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The (Un)Official State Dogs of America

We recently conducted a poll of 3,000 Americans to find out their preferred breed if given the opportunity to vote for an official state dog. The poll results revealed some fascinating insights, illustrated below.

The results from California were quintessential. Those polled from the Golden State voted in favor of the beloved Goldendoodle. Marrying the most desirable traits of Golden Retrievers with those of Poodles, the Golden Doodle is known to be a friendly, patient, and intelligent breed. They are excellent family dogs, and they are generally regarded as being great with children.

Sprinting to first place to represent the first state of the Union was the Foxhound. Meanwhile, over in Arkansas the Bluetick Coonhound led the pack as the crowd favorite. While both breeds are known to be kind and loving, they do have a tendency toward clever escape artistry. Prospective dog owners should consider a reliable GPS dog fence to help train these dogs to stay within the boundaries of their back yards.

Interestingly, although perhaps not surprisingly, several states voted for the same dog breed. Although the gorgeous and mysterious Husky won the hearts of voters polled in Washington state, there would likely tough competition Minnesota, where the Husky is just as popular.

The German Shepherds took the lead in not only Kansas, but also Pennsylvania. These are two states that love the companionship of these intelligent, noble guard dogs.

Colorado and Oregon both elected the hardworking Bernese Mountain Dog. Bernese Mountain Dogs got their start in the picturesque country of Switzerland, where farmers have used them for centuries to herd cattle and protect their crops. These days, most people cherish them as a family dog with a loving personality.

The Border Collie came in top dog in Idaho as well as Maine. Like the Bernese Mountain Dog, this beautiful herding breed needs a lot of exercise — a perfect match for pet owners with active lifestyles.

Alabama and Oklahoma’s number one pick? The Redbone Coonhound. As energetic as they are cuddly, it’s easy to see why both states want to be represented by the beloved hunting canine.

Of course, many folks proudly voted for dog breeds that were named after their home state, including:

  • Missouri Foxhound. Another hunting dog that needs a lot of exercise, they’re an easygoing pet with high emotional intelligence. 
  • Carolina Dog. Unsurprisingly, North Carolina and South Carolina both voted for the Carolina Dog. It can take a little time to earn this shy breed’s trust, but once you do, they’re eager to be your best friend.
  • Florida Cracker Dog. Floridians love this breed’s fearless and tough persona. An excellent choice for anyone in need of a courageous guard dog.
  • Kentucky Saddleback. A handsome, devoted, and people-pleasing breed with a sensitive nature.
  • Tennessee Treeing Brindle. Tennessee adores the talented Treeing Brindle for its affectionate ways and pleasant, crooning voice.
  • Texas Heeler. The Heeler is a mix of Australian Shepherd and the Australian Cattle Dog, and are known to be as smart, bold, and fearless as the Lone Star State itself.
  • Louisiana Black Mouth Cur. Another breed that needs time to warm to strangers, Louisianans are fond of the Black Mouth Cur’s bright, hardworking demeanor.
  • Alaskan Klee Kai. The Klee Kai, which is Inuit for “little dog,” is shy but easy to train. You may be surprised to learn that it wasn’t bred as a working sled dog, but as a companion pet instead. This may explain its popularity in the Last Frontier state.
  • Hawaiian Poi Dog. Hawaiians chose the now-extinct Poi Dog to represent their state. While they weren’t known to be the best hunting dogs, indigenous Hawaiians saw the Poi as a spiritual protector of children.

Only thirteen of the fifty states in the USA have already declared an official state dog. What are residents of the remaining 37 to do?

If you’d like your state to declare a top dog, you can start by connecting with your local community. Petitions and letters to editors of local newspapers are a great place to start, and if you can arrange a meeting with a state representative that could really help you get the ball rolling.

Methodology: Online panel survey of 3,000 adults based on age, gender, and geography. Internal data sources are used to obtain population data sets. We used a two-step process to ensure representativeness through stratified sampling and post-stratification weighting.

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11 thoughts on “The (Un)Official State Dogs of America”

  1. It’s so unfortunate that we chose to showcase pure bred dogs. This could have been an opportunity to show case rescue dogs. Colorado’s state dog should be the REZ Rescue. The pure breeds just make people want the pure bred dog and not opt for adoption.

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    • i vote for the purebred dog, as a reputable breeder, i genetic test my dogs, i test for hips and elbows, i certify their eyes at 8 weeks, i train all the pups for temperment, socialization, i research the pedigrees for eons to pick the right parents to improve the future of the breed, i work with the buyer to find the right puppy for their life, not just because i have some pups, and if i don’t have one for them, i let them know and refer them to someone else or honestly tell them this might not be the right time to get a pet. i compete with them to test their performance for their purpose. i provide a contract and am always there thru the life time of the dog, i’ll provide a shoulder to cry on when that dog passes and i’m crying just as hard. I’ll take the dog back at any time and provide it a home or find a good home for it. the purebred dogs are bred to be healthy, correct temperment.

      Reply
      • I don’t think the objection is to the health of dogs from breeders. Rather the concern is the vast number of dogs waiting in shelters for adoption.

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  2. Actually, the state dog of Colorado is the shelter/rescue dog. There is nothing wrong with the Bernese Mountain Dog, except for the fact that their life expectancy is only about 7 years. I have known Bernese Mountain Dogs, and they are great. But I live in Colorado, and haven’t seen many of them.

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  3. “Husky” is a generic term, not exclusively purebred Siberian husky or even the working Alaskan Husky (which is the official state dog of AK I think.)

    We have plenty of “husky mixes” in MN that barely have any Siberian DNA but are descended from sled dog lines. The Ojibwe of MN actually came from the East Coast and their dogs would historically be unrelated to Alaskan lines. I’d expect to see DNA traces similar to Mexican hairless, German shepherds and various now-rare breeds (the closest analogue to landraces used in the past) because outbreeding was a feature of Native dog breeding. Many of ’em sure can run.

    I don’t know what background breeds the Rez dogs of Colorado often DNA match to.

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  4. Here in SW Colorado, the #1 dog is a shelter or rescue adopted dog. As far as the pure breeds (or nearly so) I see more labs and Aussie Shepard — and no Bernese (or nearly so). But many adopted dogs are pure breeds, or look like they could be. But still, they are shelter or rescue adopted dogs.

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  5. I love the Cocker Spaniel, have had seven over the years and have one now, but I do not think this breed should be the West Virginia dog. Our state has a history of hunting, and the dogs used the most were Coon hounds, Fox hounds and Beagles. So, I think that one of these breeds should be the WV. official dog.

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  6. you guys got it all wrong for colorado, the bernese mountain dog is from switzerland, not the US. look, colorado is mainly rural by area. the Australian shepherd was developed in the west in the early 1900s to work the cattle and sheep that ranchers moved before fencing and atvs became a thing. they worked sheep where Vail is today, they moved cattle and sheep to the rail yards, worked the pens, loaded them and helped move them back home. they work long hours and don’t complain when they have to hold the sheep to clear an area of invasive weeds or load a bad cow into a trailer. they don’t complain when their charges try to kill them, or decide to scatter into the mountains, they don’t complain when its snowing or when its hailing or when its hot and dry. they work the jobs that 5 men don’t want to do cause it’s nasty out there.

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  7. Showcasing purebred dogs while there is a serious problem of too many in shelters & rescues (including foster homes) goes to show the how deep some have their heads buried.

    Reply

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