Joseph Smith's Dog, Old Major | BYU Studies

Joseph Smith's Dog, Old Major

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Joseph Smith's Dog, Old Major

Author Alexander L. Baugh,

During the march of Zion's Camp in 1834, Samuel Baker presented Joseph Smith with a dog named Major. This dog became very attached to and protective of Joseph. The dog was probably an English mastiff, a breed known for loyalty. Joseph reportedly told Aaron W. Harlan, an Iowa resident, that when Joseph had been a prisoner in Missouri (probably in Liberty Jail in 1838-1839), that this dog could not be separated from him and kept watch over him while he slept. Joseph reciprocated this fidelity by tending him with affection.