Saturday is a special occasion for our four-legged, tail-wagging friends – national dog day. What better way to celebrate the national day than to recognize the best dog mascots – living and costumed – in college athletics.

RELATED: History of college mascots

Butler Blue III aka "Trip" – Butler

Butler Blue III is the official live mascot of Butler. According to the university's website, the almost six-year-old dog's favorite activities are attending Butler games at Hinkle Fieldhouse, spending time with his two human "brothers," and getting bathed.

Ironclad Tupper – Bryant University

General Robert P. Carson (G2), Boo X – The Citadel

The Citadel has had more than 20 live bulldog mascots, dating back to Mascot Mike in 1928. General Robert P. Carson (G2) and Boo X have been the live mascots since 2013.

Griff – Drake University

Drake's newest bulldog, Griff, is a former "finished champion" on the show dog circuit. He enjoys taking baths, rolling in the dirt, eating and napping, according to the school website. He became the university's mascot on Oct. 8, 2015.

Uga X aka "Que," Hairy Dawg – Georgia

Georgia has both a living and costumed dog mascot. Uga I was brought to campus in 1956 and the university has continued with a line of pure white English bulldogs. Georgia is currently on Uga X, also known as Que, who was formally introduced at the Bulldogs' football game against Georgia Southern on Nov. 21, 2015. The school has a 10-3 record in football during his reign as the mascot. Hairy Dawg is the costumed bulldog that can be found at Georgia games.

Victor E. Bulldog III – Fresno State

Fresno State's live mascot sports one of the best names in college athletics – Victor E. Bulldog. The university's current mascot is the third dog with the name after he was introduced in June 2015. Fresno State's original white bulldog roamed campus during lunch in 1921 but there wasn't an official bulldog mascot until 1935, according to the school website.

Roebuck aka "Bucky," Mac(k) the Bulldog – Gardner-Webb

Gardner-Webb University

Gardner-Webb's current mascot situation is difficult to pin down, but the university did have a live bulldog named Roebuck, also known as "Bucky." The school's costumed bulldog mascot is named Mac, although the spelling Mack has also been used. 

Jack the Bulldog – Georgetown

Jack the Bulldog ranks eighth among the 125 most famous dogs in pop culture, according to the American Kennel Club. The original Jack first stepped foot on Georgetown's campus in 1962 and is rumored to have only responded to "Jack," rather than the name the students gave him, "Hoya."

Spike – Gonzaga

Gonzaga's last live mascot was named Q but now the Bulldogs rely on a costumed mascot named Spike. The first costumed mascot debuted in 1985. Gonzaga earned the Bulldog moniker in 1921 when a reporter wrote that the school's football team fought like bulldogs, according to the school website.

Duke Dog – James Madison

According to James Madison University, the school is likely the only one in the country whose nickname originated from the name of the school's president. James Madison's second president was named Dr. Samuel P. Duke and the school's first men's basketball team chose the name "The Dukes" in his honor.

Tech XXI, Champ – Louisiana Tech

Louisiana Tech's affiliation with a bulldog is rumored to have begun in 1899, when several students discovered a bulldog on their way home from class, fed him, and he ended up following them back to their house, according to the school website. A fire reportedly broke out and the dog alerted the sleeping students, but unfortunately it did not survive. When Louisiana Tech needed a mascot for its football team, the bulldog became the easy choice after the legend of the stray bulldog spread throughout campus.

Lousiana Tech's live mascot, Tech XXI, retired from sideline duties and public appearances last October, but the school's costumed bulldog, Champ, is still an active mascot.

Bully XXI aka "Jak" – Mississippi State

Mississippi State's mascot is an English bulldog that's registered by the American Kennel Club. The name "Bully" is inherited by each successor. Bully XXI, also known as "Jak," is the son of Bully XX, or "Champ."

Aggie & Aggietha – North Carolina A&T State

North Carolina A&T State University

North Carolina A&T State has a pair of costumed dog mascots – Aggie and Aggietha.

The school's mascot has been the "Aggies" since its founding in 1891, and it has long been a term used for agricultural students.

North Carolina A&T used live mascots for several years, but recently, the university switched to costumed mascots to match the school logo.



Rocky – UNC-Asheville

UNC-Asheville first live mascot was Puck I, who debuted in 1948 and was named after a character from Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Live mascots stopped being part of the university's tradition in the 1980s, but Rocky I marked the return of the living, breathing bulldog. However, Rocky I passed away in 2016. The university still has a costumed bulldog mascot named Rocky, as well as a statue of Rocky I on campus.

Rex, Spike – Samford

Samford boasts both a live bulldog mascot, Rex – who took over as the university's mascot in 2011 after the passing of the previous bulldog, Libby – and a costumed mascot, Spike.

Colonel Rock III, Rocky the Bulldog – Western Illinois

Western Illinois introduced its fans to a live bulldog mascot in 1958, when the student government bought an English bulldog that walked through the stadium during home football games. The series of live bulldog mascots are named Colonel Rock in honor of former Western Illinois Athletic Director Ray "Rock" Hanson. Rocky the Bulldog is the university's costumed mascot.

Handsome Dan XVIII – Yale

Yale introduced Handsome Dan XVIII in November 2016 after the passing of Handsome Dan XVII, also known as "Sherman," following a nine-plus-year run as the school's mascot. Yale embarked on a national search to find Handsome Dan XVIII, who was born in Maine.

Andy Wittry has written for, Sporting News, the Indianapolis Star, Louisville Courier-Journal and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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