Originality Counts When Picking A Dog Kennel Name

Dog kennel owners reveal the inspiration behind their namesake.

Your kennel name not only differentiates your puppies from those from other breeders, but also sets a certain tone. Bigandt_Photography/iStock/Thinkstock

One of the rites of passage, when dog owners get bitten by the bug and become exhibitors, then dog breeders, is choosing a kennel name that will be worn proudly by each promising purebred puppy they produce. A catchy, unique prefix always gets noticed; a silly kennel name selected in haste will elicit groans and noses held as if with an imaginary clothes pin. Not the effect you should be going for.

There have been some wonderful kennel names over the years created by combining owners’ first names, or the names of their children or special dogs. Others choose a name with historical significance for their breed, or in honor of a favorite sport, hobby or geographical destination.

From the Dogs in Review Facebook page we asked breeders how they arrived at their kennel names and got some great responses. They may amuse you … and even inspire you.

Golden Hill Afghan Hounds


My kennel name is “Golden Hill Afghan Hounds.” My husband’s family comes from the Golden Hill Indians of the Paugussett Indian Nation. They were located in what is now Bridgeport, Conn. We live just south of Boston, but he still has relatives in that area. Our first show bitch, Teesha, is registered as ‘KaVrab Rising Star of Golden Hill.’ ‘Rising Star’ was the last Chieftess of this Indian Tribe!

Hope you like this story!

Amy Mero

Blacice Labradors

I got my kennel name from a road condition. My kennel name is Blacice Labradors. My mom, sister and I were on our way to Baltimore, Md., to see my younger sister at John Hopkins University. I was during winter and we were talking and driving very carefully, due to black ice on the road. At the time I had mostly blacks and only one yellow Labrador. My sister suggested that I name my kennel black ice and I liked it.My dogs were named for jewels at that time, so it fit with that too! I shorten the name to Blacice so it would take up so many spaces on the AKC registration form! So Blacice Labradors came to be.

Jean Hairston

Do Gato Portuguese Water Dog

Well, I was raised by show Poodles under my parents’ kennel name, WAVIR White Miniatures. Wavir is for Walter and Virginia, my parents’ first names.

I have bred Portuguese Water Dogs since 1991. My first brood bitch is (Ch. Stargazer’s) Gatinha Do Algarve (RN, Th.D, Service Dog), known as “Kitty.” “Gatinha Do Algarve” is loosely translated from Portuguese to “Sex Kitten of the Algarve.”

I chose “Do Gato” as my kennel name; it means “of, or from the cat” in Portuguese. Correct Portuguese would put it at the end of any use, but we’re talking AKC! I also try to maintain the cat theme elsewhere in the dogs I have kept through my breeding, such as (Ch.) Do Gato’s Catwoman (Th.D, Service Dog) (known as Pickles), the lovely bitch I showed at Westminster in 2007.

My husband is allergic to cats, but enjoys them — and Do Gato is our tribute to cats, as well as to our nearly 13 year old foundation bitch KITTY!

Laurie Hardman
Do Gato PWDs
AKC Breeder of Merit

Vistah English Springer Spaniels

Real simple. I started before computers. The AKC kept making the same spelling mistake. So, I decided there was some sort of destiny that being my kennel name…

Vistah Kennels
Judy Manley
English Springer Spaniels

Mirare Pharaoh Hounds

Hey Allan!

My kennel name is “Mirare” and that is the Latin root for both mirage and mirror. My very first Pharaoh Hound was named Mirage and I wanted a way to honor her memory without actually using her name. When I found the Latin root for mirage actually meant to “wonder at” or “admire,” I was hooked.

Not particularly unusual but there you go…


Cadenza Collies

Cadenza is a light airy little solo. That was me when I started. My folks used Franchel (combining their names Frances and Herschel).

Cathy Keefer Meier, RVT, LVT, LaTg, A.A.S
Cadenza Collies, cadenzacollie@yahoo.com
Smooth and Rough Collies (since 1983) Collie Club of America member
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

Wotarukus (What A Ruckus) Briards

Many years ago my husband and I were in Scotland and came across an antique box in a shop  window. Wotarukus was written on it very faintly with age. It was a lovely old box and to this day regret we did not buy it.

We have had Briards for 21 years and thought of this name from days gone by to be used as a CKC Registered Kennel name, living in a home with a “herd” of Briards our home can get to the point of saying, WHAT A RUCKUS! Suits the household and our breed to a T.

Brian & Gael Harper
Wotarukus Briards Reg’d

Aurigan Cardigan Welsh Corgi

I found my kennel name: Aurigan in a horse equipment magazine. It is the name of a metal alloy. I liked the sound of it, being quite similar in sound to the state of Oregon where we were living. I like word play and this works great for that. I also like how it starts with the letter A it puts the name near the top of most alphabetical listings.

Dayl Phillip
Aurigan Cardigan Welsh Corgis
AKC Breeder of Merit

Read more about kennels and dog names:

Choosing an AKC Dog Name
Choosing an AKC-registered name for your dog is an important part of purebreed ownership. Dogs In Review readers tell the stories behind their dogs’ formal names. Read More>>

Five Dog-Kennel Myths
 By Alice Bixler
Correct these common kennel misconceptions before designing your own dog kennel. Read More>>

Secrets of Dog Show Success: Be a Kennel
By Michael and Cathy Dugan
Today, most dog breeders operate small kennels that may have one litter every year or two and raise the litters in their homes. Many of these dog breeders are exceptional and have produced many champions over the years. Read More>>

Dog Names Center
If you already have a kennel name or are just looking for the perfect name for your new puppy, visit DogChannel.com’s Dog Names Center. Read More>>

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