Massachusetts Puppies for Sale

Top Massachusetts Breeds

German Shepherd Dog

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Labrador Retriever

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Yorkshire Terrier

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Breed Spotlight: Boston Terrier

While it may not be one of the top four breeds sold in Massachusetts, the Boston Terrier continues to be a very common choice of dog within the state. This adorable breed originated in – you guessed it! – Boston, and was developed in the late 1800s by crossing an English Bulldog with an English Terrier (a breed which is now extinct). After some years of campaigning, the breed's supporters formed the Boston Terrier Club of America in 1891, and the breed was added to the American Kennel Club list of recognized breeds in 1893.

The Boston is often nicknamed the "American gentleman" for its gentle, loyal disposition and black & white tuxedo markings. A people-loving, lively breed, Boston Terriers are known for their expressive faces and amusing sense of humor. They are eager and easy to train, and are excellent with children and family members of all ages. These friendly, affectionate dogs are small but sturdy, and love to be around people.

Did you know?

Despite their name, Boston Terriers are actually not included in the Terrier Group. They are in the Non-Sporting Group.

Dogs in Massachusetts

Massachusetts, located in New England, has played a highly significant historical role in the formation of the current United States. Massachusetts features both the first institution of higher learning in the United States and the first colony: Harvard University and Plymouth, respectively. Massachusetts features a temperate deciduous forest throughout its undeveloped areas. Old growth forests cover approximately 62 percent of Massachusetts. Moose, black bears, coyotes, white-tailed deer, and wild turkeys make up the majority of larger animal species throughout the area. Winters are often quite harsh with hot summers. The major cities of Massachusetts are Boston and Worcester. These cities are centers of major economic commerce, and for this reason Massachusetts’s population has been growing annually. Once you find a reputable breeder in Massachusetts, be sure to read up on the specifics of the breed.

Dog Vaccinations

The only vaccination for dogs required by the state of Massachusetts is a rabies vaccination. Rabies vaccinations help minimize the probability a dog will contract and spread rabies. All dogs must be vaccinated for rabies within six months of birth if born within Massachusetts, and if a non-vaccinated dog is taken to Massachusetts it must be vaccinated within 90 days. The veterinarian will issue a tag certifying the completion of the vaccination. The general cost of vaccinating a dog is less than $20, but this is often prone to local variation within Massachusetts. The appropriate age for vaccines is between three and six months, after the "temporary" period of vaccinations has finished. All types of vaccines are widely available throughout the Massachusetts area, but due to vaccine controversy they are not required. hepatitis, distemper, and heartworm preventatives are all encouraged vaccines and are widely available throughout Massachusetts.

Leash Laws

Massachusetts is one of many states that gives local provinces the final say in leash laws. The localities have varying rules on leash laws, but one underlying law is applicable throughout Massachusetts: Dogs must be constantly restrained by a leash while in public highway rest areas. The penalty for not following this statewide ordinance is a fine not to exceed $50. Boston, the most populous city in Massachusetts, sets a general precedent for leash laws throughout the state. Dogs are not allowed off-leash in any public areas, with the exception of two dog recreation spaces where dogs are allowed off leashes. The construction of community-based dog recreation spots is still an ongoing practice in Boston, and across Massachusetts, dog parks are being constructed where no leashes are necessary.

The actual technicalities of no dog allowed off a leash in most Massachusetts localities are quite detailed. No dog is allowed to cause an injury or nuisance to others, a term that often comes into speculation during disputes. The length of a leash varies, but in some localities a leash must be shorter than 7 feet in length. Dogs left unaccompanied or unattended may be impounded.


Getting a dog license in Massachusetts for a dog is a fairly straightforward process. While local laws differ, in general a dog license application must be filled out and mailed with appropriate supplements to a local animal control office. Usually, a dog must have a proof of current rabies vaccination in order to be licensed. Licensing fees are often decreased significantly if a dog is spayed or neutered.

Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes occasionally warrant special attention throughout much of Massachusetts when it comes to dog licenses. In addition to a higher fee to register a Pit Bull, proof is needed of a spay/neuter operation and ownership of a home or of landlord consent. A picture within the last 30 days is also required of the owner of the Pit Bull and the Pit Bull itself. A separate Pit Bull license application must also be completed. A dog must be licensed within six months of its birth. Chips are not necessary in the Massachusetts area, yet they are still available. All dogs in Massachusetts must be licensed, although some Massachusetts localities estimate a higher number of non-licensed dogs than licensed dogs.

Dogs in Vehicles

Dogs are allowed to ride in vehicles throughout all of Massachusetts. While there is no specific law in Massachusetts against keeping a dog in a closed car, animal cruelty violations can often lead to legal trouble. Dogs should never be left unattended in a car, as the chance of a canine fatality is very high. Massachusetts' animal cruelty laws, however, do prevent dogs from riding in an unnecessarily cruel or inhumane manner. The law also bans the transportation of dogs in a car if it endangers the animal in question. The inhibition of a driver is also illegal in Massachusetts. Namely, a dog is not permitted to ride on the drivers lap in fear that it will create a dangerous and distracted driver. Dogs are also not permitted on top of cars or in truck beds, as this creates a chance of endangering the animal. Such violations are punished with a fine not greater than $50. If the case is deemed animal cruelty, however, the charge carries a $2,500 fee and a chance of imprisonment.

Dog Parks

Massachusetts is home to a slew of dog parks with new dog parks constantly in the process of being created. Most dog parks operate under a no-leash policy, and fencing at dog parks in Massachusetts varies from park to park. Notable dog parks include the Great Hill Conservation Area, Charlesgate Dog Run, Lloyd Center for the Environment, and the Foxboro Dog Park. Dog parks exist in almost every locality of Massachusetts. The dog parks are a perfect place for dogs to exercise and socialize off of their leashes, and Massachusetts hosts more than its fair share of dog parks.

Fun Activities

Massachusetts is teeming with exciting opportunities for dogs and their owners to engage in fun activities. The long, sprawling beach line of Massachusetts produces a constant stream of gorgeous coastline for dog walks. The dogs can swim in the ocean and enjoy the many attractions associated with the seaside. Several canine-specific attractions are available throughout Massachusetts. Boston Harbor also offers a cruise specifically designed for dogs and their owners. The cruise takes dogs and their owners on a three-hour dog-oriented adventure of the Boston Harbor Islands. Doggie beach on Nahant offers free off-leash roaming for dogs, and the gorgeous beach line will appeal to dog owners. Massachusetts is an ideal state for dog ownership, and its many dog oriented attractions and overall awareness and consideration for dogs’ health makes it the perfect location for dog ownership.

Puppies for Sale in Massachusetts