Hunting Dogs photo

While I was watching my Georgia Bulldogs get their butts handed to them by the South Carolina Gamecocks I started thinking about the canine mascots of college football. (Full disclosure: I graduated from the University of Vermont, but since UVM has no football team I’ve stuck with my native state’s Dawgs.)


Uga, an English bulldog, hangs out in an air-conditioned doghouse on a bed of ice during the Georgia games. He’s only trotted out before the game and after a score. (Still, last year the gasbags at PETA protested the use of a live bulldog as a the school’s mascot, but were unsuccessful in making any waves.)

The bulldog is a popular choice. Off the top of my head I rolled off a few more schools with bulldog mascots: Georgetown, Gonzaga, Yale, Fresno State, and Mississippi State.

But then, of course, I was curious about what schools chose a genuine gun dog as their mascot.

If you stretch the limits of the term, the Terriers of Boston University make the cut, as terriers were bred as rat and otter hunting machines. Now they hunt ankles with equal ferocity. And there’s the Southern Illinois Salukis. The Saluki was bred to hunt in packs, often in tandem with falcons.

But the best I could come up with was the University of Tennessee’s Smokey, a Bluetick Coonhound. Smokey I began leading the Vols onto the field in 1953. But it was Smokey II who was kidnapped by some Kentucky students in 1955, and had a dustup with the Baylor Bear at the Sugar Bowl in 1957. Sounds like a gun dog to me. More recently, Smokey IX bit the same band member in two consecutive games and was replaced.

Am I leaving any dogs out? Have a favorite college football team with a canine mascot? Lets hear it.

Go Dawgs!