Bird Dogs & Training  |  05/09/2013

Naming Your New Bird Dog Puppy


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.