1) Maryland – Chesapeake Bay Retriever - 1964
Chesapeake Bay Retrievers trace their history to two pups who were rescued from a foundering ship in Maryland in 1807. It was a male and a female Lesser Newfoundlands or St. Johns water dogs. We are not sure if they were bred together, but it is more likely, that they were bred with different local dog breeds, which is how the today Chesapeake Bay Retriever was created. Maryland named the Chesapeake Bay Retriever as a state symbol in 1964.
2) Pennsylvania – Great Dane - 1965
Only one year later, in 1965, Pennsylvania designated the Great Dane as their state dog. Of course, the Great Dane does not have its origin in Pennsylvania, but it was one of the first dog in this state introduced by early settlers and used as a great hunter.
3) Virginia – American Foxhound - 1966
And again, one year later a new state dog was introduced. This time it was the American Foxhound which became the state dog of Virginia. The American Foxhound is known to have originated in Maryland and Virginia, which is a reason why they were choosed as the state dog.
4) Louisiana – Catahoula Leopard dog - 1979
There was two new state dogs in the 1979. The first one is a dog breed with one of the most beautiful coat color, the Catahoula Leopard dog. Actually, the UKC recognize this breed under the name Louisiana Catahoula Leopard dog. It is believed that the first Lousiana settlers used Catahoula Leopard dogs to hunt feral pigs in the swamps of Louisiana.
5) Massachusetts – Boston Terrier - 1979
The second state dog designated in 1979 is the American Gentleman, the Boston Terrier. Again, this is a dog indigenous to its state. BTW, the Boston Terrier was the first non-sporting dog breed in the US and in the past it was one of the most popular dog breed in the whole United States.
6) South Carolina – Boykin Spaniel - 1985
6 years later another two dog breeds were designated as state dogs. The first one is from South Carolina and it is the Boykin Spaniel. The first precursor of todays Boykin Spaniel was found in Spartanburg, South Carolina. It gained a lot of popularity in this area and it was used for hunting wild turkeys and ducks in swamps of Sout Carolina.
7) Wisconsin – American Water Spaniel - 1985
In the same year, the American Water Spaniel became the state dog of Wisconsin. It is pretty similarly looking dog to the Boykin Spaniel and it is possible, that they were involved in the development of Boykins. The American Water Spaniel originated in the Wisconsin where it served as a skilled and versatile hunter, that could work on both, land and water.
8) North Carolina – Plott Hound - 1989
The only indigenous dog breed of North Carolina is the Plott Hound, so its no wonder that it was chosen as the state dog. The breed is named after Johannes Plott, a German immigrant who brought few wild boarhounds with himself to the North Carolina. These were the first ancestors of todays Plott Hounds.
9) Texas – Blue Lacy - 2005
For a long time, that was not any new state dog, but that changed in 2005, when Texas designated Blue Lacy as its own official state dog. It is a hard working breed originated in Texas in 19th century and even today, the vast majority of Lacy dogs are found in Texas.
10) New Hampshire – Chinook - 2009
A fairly young breed, the Chinook was developed in the New Hampshire in 20th century and in 2009 it became the official state dog. It is a very strong dog breed which can trace its history to the explorer Arthur Walden and its dog, which was named Chinook. The ancestors of this dog was the Greenland dog and Mastiff/St. Bernard cross.
11) Alaska – Alaskan Malamute - 2010
In 2010 the Alaskan Malamute became the official state dog of Alaska. It was after a succesfull campaing of kindergarten student Paige Hill, which started in 2007. This is an affectionate and friendly, but very strong and active dog breed, which is often used for dog sports like mushing, skijoring, carting or canicross.
12) Delaware – Golden Retriever – 2016
Delaware designated the golden retriever as the official state dog August 03, 2016; expired after one year, giving other breeds a chance for the spotlight. The adoption of an official state dog for Delaware began when 4th-grade students wrote letters to their legislators. The Golden Retriever easily won the class „election“.
13) Tennessee – Bluetick Coonhound – 2019
The last official state dog is the Bluetick Coonhound. It was designated in 2019 and it is the state dog of Tennessee. One Bluetick Coonhound, named Smokey, is also a mascot of University of Tennessee.