Catahoula Leopard, Blue Lacy, Chinook All State Dogs
Of the 50 states, only 10 recognize a state dog. Most pay homage to a flower or bird, but mans best friend gets shortchanged. This article will tell the tale of three dog breeds honored by their state. The history of these dogs is truly amazing.
The first dog talked about is the Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog. This is the State Dog of Louisiana, being named that in 1979. Nobody is certain about the origin of this dog. Some people think it is related to the Nordic Wolfhound. What we do know is, it was bred by Indians and early settlers of Louisiana. This dog is very strong, and athletic. They were used as working dogs, to gather wild pigs or cattle from hard to get places. These canines would work together, using teamwork to round up strays from swamps, or other hard to get places. Today these dogs still have the instinct that was bred into them by the first settlers of Louisiana. They love to roam in fields. Some are house pets, but most like it better outside. They have some very distinctive qualities. The coat is colored in patches. They come in assorted colors. The eyes are said to look like marbles. Many times the eyes will be two different colors. The Catahoula is also used to hunt certain animals, like bear, and raccoon. This breed weighs between 55 to 80 pounds. The average lifespan is 10 to 12 years.
Texas also has a state dog. It is the Blue Lacy. This is the only breed of dog to have originated in the great state of Texas. The Lacy name comes from the breeders, four brothers from Kentucky who decided to make Texas home. Upon settling there in 1858, they introduced the Blue Lacy. This dog originated from a greyhound/scent hound cross and a coyote. The Lacy was used only as a ranch dog. It rounded up all the various stock that would wander off the farm. The dog nearly became extinct when it wasn’t needed to herd anymore. Luckily it was discovered that the Blue Lacy was a great hunting dog. Today the Lacy is used by many hunters and trappers. The dog is a bluish color, with eyes that are orange or yellow. The breed weighs between 25 to 50 pounds. It is very good with kids. The Blue Lacy is a quick study, that does not like shouting. The dog responds much better to calm commands. The Blue Lacy lives a long life. Many of the dogs live to be 15 to 16 years old. In 2005, Texas bestowed the honor of State Dog upon the Blue Lacy.
The State of New Hampshire named the Chinook, State Dog, in 2009. The Chinook is a rare sled dog. Only around 500 to 1000 exist today. The Chinook was bred by Arthur Walden. He was an adventure seeker from Alaska. Walden moved to the Granite State, intent on developing his own style of sled dog. Walden wanted a strong dog, who was fast as well. He also wanted a dog that could stand working in the cold. The adventurer also desired a happy go lucky dog. Walden bred a Mastiff with a Spitz in 1917. The pup from the litter with all of Walden’s qualities was named Great Chinook. This dog became a legend in the sledding community. During the famous Byrd Antarctica Expedition, the Great Chinook now12 years old, not only led the expedition, he was the dad to 50 of the dogs involved. Unfortunately this super dog would lose his life during the expedition. It’s easy to see why the breed was named after this stud. Today the Chinook is found mostly in New England. They are said to be loving, friendly pets great with kids. The Chinook is usually a tawny color. The coat is thick, medium in length. The Chinook lives to be 10 to 15 years old.