ALABAMA (WHNT) — Only 13 states across the country have official state dogs, so what is Alabama’s?
Well, we don’t have one (yet)! The process of voting for or “electing” a state dog has looked different for each state that has laid claim to a particular pooch.
A group of seventh graders in Bedford, New Hampshire came together, and soon the Chinook was designated as the state dog in 2009. The breed is believed to have originated in the northeastern state, started by Arthur Walden in 1917.
In Alaska, a group of kindergartners had a similar idea and decided they wanted a state dog, so they made it happen with Governor Parnell signing the bill into law in 2010, making the Alaskan Malamute the 11th official state dog in the country.
Here are the 13 states that have official dogs:
- Alaska – Alaskan Malamute
- Georgia – the Adoptable Dog
- Louisiana – Catahoula Leopard Dog
- Maryland – Chesapeake Bay Retriever
- Massachusetts – Boston Terrier
- New Hampshire – Chinook
- New York – the Working Dogs
- North Carolina – Plott Hound
- Pennsylvania – Great Dane
- South Carolina – Boykin Spaniel
- Texas – Blue Lacy
- Virginia – American Foxhound
- Wisconsin – American Water Spaniel
Maryland was the first-ever state dog, as the Chesapeake Bay Retriever was declared in 1964 – and rightly so, since it was named after the famous Bay region in the state. The breed, like the Chinook, is one of few to have originated in America.
Georgia’s “Adoptable Dog” became the most recent to join the club after the state legislature passed a bill, not for a specific breed, but for all dogs in shelters in hopes of raising awareness for those that need rescuing.
The “Working Dog” was made the official state canine of New York in 2015, recognizing guide dogs, police work dogs, war dogs, hearing dogs, service dogs, working search dogs, therapy dogs, detection dogs and dogs trained to protect or herd other animals.
Tennessee doesn’t have an official state dog, but they do have an officials state pet, which are dogs and cats adopted from shelters and rescues in the Volunteer State, alongside Colorado and Illinois.
And just in case you’re wondering, three states do have dedicated felines: Maine (Maine Coon Cat), Maryland (Calico), and Massachusetts (Tabby Cat). New Hampshire also lists the Bobcat as the state wildcat.
While the Yellowhammer state doesn’t have a state dog, it does have a state amphibian (Red Hills Salamander), a state rock (marble), and a state spirit (Conecuh Ridge Alabama Fine Whiskey).