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Border Collie Names

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#1 BCLuvr


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Posted 14 October 2012 - 09:48 AM

I have heard over the years, it is best to name a border collie a one syllable name if you are using the dog for trials. The reason (I have heard)for this is it is easier to work with a dog with a one syllable name. I have also heard you shouldnt name your dog a name that would "rhyme" with any of the commands. What is everyone's experience with this? Any suggestions, ideas? I am awaiting a puppy at this time. I am not sure if it will be a female or a male as I will wait and see what I connect with and that is the puppy I will get. If it is a female, I am considering the name Bree, however, that rhymes with "away to me". As this dog will be my first attempt at sheep dog trials, I want to start off with at least the right name.

#2 juliepoudrier


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Posted 14 October 2012 - 10:19 AM

Bree rhymes with the last word in Away to me. I doubt there will be any confusion. One or two syllable names are certainly easier, but I know of dogs with longer names. I believe the owners end up shortening them anyway for ease of saying.

I also know of dogs whose names rhyme with, or at least sound similar to, commands (Tommy Wilson has great success with his bitch Sly, and I don't think there's an issue that she's confusing her name with "Lie." Lots of border collies have been name Fly, too, and I know of an Ike, so at least a hard I sound doesn't seem to be a problem.) I've not heard of anyone saying they wish they'd chosen another name because the dog was being confused by it all. And eventually the dog should be on whistles and ryhmes will be irrelevant. I've had more problems with having dogs here with similar sounding names mixing up who I was calling....

Choose a name you like and that fits the dog and go forward! If you happen to like a name like Serendipity, name the dog that and call her Seren! ;)


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Julie Poudrier
New Kent, VA

Beloved, and living in memory:
Willow (6/1997-5/2014, run free, my heart), Boy (3/1995-10/2010, RIP), Jill (8/1996-5/2012, RIP), Farleigh (12/1998-7/2014, RIP), Kat (4/2000-6/2015, I miss you, my sweet, funny little clown), Twist (11/2001-11/2016, you were my once-in-a-lifetime dog and forever my BEST girl), and Phoebe (7/2006-8/2017, gone too soon).

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#3 BCLuvr


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Posted 14 October 2012 - 11:32 AM

Thanks Julie. I really like the name Bree for a girl and it is good to know others have not had this problem. Old shepherds tales I guess........haha! Still thinking about a male's name at this point in time. Have quite a few picked out. Wish those babies would get here so I can choose.

#4 Gideon's girl

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 04:06 PM

Dogs probably only listen to "Away" and then they are already moving. Thats why they use "come by" and "here" or "that'll do". I came to stockwork after loads of year of obedience training and sometimes when I say "come" Gideon will "come by" or vise versa. He has finally learned that I don't do a recall when we're herding, but he still hesitates to think about it every once in a while. By the way, when there is no rush I use Gideon and Micah, but when we're working it's Gid and Mike. They're never confused by that.

#5 BCLuvr


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Posted 14 October 2012 - 05:33 PM

You are probably right about them already moving when they hear "away". I have so much to learn with all the phrases and commands. I have heard most of them, just need to understand them and learn when to use them. The whistles are something I will definitely have to learn. All in due time. I hope my almost 53 year old brain can retain what I learn without "forgetting"....hahaha!

#6 Jumpin Boots

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Posted 14 October 2012 - 09:05 PM

I think there are all sort of superstitions about naming. I was once told that dogs with two syllable names that ended in an 'e' sound had better recalls than other dogs. Our dogs have proved that incorrect :)

#7 appyridr


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Posted 16 October 2012 - 08:48 PM

Here are a couple sites that list a LOT of Border Collie names:



I have two that came with their names; Blair & Dusty(which often is shortened to 'Dust' on & off sheep).
I named my other two; Jayne & Owen(shortens to 'O' more off sheep than on). Owen is gaelic for 'son of nobility' as he is a son of my Blair. ;+D

cheers Lani

#8 OurBoys


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Posted 16 October 2012 - 09:03 PM

I don't think it's going to make any difference if their name is one or two syllables. Like people have mentioned, you'll probably shorten it anyway. It's also been my experience these guys can also tell the difference in words that rhythm. When we named our Jake I wondered if he would tell the difference between his name and the command "Take" (yes, I know that's not a part of working livestock). I worried for nothing. With that said, it helps if the dog isn't listening to your conversation you're having with your husband/wife when 1/2 asleep but that's a subject for a different thread. :lol:



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