Did you ever see those fancy registered names on a dog and wonder why it has that fancy name? Did you notice that dogs from a specific kennel usually have the first name - the name of that kennel - as part of the registered name? And wonder what that was all about? Let's have a session of Kennel Names 101.
What is a kennel name and why does it matter? Why don't pet shop puppies have kennel names attached? Those questions can be simply answered by looking at the "product" you are buying when you purchase a puppy. A commercial/for profit kennel is selling a product that is out the door and gone once it is in the hands of a pet shop or buyer (a generic product?). That kennel has no reason to care about what happens to their product once it leaves their premises and they have a check in hand to pay for the puppy/litter. You can call that puppy anything you want to because they never expect to see or hear about it again.
Show breeders have an entirely different interest in their "product". Show breeders want to see a large percentage of their puppies grow up to become champion show dogs and to eventually be bred IF - and this is a huge IF - a particular puppy is a good representative of the breed standard. And that standard is there in the mind of the breeder with each and every breeding that results in a litter of puppies. Some, maybe even most, of the puppies from a given litter will be less than show quality. Those puppies will be wonderful pets with good breed characteristics and health because the breeder has done his/her best to use healthy and show worthy stock for breeding.
Furthermore the dogs will be a "product" that shows the knowledge and care the breeder took in producing it. The "label", which is to say the kennel name, will say to the world that the product/puppy came from a caring and responsible breeder. The show breeder often follows puppies sold as pets so as to know which may have developed a trait or an inherited disease which should be avoided in future breedings, even when those dogs are not registered under that kennel name. Certainly a show breeder will want to see the show quality dogs become champions and to know they are used for breeding more show quality puppies, either in their home kennels or by the caring new owners.
This explains the "why" of kennel names; i.e. the kennel name is a label. But why are those particular labels/kennel names chosen? Another lesson: registration names. When a puppy is registered with the American Kennel Club as a purebred dog (in our case a purebred Bichon Frise), AKC allows 28 spaces for registering the puppy. The spaces that are taken by the kennel name will account for an average of 1/4 to 1/3 of the allotted spaces. The rest are used to give each puppy from a litter their chosen registration names. Some kennels use the letters in alphabetical order to assign names in their first litter, their second litter and so on from A through Z. Others do not. But the registered name is fixed for life, leaving the new owners to use a "call name" of their choice, from Ashley to Zipper.
Back to kennel names and how those names are chosen. A kennel name will be a forever name for all puppies coming from that breeder and many will be short, allowing for more letters in the remainder of the registered name. Ch. BOZO'S Clown from Circus Mars would about fill up those spaces on the form so using BOZO as a kennel name was a good move by his breeder. Get the idea? Let's look at some Bichon kennel names so that you can see why some were chosen.
Gertrude Fournier, a lady we recognize as one of the organizers of the Bichon Frise Club of America, Inc., had bred and shown collies under the prefix (kennel name) of Cali-Col. She was from San Diego. Two good clues about her name Cali-Col. Another early breeder was Mayree Butler, whose husband was Roy. Her kennel name was Reenroy. Have you spotted the Ree 'n' Roy that was the basis for her choice? Charles and Delores Wolske use C & D - a really clever way to allow LOTS of letters for naming their dogs and a still active kennel name. Pauline and Mark Schultz had no idea they would be divorced a few years after choosing the wonderful prefix Paw Mark but you can see why Pauline chose to continue breeding under her kennel name - and was the breeder of some amazing champions before her untimely passing in recent years.
One of the longer kennel names still in use is Vogelflight and many may wonder about its origin. Easily explained when you know that Commander John Vogel was a Navy pilot. The kennel name continues after the passing of both John and Mary, with the breeding program they established now in the capable hands of daughter Kathie. Some more obscure origins exist because breeders have selected words not based on their names. If your puppy comes from a show breeder, you may want to ask the origin of the kennel name to see if it gives a clue to characteristics they treasure.
One last fact: a kennel name can be registered for use and cannot then be used by other breeders. We learned that fact long before we were involved with Bichons when we wanted to use the prefix Sterling on a boxer puppy. Turned out that Sterling was a registered kennel name. That was one breeder who wanted to be sure that others did not falsely advertise a kennel name of which they were proud! A name may also be rejected because there is another dog with the same registered name.
Now you know that those interesting names begin with the choice of a kennel name that will be the forever label attached to a puppy that is not just a product but a living creature that is now a part of YOUR family. Take it as an indication that the breeder is proud of the puppies bred in his or her kennel and wants to world to recognize the name behind them.
USING KENNEL NAMES TO LOCATE ANCESTORS:
As a part of this historical presentation from BFCA, we are providing photos of dogs from years past. They are here so that you can see what earlier Bichons looked like, to notice that they were far from uniform in appearance and to compare them to today's show Bichons that have a very uniform appearance, one that is closer to the standard (word picture of the "perfect" Bichon.) To make it easy for you to research ancestors of your Bichon, we offer an alphabetical listing of kennel names. Please understand that we may NOT have your dog's ancestors pictured here because we only have available to us photos of show Bichons and some of very early Bichons before AKC admitted Bichons for exhibition at dog shows. The odds are that you may find a few from the early years and you can at least see the dogs from years ago.
To find registered dogs, you need to look under the kennel name. That will usually be the first name but may appear at the end of the name. Look first under that first word and disregard any words that are a couple of letters (of, de, la, and so on) because that is a connecting word between the kennel name and the assigned name of an individual dog. An example of this would be Titan de Warnabry. "Titan" is his name and "de" is the connecting word between the dog's name and the kennel name "Warnabry". He can be found under W. Chaminade Mr. Beau Monde can be found under C (kennel name Chaminade) even though Beau Monde is also a kennel name, used to show that the buyer of the Chaminade dog wanted to proudly include his own kennel name in registering him. A good decision because this dog proved to be one of our most influential Bichons as a champion stud dog!
This will be very confusing at first but you will find out that it is actually quite easy to trace the dogs IF the photograph was available to us. Even if you don't find ancestors for your own pet, you may see some kennel names that have become familiar because many of these breeders are still actively showing and breeding today!
ALPHABETICAL LISTING OF KENNEL NAMES A
C & D
La Havre Joyeux
(de la) Roche Posay