Here are the official AKC naming rules:
The person who owns the dog at the time the application for registration is submitted to the AKC has the right to name it. Names are subject to AKC approval and the following guidelines:
- Name choices are limited to (36) thirty-six characters. Spaces between words, apostrophes and hyphens are counted. Please Note: any extra spaces entered between words will automatically be removed.
- All letters in a dog's name are limited to the standard English alphabet. Diacritical markings (accent grave, accent acute, umlaut, etc.) are not printed on Registration Certificates in a dog's name. When Registration Certificates are printed, all letters are capitalized.
- A Registered Kennel Name cannot be included in a dog's name unless its use is authorized by the owner of the name.
- Roman numerals must not be included at the end of the dog's name. The AKC reserves the right to assign roman numerals for identification purposes.
- The AKC permits thirty-seven (37) dogs of each breed to be assigned the same name.
- Words and phrases that may not be included in a dog's name:
- Champion, champ, sieger or any other AKC title or show term, either spelled out or abbreviated.
- Obscenities and words derogatory to any race, creed or nationality or transliterations of such words.
- Kennel(s), male, stud, sire, bitch, dam and female.
- Breed names alone.
- There are no restrictions on arabic (1, 2, 3), cardinal (one, two, three) and ordinal (first, second, third) numbers that are spelled out.
Whew. That's a lot, hunh?
Now here are my rules:
- The Kennel Name will be on the pedigree and must be included in the count. So the dog will be Zente's [insert < 29 character name here]
- I want a male, and am looking for a strong, masculine name. He's a German shepherd, so German names (with the exception of Adolph) are fine.
- Puns and alliterations are most welcome!
- The "common" part of the name must be two syllables and easy to say. I don't want to get tongue-tied when calling my dog.
- I don't want a name that can be easily confused with a common command (i.e. sit, down, heel) or another household pet (Roxy, Gucci, Frodo).