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10 Most Popular Dog Breeds in Massachusetts in 2024 (With Pictures)

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 16, 2024 by Dogster Team

male boxer dog standing on grass

10 Most Popular Dog Breeds in Massachusetts in 2024 (With Pictures)

Massachusetts is the six-smallest state in the US, yet it has lots to offer. Known for its amazing Thanksgiving traditions and sports teams, MIT and Harvard, MA is a perfect place for dog owners. The picturesque parks, challenging hiking trails, and crystal-clear air can make even the most exacting canine citizen happy. Speaking of our four-legged buds, let’s talk about the state’s favorite breeds.

Now, you might think that Boston Terriers are the undisputed champs here, but local dog parents prefer to go with Retrievers, German Shepherds, and French Bulldogs. The list also includes Cane Corsos, Poodles, and even the Japanese Shiba Inus. So, join us, and let’s talk more about the in-demand pups in the Bay State!

The 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds in Massachusetts

1. French Bulldog

french bulldog on the grass
Image Credit: CraneBird Studios, Shutterstock
Average Size 10–12 inches
Average Weight 16–28 pounds
Expected Lifespan 10–12 years
Originally From France, England

There’s very little not to like about the cute, playful, and curious French Bulldogs. While they’re not that big or heavy (10–12 inches, 16–28 pounds), Frenchies are rather tough and hold their own in any situation. These dogs are quick to adapt, eager to please, and open to strangers. They’re also patient with little kids and affectionate around family, which makes them an even better pick.

French Bulldogs have been among the most favored dog breeds for decades, thanks to the bat-like ears, short hose, square head, and, of course, the trademark wrinkles. These adorable dogs don’t talk much and aren’t at all clingy, by the way. Couples, single owners, seniors, and large families—French Dogs are a great pick for all dog fans. A well-deserved top spot!

2. Labrador Retriever

Chocolate Labrador Retriever autumn
Image Credit: Victoria Rak, Shutterstock
Average Size 22–24 inches
Average Weight 55–79 pounds
Expected Lifespan 10–12 years
Originally From Newfoundland

The friendly, cheerful, and sweet-spirited Labrador Retrievers are all the rage. Loyal, playful, and always happy to make new buds, these dogs are perfect for big, loving families with kids. If you’re in the market for an average-sized companion to join your ranks, do consider this breed. Hailing from Newfoundland, Labs are incredibly popular across the globe.

The big, floppy ears, eyes full of love, and eagerly wagging tail are their trademark traits. More good news: Labrador Retrievers do great in small apartments yet love to spend time with the entire family outdoors. Capable runners, swimmers, and puzzle solvers, they’re often the life of the party.

3. Golden Retriever

golden retriever portrait on bench in the snow.
Image Credit: Debra Anderson, Shutterstock
Average Size 21–24 inches
Average Weight 55–75 pounds
Expected Lifespan 10–12 years
Originally From UK

That’s not it for the Retrievers just yet! Ranked as the third-most-popular dogs in Massachusetts, Golden Retrievers are just as affectionate, joyful, and easygoing as the Labs. They do, however, take more effort in maintenance: that beautiful coat isn’t very easy to groom. On the bright side, these pups have a slightly lower prey drive and won’t chase every single small mammal in the area.

Golden Retrievers aren’t as patient as Labs, though, and don’t necessarily appreciate the company of loud, obnoxious children. But, at the end of the day, Goldies are amazing pets with big, loving hearts, and witty, capable minds. That’s exactly why so many dog parents in MA want them as companions.

4. German Shepherd

German Shepherd
Image Credit: Osetrik, Shutterstock
Average Size 22–26 inches
Average Weight 49–88 pounds
Expected Lifespan 9–13 years
Originally From Germany

As the name suggests, these noble dogs are native to Germany. For centuries, German Shepherds have been praised for their intelligence, courage, and efficiency. They are top-notch guardians, guides, military, police, and search-and-rescue dogs, and, of course, cherished family members. Big, strong, and heavy (males can weigh up to 88 pounds), German Shepherds can easily take on large prey.

However, that’s not even why they are in high demand in Massachusetts and the rest of the country. German Shepherds are incredibly loyal and smart and will never betray the people that they love and trust. They might not be very open toward strangers (especially other pups), yet they don’t mind making new friends.

5. Poodle

toy poodle lying on sofa at home
Image Credit: NDAB Creativity, Shutterstock
Average Size 18–24 inches
Average Weight 44–70 pounds
Expected Lifespan 10–18 years
Originally From France, Germany

Unofficially known as the aristocrats among all dogs, Poodles are equally elegant and sleek and have wits for days. On top of that, they come in all shapes and sizes, including Standard, Miniature, and Toy. The proportions are always the same, though, along with the affectionate, energetic, and inquisitive nature. Add a fancy, oh-so-smooth coat and a cute tail, and you’ll get a winner.

Poodles are easy to train, low-maintenance, and don’t take forever to warm up to their owners. Lastly, they have an above-average lifespan and can keep you company for up to 18 years. So, if you’re tired of navigating the scenic routes of Massachusetts on your own, a Poodle will gladly keep you company.

6. Boston Terrier

Brindle Boston terrier puppy
Image Credit: Alta Oosthuizen, Shutterstock
Average Size 15–17 inches
Average Weight 10–25 pounds
Expected Lifespan 13–15 years
Originally From United States

It might be a bit strange that Boston’s own isn’t the most popular doggo in MA, but the numbers don’t lie! It still made the list, of course, which means the breed is favored by tens of thousands of local pet parents. Born and bred in the capital and largest city of Massachusetts, the American Gentleman is renowned for its perfect manners, sleek, tuxedo-like coat, and bright, lively personality.

Boston Terriers are among the cutest and most amusing dog species and can charm their way into (or out of) anything. Just like all the other dogs on today’s list, Boston’s finest is a friendly, joyous, and people-oriented pet. It’s got a compact body, a short tail, and the loveliest eyes you’ll ever see.

7. Cane Corso

brindle cane corso dog lying on grass outdoor
Image Credit: Stivog, Shutterstock
Average Size 23–28 inches
Average Weight 90–110 pounds
Expected Lifespan 10–12 years
Originally From Italy

Did you know that the imposing Cane Corsos are the most searched breed in Massachusetts? That’s right, and this doesn’t only apply to Boston, Springfield, or Brockton. Corsi were at the top of the search query in six major cities in MA. So, what’s so special about the Italian Mastiffs? Confident and majestic, they are fearless protectors.

Corsi can be a bit stubborn and standoffish, but with a firm hand and early socialization, you should be able to put their smart brains to good use. These big, tall canines (110 pounds, 28 inches) are confident, alert, and well-built. We’re also happy to say that they are devoted and affectionate with their favorite humans.

8. Shiba Inu

shiba inu dog standing in the grass
Image Credit: TOM KAROLA, Shutterstock
Average Size 13–16 inches
Average Weight 17–23 pounds
Expected Lifespan 12–16 years
Originally From Japan

Corsi weren’t the only dogs on the most-search list: Shiba Inus were on it as well. These exotic pooches deserve the spotlight just as much as the other canines. They’re not particularly big, but the robust bone structure, mighty muscles, and hunting background turn them into highly capable companions. Back home, Shiba Inus are among the most picked pets. So, that’s one thing MA has in common with Japan.

Driven, sweet-tempered, and highly adaptive, these dogs are equally suited for large properties, tiny apartments, and everything else in between. They’ve been introduced to the West six decades ago and are becoming more popular in the US each year. A well-raised Shiba is curious, slightly aloof with strangers, yet tender and warm with the owners. A low shedder, this chap rarely drools or barks.

9. Beagle

beagle with blue collar outside in the woods
Image Credit: AlbanyColley, Pixabay
Average Size 13–16 inches
Average Weight 20–24 pounds
Expected Lifespan 12–15 years
Originally From UK, England, Great Britain

Friendly, inquisitive, and full of life—that’s the best way to describe Beagles. They love the company of fellow dogs and children and don’t get lost or anxious in big companies. Bred as hunting dogs, Beagles know how to be loyal, obedient, and effective on harsh terrain. With that, they are upbeat, funky, easygoing, and have big, round eyes, long ears, and a face to die for.

These traits turn them into superstar family pets. After all, Beagles haven’t been the most popular hounds in the States for nothing!

10. Boxer

female boxer dog on sand
Image Credit: Photobac, Shutterstock
Average Size 21–25 inches
Average Weight 55–71 pounds
Expected Lifespan 10–12 years
Originally From Germany

Some dogs are a bit timid, hesitant, and like to keep to themselves. That doesn’t apply to Boxers, though: these crowd-pleasers love to stay on their feet, play games, and have fun. They come from the herding group and never shy away from hard work. And, just like Beagles, Boxers are devoted, affectionate, and brainy, not to mention protective, attentive, and socially active.

It’s safe to say that Boxers are the whole package. They can guard and watch over the property, get some work done, play various games, and bring a smile to your face.


How Many People in Massachusetts Have Dogs?

According to a recent AVMA report, rural states have a soft spot for pets. For example, 72% of households in Wyoming have at least one domestic animal. West Virginia reported 71% pet-friendly homes, followed by Nebraska, Vermont, and Idaho (70%). In contrast, urban areas/states have a lower number of darlings, with Rhode Island and South Dakota lacking the most (45% and 46%, respectively).

And if we look at the number of dog owners in each state, we’ll see that Massachusetts is on the lower half of the list (only 29% of the households). Overall, dogs are more popular in the States than cats or any other four-legged buds. Right now, 44.5% of households in the US are dog fans, while cats only account for 29% of domestic animals.

Licensing, Leashes, and Spaying: MA Laws for Pup Owners

Before you go ahead and adopt/buy a dog in Massachusetts, please remember that you’ll need a new license for the pet every 12 months (by March 1st). This law applies to all pups that have reached six months of age. And the government will only hand you out that license if the pet is vaccinated (proof will be required). The lack of a proper license can be penalized.

Sterilization is not mandatory, yet it is highly recommended. Besides, spayed/neutered pooches get a nice price cut on the license. When in public places, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts demands all dogs be on a leash. If you let the doggo roam freely, expect to be fined. Lastly, the owners are obligated by law to remove their pet’s waste.


In Conclusion

Looking for a safe, peaceful place to settle with a doggo? Massachusetts can be a near-perfect choice. It looks stunning in the fall, boasts a comfortable climate, and has more than enough bays for the two of you to explore. Plus, as we learned today, local pet parents have roughly the same preferences as folks from the rest of the country.

Of course, Boston Terriers have a special place in the hearts and minds of Bay Staters, but they still can’t compete with America’s favorites: French Bulldogs, Labrador Retrievers, and Golden Retrievers. So, go over the list, learn more about the most popular dogs in Massachusetts, take your pick, and enjoy Massachusetts’s beautiful nature with your new best friend!

Featured Image Credit: Dmitry Kalinovsky, Shutterstock

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