Top Dogs: America's Favorite Dog Breeds in Every State

Exploring the most popular dog breeds in every state can give you a little insight into the residents and overall vibe of how people live.

Published February 25, 2024

Every U.S. state has its own unique preferences, but it turns out we have some commonalities, too — including favorite dog breeds. Forbes polled over 10,000 Americansto see which dogs people favored. Which breed is top in your state? Have a look, and reflect on what that breed says about where you live!

Fast Fact

Ironically, the universal "top breed" was actually "no breed in particular," with 13% of respondents saying they have no strong preference among the top 25 AKC-recognized dog breeds.

Alabama: Australian Shepherd

With so many gorgeous national parks and beaches on the gulf coast to explore, it’s no wonder Alabamians favor the Australian shepherd. This energetic breed can keep up with any ‘bama adventure and still have plenty leftover for herding livestock.

Alaska: Australian Shepherd

The Australian shepherd is also the most popular dog breed in the state of Alaska. These agile dogs can traverse the different types of terrains that Alaska has to offer, and they do fairly well in cool temperatures thanks to their double coat.

Fast Fact

Even though their name might suggest they’re from Australia, the Australian shepherd is actually an all-American breed.

Arizona: Australian Shepherd

The Australian shepherd is the clear favorite in Arizona but watch out for those high temps if you own one of these furry pups. Summer temperatures can put your Aussie in danger of heatstroke or burned paws. Fortunately, Arizona is a very pet-friendly state, so you can bring your dog into the cool AC in most establishments.

Related: 10 Reasons to Buy Your Dog a Wading Pool

Arkansas: Australian Shepherd

Arkansawyers have spoken, and the Australian shepherd is the most popular breed across the state. Aussies can thrive in cities or in rural parts of the state, where these hardworking dogs can let their herding roots run wild.

Related: 30 Herding Dog Breeds Who Know How to Corral Chaos

California: Bernese Mountain Dog

The gentle and majestic Bernese mountain dog is an obvious first choice for easy-going California. Berners are the perfect companion for a hike through Joshua Tree or a playful swim along the coast.

Colorado: German Shepherd

The most popular dog breed in Colorado is none other than the German shepherd. These dogs embody the state’s spirit of adventure and are agile enough to summit those 14ers (with training, of course). Along with being versatile, GSDs are incredibly loyal and will protect their people at all costs.

Related: 10 of the Most Loyal, True-Blue Dog Breeds Ever

Connecticut: Bulldog

Connecticut is one of the most urban U.S. states, so it’s clear why the bulldog is the most popular breed there. Bulldogs are cute, charming dogs who don’t need a ton of exercise. In fact, their squished faces can make overexerting themselves dangerous. So Connecticuters can enjoy cuddling up with this squishy friend.

Delaware: Boston Terrier

What’s as compact and friendly as the state of Delaware? The Boston terrier! This dog breed is the clear favorite of this state and brings tons of joy and laughs wherever it goes. Enjoy a walk through Wilmington with the Boston or plan a fun day at Bethany Beach. Just don’t forget your doggy life jacket!

Florida: Bernese Mountain Dog

With a name like the Sunshine State, it’s only natural that the most popular dog breed of Florida would be the bright and friendly Bernese mountain dog. These dogs are big and can reach upwards of 115 pounds, but a lot of them think they’re lap dogs, so get ready for some cuddles.

Fast Fact

The fastest Bernese mountain dog reached a top speed of 25.51 miles per hour. It’s no Daytona 500, but that’s pretty darn fast!

Georgia: Australian Shepherd and Bernese Mountain Dog

Georgia voted two dog breeds as their favorites: the Australian shepherd and the Bernese mountain dog. The Aussie is a great choice for active families, while the Berner’s gentle nature makes them perfect for a home with kids and lots of space. Whether you’re in bustling Atlanta or serene Savannah, either breed would be just pawesome.

Hawaii: Bernese Mountain Dog

Even though the Bernese mountain dog originated in Switzerland, this dog breed is popular among Hawaii residents. They’re calm, gentle, and love long walks on the beach. Take this dog for a stroll then end the evening with a pupuccino nightcap. Night made!  

Idaho: Labrador Retriever

The Labrador retriever is a gem of a dog breed, and rightfully the most popular choice in the Gem State. Thanks to their hunting roots and versatility, these dogs can accompany their people on hunting expeditions in the Idaho wilderness or enjoy the life of a family pet.

Illinois: Bulldog

There’s no doubt the bulldog has stolen the hearts of Illinois residents in the heartland of America. They’re the most popular dog breed of this state, and for good reason. With all those wrinkles and their goofy (albeit sometimes stubborn!) personalities, bulldogs are great pets all across the windy city and beyond.

Indiana: Australian Shepherd

The Hoosiers have spoken, and the Australian shepherd is a fan favorite across Indiana. Aussies are incredible agility competitors and have won some of the top competitions. Just look at winner Pixel, a miniature Aussie who dominated the agility course in 2019. 

Iowa: Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese mountain dog looks right at home among Iowa’s rolling countryside. This breed was voted the top favorite in the state, and they definitely have that Midwestern spirit. They’re welcoming, easygoing, and friendly. What’s not to love?

Kansas: German Shepherd

In the heart of the Midwest, the German shepherd is the number one most popular dog. Kansans love this intelligent and inquisitive breed for their unwavering loyalty. Luckily the German shepherd would be happy living anywhere from the rolling plains to the bustling cities.

Kentucky: German Shepherd

The German shepherd looks right at home in the Bluegrass State, though they’ll make you feel anything but blue. With their floppy ears and sweet personality, it’s no wonder the GSD came out as the most popular breed in Kentucky. They make great companions from Louisville to Lexington.

Louisiana: Labrador Retriever

Labrador retrievers embody the Southern hospitality you feel in Louisiana, so of course they’re the most popular breed there. Their boundless energy and “I love everyone!” demeanor makes them a bit of a handful, but with enough enrichment and play time, they’ll be sleeping like a baby in no time.

Maine: German Shepherd

Mainers know a thing of two about loyalty, so it makes sense that they’d choose the ever-loyal German shepherd as their favorite breed. They’re the perfect sidekick for outdoor enthusiasts and can navigate coastlines to forest terrains like champs.

Maryland: German Shepherd

Nothing says “Maryland” like the majestic German shepherd. They have a power and resilience that definitely embodies everything the Old Line State stands for.

Massachusetts: Labrador Retriever

The Labrador retriever is a cherished member of the Massachusetts family and definitely the most popular breed. With their nonstop wagging tail and friendly disposition, they bring joy to dog owners across the Bay State.

Michigan: German Shepherd and Golden Retriever

The German shepherd and golden retriever are practically honorary Michiganders now, considering they were both chosen as the most popular breeds in the state. These playful and loyal breeds would both love to splash around in Lake Superior and can’t get enough of being with their family.

Minnesota: Labrador Retriever and Beagle

Two dog breeds reign over Minnesota as the most popular: the Labrador retriever and the beagle. Beagles are scent hounds who were bred to hunt using their keen sense of smell, whereas the lab was bred to retrieve waterfowl. Even though they’re very different dogs, they’re both well loved by Minnesotans.

Mississippi: Bulldog

Why wouldn’t the bulldog be the most popular dog breed in the state of Mississippi? Especially considering they’re the mascot of Mississippi State University! Bully the bulldog is a crowd favorite and has been around since 1935.

Missouri: Australian Shepherd and Bulldog

Aussies and bulldogs both tied for the most popular dog breed in the great state of Missouri. They’re both pretty different and can fulfill different needs for dog owners in the Show-Me state. Aussies were born to herd livestock and go on adventures, whereas the bulldog would love nothing more than lounging on the porch. Either way, they’re great companions.

Montana: Australian Shepherd and Labrador Retriever

What’s better than one pawesome dog breed? Two! Folks from Big Sky Country love the Australian shepherd and Labrador retriever equally, which isn’t much of a surprise. These dogs are both adaptable and adventurous, making them an awesome choice for Montana living.

Nebraska: Labrador Retriever

Labradors are definitely the “work hard, play hard,” type of dog, which definitely aligns with Nebraska’s values. The hardworking folks of this state voted the lab as their top pick, and we agree that this breed is a great fit.

Nevada: German Shepherd

Protective instincts go a long way, and Nevadans know the German shepherd is one of the most protective dog breeds out there. These dogs have unwavering loyalty, which is necessary when they’re exploring the desert or sitting at the poker table with you.

New Hampshire: Labrador Retriever

As a breed that’s made for both water and land, the Labrador retriever is ideal for the state where the mountains meet the sea. This breed would be happy hiking all day or napping on the couch. It’s no wonder they’re the top pick in New Hampshire.

New Jersey: German Shepherd

The most popular dog in New Jersey is the one and only German shepherd. This breed has earned its place in the hearts and the homes of the people who reside in the Garden State. From suburban neighborhoods to outdoor adventures, they’re steadfast protectors.

New Mexico: German Shepherd

The Land of Enchantment favors the enchanting German shepherd for many reasons. This breed is smart, protective, and embodies the state’s spirit of adventure.

Fast Fact

German shepherds are commonly used as police dogs because of their intelligence and loyalty.

New York: Australian Shepherd

Australian shepherds are the top pick of the Big Apple and the rest of the state. Just like the city, these smart cookies are incredibly busy. If you don’t tire them out both mentally and physically, they could get into trouble! If you’re a New Yorker, are you in the Aussie state of mind, or do you have a different favorite breed?

North Carolina: Bulldog

The bulldog can charm anyone, and it seems they have charmed the entire state of North Carolina. This breed is the top dog in the Tar Heel State and they’ll definitely keep you on your toes. Bulldogs tend to have a stubborn streak and love doing things on their terms. Still, they’re incredibly trainable if you put the time and energy in to work past that independence.

North Dakota: German Shepherd

German shepherds are more than just pets in North Dakota. They’re part of the family. This sparsely populated state has plenty of plains and land for this large dog breed to stretch their legs and keep them busy.

The smart German shepherd needs plenty of exercise in order to tire them out both mentally and physically. Keep that in mind if you want to bring one of these stunning dogs home! 

Ohio: German Shepherd

Dog owners of the Buckeye State favor the German shepherd breed, and this breed is right at home in Ohio. Not only are they one of the smartest breeds out there, but they’re also super loyal, protective, and confident. Even though they can be weary of strangers, the GSD creates strong bonds with their family, including both people and other pets.

Oklahoma: German Shepherd

The German shepherd is the clear favorite in The Sooner State. Whether you’re going for an adventure in the Wichita Mountains or a swim in Turner Falls, your trusty German shepherd will be right by your side and along for the ride. Just make sure you bring plenty of fresh water to keep your canine buddy hydrated!

Oregon: Labrador Retriever

Folks in Oregon are partial to the Labrador retriever, which is understandable given their water-loving nature. These large, friendly dogs would be happy to hike through the Cascade mountains and take a dip in one of the many waterfalls around Oregon.

Quick Tip

Labs are one of the many family-friendly dog breeds that generally do well with kids of all ages.

Pennsylvania: Bernese Mountain Dog

The favorite dog breed in the state of Pennsylvania is the beloved Bernese mountain dog. These dogs may look like they’re large and in charge, but they’re really just enormous teddy bears. Whether you’re exploring Glen Onoko Falls or hanging out in the city, your Berner will be happy to be by your side.

Rhode Island: Bernese Mountain Dog

Even though Bernese mountain dogs originated in the mountains, a lot of these dogs love the water, which is why they’re a great fit for the Ocean State. And Rhode Islanders absolutely love this dog breed, voting them as the favorite in the state. We can see why!

Quick Tip

Love the Bernese mountain dog but looking for a smaller or curlier companion? The bernedoodle (cross between a Bernese mountain dog and a poodle) is becoming more and more popular as a pet.

South Carolina: Bulldog

South Carolinians love the bulldog breed, so much so that their state university’s mascot is the bulldog! It’s clear why this compact breed is a fan favorite, with their adorable squishy face, loving disposition, and easygoing attitude.

South Dakota: Labrador Retriever

Considering South Dakota is the happiest state in the U.S., it’s no wonder the favorite dog breed there is the happy Labrador retriever. Labs love just about anything and everyone, sometimes to a fault. It’s a great thing South Dakota has plenty of shoreline because these swimming dogs adore the water.

Tennessee: German Shepherd

The Volunteer State is a huge fan of the German shepherd, and this dog breed loves the great state of Tennessee right back. This adventurous and loyal breed was made for the state’s mild climate and natural landscape. All they need is a loving owner by their side to enjoy the ride with!

Fast Fact

The official Tennessee state dog is actually the Bluetick Coonhound, although the German shepherd is still a clear favorite.

Texas: Bernese Mountain Dog

It’s only fitting that a big dog would be the most popular breed in the big state of Texas, and the Bernese mountain dog is pretty enormous. These loyal dogs are a great match for owners in the Lone Star State because their sturdy build makes them great companions on outdoor adventures. Just be sure to keep an eye out for Lone Star ticks on your furry buddy because those suckers can be bad news.  

Utah: Bulldog

Utah’s national parks and landscapes are undeniably recognizable, just like the unique bulldog. With their squishy faces and stout bodies, you can’t help but pick them out in the crowd.

Quick Tip

If you decide to take one of these dogs exploring around the red rocks of Utah, make sure you bring plenty of water and provide them with shade. These dogs are at higher risk of overheating than others with longer snouts.

Vermont: German Shepherd

Vermont is beautiful and adventurous, which also describes the German shepherd to a T. This breed was voted as the most popular amongst Vermonters, and we can see why. From the Appalachian Trail to the cities, this loyal breed is a great fit for Vermont living.

Virginia: Australian Shepherd

Companionship is a key value within the state of Virginia, which is why it’s no surprise the Australian shepherd is the most popular breed here. These medium-sized dogs form deep bonds with their people and become companions for life. They’ll follow you wherever you go, whether that’s Virginia Beach or a day trip to Richmond.

Washington: Bernese Mountain Dog

It can get a little chilly in the PNW, but the Bernese mountain dog is just the breed to warm up any Washington home. These dogs are dubbed the most popular breed in the state of Washington and would love nothing more than a hike in the Cascade Mountains, then a nap at one of Seattle’s many coffee shops.

West Virginia: Bulldog, Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, and Boxer

West Virginia has not one, not two, but four favorite dogs! West Virginians chose the bulldog, Labrador retriever, German shepherd, and boxer as the most popular dog breeds. We get it — there’s a lot to love about all four of these pups!

Labs and German shepherds are known for their intelligence and athleticism, whereas the boxer and bulldog are both the clowns of the dog world, intent on keeping everyone laughing.

Wisconsin: Golden Retriever

Do you know who loves cheese as much as Cheeseheads? The Golden retriever. Not to mention this breed is also just as warm and hospitable as a Wisconsinite. These smart dogs tend to be pretty food motivated, but they’re also happy to play a game of frisbee in the park or splash around in Lake Superior.

Wyoming: German Shepherd

The German shepherd might not seem like seem like the type of dog who could handle the rugged landscape of the Cowboy State, but trust us — they have what it takes. These large herding dogs can thrive on ranches, explore dog-friendly trails, or enjoy some social time in the cities of Wyoming.

“No Breed” Is the Most Popular Dog Breed by State

Even though Australian shepherds, German shepherds, Labrador retrievers, Bernese mountain dogs, and other breeds ranked as the top choices in most states, the survey revealed that most people who responded actually didn’t have a breed preference. “No breed in particular” was the top response, which shows that breed doesn’t really matter all that much to dog owners. All dogs are unique and special in their own way, and it’s more important to consider their personality and lifestyle when picking a dog over their breed.

Trending on LoveToKnow
Top Dogs: America's Favorite Dog Breeds in Every State