America’s love of dogs knows no bounds, and it shows in the official state dogs designated by each state. There are 16 states with official state dogs, each with its own breed or mix of breeds that represent the region or are beloved by its people. From the Alaskan Malamute in Alaska to the Chesapeake Bay Retriever in Maryland, these furry friends bring a sense of pride and identity wherever they go!
States With Official Dog Breeds
The 16 State Dogs in the US
1. Alaska: Alaskan Malamute
The Alaskan Malamute is the official state dog of Alaska, and it was recognized in 2010. This breed has a long history in the state, living with native peoples for centuries. Malamutes are large and strong dogs that were used as sled dogs and even today, they make great companions for active individuals.
2. Delaware: Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever is Delaware’s official state dog. It was designated as such in 2017 to recognize its popularity among families throughout the state, as well as its contributions to search-and-rescue efforts throughout the country. The loving and loyal Golden Retriever is sure to brighten any home!
3. Louisiana: Catahoula Leopard Dog
The Catahoula Leopard Dog is the official state dog of Louisiana. It was designated as such in 1979 to recognize its long history in the state and its importance to local cultures. This breed is known for its intelligence and tenacity, making it an ideal companion for those looking for activity in their canine companion.
4. Maryland: Chesapeake Bay Retriever
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is Maryland’s official state dog. It was designated as such in 1964 to recognize the breed’s invaluable contributions to waterfowling throughout the region. These loyal dogs are intelligent and friendly, making them great family pets with a unique sporting heritage!
5. Massachusetts: Boston Terrier
The Boston Terrier is the official state dog of Massachusetts. It was designated as such in 1979 to recognize its popularity throughout the state and its connection to local culture. This breed comes in a wide variety of colors, making it easy for anyone to find the perfect pup for their family!
6. New Hampshire: Chinook
The Chinook is the official state dog of New Hampshire, and it was recognized in 2009. This breed is known for its intelligence and loyalty, as well as its athleticism and working ability. The Chinook is sure to be an ideal companion for any active individual looking for a devoted friend!
7. New York: Working Dogs
In 2017, New York declared all working dogs (service animals) as its official state dog. This declaration was in recognition of the critical role that working dogs play in our society, from aiding those with disabilities to helping law enforcement officers and firefighters do their jobs.
8. North Carolina: Plott Hound
The Plott Hound is the official state dog of North Carolina, and it was designated as such in 1989. This breed has a long history in the Tar Heel State, where it was bred by German immigrants to hunt wild boar. The loyal Plott Hound makes an ideal companion for anyone looking for an intelligent and active canine friend!
9. Pennsylvania: Great Dane
The Great Dane is the official state dog of Pennsylvania, and it was recognized as such in 1965. This breed is known for its size and strength, and its gentle and loving nature makes it an ideal companion for those looking for a loyal friend. The Great Dane is sure to bring joy to any home!
10. South Carolina: Boykin Spaniel
The Boykin Spaniel is the official state dog of South Carolina. It was designated as such in 1985 to recognize its role in local culture, including hunting wild turkey and ducks. This breed has a unique personality and is known for being intelligent, playful, and affectionate.
11. Tennessee: Bluetick Coonhound
The Bluetick Coonhound is Tennessee’s official state dog, recognized as such in 2018. This breed has a long history in the Volunteer State, where it was used for hunting raccoons and opossums. Their intelligence and loyalty make them great companions for those looking for an active canine friend!
12. Virginia: American Foxhound
The American Foxhound is the official state dog of Virginia, and it was designated as such in 1966. This breed has a long history in the Old Dominion State, where it was bred to hunt foxes. The energetic and loyal American Foxhound makes a great companion for anyone looking for an active pup with a unique sporting heritage!
13. Washington D.C.: Mixed Breed Dogs
In 2016, Washington D.C. declared mixed-breed dogs as its official state dog. This declaration was in recognition of the fact that many people find joy and companionship from adopting mixed-breed pups from shelters or rescue organizations across the country. Mixed-breed pups are sure to bring fun and love into any home!
14. West Virginia: Black-and-Tan Coonhound
The Black-and-Tan Coonhound is West Virginia’s official state dog, recognized as such in 1973. This breed has a long history of hunting game in the Mountain State, and its intelligence, loyalty, and a strong sense of smell make it a great companion for those looking for an active canine friend!
15. Wisconsin: American Water Spaniel
The American Water Spaniel is the official state dog of Wisconsin, and it was designated as such in 2004. This breed has a long history in the Badger State, where it was bred to hunt waterfowl. The intelligent and loyal American Water Spaniel makes an ideal companion for anyone looking for a devoted canine friend!
16. Wyoming: Plott Hound
The Plott Hound is the official state dog of Wyoming, having been recognized as such in 2017. This breed has a strong connection to local culture and a long history of hunting games in the Cowboy State. With its intelligence, loyalty, and athleticism, the Plott Hound is sure to be an ideal companion for any active individual looking for a devoted pup!
Other Notable Dog Breeds in American History
Throughout US history, many breeds of dogs have made their mark.
After World War II, many of these breeds became more popular family pets; today, they are among the most beloved companions in America.
What Dogs Did Americans Bring Over on the Mayflower
The Pilgrims who arrived on the Mayflower in 1620 brought several breeds of dogs with them. Some of these breeds included the Mastiff, Greyhound, and Spaniel. These dogs were used for protection against wild animals, hunting, and herding livestock.
Today, the descendants of these early breeds are found all over the United States and are a testament to the hardy will of the earliest Americans.
In addition, many breeds that were not brought over by the Pilgrims were introduced to America later on, including popular breeds such as Beagles, Labrador Retrievers, and French Bulldogs. These beloved companions have become an integral part of American life, and it’s no surprise that so many of us have welcomed them into our homes!
What Are the Top 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds in the US?
The top 10 most popular dog breeds in the US are
These breeds reflect the diverse interests and lifestyles of American pet owners; from work-oriented Shepherds to lap-loving Frenchies, these pups cover a wide range of personalities and needs.
Famous Presidential Dogs
In addition to their important roles in history, dogs have also been loyal companions to American presidents throughout the years.
Dogs That Are American Heroes
Dogs have also been used for heroic purposes in the United States. One of the most famous examples is
Whether through their service or simply as devoted friends, dogs continue to be an important part of American life. So, it’s no wonder that many states have chosen to recognize them with the honor of being designated official state dogs!
The United States is a country with a rich history and diverse cultures, and 16 states have their own official state dog. From the Plott Hound in North Carolina to the American Foxhound in Virginia, each breed has its own unique characteristics that make it an ideal companion for individuals looking for loyal canine friends. With these 16 state dogs representing such varied breeds, there’s sure to be something for everyone! Read up on your state’s official dog and see if you can find the perfect pup for you!
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Featured Image Credit: Aneta Jungerova, Shutterstock