Pet Care, Ranch Life

How to Name a Puppy

Ripp 1

As a veterinarian, I meet a lot of pets and so have lots of inspiration for naming…simple names, complicated names, funny names, names with sentiment.

There are the pet’s names inspired by looks…the Cocoas, Shadows, Reds.  Then the classics…Buddy, Max, Rover. Cats seem to demand the most creative names, maybe because they demand a title not a meager simple name so we see Prince Meowiwether the Third or Professor Snitchy. Owners seem to find inspiration from pop culture or Disney very commonly. You can tell when a Disney movie was popular based on the age of the 100s of pets named after the main characters. We might still see the rare geriatric Simba but we meet plenty of Elsas.

When we acquired our new little working Australian Shepherd puppy the task of finding a suitable name came front and center. Some families know the name of their new creature long before he comes home (as was the case for our human boy’s names) but in our house we must get to know the little furry creature- know his quirks, character, his purpose in this new life. We have a menagerie so naming is a common task. The job of naming of our most recent cats fell to a toddler learning his colors so we have “Black Cat/Penelope”, “Gray”, “Orange Cat”. We went thru a time of naming pets after up and coming children’s names. When we changed Roscoe’s name from Worthy, we departed that path as I felt no mother I knew would name their child Roscoe.

Ripp 3

Now naming a cow dog has its own rules. One syllable is best and it has to be a strong name. It is a “Call Name” and when it erupts from one’s lips it will elicit this little bundle of fur to fly across the barn or pasture, tongue flopping, eager to please his master’s next request. When this name is said everyone must know that this isn’t the name of a lap dog or mere bird dog, but the name of a cow/sheep working dog. His vocation will be know with the simple utterance of his name.

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So began the list of names and the requests for input. Many fine and suitable names came forth. For the first 24 hours, the little puppy was known as Jett. But his master didn’t feel this name was strong enough or suitable. Ripp was deemed a more suitable name for the little fluffy dog. But not to be said as “R-ip” but strongly and with intention “Ri-hipp”.

Jacob has struggled with the pronunciation of “Rs” so for the first part of the day it was “W-hip” and for myself I can’t stop singing “Rip, Rip It Off” to the annoyance of the master who found the most perfect name.

So meet Ripp, the 10 week old Australian Shepherd working dog, with a strong and suitable cow dog name!

Ripp (rip):

Noun: Old English: topographic name for someone who lived by a strip of woodland.


  1. Move forcefully and rapidly
  2. Tear or pull quickly or forcibly away from someone or something.


Ripp 2


3 thoughts on “How to Name a Puppy”

  1. Jessie, that would be an awesome short story book for children ! How to name your pet. I applaud you. Well done. I like Ripp! It fits. Can’t wait to meet him😍


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