Hunting Dog Names: Ultimate Guide On Naming Your Canine - Rifles HQ

Hunting Dog Names: Ultimate Guide On Naming Your Canine

how to name your hunting dog

A hunting dog would be the obvious choice of dog for owners who are outdoorsy and into hunting. They are used to hunt with and for humans, assisting them in retrieving game. These exclusive canine breed are trained to perform a range of tasks useful to owners with specific needs during hunting expeditions when they can locate prey.

So, you probably agree that giving them a proper name which matches their personality is the right thing to do?

But how come up with the ideas you may ask?

Well, read on...

  • Hounds: These dogs comprise Afghan Hounds, Basset Hounds, Whippets, Bloodhounds and Greyhounds. They are known for their mental speed and agility, scent and sight.
  • Gun dogs: These dogs are used by small time hunters with guns. They help hunters retrieve their game such as waterfowl and birds. This group comprises Retrievers, Setters, Spaniels, Pointers and Water dogs.
  • Terriers: These dogs are used to hunt mammals and vermin. This group comprises Lakeland Terriers, Airedale Terrier, Irish Terrier, Rat Terrier, Schnauzers, Bull Terrier, Fox Terriers and Welsh Terrier.
  • Feists: This group is made up of the Treeing Feist, Charlie Feist, Denmark Feist, Mountain Feist, Kemmer Feist and Thornbug Feist. They are ideally suited to hunting small animals like squirrels and rabbits.
  • Dachshunds: This breed is trained to scent out, chase and kill badgers, foxes, rabbits, deer, boar, etc.
  • Curs: Being at the bottom of the classification table doesn't automatically mean these dogs are worthless. On the contrary, they are widely used to hunt boars, cougars, raccoons, etc.

How it works 

Hunting dogs are officially registered, so they are regarded a peg higher than other dogs. They come with pedigree papers that prove their lineage and stud records.

Often, hunting dogs are entered into dog shows for their individual skills. At these events, they are registered on a combination of their original names and their parents' or grandparents' names. Through this, the owner can boast his dog's pedigree to all around.

Naming hunting dogs usually means endowing them with their father's and grandfather's names while female pups are named by their maternal ancestors. By doing this, the lineage of hunting dogs are carried on for future generations.

Such reasons make naming your hunting pet a very serious issue, which also means that you can't pick up a name from anywhere and give it to your pet. It should reflect your pet's royal ancestry, his unique and individual personality and his niche in the canine world.

Since the official or registered names of hunting dogs are too long to be used in daily life, owners find a nickname for them that's derived from the longer name and that's easy on the tongue.

Dos and Don'ts of Naming Hunting Dogs

There are a few rules to follow when naming your dog:


  • Give him a name that is worthy of respect. If you name him awkwardly, it won't be funny when you're on a hunting expedition
  • Give him a name that's rarely or never given to a dog. If it's overused, you might just come across another dog of the same name and your fellow isn't going to like that. Besides, you've got a marvellous pet in your hunting dog, so give him a unique name.
  • ​Give your dog a socially acceptable name. If it smacks or expletives or anything embarrassing, your family and neighbors might not like it. Besides, it could also depress your dog. So, give him a name your family can use at any time.
  • Make his name easy on the mouth and ear. Your dog's name should be short and crisp, only then will you get his attention. The simpler it is, the easier he will recognize and accept it as his name.


  • Check that the name you suggest has no negative connotations. For example, Honey might sound great because it's the color of his coat. But you can't call a gun dog “Honey” because he's a tough dog for the wild.
  • Avoid calling your hunting dog names like Snake, no matter that it is one-syllable. Imagine, if you shout out to him, those around you will panic, wondering where the snake is.
  • Similarly, avoid naming your hunting dog after people, such as Henry, Peter, Andy, etc. as they may be your friends and will feel slighted to think he has the same name as your pet. Besides, if you shout out to your dog, your friend might show up before you. I mean, think of the confusion you'll create.
  • Avoid giving trendy names. A name is forever, and remember that dogs go on till they are 15 or so. Trends are bound to give way somewhere along the way, so give him a name related to him rather than to the times.
  • ​Don't name him after friends and family. Let your dog have his own special name and your friends theirs.
  • ​Don't rhyme his name with your commands as this could only confuse him and he will not take your commands seriously. If you’ve picked a name that rhymes with a command, when you give the command add on a gesture so that he knows how to respond. If you always do this, perhaps there will be no confusion in his mind.
  • Avoid giving him a name that sounds like you're commanding them. If you do, this would confuse him and he will do as he hears rather than what you expect of him.


  • Once you've generated a list of suitable options, ask your family and close friends to come up with more names for your hunting dog. This will help your family come together and feel responsible for your new family member.
  • With a list of names in hand, see how the pup reacts to each one by calling out each of them. By noting his response, you can create a shortlist of probable names and choose the ultimate one.
  • If you're bringing home an adult, obviously he's already registered and has a nickname that he responds to. So, giving him a new nickname now would only confuse him and he won't respond to it. But perhaps you could make a small change in the sound of his name, like changing Juno to Uno. Don't change the name entirely because your dog has already internalized the sound of his name, so he won't respond to something new now.
  • Ensure that the name you choose consists of one or two syllables, since it has been found that they respond to shorter names better.
  • Gift your pup a name that reflects his personality, purpose and breed. It should be one that you can easily shout out in a public place where everyone around can hear and pick up, should you need their help to locate him. So, even if your pup shows signs of being really acute, don't insult this trait in him by calling him Demon or Killer.
  • Let his unique hunting skills and strength come through from the name you choose. This will ultimately bring you closer to him for years to come.

Anyone out hunting will realize that these hunting dogs are perfect companions out in the wild, especially if they are alone. Not only do these canines offer protection to their masters, but also to their hunting gear, apart from finding game faster.

Now that you have a small but important understanding about hunting dogs, you also know that a hunting dog is especially gifted. To be good at what he's trained for takes a lot of dedication and concentration on his part, something that you can and perhaps should recognize when naming him.

General traits of all hunting dogs: Typical hunting dogs are disciplined, smart, tough and loyal. These traits hold them in good stead with their owners as they move from one hunting expedition to another, proving their mastery over speed, sight and scent as they swoop down to hunt their prey


If you want to take your hunting pup with you each time that you go hunting, you do need to name him fast, so that he begins to respond to his name and to your voice. But how do you choose? Are there any set parameters to choose a name? Out in the wild, you will need to call out to him several times, so it is important that you choose well and wisely. If you're perplexed about this, you can use any of the parameters listed below, with suggestions for each:

Conventional Hunting Dog Names

Here are a few traditional male hunting dog names that bring out the essence of their hunting prowess:

  • Ace: If you do your training right, you’ll have an ace hunting dog. Get a leg up by naming your dog Ace.
  • Hunter: This is to recognize your pet's basic strength, hunting.
  • Buddy: Often, short for Budweiser ammunition and guns, reveals the precision and swiftness of these breeds. Over time, they become your buddy.
  • Chase: Since hunting dogs primarily chase their prey a lot, this seems like a nice name for your hunting pup.
  • Trapper: Here's a rugged name for a hunting dog that excels in trapping animals.
  • Ranger: This is perfect for a pet that keeps vigil over the landscape and spot game with his eagle eye.
  • Scot: A variation on the name Scout for one who scouts the land, this is a classic yet cool name.
  • Blaze: If he runs like a shot or a blaze of fire after his prey, you could name him so.
  • Liberty: That particular freedom that you both enjoy out in the wild with which he freely roams the grounds looking for prey can be his name, Liberty.

Ammunition-Inspired Hunting Dog Names

Ammunition is a critical member of the hunting group. So, how about naming your pup based on it? Here are some gun names for dogs:

  • Bullet: Again, a strong name emphasizing power and agility.
  • Remmy: Short for the Remington Arms Company, USA, a leading manufacturer of weapons and ammunition, this one seems apt for your hunting dog.
  • Trigger: You pull it to shoot your prey. That's when your hunting dog makes its way to retrieve the game.
  • Magnum: Derived from the Magnum gun, it shows toughness and precision.
  • Powder: The explosion caused from ammo that makes for successful hunting, is a good name for your hunting companion.
  • Benelli: Just like Remington, this Italian firearms manufacturer can lend its name successfully to your pet.
  • Winchester: Give your pet a touch of royalty to his name by calling him Winchester, derived from the Winchester Repeating Arms Company that makes repeating firearms.
  • Colt: Yet another firearms company based in the US could be a good name for your hunting pet.

Animal-Inspired Hunting Dog Names

Animals that are known to hunt or are hunted themselves make good name options for your hunting dog. Let's explore some of them:

  • Hawk: The hawk is an agile, strong hunter.
  • Buck: The male deer that's hunted, this refers to the elegance with which the hunting dog runs to catch his prey.
  • Drake: The male mallard, the drake, is quite often hunted. By choosing this name, you recognize the animal hunted.
  • Lynx: This animal is a natural hunter, hopefully like your hunting dog.
  • Foxy: Foxes are known for their strategy planning, agility, swiftness to catch prey--all great qualities in any hunting dog.
  • Tiger: If the qualities of this tough, strong, regal and persevering animal can show through in your pet, this could be the name for him.

Topography-Inspired Hunting Dog Names

  • Bramble: This is ideal for a hunting that hunts in a particular hunting terrain.
  • Dakota: This name is fit for naming a hunting dog for two reasons: One, North and South Dakota's plains are great hunting grounds. Second, the natives of these areas, the Dakota tribe, are primarily hunters and this would be a fitting tribute to them.
  • Dixie: Dixie, situated in the south and south-eastern part of the US, is popular for hunting. This name gives a soft edge to your hunting pet and its hunting qualities.

Nature-Inspired Hunting Dog Names

  • Blitz: German for lightning, this name recognizes the speed by which this dog runs and retrieves game.
  • Thor: The Greek God of Thunder, this name shows great strength and toughness that you see in a good hunting dog.
  • Dawn: Because hunting is usually done before daybreak.
  • Sunny: His positive and never-say-die attitude could be two good reasons to name him so.
  • Sky: You and your hunting companion will be under a beautiful or tortuous sky for hours on your hunting expedition, hence the name.
  • Nyx: The Greek Goddess of the Night, Nyx is associated with beauty at night.

Celebrities-Inspired Hunting Dog Names

  • Rocky: Of undeniable strength and perseverance, Rocky Balboa, the tough boxer enacted by Sylvester Stallone, is a top choice for your hunting dog.
  • Rambo: Yet another iconic character played by Stallone, again depicting raw energy and strength.
  • Brutus: A throwback to brute strength and flexibility, here's a name to reckon with.

Mythology-Inspired Hunting Dog Names

  • Apollo: One of this Greek god's strengths was his excellence at archery.
  • Orion: The great huntsman, Orion, placed among the stars by Zeus as Orion's constellation, this name is befitting to a hunting dog.
  • Zeus: This name gives a soft edge to a rugged hunting dog.
  • Hercules: Known to be half-man, half-god, Hercules is known for his great physical strength.

Other Ideas for Naming Hunting Dogs

These aren't the only parameters of naming your pet hunting dog. There are others too which can work equally well. Here are some of them:

  • Sarge: Short for Sergeant or the Boss, this is a commanding yet casual name for your hunting dog.
  • Duke: This shows strength, regal bearing and power.
  • General: Again, if he is smart and has a commanding bearing, this is a fine name for him.
  • Diesel: A lot of toughness, rebellion and ruggedness define the appropriateness of this name.
  • Jag: Short for Jaguar, a wild cat known for its speed and agility in the wild, you can consider this name.
  • Mack: Casual yet a one-syllable name, this is appropriate for its tenacity and toughness.
  • Max: A popular choice for male pups, your pup can take to it immediately.
  • Cabela: This is a retail store for die-hard hunters, hence it is appropriate for your pup.
  • Spike: This is an endearing name for a hunting pup that's both tough and playful.
  • Bolt: One that chases prey faster than lightning is the right one for this name.

Female Hunting Dog Names

There are a wide variety of hunting dogs available with the American Kennel Club groups. Whether you choose to add a hound or a gun dog to your family, do consider choosing one of these names for your female hunting dog.

Contemporary Names for Female Hunting Dog Names

  • Atalanta: In Greek, this means balanced, much like your hunting dog.
  • Bess: Derived from Elizabeth, Queen of England, this denotes royalty.
  • Chipper: One with a lively spirit, this name works well for a hunting dog.
  • Ember: This could refer to your dog's brown eyes that show her mental alertness.
  • Bailey: This word means public official, so it goes well with a female hunting dog who is in charge of controlling external situations.
  • Lexi: Derived from the Greek name Alexandra, it means "defender of man," the basic duty of your hunting dog.
  • Dove: Though your female hunting dog may be very sharp, there could be a soft side to her. This name would be good for such a dog.
  • Lulu: This name means "famous in war," in Tuetonic and refers to the success that female hunting dogs can bring to their masters in every hunting expedition.
  • Casey: This Celtic name refers to bravery, a quality inherent in a hunting dog.
  • Sasha: Derived from the Russian word for se actions made an impact on the local people. a name just right for your female hunting dog.
  • Lady: If you want to give her the respect she deserves, just call her Lady.
  • Helena: Naming her after the legendary Helen of Troy could be a good idea as your female hunting dog's life is also based on her personal bravery.

Characters from Films and Literature-Inspired Female Hunting Dog Names

  • Maya: A CIA operative who hunts down Bin Laden in Zero Dark Thirty. Talk of strategy planning and perfect timing.
  • Ripley: This alien space captain and alien hunter enacted by Sigourney Weaver makes a good choice of name.

Other parameters of naming male and female hunting dogs

According to behavior: A name can be chosen according to the pup's behavior. Is she very frisky? There, you have a name--Frisky. If he has a lot of pep, just call him Pepper. If every time you pick up your rifle, he rushes to the door, Winchester or Winchy for short would be ideal. Rugar or Ruger, the old German guns, also make for good names for male hunting dogs.

According to individual skills: Skills that various hunting dog breeds exhibit can be the basis of choosing a name for them. For example, if your hunting dog brings down male mallards, just go ahead and call him Drake. You can also select names for your pet based on his breed, his outstanding traits or personality, what it hunts and where, the sound of the name to the owner and whether it can be remembered easily both by the owner and the hunting dog.

According to the owner's sense of humor: Some dog owners choose a name based on their sense of humor, while others choose one that's pleasing to the ears.

According to weaponry: Often, owners will name their hunting dogs based on the weaponry they use, or the dog's skill in hunting, tracking and trapping. So, it's common to come across names like Remmie or Remington, or Dart or Arrow or also Tracker, Chase, Hunter or Artemis.

According to animal names, etc: Characteristics that owners generally see in common with other animals forms the basis of naming them after those animals. For instance, names like Grizzly, Kodiak, Bear, etc are as common as sports-related names like Scooter, Dash or Champ. If military-based names are given, they are usually Ranger, General or Captain. To show exemplary strength, names like Terminator, Rambo and Rocky are given.

According to colour: Often, owners take the easy route by naming their pets based on the colour of their coat or eyes. So, if her coat is pink-red, she's Rosy; if yellow, Halo or Buttercup; if white, she's Snowy or Snow White; if creamish, she's ivory; or if she's dark brown, she's Mocha. She could be called Brandywine if she's close to the colour of brandy.

Male hunting dogs are also named so. If there's a bright spark to their faces, they are called Blaze or Flare, if they bolt at the speed of lightning, then they are called Lightning.

Cool hunting dog names

If you want to step out of the ordinary and give your hunting pet an unusual name, well why not? Here are some options you could consider:

  • Ryder: This is a blend of style and strength, just as your hunting dog is.
  • Kinsley: There's an air of regality to this name, a quality you will see in your canine.
  • Porter: Here's a cool name for your hunting friend.
  • Denali: In Sanskrit, this word means "The Great One."
  • Duke: Historically, a duke has been the highest rank of nobility just below the king. This name therefore symbolizes your pet's pedigree.
  • Rex: For the king among them all, and perfect if he's hyperactive.
  • Zain: If he's fast on his feet and has a razor-sharp mind this is the name for him.
  • Chiron: A civilized centaur, he was known for his great strength and size.
  • Zeagler: If he chases the outsider like a supersonic jet, this one would suit him perfectly.
  • Rian or Ryan: This one means "little king."
  • Zeus: the Greek god of thunder--a name that shows strength and power.
  • Spiro: This name means your pet is spirited, so go ahead and give him this name. He's sure to live up to it

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Being the proud owner of a hunting dog is an amazing experience, one that deepens with time when you bond over hunting expeditions. This relationship can bring you a lot of happy times and unique memories. So, begin this journey of loyalty and love by naming your hunting pet right.

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