Best Names for a Border Collie
All dogs should have great names, and names are most authentic when they reflect the place from where the dog originally comes. Border Collies first came from the border country of Scotland and England, and a good name for a Border Collie should reflect that.
If you are thinking about naming your Border Collie something Irish, you are not that far off. Scotland, from Scotia, actually means land of the Irish. The people from Ireland settled that land long ago when it was inhabited by Picts, so a Border Collie with an Irish name will fit in perfectly.
A name that reflects his intellect will also work. Stanley Coren, in his book The Intelligence of Dogs, rates the Border Collie as the most intelligent of all breeds. You can also name your BC based on his rating as the most intelligent dog. Try:
Names for a Border Collie Puppy
Places In Scotland
Rivers In Scotland
Calder or Canny
Carey or Clyde
Esk or Goodie
Glen (or Glenda)
Holmes or Kale
Karen or Kerry
Jed or Mashie
Ness (or Nessie)
Tala or Tweed
Names Like "Fast" or "Rugged" for Your Dog
- Dash (or Dasher, which is even better)
- Kobe (as in Bryant)
- Jordan (as in Michael)
- Rodman (Dennis, as everyone remembers)
Names From Scotland
- Bran (the Gaelic word for raven)
- Dubh (the Gaelic word for black, so call him Duvy)
- Gavin (the small hawk)
Names for Female Border Collies
Guidelines for Naming Your Puppy
- Don’t forget to choose a name that has one or two syllables. A lot of good Gaelic names with three or more syllables did not make this list. If you already know of another Scottish word that you like and it did not make this list, be sure to use that for a really special name. Just remember that dog names should only have two (or maybe even one) syllable.
- If you have one that you really like you should use it, of course, but be sure to find a good nickname for it.
- Do not use any name that sounds like a dog you already have. If you are lucky enough to have a new Border Collie and already have an older dog, using names that sound alike will confuse the old dog, and make training the new dog that much harder.
- Don't give your new dog a name that sounds like one of his training commands—“Grit” sounds too much like “sit”! If you give him a name that sounds like one of his basic commands, he is going to get confused and not perform when he should. None of the dog names I have suggested in this list sound like any commands.
- If you are going to train him for herding, you also should avoid words that sound like the herding commands.
- Give your dog a name that commands some respect and stay away from the dog names I would not use. Lots of web sites for Border Collies will give you recommendations like Ace and Zeus. Don’t go there.
- Do not name your dog “Squirts” after an accident at the carpet. It may be funny at the moment but will get old real fast.
- Do not brand your new dog with one of the overused dog names. Your dog has a noble history, he is an individual, and the last thing he needs is to be just another Charlie or Jake. Every dog deserves a unique name!
Questions & Answers
Could Kennedy be an appropriate name for a border collie?
Since the word has three syllables, a dog will not respond well. That is unless you call him "Kendy."Helpful 3
Would Stone be an appropriate name for a border collie?
That is a good name. I prefer two syllable names since they are usually easier to call the dog during training, but a one syllable name often works just fine.Helpful 2
© 2013 Dr Mark