It takes a very particular set of skills to be granted the coveted title of “official state breed.” And, with more than 180 AKC recognized breeds, competition is fierce. Though local upbringing plays a part in the decision, canines honored with state appellation also excel at activities specific to the regions in which they reside. With only 11 states with designated dog breeds, this is your opportunity to learn more about the canines setting the example for state recognized breeds.
Louisiana Ranch Hand
With cat-like reflexes and a breed history murky as a Cajun county bayou, the Catahoula Leopard dog does his home state proud. As the official dog breed of Louisiana, this rugged pooch was made to work in swamps, scour forests and even climb tree’s to catch prey. Today’s domesticated Catahoula is still tough enough to wrestle a marsh alligator but we recommend keeping this pooch happy with safer job alternatives. Bred for herding, this breed is a cowboys dream sidekick. Give this high-energy pup a job as a ranch hand herding cattle and boar and you’ll have a best friend for life.
Let hunting season begin. You’ve geared up from head-to-toe and already passed your hunter safety certification, all that’s missing is a hunting buddy. As the official state dog of Texas, The Blue Lacy breed knows a thing or two about catching game in The Lone Star State. Developed to be both hunting and herding dogs, they display great drive and determination to work with big game and control difficult livestock.
Georgia Sidewalk Surfer
English Bulldogs have been embraced by the Peach State as the mascot of the University of Georgia and many residents proudly claim it as the state’s unofficial dog breed. Hard to believe these gentle companions where once bred to viciously bait bulls. Leaving the past behind, bulldogs are more likely seen skateboarding along the coastline than bullying animals. Because they have a low stature and broad bodies, the breed excels at the sport. Some have even become notorious for their riding prowess like Tillman the spokesdog for Natural Balance Pet Foods.
Living in arctic environments like frigid Alaska, a helper always comes in handy. Look no further than the Alaskan Malamute. The largest and oldest of the Arctic sled dogs, the Alaskan Malamute was made to carry large loads over long distances. For times when you need an exercise buddy to hike, run or even swim with, this breed is known for its love of backpacking, jogging and swimming with their owners, and they’ll even carry your snacks and water for you if you provide them with a handy doggy backpack.
Maryland Water Hound
Fisherman, water sportsmen and lake loungers—this dog breed is for you. Bred to work on land and water, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever originally hunted waterfowl in rough and icy waters, often retrieving several hundred birds per day. Today, this breed is known as an excellent water retriever. Whether you’re lounging, exercising or baiting traps, as long as you’re bay bound with a ball, you’ll have a loyal water dog by your side.