Thursday, September 9, 2010

What's In A Name?

What’s in a name?

Well, if you are talking about your future show dog, a lot. Many breeders will use a “litter theme” for each litter. For example, the litter theme may be “cars or travel” or, the theme may be “bodies of water” or even animals. From there, the new owners of the puppies come up with the registered name. For example, “Kennel Prefix Four On The Floor.” Litter themes are handy, because they enable an informed dog fancier to quickly know which mating a particular dog came from, and when a breeder has been breeding dogs for over 30 years, this comes in handy. When litter themes are used, the breeder will always insist that the name start with the breeder’s kennel prefix, and then the puppy buyer can pick the rest of the name based on the theme.

At times, a breeder might not have a theme, and in those cases the breeder will most likely insist that his or her kennel prefix be used to start the name and owners will typically come up with names having to do with both the sire and the dam’s registered names. For example, Kennel Prefix What a Hoot may be bred to Kennel Prefix Legally Blonde, and the owner may decide to name the dog Kennel Prefix (decided upon by the breeder) Legal Laughter.

Once the registered name has been selected, the puppy buyer will come up with the dog’s “call name”. Much like show horses have registered names, and barn names, dogs are the same. While, most breeders will allow you to pick any call name you so desire, it is generally assumed that should you pick a call name that has been used on a different puppy the breeder has bred, that you ask the breeder’s permission. For example, if in 2006 the breeder had a litter and one puppy had the call name Mikey, if you wanted to name your puppy Mikey, it is proper etiquette to ask for permission first.

Many dog owners, particularly with dogs that compete in a venue, will want the call name to have to do with the registered name. For example, the father of my future puppy is Nitelite’s Who’s On Deck, with a call name of Crew. My puppy’s grandmother, on the dam side, is Birnam Wood’s, call name Zoom.

I love coming up with names for dogs and horses. A lot of them are somewhat politically incorrect, and I just laugh at them, knowing they will never be used. But, I also have a lot of fun coming up with names that actually will be used. I have a long list of names that I like, that I may use at some point in the future.

One such name is Kennel Name’s Don’t Tell Daddy. I’m not going to divulge the litter theme just yet, but it looks like I will get to use this name for my puppy!!! Once I came up with that, I decided to start thinking of relevant call names, and my favorite, and I believe the one, is Hush.

I really hope that I am able to name my puppy Kennel Name Don’t Tell Daddy, and call her Hush! I absolutely love this name combo! Don’t you?


  1. If you call her Hush, what will she think when she's sitting down and being quiet?

  2. BOL! jack Daddy that was too cute!! Ms Paws i think Hush is a cutie patootie name! We can call it Hush puppies!

    Hugs & smoochies! xoxo

  3. I love "Don't Tell Daddy!" And oooh, you could call her "Hush Puppy" as a nickname!

    And just think how funny it would be to say, "Quiet, hush!"

  4. We love it too! We made the mistake when we got one of our great danes to nick name her "Crusty", because of her drooling issues. We hadn't picked a name for her, and before we knew it she was answering to "Crusty". What were we to do? It was a terrible name for a dog, especially a girl, so we changed her name to "Trusty" and registered her as True Blue!