What is the AKC
AKC stands for the American Kennel Club. They are a registry of purebred dog pedigrees in the US. In addition to being the largest not for profit pedigree registry in the US, the group promotes and sanctions events for purebred dogs with the most famous event being the Westminster Kennel Club dog show. The AKC promotes dog shows across the nation. It’s incredibly likely there’s one close to where you live. I highly recommend doing a little bit of research into it and checking out a dog show. But one thing to note is not all the exhibitors (people showing their dogs) are friendly.
How to register a dog with the AKC
In order to have your dog registered with the AKC, your dog must be a purebred recognized by the AKC. The parents of the dog also must be registered with the AKC as the same breed. And the whole litter must be registered as a litter. The breeder will either fill out the paperwork and submit it on your behalf or include the paperwork in the puppy packet. It is important to note a dog that is registered does not necessarily come from a healthy or show quality bloodline. Registration alone is also not an indication of the quality of the breeder.
When naming a puppy, the first thing you need to keep in mind is the kennel name of the breeder always has to go first. Unless you are getting your dog from and international breeder (I only have knowledge and experience with European breeders) and then things are a bit different, but for the sake of this post, we’re going to go with American rules. A kennel name is typically the name before the name of the breed. For example, Bydand Newfoundlands kennel name is Bydand, so Bydand’s would start the registered name. Another example is Whimsical Havanese. Whimsical is the kennel name and would go at the beginning of the registered name. One of the most important things to know when giving a dog a registered name is you can’t name it like you would name a child. There is no first, middle, and last name. Like I mentioned above, people will harshly judge you for it.
What goes after the kennel name
Anything you want can go after the kennel name. Let’s use my dog as an example. Her call name is Vala, but her registered name is Dream Catcher’s Thru the Gate to Paradise. It sounds stupid but it has meaning. Dream Catcher is the kennel name of the Havanese breeder I got her from. And “Thru the Gate to Paradise” is her name. So what does it mean? I am a huge Stargate SG1 fan and one of the characters on there is named Vala MalDoran. Vala is basically a space fugitive/con artist when she met SG1 and they bring her back to Earth which is paradise compared to the life she had been living. So in the show, Vala wen through the stargate to paradise.
How to choose a name
Choosing a name is sometimes the hardest part of getting a dog. My default in naming dogs is going straight to what I am watching or reading currently. We’ve had dogs named after characters in Star Trek Deep Space Nine (Dax, Zek), dogs named after our favorite book characters (Sita, Darius), dogs named after Stargate characters (Vala, Q’Tesh), and dogs named after other things too. When I named Dax, her name was Lt Com Jadzia Dax of DS9. Vala was Thru the Gate to Paradise. Tesh was Goddess of Love and Beauty. Tigger was I’m the Only One. One of the hardest and my favorite name to come up with was for Puck. His registered name is Mad Pranks and Merry Jests because that is what Puck did in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Nights Dream. Each of their names had meaning to the character we named them after. Other name examples not based on characters are Vegas, Betting the Limit. Bounce, Insufficient Funds. Rumple (short for Rumplestilskin), What’s My Name. Get creative and have fun with naming your dog! For more information about registering your dog with AKC, visit their site.
What are some of your favorite TV shows or book characters you might name a dog after?
Don’t forget to share this with your friends getting a new puppy!
Is it enough to just informally name your dog or should you give it an AKC dog name by getting it registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC)? We all agree that naming your dog is certainly a special moment. Generally, AKC dog names are already registered by the breeder before the pups are sold. While it may be true that when breeders get pre-birth orders, they allow the owners to choose the AKC name for their pup. However, such cases are few and far between. A while ago, the AKC did not allow the official renaming of a dog. But with a recent change in rules, altering your dog’s AKC name is now possible. So, in this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about AKC registration for your dog. In general, we’ll go through all the requirements, explain how to check for available names, provide dog name ideas and explain the process of renaming your AKC registered dog.
AKC dog name requirements
Complying with the AKC dog name requirements can be a bit tricky for those who’re not fully aware of them. To successfully obtain an AKC registration number for your dog, keep in mind the following requirements:
1. Name length
You can use a maximum of 50 characters in your dog’s AKC name. However, you’ll have to pay an additional fee of $10 if your dog’s name is 36 characters or more. Now, what counts as a character and what types of characters are allowed according to the AKC registration requirements? Generally, you can only use English language characters in your dog’s AKC name. Concurrently, you’re not allowed to use any diacritical markings. Also, it’s important to remember that your dog’s name would be printed in capital letters on the AKC registration certificate.
2. No kennel names permitted
Kennel names are considered to be the copyright of the kennel owner. If your dog’s AKC name contains a registered kennel’s affix, then the AKC would reject your application. This usually happens accidentally, but can be heartbreaking for someone who had his eye on a particular AKC dog name.
3. No Roman numerals
Pretty self-explanatory. This basically means that you can’t
name your pooch “King Doggo XII.”
4. Limitation of name duplication
The American Kennel Club has a limit of 37 dogs that can have the same name in any particular breed. But why is it 37 and not a rounder figure like 35 or 40? Well, this is due to their own record-keeping system which can only hold 37 dogs of each name-breed combination. Obviously, this is mostly because of old technology and legacy systems.
5. Restricted words
Most champion dog names can’t be registered with the AKC. That’s because they prohibit the use of words that pertain to an official title given by the AKC like champ or champion. The AKC also doesn’t allow dog owners to use any derogatory
or racist term in a dog’s name.
6. Imported dog rules
Imported dog owners aren’t allowed to change the official name of their dog. However, a kennel affix is added to the imported dog’s name for registration and identification purposes.
Why do AKC dogs have long names?
If you’ve been around long enough in the dog breeding business, you’d have noticed how AKC dog names tend to be quite long. Indeed, it can be hard to find an original and short AKC name for your dog and even if you do, there’s no guarantee that it would be available. Here
are a few other reasons why AKC dogs have long names:
- Prestige – Since long names have a certain class and pride attached to them.
- Advertisement – A lot of breeders add their kennel’s affix in their dog’s AKC name. This is a matter of advertisement as the dog then becomes a representative of the kennel’s bloodline.
- Creativity – When dog owners get a burst of creativity, they often find it hard to contain it within a short name.
- Winning titles – Although AKC directly prohibits the use of any official titles in dog names, a few owners find a way past the system. They add words or characters that symbolically hint to their dog’s achievement at a particular event like “GC” for Grand Championship.
Every dog owner and dog breeder has a different desire with the naming of their AKC-registered dog. Some want a name to be used as a brand, others want to give off luxury feelings with it, while some just want one thats available and the shortest possible.
How to check if an AKC name is available
As mentioned, only 37 dogs can have the same AKC dog name in a particular breed. So, how can you check if the AKC name you like is still available for your dog? Well, you can use the official AKC dog name checker for this purpose. Using the AKC dog name checker is simple. All you need to do is choose the breed of your dog, type in your last name and the name you like for your pooch. If the name is available for registration, then the AKC dog name checker will display this message:
“This name has been verified for use for this breed.”
Otherwise, it’ll let you know if the dog name you’re looking for isn’t available or if it doesn’t meet the registration requirements of the AKC. It’s important to choose the right breed while running an AKC dog name check as these are pedigree dog names which are specific to a particular breed. This means that a certain name might not be available for one breed but available for the other. Also, you should read the AKC
registration requirements thoroughly before you decide on a name. The AKC dog
name checker would instantly reject any name that doesn’t follow their
How to choose an AKC name for dogs?
According to psychology, your dog’s name is probably the single most important word that it’ll learn. That’s why finding the right AKC name can be quite taxing for some people. Browse our comprehensive Name Center for some creative and unique puppy name ideas! List of the Best Dog Names with Meaning! It’s important to give your dog a memorable name that fits well with its personality. Trust me, some dogs look great with the name, “Hank” but it’s weird to imagine them as “Zoey” or “Puffin.” So, the first step to choosing an AKC name for your dog is to find a call name for it. This is the name that you’ll use to call your dog. Once you’ve decided on a call name, you can check for its availability at the AKC. Here’s a list of the best call names for your dog.
Male dog names
Gender-specific dog names are all the rage nowadays. If you’re looking for male dog names, then you’d want to find ones that depict masculinity. However, it’s absolutely fine to go for a cute or funny male dog name for your furball. Here are a few male dog names that we like most:
Female dog names
If you have a bitch, then naming it something soft that depicts care and trust can be a good option. So, here are some suggestions for female dog names:
Unisex dog names
If you’re looking to play it safe, unisex dog names are perfect! So, if you don’t wish to project your dog’s gender through its name, these awesome unisex dog names should be of help:
Unique dog names
Some dog owners prefer not to name their dog something as common as “Alex” or “Roger”. So, if you’re picky with dog names, we’ve crafted this section entirely for you. So, here’s a list of unique dog names for your fur-ball:
Cute dog names
What goes well with a cute doggo? A cute name, of course! However, you wouldn’t want to go for something too common or cheesy as this might take a toll on the personality of your dog. So after much research, here are the top 10 cute dog names that I found:
Traditional dog names
Traditional dog names are the timeless classics that are loved by breeders and owners around the world. If you had a loving dog in your childhood, then why not pay homage to its memory by using its name for your new pooch? Here
are a few traditional dog names that might catch your interest:
Big dog names
It isn’t a bad idea to give your big dog a funny name. But if you bred or bought your big dog to show off its strength at shows and social gatherings, then you might want to give it a name befitting to its large size. Champion show dog names work best for big dogs. So, to help you maintain that masculine feel for your dog, here are a few suggestions for big dog names:
Patriotic dog names
better way to show your love for your country than naming your dog something
patriotic and vibrant. So, a few general patriotic dog names are listed below:
What’s more, you could even name your dog after a president like:
This is one of the go-to methods for AKC dog naming. Why? Because such names make sense to everyone who hears them. If you find a striking quality of your dog that you’d like to highlight, then think of a name that would help you do so. Additionally, here are a few suggestions for appearance-based names:
- Midnight (for a black dog)
- Spots (for a dog with a
- Goldy (for a dog with a
- Shorty pie (for a small
- Gleam (for a dog with a
- Big boss (for a big dog)
- Daisy (for a dog that’s
- Donut (for a fluffy dog)
- Fatty (for a fat dog)
- Brownie (for a brown dog)
Geeky dog names
Who doesn’t love geeky dog names that are fueled by our love for sci-fi and fantasy! With some effort, you can hunt down some names from your favorite book or tv series and finalize on one that’s perfect for your dog. But if you’re too busy for that, we’ve found the best geeky dog names for you:
- Jacksparrow (shorten it as Jack)
- Katniss (shorten it as Katy or Kat)
Using dog name generators for AKC names
If you’re still stuck, then you can use an AKC dog name generator to find a dog name or help you with some inspiration. A dog name generator would usually need you to mention the gender of your dog and the type of name that you want. For example, if you have a male dog and are looking for a tough name, a dog name generator might suggest names like Admiral, Blitz, and Boomer. Here’s one AKC dog name generator that I really like. It has some great suggestions and is completely free. What’s more, it gives you name type options like elegant, tough, funny and cute. You can also use this simple dog name generator to find names by breed for your dog. It’s important to remember that these websites don’t function as AKC puppy name generators. In fact, they simply suggest general names that may or may not be available for registration at the AKC. So, the only way you can be sure if the suggested name is available for AKC registration is by double-checking it through the official AKC dog name checker.
Can I change my dog’s AKC name?
As previously discussed, most dogs are already registered with AKC if you buy them from a registered breeder. However, there’s nothing worse than being stuck with an official dog name that you don’t like. But changing your dog’s official name to something you like would give you a sense of ownership towards the dog. So, here are a few requirements for changing your dog’s AKC name:
- Your dog should be born in the US
- None of your dog’s litter must be registered with the AKC
- Your dog shouldn’t be the recipient of an award by the AKC
- If the dog has a kennel affix in its name, it can only be
changed with the consent of that kennel
If your dog ticks all those requirements, then you can get it in line for changing its official AKC name. The application for a name change is available online in PDF form. Once you’ve filled the “AKC rename dog” application, you can fax it to the AKC or post it to the address mentioned in their application. Having AKC dog names for your pooches can be a great way of showing pride and prestige for them. If you wish to properly document your kennel or dog’s lineage, then you should certainly get it registered with the AKC by following the steps and tips outlined in this article. Visit our popular list of Super Cool Dog Names! Choosing your dog’s formal registered name is an important part of owning a purebred dog. Some people use a favorite song or poet for inspiration, name the dog after a loved one or mentor, or take a trait from the dog itself as inspiration for the formal AKC-registered name. Often the breeder will have a name in mind or certain restrictions for choosing a name. We asked purebred dog owners how they arrived at their dogs’ AKC-registered names and got some great responses. They may amuse you… and even inspire you. Taylor Dearborn: Broadway Paradigms Summer Loving… It’s from the movie Grease. Nancy Zumbach Smith: My son played travel hockey for 11 years, and his last year is when we acquired our dog. I have a poster at work of the Stanley Cup, which says “The Ultimate Goal.” Our dog is Ch. Windmoor’s Ultimate Goal, and of course we call him Stanley! Clint Werner: I like literary names, and my breeder likes painters’ names. It was an R litter, so we found Dante Rosetti, a poet and painter named after Dante Alegheri, so he’s Ch. Beldach’s Radiant Rosetti ‘Dante.’ KS AmStafs: KS’s The Big Guns ‘Mac’ is named after my Grandfather who was a USAF bomber pilot. Rachel Diller: In 2011, I lost three Mastiffs to bone cancer (in about four months), so I was devastated. The year prior to that I lost my alpha bitch to old age (almost 12) and my next in line girl to another type of cancer in her spine. Both of my Afghans went back to the breeder because of aggression with those Mastiffs. Then, after all was said and done, the breeder resold those Afghans, and I was not able to have them back. The last Mastiff to pass away was my stud and sire to an unborn litter. So, when the litter came to be, the only fawn girl was named Marbles Magnum’s Until I Found You. She saved my sanity. At that time, I had to take over the old Afghan again who had been bred, and the litter was too challenging to manage. I whelped the litter of Afghans from three days on, and my new Mastiff pup came and nursed on her as well two days after that. The Mastiff mother did not nurse after she woke up from her C-section. So, I was able to have my Mastiff, puppy fix and so forth. So, Marbles was raised on the Afghan Hound along with eight other puppies. I love her so much. I also just won a Bred By Exhibitor Group 2 at the Denver Cluster against 13 working breeds. She’s my life saver! Amanda Dunne: My latest puppy is Fasusq Bohemian Rhapsody, as I was in the Czech Republic when he was born! Carrie Cabrera: Canaan Dog Sufat Sheleg Ziva bat Ash: Sufat Sheleg is Snow Storm in Hebrew — kennel name; Ziva means “brightness, radiance, brilliance” in Hebrew and being a favorite character on NCIS!; “bat Ash” is “daughter of Ash.” Canaan Dog FarSight Maccabee bat Onyx: “Maccabee” came from my favorite Christmas carol “Light One Candle.” Trudi Kimm: When I saw Buzz for the first time, I thought, “This dog is going to cause a buzz in the breed,” hence Pleasant Hill’s What’s The Buzz. Until his death last year, he was the most versatile living Canaan dog with 18 group placements and a CDCA Versatility Excellent title. Janet Warner: Our mentor had just died. Her favorite dog in the whole world had “Connection” in his name. She had a boarding kennel (not her kennel name) named Holiday. Her name was Daisy Lilleym so we named our girl after her. (The first three names are our kennel names) GCh.Majic Azuma Wilbec’s Holiday Connection ‘Silly Lilley.’ Sarah Diaz: My latest dog’s name is Bessdach’s Calm Before the Storm ‘Katrina.’ The litter was born two weeks after hurricane Katrina, and the breeder lives in Texas, so it was fitting. Erin P. Cody: The litter had a theme of ‘Hunter.’ So what type of “hunter” did I want? A trophy Hunter, of course! So thus Ch. Cha-Rish Trophy Hunter. Eric L Green: GIFAJ La Diosa Rubia is my newest Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy. The kennel name means “God is faithful and just.” The Mexican interpretation of her name is the blond goddess, and she is a brindle! She was the most famous female bullfighter in all of Mexico. In that culture, they preferred to refer to darker skinned people by the opposite of what they were so as to not offend them. Hence the term rubia or blonde, as opposed to negro. Alexia Fino: Stonecroft’s Pretty Fierce Potrero, aka Nina, was named after Nina Garcia from Project Runway. Nina G. is my favorite host on the show because she’s pretty and fierce. Joan Lieder Hackel: Jazz was in the “J” litter and called Jolene by her breeder. We were not fond of it. I changed it to All That Jazz. Our older one came named by her breeder, and because she was older we kept her name. Shana Rodriguez: Being that my dog’s breeder loves Western theme names, I had a great name in mind. Dachaven Barketta The Singing Cowboy, call name ‘Autry’! And yes, he does “sing” … and my dad is a huge Gene Autry fan. Lyn Dunne: I named my most recent Cavalier puppy Aberlour Shakitlykapolroidpctr (pronounced “Shake It Like a Polaroid Picture”), as her mother is Aberlour Mega Pixel! (LOL) Chris Vitosh: Due to a conversation I had shortly before my Mother passed, I went back to my childhood breed and found a female pup who I named Paxston, which is my Mother’s maiden name. A family memory was my mom as a toddler telling her teenage aunts that she needed “Ip-I-tick and oouge”; hence, Paxston became Ch. Stone Ridge Packin’ Lipstick ‘n Rouge. Cheryl Claypool: Artworks Let The Rumors Begin, aka ‘Rumors,’ is my foundation bitch and Artworks Rumors Will Be Herd, aka ‘Echo,’ was the talker of the litter. Sharon Walden Manos: I was given a list of song titles to choose from by my breeder. His stud dog was named after Stevie Ray Vaughn, so I chose the song title that best suited what was going on in my family at that time. Ch. Rayvon’s Wall of Denial, call name ‘Max.’ He was born on my parent’s wedding anniversary; my mom is Maxine, and we were dealing with her dementia, so Wall of Denial seemed perfect. Kim Egan: My first show quality Toy Fox Terrier came from Louisiana from Kajun-Fox kennel. I am a big fan of zydeco (Cajun) music, and he had the prettiest gold markings I ever saw, so I named him “Beausoleil” (which means “beautiful sun”) after the zydeco band. All of his puppies that I kept were named for Beausoleil album titles (Cajunization, Vintage Beausoleil) or albums recorded by the lead singer, Michael Doucet (Christmas Bayou). Linda Deuel: Ch. Lindel Caran No Denying It was an “oops” breeding. I was in total denial that we were going to have puppies until about 10 days before seven puppies were whelped. Her call name is ‘Deni.’ Mary-Ann Yanez: We’re fans of The Honeymooners, so my dog’s littermates have Jackie Gleason-themed names. My girl is GCh. Augustines To The Moon Alice BND’s. Her sister is Augustines How Sweet It Is. Mary Anne Morrison: BISS Immerlachen I’m Roly Poly o Chief was named by my son, a fan of Bob Wills music. “Roly Poly, daddy’s little fatty, he needs lots of strength to run and play!” Andrew Dolan: My Rory came from the “wait” litter, as both kennels had waited a long time for the pups to come. That’s why he’s called Kr’msun Nefer-Temu Worth His Wait In Gold. Cara N. Dixon: I used to have a Yankee. I wanted a Rebel. Now I have one. A Beauceron. He is Rebelle Avec Une Cause Du Chateau Rocher, a nod to his French heritage and a reminder that he has a job — to soak up all of the love and attention that he most certainly deserves. Now, for my doberbaby. He is Electron N Foxfires Easily A Saint, call name ‘Nico’, shortened from Nicodemus — St. Nicodemus. Because mama is Easily Steller, the litter had to have Easily in the name. Electron is the breeder; both bitch and dog are Foxfire dobermans. And his beautiful disposition makes ‘Easily A Saint’ the perfect name. Sarah Woodling Houle: Brian the Beagle as a puppy was named after Brian on Family Guy. So his registered name is Kinsglo Road to Rhode Island, which is the musical episode featuring Brian and Stewie’s characters on a crazy cross-country adventure! Randall Learniski: My last Sealyham Terriers name was Katharine Hepburn after my favorite actress, of course! Lisa Higham: Shasta’s Mud Monster. Yep! She earned it! Posted by: Chewy Editorial Feature image: Nikolay Pozdeev/Hemera/Thinkstock
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