Light Wave


The Most Popular Dog Breed in Every U.S. State

By Jake Beardslee · February 28, 2024

The Most Popular Dog Breed in Every U.S. State

Dogs are beloved pets across the United States, but some breeds tend to be more popular in certain states. We'll take a look at the most common dog breeds in each of the 50 states, according to data collected by U.S. News & World Report. From Chihuahuas in the Southwest to Golden Retrievers in the Midwest and East Coast, the popularity of certain breeds often corresponds with the culture and climate of different regions. No matter where you live, you're sure to find your perfect pooch!  Matt Nelson/Unsplash


In Alabama the tiny Chihuahua reigns supreme. The small, fiery breed matches well with the Alabama climate and they're popular companions in cities like Birmingham and Mobile. Chihuahuas are also prized for their portability and low maintenance, making them ideal for apartment dwellers.  thanh hien/Unsplash


The imposing German Shepherd is a favorite in the Last Frontier. These intelligent, loyal dogs thrive in the Alaska wilderness and are well-suited for cold weather. German Shepherds are often used in Alaska for jobs like search and rescue, policing, and dog sledding. Their protective nature also makes them excellent family guardians.   Alexander Naglestad/Unsplash


The desert-loving Chihuahua is the most popular breed in the Grand Canyon State. Chihuahuas have an innate heat tolerance and require minimal exercise, making them ideal house pets. Their small size also allows Arizonans to easily bring them along to places like restaurants and hiking trails where dogs are welcomed.  Mark Timberlake/Unsplash


In Arkansas, the tiny but tenacious Chihuahua rules the roost. Their compact size makes them an apartment and city dweller’s best friend. And Chihuahuas match the feisty spirit of Arkansans while tolerating the state’s hot and humid summers. These loyal pups bond tightly with their families.  maggie bell/Unsplash


The French Bulldog charms its way to the top in California. These comical “clown dogs” fit right in with laidback Californians and their casual vibe. The Frenchie’s moderate exercise needs and ability to thrive in apartments also make them ideal urban companions. With their amusing personalities and affectionate nature, it’s no wonder they’re California’s favorite.  May Gauthier/Unsplash


The athletic and adventure-loving Golden Retriever is Colorado’s most popular breed. Goldens thrive accompanying their outdoorsy owners on activities like hiking and camping. They also have a high cold tolerance, making them right at home in the Rocky Mountains. With intelligence and friendliness, Golden Retrievers are ideal family dogs for active Coloradans.  Helena Lopes/Unsplash


In Connecticut, no dog is more beloved than the family-friendly Golden Retriever. Goldens win hearts with their intelligence, trainability and cheerful disposition. Their versatility also allows them to transition seamlessly from hiking partner to therapy dog. For Connecticut families seeking an all-around great pet, the Golden Retriever is a can’t-fail choice.  David Moynihan/Unsplash


In the First State, the German Shepherd Dog reigns supreme. Their confidence and valor make them exemplary police and military dogs, which may contribute to their Delaware popularity. German Shepherds also have strong loyalty toward family members, making them ideal companions and natural protectors. They're both brains and brawn.  tiim/Unsplash


The bouncy and affectionate French Bulldog rules the roost in the Sunshine State. Their fun-loving personality charms Florida pet owners. And the Frenchie’s short, easy-groom coat and tolerance of heat makes them perfect for steamy Florida summers. These playful pups enjoy the beach but are just as happy napping on the couch with their favorite humans.  Karsten Winegeart/Unsplash


In the Peach State, tiny Chihuahuas have the biggest following. Georgians love bringing their petite pups along to dog-friendly spots like cafes and farmer’s markets. Chihuahuas are also right at home in Georgia’s warmer climes and adapt well to city living. Their fierce loyalty and boldness in a small package make them a natural fit.  Zachary Casler/Unsplash


Hawaii is paradise for French Bulldogs. Their clownish personality and affection for “their people” matches well with the Hawaiian emphasis on ‘ohana (family). Frenchies also have moderate exercise needs, making them great pets for apartment and city living on the islands. And their short coats retain less sand than other breeds when lounging on Hawaii's beaches.  dea tomas/Unsplash


The happy-go-lucky Goldendoodle wins hearts in Idaho. A cross between Golden Retriever and Poodle, Goldendoodles have the best traits of both parent breeds. This makes them ideal for active Idaho families—intelligent, friendly, and energetic with a hypoallergenic coat. Their joyful nature and love of the great outdoors also embodies the Idaho spirit.  April Walker/Unsplash


Midwestern favorite Golden Retrievers are top dogs in Illinois. Their versatility suits the mixture of urban and rural lifestyles in the Prairie State. Golden Retrievers excel as devoted family members and hard workers, whether that’s therapy, service, or hunting. For an all-purpose dog that reflects Midwestern values, the Golden can't be beat.  Enis Yavuz/Unsplash


Little Chihuahuas have the biggest following in the Hoosier State. Their compact size makes them ideal for city living and they’re allowed in many Indiana shops and eateries. Chihuahuas are also undyingly loyal to their families and alert watchdogs despite their small stature. For apartment dwellers and urbanites, Chihuahuas are Indiana’s go-to.  Katie Bernotsky/Unsplash


In Iowa, the energetic Shih Tzu wins over hearts. Their affectionate and playful personality makes them a hit for Iowa families. But they’re small enough to adapt to city or country life. With minimal grooming needs and a tolerance of cold, Shih Tzus can keep up with outdoorsy Iowans. The breed's loyalty and liveliness blend with Iowa’s community spirit.  Nikolay Tchaouchev/Unsplash


Chihuahuas are the top dog in Kansas. They thrive in the Sunflower State with its hot summers and cold winters. Their size also allows Kansans to bring them anywhere from tailgates to shopping. And they bond intensely with their families. For companion dogs that handle the Kansas climate, Chihuahuas can’t be topped.  Robina Weermeijer/Unsplash


In Kentucky, tiny Chihuahuas rule the roost. They match the Bluegrass State’s blend of urban and rural areas with their ability to live anywhere. Chihuahuas are also highly portable for events like Kentucky Derby parties and University of Kentucky games. Their confidence despite their small stature fits perfectly with Kentucky attitude.  Tesla Fans Schweiz/Unsplash


The hearty Chihuahua is king in Louisiana. Chihuahuas tolerate the Bayou State’s heat and humidity in stride. Their small size also suits Louisiana’s compact cities and apartments. For companionship during Mardi Gras parades or weekends at the camp, Chihuahuas are the pet of choice. They’re “large and in charge” just like Louisiana culture.  Vladimir Argenta/Unsplash


The kid-friendly Golden Retriever is Maine’s most popular breed. Their intelligence, gentle nature and family devotion make them ideal for busy Maine households. And Goldens relish partaking in Maine’s abundant outdoor recreation alongside their humans. For an eager and affectionate companion, Mainers adore the ever-loyal Golden.  Cristian Castillo/Unsplash


Marylanders favor the spunky Yorkshire Terrier above all breeds. Yorkies adapt well to city and suburban life in Maryland. Their confident and sometimes feisty personality also fits the fast pace of Baltimore and other Maryland metros. But most of all, Marylanders love toting their petite, portable Yorkies to restaurants, events and on travels.  Kaylin Pacheco/Unsplash


The family-friendly Golden Retriever rules Massachusetts. Goldens thrive with Massachusetts’ blend of urban, suburban and rural settings. Their intelligence and trainability also make them standouts for service roles like bomb detection for Boston Police. But most of all, Golden Retrievers forge strong bonds with their Massachusetts families.  Helena Lopes/Unsplash


The Golden Retriever is Michigan’s most popular breed, especially in the Upper Peninsula. Their friendly temperament, high trainability and love of the outdoors make them ideal companions for the Great Lake State’s abundance of activities like boating and hiking. Michiganders also love their loyalty and work ethic. For an adventure buddy and devoted family member, the Golden can’t be beat.  Stephen Andrews/Unsplash


Minnesota goes for the good-natured Golden Retriever above all breeds. Goldens excel as both hardy outdoor adventure partners and mellow house pets for Minnesotans. They also have intelligence and trainability that Minnesotans value greatly. And their friendliness matches this Midwest state’s community spirit. For character and companionship, Goldens are Minnesotans' MVP.  Helena Lopes/Unsplash


The tiny Chihuahua rules the Magnolia State. Their compact size suits Mississippi’s urban areas and apartments. Chihuahuas also tolerate the climate’s heat and humidity without issue. For their portable size and fierce loyalty, Mississippians love their tough-as-nails Chihuahuas that reflect the state motto.  Tamara Bellis/Unsplash


In Missouri, the adaptable Chihuahua is king. Chihuahuas are just as comfortable in cities like St. Louis as they are in rural Ozark towns. And they travel well for Missouri events like University of Missouri football games. For a pet that’s tiny but full of heart and able to live anywhere, Chihuahuas have Missouri’s heart.  Angelina Litvin/Unsplash


The German Shepherd Dog is Montana’s favorite breed and a perfect fit for the Treasure State. Their intelligence, strength and loyalty make them ideal working dogs on Montana ranches. German Shepherd’s herding instincts also serve them well when paired with activities like agility. And they love bonding with their humans exploring Big Sky Country.  Andrew Lancaster/Unsplash


In Nebraska, no breed is more popular than the affectionate Golden Retriever. Their versatility allows them to excel in the Cornhusker State’s array of urban and rural areas. Goldens also love partaking in Nebraska’s many outdoor activities alongside their favorite humans. And Nebraskans prize them for their mild nature, exuberance and essential Midwestern character.  Justin Aikin/Unsplash


In Nevada, diminutive Chihuahuas hold a special place. Their small stature suits Nevada’s major metro areas like Las Vegas and Reno where smaller pets are favored. Chihuahuas also tolerate heat extremely well. But most of all, Nevadans love taking their tiny companions everywhere from parks to shopping to shows on the Vegas strip.  Higor Carvalho/Unsplash

New Hampshire

New Hampshire picks the family-oriented Golden Retriever as its number one dog. Their intelligence, cheerful disposition and patience with kids make them wonderful family pets. Goldens also relish hiking New Hampshire’s mountains and playing in its abundant waterways alongside their loved ones. For their versatile nature and loyal heart, Granite Staters are golden for Goldens.  Hendo Wang/Unsplash

New Jersey

Tiny Shih Tzus are the most popular breed in the Garden State. Shih Tzus are prized for their upbeat personality in a portable size, making them ideal pets for city dwellers and apartment residents. They’re also lively and affectionate companions. For urban New Jerseyans seeking a devoted small pet, plucky Shih Tzus perfectly fit the bill.  Helena Lopes/Unsplash

New Mexico

In New Mexico, the adaptable Chihuahua reigns supreme. They thrive in New Mexico’s desert climate and are perfect pets for city living. Chihuahuas are also highly portable and love going everywhere with their humans. But most of all, New Mexicans love their intense loyalty and bold attitude encased in a tiny body.  David Vives/Unsplash

New York

There’s no breed New Yorkers love more than the feisty Shih Tzu. These confident pups flourish in bustling urban areas like Manhattan. Their affectionate nature also makes them ideal companions for single New Yorkers. With a portable size perfect for apartments and toting around town, Shih Tzus are a natural favorite.  Nikolay Tchaouchev/Unsplash

North Carolina

North Carolinians favor the spunky Chihuahua above all other breeds. Their compact size and portability suits the Tar Heel State’s blend of urban and rural areas. Chihuahuas also readily adapt to the diverse climates across the state. Above all, North Carolinians love their fiercely loyal pups that bring big personality in a pint-sized package.  Jorge L. Valdivia/Unsplash

North Dakota

North Dakotans prefer the lovable Golden Retriever. Goldens relish partaking in the Peace Garden State’s many outdoor pastimes alongside their favorite humans. North Dakotans also prize the breed’s intelligence, trainability and gentle family-friendly temperament. For good-natured and hard-working pups, North Dakotans go for the gold.  Barnabas Davoti/Unsplash


Ohio’s most popular breed is the faithful Golden Retriever. Goldens thrive in diverse environments from Cleveland suburbs to Cincinnati urban areas to rural farms. Their versatility suits Ohio’s blend of lifestyles. Most of all though, Ohioans love the breed for their steadfast companionship and Midwestern temperament.  Mihail Ilchov/Unsplash


Oklahoma’s top dog is the compact Chihuahua. The breed’s hardiness makes them ideal for Oklahoma’s climate extremes from heat waves to cold snaps. Their portable size also suits Oklahoma’s major cities like Tulsa and Oklahoma City. But what truly wins over Oklahomans is the Chihuahua’s fierce devotion to their human family.  George Pagan III/Unsplash


Oregonians go for the spunky Chihuahua. Their small stature makes them the pet of choice for urban areas like Portland and Eugene. Chihuahuas are also prized for portability to Oregon’s abundant outdoor spots and events. But most of all, Oregonians love Chihuahuas for their confidence, sass and deeply loyal heart—the perfect fit for unique Oregon.  Yerson Torres Lizardo/Unsplash


The protective German Shepherd Dog is preferred by Pennsylvanians. German Shepherds thrive as police and military dogs, reflecting Pennsylvania’s blue-collar values. They also relish outdoor adventures like hiking and camping alongside their favorite humans. Above all, Pennsylvanians love their unwavering bravery and loyalty.  Anna Dudkova/Wikimedia

Rhode Island

Tiny Shih Tzus win over Rhode Islanders’ hearts above all other breeds. Their upbeat personality shines in small urban areas and apartments, which suit the Ocean State. And their low-maintenance coat and moderate exercise needs make them ideal urban companions. Rhode Islanders also love toting their portable pups everywhere from beaches to bistros.  Joshua J. Cotten/Wikimedia

South Carolina

There’s no breed South Carolinians love more than the spunky Chihuahua. Their petite size allows Palmetto Staters to bring them anywhere from Charleston's cafes to Myrtle Beach's boardwalks. Chihuahuas also perfectly adapt to the climate with their innate heat tolerance. Above all, South Carolinians are smitten with their fiercely loyal pups.  Alejandra Bastardo/Unsplash

South Dakota

The hardy Chihuahua is South Dakota’s top dog. They flourish with South Dakota’s dramatic climate extremes from summer heat to blizzard conditions. Chihuahuas are also highly portable for Mount Rushmore tours and state fair events. Their confidence and loyalty in a compact frame make them the perfect pairing for active South Dakotans.  Jessica Knowlden/Unsplash


In Tennessee, no breed is more popular than the versatile Chihuahua. They’re happy in cities, suburbs or farms across the Volunteer State. Tennessee also has a moderate climate that suits them. But most endearing to Tennesseans is the Chihuahua’s intense bond with their humans and lively spirit.  Maria Garza/Unsplash


Texans have a mighty big love for tiny Chihuahuas. Their loyalty and courage through their petite frame embodies Texas attitude. Chihuahuas’ heat tolerance also allows them to thrive in the Lone Star State’s blazing climate. For apartment living or scampering on big Texas land, Chihuahuas suit this state perfectly.  Alexander Grey/Unsplash


Utah’s preferred pooch is the good-natured Goldendoodle. This Poodle and Golden Retriever crossbreed has the best qualities of both parent breeds. This makes them ideal for Utah's array of urban and rural areas. Most of all, their cheerful disposition suits the Beehive State's friendly culture. Doodles are a delightful match.  Brooke Cagle/Unsplash


The faithful Golden Retriever is top dog in Vermont. Their affectionate nature and patience with kids makes them wonderful additions to Green Mountain State families. Goldens also relish partaking in Vermont’s abundant outdoor recreation alongside their owners. Above all, Vermonters are smitten with the breed’s steadfast loyalty.  Cloé fontaine/Unsplash


Virginians favor the dignified Golden Retriever above all other breeds. Goldens possess a versatility that allows them to thrive anywhere from Arlington to Alexandria as service dogs or family companions. Virginians also love their noble character, intelligence, and willingness to work. For devotion, charm and trainability, Virginians go for the Golden.  J. Schiemann/Unsplash


Washingtonians prefer plucky Chihuahuas as faithful companions. Chihuahuas love the city life in Seattle and Tacoma but also adapt well to Washington's diverse climates and landscapes. They’re prized for portability to partake in everything from coffee shop meetups to mountain hikes with their humans.  Thea/Unsplash

Washington, D.C.

The feisty Yorkshire Terrier is D.C.’s most popular breed. Yorkies have big personalities in a portable size, making them ideal urban pets in apartments and condos. D.C. residents also love toting them along to restaurants, social functions, and more. No companion breed fits better with busy D.C. lifestyle than a hearty Yorkshire Terrier.  Julian Hochgesang/Unsplash

West Virginia

Tiny Chihuahuas win over West Virginians’ hearts above all breeds. While bold for their small size, they still adapt well to Mountain State cities and towns. Chihuahuas also match the resilience of West Virginians. Above all, West Virginians cherish their loyalty and cuddly nature.  Isabel Vittrup-Pallier/Unsplash


In Wisconsin, Golden Retrievers are beloved as the state dog for good reason. Their cheerful yet hardworking demeanor reflects the Midwest’s values. They also relish Wisconsin’s plethora of outdoor activities alongside their favorite humans. And cheeseheads love the Golden’s intelligence, obedience, and family devotion.  Helena Lopes/Unsplash


The fiercely loyal German Shepherd Dog is Wyoming’s most popular breed. German Shepherds thrive on wide-open Wyoming spaces and love accompanying their owners on outdoor adventures. Their protective nature also makes them excellent guardians for remote Wyoming homes and ranches. German Shepherds' strength and intelligence make them ideal working dogs in the Cowboy State.  Yuriy Bogdanov/Unsplash

The Most Popular Dog Breed in Every U.S. State

So there you have it - a look at the most popular dog breeds in every U.S. state! While some states prefer smaller companion breeds, others favor larger working and sporting dogs. But no matter what breed rules each region, dogs hold a special place in American hearts from coast to coast. With their loyalty, affection, and versatility, it's no wonder dogs are man's best friend across this great nation of ours. Which breed is tops in your home state?  Alvan Nee/Unsplash