Posts Tagged ‘hunting dog names’

Bird Dog Names, From A to Z

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

The Lab may be the most popular breed in America, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find an original name.

The Lab may be the most popular breed in America, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for an unoriginal name.

I’ve admitted – repeatedly – that I’m a dog name ‘Snob’ with a capital “S.” So without further adieu, allow me to offer a dog name I love for each letter of the alphabet . . . with a couple extras thrown in for good measure.

A is for Aspen.  Although this name is on the edge of too common, since I know three co-workers with dogs with this name, I must admit I love the multi-level nod to a place this name inspires. It could be referencing a town in Colorado or a favored grouse-y habitat.  Either way, I can picture it, smell it and embrace it as a dog’s moniker.

B is for Bine.  Pronounced “BeNay.”  I’m incredibly reluctant to put this name in print because I’ve ear-marked it for myself and believe it’s so dang cool that people are going to “steal” it in droves. And, you all know how snobbish I become when a dog name reaches too high a popularity level. So, at the risk of exposing my next dog’s name to the world, I introduce you to the Ojibwe name for ruffed grouse: Bine. Have a listen to its pronunciation.

C is for Como.  Wayne Carlson, a friend of mine, named his spectacular Brittany after the St. Paul, Minnesota neighborhood where he and his wife, Emily, reside. I love bird dog names referencing places people cherish.  #SenseOfPlace

D is for Dude.  The Big Lebowski.  I don’t think I need to write any more. If you don’t get it, don’t name your dog “The Dude.”  If you do get it . . .

E is for Eve.  According to Internet folklore, the band Eve 6 came up with their name after watching an episode of the X-Files also called “Eve.” I love both the X-Files and Eve 6, so naturally gravitated to this name, not to mention the underlying “Adam & Eve” references.

F is for Fydrich.  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 – makes it a perfect fit for a bird dog’s name. Unfortunately, my wife VETOED this name during the process of naming of our last puppy. NOTE: This is also the first appearance of a recurring theme that will most likely irritate all non-Michiganders. I have a strong affinity for dog names associated with Detroit and Michigan sports figures.

G is for Griswold.  “Fletch” was a first-runner-up in the “F” section, but Chevy Chase hits the list with his signature character Clark W. Griswold of the National Lampoon’s Vacation series.

H is for Herman.  Herman, the Munsterlander . . . Thanks to anonymous STEVE for this fun name he left in the comment section of my blog entry Naming Your New Bird Dog Puppy.

I is for Iago.  “My name is Iago Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die,” was the memorable line from the popular character in the 1987 movie, The Princess Bride.

J is for Jacques.  In general, I’m against using common people’s names for dogs.  My biggest complaint stems from a hunt where my companion’s dog was named “Bob.”  Needless to say, confusion ensued. However, I believe “Jacques” is uncommon enough a guy’s name (outside of Quebec) that it’s tailor-made for that new French Britt I’ve been contemplating.

K is for Klinger.  Jamie Farr’s popular character Corporal Max Klinger provides a bird dog name with a nod to all those Baby Booming M*A*S*H fans out there looking for a piece of nostalgia.

L is for LaBatt.  Since Pheasants Forever doesn’t currently have a national beer sponsor, I am free to admit my favorite barley soda is LaBatt Blue.

M is for Montana.  There is no doubt this name borders on the edge of being too popular; however, if you’ve ever been to “Big Sky” then you know . . . it’s the most under-rated of all the top bird hunting states. Only big running bird dogs deserve the name “Montana.”

N is for Nirvana.  “Load up on guns, bring your friends,” is the first line of Nirvana’s breakthrough grunge classic, “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” It sounds to me like Kurt Cobain just wanted someone to go on a classic South Dakota pheasant drive.

O is for Orion.  Thanks to anonymous BRENNEN for this fun name he left in the comments section of my blog entry Naming Your New Bird Dog Puppy. “I named by yellow Lab ‘Orion,’ as in the hunter.  The greatest hunter in the universe”

P is for Pebbles.  What comes after Pebbles?  Bamm-Bamm! Sounds like a great bird dog’s name to me.

Q is for Q.  Let’s face it, there aren’t a lot of options here; however, the simplicity in syllables makes “Q” an attractive choice, particularly for Quail Forever members.

R is for Rocky.  I have always loved boxers (the dog) named after boxers (the fighters).  Although boxers aren’t hunting dogs, I think there is room in the bird dog niche for a few male pups named Rocky Balboa.  For some reason, I think of a muscle-ripped English pointer when I think of a fitting breed for dogs named “Rocky.”  Wirehairs also seem to fit the name in my mind.

S is for Seven.  Without a doubt, this was the most controversial letter in my selection process.  I have two great friends who both own fantastic bird dogs with unique “S” names. Anthony Hauck, PF’s Online Editor, has the marvelous English cocker spaniel “Sprig,” and my radio partner Billy Hildebrand has a tremendous Brittany named “Snap.” So, I avoided the conflict and selected George Costanza’s favored baby name, “Seven.”  If you’ve never watched this episode of Seinfeld, then you MUST check out this clip.

T is for Trammell.  If you’re a frequent reader of this blog, then you know my first GSP is named in honor of former Detroit Tigers great Alan Trammell, my childhood idol. “Trammell,” the dog, is my pride and joy, so I will always be partial to this name and forever reserve the right to name another pup down the road in her honor, rather than in the baseball player’s homage the second time around. It’s also important to me to point out that my childhood dog, a Brittany, was named “Tinker.” Tinker was also a great dog, but there was considerable debate between my brother and me about whether we were naming her in reference to Tinker Toys or Tinker Belle. As I recall, I was on the Tinker Toys side.

U is for Uno.  A simple, single syllable name for your first bird dog.

V is for Vern.  “Know what I mean Vern?”

W is for Wingnut.  What do you want your bird dog to be? Crazy about birds . . . a “Wingnut!”

X is X.  It’s a simple name for a simple pointing dog equation . . . “X” marks the spot.

Y is for Yzerman.  Readers of this blog have come to know her as “Izzy,” but her real name is “Yzerman.” 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.  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.

Z is for Zetterberg.  Yes, I did it again and closed out my list with another Detroit Red Wings favorite. “Z” for short will likely be my first German wirehaired pointer some ten years down the road from today.

There you have it, my favorite bird dog names from A to Z. I don’t expect you to like all (or any of these). I guess that’s not necessarily the point. Dog names should be unique to the individual doing the naming and hopefully that will create some originality in the process.  That being said, what’s the most original new dog name you’ve come up with as a result of reading this list?

Related:

Please Don’t Name Your Bird Dog That

Please Don’t Name Your Bird Dog That Either

Please Don’t Name Your Bird Dog “Bob”

Naming my Second Bird Dog, Part 1 of 2

Naming my Second Bird Dog, Part 2 of 2

Naming Your new Bird Dog Puppy

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.

The Bird Dog Name Game

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

Photo by Nancy Anisfield / Anisfield Hunting Dog Photography

Photo by Nancy Anisfield / Anisfield Hunting Dog Photography

According to DOGWatch, the newsletter from the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, a study of close to 500,000 Veterinary Pet Insurance policies shows pet owners in general tend to prefer people names for their dogs. Currently the most popular dog names are Bella, Bailey, Max, Lucy, Molly, Buddy, Daisy, Maggie, Charlie and Sophie. This is not necessarily true, however, for hunting dog owners.

A few years ago I did some highly unscientific research on dog names. I went through one month’s records of the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association’s test results for Natural Ability and Utility Tests, grouping dogs’ registered names into categories to look for trends. I disregarded the kennel part of each name, and I also skipped tongue-twisting German names, most of which had more than 37 letters per word. My goal was to see where hunting dog owners’ creativity led them.

Max was the most popular human name, but in the people category I discovered a curious, if not notorious, cast of characters such as Outlaw Josey Wales, Orphan Annie, Goliath, Cleopatra, Daisy Duke, Valentino, Buster Brown, DB Cooper, Jesse James, Son of Sam (!) and D’Artagnan. Owners of a more lyrical bent chose names to delight the senses, such as Rhythm of the Tide and Ray of Light.  Gun names were big – Citori, Benelli, Browning, Kimber, Ruger and Red Ryder. Important hunt-related designations showed up, too: Reload, Decoy, Scout, Gunner, Hunter, Silver Bullet, Buck Shot and I Can Pointabird.

Good will and positive thoughts sparkled from optimistic names such as Coasting Smoothly, New Beginnings, Revelation, Feeling Groovy, Practically Perfect, Bound ‘n Determined, Symphony of Dreams, Radiance of Paradise (try to live up to that name!), Razzle Dazzle ‘Em and Amazing Grace.

EZ Come EZ Whoa apparently came pre-trained.

Power names appeared in spicy (Hot Pepper, Black Pepper, Sage Pepper), climatological (Stormbuster, Speak Thunder, Rainmaker, Perfect Storm) and downright scary (Blazing Howl).  Adult beverages were a source of inspiration, as well. There were dogs named Budweiser, Zinfandel, Absolut, Rolling Rock, Bourbon Sippin Broad, and Jaegermeister.

Before drawing the totally superficial, statistically unconfirmed conclusion that hunters are inspired by notoriety, good vibes, hunting, booze and power, I checked  the most recent posting of NAVHDA test scores. Sure enough, Cleopatra and Artemis filled the famous name category; Ricochet, Camouflage and Hunter were on the hunting list; and Epiphany, Ace in the Hole and Luck Be a Lady joined the positive team. Power names included High Explosive, Solar Flair and Shock & Awe, with Grey Goose and Stolichnaya at the bar.

My research is not over. I’m not sure what category Moose in the Woods belongs to. And I’ve started to wonder…what if Bucky Badger met Nothing But Trouble who was actually Born to Boogie, then found Heart’s Afire but wanted No Strings Attached when he discovered the dog Ain’t No Pussycat?

Nancy Anisfield, an outdoor photographer/writer, sporting dog enthusiast and bird hunter, serves on Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s National Board of Directors. She resides in Hinesburg, Vermont.

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.

 

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.