*We’re happy to announce that Bob St. Pierre will be contributing from time to time here at the MInnesota Sporting Journal! -Bret
By Bob St. Pierre
Got a new bird dog puppy at home? Having trouble picking out that perfect name? The name you choose says as much about the bird hunter as it does about the bird dog. Choose wisely and you’ll be the envy of your hunting party. Choose poorly . . . well, your hunting buddies won’t likely let you up for air.
I know that ragging on a hunter’s bird dog can lead to a fist fight. If your dog is named one of the following below, then let me please apologize right now-
A) Yes, the performance of a dog is more important than its name.
B) Yes, you are probably more secure in your masculinity than I am and can indeed hold your head high as you call “Muffin” back to you with a rooster in her mouth.
C) Yes, having a popular name isn’t a bad thing. You probably did think of it first.
D) Yes, my female dog has the name of retired male baseball player that last took the field almost 15 years ago (Trammell). I am indeed living in the past.
E) Yes, my bird dog has an affinity for skunks and is sprayed by them regularly. I should probably have named her “Stinky.”
Without further adieu, here’s a short list of hunting dog names I would personally avoid.
You’d think the problem for a pheasant hunter owning a dog named “Rooster” would be obvious, but I encounter a “Rooster” every year. The problem with the name surfaces any time you hunt pheasants in a group. The dog’s owner shouts “Rooster” only to have his entire hunting party jerk their heads and gun barrels to the sky only to see blue. Meanwhile, the obedient “Rooster” returns to the oblivious owner as instructed.
Although naming your dog “Drake” doesn’t cause the same problem as “Rooster,” it is likely the most common dog name on the planet in today’s bird dog world. I actually like the name, but “Drake” must represent 40 percent of the hunting dog world. Coming in a close second in “commonly good” names are bird dogs named after an owner’s favorite brand of shotgun; “Remy,” “Winchester,” “Beretta,” and “Benelli” for example.
Note: According to VPI Pet Insurance, the top 5 most common names for male dogs in 2009 were Max, Buddy, Rocky, Bailey, & Jake. The top 5 most common names for female dogs in 2009 were Bella, Molly, Lucy, Maggie, & Daisy.
Rascal, Trouble, Dizzy, Tank, or Rampage
Ever met a dog that lived up to its name? Well name your dog “Rascal” and I guarantee that bird dog will live up to all the negative connotations of being a rascal.
Buck, Huck, Luck, Puck, or Tuck
Yelling your dog’s name should never sound like a swear word. Be careful about what rhymes with “Tuck.”
Head-over-heels for the gal you are married to, engaged to, or dating? That’s great; but, draw the line at fluffy names for the family hunting dog. Remember, you’re the one that’s gotta call the dog while afield with all your buddies around. If your gal is a bird hunter too, then she’ll understand from the get-go.
The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.