Ever wondered if certain dog breeds are more popular in specific geographic regions? For example, you might think cold-weather breeds like Huskies are more popular in snowy climates like New England and the Midwest, but are they?
What about the most popular dog breed in the country? Care to take a guess? If the image of an enthusiastic Labrador Retriever popped into your head, you’re right on. The American Kennel Club says the family-friendly breed has been #1 across the nation for the past 30 years.
Of course, there are plenty of other loveable breeds too. So, let’s find out which breed is most popular from state to state.
America’s Most Popular Dogs By State
According to the AKC, Labradors, French Bulldogs, German Shepherds, and Golden Retrievers are America’s “Top Dogs.” They’re so popular that only a few states don’t claim these dogs as their most popular pup.
The Alaskan Malamute claims the title of “state dog,” but the Land of the Midnight Sun chooses the Labrador Retriever when it comes to the most popular dog. Arizona is also fond of Labs with German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Yorkshire Terriers, and Bulldogs rounding out the top five list in the Southwest.
Alabamans like a Beagle by their side, while the state of Arkansas is wild for Basset Hounds.
In California, Bulldogs hold the top spot in L.A. and San Diego, while French Bulldogs take #2, pushing the Lab down to 3rd.
When visiting Colorado, you’ll find Labs, German Shepherds, and Goldens happy to greet you on trains and pup-friendly patios. For Connecticuters, yes, it’s Labs dominating again, frolicking all over The Constitution State.
While the adorable Golden Retriever was the state dog, the First State has decided to let rescue dogs claim the title. Of course, there’s no AKC designation for rescue pups, but, as they say, every dog has its day.
It seems the urbanites in the Sunshine State have fallen in love with the “Frenchie” too. I suppose the smaller size makes for an excellent canine companion in Tampa and other cities. However, the AKC reports the ever-popular Labrador is the most popular pup state-wide.
Georgia’s official state dog is the Bulldog. Yet, the Peach State also likes its Beagles, Labs, and German Shepherds when it comes to pooches.
Can you picture a surfing French Bulldog? According to a local Hawaii news source, Frenchies are the most popular pup in Honolulu. Though you’re also likely to find Labs and Pomeranians on display in the Aloha State.
Labs lead the way in Idaho and Illinois, while Indiana goes for German Shepherds. However, Frenchies are tops in Iowa. Chicago breaks with the rest of the state by choosing Golden Retrievers and Goldendoodles as their top dogs.
The Happy-Go-Lucky Lab is a favorite in the Wheat State, while Kentuckians choose the Beagle as their most popular canine representation.
The Catahoula is both the official state dog and the most popular dog in The Pelican State. A popular hunting breed, they are thought to be the first dog breed developed in North America.
Labs rule in Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, and Montana. Though in Maryland, you might find a Chesapeake Bay Retriever hanging out next to your crab dinner. They’re the state dog. If you’re in Boston, you’ll find plenty of Boston Terriers prancing around Quincy Market.
The Great Lake State is fond of German Shepherds. Though, in Detroit, the “Rottie” is the most popular dog.
Mississippians go all in for Labs, Beagles, and German Shepherds, while over in Missouri, Frenchies are most popular.
What do Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, and North Dakota have in common? If you said a love of Labs, Goldens, and German Shepherds, you’d be right!
However, New Hampshire also has a state dog called the Chinook. It’s a sled dog perfect for cross-country skiing. New Mexico likes their Labs, Goldens, and Bulldogs. They also have an official state dog, the Chihuahua. Nevada is torn between Labs in the country and the American Pit Bull in the Neon Capital (aka Las Vegas).
In New Jersey, Boxers, Bulldogs, and Rottweilers top the list of most popular dog breeds, pushing Labs all the way down to the 8th spot. In New York City, Frenchies and Shibu Inu are popular, but the rest of the state chooses Labs, Goldens, and German Shepherds.
North Carolina has a soft spot for Beagles, but some dog lovers know the Tar Heel State as the home of the Plott Hound, which is bred to chase wild boar. Who knew North Carolina had boar?
Like Delaware, The Buckeye State shows its appreciation for the shelter pup, knocking the popular Labrador Retriever out of their top spot. By highlighting rescue dogs, these states hope to encourage adoption over shopping.
Oklahoma, Oregon, and Pennsylvania
Oklahomans chose the Lab as their top dog, followed by the Pit Bull, Chihuahua, German Shepherd, and Australian Cattle Dog. However, Oregon and Pennsylvania hop on the Labrador bandwagon.
Perhaps fitting for The Ocean State, Rhode Island has claimed the Portuguese Water Dog as its state dog. Yet, that doesn’t mean it’s the state’s most popular dog. That honor belongs to the ever-popular Lab.
The Palmetto State claims the Boykin Spaniel as the state dog. Yet, South Carolinians also recognize Beagles, Labs, and German Shepherds as personal favorites.
South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming claim Labradors, German Shepherds, and Golden Retrievers as state favorites. Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia swap the Golden Retriever for a Beagle, but, otherwise, they are all in on the Lab.
Vermont is the state with the highest number of pet owners per capita. These pet fanatics are wild about Labs, Beagles, and Golden Retrievers.
There you have it… the most popular dogs by state. You may be surprised by the overwhelming popularity of Labs, German Shepherds, and Golden Retrievers. I know I was, but keep in mind that these are based on AKC records that only monitor recognized breeds. As every dog lover knows, your dog doesn’t have to be purebred to be a great pet!
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