Caption: Criteria in naming greyhounds include that the name must be clear and easy to pronounce and understand (Photo: BlueStream Pictures)
By Greyhounds Australasia CEO Cherie Nicholl
Naming is one of Greyhound Australasia’s core participant services.
It’s also one that provides the GA team with some challenges as we work with owners to help them choose the perfect name. In 2020 GA named 9,582 pups and we are on track to name a similar number this year.
Greyhounds that are registered in Australia and New Zealand need to have clear names that are easy to pronounce and spell without offending any parts of the community. Therefore, there are some criteria around naming a greyhound and those criteria have been put in place to ensure high integrity in the racing product.
An important consideration in naming dogs that will be racing is that when the name is published in a racing guide, editorial or is called in a race, it is clear and easy to understand for not only those in the industry but also for wagering purposes.
Names that are too similar to other names can cause confusion. Names that are not spelt correctly can be difficult to pronounce. Names that are too long make it difficult for race callers. Numbers in names can also present problems and confusion with the dog’s racing number.
You would be surprised how often an owner wants a name for their greyhound that has already been granted. Names are not allowed if they have been allocated to a sire, dam or group winner or if there has been a greyhound in Australia or New Zealand with that name during the last 15 years. That seems like a long time but when you consider greyhounds can live up to 14 years and their frozen semen is available for some considerable time after their lives end, again, we want to minimise the potential for any errors or misunderstanding by having two dogs with the same name in the industry.
We also want to ensure that names do not offend any part of the community so political, religious, derogatory, vulgar, or obscene names will never be allowed because we do not want to damage the image of greyhound racing across our jurisdictions. And as a family friendly industry we want to ensure all the dogs have family friendly names too.
Another interesting rule is that names are not to indicate the opposite to the actual sex of the subject greyhound. Any name that makes identification of a greyhound unclear cannot be approved.
Names are assessed and authorized by the Greyhounds Australasia as the industry’s Naming Registrar. As the Naming Registrar, GA can accept or refuse a name in our absolute discretion that does not comply with the naming policy approved by the member controlling bodies. The naming policy can be found at https://galtd.org.au/participant-services/naming/naming-policy/ and is certainly well worth checking before deciding on a name for pups.
If you have a name for a pup that is yet to be registered or not yet born, you can visit our website and reserve a name until you are ready to use it. You’ll find the form in the naming section of participant services.
Greyhound names are chosen for all kinds of very good reasons. Michelle, Georgia, and Holly in the GA office are always more than happy to help if you want to check name availability before submitting your naming applications or some help with suggestions.
2021 has been another tough year for many in our industry due to Covid uncertainty. But it’s terrific that all jurisdictions are moving toward the vaccination levels that will enable life to get back to normal.
The GA team will be taking some well-earned time off through the Festive Season and our offices will be closed 24th December, reopening 3rd January 2022.
In the meantime, on behalf of the GA Chair, Board and the GA Team, have a very Merry Christmas full of laughter and fun with friends and family. Keep safe and well.