2021 Good Dog Photo Contest

Meet the Winners of the 2021 Good Dog Photo Contest

Check out the pup who snapped up the title of overall winner, the Boykin propelled to first place by readers, and all the good dogs from this year’s contest

Our annual Good Dog Photo Contest again showed off thousands of the best pups in the South and beyond—and again made picking the overall winner a challenging (but delightful) task. In the end, G&G editors were enthralled with Goose, a young beach-loving golden retriever from Atlanta whose priceless reaction to seeing her first ghost crab was worthy of the crown of overall winner. The readers’ choice winner, a Boykin spaniel named Hunley from Seneca, South Carolina, is also a star around the water.

Meet Goose and Hunley as well as several more of our favorites and the other top readers’ choice vote getters below. Because we had so many great entries, we’ve put together collections of puppies, dogs being buddies, funny dogs, dogs in the great outdoors, muddy mutts, and one we’re calling “if dogs had driver’s licenses.”

Our sincere thanks to everyone who took the time to submit photos and vote. It’s always a joy to see so many good dogs, and we’re happy to share them with you. And Goose, keep an eye on the mailbox for a G&G gift pack headed your way.

The Overall Winner


Goose, Golden Retriever

Atlanta, Georgia

Goose and her owner, Holland Cox of Atlanta, were visiting family on the Isle of Palms, South Carolina, for the Fourth of July, and went for a walk on the nearly empty beach after a storm blew through. They happened upon a ghost crab, and as five-month-old Goose tried to make sense of the strange new creature, Cox snapped a photo on her phone.

After the canine-crab standoff, both parties parted ways without a scuffle—which came as no surprise to Goose’s owner. “She’s silly and low energy,” Cox says. “She was the calmest out of all of her brothers and sisters, and she was content to be held.” Goose is a beach bum: “Her favorite thing is to play with the loose sand at the top of the beach.”

Cox works at a children’s hospital in Atlanta, and she hoped to adopt and train her own therapy dog to help comfort young patients. “It’s difficult for visitors to see the kids, and they can feel pretty isolated at times,” Cox explains. When she was looking for a puppy, Goose immediately drew her in. “Everyone who meets Goosey falls in love with her. She loves every human she’s ever laid eyes on. She’s the best decision I ever made, and I’m so proud to be her mom.” —Gabriela Gomez-Misserian

The Readers’ Choice Winner


Hunley, Boykin Spaniel
Seneca, South Carolina

Hunley has lived on both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts—and now he has admirers around the globe.

Owner Tim Daley’s daughter and son-in-law got Hunley as a puppy, but when military work took the young Melton family from Seattle to South Korea for two years, Daley agreed to take in Hunley at his lakeside house on Lake Keowee in Seneca, South Carolina. Hunley and Daley became fast friends.

When the Meltons returned from overseas, they couldn’t separate Daley and Hunley after seeing how much the two had bonded. Now, Hunley continues to live out his dreams on the water (Daley is an avid boater and water skier).

As for winning the vote, Daley says he reached out for support from friends and colleagues around the world. He retired as the vice president of global sales and distribution for a healthcare company. Daley took to Facebook to promote his six-year-old pup, sending out voting reminders and photo blasts by the hour.

“I was even up in the middle of the night, driving my wife crazy,” Daley says. Hunley’s network of fans, from Mexico to the United Kingdom, showed up in droves. “It really snowballed,” he says. “So many people came together for Hunley.” —Gabriela Gomez-Misserian

Runners-Up: Editors’ Picks


Tibby, English bulldog

Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

Tebow, golden retriever

Boca Grande, Florida

Frannie, miniature wirehaired dachshund
Tallahassee, Florida

Nyx, Great Dane
Sanford, North Carolina

LeVon, mutt
Simpsonville, South Carolina

Habi and Cay, Boykin spaniel and Brittany spaniel
Crawfordville, Florida

Bam, Neapolitan mastiff
Holly Hill, South Carolina

Max, schnauzer
Nashville, Tennessee

Strawberry, Brittany spaniel
Nashville, Tennessee

Yukon, golden retriever
Melbourne, Florida

Ripley & Boone, German shorthaired pointers
Wilton, Iowa

Rigby, cocker spaniel
Boerne, Texas

Happy, Cavapoo
Charlotte, North Carolina

Chocolate Mousse, Labradoodle
Allentown, Pennsylvania

Ruth, Boykin spaniel
Mill Creek, North Carolina

Satchel, Labrador
Mobile, Alabama

Biscuits and Grady the Great, German shorthaired pointer
Charleston, South Carolina

Marge, bulldog
New York City, New York

Huckleberry, golden retriever
Raleigh, North Carolina

Runners-Up: Readers’ Choice


Rip & Roxy, black and silver Labrador retrievers
Macon, North Carolina

Ruger & Finley, vizslas
Highlands, North Carolina

Roscoe, German shorthaired pointer
Summerville, South Carolina

Kodiak Winston & Kali Mae, miniature American Eskimo dogs
Lewisville, North Carolina

Franktown, Virginia

Pippa, miniature Dachshund
Richmond, Virginia

Charlie, bassett mix
Reidsville, North Carolina

Scout & Jake, Boykin spaniels
Hill Country Village, Texas

Jackson, mix
Winston Salem, North Carolina