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Official State Dogs of the US: 2024 List (With Pictures)

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on May 29, 2024 by Dogster Team

group of dogs in the park

Official State Dogs of the US: 2024 List (With Pictures)

America’s love of dogs knows no bounds, and it shows in the official state dogs designated by each state. There are 17 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!

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States With Official Dog Breeds

  • Alaska: Alaskan Malamute
  • Delaware: Golden Retriever
  • Louisiana: Catahoula Leopard Dog
  • Maryland: Chesapeake Bay Retriever
  • Massachusetts: Boston Terrier
  • New Hampshire: Chinook
  • New York: Working Dogs
  • North Carolina: Plott Hound
  • Pennsylvania: Great Dane
  • South Carolina: Boykin Spaniel
  • Tennessee: Bluetick Coonhound
  • Texas: Blue Lacy
  • Virginia: American Foxhound
  • Washington, D.C.: Mixed breed dogs
  • West Virginia: Black-and-Tan Coonhound
  • Wisconsin: American Water Spaniel
  • Wyoming: Plott Hound

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The 17 State Dogs in the US

1. Alaska: Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute in the snow
Image Credit: Liliya Kulianionak, Shutterstock

The Alaskan Malamute is the official state dog of Alaska and 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 are great companions for active individuals.

2. Delaware: Golden Retriever

golden retriever portrait on bench in the snow.
Image Credit: Debra Anderson, Shutterstock

The Golden Retriever became Delaware’s official state dog in 2017. They’re popular among families throughout the state and respected for their search-and-rescue skills. The loving and loyal Golden Retriever is sure to brighten any home!

3. Louisiana: Catahoula Leopard Dog

Catahoula Leopard Dog
Image Credit: B Young, Shutterstock

The Catahoula Leopard Dog became the official state dog of Louisiana in 1979. They were chosen because of their long history in the state and importance to local cultures. Catahoula Leopard Dogs are revered for their intelligence and tenacity, and they make loyal companions for active owners.

4. Maryland: Chesapeake Bay Retriever

male Chesapeake Bay Retriever outdoor
Image Credit: MH STOCK, Shutterstock

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever has been Maryland’s official state dog since 1964. They were recognized for their 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

Boston Terrier in grass
Image Credit: Piqsels

In 1979, the Boston Terrier became the official state dog of Massachusetts. They were developed in Boston in the 19th century but have English ancestors. Boston Terriers are available in several coat colors and make excellent pets for families!

6. New Hampshire: Chinook

Chinook dog in snow
Image Credit: Igor Plotnikov, Shutterstock

The Chinook is the official state dog of New Hampshire and was recognized in 2009. They are known for their impressive intelligence, loyalty, 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

Service Dogs
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

In 2017, New York declared all working dogs (service animals) official state dogs. 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

Plott Hound
Image Credit: WatersPix, Shutterstock

The Plott Hound became the official state dog of North Carolina in 1989. They have a long history in the Tar Heel State, where they were 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

Great Dane Dog Walking outdoor
Image Credit: Nikolas Otto, Shutterstock

The Great Dane is the official state dog of Pennsylvania and was recognized in 1965. The Great Dane is well-known for their size and strength, and their gentle and loving nature makes them 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

Boykin spaniel playing with a stick
Image Credit: Zadranka, Shutterstock

In 1985, the Boykin Spaniel became the official state dog of South Carolina. They’re revered for their role in local culture, including hunting wild turkeys and ducks. The Boykin has a unique personality and is known for being intelligent, playful, and affectionate.

11. Tennessee: Bluetick Coonhound

bluetick coonhound
Image Credit: Taylor Walter, Shutterstock

The Bluetick Coonhound became Tennessee’s official state dog in 2018. They have a long history in the Volunteer State and were initially used for hunting raccoons and opossums. Their intelligence and loyalty make them great companions for those looking for an energetic pet.

12. Texas: Blue Lacy

Blue Lacey running in grass outside happy
Image Credit: Jessica Lobsinger, Shutterstock

The Blue Lacy is an exceptional working dog developed in the mid-19th century to herd hogs and cattle. Although the breed came close to extinction, a successful breeding program initiated in 1975 increased the population significantly. In 2005, the Blue Lacey became the state dog of Texas. Although they’re skilled farm dogs, they make remarkable pets and are intelligent, energetic, and loyal.

13. Virginia: American Foxhound

american foxhound
Image Credit: Olga Aniven, Shutterstock

The American Foxhound was recognized as the official state dog of Virginia in 1966. They are beloved in the Old Dominion State and were once used 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!

14. Washington, D.C.: Mixed Breed Dogs

a siberian husky and german shepherd mixed breed dog
Image Credit: smerlot, Shutterstock

In 2016, Washington, D.C. declared mixed-breed dogs its official state dogs. This declaration recognized the joy and companionship many people find in adopting mixed-breed pups from shelters or rescue organizations. Mixed-breed pups are sure to bring fun and love into any home!

15. West Virginia: Black-and-Tan Coonhound

Black and Tan Coonhound playing fetch with a stick
Image Credit: WilleeCole Photography, Shutterstock

The Black-and-Tan Coonhound became West Virginia’s official state dog in 1973. They have a long history of hunting game in the Mountain State, and their intelligence, loyalty, and strong sense of smell make them great companions for energetic owners.

16. Wisconsin: American Water Spaniel

Credit: Steve Bruckman, Shutterstock

The American Water Spaniel is the state dog of Wisconsin and was officially recognized in 2004. They’re well-known in the Badger State, where they were bred to hunt waterfowl. The intelligent and loyal American Water Spaniel makes an ideal companion for anyone looking for a loyal and energetic pet.

17. Wyoming: Plott Hound

Plott Hound
Image Credit: Purino, Shutterstock

The Plott Hound became the official state dog of Wyoming in 2017. Their hunting skills made them prized companions in the Cowboy State. With their intelligence, loyalty, and athleticism, the Plott Hound is sure to be an ideal companion for any active individual looking for a devoted pup!

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Other Notable Dog Breeds in American History

Throughout US history, many dogs have made their mark.

  • During the Civil War, the Greyhound was used as a messenger and scout dog.
  • In World War II, the Siberian Husky was instrumental in helping deliver supplies to soldiers in Alaska and Greenland.
  • The German Shepherd served during both wars, performing tasks such as guiding troops through combat zones and searching for bombs.
  • The Boxer was used as a guard and search-and-rescue breed in the military.

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, including the Mastiff, Greyhound, and Spaniel. They 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, several canines the Pilgrims did not bring over were introduced to America later, including popular breeds such as Beagles, Labrador Retrievers, and French Bulldogs. These beloved pups have become an integral part of American life, and it’s no surprise that so many of us have welcomed them into our homes!

Polish Greyhound
Image Credit: Ewelina Lesik. Shutterstock

What Are the Top 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds in the US?

The top 10 most popular dog breeds in the US are

  • French Bulldogs
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Golden Retrievers
  • German Shepherds
  • Poodles
  • Dachshunds
  • Bulldogs
  • Beagles
  • Rottweilers
  • German Shorthaired Pointers

These breeds reflect American pet owners’ diverse interests and lifestyles; from work-oriented Shepherds to lap-loving Frenchies, these pups cover a wide range of personalities.

woman walking labrador retriever in the park
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

Famous Presidential Dogs

In addition to their important roles in history, dogs have also been loyal companions to American presidents throughout the years.

  • Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson owned Hounds.
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower had a Scottish Terrier.
  • John F. Kennedy had a Welsh Terrier, a Poodle, and two Irish Wolfhounds, while Lyndon B. Johnson had five Beagles.
  • Richard Nixon owned a Cocker Spaniel named Checkers.
  • George H. W. Bush was famous for his Springer Spaniels – Millie and Ranger!
  • Barack Obama had a Portuguese Water Dog named Bo.
  • Joe Biden is the proud owner of two German Shepherds, Champ and Major.

Dogs That Are American Heroes

Dogs have also been used for heroic purposes in the United States. Some of the most famous examples are:

  • Sergeant Stubby, a Bull Terrier who served with the American military during World War I. He was credited with saving many lives and was awarded a Purple Heart!
  • In 2011, an American Labrador Retriever named Cairo joined Navy SEAL Team Six for the mission that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden.
  • More recently, dogs have been used to detect explosives, drugs, and hidden weapons, and they are also used to assist law enforcement in search and rescue missions.

Whether through their service or simply as devoted friends, dogs continue to be an important part of American life. So, it’s no wonder many states have chosen to recognize them by designating them official state dogs!

Police dog trainer and trainee
Image Credit: dimitrivetsikas1969, Pixabay

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Final Thoughts

The United States has a rich history and diverse cultures, and 16 states plus Washington, D.C. have official state dogs. From the Plott Hound in North Carolina to the American Foxhound in Virginia, each breed has unique characteristics that make them ideal companions. With these 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!

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Featured Image Credit: Aneta Jungerova, Shutterstock

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