When it comes to athletics, few sports or events are as accessible to dogs as track and field. They may not be able to handle a javelin or a discus or a hammer, but they can certainly run fast, hurdle, and leap great distances, and most of the time, it’s just for fun. History has seen some incredible performances over the years both in the Olympic Games and out, and because of it, there’s a healthy roster of notable names that have graced the record books over the years. So if you’re a fan of a specific event, the Olympics, track and field, or just the beautiful simplicity of being athletic, then few things will suit your dog better than a track and field inspired name.
Track and Field Inspired Dog Names in Pop Culture
In the animal kingdom, speed can mean everything. It can be the difference between having a meal or suffering starvation, life or death. Because of it, both predators and prey throughout history have evolved to refine their physical abilities, almost to an extreme, much like athletes who have persisted over generations.
For example, Cheetahs are widely known to be the world’s fastest land animals (yes, dog-lovers, cats are technically faster, it’s sad but true). But their prey, such as antelopes, springboks and wildebeest, can run up to 62, 61, and 50 miles per hour respectively — a hare, another prey, can also reach speeds of up to 45 miles per hour, but also has the ability to make hare-pin (hairpin) turns, pun intended.
But what may be unknown to some is that dogs have also been known to hit some pretty incredible speeds themselves. While humans beings on average are able to reach speeds of almost 15 miles per hour sprinting, dogs are able to average around 19, but many breeds go far beyond that. In fact, there are at least 13 different recognized breeds that are able to top out at 30 miles per hour or more, with the famed Greyhound and lesser-known Saluki maxing their running abilities at an incredible 43 miles per hour.
Of course, there’s a reason that Greyhounds are the most popular and common racing dogs outside of racing Dachshunds, the controversial sport that originated in Austria/Germany and popularized in the United States — Greyhounds are literally built for speed. Between their high metabolism, ability to gallop, foot design, flexibility and muscle, they are nearly twice as equipped to handle running as humans in terms of both endurance and velocity.
But if there is one dog that can put them all to shame, it is certainly Fanta Bale, a now-retired racing Greyhound who set the world on fire during her Australian tenure. While her career only lasted a few years, which is still above average for the sport, she tallied an amazing 42 wins in her 63 starts, officially totaling a 67% win percentage by the time she retired in 2018. But not only was she a whiz at winning, ending her career as the most accomplished Australian Greyhound racer of all time, she also accumulated a record total of $1,365,175 in prize money and is still the only Greyhound to win a group one race over the stayers, middle, and sprint trips.
While her career itself is undeniably illustrious, she quietly completed a feat never before put into the record books: during a race she was clocked at a whopping 50.5 miles per hour, making her the fastest dog ever officially recorded.
Her feats were so incredible, The Meadows, a famed Australian racetrack, has officially renamed the Group 1 Superstayers to the Group 1 Fanta Bale Superstayers starting in 2019.
Track and Field Inspired Dog Name Considerations
When trying to find an appropriate track and field inspired name for your dog, you’ll need to consider a variety of things. First, you should take a look at their most poignant traits from their looks to their breed origin to their personality. Then think about whether you think they’d be best suited with the name of a great athlete that excelled at similar activities or just a generic term that appropriately captures something about them.
For instance, if your Finnish Spitz or Lapphund is a particularly good runner, then Paavo, Nurmi, Lasse, Viren, and Ville would all be great selections after the legendary Finnish Olympians. If your dog has a penchant for jumping over things (furniture, fences or even actual hurdles) then names like Hemery, Edwin, Moses or Lolo would all be great picks since they’re all famed hurdlers. If you want something more generic, there are plenty of options as well, such as naming them after a particular event such as discus (maybe for a dog that likes catching frisbees, perhaps?) or after something with similar movement, such as naming your spear-like leaper Javelin.
There are many more ways you can go with your naming process as well. Feel free to use our list for inspiration or thumb through some websites with a few historic track and field athletes to find some great stories that might provide just the right anecdote to help you cement the right name.