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10 Most Popular Dog Breeds in Massachusetts: 2023 Update (With Pictures)

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Boston terrier puppy licking nose

The French Bulldog recently dethroned the Labrador Retriever after 31 years as the most popular dog breed in the US. But when you break down the popular breeds across different states, there are clear winners.

Here are the 10 most popular dog breeds in Massachusetts. You may even see some universally popular dog breeds on the list.

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The 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds in Massachusetts

1. Boston Terrier

Black Boston Terrier
Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock
Height 15–17 inches
Weight 10–25 lbs
Suitable for Companionship, family pet

It’s no surprise that the dapper Boston Terrier, the state’s official dog breed, tops the list. The Boston Terrier is a lively companion breed with a distinctive “tuxedo jacket” pattern, a compact but agile body, and a friendly look. Dubbed “the American Gentleman,” these dogs are stately and move with spritely, rhythmic motions and enjoy spending their time around their human companions.

2. Chihuahua

deer head chihuahua dog standing on a pile of dried leaves
Image Credit: Tanya Consaul Photography, Shutterstock
Height 5–8 inches
Weight Up to 6 lbs
Suitable for Companionship

The Chihuahua is a tiny dog with a big personality. The national symbol of Mexico, Chihuahuas are among the oldest dog breeds in the Americas and date back to pre-Columbian times. Chihuahuas come in several varieties, including the apple head and deer head, long- and short-haired, and plenty of colors. Their tiny size makes them ideal for urban environments like Boston’s bustling neighborhoods.

3. Cane Corso

Urszula Drab, Shutterstock
Image Credit: Urszula Drab, Shutterstock
Height 23.5–27.5 inches
Weight 90–110 lbs
Suitable for Guard work, companionship, canine sports, farm work

The Cane Corso is a noble protection dog that dates back to Roman times. The name roughly translates from the Latin for “bodyguard dog”, and with an imposing size and muscular body, Corsi live up to their name. They’re intelligent, eager to please, versatile, and intensely loyal, but they’re best suited for experienced owners.

4. Shiba Inu

shiba inu dog in the grass
Image Credit: Spencer-Xu-Shutterstock
Height 13.5–16.5 inches
Weight 17–23 pounds
Suitable for Hunting, canine sports, companionship

The Shiba Inu is an ancient Japanese breed with a small but muscular body. These dogs have a strong spirit and good nature that makes them ideal companion dogs. Shibas have only been in the US for about 60 years, but they’re growing in popularity across the country—particularly in Boston. Their confident personalities and striking, foxlike looks draw a lot of attention.

5. French Bulldog

Cute French Bulldog hungry and drooling
Image Credit: Amornpant Kookaki, Shutterstock
Height 11–13 inches
Weight Up to 28 lbs
Suitable for Companionship

The French Bulldog, or Frenchie, is not just popular in the US; it’s a massively popular small breed for Boston city dwellers. The dog is playful, alert, and adaptable, mixing the unique look of the Bulldog with the oversized “bat ears.” These dogs are charming and agreeable, working well with single owners, couples, and families alike. They don’t need a lot of exercise, so they’re a good choice for apartments and small homes in the city.

6. Labrador Retriever

chocolate labrador retriever dog in the parking lot
Image Credit: Vika Dubrovskaya, Shutterstock
Height 21.5–23.5 inches
Weight 55–80 lbs
Suitable for Hunting, tracking, retrieving, canine sports, family companion

The Labrador Retriever has been America’s most popular dog breed for decades. They’re versatile, friendly, outgoing, and high-spirited, perfect for active owners and laid-back families alike. They’re a perfect medium-to-large size and come in yellow, black, and chocolate colors. Labs also get along well with other dogs and cats, so they’re a good choice for a multi-pet household.

7. Golden Retriever

happy golden retriever puppy
Image Credit: John Price, Unsplash
Height 21.5–24 inches
Weight 55–75 lbs
Suitable for Hunting, tracking, retrieving, canine sports

The Golden Retriever is a Scottish gundog that’s among America’s most popular dog breeds. They excel at hunting and fieldwork, service work, search-and-rescue, and canine sports. Goldens are medium dogs with a signature golden coat and easygoing personality. They’re easy to train and adapt well to different environments and dog owners.

8. German Shepherd

Image Credit: adamikarl, Shuttertsock
Height 22–26 inches
Weight 50–90 lbs
Suitable for All-purpose

The German Shepherd is universally beloved and extremely versatile. They can adapt to working or service roles, canine sports, farm work, or as family pets and display loyalty, courage, confidence, and trainability. German Shepherds are highly intelligent and can be a lot to handle, however, so they’re best suited to experienced owners or owners willing to invest time into training and exercise.

9. Miniature Schnauzer

salt and pepper miniature schnauzer laying on green grass
Image Credit: Debra Anderson, Shutterstock
Height 12–14 inches
Weight 11–20 lbs
Suitable for Companionship, small game hunting

The Miniature Schnauzer is the smallest of the Schnauzer breeds and a popular option for a family dog. They’re stocky, robust, and low, shedding with charming expressions and fierce loyalty. Miniature Schnauzers adjust well to apartment living and monitoring acres of farmland, get along with other pets and kids, and make great watchdogs.

10. English Bulldog

Olde English Bulldog resting
Image Credit: Shawna and Damien Richard, Shutterstock
Height 14–15 inches
Weight 40–50 lbs
Suitable for Companionship, family pet

The English Bulldog has long been a symbol of courage and tenacity with its well-muscled body and “sourmug” face. They were originally used for bloodsports and bull-baiting, but English Bulldogs have been selectively bred to create more docile and easygoing companions. These dogs aren’t lazy and enjoy moderate exercise to stay in shape, but they’re happy to spend most of their days lounging around with family.

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Massachusetts’ most popular dog breeds run the gamut from apartment dwellers to large working dogs. If you’re looking for a new dog to bring into the family, however, it’s important to consider what dog works best for your lifestyle and space rather than choosing based on looks and popularity. Many of the dogs on this list are a great choice for urban environments like Boston and Cambridge, while others are ideal for the state’s many rural areas.

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Featured Image Credit: Zakharova_Elena, Shutterstock

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