May 26, 2011

What’s in a name?

Posted in dog ownership, dogs, pets, Tamaskan Dog at 11:42 am by Angie Hilbert

Wayne and I have decided to name our Tamaskan “Paka.” She’s not even conceived yet, but her name has been waiting for her for over 40 years!

My husband has been fascinated by Native American culture since childhood. He spent his early years “playing indian” all over the world. From England, where he was born, to Germany, to Holland then, finally to the USA. It was here, in 1970, that he happened to watch a TV program involving an Inuit boy and his wolf-like sled dog “Paka*”

From that day on, when he played at being a Native American boy, there was an imaginary pet wolf at his side, named “Paka.” What other name could we even consider for our Tamaskan?

Of course, that’s just her call name. Her kennel name will be something more grand and creative. Traditionally, when a breeder produces a litter, he or she gives the pup an identifying pedigree name that reflects the dog’s lineage, ancestry and kennel of origin.

For example “J&J Moonstruck Tundra at Tarheel” was the registered name of an important dog in Tamaskan history. She was from the first litter born in the American continents. “J&J” is the kennel where she was born. “Moonstruck Tundra” is the unique registration name. No other Tamaskan Dog can be registered with the same name. “At Tarheel” is an optional suffix that indicates that she was either fathered by a dog from Tarheel kennel or (as in this case) went to Tarheel kennel to join their breeding program.

This particular dog was given the call name “Tundra.” But not all call names are derived from the kennel names. For example, Tundra’s mother was “Blustag Menominee Owl” but her call name is “Woulf”

Traditionally, whoever registers the litter, provides the registry name. Many breeders have a naming system so breed enthusiasts can easily identify a show dog’s pedigree just from it’s name.  For example, Blustag Kennels UK, has a Tamaskan family with names of wild animals. like “Dingo” “Jackal” and “Bear” and  another set of litter-mates have names with a river theme, “River Jordan,” “River Phoenix,” and “River Rising.” Following a theme helps owners and breeders identify one another more easily. Other kennels are even more structured, following an alphabetical system where each litter’s dogs receive names beginning with the next letter. “Alvin” “Alice” and “Abby” this year. Then “Betty,” “Boomer” and “Boris” next year. But this gets trickey because no two dogs can ever be registered with the exact same name. So “Betty” becomes “Betty’s Blessing” and “Alice” becomes “Alice is Wonderful.”

If you register your dog yourself, with the AKC (edit 7-31-11) you will likely get to pick the registry name. Though usually, your breeder’s sales contract will stipulate that you must use the appropriate kennel prefix when doing so. If you plan show your dog, you would want to do this anyway to reflect her heritage.

(edit 7-31-11) In the case of our Paka, The Tamaskan is not an AKC or UKC recognized breed so The Tamaskan Dog Register maintains the only registry of pedigreed Tamaskan Dogs. The process is somewhat more complicated and subject or modification upon committee deliberations depending on the specific situation.

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