(WHTM) — If you love trivia about the Keystone state, you might already know that Pennsylvania’s official state dog is the Great Dane.
But have you ever wondered why?
According to pa.gov, Great Danes were used historically in frontier Pennsylvania as both a hunting and working breed. More, the state’s founder William Penn had a Great Dane. The pair can be seen in a portrait that now hangs in the governor’s Reception Room in the Pennsylvania Capitol.
The Great Dane became Pennsylvania’s state dog on August 15, 1965. According to VisitPA.com there was also a unique vote to approve the decision.
“When the Speaker of the House called for a voice vote to designate the Great Dane, yips, growls and barks assaulted his ears from every part of the chamber! With a rap of his gavel, the Speaker confirmed that the “arfs have it” and the “Barking Dog Vote” entered the annals of legislative history,” the Commonwealth’s official tourism website states.
Pennsylvania is one more than a dozen U.S. states to have a state dog designation. In fact, Pennsylvania became the second state to name and official state dog following Maryland’s selection of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever as its state dog in 1964.
Other states with official state dog designations include the following:
- Alaska: Alaskan Malamute, 2010
- Delaware: Rescue dogs, 2023 (Note: Delaware declared the Golden Retriever as its state dog in 2016 but this designation expired in 2017.)
- Georgia: An adoptable dog, 2016
- Illinois: Shelter dogs and shelter cats, 2017
- Louisiana: Catahoula Leopard Dog, 1979
- Maryland: Chesapeake Bay Retriever, 1964
- Massachusetts: Boston Terrier, 1979
- Missouri: “Jim the Wonder Dog”
- New Hampshire: Chinook, 2009
- New Jersey: Seeing Eye Dog, 2020
- New York: Working Dog, 2015
- North Carolina: Plott Hound, 1989
- South Caroline: Boykin Spaniel, 1985
- Tennessee: Bluetick Coonhound, 2019
- Texas: Blue Lacy, 2005
- Virginia: American Foxhound, 1966
- Wisconsin: American Water Spaniel, 1985