What is up with those show dog names?
May 25, 2005 12:52 PM   Subscribe

My Google-fu has failed me, and I haven't found an adequate answer... What, exactly, do those crazy show dog names mean? I'm referring to the ones that sound like "PopTart's Momentary Lapse of Reason Concrete Hullabaloo".
I'm sure it's something to do with breeding and AKC registration and whatnot. But the names are so wacky. Any insight to the madness would be most appreciated. Thanks!
posted by Thorzdad to Pets & Animals (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: And I really really apologize for posting my entire question up front. Apparently my Ask MeFi-fu is weak today, as well.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:53 PM on May 25, 2005

Well, according to my co-worker (whose Mom breeds show dogs), in part the dog's names come from who breeds them. So if "Joe's Dog Shack" is the breeder, then "Shack" or "Joe" is going to end up in the dog's name. Add to this if it comes from multiple breeders, then they each get a name in it. So an offspring of "Joe's Dog Shack" and "Dan's House of Mutts" might end up being called "Fisky Tilly's Mutt Shack." And the names should be as unique as possilbe, both to stand out,and so that there isn't any confusion.

Also, he says those aren't usually the dog's actual names, just their show names.
posted by KirTakat at 1:06 PM on May 25, 2005

If the question is that short, I'd rather see it upfront then have to click through a [mi] for the extra line. So don't worry 'bout it.

Got nothin on the dog front, though.
posted by cmyr at 1:06 PM on May 25, 2005

Best answer: To-day we have naming of dogs.

A dog breeder explains naming here, but the short version is that the first word or phrase is the name of the breeder, and they're the only ones allowed to begin names with that word or phrase. That's also why you tend to see the possessive in front. The rest is a mix of whimsy and maybe references to the dog's parents; when Poptart's Momentary Lapse of Reason Concrete Hullabaloo gets sired out to Bayswater, one of offspring might be Bayswater's Reasonable Conclusion or Bayswater's Hullabaloo Revival, and so on.

The convolutedness keeps the names unique (although the "37 with the same name per breed" rule in the AKC link above is pretty odd), which is important when a lot of your dog's value will manifest as lines on a future champion's pedigree.

The people who keep the dog as a pet won't use the long name, but they'll often base it on the long name (Bayswater's Reasonable Conclusion becomes Lucy, etc.)
posted by mendel at 1:14 PM on May 25, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks all. It certainly makes some sense now...and, deep down, it's nice to see a system that depends on a large dose of whimsy to work.

And thanks, cmyr.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:22 PM on May 25, 2005

You came to the right place for the lowdown on silly names.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 1:25 PM on May 25, 2005

Wysiwyg Welsh Terriers explains the names of several of their dogs on their site. (click on the dog's name)
posted by SisterHavana at 1:34 PM on May 25, 2005

Additionally, dogs can have abbreviations added before or after their names to signify the titles they have earned.
posted by Yukon at 1:45 PM on May 25, 2005

It's similar with thoroughbred horses -- Seabiscuit was the foal of parents with names like Seafarer and Hard Tack (which is a kind of biscuit). (Those probably aren't the right names, but the principle holds.)
posted by o2b at 1:48 PM on May 25, 2005

Some breeders like to use theme names (baseball litters, movie star litters, food litters, etc.) or names based on the alphabet ('A' names, then 'B' names, and so on) for litters because it helps them fix specific dogs and their siblings in the time-space continuum.
posted by cairnish at 1:53 PM on May 25, 2005

Seabiscuit was by Hard Tack and out of Swing On, so only one parent had a nautical name. Hard Tack descended from Man O' War, who also sired the Triple Crown winner War Admiral, who was also Seabiscuit's uncle and got whomped by him good in their famous match race. The breeders didn't have to use a bunch of nautical terms to name Man O' War's offspring, but it was a nice way of delineating the line.

Not all horse breeders follow that convention. A bunch of descendents of Bold Ruler were named "Bold fill-in-the-blank", but they ran out of choices eventually (Boldnesian???) and started using names like Secretariat instead.
posted by maudlin at 10:56 PM on May 25, 2005

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