How your greyhound got it’s name


Brothers Danny & Smokey—enjoying relaxing together in their forever home

Have you ever wondered how your greyhound got its registered name?  All racing greyhounds in this country are registered with the National Greyhound Association (NGA) in Abilene, Kansas.   When an owner submits the registration application for a greyhound pup, they list three possible names in order of preference.  If the first name submitted by the pup’s owner is not acceptable or if it already belongs to another racing greyhound, the second name will be used. The proposed name must be no longer than 16 characters, including spaces.  You will sometimes see greyhound names which are more than one word without any spaces in order to comply with the 16 character limit.

Greyhound names can be pretty much anything the owner wants so long as they are no more than 16 characters and comply with NGA regulations.  The names are supposed to be tasteful, and you cannot use numerals in names.  Many times, greyhound names are based on subjects such as sports teams (Thunderinherd, Runnin Rebel, Red Raider, Sun Devil) sports personalities, movie stars, places, people in history, names in the news, characters in literature, foods, characters in television or movies, and many more themes.

One of the fastest greyhounds of all time was Australian champion, Brett Lee, who was named after an Australian cricket player. Another famous greyhound, Oswald Cobblepot, is named for the character also known as “The Penguin” in Batman comic books. A litter of greyhound pups was named for U S Presidents: Lincoln, Jackson, Carter, Taylor, Madison, and Jefferson.  Greyhound breeders have been known to have a sense of humor:  A few years ago, we had two greyhound brothers named, “John McCanine” and “Bark Obama.” Greyhounds can be named for places such as Vienna, Persia, Prague, Vegas, Castle Hill, or Bondi Beach.  There is a current litter of greyhounds named for countries: Guam, Ceylon, Estonia, India, Korea, Thailand, China, and Ukraine.  Greyhounds can be named for flavors of ice cream: Chunky Monkey, Cherry Garcia, Wavy Gravy; flavors of soft drinks: Pepsi, Fanta, Mr. Pibb, Cola; or named for berries: Mulberry, Blackberry, Strawberry, Huckleberry, and Wildberry.  We often see names of all pups in a litter beginning with the same letter of the alphabet such as Incinerator, Ice, Imaginate, Indian Joe, Insight, Invader, Impulse, and Instant; Omni, Original, Option, Ovation, and Outcome; or Fireball, Freeway, Faith, Fonzie, and Frosty.

Some of the greys we have had in our adoption program with the most unusual names are: Pywacket, Dustybottoms, Hot Hen, Bow Wow, La DedaPatootie, Wind Me Up Again, Crows Feet, Odd Ramrod, Hot to Trot,  Rat Rat, Crazy Eyes, Opie Won Kinyobi, Freckle Dog, and—probably not a good name for a racing greyhound—Lazy Baby!  We once had two greyhound brothers in our adoption program named Ontime and Overtime.  They were adopted by the same family and lived together as beloved pets for many years.  The photo below shows how much Ontime and Overtime enjoyed a good nap together.


As mentioned above, names in litters often follow themes.The greyhounds shown below are a good example of pups named for a theme.  All of these brothers and sisters have military names: Briggeneral (known as Brigg); Major, Sargent (known as Sarge), Corporal (known as Cookie), Awol (known as Wally), and Desertion (known as Desi).  All of these greyhounds are from the same litter of military named greyhounds from Blu Too Kennel, and all have been adopted and are enjoying life as pets.



Greyhounds are often named for their sire (father) or dam (mother). For example, Dodgem by Design’s sire was Gable Dodge and his dam was Cruzin by Design.  Irish greyhound Maryville Rumble’s sire was Smooth Rumble and his dam was Budwiser Mary.  Many breeders and kennel owners use prefixes to name the pups they have bred.  We have had many adoptable greyhounds over the years with prefixes such as: Bella, Mega, Fiesta, Kiowa, Oneco, O Ya, Sol, Dewey, Starz, EZ, Victori, Blu Too, JW, Penrose, KB, Atascocita, Lazy K, Volando, Sakkara, Oshkosh, Joey, WW, PJ, BBR, ICU,Hallo, Yolo, Sendahl, Tailteann, WW, and many others.

We recently had greyhound siblings from a litter named for the characters in the TV show, “Dallas”.  In this litter, there were VictoriJR, VictoriBobby, and VictoriMs. Ellie along with Big D, Suellen, and Jock. They are from Victori Hounds and are shown below. JR is on the left, Bobby is in the center, and Ms. Ellie is on the right.  As you can see from their photos, they all look very much alike.


The name your greyhound was known as at the racing kennel, the “call name”, may or may not coincide with his or her registered name. Many times the call name is completely different than the greyhound’s registered name. For example, VJ Big and Rich is called “Hadwin”, Barry’s Column is called “Brogan”, Fiesta Option is called “Opie”, Highgarden is called “Harlow”, Victori Two Step is called “Shady”, Sandstorm is called “Stoney”, AtascocitaKwilt is called “Patches”, Pearl Joplin is known as “Janis”, Joey Imaginate is called “Cuddles”, Dreamt of Gold is “Diedra”,BBR Bluedevil is known as “Duke”, Special Song is known as “Melody”, Canadian Hunter is known as “Evan”, Lazy K Emotion is known as “Mojii, Dance of Leaves is “Daisy”, Solar Year is “Axel”,Eastwatch is “Elgin”, Mega Live It Up is  known as “Lee”, Next Addition is “Carlos”, and Stilgar is known as “Keeper”.

Changing your greyhound’s call name

We are often asked by prospective adopters if they may change the call name of their greyhound.The answer is yes. What you call your greyhound is your choice.  If you adopt a greyhound that already knows its kennel name, start by calling both names and gradually start using the new name you have chosen.  Your greyhound is fine with any name you want to call him or her. They just want to love you and be loved in return.

We hope this has given you some insight into how your greyhound got its name.  For information on your greyhound’s lineage, read on.

Finding Your Greyhound’s Ancestry

Of all canine breeds, greyhounds almost certainly have the most extensive records of ancestors.  If you adopted your NGA registered greyhound through BAGA, you received in your adoption packet a five generation pedigree of your greyhound.  You can find your greyhound’s ancestry on the website, Greyhound Data (

It is interesting to go back and look up your greyhound’s ancestry. To find your greyhound’s complete lineage, go to Greyhound Data, click on “Dog Search”, and enter your greyhound’s registered name.  (Sometimes more than one greyhound may have the same registered name, so make sure you choose the correct one by matching it with your greyhound’s year of birth.)  The pedigree will appear, and by clicking on the greyhounds in the pedigree, you canthen go back many generations of your greyhound’s lineage, often encompassing 100 years or more.  Besides finding your greyhound’s siblings, you can learn if your greyhound has champion bloodlines or if he or she has ancestors from Ireland, England, Australia, or other countries as well as the United States.  In only a few minutes, I was able to trace my greyhound’s ancestry back almost 200 years, all the way back to 1820.  If you have more than one greyhound, it is interesting to check both pedigrees to see if they have common ancestors. Many times they do, and this can sometimes explain why two greyhounds will look or act much alike.

You can often find that your greyhound has some of the most famous greyhounds in history as ancestors.  Many racing greyhounds today carry the blood of  well-known greyhounds such as Dodgem by Design, Kiowa Sweet Trey, Kiowa Mon Manny, Gable Dodge, Greys Statesman, Brett Lee, Flying Penske, Molotov, Craigie Whistler, Oshkosh Slammer, HB’s Commander, Dutch Bahama, P’s Rambling, EJ’s Douglas, Dominator, Trent Lee, Representation, Oswald Cobblepot, Fortress, Flying Stanley, Jimbo Scotty, Rhythmless, Lonesome Cry, and other greyhound champions, many of whom have been elected to the Greyhound Hall of Fame in Abilene, Kansas. Your greyhound mayalso trace back to Downing, probably one of the most well-known American greyhounds in history.


When you pull up your greyhound’s ancestry, you will often see information listed about awards won by his or her ancestors.  In the United States, the 8 best racing greyhounds are named each year to the “All America” team by the American Greyhound Track Operators Association.  The greyhound considered the number one greyhound in the country is chosen as the “Captain of the All America Team”. This is a tremendous honor for a racing greyhound and its owner and trainer. The top sprinter each year is named the winner of the Rural Rube award, and the top distance runner is named as the Flashy Sir award winner. When you see these awards listed for dogs in your greyhound’s lineage, you will know that your greyhound has champion bloodlines.

Finding Information About Your Greyhound Through Ear Tattoo Numbers

Even if you do not know your greyhound’s registered name, or if your greyhound was never registered to race, you can often find his ancestry through his ear tattoo numbers. For identification purposes, greyhounds are tattooed in their ears when they are about three months old. The 5-digit tattoo number in your greyhound’s left ear is the litter number.  (If the tattoos are difficult to read, try shining a flashlight in back of your greyhound’s ear to illuminate the numbers.)  You can then enter that number under “Tattoo” in Greyhound Data.  The right ear will have 2 or 3 numbers and a letter.  The first one or two numbers in the right ear indicates the month the greyhound was born (whelped) and the last number is the year of birth.  For example, 123 indicates a birth date in December 2013.Your greyhound will have a letter in the right ear following the numbers. Each pup in the litter will be identified by a successive letter of the alphabet, beginning with A, B, C, and so on.  Thus, every NGA registered greyhound will have a unique set of ear tattoo numbers.  If your greyhound gets out without a collar or tags, he or she can be positively identified through their ear tattoo numbers. Even if your greyhound is not registered with the NGA, you can still find the lineage by checking that of a littermate.

Every greyhound in a certain litter will have the same right and left ear tattoo numbers, but a different letter of the alphabet in their right ear. You do not need to enter the letter or the right ear number into Greyhound Data, but you can use it to determine that the litter number you find is correct, according to the right ear number and age of your greyhound.  You can further refine your search by inputting your dog’s gender, color, and land. This should bring you to information on your greyhound and you will learn his or her registered name, and can then go on to check out your greyhound’s lineage.


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