The Paw Print Genetics Blog

State Dogs: What Dog Best Represents Your State?

State Dogs: What Dog Best Represents Your State?

Every state has a flower, a nickname and another officially decreed symbols. However, only 11 states have an official state dog. This seems like a gross injustice to me, considering some of the symbols recognized by some states include official state amphibians, insects, fungus, poems and even toys.

In 1964, the Chesapeake Bay retriever was the first dog to be decreed an official state canine – that was in Maryland, the state from which it originated. Typically, the dogs that originated in a state or played a role in its culture tend to have the official-state status bestowed upon them.

Several states have shot down proposed state dog breeds; politics knows no bounds, apparently. In 1991, Georgia politicians came to an impasse when two opposing campaigns pitted the golden retriever against the bulldog for state canine. Similar attempts to designate dogs as state symbols failed in Washington state (Siberian husky) and Kansas (Cairn terrier; a hat-tip to Toto from The Wizard of Oz).

If your state were to name an official breed of dog as the canine symbol, which breed would be the best representation?

Official State Dogs

AlaskaAlaskan malamute
LouisianaCatahoula leopard dog
MarylandChesapeake Bay retriever
MassachusettsBoston terrier
New Hampshire: Chinook
North CarolinaPlott hound
PennsylvaniaGreat Dane
South CarolinaBoykin spaniel
Texas: Blue Lacy
VirginiaAmerican foxhound
WisconsinAmerican water spaniel


*Photo courtesy of Donna Callejon via Flickr Creative Commons license*