10 Best Hunting Dog Names

As a waterfowl or upland bird hunter, you want a dog that benefits you in the field and is an outstanding companion on those days when you can’t pull the trigger. A hunter’s best friend deserves a great name — here are 10 of the best.

10 Best Hunting Dog Names

If you’re an avid waterfowl or upland bird hunter, chances are good you have a gun dog — perhaps two. In addition to picking the right breed and breeder, you must pick the puppy’s name — one worthy of a soon-to-be hunting machine.

Below are 10 of the best hunting dog names to consider the next time you bring a puppy home. Many of the suggestions are single syllable, which some bird hunters believe is mandatory. They say a short-and-easy name is easier for clearly shouting to a distant dog.

While I’ve been around plenty of high-performing dogs with one-syllable names, I’ve also shared duck blinds and walked pheasant fields with dynamite dogs having longer names. The best gun dogs need little input from their handlers. In fact, if you worry about choosing a dog’s name based on how well it will hear you yelling “Max, come!” as he flushes pheasants 100 yards ahead, then you need to spend more time training. And an e-collar would be a smart investment, too. 

In alphabetical order, here are my 10 favorite hunting dog names.

 

Cash

My oldest son and I hunted ducks in Oklahoma with a Lab named Cash during late-December 2020. (Click here to read the story.) This was the first “Cash” I’d ever met, and forgive the pun, but the guide’s dog was money when a duck fell from the sky. Cash is shown in the pic below, and also the lead image to this article.

The author and Cash waiting on waterfowl.
The author and Cash waiting on waterfowl.

Delta

One of my good hunting buddies owned a male Chesapeake Bay retriever named Delta (photo below). He was a strong swimmer, had a high tolerance for cold, and was a great duck and goose dog. This was one of seven Chessies my friend has owned through the years for waterfowl and pheasant hunting.

Chesapeake Bay retrievers can be outstanding duck and goose dogs. This one, owned by one of the author's hunting buddies, was named Delta, in honor of the great work done by the conservation organization Delta Waterfowl. One of his current gun dogs, Kody, is shown below.
Chesapeake Bay retrievers can be outstanding duck and goose dogs. This one, owned by one of the author's hunting buddies, was named Delta, in honor of the great work done by the conservation organization Delta Waterfowl. One of his current gun dogs, Kody, is shown below.

Diesel

I’ve never hunted with a four-legged Diesel, but the name certainly implies a gun dog with a motor that will never quit.

 

Drake

A popular moniker for waterfowl dogs, Drake is easy to yell, and no one should ever name their dog Hen, right?

 

Jake

Like Drake, the name Jake is easy to yell, and it’s popular for male gun dogs (and children). Interesting to me as a turkey hunter: No one calls their gun dog Tom. Why?

 

Porkchop

My good friend Melissa Bachman, host of Winchester Deadly Passion, travels North America with her dog Porkchop. While Melissa’s Boston Terrier isn’t a traditional gun dog, she says Porkchop does a great job sitting quietly in a deer blind. (Click here to see Porkchop “assist” Melissa in a carp-spearing/catching mission.)

Melissa Bachman’s hunting buddy, Porkchop.
Melissa Bachman’s hunting buddy, Porkchop.

Ruger

I’m a fan of Ruger firearms, and I’m surprised I’ve never met a gun dog named after this iconic gun company. Fact: I lobbied to name one of my two sons Ruger, but my wife said “no.”  Someday I’ll own a gun dog named Ruger.

 

Scout

This is sort of a play-it-safe gun dog name, but in my opinion it’s still solid. I think Scout is best saved for a smart dog, and IMO is a better fit for a well-trained pointer than a sometimes out-of-control flusher.

 

Skeeter

Okay, Skeeter is a tip of the cap to my multi-species fiberglass fishing rig by the same name. Built in Kilgore, Texas, Skeeter boats are well-known among bass fishermen, and the company logo (below) is one of the best of all time, regardless of industry. FYI: The company slogan is “Eat. Sleep. Fish.” That said, if your outdoor lifestyle is “Eat. Sleep. Hunt” then Skeeter could be the perfect name for your next gun dog.

Togo

This is my dog’s name. Togo (pronounced toe-go) is a 10-year-old British Lab that is great on ducks and pheasants, and she is a decent blood-trailer when called into action during archery deer season, too. I named Togo after the small town in north-central Minnesota where my dad taught me to hunt (red squirrels were my first pursuit).

Later, I learned that Togo was the most important sled dog during the famous 1925 Serum Run to Nome, Alaska. Click here to read about the amazing Togo, which failed to get the recognition he deserved; all the press went to Balto, which was the lead sled dog during the last 55-mile leg of the Serum Run. Togo was the real hero, leading the way for 260 miles of the 674-mile journey, with air temps of minus 30 degrees and wind-chills of minus 85 degrees! FYI: The annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race commemorates this historic event.

The author's British Lab, Togo, loves hunting pheasants and waterfowl.
The author's British Lab, Togo, loves hunting pheasants and waterfowl.
Musher Leonhard Seppala and his legendary lead dog, Togo (far left); ca 1925.
Musher Leonhard Seppala and his legendary lead dog, Togo (far left); ca 1925.
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