Does Your State Have An Official Dog?

Written by: Griffin Shaffer

June 30, 2014

Does my state have an official dog?

You probably know your state’s official bird, flower, flag, and maybe even rock. But do you know if your state has an official state dog?  There are 11 states with an official state dog (plus one that has a special distinction).  Are you lucky enough to live in one of them?  Other states have come close to naming an official dog, but fell just short. Let’s take a look at the awesome state pups and the states that love them!

Official State Dogs:

1. Alaska: Alaskan Malamute

In what is probably the most obvious choice on the list, Alaska’s official state dog is the Alaskan Malamute!  Named the official state dog in 2010, this breed is widely used in dog mushing (the official state sport).

2. Louisiana: Catahoula Leopard Dog

In the “Pelican State,” the Catahoula Leopard dog is king. These pups are also one of the first breeds developed in North America. The Catahoula became Louisiana’s official canine in 1979.

3. Maryland: Chesapeake Bay Retriever

The first state to designate an official state dog was Maryland in 1964.  Maryland chose the Chesapeake Bay Retriever because the dog was developed in the Chesapeake Bay during the 19th century – and because of the dog’s love for the water!

4. Massachusetts: Boston Terrier

What is the state dog of Massachusetts you ask? Well The Boston Terrier of course. Named after the Massachusetts capital, this fun loving breed became the Massachusetts state dog in 1979. This breed, with its memorable smile, remains a very popular pup!

5. New Hampshire: Chinook

New Hampshire chose the Chinook, a rare breed of sled dog, as its official state dog in 2009.  According to the AKC, this playful and easily trainable dog is great with children and loves exercise!

6. North Carolina: Plott Hound

Originally bred for hunting boar, these pups are native North Carolinans!  Chosen to represent the Tar Heel state in 1989, these pups are known for their keen sense of smell and tracking skills.

7. Pennsylvania: Great Dane

Best known for starring in the Marmaduke comic strip, Pennsylvania also chose the Great Dane to star as their representative.  Designated the state dog in 1965, these dogs can grow to about 30 inches tall!

8. South Carolina: Boykin Spaniel

The Boykin Spaniel was named the official state dog of South Carolina in 1985. Originating in South Carolina, they were bred to hunt wild turkeys in swamps.

9. Texas: Blue Lacy

Texas made the Blue Lacy its official state dog in 2005. Developed in the mid-19th century, this working dog is wholly Texan and has been recognized by the state Senate.

10. Virginia: American Foxhound

In 1966, the American Foxhound was made the official state dog of Virginia. This scent hound was developed to hunt foxes in early America.

11. Wisconsin: American Water Spaniel

The American Water Spaniel represents the Cheese state. Made their official state dog in 1985, they were bred for hunting purposes. They also make great family dogs due to their calm temperament.

12. Colorado, California, Illinois, Tennessee & Georgia: Shelter Dogs

Medium dog with plush toy

These states have the most unique and “awwwww” inspiring choice on the list. They all named shelter/rescue pets as their “dog breed” of choice!

13. New York: Working Dogs

The Empire State designated working dogs to represent them statewide in 2015. Due to their tireless work in the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks, New York chose to honor all canines, large and small, who go the extra mile to help humanity.

Close Calls:

14. Georgia: Golden Retriever

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In 1991, Georgia tried officially designated the Golden Retriever as its official state dog. However, opponents of the measure (who preferred the Bulldog) struck down the proposal.

15. Kansas: Cairn Terrier

The Cairn Terrier of ‘Wizard of Oz’ fame was proposed as Kansas’s state dog in 2006. However, no moves were made in the legislature to make it official, and the bill was tabled in 2012.

16. Washington: Siberian Husky

husky barking with pink background

In 2004, the Siberian Husky was proposed as the state dog of Washington. However, the campaign fell through before it could be approved in the State House of Representatives.

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Written by: Griffin Shaffer

June 30, 2014

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