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Why do AKC Dogs Have Long Names?

Why do AKC Dogs Have Long Names? Did you ever notice how certain AKC show dogs have long and weird names? If so, you may be wondering how long it would take for their owners to call their dogs when needed. By the time they get to the end of the name Graud Von Deerbrog of Colonel Parker, they're dog is likely missing in action already! Truth is, owners of prized dogs don't typically call their dogs by their long names. Their precious pooches often have a shorter nickname, "their call name" so to make things much easier. Their long names are mostly used in other circumstances, but how did these dogs get such long names in the first place?

A Matter of Prestige

For sure, a purebred American Kennel Club registered show dog must distinguish itself from the average mutt who goes by the quintessential name of Rover or Scruffy. The long, weird names you see, are the official registered names that are used when the dog is shown. The American Kennel Club allows dogs to be registered with a name that is up to 36 characters long. Need more characters? For a $10 fee, dog owners can use up 50 characters. Picking a name is sure fun, but isn't a walk in the park though as owners must abide to certain guidelines and the chosen name must be approved.

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Advertising the Dog

An AKC registered show dog may also have a long name so to advertise his cherished ancestry. When you add a dog's bloodlines in the name, things can get a tad bit long and weird. For instance, within the name there may be incorporated the name of the dam and the sire, or if there was a relevant ancestor in the pedigree, his or her name may be part of it so to advertise the dog's prestigious genes. Names often start with the name of the kennel so that the kennel is advertised.

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A Touch of Creativity

Some breeders will also want to add something appealing or important to them along with the name, so this can further contribute to making the name long. So they may end up with a name that includes the name of a favorite flower, a name of a loved person who has passed on or some trait that reflects the dog. Some breeders can also get quite creative and use a theme to name their whole litter.

Dogs Have Titles too!

As if certain prestigious AKC registered dog names weren't long enough, titles can make the names even longer. While the AKC doesn't allow any AKC titles to be part of the name, when you read about certain registered dogs you may notice some mysterious prefix titles and suffix titles along with the name. These are titles the dogs have earned and that are proudly displayed along with the name. For instance, Sky, the wire fox terrier who won the 2012 National Dog Show by Purina goes by the name of GCH Afterall Painting the Sky. The GCH in this case stands for "Grand Championship."

So while certain registered dog names may seem long and make no sense to us, in reality, most likely the breeders have been working on them for quite some time to make them unique and include information that is important to them. And then, of course, there may be names that are just plain out weird!

Did you know? Certain breeders decide to pick names in alphabetical order such as litter A will boast all names starting with the letter A, litter B with letter B, and so forth.

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