Jump to content
BC Boards
Donald McCaig

Pet Names

Recommended Posts

Dear Doggers,

Having begun a post deploring the Dog Fancier's arrogance naming breeds and dogs, I get to enjoy examples of such clever, clever naming. Only just I suppose.

 

Donald McCaig

 

I enjoy your posts, Mr. McCaig. There is no doubt that this community loves the dogs, but it is essential that we know and respect the tradition-no matter what our engagement (novices, pet owners, experienced handlers, etc.).

 

As many before have noted- I think it was Pearse in particular that said, regarding another discussion- we ignore this at our peril.

 

Keep asking these questions here, please-

 

Karrin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I LOVE making up fancy name/call name combos for my own amusement. Yes, I know it is not done in working dogs, but my first introduction to "dog people" was among dog "fanciers" (note: I have never owned a show dog, nor for that matter a show-bred representative of any breed), and it's a habit that dies hard, especially if you like words.

 

I admit to being kind of bored -- not disapproving, but bored -- by the practice of naming Border Collies according to a fairly short list of traditional names.

 

When it comes to names being cultural markers -- and I completely agree that they are -- I think that sport names are just as distinctive as foofy show dog names are.

 

I never understood the working dog culture of continuously naming dogs the same list of traditional (kind of boring in my opinion) working names over and over and over, but I don't remember ever complaining about it. :rolleyes: My oldest Border Collie was named after a character in a series of books I, and several of my family members read. My truly working bred, rescued Border Collie, was registered as Maggie (shocker there, not a common working dog name at all :D) and I changed her call name to Ena, spelled and pronounced Enna because Ena is too hard to say. She is Welsh and in Gaelic it means "little fire".

 

My two registered dogs who actually have a kennel name associated with them have fancy, agility names. Why? Because they are my dogs and I can name them whatever I want. :D Oh, and because it is fun.

 

I think people involved in dogs sports choose their names in the spirit of competitive fun. The speed, joy and drive to do the sport in our dogs is something we love, admire, covet and yes, name. So?

 

Actually, Mayhem was one of my all time favorite names, certainly not named in the spirit of violence. He was a very very well known agility dog who was extremely fast, won all kinds of stuff, and yes, ran teetering on the edge of Mayhem. For agility enthusiasts, as a young dog, he was truly amazing to watch, once you saw him run, you never forgot him. I also am particulary fond of a now retired dog named Riot and a very nice dog currently running named, Havoc. I think I can safely speak for the owners of these dogs who are all very successful in agility in their own right, when I say that they certainly "liked" their dogs. In fact, I think they probably feel these were once in a lifetime dogs that will never be replaced or repeated.

 

Dog sport names are harmless fun and I think it is ridiculous to bash them, especially if you happen to be someone who is currently on their fourth Moss and their fifth Maggie. :D

 

As for the list of titles after or before my dog's names. I am darn proud of my dogs for their accomplishments. Those titles are my dog's achievements in a game that they love. My most accomplished dog was imported in her mother's womb by a working person, sold to a pet home, returned, sold to a goose patrol, failed and returned and finally placed by rescue. She overcame a lot and she's an amazing little dog. Heck yes, I'll list her accomplishments. :D

 

Best,

 

Jen

Flute AAD, AX, OAJ, OAC, OGC, NAJ - semi-retired

ADCH Enna TM - Silver, SACH, GCH, SCH, JCH, RCH, MX, MXJ - rescued champion

Rising Sun's Hot to the Touch - aka: Fever - retired due to epilepsy

Ignited's Molten Rush, aka: Lava - BC puppy in training

Kasi EAC,EGC,EJC, OA,OAJ - (1992-2007)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

may·hem

n.

1. Law The offense of willfully maiming or crippling a person.

2. Infliction of violent injury on a person or thing; wanton destruction.

3. A state of violent disorder or riotous confusion; havoc.

 

hav·oc

n.

1. Widespread destruction; devastation.

2. Disorder or chaos.

tr.v. hav·ocked, hav·ock·ing, hav·ocs

To destroy or pillage.

 

I take your word for it that these names reflect qualities that agility people see and appreciate when they look at their dogs. These names do not reflect anything I see or would want to see when I look at my dogs.

 

I have had quite a few border collies, and never had more than one with the same name, even though they were all named in the working tradition.

 

Names ARE a cultural marker, and in the case of border collies there's a stark difference between the traditional way of naming a dog and the kennel club way. Unless you're very new to the breed and not aware of this, I don't think there's any getting around the fact that when you choose one or the other you are casting your lot with one culture or the other. Your names reflect your choice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Names ARE a cultural marker, and in the case of border collies there's a stark difference between the traditional way of naming a dog and the kennel club way. Unless you're very new to the breed and not aware of this, I don't think there's any getting around the fact that when you choose one or the other you are casting your lot with one culture or the other. Your names reflect your choice.

 

I agree. Although, had I decided to name my dogs traditional, working dog names, it would just meant that they would be competing in agility with names like Moss, Twig, Sweep, Maggie or Bute. :rolleyes: Someday, if I ever have more time, more access and the iabiilty to regulary work a dog on sheep, I may just show up in Pro Novice with my very inappropriately agility theme named dog. I wonder if people will point and laugh. :D

 

Jen

Flute AAD, AX, OAJ, OAC, OGC, NAJ - semi-retired

ADCH Enna TM - Silver, SACH, GCH, SCH, JCH, RCH, MX, MXJ - rescued champion

Rising Sun's Hot to the Touch - aka: Fever - retired due to epilepsy

Ignited's Molten Rush, aka: Lava - BC puppy in training

Kasi EAC,EGC,EJC, OA,OAJ - (1992-2007)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree. Although, had I decided to name my dogs traditional, working dog names, it would just meant that they would be competing in agility with names like Moss, Twig, Sweep, Maggie or Bute.

 

It would mean that, but it wouldn't "just" mean that. It would mean something more fundamental than that.

 

Someday, if I ever have more time, more access and the iabiilty to regulary work a dog on sheep, I may just show up in Pro Novice with my very inappropriately agility theme named dog. I wonder if people will point and laugh.

 

Not because of the name, anyway. And maybe the process of getting there will cause you to look at the dogs differently.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It would mean that, but it wouldn't "just" mean that. It would mean something more fundamental than that.

Not because of the name, anyway. And maybe the process of getting there will cause you to look at the dogs differently.

 

Eileen, I am just going to have to respectfully disagree with you.

 

I actually did quite a bit of herding for almost a year and then again for several months a few years later. I enjoyed it immensely. However, I work full time, live in suburbia and I love agility. I have been competiting in it for 15 years and have no intention of not competing in it in order to pursue another activity with my dogs. I also concluded somewhat reluctantly as Enna showed quite a bit of natural ability on sheep, that unless I got my own sheep, which would mean housing them somewhere away from my suburban home and was willing to dedicate the time neeeded get my dogs on them almost daily at the expense of all other activities - or was willing to send my dog off for months and pay the $$$ to have someone train her - that we really would not progress. I also have always had multiple dogs all of whom are not proficient on sheep who would not be doing anything while I spent the time needed to train the dog that was on stock.

 

All of that has nothing to do with how I choose to name my dogs. I like my names. I have a list of future possible names and I'm sorry, but how I look at my dogs has nothing to do with how I name them. On that, we'll just have to disagree. To me, naming my dog Moss, would just mean I named my dog Moss.

 

Best,

Jen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I also concluded somewhat reluctantly as Enna showed quite a bit of natural ability on sheep, that unless I got my own sheep, which would mean housing them somewhere away from my suburban home and was willing to dedicate the time neeeded get my dogs on them almost daily at the expense of all other activities - or was willing to send my dog off for months and pay the $$$ to have someone train her - that we really would not progress.

 

a brief tangent here (perhaps only for the benefit of other readers) - that's a bit of a hyperbole, and some might even say wrong.

 

Susan

 

ETA - though of course I don't know you or your ability to learn, so I should more properly say that statement does not apply to everyone and ought not dissuade people interested in stockwork.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Doberwoman's ACK name was "Mike's Beaglebane" because a Beagle we knew, who belonged to someone named Mike, came over one day and pooped in our living room. Blaise hated that Beagle ever after, and had to be reminded that the Beagle was a guest...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, please.

 

I agree that names are a cultural marker, but I don't see how not naming my dogs Moss, Ben or Meg makes me a traitor to the working Border Collie. Now, let's see:

 

(1) I have only run one of my three dogs in agility trials, and with him, earned exactly one "title" (which I put in quotes because it's a "title" that most agility people consider a joke);

 

(2) My second dog was an imported working dog and I spent orders of magnitude more time working with, learning from, and trialing her than I ever did in agility; and

 

(3) When I decided to buy a pup I bought a well-bred pup from a responsible working breeder and excellent parents with the express intention of training her on sheep when she became of age and eventually competing with her in trials if she showed enough aptitude for that. She spent three months with an excellent trainer being started last summer, I spend lots of free time on the Craigslist farm + garden section looking for pasture to rent so I can keep sheep, and I am campaigning to move to a piece of land where we can keep our own sheep, expressly because I want to be able to work my dogs and raise lambs...

 

Oh, and let's see, what else. Oh yeah, I identified the phenotype and sample for a genetic project in dogs (noise phobia) that was explicitly tailored to the inclusion of working (not show, and not sport) Border Collies as the major breed sample, which has now merged with other projects of interest to the working dog community (deafness and epilepsy) -- projects for which, I should note, the blood samples might now be homeless if the UCSF project had not also been looking at working Border Collies, which would not have happened had I not been there. I've counseled dozens of people on where to get a Border Collie from (i.e., not to get a "fake" Border Collie from a show or sport breeder) and gotten into arguments about it with some really good friends, whom I would really rather not have antagonized, which must mean that I actually care quite a bit about this subject. I've wasted (apparently) countless hours writing posts on these very Boards arguing the point that if the word "breed" is to mean anything, then Barbie Collies and Sport Collies must be considered different breeds of dogs from Border Collies. I have not and will not ever either acquire or breed a dog for the purpose of dog sports like agility or flyball, and consider dog shows anathema not only to what Border Collies are, but to what practically all dogs should be.

 

And I've somehow "cast my lot" with the dark side by not wanting to name my dogs the same goddamn names (many of which, I should note, I don't even particularly like) as every other working Border Collie out there? Please. Give me a freaking break.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think several people are interpreting the use of traditional names to mean that every dog must be Moss, Sweep, Fly, Spot... Not so. Traditional names include those famous and familiar names, but also just about any one-syllable (generally) name that rolls off the tongue readily in the field. I see the issue as being either the oh-so-clever ACK-type names or the "riotous" agility names that really run contrary to a dog that was bred to be practical and useful, definitely not frivolous or frenetic in nature.

 

That's about as much a misinterpretation as folks always arguing that breeding for working ability means that folks who do anything but stockwork with their Border Collies are second-class citizens and looked down on here. Nothing is further from the truth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think, again, that you fail to realize that there's a whole group of people who depend upon their dogs to work their livestock EVERY DAY that really don't know or care about what people think they should name their dogs. Isn't this the group that the dogs are supposed to be serving?

 

I'm really confused and dismayed by the direction that this list seems to be taking (away from what I thought were the "core values").

 

Kim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I am responding to is this:

 

Names ARE a cultural marker, and in the case of border collies there's a stark difference between the traditional way of naming a dog and the kennel club way. Unless you're very new to the breed and not aware of this, I don't think there's any getting around the fact that when you choose one or the other you are casting your lot with one culture or the other. Your names reflect your choice.

 

I agree with the first sentence, but the second sentence is nonsensical. Traditions don't have to be fossilized for the working Border Collie, and the "core values" associated with it, to persist. There are obviously certain things, like redefining "work" to include "jumping over things in arbitrary patterns to win ribbons," that are anathema to the working Border Collie, but on the list of things that matter I'd have to say naming conventions are pretty damn close to the bottom, and an awfully strange thing to be focusing on. It's one thing to say that names are cultural markers, and quite another to say that by naming your dog a "fancy name" you have cast your lot with the Antichrist, I mean AKC.

 

I will note that my dogs are actually REGISTERED with ISDS and ABCA as "Jett," "Fly," and "Franklin" (the name Solo had before I got him -- I tried to get the name changed on his papers but it didn't go through and I don't care enough to pursue it). That said, I don't think it should mean anything at all if they were registered as "Sir Foofball's Foofiness of Foofington" considering my "track record" as it were, but if folks want to get their panties in a twist about stuff that actually doesn't really matter, I guess that's their prerogative.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

uh oh I am in trouble I name Troy after an Epic battle. :rolleyes: Cressa looked like she had a mask and a cape "on" and thru logical subsitution( and since I can't spell), her register name is Cresent Moon instead of Crescent Moon. For me I was trying (think I might have failed) to do elements. Cressa is the sky Troy is the earth. I also don't like common names. It like naming your RL kid: Becky/Becka/etc, Sara/Sarah/etc, or Jennifer/Jen/etc.

 

I don't get most of this thread. Why do you care what someone names or call their dog? As long as it has some type of meaning to them...? I sure our dogs have colorful name for us too if we could just understand them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm really confused and dismayed by the direction that this list seems to be taking (away from what I thought were the "core values").

 

Yes, I agree. I don't post often in these type threads because often I feel I have nothing of value to add being so new to Border Collies, but I read most of them.

 

But I can't quite wrap my head around how picking a certian name makes you on "this side or that side". I don't understand that at all. It's just a name. Yes, to some names have meaning, but it's still just a name. Wouldn't being like this (saying a certain name puts you on a "side") be more like what the KC/AKC does, in that it's not really the work that matters, but how they look? If a name is so important, are we that much different from a KC/AKC?

 

Just my thoughts from reading the past few pages.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

See and I would have said it's the whole registered name/call name thing that is the cultural marker, as opposed to the actual specific name the dog gets. Like Sue noted, a traditional name need not be one of those on the 100 most popular ISDS names to be in keeping with tradition. My dogs certainly don't all have traditional names, but I would expect that if I gave them names like Willow's Rest Sir Grips-alot, call name Alligator, I would indeed by buying into a cultural tradition associated with show dogs and not working dogs.

 

But really I lose no sleep over dog names. I do *notice* the really long names though, and I guess I don't quite get naming an animal one thing and calling it another (and that's not limited to dogs), but to each his/her own....

 

J.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My dogs certainly don't all have traditional names, but I would expect that if I gave them names like Willow's Rest Sir Grips-alot, call name Alligator, I would indeed by buying into a cultural tradition associated with show dogs and not working dogs.

 

Yeah, but that's not the same thing as signing your soul over to the devil. I'm a lot more concerned with what people actually DO with their dogs than what they name them, and I know you don't spend your weekends chalking up your dogs and trotting them around in a ring wearing sensible shoes (you, not the dog).

 

If we're really going to get nit-picky, there are an awful lot of working dog practices and traditions from the "homeland" of these dogs that working dog people in America no longer follow. I suppose that would be a subject for a new thread. Then we can all argue about which changes are bad and which ones are "innovations."

 

I personally have no cultural connection to the traditions of rural Britain, so the names that some folk find so evocative mean basically nothing to me, other than if I name my dog one of those names it is a guarantee that at least 25% of the other dogs at the sheepdog trial will have the same name. Anyway, like I said the "fancy names" are just for me, something that I enjoy because I like words. I would never enter a dog in a trial under her "full name," but that's mostly because I don't want to inconvenience the person with the whiteboard and marker putting the scoreboard together by making them write all that crap out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My dog does have some pretty colorful names for me and I feel that I am just on the cusp of knowing what they mean. The result is not always flattering... :rolleyes:

 

In a way, I think it does matter what you name your dog. It has an affect on how people view both you and the dog. If Tolkien had called Farmer Maggot's dogs Fluffy and Sweetpea, you would not have worried so much for Merry, Pippin, Frodo and Sam as the dogs came bounding up to them. But with names like Grip and Fang you were distinctly uneasy.

 

If I meet a young man slouching along with a pit bull named Gat or Ripper or Strychnine, I tend to get a bit nervous. My neighbor's pit bull Mattie however, seems completely harmless. (Unless you are violently allergic to dog slobber.)

 

If I meet a Border Collie named Moss, I might imagine that the owner has leanings toward a pastoral lifestyle, if not an actual occupation as a shepherd.

 

If I meet a Border Collie named Speedball or Whiplash I tend to not to imagine a clever, athletic creature sprinting around an agility course with clockwork precision, but rather I imagine a febrile basket case with no, what is it called? - ah yes - off switch.

 

If I meet a dog called Utterly Frogbreath of Plunkit Hill, I tend to imagine that the owner has far too much time on his or her hands, most of it spent watching very bad television.

 

But I suppose that reactions to dogs' names says as much or more about the reactee than it does about the dog or its owner.

 

My dog's name is Sugarfoot. What do you suppose that says about me?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In 2008 when I got a working-bred puppy (who has big plenty of agility talent, btw), I wanted a J name, since her blaze seemed to form a J shape. I brainstormed with my neighbor, who suggested Juno. It was a treat to learn that the president of the USBCHA Herbert Holmes ran a very nice bitch named Juno. I think Juno is a short and sweet name that is not boring and suits a border collie well. Mr. Holmes chose it too, QED!

 

My Juno:

 

710977918_hpMVT-S.jpg

 

Holme's Juno, Soldier Hollow 2008:

 

801325103_PDwDF-S.jpg

 

Ah, if we could accomplish some small fraction of this in our stock work...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got to agree with Melanie and Lizmo - why does my decision to use "froofy" names for my own amusement somehow speak more than the almost 10 years I've participated on this board (off and on, but always on the "side" of the board)?? And why does it matter to those who, as Kim said:

 

depend upon their dogs to work their livestock EVERY DAY that really don't know or care about what people think they should name their dogs.

 

No one is saying the naming of working dogs should change to mirror the dreaded showlines, so why the huge objection to long names designed not for AKC registration, but just for the enjoyment of the dog(s) owner? We talk lots about how some of our viewpoints as a board are misinterpreted (often hugely!), but it's this type of thread that serves to divide rather than unite in a common goal imo.

 

But I suppose that reactions to dogs' names says as much or more about the reactee than it does about the dog or its owner.

 

^ hear, hear!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And I've somehow "cast my lot" with the dark side by not wanting to name my dogs the same goddamn names (many of which, I should note, I don't even particularly like) as every other working Border Collie out there? Please. Give me a freaking break.

 

Are you talking to me? Did you think I was talking about you? As far as I'm concerned, Solo, Fly and Jett are squarely in the working tradition. And I'm surprised to learn that you drew any conclusions about the state of my underwear from anything that I posted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"And I'm surprised to learn that you drew any conclusions about the state of my underwear from anything that I posted."

 

:rolleyes::D :D Ahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! :D :D :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Eileen,

 

It might be because you wrote this:

 

I don't think there's any getting around the fact that when you choose one or the other you are casting your lot with one culture or the other. Your names reflect your choice.

 

If that's not what you meant to say, then perhaps you may wish to clarify what you actually meant to say.

 

Honestly, I'm also responding to Donald's original post. While I see what he's getting at, part of me really wants to say, who gives a flying frak what people name their dogs? Of all the things to get upset about when it comes to what's happening to this breed, focusing on something as minor as naming conventions seems slightly perverse, especially since names are so personal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Honestly, I'm also responding to Donald's original post. While I see what he's getting at, part of me really wants to say, who gives a flying frak what people name their dogs? Of all the things to get upset about when it comes to what's happening to this breed, focusing on something as minor as naming conventions seems slightly perverse, especially since names are so personal.

 

Ah just what I was trying to get at, but so much more concise! Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Eileen,

 

It might be because you wrote this:

 

I don't think there's any getting around the fact that when you choose one or the other you are casting your lot with one culture or the other. Your names reflect your choice.

If that's not what you meant to say, then perhaps you may wish to clarify what you actually meant to say.

 

It's exactly what I meant to say. In my experience working border collie people don't give their dogs names like Imperial Glory's Making Eyes At Ewe, call name Flirt, or Silverwood's Mighty Hunter of the Irish Skies, call name O'Ryan. In that respect, you fit in with my experience. And I can't imagine working border collie people choosing to do so, because (as Julie wrote and you apparently agreed) "if [you] gave them names like Willow's Rest Sir Grips-alot, call name Alligator, [you] would indeed be buying into a cultural tradition associated with show dogs and not working dogs." Adopting that naming system is aping "the Fancy." Outside "the Fancy," dogs of all kinds -- pet dogs, hunting dogs, sled dogs, working border collies -- are given a name to use for reference and for direct address. There's plenty of room for originality in such names. It's only in the Fancy that the dual-name system is used -- one long and fancy name, and a different "call" name supposedly cleverly derived from the long fancy one. Long fancy names are not what our dogs are about. So I have to think that knowingly opting so conspicuously for the show dog cultural norm says something about the namer. Not to mention that you'd have to register with another registry, because the ABCA won't register names with more than 14 characters, including spaces.

 

Honestly, I'm also responding to Donald's original post. While I see what he's getting at, part of me really wants to say, who gives a flying frak what people name their dogs? Of all the things to get upset about when it comes to what's happening to this breed, focusing on something as minor as naming conventions seems slightly perverse, especially since names are so personal.

 

I don't agree with a number of Donald's reflections on names. I don't think the subject bears all the freight he is trying to load onto it. But nothing about his musings gave me the impression that he was upset, or that he thought the subject of names should eclipse other things happening to our breed. I'm sorry if the opinions expressed have upset you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I credit my favorite honorable, sounds awful but means something good, name soley to Donald McCaig

 

Stink

 

Or Stink Dog if you like

 

I've tried to name a pup Stink in every little I've had the smallest say over since I read Nop's Trials. I like what the dog stood for, and that's what names are about. That is, what they mean to the namer.

 

There was a good little btch mentioned in that book too, who went by the stupidist name I've ever seen. Bit o' Scot. Someone somewhere, loved a fine dog with name I'm sure. I'd change such a stupid name faster than a novice could wreck on salebarn Barbados with a dumb pup.

 

Donald's got an age counterpart - chronologically and sheepdoggedly - that I work with a great deal. He's been in sheepdogs since the 70's and deplores "human" names for dogs.

 

Then he named a pup Heather. And argued without give that, that was a "dog" name.

 

Uh huh, and another one of those old hats I know has a dog named Shelley, and after that he had a Mary. I asked him if he was going to call her male pup Jesus but he didn't find that funny.

 

You won't get any arguement from me that names have meaning. Some beliefs are that names have harmonic vibration. Calling a dog something that has a typical meaning of something foul, hateful, abusive or aggresive does set the "tone" for the relationship. Vis versa, calling a dog "Einstein" or "Champ" is equally difficult because the dog has to live up to it.

 

Sure, people can work past it, and have a heavenly relationship with the dog they named Satan. Haven't seen it very often though...

 

Coincidentally the stupidist dog I ever met was called Einstein. Poor dear. Not sure if it was about living up to the name, or just misfortunate bad labeling from pupdom.

 

My new pup's name is Moss. It suits him. I don't know why. He's been Moss since he was a few days old.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...