How To Name Your Guide Dog Puppy

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Have you ever wondered how Guide Dogs of America names their puppies? I’ve probably talked about it before here on my website, but I just wanted to go through the process again. I always thought the guide dog organization named all of their puppies, but that is not the case.  I got the chance to name my first puppy and came up with the name “Stetson”.

Where did I come up with the name Stetson? One of my cousin’s friends was actually the guy who rode the horse in the stetson cologne commercials. We used to call him the “Stetson Man”. I remembered and decided that would be a good name for my first puppy in training. I think the new “Stetson Man” is Matthew McConaughy.

This is a picture of “Ace” chewing on a toy in my office at work. If you noticed his vest he’s a GDA puppy in training (I puppy sat him for 10 days this month). As you might have guessed “Ace” is from the “A” litter.

How To Name Your Guide Dog Puppy

There are a few rules you have to follow when naming your puppy for Guide Dogs of America.

Ace Chewing on Toy In My Office

  1. Guide Dogs of America assigns a letter to each litter. For instance, Stetson was from the “S” litter and his siblings were Salem, Stuart, Skylar, and Sukie.
  2. The name can’t be the same as a current Puppy In Training, current Guide Dog, or current Breeder.
  3. It also can’t be a funny type name. For instance, the manual says please no guide dogs by the name of “Popcorn”. Guide Dogs of America are usually pretty lenient. Before getting Stetson I submitted a list to Louise our puppy program manager, and she let me know what names were available/appropriate.

If you are having problems coming up with a name I’ve added a list of puppy names here on the Puppy In Training website. You can also get great ideas for puppy names by consulting your friends and family.

If you have any names you’d like to add to the list on this website please send me an email or leave me a comment in the comments area below.

Why Are We talking About Puppy Names?

So why are we talking about puppy names? As many of you know my original plan was to wait and see how Stetson did with his formal training before making a decision on when I’d raise another puppy.

Well…there’s been a change of plans. Yesterday our group leader gave me a call letting me know that a male yellow Labrador Retriever needed a puppy raiser. He’s from the “D” litter and I already knew that our friends Joe and Janet (they raised Buster and Trooper) were raising “Dexter” from this litter. I also found out just hours earlier that our other good friends Anne and Jim (they raised Hogan and Dustin) were going to raise “Dutch” from the same litter.

As I said earlier, I wanted to wait and see what happened to Stetson before raising another puppy. I was a little hesitant at first and needed to make sure I had a puppy sitter for a couple vacations I’ve already planned this summer. However, the opportunity to raise a “D” puppy with Joe & Janet and Anne & Jim was something I just couldn’t pass up.

Puppy Names

This is where I need your help. I have a few names I’m already considering for my little “D” puppy, but I wanted to consult with you, my blog readers. Here are a few names I like:

  • Denali
  • Derby
  • Dash
  • Dublin
  • Dodger

Nothing is set in stone yet. I really would like your opinion on puppy names that start with the letter “D”. Please add your favorite “D” name to the comment section below.

My plan is to submit my list of “D” names to Louise on Friday so please let me know as soon as possible your favorite “D” puppy name.

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  1. Good choice! I liked Dublin but I really like Derby too. Watch the Kentucky Derby on May 2 this year! Thank you for posting this newsletter; I have really enjoyed it.

  2. I enjoy your newsltter on puppy raising. Lots of clever names…I like Deacon(because of service), Diego, and Dawn.

  3. @David, Thanks for all the name suggestions! I added them to my list of “D” puppy names.

    The name we went with was Derby. Everyone liked that name because my first puppy in training’s name was Stetson and they wanted to continue the hat theme. If Derby wasn’t available Dublin was the second name on my list.

    I hope everything is going well with you and your puppy in training Daly (my friend in college named his dog Daly too).

  4. Hi, my wife & I have a puppy in training at the moment here in Dublin, Ireland. He’s 8 months old and his name is Daly. A few other names to mention would be Dáire(DAHR-uh)Old Irish word meaning “oak grove,” “fruitful” or “fertile”, Devlin – Irish meaning “brave or fierce.” Dougal(DOO-gal) – Irish meaning “dwells by the dark stream” or “dark stranger, from the dark water. But for more fun names, I like Dodger, Doozer, Dexter & Dipsy. Anyway, that’s my 2 cent worth. Good Luck with it all and keep up the good work! Slán, David.

  5. Denali made the short list I submitted to the Guide Dogs of America puppy department. A couple other names that were mentioned to me over the past couple days were Diesel and Ditto.

    I called GDA the other day and won’t have final word on my puppy’s name until Thursday (tomorrow).

  6. @Dodger, I’m glad you enjoy reading my posts. I was just reading Drea’s blog (Dustin’s sister) and saw this post about Dustin and Duke. From the article it sounds like Duke is still in formal guide dog training so I guess I can check that puppy name off my list.

  7. I’m not sure, but, Duke may be taken. There was a Duke in Dustin’s litter. So depending on whether he is still in the program or not will make the difference. I enjoy reading your posts!

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