Friday, April 29, 2016

5 Best Dog Playpens and Exercise Pens for Indoor and Outdoor Use Tested

Pet playpens are ideal for puppy potting training, introducing a new puppy to a resident cat or dog and for keeping your pet safe and secure while traveling. Whether you have a new puppy or are seeking a containment solution for an older animal with incontinence issues, you will want a durable pet play pen that will securely contain your animal.
We took a look at 4 of the top sellers testing them for security, durability and portability. We were surprised to find the number one seller was deserving of a big thumbs down on all three criteria.

#1 - Heavy Duty Dog Play Pen 40" 8 Panel Review

dog exercise pen
This heavy duty playpen is appropriate for both indoor and outdoor use. It is marketed under several brand names, with the Best Pet brand being the most widely recognized. Each of the eight panels is 40" tall and 31.5 inches wide creating just over a 21 square foot play area.
The individual panels are lightweight, however the the complete product box weighs 55 pounds. New owners taking delivery of the product may want to open the box outdoors and bring the individual panels indoors in pairs.
Panels are easily joined together by 40" long pins that slip through loops on the ends of the panels. These pins can be pressed into soft earth outdoors to add stability to the pen, and sink into carpets without piercing the carpet backing.
However, they can cause damage to hardwood flooring. If you intend to use this pen indoors on hardwoods, then invest in felt adhesive pads for the pins. The panels themselves should not cause damage to hardwoods unless they are being violently shoved across the floor. Pet owners whose dogs become overly excited on their owners return may have an issue with this.
Appropriate for puppies, rabbits, adult dogs and ferrets. Not recommended for midsize and large breed dogs to stay in unattended. Will not contain healthy cats. Can be used indoors, in garages and outdoors.
  • Easy tool free assembly
  • Easily moved
  • Can be setup in a variety of configurations
  • Additional pens can easily be added to create runs or a larger play area
  • Can be configured as a gate to wall off areas of the home
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Affordable, typically less that $125.00 with shipping
  • Wire mesh grate occasionally arrives with a wire or two not properly welded to the frame. (Ours did). Most buyers use super glue to remedy the situation.
  • Gate is narrow for a well rounded person
  • Individual add-on pieces are not available. You need a full second product to expand the first
  • Will rust where paint is cracked or chipped if used outdoors
Additional information: These pens come in two finishes, black and hammertone. The hammertone, also called silver and granite, has a heavier coating on it, and is more appropriate for outdoor use.
The heavy duty pens come in 3 heights 24" 32" and 40" Prices between them typically vary by $10.00 per height increase, so the 40" height gives the best bang for the buck. The lowest rating this play pen received was 3 stars; out performing all other playpens in customer satisfaction and easy of assembly. We give it a big Thumbs Up, as the most versatile dog play pen.

# 2 Midwest Black E-Coat Series Exercise Pen


One of the all time best sellers, the Midwest Exercise pens are sturdy and well constructed. Relatively light weight, they are easy to move around and fold flat for easy storage, which makes this our number one pick for a secure travel playpen.

This style exercise pen is used by professional handlers to allow them to easily configure turnout areas that can quickly be constructed and broken-down when they are on the road.
Each pen has 8 panels that are 24" wide and vary in height from 24", 30", 36", 42" to 48" creating a 12 square foot play area. The 42 and 48 inch pens are relatively heavy for lifting and storing.
These pet pens gain added stability,by joining them together in a line of rectangles or cubes. When in this configuration, they are usually held together with bolt snaps. The Midwest E-Coat series comes with 4 bolt snaps and grounds stakes for added stability outdoors for freestanding exercise pens. When used individually, the octagon configuration shown in the image is the most stable.
Appropriate for: puppies, adult dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs and ferrets. Not recommended for containing healthy cats. Medium to large breed dogs should not be left unattended in the pens, as they can be overturned and collapsed.
  • Quick tool-free setup
  • Easily relocated
  • Can be attached to the opening of a dog crate
  • Easily stored; folds flat to a 4" depth
  • Great for travel
  • Inexpensive
  • Not as sturdy as the heavy duty pen
  • Can be used indoors, but will move and reconfigure easily with pressure from a 25 lb and up dog
  • Hooking two pens together to create a single large pen creates an unstable enclosure
  • Hinges will rust with prolonged outdoor use.
  • The snap hooks that come with the pen are low quality. You will want to replace them with heavy duty brass or nickel plated snap hooks from the hardware store
Additional Information: Wire mesh exercise pens come in 3 colors: black, gold and silver (silver available from other manufacturers). There are two types of exercise pens, those with and without doors. If you are dealing with multiple puppies, the door will come in handy.
Accessories: Midwest makes a 4x4' top that can be added to the exercise pen when setup in a square pattern. This top adds stability and makes the enclosure safe for containing cats. Thumbs Up as our number two pick overall as the most secure playpen for travel and quick setup and stowaway at home.

Iris - The #1 Selling Pet Playpen on Amazon


Iris is far and away the best selling dog play pen on Amazon with it's two models holding the number one and number three spots in pet playpens. Positive reviews abound, but a quick look at the product and a review of the one star ratings had us wondering how it maintains the sales and positive product reviews.
Neither playpen is tool free. Both require the purchaser to assemble the latches and hinges on the pet gate. The latches are not very sturdy, and it seems that with frequent use, the screws will strip out of the plastic molding. It also comes with rubber feet to be installed by the purchaser, apparently included to limit the pet's ability to move the pen.
The pen we looked at, the 4 door 24" high model, was very lightweight, just over 11 pounds. While the material appears well constructed, it's light weight was a concern. Negative reviews were damning with tales of dogs moving the pens around the house, 8 week old puppies lifting them up for escape and worse puppies and teacups handily climbing out of the pens. In some instances, puppies broke legs on their descent. (Scroll down to see the escape video and how easily it is accomplished).
Why do puppies and small dogs climb so easily out of this pen? The cross braces are made of 1/2 wide flat plastic rungs. Unlike the wire mesh cross braces, these are wide enough and comfortable enough to act as a ladder for the dogs. They easily ascend to the top railing. Once there, they drop over the edge to freedom.
Iris makes a mesh cover for their playpens that is also a big seller. Held on by Velcro straps and with no rigid structure, a determined puppy or dog will easily bypass it.
Appropriate for: Inert dogs, rabbits and ferrets.
  • Lightweight
  • Can be used indoors and outdoors
  • Looks good indoors and blends well with white kitchen interiors
  • Additional panels may be purchased in pairs
  • Too lightweight, can be lifted by puppies and easily moved around the house
  • Cross brace design acts as a ladder to assist escape, causing potential injury to small dogs and puppies
  • Pen bends easily with pressure from the dog, and it can be prone to collapse
  • Requires tools and labor for assembly, occasionally hardware bags are incomplete or missing entirely
This video demonstrates how easily small dogs
and puppies can escape the Iris pens.

Additional Information: The Iris plastic Playpens come in white, pink and pale blue. Given its price point and ease of escape, we have to give this pen a Thumbs Down. For nearly the same price, you can purchase a heavy duty playpen with no assembly required, that will adequately contain your dog.

EliteField: Best Pet Portable Soft Playpen


A wide number of manufacturers produce soft-sided playpens, and this is an item where you get what you pay for. The better manufacturers use higher quality zippers, and zippers to hold in the base of the pen instead of Velcro type fasteners.  Once the zippers fail the item is useless. As with soft-sided crates, this is not an item for a puppy or a known escape artist; the mesh and seams on any soft-sided crate or playpen will quickly give way to repeated pawing.

We liked the EliteField model as it was one of the tallest at 32 inches tall and 48 inches in diameter.  It has sturdy zippers and well constructed seams. The EliteField also has room inside to atach a plastic water bottle for your pet. It is recommended that the floor be removed prior to breaking down for travel or storage, to avoid adding unnecessary stress to the seams.
Some of the Other Soft Playpen Manufacturers:
On the Best Pet model we noticed that the zipper was not as sturdy as we would have liked. Many consumers have experienced teeth falling out within the first week of purchase. Others have issues with the seams next to the zipper opening. As we mentioned before, once the zipper goes on one of these playpens, the product is useless. 

The Precision Pet Models have a removable floor, which allowed easy escape by all sizes of dogs.
This style of playpen is best used with dogs who are already resigned to being enclosed. Interestingly, the soft pet playpen is very popular with cat owners, especially when introducing a new feline to the family.
Appropriate for: Dogs, Cats, Rabbits and Ferrets.
  • No Assembly Required
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Folds away easily
  • Good for travel
  • Offers good ventilation
  • Zippers on less expensive brands may fail within the first 2 weeks of purchase rendering the pen useless
  • Pets should not be left unattended outdoors
  • Not to be used with a novice to containment
  • Some purchasers complained that it was difficult to clean and became smelly
  • Relatively expensive considering the materials they are made from
Additional Information: We advise holding on to the box after delivery. Test the zippers several times. If you feel it sticking, you're likely to have one that will loose teeth in the next two weeks. Return it before it breaks. Thumbs Sideways for this product - works well for well behaved pets.

Top X-Large Pet Playpen for Outdoors Use


The Extra Large Pet Playpen from Wags and whiskers includes two gates, allowing it to be a single large pen, or to be broken down into two pens. This pen is similarly constructed to the heavy duty pet playpen reviewed at the beginning of the article.
  • Made from heavy duty steel
  • Can be used as two pens, a small one indoor and a larger one outdoors.
  • Tool Free Setup
  • Sets-up easily and easily reconfigured
  • Folds flat for storage at a 12" depth
  • Ships in two packages for easy handling
  • Can be used as a fence if placed in a zigzag pattern with connecting rods pressed into the soil.
  • Narrow entrance gates
  • Watch for rust spots and hit them with Rustoleum hammered finish paint to prevent corrosion.
Recommendation: If you are looking to create a large pen or fence off an area of your yard, the X-Large Pet Playpen is going to be your least expensive option. It also allows for easy reconfiguration. Note that it will not be stable over long distances if set up in a straight line. In the photo below, the gateway was inset to add stability.
X-Large Playpen being used as a fence and as protection for outdoor HVAC equipment from puppies chewing and male dogs hiking on delicate coils.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

How To Easily Determine Dog Age By His Teeth

If you’re wondering about a dog’s age, the condition of his teeth will give you a lot of information. The old expression, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth,is derived from the fact that horse’s teeth have distinctive wear patterns, that can help you determine his age fairly precisely for the first 7 years of his life and well beyond. Just as horses’ teeth provide strong evidence of their age, dogs’ teeth have distinctive wear patterns that can help you to discern the age of your new family friend fairly accurately.

Determining dog's age by his teeth
3 week old toothless puppy

How Many Teeth Do Dogs Have?

Puppies should eventually have 28 deciduous teeth, 12 incisors (the  small front teeth - 6 upper and 6 lower), 4 Canines (the fangs) and 12 premolars and molars. They are missing the first premolar and the last molars that will eventually develop in the adult dog.
The incisors are located along the front row of teeth, between the canines. Incisors are used in grooming and nibbling activities. The canines are used for tearing in conjunction with the incisors and premolars. The premolars follow the canines on the sides of the jaw; the premolars and eventually the molars are used for heavy chewing.
Adult dogs should have 42 teeth: 12 incisors, 4 canines, 16 premolars and 10 molars (2 on each side of the upper jaw and 3 on each side of the lower jaw). For many breeds, full dentition is an issue, and they may develop fewer adult teeth. Missing premolars are more common, but dogs can fail to develop canines, incisors and molars. For many show dogs and especially in the working breeds, full dentition is a requirement. However, many toy breeds such as the Chinese Crested are notorious for missing teeth, and allowances are made depending on the degree of missing dentition.

How Long Do Puppy Teeth Last?

Understanding the sequence of development of puppy teeth can assist you in gauging a puppy’s age. Like most mammals, puppies are born without teeth, and their mothers are grateful for that!

  • At around 3 weeks of age, the incisors begin to erupt.
  • The incisors are followed by the canines at around 4-5 weeks. These new puppy teeth are very sharp and brittle, encouraging the mother to begin weaning her puppies.
  • By 8 weeks the premolar #2 and molars numbers 3 and 4 have appeared.
  • From 8-12 weeks there will be very little change in the puppy’s mouth.
  • As the adult teeth form, the roots of the milk teeth should begin to reabsorb.
Puppy front milk teeth
Eleven week old puppy incisors flanked by the canines.

Side view of puppy canine, premolar and molars.
Eleven week old puppy canine, premolars and molars.
Note the first premolar is missing.

At 12-13 weeks puppy teething begins. The new adult teeth should push out the rootless, deciduous milk teeth, although occasionally puppy teeth are retained. If the puppy teeth do not fall out on their own, they will need to be removed by a veterinarian to prevent them from affecting adult tooth placement and the dog’s bite.
  • Starting around 12 weeks the incisors will begin to be shed and replaced with their adult counterparts.
  • At 4 months the canines (the fangs) will begin to erupt.
  • By 5 months, all of the adult incisors should be in place.
  • The adult premolars and molars come in between 5 and 7 months of age, erupting from the front of the mouth with the premolars to the back with the final molars.
  • By 8 months of age, a puppy should have all of his adult teeth.

5 Indicators of Dog Age By Wear On The Teeth

The condition of a dog’s teeth can be an excellent indicator of his age. However diet, oral care or lack thereof, as well as behavior can affect your ability to properly gauge a dog’s age.
Factors such a antibiotics taken while adult teeth are forming can affect tooth color from the start. Chewing on bones and other hard toys or surfaces or fence fighting can prematurely break teeth. Also a diet based exclusively on soft food can accelerate tartar build up and tooth decay. The following guidelines can give you a reasonably good estimate of the dog’s age given that he has enjoyed a normal diet that includes kibble.
At one year of age the dog’s teeth will be very white. The lower incisors will have ridges on top of them (the cusp) that resemble a fleur de lis design or that of a three leaf clover. (As time progresses, the pattern of the incisor teeth will begin to wear down).

One year old border collie dentition
Note the fleur de lis pattern on the lower teeth
 is clearly evident on the center incisors.
By 2 years old, the dog’s teeth will no longer be as bright white as they were at the start of his first year. Depending on diet and oral care, some yellowing and tartar buildup may have begun on the back molars.
Two year old dog incisors and canine teeth
Incisors of a two year old border collie; the fleur de lis pattern is still 
evident on the center incisors, although it is beginning to wear down.

From 3-5 years of age there will be yellowing on all teeth, tartar will begin to build up on the molars, and the front incisors will begin to show wear. The cusps of the lower front two incisors will begin to grind down and the fleur de lis pattern will begin to erode; by 5 years old half of the ridges of the cusps on the lower incisors will have worn away.

Border Collie incisors and canines
Incisors of a three year old border collie; 
center incisors are beginning to show wear.
  • Incisors of a 5 year old border collie
    Incisors of a 5 year old border collie; note that the 
    center two lower incisors are very worn down.

By seven years of age, the cusps of the lower incisors are worn level and those teeth are substantially short that they were when they erupted. Canines will begin to blunt as well. Without dental intervention, the tartar build up on the molars will appear orange or medium brown.

Border Collie teeth at age 7
Incisors of a 7 year old border collie. Here all lower incisors 
are ground down from contact with the upper incisors. 

At eight years old and beyond, teeth may be broken or missing. Some older dogs (9+) may also experience buildup of gum tissue (Gingival Hyperplasia). In this instance the gums appear swollen above the canines, however it is just a build up of extra gum tissue.

Fooling the Experts With Good Canine Dental Care

While you can't avoid the wear and tear on incisors in a close scissor or level bite, you can affect the health of your dogs teeth and gums with good oral hygiene. Regular brushing with specially formulated canine enzymatic tooth paste can substantially reduce tartar and the yellowing associated with tartar buildup. Crunchy treats such as carrots, raw chicken thighs and chicken feet can massage gums and reduce plaque buildup as well, while fleece tug toys and nylabones can also promote oral health.
Raw Bones Versus Antlers: Raw beef shank bones and marrow bones are delicious for dogs to chew on, but they can easily crack and break teeth.  Naturally shed deer and elk antlers are equally delicious, and they are softer and more porous that marrow bones. The porous aspect of the antler also makes it a better plaque remover.  If your dog loves to chew, an antler will quickly remove most of the tartar on the molars and premolars. Choose the non-split variety for a longer lasting chew and a better value. The upper canines will likely still need scaling.
antlers for good canine dental heath
Elk Antlers make good canine dental care easy.

Buy It Now

If your dog still has plaque buildup after gnawing on a variety of dental toys and chews, your veterinarian can clean his teeth quickly and safely. Check with her to see if she will have any oral health care specials coming up, and plan to take Fido in for a cleaning. His newly rejuvenated pearly white teeth will thank you for it!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

50 Unexpected Name Ideas for Your Unique Black Lab Girl

By paulshannon
20 Shades of Black - Female Dog Names


Names for Female Black Labs from Fashion Icons - The Little Black Dress

Orange may be the new black, but black is always stylish, sophisticated, slimming and chic. These fashion icons elevated black accessories to new heights from the little black Prada bag to the little black dress. If you want to celebrate your lab's feminine allure, you're sure to find a stylish name for your black Labrador girl from any one of these great fashion houses.

Names for Female Labs from Fashion icons
Givenchy's LBD defined an era.
Chanel - "Coco" Chanel transformed the black dress from a mourning must have to the essential element of the modern woman's wardrobe.  Like Henry Ford's model T, Channel's little black dress was to be afforded by women of all walks of life. It could be dressed down by day and accessorized to the hilt for evening. Chanel brought black out of the back of the closet and onto center stage.

Dior - Post 1950s introduced Christian Dior's version of the little black dress. Clean lines with a full skirt and a waspish waist would rule the fashion runway for the coming decade.

Givenchy - Hubert de Givenchy founded the house of Givenchy in 1952.  A mere 9 years later he designed a black dress for his friend, Audrey Hepburn, to wear in Blake Edward's romantic comedy, Breakfast at Tiffany's. The dress was a resounding success, defining the character of Holly Golightly from the first scene forward.  The Italian black satin dress, with matching opera gloves, defined an era in fashion, with the must have little black sheath dress. Name your girl Audrey if you prefer to honor the inspiration for the little black sheath dress.

Patou - Better known these days for their signature perfumes, Joy and 1000, Jean Patou enjoys co-credit with Coco Chanel for the invention of the little black dress.  Patou invented active wear for ladies as well as the modern necktie for gentleman.  The Frenchman designed the first sleeveless short tennis dress, and forwarded fashion that was natural and comfortable.  Name your girl Patou if you want a natural and comfortable relationship with your black lab!

Prada - Originally and Italian luggage maker, the House of Prada exploded in the late 1970s, when Miuccia Prada introduced a line of backpacks and totes made from a black military spec nylon. These subtle bags did not announce their brand with flashy patterns endlessly repeating their the company logo, rather these totes exhibited fine craftsmanship with an off-hand, shabby-chic touch of luxury. Name your black Lab Prada if you prize well crafted, yet luxuriously practical purebred dog.

Mistresses of the Dark

Drussila - Crazy, off-the-wall female vampire of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Elvira - The campy, late night horror movie host and original mistress of the dark.

Lilith - Female vampire of Bordello of Blood.

Morticia - Mother of the Addams Family.

Regine - Classy Euro-Vampire from Fright Night 2.

Selene - Fierce, loyal and protective vampire of Underworld.

By Sini Merikallio       

Names for Female Black Labs from Mythology

Aura - Greek and Roman goddess of the gently morning winds. Legend has it that this ethereal deity was able to disappear into this air.

Chaos - Primordial Greek God that predates the Titans and Olympians. Chaos was the first thing that existed, before anything else in the universe.  Born of Chaos were Nyx, goddess of night; Erebus god of darkness; Gaea, Earth; Tartarus, the underworld; and Eros, love. Name your lab puppy Chaos, and in time together you will find order and love.

Erebus - Greek primordial god of darkness.

Hebe - Cup bearer to the gods, she served them ambrosia and other sweet nectars.  A daughter of Zeus and Hera, she herself was the goddess of youth and able to restore youth to those who requested it.  Name your girl Hebe if you seek a companion that will keep you young at heart and in health.

Heka - Egyptian god of magic and all things supernatural.  He is the patron of wizards and physicians.

Isis - Egyptian goddess of peace, love magic, motherhood and children. Worship of her was so popular that it spread the the Greek mythology tradition as well.  Isis was the name of the first Downton Abbey female Labrador retriever. 

Nike - Winged goddess of victory. She flies over battlefields as the divine charioteer bestowing glory on the victorious.

Nyx - Beautiful primordial goddess of night, she is only glimpsed in shadows and on the periphery of night.  Even Zeus stood in awe of the great beauty and power of the primordial goddess Nyx.

Styx - Titan goddess of the river Styx, which divides the world of the living from the underworld. She fought on the side of the Olympians in their war against the Titans. To honor her, Zeus made her name part of the binding oath on which the gods swore.

Themes - Titan goddess of moral and natural order.  Justice is synonymous with Themes.  As the second wife of Zeus, their marriage cemented his role as king of the Olympian gods.  Name your puppy Themes of you are seeking an obedient well mannered dog.

Black Magic Names for Female Black Labs

Bokor - Voodoo high priest or priestess.

Juju - A magical talisman.

Jynx - a spell cast to bring about a negative outcome.

Mambo -  Female Bokor, high priestess of voodoo. Black mambo is a venomous snake, and the code name for Beatrix Kiddo's character in Kill Bill.

Vamp -  Female vampire and a burlesque routine.

Voodoo - A cult religion practiced in the Southern USA and Caribbean, based on a blending of African and Catholic traditions.

Wicca - Pagan religion that celebrates the forces of nature, and calls upon the forces of the four directions to assist in the magic.

Zemi - A good luck charm.

You May Also Be Interested In...

Additional Articles from the Reading Lab!

5 Best Puppy Chew Toys For Labrador Retrievers

50 Meaningful Names For Female Chocolate Labs

50 Gundog Names for Black Labs

50 Names for Female Labrador Retrievers 

All Images Courtesy of  [CC BY-SA 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

45 Meaningful Female Chocolate Labrador Names

Female lab names
By Tony Hisgett, Birmingham UK

Five Fun Facts About Labs

The Labrador Retriever is America's favorite dog breed, but Americans are not alone in Lab loving. Considered the most popular breed in the world,  Labradors are the favorite breed of the UK, Israel, New Zealand, Australia and Canada.

Mayor of a California Town - Bosco, a Labrador retriever, was elected honorary mayor of Sunol, California in 1981.  He ran as a re-pup-lican, and beat two human candidates for the honor.  Bosco remained mayor for another 13 years, until his death in 1994.

Labs make the best Guide Dogs. In fact, approximately 70% of the American guide dogs are Labrador retrievers.

Labradors are one of the ten breeds with the best sense of smell.  They can sniff out cancers in early stages, that were previously undetectable.  Labs have been trained to sniff out various cancers through patients' breath, urine and stool samples. They are so highly accurate, that scientists are attempting to make a robotic dog nose based on the olfactory design of the labs's remarkable nose.

In the UK, no Lab can become a show champion without a working certificate.  This ensures that the breed will continue to excel at the work they were bred to do, both as a gundog and as a water dog.

Chocolate Labrador named Hershey
By Rob Hansen

Sweet names for Female Chocolate Labs

Cailler - Swiss chocolatier that has been making luxury chocolates for over 200 years.

Cocoa - The essential ingredient in milk and dark chocolate.

Cola - As in Pepsi or Coca-Cola.

Dove - Dark chocolate candies and ice cream bars.

Godiva - The most famous of all luxury chocolate brands, named for Lady Godiva, who rode through the streets of Coventry, covered only by her long tresses, in protest of oppressive taxation.

Guylian - Luxurious Belgian chocolate company.

Hershey - Pennsylvania chocolate company, maker of the Hershey Kiss among other tasty chocolate bars.

Kitkat - Chocolate covered, peanut butter crunch.

Mocha - Chocolate coffee latte.

Nestle - Swiss chocolate maker and multi-national conglomerate.

Neuhaus - Luxury Belgian chocolate.

Pepper - As in Dr.Pepper.

Pepsi - Brown flat cola, inferior to Coca-Cola.

Ruth - The Baby Ruth bar is named in honor of Babe Ruth.

Skor - Chocolate toffee bar.

Soda - Cola and George Kastanza's second favorite name for his unborn kids.

Snickers - Tasty peanut and nugget chocolate bar, also to have a little underhanded laugh.

Swiss Miss - Hot chocolate brand name.  Name your lab Swiss Miss, and you can call her Missy.

Teuscher - Swiss chocolatier producing chocolate bars, pralines and truffles.

Tiramisu - Italian cake made with coffee liqueur.

Truffles - Dark, rich creamy candies; the height of confectionery  decadence.

Wrapper - As in candy wrapper.

Female gundog Labrador retriever
By Blaine Hansel, Flickr

Female Lab Names that Celebrate the Water Dog in All Retrievers

Bali - A breed of duck.

Drift - To glide gently or a current in the water.

Flare - When a flock of birds abruptly changes direction.

Ripple - A disturbance in the water surface, or a fortified wine frequently enjoyed on Sanford and Son.

Rouen - Brown duck with a claret breast.

Skater - One who glides by without much effort.



Tactic - Water fowling trickery by use of calls and decoys.

Teal - a breed of duck


More Shades of Brown Names for Chocolate Dogs

Anise - Star anise is a star shaped pod that contains licorice tasting seeds.

Autumn - Shades of brown leaves.

Beyonce - Dream Girl and Foxy Cleopatra - need we say more?

Brandy -  A strong distilled spirit with a dark amber color; also the name of an American recording artist.

Cinnamon - Siagon cinnamon is a rich brown spice associated with good health.

Curry - An Indian spice that varies in color from mustard to brown.

Henna - A flowering plant used to make dyes for hair and temporary tattoos.

Kahlua - A dark rum and coffee liqueur.

Coffy - A dark brown liquid and 1970s female vigilante film character.

Penny - Oxidized copper has a dark brown to bronze tone.

Sazerac - A rye based cocktail.

Sienna - A shade lighter than raw umber, it is a rich brown.

Tawny - Orange brown.

Suggested Reading

5 Best Toys For Labs - Sharing your life with a new Labrador puppy?  Check out these essential teething toys selected just for Labs!

50 Names for Yellow Female Labs - Find other naming inspirations for female Labrador Retrievers.

Friday, February 5, 2016

50 Names for Black Lab Male Dogs

Male Black Labrador Retriever Names
By Marilyn Peddle (Flickr)

Whether you are getting a new puppy or adopting an adult from the local shelter, finding the right name for your new dog will help you bond to him in record time.  We have complied a list of 50 meaningful names for black male Labs. Here, you're sure to find the perfect name for your new black pup!

Lab Names for Male Puppies Related to the Color Black

Ash - Ruins, the powdery reside that remains after something has been burned.

Coal - A blackish brown combustible mineral.

Dusk - Darkness at twilight hour.

Ebon - Darkness often used to describe the sky or heavy rain clouds.

Eclipse - The blotting-out of a celestial objects light by another closer object.

Etch - The etched material is filled with dark ink to create and image on another object after it has been pressed and the image transferred.

Inky - Ink Black.

Jet - Pure black and a means of extreme propulsion.

Murk -  Darkness.

Onyx - A jet black semi-precious stone.

Pitch - The residue of a distillation of tars, to fall forward or to hurl forward. Pitch makes a good name for a black retriever that hurls himself into his work.

Prism - A prism refracts and reflects light.  Black is the absorption of all color.

Slag - Also called cinder, it is the material left over from the ore used to create steel.

Slate - Dark bluish grey to black sheets of rock.

Smoky -  Hazy and darkened with smoke. Smokey - Robinson of the Miracles or Smokey and the Bandit, another name for the "Fuzz."

Stoke - Feed the fire. Stoked, surfer terminology for pumped.

Twilight - Dark diffused light from sunset to nightfall. Also, a Vampire saga.

Labrador Retriever Male Names

Names for Male Gundogs

Bailey - Hunting directory that is published annually.

Cap - A donation made by followers of a hunt who are not subscribers on the day of the hunt.

Clay - Clay pigeons are used by gunmen for target practice. 

Deke - Slang for a duck decoy.

Drake -  Male duck.

Epic - The first moment a hunter is born.

Gunner -  A person who hunts with guns; several military ranks depending on the branch or service or country of origin.

Rimfire - A centerfire cartridge or rifle where the primer is located in the rim of the cartridge.


Spur - Spurs are the long sharp point or claw on the back of a male pheasant or roasters leg used for fighting during mating season.

Black lab in the French sea
By Olijven 

Male Lab Names from Angler Terminology

The Labrador originated in Newfoundland as a fisherman's companion and as a second set of hands. Labs eagerly dove into icy waters to help haul nets and to snatch-up fish as they were escaping from the nets. Choose an angler term for your black Labrador's name to celebrate his early working heritage.

Chum - Your best buddy, or bait used to lure fish to your area.

Flip - Flipping is the act of swinging a lure rather than casting it to its target. Also, Flip Wilson, the 1970's black stand-up comedian that earned his own beloved variety show.

Fly - A fishing lure.

Popper - A surface plug that is cup-shaped to create a disturbance on the top of the water as the angler reels in the bait.  It imitates the sound of a wounded fish.

Spinner - spinning reels are used to cast light bait or flies.

Stinger - An additional hook attached to a lure usually used for spinnerbait lures and live bait.

Male Lab Names From the Movies

Labrador retrievers work as canine cop partners for bomb and narcotics detection, as well as for search and rescue missions.  These buddy cop movies, themed with oddball cop partners, make great name ideas for your new canine companion or partner in crime.

Axel - Axel Foley, of Beverly Hills Cop, is a streetwise Detroit cop, played by Eddie Murphy, that heads to Beverly Hills to investigate the murder of his best friend.  Here he teams up with a pair of local police officers in a series of comical yet effective detective scenes.

Carter - Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan team up in Rush Hour to create one of the most memorable and endearing cop duos in film history.  Tucker plays James Carter while Jackie Chan plays the mild-mannered Chief Inspector Lee.

Darrell - James Darrell Edwards III, is the newest recruit for the Men In Black Agency.  Agent K shows him the ropes as they save a galaxy from the roach people.  Good save!

Hammond - 48 Hours still reigns as the king of buddy cop movies.  Reggie Hammond, played by Eddie Murphy, and Jack Cates, played by Nick Nolte, have 48 hilarious hours to catch a cop killer.

Murtough - Lethal Weapon paired two cops together that particularly hated working with a partner. Mel Gibson plays, Riggs, a lunatic, and Danny Glover plays Murtough, a veteran cop, who find a way to work together to stop a drug smuggling ring.

Male Black Lab Names From the CIA K-9 Hall of Fame

black lab CIA K-9 Hall of Fame Dalls

Dallas - CIA Lone Star; Dallas worked for the CIA in Texas; he has since retired and been inducted into their K-9 Hall of Fame.

Dean - Another black Lab CIA Hall of Famer, Dean was raised by prisoners in the "Puppies behind Bars" program.  He served as an explosives detection dog for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF).

Garcia - Born in New Jersey, this black Lab started his training as a potential seeing eye dog. He was so "sniffy" that they decided his best potential would be reached working for the ATF in explosives detection.  This is where he earned his place in the CIA K-9 Hall of Fame.

Greek and Roman Names for Male Black Labs

Cerberus - Three headed dog that guards the entrance to the  Underworld.

Cronus - Greek god and King of the Titans, he was overthrown by his son Zeus and the other Olympians.

Hades - Greek God and lord of the Underworld and the Dead.

Jupiter - Roman name for Zeus, and the largest of the planets in our solar system.

Neptune - Roman god of of the rivers, seas and oceans. He is the brother of Jupiter and Pluto. Neptune is also the fourth largest planet in our solar system and the farthest from the sun.

Othello - Shakespearean Moorish king, staring in his own Greek tragedy of jealousy and remorse.

Pluto - Roman name for Hades, Lord of the Underworld, and dwarf planet in our solar system with 5 moons.

Ponos - Greek spirit of hard labor and toil.

Sirius - Orion's faithful hunting companion, Sirius traveled the Earth in search of his lost master. The gods took pity on the mournful dog, and transformed him into a star, placing him at Orion's side in the sky. Sirus, the dog star, never leaves his master's side.

Soter - Greek male spirit of of safety, deliverance and protection from harm.

Thrasos - Greek male spirit of boldness.

Vulcan - Roman god of fire, associated with volcanic eruptions and feared for his violent destructive force.

Zeus - Greek  king of the Olympian gods.

Recommended Articles | The Reading Lab

50 Meaningful Names for Male Yellow Labs

Best Toys for Labradors young and old.  Some of these toys even come with lifetime guarantees!

All Images licensed  [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Sunday, January 31, 2016

50 Meaningful Names for Male Yellow Labs

About Labrador Retrievers

Labs of all colors originate from Newfoundland, where they assisted fishermen by retrieving errant fish that had fallen free of the nets, as well as by helping to haul nets from the icy waters.  In the 1800's the first Labs were brought to England via Labrador, thus the confusion in the breed's name and place of origin.

Once in England, the breed was crossed with a variety of setters, spaniels and retrievers to improve upon the dogs' natural retrieving instinct.  The modern Labrador Retriever is an affectionate, good tempered dog that is excellent with children, making them the favorite dog breed in the Untied States, United Kingdom, Denmark, Australia and Canada.

Labs also possess a keen sense of smell. As one of the ten breeds with the best sense of smell, they are used for search and rescue, bomb and narcotics detection and now in medical diagnosis.  Their gentle temperaments make them ideal therapy dogs and seeing eye-dogs for the blind as well as family members.

Duck Dynasty Names for Labrador Retrievers

The Robertson family built a successful duck hunting business in West Monroe Louisiana. Their Duck Commander duck calls and signature long beards, have launched their dynasty into a reality TV series that has broken several viewership records on cable television. If you take your Lab duck hunting, your likely to bring along one of their duck calls.


Delicious Yellow and Gold Names for Male Yellow Labs

Bailey - Baileys Irish Cream is just the color of a yellow lab.

Broadway - A Stylish yellow cocktail made with New Amsterdam Gin, Triple Sec, yellow tomato and basil.

Collin - Tom Collins and vodka Collins both combine alcohol with sour mix to create a refreshing pale yellow cocktail.

Cuervo - Cuervo Gold puts the Texas in a Texas Margarita.

Galliano - A Pale yellow herbal liqueur produced in Tuscany.

Mojito - Vodka, lime, mint, soda and simple syrup combine to make this golden elixir.

Patron - Top shelf tequila.

Beach Inspired Male Yellow Lab Names

Yellow Labradors, with their sunny dispositions and sandy colored coats can find befitting names from some of these famous and luxurious beach resorts.

Cruz - Santa Cruz is a destination for skateboarding lighthouses and surfing.

Daytona - Daytona Beach is the home of the Daytona 500 and a national Spring Break Mecca. Name your Lab Daytona, and the ladies will flock to pet him.

Destin - Located in the Florida Panhandle, Destin, with its white beaches, is the star of the Redneck Riviera.

Dune - Sci-fi novel and film staring Sting, or a hill on the beach or desert sands.

Hilton - Hilton Head Beach is a very dog friendly beach of the coast of South Carolina.

Jupiter - King of the Olympic gods and East Coast Florida beach.

Malibu - California's most famous surfing destination, twenty-one miles of prime beach real estate.

Zuma - Zuma beach, located in Malibu, is the apex of surfing destinations in California.

Hunting and Waterfowling Inspired Names for Male Labrador Retrievers

As the gentleman's ultimate gundog, the Labrador retriever is one of the most versatile sporting dogs in the world.  Here we celebrate his hunting acumen with these gun and waterfowling terms.

Action - The type and style of how a weapon is loaded and spent cartridges are ejected.

Boomer -  The sound a shotgun makes.

Buckshot - Large pellet shotgun cartridges used for big game hunting.

Deke - Decoy

Drake - Male Duck

Flare - When waterfowl abruptly change direction due to a sense of danger.

Gauge - Measurement of shotgun barrels.


Pepper - Shotguns pepper their targets with buckshot.

Toller - The art of frolicking on the coastline to attract the attention of curious waterfowl.  Nova Scotia Duck Tollers are bred specially to excel in this art form.

Gun Dog Names From Big Game Hunters

Boone - Daniel Boone was a celebrated guide, hunter and tracker, helping to settle Kentucky.

Carson - William Kit Carson was a celebrated trapper, hunter and army scout.  So well respected was he, that his later life adventures were turned into comics and novellas and movies.

Cody - William Cody, aka Buffalo Bill, was a famous buffalo hunter, taking down over 4,200 buffalo in an 8 month period.  He joined the US Cavalry, and in 1872 won the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Ishi - The last surviving member of the Yahi tribe, he taught Saxton Pope and Art Young how to make archery tackle and bows and arrows.

Saxton - Saxton Pope and Art Young, under the guidance of Ishi, were given permission to hunt bears in Yellowstone Park with homemade bows and arrows.  Using their own homemade tackle, they were able to bag several full grown bears.  Pope went on the write one of the first and most influential books on archery, Hunting with the Bow and Arrow.

Scout - To search, hunt or look.

Teddy - Teddy Roosevelt, known as TR, was one of the most intelligent and successful American Presidents.  TR rolled back monopolies and created the National Park Service, preserving much of our American outdoor heritage.  Teddy was also, ironically a big game hunter.  His African Safari was watched with avid interest world wide.  Many of the specimens he shot were sent to the Smithsonian for display in their exhibits.

Trouper - A reliable, uncomplaining individual and a loyal dependable worker.

Labs at play By from Tiverton, UK
By from Tiverton, UK

Male Yellow Labrador Retriever Names From Weapons Manufacturers

Cabot - US maker of precision pistols and revolvers.

Glock - Gaston Glock's Vienna based handgun and weapons manufacturer, favored by many military and police departments.

Cobra - American maker of handguns based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Colt - Founded in 1836 by Samuel Colt, the colt company makes rifles, machine guns and of course their famous revolvers.

Coonan - United States manufacturer of automatic handguns.

Henry - Henry Repeating Arms, maker of rifles.

Kimber - American maker of handguns and rifles.

Marlin - US manufacturer of shotguns and rifles.

Remington - One of the oldest American gun manufacturers, Remington started out making flintlock rifles.  Today they are one of the largest gun and ammunition manufacturers. Name your Lab Remington and you can call him Remy.

Ruger - The largest manufacturer of firearms in the United States, Ruger was founded by Charles Ruger in 1949.

Walther - Manufacturer of handguns and tactical rifles, as well as James Bond's favorite pistol, the Walther PPK.

Wesson - Born from the partnership of Horace Smith and Daniel Wesson, Smith and Wesson found success producing the rimfire .22 caliber revolver. Smith and Wesson is now the largest manufacturer of handguns in the United States. Name your dog Wesson, and you can call him Wes.

Winchester - Winchester Repeating Arms Manufacturing - it's how the West was won, with their lever action rifles!  You may think of Chuck Connors as The Rifleman, when you call your dog, Winchester.

Bonus Lab Name!

Endal - The most decorated dog in the world, Endal was a yellow Labrador retriever.  Among his many awards for service, Endal received the PSDA's Gold Medal for Animal Gallantry and Devotion to Service.

Endal the most decorated Labrador retriever and service dog
Endal, By Allenandendalat English Wikipedia

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

50 Names for Female Yellow Labrador Retrievers | Meaningful Lab Names

Find the perfect name for your blond bombshell! These name inspirations celebrate the gentle, sunny dispositions of yellow Labrador Retriever Females as gun dogs and loving companions.

 Female Gundog Names for Yellow Labs

Annie – Annie Oakley, famous sharpshooter. 

Belle – Belle Starr, infamous American outlaw associated with the James/Younger Gang.

Jane – Calamity Jane, a professional scout and marksman who fought alongside the Native American Indians.

Katie – Mother of the Sons of Katie Elder.

Kimber – Producer of handguns and topnotch rifles.

Rossi – Producer of shotguns.

Sako – Maker of big game hunting rifles.

Tikka – Maker of bolt action rifles.

Female Lab Names From Downton Abbey

Daisy - Daisy may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but she is certainly dedicated and fiercely loyal. As a flower, the daisy represents innocence, purity and childhood.

Isis – Downton Abbey’s lovely yellow Lab, Isis, featured prominently as the focal point of two episodes of the series. Isis is an Egyptian goddess of health, marriage and wisdom and patroness of nature and magic.

Marigold – An amber shade of yellow as well as a family of hardy, bright yellow and orange flowers, Marigold is also the name of Edith’s putative ward. All that meet Marigold are enchanted by her irresistible charm. Name your Labrador Retriever Marigold, if you want everyone to covet and adore her.

Rose - The gift of a yellow rose conveys warmth, friendship and happiness.

Tiaa - Robert Crawley's gift from the Dowager Countess upon her departure, Tiaa was the wife of Pharaoh Amenhotep II and mother of Thutmose IV.

Names for Yellow Lab Girls Inspired by Famous Beaches and Islands

Beaches and tropical islands make the ideal naming inspirations for the sunny dispositions of yellow Labrador Retrievers with their sandy colored coats. Choose one of these exotic locations or, if you have a favorite beach of your own, use something nostalgic from that location to name your Lab.

Coco – Coco Beach in Costa Rica means fun in the sun for local youth and tourists alike. Its white gray sands have made it a tourist destination in spite of the fact that it is nothing more than a small fishing village.

Juno – The Atlantic coast beach of Florida, named after the Roman goddess Juno. Juno is the goddess of pregnancy, childbirth and marriage, and as the wife of Jupiter, is the Queen of the Gods. She is also the patron of finances of the Roman people and protector of the mint. Name your Lab Juno if you want secure finances and a fecund family life.

Martha – Laid back Martha’s Vineyard is also the namesake of Paul McCartney’s old English sheepdog, Martha. Martha My Dear makes an ideal name for a chilled-out Lab.

Maui - The jewel in the Hawaiian islands, Maui with its flagship Waikiki Beach,
is the apex of  beach side luxury.

maui island beach
'Lahaina Beach on West Maui

Miami – With its pure white beaches, Miami has become a sophisticated center of fashion, entertainment and commerce.  Nicknamed the Capitol of Latin America and the Magic City, this Art Deco masterpiece attracts tourists from around the globe. Name your girl Miami if you want a cosmopolitan beauty.

Myrtle – South Carolina’s most popular beach, Myrtle is the name of the shrub first sacrificed to Venus and is a symbol of love.

Rosemary – Located in the Florida Panhandle, Rosemary Beach is distinctive for the contrast of its dark mahogany beach houses against pure white sands. As an herb, rosemary is often worn by brides in a wreath to represent love, fidelity and abiding friendship.

Sandy - The color of a yellow Lab's coat.

Sarasota - Sarasota, Florida was a mecca for Socialites to winter over prior to World War I. John Ringling and his wife soon made Sarasota home, building a museum to house their personal collection of Old Dutch mater Paintings. Eventually Sarasota became Ringling Brothers Circus' winter headquarters, thus making Sarasota The Circus Town.  Name your female lab Srasota if you love the circus that is high society.

Sunny - The happy go lucky disposition of every Labrador retriever.

Tybee - An island off the coast of Savannah, Georgia, Tybee represents a life of gentle warm winds and absolute relaxation.

Names for Labrador Retriever Females Inspired by Deserts and Lavish Desert Cities

Deserts cover ten percent of the Earth's land mass.  While they may appear daunting and lifeless, the secret world of the desert holds more life forms than any other climatic region other than the tropical rain forest. The golden tones of these famous deserts and desert cities lend themselves to unique naming ideas for yellow female Labs.

Cairo – The capitol of Egypt and cradle of civilization.

Dubai – Located in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is a towering futuristic desert oasis. Name your Lab girl Dubia, if you want a forward-thinking modern girl.

Gobi -  Massive Chinese desert and the largest desert region in Asia.

Mojave - United States Desert that covers California, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona and parts of Utah.

Phoenix – The mythical phoenix is a glorious bird that bursts into flame and then rises from its own ashes renewed.  Name your Lab Phoenix if you want a resilient girl with more lives than a cat.

Reno -  A trend setter, Reno was a popular divorce city during the 1930's and at the forefront of the creation of the modern day hotel/casino destination city.

Sahara – The vast Sahara desert covers over nine million miles, amounting to ten percent of the African continent.

Sirocco – Desert wind from the Sarah that reaches near hurricane force winds.

Taos – Taos, New Mexico is located in the high desert with a well-known artist community and traditional pueblos.

Tucson – Tucson is Arizona’s second largest desert city after Phoenix.  In the nearby desert one can find rare minerals and fossils, encouraging the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show to grow to be the largest and most prestigious show of its kind in the world.

Vegas - For all that glitters, a replica of it exists in Las Vegas.  Remember, what happens in Vegas, stays in vegas. Name your Lab Vegas if you are seeking a discreet and fun loving companion.

Yellow Flower Inspired Names for Female Labrador Retrievers

Buttercup - Glossy yellow flowers in the shape of a cup, also the name of one of the tree Powerpuff Girls.

Daffodil – Bright, yellow daffodils herald the arrival of spring and symbolize new beginnings.  Long lived and resistant to heat and cold, daffodils thrive with little to no care. Name your girl lab Daffodil if you are seeking a gregarious girl with enduring loyalty.  You can call her Daffy for short.

Jonquil – Another flower of the daffodil family, the jonquil produces small fragrant flowers and is native to the Mediterranean. The gift of airy, bright jonquils is intended to bring peace and demonstrate sympathy for an overwhelmed friend.

Lily – Yellow lilies represent beauty, innocence and purity.  Name your female Lab Lily if you are seeking a canine companion with a faithful companion with and honest heart.

Poppy – Poppies symbolize peace, sleep and are frequently associated with remembrance of fallen soldiers. Name your girl Poppy if you are morning a lost loved one.

Saffron -  A shade of yellow and the most expensive spice, per ounce.  Saffron is said to have medicinal properties and was treasured by ancients throughout the Mediterranean. Name your girl Saffron and she will be worth her weight in gold. 

Tulip - The gift of a yellow tulip means cheerful thoughts and sunshine.

Tasty Names for Female Yellow Labrador Retrievers

Brie -  The national cheese of France, Brie is also the feminine form for Brian.  Brianne and Brian mean one who is exalted, virtuous and honorable.

Butterscotch – Made from brown sugar and butter, butterscotch sauce and candy is a luminous amber delight.  Name your girl Butterscotch and you can call her Butters for short.

Curry - A healthful spice and a tone of yellow.

Mango - A juicy yellow stone fruit as well as a couture fashion line.

Mazy – Maize (golden corn) was the staff of life for the early Native Americans as well as the Pilgrims, freshly arriving from England. Name your girl Mazy for a devoted defender and ally.

Nilla – Vanilla Wafers

Peaches -  Another juicy yellow stone fruit, peaches represent longevity, Name your girl Peaches to bestow a long healthy life.

Taffy -  Taffy as a girl's names is Welch in origin meaning "loved one."

Bonus Name - Buffy!

Recommended Further Reading:

Best Toys for Labrador Retrievers - These sturdy toys will hold their interest and last for years to come.  Some even have lifetime warranties!