Choosing a name for your (gun dog) puppy


Getting a puppy is an exciting time filled with wonder and expectations. There are many decisions that you will make while you plan for his arrival but one that is often overlooked, or at least not given the consideration it deserves, is what to name the puppy.

You may wonder, why does that even matter? And if the pup is only a companion, it may not make much difference in the long run. But if that new pup is going to be your hunting companion or if you have any plans to compete in hunt tests or field trials, what you name the pup does matter.

A puppy’s name can make a difference on how well he or she responds to you and the commands you give. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Select a name that is easy to pronounce.

  • Dogs may respond better to one syllable names, or very simple two syllable ones.

  • Avoid names where the first syllable sounds like “No”. Since this is command is used for reprimands, we do not want to confuse the puppy.

  • Avoid names that sound similar or rhyme with basic commands. For example, Sit – Brit, Heal – Teal. See list below.

Here are some of the commands we use regularly when training at Otter Tail Kennels:

name chart.png

Lastly, if you have already named your pup and now realize that the name you chose may not be ideal, don’t fret. Puppies and dogs adjust quickly to new names and are very forgiving. So, just choose a new one and use it often.