10 Official State Dogs

Some states have flowers as their main symbol while other regions have birds to represent their area, but nothing reflects a state’s individuality quite like a state dog.

From the great tundra of Alaska to the marshy lands of Mississippi, state dogs embody the spirit of the states in which they are the official dog. Here are ten official state breeds:

1. Alaska: Alaskan Malamute

The Alaskan malamute is the largest and oldest of the Arctic sled dogs. Possessing strength and endurance, the Malamute was bred to carry large loads over great distances. An athletic breed, the Alaskan Malamute makes a great family dog due to its active nature.

2. Louisiana: Catahoula Leopard Dog

The Catahoula Leopard dog got its name from the Catahoula Lake region in North Central Louisiana. The word catahoula, translated from Choctaw Indians of the region, means “sacred lake.” They are called leopard dogs because of their distinctive spots resembling a leopard’s coat.

3. Maryland: Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Powerfully built and strong, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, which originated in Maryland, can weigh up to 80 pounds. The most distinctive trait of the breed is a wavy waterproof coat that’s oily to the touch. In addition to being the Maryland state dog, the Chessie is also the mascot of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

4. Massachusetts: Boston Terrier

The Boston Terrier is a compact, balanced dog that is known for its distinctive “tuxedo coat.” Friendly, cheerful and easily adaptable, Boston Terriers are great family dogs in both the country and city.

5. New Hampshire: Chinook

The Chinook is a large, tan dog who aims to please its owner. The first sled dog breed brought to New England. The breed requires regular exercise to stay in top condition, but don’t let their muscles and size fool you; this New Hampshire breed is a great family dog and very intelligent.

6. North Carolina: Plott Hound

A powerful and muscular dog, the Plott Hound is known for its determination, endurance and courage. Possessing a smooth, glossy coat in any shade of brindle, the breed continues to be used for coon hunting. Even with their sharp hunting abilities, when it comes to humans, they are sweet and gentle.

7. Pennsylvania: Great Dane

There is no missing this gentle giant. When standing on their hind legs, Great Danes are often taller than many people. Despite the Great Dane’s massive size, they have an elegance and a smooth stride that demands attention. They can be seen in many colors and coat patterns.

8. South Carolina: Boykin Spaniel

The Boykin is a medium-sized spaniel that has a striking solid brown coat. Bred to work in the swampy lands of South Carolina, the Boykin is web-toed so that it can swim more easily, similarly to seals. True to their sporting group, the Boykin is a friendly, eager and charming.

9. Virginia: American Foxhound

A native breed of America, the Foxhound is also one of the rarest breeds. Known for its distinctive howl, the American Foxhound has a sweet temperament and is easygoing, but may be stubborn and independent.

10. Wisconsin: American Water Spaniel

Though it is a very rare breed, the American Water Spaniel is a truly dual-purpose dog. Bred for companionship and as a working retriever, the American Water Spaniel has a water-resistant, double coat and is an excellent swimmer. The American Water Spaniel’s coat can be solid liver, brown or dark chocolate. A happy and eager companion, this dog is a great choice for an athletic person. It should be noted, however, that this breed should be watched around strangers and kids as they can be shy and stubborn.

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