Unlike some aspects of dog ownership, naming your dog is just plain fun! The pets themselves don't require much; they just need a pleasing dog name they can identify with when you give them commands. But if you plan to show a purebred dog in competitions, there's a lot to consider when it's time to choose a dog name for your dog's American Kennel Club certificate. Let's start at the beginning.
The name of the kennel your dog came from is part of his show name. Usually, it's the first part of his name as it appears on the certificate. If you purchased your dog from a show kennel, then the kennel's name should be first, such as: Dexy's Fido. If you bred the dog yourself, then use your own original kennel name. You can also use a combination such as 'Dexy's Fido of (your kennel name here)' so that your dog's name reflects both where he comes from and where he now resides.
Originality is important when choosing a show dog name. The American Kennel Club (AKC) doesn't allow duplicate dog names, and will ask you to choose another name if your pick is already taken.
Unusual dog names with creative spelling attract attention to your dog in a show catalog, while reducing the chance that you've nearly duplicated another dog's name. For example, 'Dexy's Hi-Jac' is a cute play on the word hijack. It's catchy yet original, and offers a great built-in theme for the future if you advertise your dog in breed and show magazines. You could use, "He'll hijack your heart" for your ads. Cute, right?
Once you've selected your dog's 'paper name', the work isn't over. You'll still need to settle on a shorter dog 'call name' for everyday reference. Using our example of Dexy's Hi-Jac, the name Jack immediately suggests itself for the dog's call name, while directly referring us back to his official dog name on the AKC papers.
So, now that you know the basics of dog naming, you're ready to choose a dog name that will serve you well both at home and in the show ring.
Naming Your Purebred Dog
by Blake Kritzberg
Blake Kritzberg is proprietor of Poodle-oo, your source for small dog clothes.