBlog.org.  It may sound like a dry topic, but I’ve found the results both fascinating and hilarious . . . of course I’ve been called odd before.

Here’s the list of key words that intrigued me:

  • October 2011: I’ve gotta believe folks are in a perpetual search to find open days to hunt roosters this autumn because “October 2011″ is running away from the field as the most searched term.

 

  • Pheasant Tattoos: Nothing says commitment like body ink.  Take a look at the tat commitment of PF member Mark Garry for example.

 

 

 

 

 

  • How to Hunt Pheasants without a Dog: Taking the cake as the most often searched phrase (rather than single word or term).  It turns out there are a bunch of folks interested in bagging roosters, but lack the assistance of canine companionship.  Check out my top tips to success as a dogless pheasant hunter.

 

What about you?  Do you frequently visit our blog page or did a search engine term lead you here?

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

HOW TO Name Your Bird Dog

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

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.

Please Don’t Name Your Bird Dog That Either

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

When you're picking a name for your new bird dog puppy, employ the creativity worthy of the hunting machine they'll become.

My Facebook news feed has been busy with pictures of new puppies delivered over Christmas.  They are all adorable and have me envious.  I’ve never seen an ugly bird dog puppy.  There are bird dogs I like the look of better than others when they are fully grown, but I challenge anyone to send me a photo of one ugly as a puppy.  Let me reiterate; BIRD DOG PUP.  There is such a thing as an ugly puppy and it is called a pug.  Go ahead, Google “Pug Puppy Pictures.”  What you’ll find is proof of aliens visiting earth. 

Anyway, it got me thinking about dog names again.  Last year, I offered the blog post “Please Don’t Name Your Bird Dog That” about names inappropriate for the self-respecting bird hunter.  This year, I implore all the new bird dog puppy owners to employ a little creativity in their name selection process.  And, it just so happens VPI Pet Insurance issued a press release on January 3rd ranking the most popular dog names during 2010.  In other words, here is your definitive list of top 10 names to avoid in 2011.

1. Bella (holds the top spot for the second consecutive year)

2. Bailey

3. Max

4. Lucy

5. Molly

6. Buddy

7. Maggie

8. Daisy

9. Charlie

10. Sophie

There is no doubt thousands of bird dogs with these names will develop into some of the best hunting machines on the planet.  I simply prefer a name that stands out equal to a pup’s talents. 

Got a creative bird dog name?  Drop it in the comments below. 

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

Please Don’t Name Your Bird Dog That

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

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. 

Rooster

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.

Drake

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.”

Precious

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.