The 5 Best Dog Names at the 2021 National Dog Show and the Stories Behind Them
There's one thought that might occur to you when you're at a dog show and learn a pup's registered name: Is this a show dog or one of those Game of Thrones characters with a crazy long title?
They could be both for all we know, but these dogs basically live with two names. One is the shorter, normal name they'll go by in everyday life—like Buddy or something—while the other is the registered name. A show dog's registered name is usually a clever, creative spin on naming that notes the breeder and the dog's accomplishments. Plus, it goes on all the paperwork.
Some of the names you'll hear at a dog show are fun little puzzles. Take the Best in Show winner at the 2013 National Dog Show: an American foxhound named GCH Kiarry's Pandora's Box—aka Jewel. Get it? That's a reference to the Pandora jewelry brand.
When we visited this year's National Dog Show presented by Purina, we heard some of the craziest, most perplexing, and even downright funny official show dog names. The show itself airs on Thanksgiving at noon on NBC if you want to listen for the following pups' names to be called. Who knows, maybe you can make a new Thanksgiving tradition with the family by voting for the best registered dog show names you hear during the show (winner takes the the last slice of pie). As you watch, you'll notice that most of the official names start (or end) with acronyms that indicate the dogs' different titles as well as the names of their breeders. It's a mouthful, but with all their regal looks and incredible accomplishments, it makes sense that these show dogs have extra-special names to set them apart from the rest of us.
Here are our five favorites from the 2021 list of registrants, with apologies to the well-named dogs we didn't meet:
1. GCHG CH Pouch Cove's Alright Alright Alright aka Matthew
We'll give you exactly one try to guess who this Newfoundland is named after. It is indeed Matthew McConaughey, who first uttered the phrase "Alright, alright, alright" as his easygoing character in the 1993 movie Dazed and Confused. Since then, it's become sort of a catchphrase for the actor.
We spoke with Karen Mammano, Matthew's handler (the dog, mind you). She tells Daily Paws that Matthew McConaughey is his breeder's favorite actor. It seems like a good fit for this very fluffy and good boy who only slobbered on me a little bit. He enjoys the occasional piece of a Hebrew National hot dog and the company of his 10-pound Norfolk terrier best friend, who likes to stand between his legs and bark at him.
"He thinks that's the best thing in the world," Mammano says.
2. GCH CH Backdraft's Chef Der Feuerwehr CGC aka Jäger
Welcome to your unscheduled German lesson! Jäger is a German shepherd who sometimes accompanies his owner, deputy fire chief Sharliene Bowers, to work at the fire station. Chef der feuerwehr is "fire chief" in German.
Jäger is a dog of many talents. Sometimes when he's at the firehouse, he'll work as a therapy dog, consoling first responders after a tough or traumatic emergency. "It helps," Bowers says.
And yes, his shorter name is a tribute to the German herbal liqueur Jägermeister. When asked by this reporter, the "bomber boy" would neither confirm nor deny rumors that he was out the night before housing shot after shot of his namesake in the Philly suburbs.
3. GCH CH Glidden's Secret Crush V Spring Mtn aka Candy
The name of this sweet Saint Bernard has a few layers to peel back. Glidden is the name of Candy's breeder, but it's also a paint manufacturer. Knowing she was soon to bring Candy home, owner and handler Beverly Oliver looked at Glidden paint colors with a friend to try and come up with a name.
They found a light-green color called secret crush. It was more than fitting because Oliver had yet to tell her husband that she'd put a deposit on a new puppy. Then you add Candy to it and get Candy Crush, the name of the popular puzzle game.
"And it turns out that she's such a sweet dog that it was perfect," Oliver tells Daily Paws.
4. GCHB CH Mystic Acres At Camden Yards SCN SEN SBN aka Camden
The No. 2-ranked Welsh Springer spaniel has a Baltimore Orioles fan for an owner, his handler Chris Berg says. Camden Yards is the name of the Orioles' home ballpark, where they famously lost to my Kansas City Royals in the 2014 American League Championship Series.
Seven years later, 5-year-old Camden is one cool customer on the grooming table. After so many baths and nail trims growing up, Berg drying and combing his hair all while giving an interview is nothing. He couldn't be bothered.
"It's kind of like getting in [his] beauty chair," Berg says. And it's a grand slam of a hair 'do—this pooch is as silky smooth as they come.
5. Bardo's Patriot Games aka Gunston
Gunston the black chow chow is only 6 months old, and he made his dog show debut on the big stage at the National Dog Show to start gaining his championship points. "That journey starts today," breeder and handler Tom Masog says.
His names come from two sources. First, the movie Patriot Games, one of the ultimate '90s dad thrillers, was filmed in Masog's home of Annapolis, Md. Patriots are also the mascot at George Mason University, where there's a Gunston Hall and a former mascot of the same name.
We're just hoping the show-dog life doesn't dampen this fluffy boy's outgoing personality.
"He's a barrel of fun," Masog says. "He'll go up to anybody."