Monday, June 7, 2010


So a few years ago, I was just getting ready to step in to the shower when the telephone rang. In my “birthday suit” (more than you needed to know), I scurried across the floor to see who it was. I saw that it was my friend Marilyn Smith of Darby Dan kennels. I quickly picked up the phone and said, “Hi Marilyn.” She said “I need you to do me a favor and help me with something.” Forgetting that I’m standing in the middle of my living room in “what God gave me,” I’m thinking to myself, “Gee, this sounds serious. “Okay, Marilyn, what’s going on?” I asked her. She told me, “Well I’ve held onto this male puppy from my “Trouble” litter and I still haven’t registered him and we want to show him. Can you help me come up with a name for him?” “Oh is that all?” I replied. Well Marilyn, you just caught me getting into the shower. Let me call you back when I’m finished.” “Okay she says, but don’t forget because I need to send this in right away.”

So I take my dirty little body back into the bathroom, pull back the shower curtain, step in and proceed to pull my hair out trying to help my friend come up with a name for her youngster on such short notice. So because she told me his daddy’s name was “Trouble,” I thought perhaps I could come up with a few names around that name. So from the time she called me until the time I got back to her was no longer than forty minutes, tops! The phone rings at her house. She picks it up. I tell her about the few names that I thought might be of interest to her. She proceeds to tell me, “Thanks, but I’ve already named him.” “Wow that was fast I told her. So what did you name him?” I ask her. She replies, “Just Jack.” “Jack? I repeated with a quizzical expression on my face. “No not Jack, she answers me. Just Jack.” I scratch my head and ask myself, isn’t that what I just said, just the name Jack. But no, she meant his whole name would be “Just Jack!” So my friends, that is how I “HELPED” Marilyn come up with the name for Select Ex 5 2X Can Select Ch Darby-Dan’s Just Jack OFA H/E.  (See the above picture).  Most of you never knew my part in helping name that famous dog, now did you? And as they say, the rest is history!

When choosing a kennel name that people want to run their breeding business with, many will combine the husband’s and wife’s first names together. For example, one of the most famous breeders in the German Shepherd Dog world is the Fran-Jo kennels taken from the names Fran and Joan Ford. Others come up with more unique names for their kennels. My kennel name, “Chieftain’s” came from the old Gimbels department store. They had an estate by that name that we used to drive past once in awhile and the name just stuck with us. How did some of you come up with your kennel name?

My very first show dog that I bought came from a small Connecticut breeder. The owner of the kennel graduated from Cornell University. She told me that she took the name Cornell and spelled it backwards. Cornell spelled backwards is Llenroc. So my first show dog’s name was Llenroc’s Summer Harvest. She and I called him Harvey, coming from the part of his name that was Harvest.

Unlike the simple names that kennels like Darby Dan uses when naming their dogs (Just Jack, Eve, Samson, Miranda, etc.), some people when naming their litters will have a theme that they will use to help them name their puppies. Some themes that some people have used are car names, fragrance names, song titles, movie titles, etc. Some of the most unique names that stand out to me are from the Edan German Shepherd kennels. You’ll recall that I did an interview with Ann Schultz here a few months ago. Ann always comes up with such wonderful names for her marvelous dogs that I don’t hear other people using. Some of those unique names are: “I’ve got it all of Edan, Am Can Sel 4 Ch Me First Me First of Edan, Ch You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet of Edan, Select Ch MMM MMM Good of Edan, Sel 6 Ch I'm All That Matters of Edan (pictured above)……to name a few of her many, many champion dogs.

Another kennel that I did an interview here several months ago with is Geran's German Shepehrds. Gerald and Angela Roach come up with some wonderful names for their dogs as well. One of their most famous litters was born on Christmas day and so they named their dogs with Christmas names. For instance, “Ch All I want for Christmas, aka Zak.” Other times the Geran Shepherds are named for songs. One puppy Gerald came up with a unique name for is “Geran’s Down to My Last Dollar, aka Reichen” (see the picture below).   As Gerald explains it: Reichen became very ill at 4 weeks after being sick for a week and a half and three different vets diagnosed him with a kidney infection. But I remember telling my wife that when we hit $1,500 paying out medical bills on him, I said I was down to my last dollar. Hence his name.  

It’s funny sometimes how we all try to come up with names that are different or ones that will stick out in people’s minds, only to call them something totally different from their registered names. Don’t we do that sometimes with our children as well? It’s like we go out of our way to come up with these distinquished names only to call them these “baby” names!

I suppose many people can say, “What’s in a name?” After all it’s the quality of the dog that really counts. This is true, but it can be so much fun when trying to come up with names that you like or that people might remember. My own personal favorites from my dogs that I bred were from my “K” litter. (I was one of those kennels that followed the alphabet when naming my dogs). The two names that I loved from that litter were Select #3 BOF Am & International Ch Chieftain’s Kharu CD and Ch Chieftain’s Kazaan. Kharu’s name (pronounced Ka-roo) was such a unique and masculine name. It seems the name extends all the way back to ancient Egyptian times. It was really such a good fit for this dog. Kazaan was perfect for him as well because the dog had an exuberant, happy out going personality.

So when naming your litters, what have been some of your best loved names? How did you come up with your kennel name? I would love to hear some of your stories.

My rating:  coming up with unique names when naming your German Shepherd: (4)

1 comment:

  1. My kennel name, "JoKay's" is quite simple I feel. My husband's name is Joe and my name is Kathy. We were registering our quarter horse's back in the early sixties when we thought of the name "JoKay's". And then everything after that started with the name "JoKay" or had it in the name some place. I always loved thinking of names for my dogs. My two favorite names were my JoKay's Porcelain China Doll,"Lily" JoKay's Czardona Weiss Lobo, "Lobo" & I think the most fun we had with a name was our dog, JoKay's Bleach Boy, "Surfer". One day we were at the Minneapolis/St. Paul GSDCA Specialty show and my husband was registering Surfer for a CD trial. As they handed Joe his armband the lady said, "That's a strange name for your dog." Joe said he just smiled back at her! Later on, the lady saw Joe again, but this time with his dog Surfer and said, "Now I understand." Surfer and Joe got HIT that day too. I was proud of them. Kathy Sater-Partch