What is the State Dog of Massachusetts?

Boston Terrier was chosen as the official state dog of Massachusetts given that it was native to the state.
Boston Terrier was chosen as the official state dog of Massachusetts given that it was native to the state.

Massachusetts is a state located in the northeastern United States. It covers an area of 10,565 square miles and had a population of approximately 6,859,819 in 2017. Massachusetts is one of thirteen American states that has selected a dog breed as an official state symbol. Other official state symbols of Massachusetts include the Mayflower (flower), cranberry juice (beverage), and Morgan horse (horse). The Boston Terrier was chosen as the official state dog of Massachusetts on May 14, 1979, given that it was native to the state.

History of the Boston Terrier

The origin of the Boston Terrier dates back to the interbreeding two distinct breeds, an English bulldog and a Terrier, in Boston during the late 19th century, and is associated with Edward Burnett, a US Representative from Massachusetts. Burnett's dog was then bred with a French Terrier, creating the Boston Terrier. Unlike its ancestors, the Boston Terrier was smaller, typically weighing about 44 pounds, and significantly less aggressive. The breed’s popularity in the Boston area grew rapidly, and by 1889 the American Bull Terrier Club was formed. The club's named was later changed to the Boston Terrier Club. The Boston Terrier holds the distinction of being the first US breed to be recognized by the American Kennel Club.


Boston Terriers have some easily identifiable characteristics that are drawn from their ancestor breeds. Notable characteristics include large, wideset eyes and short tails. The color of Boston Terriers was initially insignificant but is now considered by breeders to be an integral part of its appearance. They are typically white with either black, brindle, seal, or a combination of these colors. If a Boston Terrier's coat contains any other color, it is not considered a purebred by the American Kennel Society, as they are usually the result of interbreeding. 

Behavior of Boston Terriers

Boston Terriers are considered to be friendly and gentle dogs. They are protective of and eager to please their owners, and are particularly easy to train. However, due to their protective nature, they tend to be aggressive towards strangers and other animals. Boston Terriers are suitable for both children, elderly, and other pets.

Well-Known Boston Terriers

Certain Boston Terriers have achieved fame all over the world, such as Chopper, the biker dog famous for riding alongside his owner Mark Shaffer on a remote-controlled motorcycle. Sergeant Stubby was a Boston Terrier that served as the mascot of the US military's 102 Infantry Regiment during the First World War. Sergeant Stubby was the recipient of a gold medal and is remembered as the "greatest war dog" in the United States.


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