Question of the Week
Our ultimate kennel name, “Baywatch” Lhasa Apsos, seemed to be most appropriate, as our home was situated on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay. And, yes, it WAS before the TV series.
Grass Valley, California
I first bred Saint Bernards under the Tyrol prefix, and Roy bred Lhasas under the Jomo prefix, but neither name seemed to fit the breed we would breed together, Dandie Dinmont Terriers. We had recently purchased the property on Kings Mountain in Woodside, California, and it seemed an appropriate name for an English Scottish border country breed. We shortened the name to "King's Mtn."
Ellen MacNeille Charles
Hillwood was the kennel name of my mother, all-breed judge Adelaide Riggs. She lived on Long Island before moving to Maryland on my grandmother’s estate, Hillwood, where she had a kennel of Scottish Terriers. Later my grandmother moved to a home in Washington, D.C., that she named Hillwood, now Hillwood Museum and Gardens. Tucked away in a wooded area is a dog cemetery with the gravestones of Hillwood dogs of the past.
Cranford, New Jersey
When I was a child, I had a big brother whom I idolized. We both went to boarding school and summer camp (eight weeks) so we didn’t spend much time together, but when we were together, I was his nuisance little sister! When he was 12 years old, he was diagnosed with leukemia. That was in 1950. There was not much known about that disease at that time, and I lost my best friend.
I was nine years old then and really didn’t understand what it all meant. But life changed! When I started breeding dogs, I started thinking about a kennel name and how people came up with them. It made me think of my brother, whose name was Anthony. So I put the first two letters of his name and the last four of mine, and came up with Anbara. It felt so right, as now we would always be linked together as if he was still a part of my life. It was a very good decision!
Michael and Janet Madl
Our kennel name is FairOaks. Always been interested in history and the Civil War. The battle of Fair Oaks (or Seven Pines) took place east of Richmond, Virginia, on May 31 and June 1, 1862. The battle of Fair Oaks and Darby Town Road (AKA the second Battle of Fair Oaks) happened on October 27 and 28, 1864, in Henrico County, Virginia. Plus the fact that oak trees are lovely and long lived and we bred Great Danes not only for mental and physical soundness but for longevity.
Alice and Steve Lawrence
Stafford Springs, Connecticut
Our kennel name, The Fuzzy Farm, originated in 1971, while Steve was a psychology PhD grad student. One day, he was training our particularly unruly Old English Sheepdog. While scolding him for his chaos, Steve spontaneously said, “If you don’t behave, we will have to send you to THE FUZZY FARM!” The name stuck, and the dog stayed with us at The Fuzzy Farm with the other fuzzies, our beloved Komondors and Pulis.
When I knew my first Newfoundland was arriving shortly, I borrowed several books from the library on the province of Newfoundland. There I found the word “tuckamore,” which means a low clump of trees in the Newfoundland language. Perfect for any Newfoundland dog!
Andrew A. Kramer
High Point, North Carolina
I collect antique maps. Arguably the greatest cartographer was the Flemish mapmaker Gerardus Mercator. But that was not his given name. It was fashionable among scholars in the 16th Century to "Latinize" one's name. So, Gerard Kramer became known as Gerardus Mercator. (Kramer meant “merchant” in medieval German.) Thus I named my first dog "Mercator" and soon adopted it as my kennel affix.
Bernadette E. Jordan
I was born into a family of dog lovers. There were five of us: my dad’s parents, my parents and me. I was an only child, born toward the end of World War II. My dad’s job as an Army MP was to transport prisoners of war from all locations on the East Coast to their place of incarceration at Camp Gordon in Georgia. The method of transport in those days was the public train.
Now, jump ahead to the later 1940s. Dad had been honorably discharged from the United States Army and was now home. His first Christmas home, he decided to build a huge Christmas train garden. It had lots of homes that lit up, stores, farm scenes and ponds, all occupied by people, animals and of course, trains. On the train-station sign, he had painted the name LONE PINE.
Years later, as an adult, I asked how he had arrived at the name Lone Pine. He told me that Lone Pine was the name of one of the train stations on his prisoner transport route all those years before.
I thought it fitting that I should use the name Lone Pine.
Frances O. Smith DVM PhD
My Danikk kennel name is derived from a combination of my children’s first names, Dana and Nick. I knew I was not very good at marriage, so my last name could change, but I was sure the children’s first names would remain the same.
Catherine (Kate) McMillan
Delisle, Saskatchewan, Canada
When people ask, I joke that I chose "Minuteman" because "I have long admired intercontinental ballistic missiles." But the truth is that when I began in Doberman Pinschers in my early 20s, many of the active Canadian kennels had prefixes like "Defender," "Liberator," etc.
I liked the theme, and so “Minuteman” it was – the citizen soldier.
A few years later, I settled on Miniature Schnauzers, and the alliteration worked, so I kept it.
Dennis Brown and Katey Thompson-Brown
Mom (Susan Thompson) started in Irish Setters when Tirvelda was the operative name. She wanted something that sounded similar to that. She combined her first two names, Susan and Olivia = Solivia!
Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada
Being a Macbeth, with actual genetic links to the Scottish king, the appropriate kennel name would have been Glamis, the name of Macbeth’s castle. However, as it is not pronounced the way it is spelled (like so many things Scottish!), the thought of people continuously mispronouncing it inspired my mother to spell it phonetically … Glahms.
Vandra L. Huber
I wanted something that sounded "Scottish." My significant other at the time (now husband) was named Michael. And my name is Vandra. So I put the two together – Mc for Michael and Van for Vandra – to get McVan Scottish Terriers.
I had a wonderful artist Donna Fox from Italy who was visiting draw up our logo, and that was it.
Kansas City, Kansas
In the late ’70s I had a kennel partner, sadly now deceased, with the last name of Burnam. He was a professional groomer and bred Brussels Griffons. I had just begun in Afghan Hounds and had produced two litters, without a clue as to how to name them.
My mentor, the now revered Peter Belmont of Elmo fame, was responsible for the amalgamation of my last name, Byrne, and that of my partner Burnam, thus Bybur.
HOOF’N PAW … established in 1966 ... for my love of dogs and horses, and then cows, also!
Herder, Hunter, Hauler and Comforter: those were the jobs of the Samoyed in his native land. With "more bone than would be expected in a dog of this size," the Samoyed is agile enough to perform all of these jobs well because of his athleticism and muscle mass. With all of these jobs, her is a true "Moonlighter."
By the way, did you know that a Three Dog Night requires three Samoyeds to keep the children warm and that is why they are "comforters" and have such wonderful people-loving temperaments, and smile at you and mean it?
I was raised in a logging camp, and my husband is a forester, so we used Skookum as our kennel name – a Chinook Native American name for strong and tough, used by loggers as a short explanation for something. Seemed fitting for a kennel of Alaskan Malamutes.
Joy S. Brewster
I won my first Toy Group with my Italian Greyhound Ch. Robwood Cassiopeia under Jimmy Trullinger back in the early ’60s. “Do-de-do” died in the fall of 1964. When I purchased my kennel in February 1965, I chose “Cassio” as my kennel name in her memory. A shorter version of Cassiopeia, Queen of the Constellations.
Joe and Roberta Walton
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
I was a French major in college for a while. Because the Shih Tzu originated in China, I thought that the French word chenois for Chinese would be a good kennel prefix. Joe thought that no one would know how to correctly pronounce it, so we changed it to Shen Wah to make it easier to pronounce. We were going to use Carlyn (a compilation of our middle names) for a prefix, but it had already been used.
Fort Pierce, Florida
I was advised by my mentors to use a name with six letters or less, as there was a 25-letter maximum for names. Being a voice major and knowing I was going to use song titles as registered names, I went with Sonata.
Watertown, New York
I have used the kennel name LUFTNASE for many years. I tried others, such as YELDARB, and way back with partners TORAJO, but neither of them appealed for too long. A friend who spoke fluid German asked if she could help and sent me pages, seriously, of suggested word combination uses. My original breed was German Shorthaired Pointers, so after much study we came up with LUFTNASE. Loosely translated, it means nose in the air. A Shorthair should hunt with his head high, scenting for birds with his NOSE IN THE AIR. Some have suggested that it means snooty or snobby, but that, of course, is not accurate.
Charleston, South Carolina
Twenty-six years ago, I met my future spouse at the Labrador Retriever Club of the Piedmont specialty. When he first called me, he said, “Hey, this is Jim Bowron,” and I was like, "Who?" He laughed and said, “I own Bocephus.”
Ooooohhhh! Ch. Broad Reach Bocephus just happened to be the number-one Labrador in the breed, so I immediately knew who he was. Anyway, after dating and then getting engaged, we had a serious discussion about our kennel names because we each came to the relationship with our own. It was decided that if I was going to take his last name in marriage, then he needed to take my kennel name, and thus Fortune was born.
We've been breeding and showing Labs now under this prefix for about 25 years and are also approved AKC judges together.
Our kennel name is Bric-a-brac, an old-fashioned term meaning lots of stuff laying around. The dogs were always laying around like Bric-a-brac.
Our original breed was Dalmatians, and since I love alliteration, we adopted Deluxe as our kennel name. Deluxe Dalmatians had a nice ring to it. And, since our name is Lux, it was a good fit on that level, too. When we moved to breeding Beagles, we’d already established the name, so we kept it. However, there was a rumor going around years ago that we owned the Deluxe Check Company, which is absolutely not true.
From the time that I was a little girl, the Black Watch tartan has always been my favorite plaid. That’s why I chose that for my kennel name.
David L. Anthony
As a youngster when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would reply “A Dragonpatch.” In the early 1980s, when we started our journey into breeding Cardigan Welsh Corgis, my wife Deborah and I thought the name fit quite well. The national symbol for Wales is a dragon and a “patch” is something you grow. The name has stuck ever since, and we are very proud of our legacy of Cardigans.
Ann Moore Schultz
Moore Bowwag. Moore was my maiden name, so that was a given when I was showing Welsh Terriers. History had me lucky enough to work for O'Neill Wagner, who had some of the top Bulldogs in the country under the trademarked name of "Bowag." (B for Beverly, his wife; O for O'Neill, and of course Wag for Wagner, or you could break it down more for “Wagner and girls.”)
I eventually purchased Bowag kennels, and in the sale the trademark couldn't be used and was changed to "Bowwag." I use Bowwag: The "B for "Betcha," the "O" for "Often," the "W" for "Wonder," the second "W" for "Why," the "A" for "Ann" and the "G" for "Grooms." I'm Moore Bowwag!
Margaret D. Heaney
Derby, New York
When my father Robert C. Heaney got his first Lab around 1953, he wanted my sisters and me to be part of the wonderful occasion. He chose to incorporate part of our first names. Mary Martha, Patricia and Margaret evolved into MAPATMA. I have continued to use it ever since.
Angels Camp, California
K.C. simply stood for my grandparents, Charles and Kathleen Morgan. When they passed, my sister and I kept the initials, as we are Kimberly and Camille.
Dr. Robert and Nancy Mead
We had obtained our first Siberian Husky in Colorado. Then we lived in West Virginia for two years, back to Colorado for another year and a half, then Massachusetts for two years before coming to Nevada. I felt Nomad would be a good choice for our kennel name to put on our first pups bred by us. There was another kennel in the Siberian world already called Nomad at that time. So I went with the Russian equivalent which I phonetically spelled Kochevoey.
Philip and Patricia Briasco
On the very edge of Europe, the three Aran Islands are situated across the mouth of Galway Bay, less than seven miles from County Clare and Connemara. It was there that our ancestors were born, a place of endless sea and monolithic cliffs of limestone rock. Aran means stone, strength and heart, which typifies the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Thus our kennel name, Aran Isle. We were established more than 30 years ago, and our love of the Terrier breeds will always be near and dear to our hearts.
Sandy McIlwaine and Peggy Beisel-McIlwaine
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Pretty easy. Our kennel name, Foxairn, is a combination of our two breeds: “fox” for Wire Fox Terriers and “airn” for Cairn terriers.
Alan F. Ream and David C McCollum
Easley, South Carolina
How did I decide on my kennel name, Ardenada Brussels Griffons?
My mother’s name is Nada Ardena. We knew that none of her four sons would name a daughter after her, as the name in Spanish means … Nothing.
Her German parents had no idea of the translation when they gave her that name in 1941.
So, all of our dogs (show rabbits, too) carry a combination of her first and middle names.
Not much of a story of the background of Bohem. When I was young I lived a rather “bohemian” life, and also it’s a play on my first name and “hem,” which means “home” in Swedish. And it’s short and easy to pronounce in any language!
Saint Petersburg, Florida
Our kennel name Karasar (started in 1967 with our first Whippet litter) was from a combination of my name and my sister Sara invented by my parents. Who would have thought 54 years later we would still be using it?
My kennel name is a combination of “Robb” from my last name and Dal from Dalmatian, to form “Robbsdale.” I’ve been breeding Dalmatians since 1968, and my foundation bitch “Dorothy” is the top-producing Dalmatian dam, with 18 champion offspring.
Susan Kamen Marsicano
Woodstock, New York
Here is the story of Apu, my Basenji kennel prefix since 1973.
My mother was young and trying to keep my asthmatic sibling alive when we were little, but I brought every stray dog home. She, without fail, had them all carted off. She was doing her best.
I left home at 17 to go to art school in New York City. I left Long Island, got out of the subway at Astor Place in Manhattan, stepped over a sleeping derelict, and so my life began.
The day after I left home, I walked to the 92nd St. ASPCA in a blizzard (the subways weren't running). That day I got my first dog that I could keep. She was a wee prick-eared cinnamon-colored short-coated mix, with one ear a little floppy, about three to four months old, and shortly she had distemper. I named her Apu.
Apu was named after the first truly great art film I ever saw, the first film of the great Apu Trilogy – “Pather Panchali,” “Aparajito” and “The World of Apu” – directed by Satyajit Ray, the Bengali master. Apu was the young boy in “Pather Panchali,” and the main character in the trilogy. There is a dog drawn on the wall in Apu's village and later the dog is there, too. Merchant Ivory has restored the trilogy of films. I recommend them as among the best films of all time all time.
Apu got better. She went with me all over the world. We had little money, no car, but nice stuff, like Brie and caviar, some luxuries and none of the necessities. I won a scholarship to paint in Florence for two years.
But I skipped ahead. Before Italy, Apu went to Cooper Union and the San Francisco Art Institute. She posed with all my nude models, striking the same poses.
Apu was one-quarter Basenji. I found this out in 1961, when Bob Mankey of Cambria Basenjis chased me up Nob Hill in San Francisco, asking if she was a Basenji. He gave me his pamphlet on “the Basenji, the dog who didn’t bark and cried real tears.”
Later, back in New York, I lived on Pearl Street in the financial district, and passersby kept calling Apu, "Orange." I finally ran into Elsworth Kelly, the famous NY sculptor/painter, walking “Orange.” He told me that Orange was half-Basenji, born of a Basenji bitch in Paris belonging to Delphine Seyrig, who starred in “Last Year in Marienbad,” and he told me that Orange was indeed Apu's dam.
Apu and I had more than 13 years together. I buried Apu in the myrtle-covered garden at Gansevoort Market and Little West 12th Street. A young girl named Kyrie poured a bottle of wine on her grave. Apu had liked to have a drink. The time was 1972, and the times, "They Were a Changing."
Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania
Osakanuc – the first words of the national anthem.
I won tickets to the Eastern Dog Club show in a writing contest in the fifth grade and wanted a purebred dog after seeing all the dogs. My first purebred was a Sheltie I registered as Rip Rorry because he raced around happily when we played. When I got around to breeding my first litter, I needed a kennel name and wanted to include Rippy. I came up with Rorralore because to me that meant Rorry’s story.
I got my first Old English Sheepdog from Jean Sear of Searwell kennel in the U.K. She and her husband Alan became really good friends, and they were amazing mentors to me
I was living in the Netherlands at that time. One day we went over to visit with them when Jean had a massive stroke at 44 and passed away. She always liked the name Bizzeeboots for a kennel name. After her passing I took that name in her memory, and now, 45 years later, I think of her daily.
Durham, North Carolina
In college I adopted a Dalmatian from a fraternity house that had a fire engine. It was not a good home for any dog! And I was also studying English.
When I got my first show Dalmatian, I decided would use Shakespearean names for my dogs, and he was Thane of Glamis. That year I also moved to my first home, which had 50 acres of woods. We started calling it Thane’s Woods. When I started breeding and showing Dalmatians, I shortened it to Thanewood and changed my naming to other themes that reflected my interests. My National Specialty winner was Rockstar Thanewood Freewheeling, with the call name Dylan after Bob Dylan’s album.
As with many first show dogs, Thane of Glamis was not successful in the ring, but I learned a great deal from him about the breed and from the people I met as I started showing. I continue to use Thanewood.
In 1969, my first Whippet came to me after many years of wanting one. He was born near my home in Seattle, in a town called Mercer Island.
Somehow I knew when I got this lovely puppy, I needed a kennel name, as he was the beginning of something much bigger than I was living at the time. Verdi Of Merci Isle.
I chose Merci Isle, Reg. and never looked back.
Holly Million, Tim Smith, Pamela Bale and Monica Kipp
Back in 2012, Pat and Nelson Huber asked us to transport their Cesky Terrier to the Montgomery County Kennel Club show. We were supposed to meet up with their handler, but he did not have time to show the dog, so Tim Smith showed him. Long story short, Tim did a fantastic job and they asked him to co-own the dog with them and show him to his championship. Pamela Bale got involved and also co-owned him.
He is GCHG ZlataPraha Gillespie Bluefire. AKA Gilly, the winningest Cesky Terrier to date, with many Group placements, RBIS, Westminster breed wins and many Terrier specialty breed wins.
Before Pat passed away, she gave us permission to use the Bluefire kennel name. Bluefire has produced at least 20 champions under its kennel name and had at least one kennel-owned dog in the top 5 since.
Margaretta ("Missy") Wood
Back in the ’70s, I had a boyfriend who was a commercial airline pilot. He was always bringing me beautiful presents from places he had travelled to. But the one I fell in love with was a simple wooden turtle he had purchased in Aruba. So a year later, when I had my very first litter of Norwich, I settled on the kennel prefix of Terrapin. I mean, why not?