Does Your State Have an Official State Dog?

You probably already know about your state’s official flag, tree, and flower. Maybe you even have a state bird. But do you live in one of the few places that have identified an official state dog?

It seems strange that every state hasn’t jumped on this bandwagon – especially considering how many people love dogs. Only 13 states so far have decided on state dogs, with a fourteenth potentially pending based on a bill introduced in their legislature.

Do you live in a state that recognizes a state dog? Read on to find out.

1. Alaska — Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute stealthy

Alaskan Malamute | DronG/iStock/Getty Images

This one fits the name. The Alaskan Malamute became the officially recognized state dog in 2010 when a group of Alaskan kindergartens petitioned their state legislature. If that’s not the cutest reason ever, we don’t know what is.

The Alaskan Malamute is the breed you typically see hauling sleds thanks to their natural powerful strength and sturdy bodies.

Next: Georgia

2. Georgia — adoptable dogs

Happy pit bull

Happy pit bull | sanjagrujic/iStock/Getty Images

In things that will make you say, “Awww…” news, the state dog of Georgia isn’t a breed at all, but rather a classification. The state legislature passed a bill in 2016 that made any dog up for adoption their official state dog to help raise awareness for shelter pets.

Next: Louisiana

3. Louisiana — Catahoula Leopard dog

Young Louisiana Catahoula Leopard dog

Young Louisiana Catahoula Leopard dog | Eudyptula/iStock/Getty Images

Talk about a good-looking dog! This breed is also known as Catahoula Cur and is known for his unique coloring. It’s the official state dog of Louisiana (since way back in 1979) because the breed was thought to come from the Catahoula Lake region in the state.

Next: Maryland

4. Maryland — Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Chesapeake bay retriever

Chesapeake Bay Retriever standing in the woods. | ktatarka/ iStock/Getty Images Plus

Many state dogs have their roots in the state itself – they’re not just arbitrarily chosen. That’s the case for the Chesapeake Bay retriever, a canine that the state government chose to represent Maryland in 1964. This breed was named after Maryland’s popular Chesapeake Bay.

Next: Massachusetts

5. Massachusetts — Boston Terrier

Boston terrier

Boston terrier | nailiaschwarz/iStock/Getty Images

It may be a large state, but most people picture Boston when they think about Massachusetts. Next, they might naturally start thinking about the adorable Boston Terrier. This dog breed is the school mascot of Boston University since 1922 and the official state dog since 1979.

Next: New Hampshire

6. New Hampshire — Chinook

Chinooks watch their owners during a media event ahead of the 138th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

Chinook | John Moore/iStock/Getty Images

A group of seventh graders is responsible for choosing and petitioning for New Hampshire’s official state dog. The Chinook received that honor in 2009. It’s a rare breed of sled dog that was bred in New Hampshire in the early 20th century. This breed makes a sweet and loving family dog.

Next: New York

7. New York — working dogs

Military dog

Close up of a military dog | Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images

There are plenty of hard-working people in New York, which makes their choice for state dog quite understandable. Rather than picking out one specific breed to represent the state, New York’s dog is any breed that does hard work. Guide dogs, service dogs, therapy dogs, seeing eye dogs, search and rescue dogs…they’re all honored for their contributions to society.

Next: North Carolina

8. North Carolina – Plott Hound

Plott hound

Plott hound | spotsygirl/iStock/Getty Images

Like so many others on the list, the Plott Hound became North Carolina’s official state dog because he has deep roots in the state. This breed first got recognized as the state dog in 1989. Loyal, alert, and intelligent, this hunting dog is mellow yet intelligent with a strong work ethic.

Next: Pennsylvania

9. Pennsylvania – Great Dane

Great Dane

Great Dane | Bigandt_Photography/iStock/Getty Images

Does Pennsylvania have something to prove? They certainly chose one of the largest breeds to represent their state. The Great Dane is PA’s state dog and has been since 1965. Known as the “Apollo of Dogs,” an adult male Great Dane can weigh anywhere from 140 to 175 pounds.

Next: South Carolina

10. South Carolina – Boykin Spaniel

Boykin spaniel

Boykin Spaniel | redsidephoto/iStock/Getty Images

It was 1985 when the people of South Carolina chose their official state dog  — the Boykin Spaniel. But according to Dogster, this breed typically goes by a more informal name: “swamp poodle.” That’s because they’re bred to search and dive in swamps. This breed is quickly gaining popularity thanks to its trainable nature.

Next: Texas

11. Texas – Blue Lacy

Blue Lacy

Blue Lacy | Brooke Shaw/Wikimedia Commons

This breed dates back to the 1800s but didn’t become the official state dog in Texas until 2005. The Blue Lacy is a ranch dog at heart with a strong work ethic and charming personality. They chose the Blue Lacy to represent the state because he works hard, stays friendly, and has a laid-back attitude about life… just like so many Texans.

Next: Virginia

12. Virginia – American Foxhound

American Foxhound in snow

American Foxhound | pro16productions/iStock/Getty Images

One of the first settled regions also boasts one of the first breeds brought to America. The state dog of Virginia, the American Foxhound, came here from England in 1650. This scent hound is cousins with the British foxhound and makes an excellent hunting partner or running buddy.

Next: Wisconsin

13. Wisconsin – American Water Spaniel

side view of American water spaniel

American water spaniel | Awsguy1/Wikimedia Commons

The state of Wisconsin named this spry spaniel as their official state dog in 1985. He’s native to the upper Midwest and the AKC calls him “an upbeat, outdoorsy athlete who loves to hunt and swim.” They’re happy and charming, though are sometimes shy with strangers.

Next: Ohio

14. Ohio – Labrador retriever (maybe)

Yellow, black, and chocolate Labradors

Yellow, black, and chocolate Labradors | lizcen/iStock/Getty Images

A bill was introduced in 2018 to make the Labrador retriever the official state dog of Ohio. This lovable breed also happens to be one of the most popular in America, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Who wouldn’t want the friendly face of a Labrador representing their state?

Next: Who’s up next?

15. Could your state be next?

Dog breed Welsh Corgi Pembroke

Corgi | Anna-av/iStock/Getty Images

Even if you don’t have a state dog now, there might be one coming soon. For example, Republican Senator Anthony Bucco sponsored a bill that would make the seeing eye dog the official state dog of New Jersey. That’s because they headquarters of Seeing Eye is based in his legislative district.

Some people in Georgia tried to make the golden retriever their state dog in 1991, but they met opposition from people who thought the bulldog should be the choice. Neither dog breed triumphed.

But even with potential arguments, don’t be surprised if more states choose official state dogs soon.