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250 Western Cow Dog Names

Barbara Fitzgerald is an AKC Breeder of Merit and author of the column "Conversations with Champions" for the BCSA magazine, "Borderlines."

Border Collies are some of the top cow dogs. Consider naming yours Drifter.

Border Collies are some of the top cow dogs. Consider naming yours Drifter.

100 Cow Dog Names From Westerns

These Western classics provide a wealth of options for meaningful names for your new cattle dog. From comedies, like Cat Ballou, to musicals, such as Oklahoma! to gritty films such as The Wild Bunch and The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, finding the right name for your new pup here is surefire.

  • Angel: Angel and the Badman.
  • Annie: Annie Get Your Gun.
  • Apache: Fort Apache, starring John Wayne, Henry Fonda, and Shirley Temple.
  • Bart
  • Bean: Academy Award-winning role for Walter Brennan, as Judge Roy Bean, in The Westerner.
  • Blondie: The "Good," played by Clint Eastwood in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.
  • Buck: Andy Devine role in Stagecoach.
  • Butch: Butch Cassidy.
  • Call: Captain Woodruff F. Call, former Ranger in Lonesome Dove.
  • Canon: High Chaparral family surname.
  • Cash
  • Cherry: Marlene Dietrich's character in The Spoilers.
  • Chester: Marshal Dillion's assistant, played by Dennis Weaver.
  • Cleef: Lee Van Cleef, the consummate Western bad guy and the "Bad," in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.
  • Coffer: Strother Martin character in The Wild Bunch.
  • Cogburn: Marshall Rooster Cogburn of True Grit and Rooster Cogburn.
  • Connie: Veronica Lake's character in Ramrod.
  • Crew: Donald Crisp character in Ramrod.
  • Deadeye
  • Dove: Lonesome Dove.
  • Dallas: Claire Trevor's role in Stagecoach.
  • Deets: Former tracker and Ranger, Joshua Deets in Lonesome Dove.
  • Deke: Robert Ryan's character in The Wild Bunch.
  • Destry: Destry Rides Again.
  • Dillon: Marshal Matt Dillon of Gunsmoke.
  • Django: Spaghetti Western.
  • Dodge: Dodge City, starring Errol Flynn and Olivia De Havilland.
  • Drifter: High Plains Drifter, starring Clint Eastwood.
  • Dude: Richard Widmark's role in Yellow Sky.
  • Duke: John Wayne nickname.
  • Dutch: Ernest Borgnine's character in The Wild Bunch.
  • Dutton: Yellowstone family surname.
  • Etta: Etta Place, played by Katherine Ross in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
  • Fargo: Tales of Wells Fargo.
  • Festus: Gunsmoke sidekick.
  • Flo: Judith Anderson's role in The Furies.
  • Ford: John Ford, master director of the Western film.
  • Frenchy: Marlene Dietrich's role in Destry Rides Again.
  • Gal
  • Gil: Gil Carter, Henry Fonda character in The Ox-Bow Incident.
  • Griff: Gunslinger in Forty Guns.
  • Grit: True Grit.
  • Harmonica: Charles Bronson's character in Sergio Leone's Once Upon A Time In The West.
  • Hatfield: The Hatfields and the McCoys.
  • Heath: Heath Barclay, illegitimate son on The Big Valley.
  • Hitch
  • Hoss: Big brother on Bonanza.
  • Jane: Calamity Jane.
  • Jud: Oklahoma! character played in the film by Rod Steiger.
  • Kane: Marshal Will Kane, played by Gary Cooper in High Noon.
  • Katie Edler: The Sons of Katie Elder, starring John Wayne, Dean Martin, Earl Holliman, and Dennis Hopper.
  • Kid: Kid Shelleen, Oscar award-winning role for Lee Marvin in Cat Ballou.
  • Kwai: Kwai Chang Caine, Kung Foo main character.
  • Jarrod: Jarrod Barkley, The Big Valley.
  • Josey: Outlaw Josey Wales.
  • Lancer: TV Series.
  • Liberty: The coldest blooded killer Liberty Valance.
  • Lili: Lili Von Schtupp, Madelaine Kahn's character in Blazing Saddles.
  • Lucas: Lucas McCain, The Rifleman.
  • Lyle: Warren Oates's character in The Wild Bunch.
  • Ma
  • Marshal
  • Mattie: Mattie Ross of Dardanelle County, True Grit.
  • Maverick
  • McCoy: The Hatfields and the McCoys.
  • Micah: Sherriff Micah Torrance on The Rifleman.
  • Munny: Clint Eastwood's character in Unforgiven.
  • Paladin: Have Gun Will Travel.
  • Pawley: Romantic interest, Martin Pawley, played by Jeffery Hunter in The Searchers.
  • Pearl: Pearl Chavez, played by Jennifer Jones in Duel in the Sun.
  • Pike: William Holden's character in The Wild Bunch.
  • Pompey: Tom Doniphon's man Friday in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.
  • Poncho
  • Nash: Joel McCrae's character in Ramrod.
  • Quinn: Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.
  • Ranse: Ransom Stoddard's nickname.
  • Ransom: Ransom Stoddard, the man who takes credit for shooting Liberty Valance, and therefore gets the girl and Senate seat.
  • Raza: Jack Palance's role in The Professionals.
  • Ringo: The Ringo Kid, breakout role for John Wayne in Stagecoach.
  • Rio: Rio Bravo, starring John Wayne, Dean Martin, Angie Dickenson, Walter Brennan, and Ricky Nelson.
  • Rip: Wendell Corey role in The Furies.
  • Rooster: Rooster Cogburn.
  • Rowdy: Rawhide character, Rowdy Yates, played by Clint Eastwood.
  • Rusty
  • Ryker: Rufus Ryker is a ruthless cattle baron, that Shane finds he must take down in the gunslinger classic, Shane.
  • Scar: Comanche Chief in The Searchers, who marries Ethan Edward's abducted niece.
  • Searcher: The Searchers, named the greatest American Western by the American Film Institute.
  • Shade: Sam the Shade, Stubby Kaye role in Cat Ballou.
  • Shane: Alan Ladd's most famous role as a mysterious gunslinger seeking a quieter life, yet drawn into using his talents to save a farm steading family.
  • Shooter
  • Slim
  • Sparks
  • Spur: The Naked Spur, starring Jimmy Stewart, Janet Leigh, and Ralph Meeker.
  • Stretch: Gregory Peck's role in Yellow Sky.
  • Strother: Strother Martin, Western character actor, often in supporting roles to John Wayne and Paul Newman.
  • Sundance: The Sundance Kid.
  • Tex
  • Tonto: Lone Ranger sidekick.
  • Tuco: The "Ugly" played by Eli Wallach in The Good The Bad and The Ugly.
  • Vance: Barbara Stanwick's role in The Furies.
  • Vienna: Joan Crawford's role in Johnny Guitar.
  • Vin: Steve McQueen character in The Magnificent Seven.
  • Walker: Walker, Texas Ranger.
  • Winchester
  • Winston
  • Wrangler
  • Zorro
The Blue Heeler is a serious working cattle dog.

The Blue Heeler is a serious working cattle dog.

More Western-Inspired Names

Tough talk from way out West can make for some clever cow dog names. These unusual name ideas will bestow the tough and cunning qualities you need in a working cattle dog.

  • Ace
  • Badge
  • Ambush
  • Annex: To steal.
  • Auger: The big boss.
  • Ballast: Money.
  • Bandit: Thief or robber.
  • Banjo: Country and Western instrument.
  • Beef: To Kill.
  • Bounty: Bounty hunter, a private agent who works on commission.
  • Bronco: Wild horse.
  • Brush: Skirmish or fight.
  • Cannon: Revolver.
  • Cayuse: Cowboy's horse.
  • Chap: Boy or lad.
  • Chink: Money.
  • Chiseler: Cheater.
  • Cinch: Girth for a Western saddle; to make certain of.
  • Colt: Firearm.
  • Crack: The best.
  • Desperado: Desperate or reckless person.
  • Deuce: The devil.
  • Draw: Pull one's gun.
  • Equalizer: Pistol.
  • Faro: Card game from the word Pharaoh.
  • Fice: Worthless dog.
  • Fix: Predicament.
  • Flapjack: Pancake
  • Frolic: Party or celebration.
  • Gad: Spur.
  • Game: To have courage and guts.
  • Gaucho: Cowboy of the South American Pampas.
  • Gig: Put spurs to the horse.
  • Gotham: New York City.
  • Haze: Rioting.
  • Hook: To steal.
  • Kick: To complain.
  • Loco: Crazy.
  • Macho: A strong sense of masculine pride.
  • Marinos: Spurs.
  • Nibbler: Petty thief.
  • Nipper: Small child.
  • Pied: Painted horse.
  • Pilgrim: Novice cowhand.
  • Pinkerton: A Pinkerton man was a private guard hired to protect payroll and gold shipments.
  • Pistol
  • Posse
  • Quirt: Whip.
  • Raft: A large quantity.
  • Raider: Desperado or bandit.
  • Randy: Rude or lecherous.
  • Ranny: Top cowhand.
  • Rattler: Rattlesnake.
  • Rawhide
  • Rod: A revolver.
  • Sharps: Any firearm made by Sharps Rifle Company.
  • Snuffy: Spirited horse.
  • Star: Badge.
  • Surry: Carriage with a fringe on top.
  • Trat: A pretty gal.
  • Waddy: A cowboy who drifts from ranch to ranch.
Blue Merle Australian Shepherd named Luke

Blue Merle Australian Shepherd named Luke

Names From Real-Life Cowboys and Native Americans

These legendary figures of the Wild West are emblazoned on the collective American conscious. Some of them we love, and others we love to hate. Choose a name that embodies the characteristics you hope to instill in your canine companion.

  • Bat Masterson
  • Belle Starr
  • Black Elk
  • Boone, Danial
  • Bowie, Jim
  • Buffalo Bill
  • Calamity Jane
  • Carson, Kit
  • Clay Allison
  • Cochise
  • Crazy Horse
  • Crockett, Davey
  • Curly Bill Brocius
  • Doc Holiday
  • Doolin, Bill
  • Emmett Dalton
  • Geronimo
  • Heck Thomas
  • Hardin, John Wesley
  • Hickok, Wild Bill
  • James Gang
  • Jesse James
  • Kid Curry
  • King Fisher
  • Kitty Canutt
  • Levi Strauss
  • Levy, Jim
  • Madsen, Chris
  • Miner, Bill
  • Morgan Earp
  • Oakley, Annie
  • O.K. Corral
  • Pontiac
  • Pony Diehl
  • Red Cloud
  • Tibbs, Casey
  • Virgil Earp
  • Wyatt Earp
  • Siringo, Charlie
  • Sitting Bull
  • Standing Bear
  • Will Rogers
  • Younger, Bob
Catahoula Leopard Dog named Buck.

Catahoula Leopard Dog named Buck.

Classic herding dog names for boys and girls. These call names are among the most popular, over the last century of herding trialing.

  • Angus
  • Bess
  • Bet
  • Ben
  • Cap
  • Chip
  • Dot
  • Drift
  • Finn
  • Fly
  • Fox
  • Gyp
  • Jill
  • Kate
  • Kim
  • Lad
  • Lass
  • Lassie
  • Meg
  • Moss
  • Nap
  • Nell
  • Peg
  • Pip
  • Queen
  • Roy
  • Sky
  • Spot
  • Sweep
  • Tess
  • Tweed
Border Collie named Moss, ready to get back to working cattle.

Border Collie named Moss, ready to get back to working cattle.

Cattle Dog Names From Western Locales

  • Bandera: Bandera, Texas, self-proclaimed Cowboy Capital of the World.
  • Bodie: Bodie, California, once known as the wildest town in the West.
  • Carson: Carson City, Nevada.
  • Cheyenne: Cheyenne, Wyoming.
  • Cody: Cody, Wyoming, rodeo capital of the world.
  • Deadwood: Deadwood, South Dakota; name your dog Deadwood, and you can call him Woody.
  • Dodge: Dodge City, Kansas.
  • Driftwood: Driftwood, Oklahoma.
  • Durango: Durango, Colorado.
  • Fargo: Fargo, North Dakota.
  • Santa Fe: Santa Fe, New Mexico.
  • Sturgis: Sturgis, South Dakota.
  • Laredo: Laredo, Texas, a border town.
  • Reno: Reno Nevada.
  • Stockton: Stockton, California; the Barclay Ranch on The Big Valley was located near bye.
  • Tombstone: Tombstone, Arizona, site of the shootout at the O.K. Corral.
  • Vegas: Las Vegas, Nevada, originally known as a refuge for desperados and outlaws.
  • Virginia: Virginia City, Nevada
  • Waco: Waco, Texas.
  • Worth: Fort Worth, Texas.
Australian Kelpie

Australian Kelpie

Top Ten Cow Dog Breeds

These are the real, working cow dog breeds, designed to be tough in the face of recalcitrant cattle. These dogs, when bred to work cattle, are not intended for a couch potato lifestyle. For instance, the Hanging Tree Cattle Dog can only be registered with accompanying photographic evidence of a bite on the nose and hock of a cow they are working. Hanging Tree dogs are composed of 3/8 Border Collie, 1/4 Australian Shepherd, 1/4 Australian Kelpie, and 1/8 Catahoula.

  1. Australian Cattle Dog
  2. Australian Kelpie
  3. Australian Shepherd
  4. Blue Heeler
  5. Border Collie
  6. Catahoula
  7. Hanging Tree Dog
  8. McNab (Border Collie)
  9. Stumpy Tail Cattle Dog
  10. Texas Heeler

© 2021 Barbara Fitzgerald