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15 Colleges With Dog Mascots in 2024

Written by: Chris Dinesen Rogers

Last Updated on June 11, 2024 by Dogster Team

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15 Colleges With Dog Mascots in 2024

Mascots are synonymous with colleges. They play a central role in cheering on the institutions they represent. Schools without one may seem impersonal to students and fans, while a mascot allows everyone to connect with the team, making them a vital part of teamsmanship and fan appreciation.

While many industries use mascots, sports organizations were the first to capitalize on them. Many colleges have generations of mascots with numbered suffixes in homage to the first animal to represent a school. Dogs are a favorite subject because, historically, they provide a friendly face after battle. Below, our list includes famous dog mascots at colleges today.

Why Use Dogs as Mascots?

We’ve seen colleges with live animals or costumed characters as mascots. The former often appear at the start of a game and garner much attention, while the latter will interact with fans and rouse them to root for the team. Some institutions have one or both of these types. You’ll also see dogs of specific breeds instead of a generic canine. Bulldogs and Huskies are fan favorites.

The canine breeds often invoke desirable traits for star athletes. You’ll find mascots that depict speed, toughness, and endurance, all characteristics that define excellence on the field. Others tap into local traditions that are representative of the college’s personality. So, it just makes sense that certain dog breeds would be used to encourage students to cheer on their college athletic teams and support school spirit.

The 15 Colleges With Dog Mascots

1. Fresno State University Bulldogs

Location: Fresno, California
Enrollment: 24,000
Type of School: Public research university
Mascot: Victor E. Bulldog

Fresno State University, or California State University, Fresno, welcomed Victor E. Bulldog and the team name in 1921 when Student Body President Warren Moody started bringing his pup to the college. The rest, as they say, is history. A university employee is the caregiver for the current mascot. He often attends campus events and gatherings, spreading his unique bulldog spirit everywhere he goes.


2. University of Connecticut (UConn) Huskies

Location: Storrs, Connecticut
Enrollment: 32.000
Type of School: Public land-grant research university
Mascot: Jonathan the Husky

The University of Connecticut celebrates Jonathan the Husky as their mascot. The student body chose the first dog and the team name in 1934. Rumor had it that the dog was related to one of the animals on American explorer Robert Peary’s sled team. The college also has a costumed character whose identity is a closely guarded secret.


3. University of Georgia Bulldogs

Location: Athens, Georgia
Enrollment: 40,000
Type of School: Public flagship land-grant research university
Mascot: UGA XI

The legacy of the University of Georgia mascot goes back to 1956, although the pup is probably as well-known as the school. After all, how many dogs have their own room and car? UGA has even graced the cover of Sports Illustrated as their pick for college football’s top mascot.


4. Northern Illinois University Huskies

Location: DeKalb, Illinois
Enrollment: 15,000
Type of School: Public research university
Mascot: Mission III

Northern Illinois University also embraces the charm of the Siberian Husky with its mascot, Mission III. This pup has all the poise and cuteness for the part. The NIU mascot trainer spends a year preparing the mascot for their special duties and getting used to the noise and excitement. Husky Nation has a keeper with this adorable pooch.


5. Southern Illinois University Salukis

Location: Carbondale, Illinois
Enrollment: 11,000
Type of School: System of public universities
Mascot: Brown Dawg & Gray Dawg

The mascot of Southern Illinois University stands out because of the dog’s breed. Salukis are ancient canines that go back thousands of years to the time of the Egyptian pharaohs. These pups are all about speed, which the college embraces for its sports teams. Their mascot is a costumed character with a fierce look that says they mean business.


6. Louisiana Tech University Bulldogs

Location: Ruston, Louisiana
Enrollment: 11,000
Type of School: Public research university
Mascot: Tech XXII (Champ)

The mascot of Louisiana Tech University is celebrating its 50th year in this honorable role. The costumed actor does an excellent job interacting with people and getting fans on their feet for the Bulldogs. Champ’s live counterpart is Tech XXII. He recently took over the role from his father, Tech XXI. He has some large shoes to fill but will undoubtedly succeed.


7. St. Cloud State University Huskies

Location: St. Cloud, Minnesota
Enrollment: 10,000
Type of School: Public university
Mascot: Blizzard T. Husky

The mascot of St. Cloud State University doesn’t flinch with the state’s frigid weather. That’s a given with a name like Blizzard T. Husky. Snow or cold doesn’t stop the action or cheering. The mascot is a costumed character, adorned with the team’s granite black and spirit red. That’s saying nothing about the pup’s piercing blue eyes that intimidate other teams!


8. Mississippi State University Bulldogs

Location: Starkville, Mississippi
Enrollment: 22,000
Type of School: Public land-grant research university
Mascot: Dak (Bully XXII)

The mascot of Mississippi State University has been Bully the Bulldog. However, the latest pup to step up in this role goes by Dak in honor of one of the school’s most famous alums, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. MSU adopted the English Bulldog as their mascot in 1935. It’s been an exciting and fun legacy ever since.


9. Eastern New Mexico University Greyhounds

Location: Portales, New Mexico
Enrollment: 5,100
Type of School: Public university
Mascot: Ralph the Greyhound

Eastern New Mexico University went for speed and athleticism when they chose the Greyhound as their mascot. Ralph has served the college, the student body, and alumni well in this role. The school makes it an integral part of its brand with the Hound Hand gesture, Dawg Days, and Green Fridays to show its team spirit.


10. North Carolina State University Wolfpack

Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
Enrollment: 37,000
Type of School: Public land-grant research university
Mascot: Mr. & Mrs. Wuf

The first mascot of North Carolina State University wasn’t a dog but the son of President Wallace Carl Riddick. The school later adopted two English Bulldogs to represent the school in the 1910s. They had several other animals stand in, including a live wolf. Mr. & Mrs. Wuf came on the scene in the 1970s. The pair were officially married courtside in 1981.


11. Wofford College Athletics Terriers

Location: Spartanburg, South Carolina
Enrollment: 1,500
Type of School: Private liberal arts college
Mascot: Boss and Blitz

Wofford College knows a keeper when they see it. They found it with Boss the Terrier as their beloved mascot. Boss cheers on the men, while Blitz makes sure women get their due. The costumed characters weren’t the first mascots. That honor went to a Pit Bull Terrier that represented the 1909 baseball team. The story goes that it was a neighborhood pup, a stark contrast to the purebred dogs of some teams.


12. University of Tennessee Volunteers

Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Enrollment: 36,000
Type of School: Public land-grant research university
Mascot: Smokey XI

The mascot of the University of Tennessee breaks the mold, being a Bluetick Coonhound. Even more bizarre are the renditions of Smokey’s costume through the years. The real Smokey joined the Volunteers in 1953. The spelling of the dog’s name is intentional to distinguish the pup from another Tennessee icon, the Great Smoky Mountains.


13. Texas A&M University Aggies

Location: College Station, Texas
Enrollment: 79,000
Type of School: Public land-grant research senior military college
Mascot: Reveille X

Texas A&M University takes its mascot seriously with the dog’s handling managed by the Mascot Company E-2 of the Corps of Cadets. Reveille X, or more correctly, the First Lady of Aggieland, is royalty on campus. She brings grace and dignity to the games. She joined the college in 1931 and became the highest-ranking cadet.


14. Houston Christian University Huskies

Location: Houston, Texas
Enrollment: 4,200
Type of School: Private university
Mascot: Kiza III (Mingo)

The mascot of Houston Christian University is a campus icon, with Mingo making appearances to spread cheer and Husky Way to students and visitors. Kiza III is the school’s live counterpart. She has it good at HCU with her own sled team to see to her every need. “Kiza” or “Wakiza” is the Ojibwemowin word for “determined warrior,” which describes the school’s fighting spirit.


15. University of Washington Huskies

Location: Seattle, Washington
Enrollment: 49,000
Type of School: Public research university
Mascot: Dubs the Alaskan Malamute and Harry the Husky

Like many colleges, the University of Washington has a live mascot and a costumed character. Dubs, the Alaskan Malamute, is the 14th canine representative of the school. Harry the Husky came on board in 1995 to help Dubs with his important duties at Husky Nation. Both are in attendance at games, rousing the fans and teams.

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Conclusion

Dog mascots are an excellent choice for colleges because they can bring people together to rally behind a team. They add a personal element that many people connect with and enjoy. While costumed characters may seem cartoonish, many fans appreciate the fun and entertainment they bring to watching sports. Many take on a life of their own with their antics that endear them to enthusiasts.

Dog mascots are often as amusing to watch as the action on the field. Their importance is evident, with colleges large and small having a representative of their teams.


Featured Image Credit: Natallia Yaumenenka, Shutterstock

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