So you've just met your new hunting partner, if you're one of the lucky ones you've already been thinking about a good name for your hunting dog for quite some time now. However, if you're like most hunters you probably have no clue as to what to name him or her. If you'd like to see a list of top hunting dog names that are commonly used, we provided a couple of lists below for both male or female hunting dogs. Finding the right name won't be easy, typically because hunting dogs are given names that you wouldn't normally give to a non-sporting breed. I say this because gun dogs are seen as being in a league of their own because of their pedigrees and the strict breeding which took place to produce natural hunters. Therefore, bird dogs are usually given names such as: Remington or "remi" for short, Winchester, and Captain. These names are fine and have been given to great dogs in the past, but have become all too common.
You should choose a gun dog name you can be proud of, one that you don't hear too often or maybe one that you've never heard given to a dog. It will make for a good conversation piece with other hunters. As an example, we have a female GWP, whose name is Duchess and when we acquired our male we could not think of a good name but we knew we wanted it to be similar to Duchess' name so we gave him the name "Dewcho". It may not be pretty but it's a strong name and it always makes for a good story because nobody has ever heard that name before. Sometimes just studying a puppy for a while will bring good ideas. In the past we have given names such as "choco" (short for chocolate) to a male that was 95% liver colored while the rest of the pups were white and liver mixed. The name fit him well because he was larger than the rest and choco sounded like a good masculine name. "Bear" is a name that has been given to Black Labrador Retrievers that are just abnormally large dogs with large paws that resemble the same build and stature as a black bear. Let your dog display their personality traits, you may have a puppy that wanders off on their own with complete disregard - "Dora" as in Dora the explorer. You would be surprised as to what characteristics your dog will display early on. They may just name themselves.
If you purchased a started or finished hunting dog, you may have to stick to the name that was given to the dog by the breeder/trainer. This is crucial to help prevent and avoid unnecessary confusion for the dog. You wouldn't want the dog to have to learn his name all over again. Certain breeds and kennels produce dogs that have a long formal name which is passed down from previous generations, these names are inherited by both male and female hunting dogs. On paper, these names can't be changed but your dog should be given a nickname for their training and everyday use.
It's just that much easier on the dog (and you) when you name them "Charlie" as opposed to something with multiple syllables or multiple words. Don't name your dog something that sounds too similar to obedience commands, anything that closely resembles: No, stay, heel, whoa, etc. should be avoided at all costs. You want to find a name that your dog can distinguish from other words or commands you give. "Becky", "Charlie", "Elli", "Remi", "Candy" etc. are all good names that end in that "e" sound and they will be much easier for your dog to pick up.
Think really hard about naming your hunting dog something that you would hear surrounded by a group of fellow hunters while out pheasant hunting. Names such as: "Fetch 'em", "BIRD!", "Rooster!", "Kill 'em", will have your dog(s) running ragged out in the field every time these words are shouted. Keep in mind though, that some gun dog owners use their dog's name as a way of releasing the dog from a steady or "whoa" command. They will hold the dog in a steady position until they shout their name, thus releasing the dog in full force. If you choose to follow this similar training method, make sure it's a name the dog can comprehend. These are some of the popular names we have heard and accumulated over the years in no particular order of popularity.
What hunting dog names have you used in the past?