Active, friendly, outgoing – the Labrador Retriever, or Lab for short, perfectly encompasses the state of Ohio’s slogan – ‘The Heart of it All.’
It’s no wonder that earlier this month, Ohio State Representative Jeffrey S. Rezabek introduced House Bill 539 to recognize the Lab as the state dog. The versatile Lab is often trained for hunting, searching and rescue, scent detection, as well as being a wonderful family companion. The Lab excels as both a sporting retriever and a working dog, and it’s these qualities that Rep. Rezabek believes “reflect the state’s passion for sports and the work ethic that defines its communities.” The American Kennel Club is also pleased to announce that the Labrador Retriever is both America’s and Ohio’s most popular breed for 2017.
If the bill passes, Ohio will join 11 other states who have adopted purpose-bred dogs to represent their state. The majority of the breeds chosen as state dogs originated in their respective states, having been bred with particular traits carefully selected to serve the needs of their environment. The Alaskan Malamute, for example, is uniquely suited for sled pulling and the Chesapeake Bay Retriever was bred to hunt waterfowl in the rough waters of the Maryland coastline.
Here are all eleven state dogs, (*note: Delaware’s state dog expired at the end of 2017):
Alaska: Alaskan Malamute
Delaware: Golden Retriever (expired)
Louisiana: Catahoula Leopard Dog
Maryland: Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Massachusetts: Boston Terrier
New Hampshire: Chinook
Pennsylvania: Great Dane
South Carolina: Boykin Spaniel
Texas: Blue Lacy
Virginia: American Foxhound
Wisconsin: American Water Spaniel
House Bill 539 is pending in the Ohio House State and Local Government Committee.