The Most Popular Dog Breed in Every State of the U.S.
Across America, these breeds come out on top in the rankings: Golden Retriever, Poodle, French Bulldog, and German Shepherd all included.
Dogs and humans have an unspoken bond that rarely occurs between other species. No matter what breed your dog is, they are your favorite because they're your dog, and breed doesn't apply when it comes to matters of the heart. That being said, it is interesting how people classify and rank their favorite dog breeds, especially when it comes to location.
Statistics have shown general trends among favored dog breeds, but when it comes down to it, location creates quite a discrepancy between the types of pups that people prefer. If we were to only look at the American Kennel Club data (which features 193 pure-bred registered breeds, not including rescues and mixed breeds), this would be a very short article. The favorite dog across America for the last 29 years is the Labrador Retriever, followed closely by the German Shepherd and the Golden Retriever.
If you go by internet searches, the story shifts a little. In 2019, company Joybird compiled a list of most searched dog breeds by location, using Google-search data. Rottweilers took the number one spot, being the most-searched dog breed in seven out of 50 states, narrowly trailing ahead of Golden Retrievers and Shih Tzus. Neither of these sources mentioned "doodles," the Poodle crossbreeds that are all over Instagram, and that seems like an oversight. To be as accurate as possible, we've sourced the top dog breeds using a mix of these sources as well as 2020 city data from the largest cities in each state collected by Rover.com, an online marketplace for pet care services. So, without further ado, here are the most popular dog breeds from state to state.
Alabama: Shih Tzu
Also known as the "little lion" dog, the Shih Tzu takes the top spot for popular dog breeds in Alabama. This compact dog is small enough to fit in a purse and high-pitched enough to be heard over a stadium of 'Bama fans chanting "Roll Tide." That being said, these dogs aren't as vocal as other toy breeds, and they're most content to just sit in your lap.
Alaska and Idaho: Bloodhound
The Bloodhound is a large-breed dog known for droopy wrinkled skin and powerful noses. Often used by police forces to find missing people, these dogs can follow a scent for hours on end. Not only do these dogs love to roam and hunt, which there is lots of space to do in Alaska and Idaho, they also make great companion animals.
Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico: Australian Cattle Dog
Rover used city data from Phoenix, Colorado Springs, Denver, and Albuquerque to determine that the favorite dog breed of these western states is the Australian Cattle Dog, also commonly known as the Blue Heeler. These medium-sized dogs are known for herding and are actually related to Australia's wild dog, the Dingo. These dogs are alert, loyal and extremely intelligent. Be careful or they might just outsmart you.
Arkansas: Basset Hound
Charming, patient, low-key. That's how the American Kennel Club describes the Basset Hound, which matches the climate in Arkansas—lush scenery and a relaxed atmosphere. Like the Bloodhound, Basset Hounds have amazing noses. They will sniff out anything and make great companions on hunting trips. They even have a loud, distinctive bark to let you know they've found the object of their investigation.
California: French Bulldog
California had lots of preferences, which makes sense because so many residents reside there. The Golden State enjoys Poodles, Huskies, and Pomeranians, but after data was collected from many cities across the state, the results are in: Californians love their Frenchies the most. The French Bulldog is small dog that looks like a puppy, even into adulthood. They have large bat-like ears and compressed faces, but their playful and sweet disposition is unbeatable. These quiet dogs make exemplary companion animals—just ask Martha.
Connecticut: Siberian Husky
While Arctic movies show these dogs as serious, hard-working animals, the Siberian Husky loves playtime, and the people of Connecticut are happy to oblige. These friendly and social dogs are not only beautiful to look at, they're funny, too. Known for a "mischievous" demeanor, these intelligent dogs need lots of entertainment and stimulation, otherwise they might resort to entertaining themselves, and digging up your rose garden in the process.
Delaware and Virginia: Akita
These distinguished-looking dogs do well in colder weather, making Delaware a great place to call home. And Delaware seems to agree, having chosen this wintry dog as their favorite breed. The Akita is a quiet and quirky animal: They're wary of strangers, but fiercely affectionate and loyal to their families. Their natural instinct is to protect which makes them great guard dogs, but they must be socialized from a young age to get along with other pets. Similar to Delaware, Virginia's northeastern climate is ideal for this snow-white thick-coated dog. Akitas are very active dogs, so the terrain of Virginia, offering everything from mountains to beaches, is perfect for these exploratory animals.
Florida and New Jersey: Maltese
In the states of Florida and New Jersey, the breed that most frequently makes the top lists is the Maltese. These tiny dogs have highly-adaptable personalities making them a good fit for both young families and retired seniors. The Maltese is a very social dog and can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time, so they do best with owners who are home a lot.
Georgia, Oklahoma, and Texas: Miniature Schnauzer
Sourced by Rover city data, Georgians', Oklahomans', and Texans' favorite dog breed is the Miniature Schnauzer. These friendly and obedient dogs are long-living and low-shedding, making them wonderful lifelong companions, especially for families. Small in size, but largely playful, Schnauzers can adapt to apartment life or farm life, making them great in big cities like Atlanta and Dallas or out in the Oklahoma plains.
Hawaii, Michigan, and Nevada: Pomeranian
These three states may not have much in common weather- or scenery-wise, but they all love the Pomeranian. These fox-faced dogs are tiny, but they act like they're the size of Great Danes, making them comically effective watchdogs. Poms are active, but don't require extensive exercise, so they are easily adaptable to city and suburb environments.
Illinois and Ohio: Goldendoodle
Per city data from Chicago, the Prairie state loves their Goldendoodles. A cross between the Golden Retriever and the Poodle, the Goldendoodle has become extremely popular in recent years due to its hypoallergenic hair type. This winning combination also provides these dogs with sharp intellect and playful personalities, making them a wonderful addition to the family. Like Illinois, Ohioans are big fans of the Goldendoodle. Actually, they just really love doodles, with Labradoodles trailing behind in second place.
Indiana and Kentucky: Great Dane
Using city data collected in Indianapolis, Rover determined that the Great Dane is the most popular dog breed in Indiana. And like Indiana, Kentucky is head over heels for this breed, per city data from Louisville. Despite their intimidating size, the Great Dane is a gentle giant. They frequently serve as watchdogs, but also make for great family pets because they are patient and friendly with children.
Iowa and New Hampshire: Golden Retriever
As one of the most popular breeds nationally, the Golden Retriever is dearly beloved in many states, but especially in Iowa and New Hampshire. Goldens are not only attractive dogs, with long silky coats, they are also among the friendliest. These dogs are outgoing and eager-to-please, making them both trainable and wonderful as companion animals. Besides being family-oriented, these dogs can be the perfect companion for hikes and outdoor adventures. Goldens are high energy and do best with lots of space to run around, but a good game of fetch in a park or romp in a lake will please them just as well.
Kansas and Wyoming: Rottweiler
The Sunflower State of Kansas loves the Rottweiler. While perceived as serious protectors, these muscular dogs have very goofy personalities, though the AKC cautions to avoid roughhousing with this breed which can encourage unnecessary aggression. Like Kansas, Wyoming is a big fan of the "Rottie." They do well with athletic activities and Wyoming offers ample space for hiking, running, and swimming with your dog. These dogs are easy to train, active and athletic, and make great family pets.
Louisiana: Saint Bernard
There's no telling why one of the largest dogs with the thickest fur would be most popular in one of the hottest states in the country, but that's Louisiana for you. The Saint Bernard is consistently listed as their most popular dog breed. Climate aside, it's no wonder they love these dogs so much. Saint Bernards are patient, watchful, and famously caring towards children.
As the northeast corner of the U.S., Maine is known for lobsters and a chilly and beautiful coastline. You might think their favorite dog is one built for exploration and adventure, but their most beloved breed is the Pug. Due to their short-faces, Pugs aren't tolerant of hot weather, which makes Maine a surprisingly ideal home for these little dogs. Their big eyes and expressive faces only add to their ability to entertain and delight their owners. A word of caution, though they are small, Pugs like to eat a lot. Watching their diet closely can help prevent weight issues which will strain their small frames.
Maryland and North Carolina: Beagle
In Maryland, their top choice for dogs is the Beagle. These dogs fit in perfectly in this state because their medium size makes them ideal for city living or for hunting across the forests and farmlands. The Beagle also comes out on top in North Carolina, as sourced by data in Charlotte and Raleigh. These happy-go-lucky hounds are popular for their sweet disposition, cleverness, and adorable faces. The rich terrain of North Carolina also provides an ideal setting for hunting, an activity in which Beagles thrive.
Massachusetts, Oregon, and Washington: Labradoodle
Data collected from Boston to Portland to Seattle shows the Labradoodle as the dog of choice in three different states and, frankly, it's no wonder. As mentioned, the Labrador Retriever has been a long-time favorite in this country, so when combined with hypoallergenic Poodles, owners with allergies have hit the jackpot. Allergies aside, Labradoodles are just giant teddy bears with goofy personalities. They can adjust to either city or country life, and make excellent family pets.
Minnesota: English Springer Spaniel
There is an expression called "Minnesota Nice" that frequently describes the population of folks that hail from the North Star State, so it would make sense that their dogs would be nice, too. Minnesotans are drawn to the English Springer Spaniel, a highly-energetic people-pleaser with trusting eyes and affectionate hearts. These dogs are extremely social and always want to be with their families.
It can be easy to mix up dog breeds, but there's no mistaking the Dachshund for its iconic sausage shape. They are a favorite amid Mississippians. Beyond their short stature, Dachshunds are first and foremost, hounds. Their bark and rashness extend well past what you'd expect from their size, which comes in handy while hunting. These dogs are not built to run or jump, but they do enjoy moderate-length walks and lots of social time with their families.
Missouri and South Dakota: Boston Terrier
Using data from Kansas City and Pierre, Rover determined that these two states' favorite dog is the Boston Terrier, followed closely behind by Australian Shepherds and Border Collies. These compact dogs are both intelligent and amusing. Their signature black and white "tuxedo" coat and impeccable manners have earned them the nickname "The American Gentleman." These portable dogs do great in urban environments, as they are social and enjoy brisk walks.
Montana: Belgian Malinois
It makes sense that people from Big Sky Country would want big dogs too, and the Belgian Malinois fits that bill. These dogs are extremely loyal, affectionate with their families, and crave social time. The worst thing in the world for the "Mal" is to be separated from its family. These dogs are highly intelligent and obedient, making them one of several easier breeds to train. The Malinois have lots of energy and Montana serves that trait with plenty of open spaces to run around.
Nebraska: Pembroke Welsh Corgi
City data collected from Omaha found that Nebraska's most popular dog breed is the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Corgis are intelligent and sensitive animals known for their vigilance and loyalty toward humans. Interestingly, the AKC noted that Pembroke Welsh Corgis broke into the top ten breeds for the first time ever last year, possibly derived from America's fascination with the British royals, who have frequently owned the breed.
New York: Havanese
Using city data from the Big Apple, Rover.com and many other sources cited the Havanese as New York's favorite pup. Not surprisingly, all of the top breeds were under 20 pounds because if you've seen a New York studio apartment, you know a German Shepherd wouldn't even fit in the living room. Havanese are extroverted and adaptable dogs, making them perfect for a bustling city. These dogs are highly trainable and they're so small, you can even carry them around on your shoulder in a dog carrier.
North Dakota: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Home to cascading hills, valleys, lakes, and wetlands, North Dakota has lots of natural land to explore, and a dog that loves exploring is the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. These dogs are content to sit at home and snuggle for sedentary owners, and have the drive of a sporty spaniel which appeals to more active owners. Their small stature makes them adaptable to apartments or houses, and cities or suburbs. This hallmark breed also loves to track scents, so walking them with a leash or harness is essential.
Pennsylvania and Wisconsin: Bichon Frise
Sourced from city data in Philadelphia, Rover determined that Pennsylvania's favorite dog is the Bichon Frise, interestingly followed by the American Pit Bull Terrier and Rottweiler. Similar to its eastern neighbors in Pennsylvania, the Cheese State's most popular breed of dog is the Bichon Frise, sourced from city data in Milwaukee. These white fluffy dogs are adaptable to city life due to their confidence and small size. They are also easy to train and enjoy performing tricks for their families.
Rhode Island: Portuguese Water Dog
A unique dog for a unique state, the Portuguese Water Dog takes the top spot in Rhode Island. With its vast coastline, Rhode Island is well-suited for this dog, bred to be a fisherman's helper (herding fish into nets), and still used for water rescue in some parts of the world. These dogs are eager to please and athletic, making them highly trainable and excellent adventure buddies.
South Carolina: Boxer
The only thing South Carolinians might like more than their sweet tea is the Boxer. These dogs have been among American's most popular for some time, mostly due to their intelligence, regal looks, and good nature. Boxers are equally protective and playful, making them solid guardians of the home as well as playmates for children.
Tennessee: Labrador Retriever
Tennessee had lots of favorite breeds including the Border Collie, Australian Shepherd, and Goldendoodle, but the most popular breed also happens to be the national favorite: the Labrador Retriever. Labs are known as friendly, athletic, and enthusiastic animals. They come in many colors of coat, and are agile and large in size. Their outgoing and eager-to-please nature makes them readily trainable and well-socialized to interact with kids and other pets.
It's understandable why a state diverse with mountains and canyons would prefer a dog with equal depth and majesty: the Poodle. Common misconceptions label these dogs as high maintenance because of their coiffed coats, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Poodles are brilliant, versatile, and extremely loyal to their owners. These dogs come in three sizes: standard, miniature, and toy. The Standard Poodle is the largest and most athletic of this breed. The miniature and toy sizes are less athletic, but highly trainable. And the best news is all three types of this breed are hypoallergenic.
Vermont: Bernese Mountain Dog
Built for cold winters like the ones in Vermont, the Bernese Mountain Dog fits in well in the Green Mountain State. These dogs are well-loved for their distinctive markings and gentleness. The Bernese has an excellent reputation for being good with children due to its docile personality. Vermont has lots of space for these dogs to run which is essential. Bernese are high-energy, and obviously huge in size, so they don't like being cooped up all day. Big shedders and big hearts, the Bernese makes a great lifelong companion.
West Virginia: German Shepherd
The German Shepherd is a hallmark dog known for courage, confidence, and loyalty, and West Virginia obviously recognizes that. These dogs are one of the most popular in the country, often called "canine royalty" for their dual roles as guardians and gentle family pets. This large-breed dog is really athletic and needs frequent exercise to keep them happy.