corner tag


What's In a Name?

In honor of the Westminster Kennel Club's dog show over the last couple of nights, I thought it was appropriate to offer up this post. I've watched dog shows off and on over the years, and at one time in my life, I showed cats (which is and isn't a whole different thing).

I have long wondered about pedigreed dog naming conventions because while a dog might be registered as Sir Glittersparkle Snarksalot, he's mostly known as Henry or something equally banal and completely unrelated to the fancypants name. (Generally speaking, that's not my experience in the pedigreed cat world.)

While I was up visiting Leo, his breeder, Barb Robinson, sent a parcel of goodies for Leslie and I. In there was a copy of a Canadian (yes, Leo came from the Great White North, lol) Collie magazine that included a full page ad (pictured below) telling the world that Leo is now being trained as a service dog. Clearly, she is very proud of him. As you'll note, the ad features not only a gorgeous picture of Leo, but also his fancypants (registered) name: Chippenhook's Gold Nugget. Chippenhook is her kennel or family name, so technically his name is Gold Nugget.

*scratches head*

How do you get Leo from Gold Nugget? or Gold Nugget from Leo, know what I mean?

So, I asked Barb to answer this question as a way of addressing the pedigreed dog name thing I've wondered about for years. Here is her fascinating and informative answer:
Some breeders name litters thematically or use a particular letter for each I started late, I will never breed many litters so don't think I need to use those methods.

As a breeder I am excited to plan a breeding and very excited and worried to get them on the ground (born).

I start thinking about call names as soon as they arrive. I taught high school for years and had some memorable students and have used their names for call names for my puppies. For example a brother of Leo's (a tri)... I named him Evan as he is a gentle, smart soul and reminder me of a student named Evan. The woman who bought Evan renamed him Tippy but he will always be Evan to me. He is now a registered therapy dog.

Sometimes the name just comes to you. Leo's mom is Velvet... she looked like a piece of velvet cloth when she was born (I taught some fashion & clothing construction courses). Her registered name is Chippenhook's Velvet Slipper... her daughter Niki (who looks like Velvet) is Chippenhook's Shiny Shoes. Linking the names helps you remember pedigrees too.

Leo's name comes from a famous dog named Am Ch Lochlomon Interlock, he lived in Ohio.... born in 1973. He is behind many of the collies I admire. I have attached a head shot of him... a handsome collie!

(name misspelled in pic... should be Lochlomon)
A few years ago I met the woman who bred Lochlomon Interlock..... she is an interesting character. I did some more research when I got home and saw that Interlock's call name was Leo. So I thought if I ever have a handsome male like him, I would name the puppy Leo.

I name my puppies by the time they are 3 weeks old as I think they are "real people" by then.

My Leo was big (over a pound), strong & handsome when he was born. He was the pick of the litter at 8 weeks. He is line bred on a dog from New York state, Am Ch Marnus Golden Ruler (Leslie loves this dog too) call name Piper. Leo's mother, Velvet is a grand daughter of Golden Ruler..... Velvet's brothers who have a resemblance to Piper have registered names Autumn Gold, Heart of Gold & Good as Gold in honour of Piper.

Because Leo does not have much of a white collar.... he is mostly sable, I decided to go with the name Gold Nugget.

My kennel name is after Chippenhook Creek that runs through the dairy farm I grew up on in eastern Ontario. I knew when I retired from teaching in Stratford, Ontario I would move back home...... can't take the love of country out of me!.... I now rent a house on the farm.

I hope this answers your questions about Leo's name. Any more questions... ask away. 

Post a Comment


Copyright © 2010 mostly a lurker