Inspiration flows when you have to name dozens of dogs a year. How do breeders do it?

Gossip, Spice, Annie, Chet and Lucifer stole the hearts of Australians hooked on the hit series Muster Dogs – but what’s in a name?

Leading trainers say working dog names should be short, precise and “easy to say out loud and quickly.”

But it can be difficult to choose a name without really knowing a puppy’s potential or personality.

Trainers and breeders share where they get their inspiration from when naming dozens of dogs a year.


Celebrities and sports stars

At one time Jim Marshall had 39 working dogs on his property near Scone in the NSW Hunter Valley.

He was inspired by what is shown on television the night the puppies are born, right down to the namesakes of sports stars.

“I’m an Eastern Suburbia fan, so Teddy (Roosters fullback James Tedesco) was high on the list,” he said.

James “Teddy” Tedesco, Luke Keary, even Tim Tszyu, make up Jim Marshall’s team.(Rural ABC: Amelia Bernasconi)

“We have Luke here, Luke Keary who played for the Roosters for a while.”

Jim is also a boxing fan.

“The night of Tim Tszyu’s last fight, we brought in this guy, so it’s Tim,” he said.

Puppies and children

Mum-of-four Sallina Crowe runs a kelpie property and herd with her husband Ben, who has 25 dogs on his team, including some promising puppies.

It wasn’t until the couple’s third child was born that a friend pointed out that the children’s names all end in “that is.”

‘Seems like I’ve been following this in my sausages,’ Ms Crowe said.

“I have Queenie, Lottie and Ivie.

“I kind of take Ben’s example with the kind of short names – not that [the dachshunds] go to work, but they are part of the family!”

Ben and Archie Crowe
Like Father, Like Son: Archie Crowe follows in the footsteps of his father Ben by learning to train working dogs.(Rural ABC: Amelia Bernasconi)

Mr Crowe has his own way of naming staff at the Timor, NSW property.

“You have to have a good name for a dog – it has to fit the dog,” he said.

“I have a line that all starts with ‘fl’ – Flirt, Flint, Flame.

“Former parents, we stray a bit, or sometimes we try to match that with their colors.”

Mr Crowe receives two to three inquiries a week about the stud’s Glenfaba bloodlines and said the high cattle prices help people pay top dollar for the best dogs.

“People are starting to realize that a really good, well-behaved dog that will get the job done is a very valuable asset,” he said.

Crowe family, Timor
The Crowe family dabbled in working dog training.(Rural ABC: Amelia Bernasconi)

A dog called Horse

Ben’s son Charlie started training one of their pups, a black pup sired by a dog called Horse.

“I called him Carbine after a horse that won a Melbourne Cup,” said the 10-year-old.

“I made a few attempts [at training my own dog] but I think this time it might be.”

pop culture stars

In 20 years as a veterinary nurse, Mel Weaver has seen it all.

“Sports stars, celebrities, movies, themes back in the day when people have puppies, and the good old sentimental, second generation of ‘Banjo 2’ and things like that,” she said.

She’s even seen a few high-profile stars pass through the Satur Vet Clinic in the Hunter Valley.

“There’s a kelpie we see, his name is Raffa after Raphael Nadal, and there’s a cricketer’s wife we ​​see, and even a dog named after Sheikh Mohammed.”

Mel said the popularity of the shows Game of Thrones and Frozen and “often reveals their age”.

A dog’s name often says a lot about its owner.(Provided)

Underrated hard workers

Whatever the name, every owner knows the value of their dog, whether they have a royal name like Jim’s Princess Di, or maybe a blond dog called Sandy.

“Good old working dog…they have a great place here with all of us,” Mel said.

“Their value has increased financially, but farmers are acutely aware of their value.

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