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:
In what is probably the most obvious choice on the list, Alaska’s official state dog is the Alaskan Malamute! This breed, which is widely used in dog mushing (the official state sport), was named the state dog in 2010.
In the “Pelican State,” the Catahoula Leopard dog is king. This breed is believed to be the first breed developed in North America. Louisiana was ahead of the game on naming an official state dog, giving the Catahoula Leopard dog that distinction all the way back in 1979!
The first state to designate a dog as an official state pet 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!
The Boston Terrier, named after the Massachusetts capital, became the state dog in 1979. This breed, with its memorable smile, remains a very popular breed today!
5. New Hampshire
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
What breed of dog was originally bred for hunting boar and native to North Carolina? That would be the Plott Hound, the state dog of the Tar Heel state! The Plott Hound was made the official dog in 1989.
Best known for his starring role in the Marmaduke comic strip, the Pennsylvania official state dog is the Great Dane! Designated the state dog in 1965, these dogs can grow to about 30 inches tall!
8. South Carolina
In 1985, the Boykin Spaniel was named the official state dog of South Carolina. The Boykin Spaniel originated in South Carolina and was bred to hunt wild turkeys in the swamps.
Texas made the Blue Lacy its official state dog in 2005. Developed in the mid-19th century, this working dog is wholly Texan, recognized by the state Senate.
In 1966, the American Foxhound was adopted as the official state dog of Virginia. This scent hound was developed to hunt foxes during the United States’ infancy.
The final dog on the list is the American Water Spaniel, named the Wisconsin state dog in 1985. These dogs were bred as hunting companions, but also serve as great family dogs due to their calm temperament.
In 1991, Georgia attempted to make the beloved Golden Retriever the official state dog. However, opponents of the measure, who preferred the Bulldog, the mascot of the University of Georgia, led to the proposal being struck down and leaving Georgia without a state dog.
You can probably guess which dog almost made it as the state dog of Kansas. Hint: “There’s no place like home.” The Cairn Terrier of ‘Wizard of Oz’ fame was proposed as the state dog in 2006. However, no moves were made in the legislature to make the dog the official state representative, and the bill was tabled in 2012.
No surprises that the Siberian Husky was proposed as the state dog of Washington in 2004. However, the campaign fell through in the Washington State House of Representatives.
…and one special distinction:
Colorado probably has the most unique and “awwwww” inspiring choice on the list, naming all shelter pets as their “breed” of choice! According to a Yahoo! article, “The proposal was suggested by schoolchildren learning about the legislative process, and although they faced opposition from those favoring purebred animals, the state chose to support its rescue pets.” Now that’s some great democracy in action! High paws to those Colorado schoolchildren!