Babydog’s Gender Reveal. Boy or Girl?

Introducing Babydog

Babydog is the pet English bulldog of West Virginia’s governor Jim Justice and first lady Cathy Justice. She has served as the mascot for West Virginia’s COVID-19 vaccine lottery program “Do it for Babydog” since 2021.

The name “Babydog” was given by Gov. Justice, who has stated that he often uses the phrase “babydog” as a term of endearment (WBOY). As the governor’s pet, Babydog frequently appears alongside Justice at press events and conferences.

In 2021, Babydog was introduced as the mascot for West Virginia’s vaccine lottery program. The “Do it for Babydog” sweepstakes offered prizes to vaccinated residents, including trucks, ATVs, scholarships, and million dollar cash prizes. Babydog’s role helped promote COVID-19 vaccination in the state.

Babydog’s Gender

Babydog is female. This has been confirmed by statements from West Virginia Governor Jim Justice and his office. Governor Justice frequently refers to Babydog using female pronouns and has stated “She’s a girl” when talking about her in public appearances and social media posts.

The governor’s office also confirmed Babydog’s gender, stating that she is female in response to public inquiries. Additionally, Babydog’s breeders have corroborated that she is a female English Bulldog.

There is widespread acknowledgement and agreement from those closest to Babydog that she is a female dog. The governor, his family, and his administration leave no doubt regarding her gender.

governor justice holding babydog and confirming she's a girl

The Name Babydog

Babydog has an unusual name for a female dog. The name Babydog was chosen by West Virginia Governor Jim Justice shortly after getting her as a puppy in 2020. According to Governor Justice in an interview, the name Babydog comes from his habit of referring to people as “Babydoll” and then adding the word dog to make it Babydog since she’s a dog [1]. The name stuck and has now become synonymous with Governor Justice’s English bulldog.

While Babydog is female, her name Babydog invokes masculinity due to the “dog” suffix. However, Governor Justice seems fond of the name, frequently referring to Babydog by her full name. The name Babydog has taken on meaning for West Virginians as she has made public appearances across the state. Babydog has essentially become the state’s mascot and is strongly associated with Governor Justice’s vaccine sweepstakes called “Do it for Babydog.”

Babydog’s Breed

Babydog is a purebred English Bulldog. English Bulldogs are a medium-sized breed with short legs, a short muzzle, and wrinkly skin. They typically weigh between 45-55 pounds and stand about 12-15 inches tall. English Bulldogs also have large, wide heads with a rounded forehead and square jaw. Their coats are short and can come in a variety of colors like white, brindle, or red with some black markings.

English Bulldogs are known for their friendly, docile temperaments. They tend to be gentle, calm, and affectionate. However, they can also be stubborn at times. Overall, the English Bulldog is an easygoing breed that enjoys relaxing around the house and receiving lots of attention from their family. They make great companions and mascots.

According to an interview, Governor Justice confirmed that Babydog is a full-blooded English Bulldog with a brindle coat. She exhibits the typical sturdy, compact Bulldog build and easygoing personality that has made the breed so beloved.

babydog showing typical english bulldog features

Life with the Governor

Babydog has lived with West Virginia Governor Jim Justice and First Lady Cathy Justice since being gifted to them as a puppy in December 2019 ( As the governor’s pet, Babydog enjoys a life of luxury and fame in the governor’s mansion. She has been described as very spoiled, with Gov. Justice saying she sleeps in bed with him and the First Lady and is treated like royalty.

Despite her pampered lifestyle, Babydog also fills an important role as emotional support for Gov. Justice. The governor has said that when he comes home from a long day, Babydog’s excitement and affection lift his spirits. He describes her as his “best friend” and says she helps him decompress from the stresses of governing (

Babydog has become known for her playful and mischievous personality. She often interrupts the governor’s video conferences and public appearances by barking or jumping into frame. Amusing anecdotes of Babydog’s antics are frequently shared by Gov. Justice as lighthearted moments during serious policy discussions. Her spirited personality has captured the hearts of many West Virginians.

Role as Lottery Mascot

Babydog rose to fame as the mascot for West Virginia’s vaccine lottery program, “Do it for Babydog”. The program was launched by Governor Jim Justice in 2021 to incentivize COVID-19 vaccination in the state through a series of statewide prize drawings. Justice prominently featured his pet English bulldog, Babydog, in promotions and announcements for the lottery.

Babydog’s starring role as the face of the lottery program generated significant public attention and debate. Some praised the appealing nature of the photogenic dog being used to promote vaccinations. According to Governor Justice, “She’s becoming a national celebrity” (“Gov. Justice announces first “Do it for Babydog” vaccine sweepstakes millionaire and other prize winners”

However, others argued that relying on a pet as a public health mascot was inappropriate and accused Justice of exploiting Babydog for political purposes. The lottery also faced criticism and a federal investigation over how the program used pandemic relief funds (“West Virginia governor defends “Do it for Babydog” vaccine lottery” Despite the debates, Babydog’s role propelled her into the limelight as a prominent symbol of West Virginia’s pandemic response efforts.

babydog bringing attention to the vaccine lottery

Public Appearances

Babydog has made many notable public appearances alongside Governor Justice since becoming the unofficial mascot of West Virginia. She frequently attends press conferences, bill signings, sporting events, and other high-profile occasions with the governor.

Some of Babydog’s most famous public appearances include the governor’s 2021 State of the State Address, where she wore a tiny custom-made suit, and an appearance at the 2021 NFL Draft, where she announced one of the picks for the state. She’s also been spotted at numerous vaccination clinics and events promoting West Virginia’s vaccine lottery incentives (see

Despite the crowds and commotion, Babydog maintains her composure at public events. She often seems relaxed and comfortable interacting with strangers who want to pet her or pose for pictures. Her friendly demeanor suggests she enjoys the attention that comes with being West Virginia’s celebrity canine. According to Gov. Justice, Babydog loves people and has never met a stranger.

Personality and Quirks

Babydog has become known for her fun-loving and mischievous personality. Governor Justice often remarks how Babydog “smiles all the time” and is always happy to greet people at public events. She seems to enjoy being in the spotlight.

The Governor shared a funny anecdote about her on Facebook for National Dog Day: “We never imagined the joy she would bring to others too! She loves greeting folks at our Capitol office or on the road at events across the state. Babydog is always smiling and ready to spread some cheer!” (Source)

Those close to Babydog have observed many of her quirks. She has a habit of “talking back” when she wants something. Babydog also loves sticking her head out the window during car rides. Even when sleeping, she seems to have a permanent smile on her face.

Impact on WV

Babydog has become extremely popular and widely recognized across West Virginia thanks to her role as the mascot for the state’s COVID-19 vaccine lottery incentive program. Governor Jim Justice frequently appears in public with Babydog to promote vaccination efforts, and she has been featured in vaccination publicity campaigns with the slogan “Do it for Babydog.” According to an October 2021 poll, Babydog had a higher approval rating than Governor Justice.

Babydog’s popularity has helped boost morale and promote public health messaging during the COVID-19 pandemic in West Virginia. Her cute and playful personality provided a lighthearted aspect to serious vaccination campaigns. The governor reported a significant uptick in vaccinations after rolling out the “Do it for Babydog” lottery incentive program in 2021. Babydog’s role as the mascot helped drive engagement through social media posts and news coverage. Her public appearances across the state with Governor Justice helped reinforce the lottery program’s messaging and mission to get more West Virginians vaccinated.

babydog motivating more vaccine sign-ups


This article explored the background and role of West Virginia’s famous First Dog, Babydog. We learned that Babydog is a female English bulldog who belongs to Governor Jim Justice and his family. Her fun name reflects her puppy-like personality and appearance.

As the state’s lottery mascot and special secretary, Babydog has become a public figure in West Virginia. She frequently appears at press events and ceremonies with the governor. Known for her silly antics, friendly demeanor and cute outfits, Babydog has captured the hearts of many West Virginians.

While just a playful pet, Babydog has come to represent hope and positivity for the state during challenging times. Her role as lottery mascot aims to raise funds for education programs in West Virginia. So in many ways, this spunky English bulldog serves an important purpose for the people of her state.

To recap, the original question posed was – Is Babydog a boy or girl? As we learned, despite her name, Babydog is in fact a female dog belonging to Governor Justice’s family. Beyond her gender, we explored her backstory, public role, personality and impact on West Virginia.

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