Boston Terrier Dog Breed (Complete Guide)

Boston Terrier Dog Overview

The Boston Terrier is a short-backed, clean-cut dog with a compact build and square proportions.

With an elegant carriage, this breed exudes determination, strength, sturdiness, liveliness, and style.

The Boston preserves many of the characteristics of his Bulldog ancestors, but in a more refined package that makes an excellent home companion.

This breed’s elegant appearance is enhanced by its short silky coat with distinguishing markings.

Boston Terrier Highlights

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  • Short-nosed dogs, such as Boston Terriers, cannot cool the air entering their lungs as well as longer-nosed breeds, and therefore are more prone to heat stress. They are also unable to withstand severely cold conditions due to their short coat. The Boston Terrier should be kept indoors, even in mild regions.
  • Avoid yanking on your dog’s collar to encourage him to go where you want him to go since Boston Terriers can have respiratory difficulties.
  • Because of his wide and prominent eyes, your Boston Terrier is prone to corneal ulcers. When you’re playing with him or taking him for a stroll, keep an eye on his eyes.
  • Boston Terriers might be prone to flatulence depending on their diet. If you can’t stand a gassy dog, a Boston Terrier might not be the dog for you.
  • Boston Terriers frequently snort, drool, and snore due to their short nostrils (sometimes loudly).
  • Whelping is difficult for Boston Terrier mothers due to their huge heads and small pelvises. If you are thinking about breeding, keep in mind that Boston Terrier litters are often small, in addition to the potential whelping issues that commonly necessitate a cesarean section (a litter consisting of only one puppy is not uncommon). The owner may  have to wait many months for a high-quality Boston Terrier puppy from a reputable breeder.
  • While Boston Terriers are normally quiet, sweet dogs who are not prone to yappiness or violence, males can be feisty around other dogs who they perceive to be invading their territory.
  • Boston Terriers can be gluttonous when it comes to food, so keep an eye on their weight and make sure they don’t grow overweight.
  • They can be obstinate; therefore, training approaches that emphasize persistence and consistency are a must. Because they are sensitive to your tone of voice and punishment can cause them to shut down, training should be low-key and motivating. While house training your Boston Terrier, crate training is advised.
  • Never attempt to purchase a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store if you want a healthy dog. Seek a reliable breeder who checks her breeding dogs to ensure that they are free of hereditary illnesses that could be passed on to the puppies and have good temperaments.

Boston Terrier Breed Features & Ratings:

Rated base on a 5 Star Scale
ENERGY LEVEL:                                3 Star
EXERCISE REQUIREMENTS:           1 Star
PLAYFULNESS:                                 3 Star
AFFECTION LEVEL:                         3 Star
FRIENDLINESS TO DOGS:                3 Star
FRIENDLINESS TO OTHER PETS:    4 Star
FRIENDLINESS TO STRANGERS:     3 Star
WATCHFULNESS:                               1 Star
EASE OF TRAINING:                           3 Star
GROOMING REQUIREMENTS:           1 Star
HEAT SENSITIVITY:                              5 Star
VOCALITY                                             5 Star

Boston Terrier Characteristics:

  • Dog Breed Group:  Companion Dogs
  • Height:  At the shoulder, it should be 12 to 15 inches tall 
  • Weight:  10 to 25 pounds
  • Life Span: 13 to 15 years 
  • Type: Purebred 
  • AREA OF ORIGIN:  United States
  • DATE OF ORIGIN:  1800s 
  • OTHER NAMES: Boston Bull, Boston Bull Terrier, Boxwood, American Gentlemen
  • Temperament: Affectionate, Aggressive, Friendly, Gentle, Intelligent, Lively, Playful
  • Activities: Obedience, Conformation, Agility, Therapy
  • Color: Black & White, Black Brindle & White, Brindle & White, Seal & White, Seal Brindle & White
  • Litter Size: 3 to 5 puppies 
  • Puppy Prices: $1000 – $2000 USD on average

Boston Terrier Health:

It is very important to protect the Boston Terrier’s attractive yet prominent eyes. Redness and irritation in the eyes should be checked on a daily basis.

Some owners keep saline eye drops on hand to flush out dust and dirt.

Responsible breeders examine their stock for cataracts, corneal ulcers, and glaucoma, as well as deafness and patellar luxation (comparable to a “trick knee” in humans).

Bostons, like all flat-faced breeds, can have trouble breathing if not provided with proper protection from severe heat or humidity.

The National Breed Club recommends the following health tests:

  • Patella Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • BAER Testing

Boston Terrier Grooming:

The Boston Terrier encompasses a smooth, fine coat that comes in three colors: black, seal (looks black but has a reddish hue when seen in sunlight), or brindle, all with a white muzzle, face blaze, and chest, giving him the appearance of being dressed in a tuxedo.

Boston Terriers are not available in solid hues like black, gray, liver, or white. Be careful of breeders that try to sell you one of these pups because the hue is “unusual.”

Failure to adhere to breed standards is a red flag of a low-quality breeder.

Boston Terriers are simple to care for. Brush them once a week with a hard bristle brush and bathe them once a week with a dry, powder shampoo and a damp cloth, or give them a bath as needed.

Because their eyes are so huge and conspicuous, you should wash their faces every day and seek signs of redness or irritation in their eyes.

Although they shed, it is minor and should be readily maintained by brushing on a regular basis.

Brush your Boston Terrier’s teeth at least twice a week to remove tartar and the bacteria that live within it. Brushing twice a day is even preferable if you want to avoid gum disease and foul breath.

Trim your pet’s nails once or twice a month if he doesn’t wear them down naturally to avoid painful tears and other issues.

Nails are too long if it products sounds that you can hear them clicking on the floor.

Dog toenails include blood veins, and if you cut too deeply, you may cause bleeding – and your  pet may refuse to comply the next time the nail clippers come out.

So, if you’re not used to clipping dog nails, get advice from a vet or groomer.

The ears of the breed should be checked on a weekly basis for redness or odor, which can suggest an infection.

When cleaning your dog’s ears, use a cotton ball wet with a moderate, pH-balanced ear cleanser to help avoid infections.

Do not insert anything into the breed’s ear canal; instead, clean the outside of the ear.

When your Boston Terrier is a puppy, start accustoming him to being brushed and examined. Handle his paws frequently – dogs’ feet are sensitive — and look into his mouth.

Make grooming a pleasurable process full of praise and prizes, and you’ll build the framework for smooth veterinarian tests and other handling when he’s an adult.

Check for sores, rashes, or symptoms of infection such as redness, tenderness, or inflammation on the skin, nose, mouth, and eyes, and feet while you groom.

There should be no explicit redness or discharge in the eyes. Your thorough weekly examination will assist you in detecting potential health issues early on.

Boston Terrier Exercise:

The necessity for exercise in Boston differs from person to person. For some, a brisk stroll once or twice a day is sufficient.

Others will require more time to run and play every day in order to de-stress. Allowing a Boston out into the backyard does not constitute exercise; he will most likely sit at the door, waiting to be permitted back in.

When left alone for an extended amount of time, a Boston will become frustrated and develop unwanted tendencies.

Throw  the dog a ball or a toy, however, and he’ll gladly play with you. Participation in canine sports like agility, obedience, flyball, and rally is a fun method for the breed’s energy to be channeled.

Boston Terrier Training:

Early socialization and puppy training sessions are advised for all breeds.

Socialization'”gently exposing the puppy to a wide range of people, places, and situations‘”will assist him in maturing into a well-adjusted, well-mannered adult.

Treats are an excellent training motivator. Many Bostonians are quite sensitive; soft corrections should be followed by love and praise.

Boston Terrier Food and Nutrition:

A Boston Terrier, like any other dog, needs a high-quality, appropriately portioned diet. They are known to be food addicted, thus they must be kept in check to avoid becoming overweight.

They can also be prone to flatulence; ensuring they follow a diet that is appropriate for their digestive system can help reduce this and any other potential gastrointestinal difficulties.

Finding the diet that works best for them can often be a matter of trial and error. This can be done in accordance with your veterinarian’s recommendations.

Sometimes an elimination diet is required, in which a dog is fed a very specific plain diet before progressively adding other elements over a period of weeks.

Boston Terrier Temperament and Personality:

The Boston Terrier is known and called the American Gentleman, is a vivacious, intelligent, and lovable dog with a mild, even temperament.

They can, however, be obstinate, so perseverance and consistency are essential during training.

The Boston Terrier, like all dogs, requires early socialization — being exposed to a variety of people, sights, noises, and experiences — when they are young.

Socialization ensures that your Boston puppy develops into a well-rounded dog.

Boston Terrier Care/Upkeep:

A Boston Terrier’s grooming routine is low-maintenance. Their silky, short coat requires little maintenance; a weekly brushing to remove dead hair should be enough.

They shed, but just in comparison to many other shedding dogs.

The breed is not recognized for having high activity needs, but a lack of stimulation and enrichment can lead to undesirable behaviors.

Depending on their specific needs, they should still have at least one or two daily walks. They have also been observed participating in canine sports such as agility.

When they are feeling playful, they can be naughty and have energetic and skittish spurts.

While it is still vital to socialize them from a young age, the breed is regarded for being an excellent family dog. They like attention, can be goofy, and get along well with other dogs and children.

Because of their friendly temperament and need to be around people, it is fairly uncommon to see a Boston Terrier working as a therapy dog.

Because of their outgoing nature, they want to live in a family where they are surrounded by people for the majority of the day.

Inadequate companionship can lead to disruptive behavior and, in some cases, separation anxiety.

Positive reinforcement training approaches work incredibly well with Boston Terriers. The dogs are eager to please, quick learners, and highly motivated by food.

Their excitement and craving for attention, on the other hand, can lead to them becoming too enthusiastic greeters.

It is critical to ensure that you reward four paws on the floor in order to reduce jumping up concerns.

The same is true when they greet other dogs. They can be a little too rough for some, so it’s crucial to teach them appropriate manners when they meet new four-legged buddies.

Boston Terrier Relationship with Children and Other Pets

The Boston Terrier adores children and is an excellent playmate for them.

He’s small enough that he won’t knock them down, but big enough that he won’t get hurt.

He gets to spend good time with other dogs and cats in general, especially if he is socialized to them when he was a puppy. 

Boston Terrier Names 

RankBoy NamesGirl Names
01CooperDaisy
02DukeSadie
03TobyChloe
04JackLayla
05TuckerZoey
06DexterGracie
07OliverSasha
08WinstonAbbie
09MarleyMolly
10ZeusCallie

All About Boston Terrier

The Boston terrier is a short-backed, clean-cut dog with a compact build and square proportions. It should exude resolve, strength, sturdiness, vitality, and style, as well as an elegant carriage.

It encompasses many of the characteristics of its bulldog predecessors, but in a more refined package that makes an excellent home companion.

Its stylish aspect is enhanced by its short fine coat with distinguishing patterns. Boston is devoted and attentive to the wishes and moods of its owner.

While given the opportunity, it is well-mannered indoors but sassy and playful (particularly when chasing a ball).

Although it is rather stubborn, it is intelligent and learns quickly. It is reserved around strangers and may be hostile toward unfamiliar pets. Some dogs bark a lot.

Boston Terrier History:

Although everyone believes that the Boston Terrier was created in the late 1800s in Boston, Massachusetts, there are many different theories regarding how the breed came to be.

According to legend, affluent families’ coachmen invented the breed by crossing Bulldogs and the now-extinct English White Terrier to produce a new dog-fighting breed.

Another story goes that in 1865, a Bostonian named Robert C. Hooper bought a Bulldog/English Terrier mix named Judge from England because he reminded him of a dog he had as a boy.

Another legend has it that Hooper bought Judge from another Bostonian, William O’Brian, in 1870.

While we may never know which myth is correct, the truth remains that there was a dog named Judge who gave rise to the breed we know today as the Boston Terrier.

Judge was “a well-built, high-stationed dog” having a weight of about 32 pounds, according to The Complete Dog Book. He had a square, blocky skull and was a dark brindle color with a white blaze on his face.

Judge, astonishingly, was only breed once. One puppy, a boy named Well’s Eph, was born from a marriage with a 20-pound white dog named Burnett’s Gyp (or Kate), a pet of Edward Burnett of Southboro, Massachusetts.

According to all accounts, Judge and Kate’s son was not a particularly handsome dog, but he possessed other qualities that Hooper and his friends loved, thus he was extensively bred.

He mated with a female called Tobin’s Kate, who weighed only 20 pounds and had a small head. She had a straight three-quarter tail and was a golden brindle color.

It is believed that their descendants were bred with one or more French Bulldogs to create the Boston Terrier we know today.

But they weren’t always known as the Boston Terriers. Eph’s offspring were given many names, such as bullet heads, round-headed bull-and-terriers, American terriers, and Boston bulldogs.

In 1889, roughly 30 Boston Bull Terrier owners created the American Bull Terrier Club, and they referred to their dogs as RoundHeads or Bull Terriers. Bull Terrier and Bulldog enthusiasts were outraged by the name.

Because the Bulldog faction wielded considerable power within the American Kennel Club (AKC) at the time, the Boston Bull Terrier fanciers contemplated that discretion was the better part of valor and altered the name of their club to the Boston Terrier Club, in honor of the breed’s birthplace. People began to refer to the breed as Boston Bulls.

The AKC recognized the breed in 1893. The Boston Terrier was one of the earliest non-sporting dogs bred in the United States, and it was the first of the AKC’s ten made-in-America breeds.

Color and markings of the breed were not deemed important in the beginning. Furthermore, while the dogs being bred fit the club’s standards, there was a lot of variation within the breed.

The Boston Terrier cannine as we know it today was produced after years of meticulous inbreeding to establish the type.

The breed’s distinguishing patterns and color were painstakingly incorporated into the standard in the 1900s, making them a vital element of the breed.

Boston Terriers soon gained popularity in the United States.

Boston Terriers were the most famous  breed in the United States in 1915, lasting in the top ten until the 1960s and leading the list again in 1920 and 1930.

In 1918, an astounding 60 Bostons competed in a single all-breed exhibition.

Boston Terriers were admired by Hollywood stars and actresses. Rudolph Valentino’s companion, silent cinema star Pola Negri, reportedly took her Boston Terrier, Patsy, everywhere she went, including restaurants and bars.

When one of the restaurants refused to allow her in with her dog, she rushed out, yelling “There will be no Patsy or Pola. Goodbye for all time!” Louella Parsons, a gossip journalist, also owned a Boston Terrier named Patsy.

The Boston Terrier was chosen as the United States’ bicentennial dog in 1976. Three years later, he was named Massachusetts’ official state dog.

Boston University’s mascot is Rhett the Boston Terrier. This breed is also the mascot of Wofford College in South Carolina and Redlands High School in California.

Where to Adopt Boston Terrier:

If you want to purchase a puppy, you need to undertake comprehensive research to identify a reliable and ethical breeder, just like you would with any other dog.

Because Boston Terriers are still a popular breed, they are frequently targeted by unscrupulous backyard breeders and puppy farms.

It is critical to choose a recognized breeder who does all necessary health checks and allows you to visit mum and her pups in a nurturing home environment.

They are not a breed that is usually encountered in general rescue shelters, but it is worth contacting your local shelter to inquire.

There are also breed-specific rescues, and giving an adopted dog a forever home is a worthwhile and satisfying alternative.

More Dog Breeds and Further Research:

Although a Boston Terrier can be an excellent first-time dog for a new owner, you should consider whether the breed will suit your lifestyle.

Will they have enough people to keep them company during the day? Are you ready for the training that may be required if they get overly excitable?

Don’t forget to do your homework on breeders as well.

If you want to look into more comparable breeds, you could look at the following:

Boston Terrier Fun Facts:

  • They’re America’s pride and joy.
  • They were bred to be fighters. 
  • They used to be known by different name. 
  • It’s the state dog of Massachuttes. 
  • Their name is misleading. 
  • Helen Keller had one. 
  • A war hero might have had a some Boston Terrier in him. 
  • You can feel protected with one around.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What brings joy to the Boston Terriers?

Boston Terriers, which were bred to be companion dogs, are happiest when they receive attention from their owners. So, playtime, cuddling time, training, traveling with you, and so on are all necessary for your Boston Terrier’s happiness.

Why are the Boston Terriers so bad?

This odor is produced by a large number of Boston Terriers, and it is caused by yeast. This is not the same yeast that you would use to make bread or pizza dough. Instead, it’s a fungus that is frequently imperceptible to the human eye. Behind the scenes, it begins rapidly multiplying, which causes the odor.

Is it difficult to train Boston Terriers?

Bostons are extremely intelligent, which makes them simple to teach. They might be tough to house-train, but diligent and frequent instruction will help eliminate dominance and fighting with other canines. Bostons can be sensitive to a human’s tone of voice, so keep tough but gentle training in mind.

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