If dogs played sports, things would change – the basketball suddenly chewed up, the baseball diamond ridiculously soiled, unnecessary ruffness penalties on the football field. But, while mutts and mongrels don’t engage in “bone defense” or “double drools,” they are a part of many games. Collegiate sports, in particular, are filled with mascots of the canine-variety.
Many of these are bulldogs – a favorite among schools. It makes sense, as a bulldog is gruff, determined, and generally looks like it means business. Besides, it’s hard to root, root, root for the Fighting Poodles or the Mighty Maltese.
Still, there’s more variety than you might think. So, let’s go for a walk and explore the dogs wagging their tails to cheer on their teams.
Uga the Bulldog: One of the most famous mascots in higher education, Uga the Bulldog represents the University of Georgia. He’s an English Bulldog whose relatives have appeared in movies and on the cover of Sport’s Illustrated.
Jonathan the Siberian Husky: The University of Connecticut is better known as the UConn Huskies. Ergo, a Siberian is their mascot. This husky is one of the few in the country that was selected by the students. This vote took place back in 1933.
Damien the Great Dane: Damien signifies the University of Albany. The Great Dane was chosen as a mascot in 1965, replacing a penguin. Male Great Danes can reach 200 pounds, making some heavier than many college students.
Spike the Bulldog: Spike is another bulldog representing Drake University. Rumor has it that Drake switched its mascot from a duckling (as drake is a male duck) to a bulldog back in the early 1900s. This happened as a result of the football coach often bringing his two English Bulldogs to campus.
Rhett the Boston Terrier: It’s fitting that a Boston Terrier roots for Boston University. The name, Rhett, is allegedly a nod to scarlet, the school color (and Rhett Butler’s love interest in Gone with the Wind).
Reveille the Rough Collie: In keeping with tradition, this collie is always female. She’s also the highest-ranking member of the Corps of Cadets: during World War II, Reveille was made a general as part of a fundraiser. She’s the official mascot of Texas A&M, though their nickname is the “Aggies.” But, of course, an aggie never greets you happily at the door.
Tuffy the Tamaskan: Tuffy represents the North Carolina State Wolfpack. A breed that originated in Finland, it’s a cross between a husky and an Alaskan Malamute. Though it looks like a wolf, it isn’t. The college administration probably doesn’t want that kind of liability.
Ramses the Saluki: Salukis are similar to greyhounds (think greyhounds with fur extensions). It’s a dog that’s elegant and regal, but very speedy. It’s believed to be among the most ancient dogs too. Southern Illinois State University features Ramses as their mascot, a Saluki likely named for the breed’s Egyptian roots.
Handsome Dan the Bulldog: Yale University, like some of the aforementioned ones, also sports a bulldog as its mascot: the not-quite-humbly named Handsome Dan. Yale was actually the first school in the United States to adopt an official mascot. So, maybe a little bragging is warranted.