Boston Terrier

Happy-go-lucky, compact, and well-muscled

Boston Terrier

Toni Grzunov - Last updated on May 31st, 2021

All you need to know about the Boston Terrier

Often referred to as the “American gentlemen”, Boston Terriers are smart and friendly dogs that will love spending time with their owners. They look quite classy, thanks to their coat pattern that resembles a tuxedo.

Despite the dapper look, these pups are quite fun and goofy in their demeanor. People often say that Bostons behave like clowns and they love attention. They will do their best to win anyone over and turn them into fans.

This breed used to be extremely popular during the early 1900s. Nowadays they are a good choice for family pets, especially if you are looking for a small dog.

These pups are sociable and love people. At times they can be strong-willed, but their desire to please is usually stronger.

Do you want to join the massive army of Boston Terrier owners and make one your pet? You’ve come to the right place to learn all you need to know about the breed. Read on!

Fast Facts

Group - Non-sporting 

Weight - 10-25 Pounds (male) 10-25 Pounds (female)

Height - 15-17 Inches (male) 15-17 Inches (female)

Hair Length - Short

Shedding - Lite

Lifespan - 12-15 Years

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The Appearance of the Boston Terrier

Of course, the first thing most people will notice when looking at a Boston Terrier is its coat. These pups always look classy and dressed up with their sleek coat that looks like a suave tuxedo.

The second thing will probably be the eyes. Boston Terriers have large, round eyes that are dark in color and set far apart from each other.

Even the breed standard takes notice of this and describes the expression of these dogs as alert and kind. The expressive eyes are truly one of the trademarks of this breed.

Although they are small and seem delicate, Boston Terriers actually have strong, muscular bodies. Their thighs are especially powerful and well-fitted for fast running.

The general appearance of a Boston Terrier’s body can be described as square, with a balanced height and length. Their build isn’t stocky and will always look lean and athletic despite their size.

These dogs are usually divided into three groups according to their weight. These groups are:

  • Lightweight - less than 14 pounds
  • Middleweight - 14 - 20 pounds
  • Heavyweight - 20 - 25 pounds

Boston Terriers have a short tail that is set low. The tail can be either straight, curled, or tapering. Their heads usually don’t have wrinkles and have a square shape. The muzzle is broad and also square, and the nose is black.

The ears of a Boston Terrier are small, thin, and are carried upright. They are set wide on the corners of the skull.

Boston Terriers are often confused with French Bulldogs due to their somewhat similar appearance. While they are similar, the main difference is that Boston Terriers have longer legs, while Frenchies have a larger bone structure.

What colors does a Boston Terrier come in?

According to the breed standard, there are three colors that are allowed for Boston Terriers in order for them to be able to compete in dog shows. These colors are:

  • Brindle
  • Seal
  • Black

All three of these colors should be evenly marked with white patches. The most common color is black with white markings. However, there are Boston Terriers of other colors as well. These include brown, red, mahogany, and blue.

All about the Boston Terrier personality

Boston Terriers are friendly pups that have tons of energy. Expect to spend a lot of time playing if you decide to get one as your pet. Still, they also get used to the couch potato lifestyle easily.

Basically, they are extremely versatile pets that can fit into a variety of lifestyles, which is great. Boston Terriers won’t mind cuddling with you on the couch, and you might even catch them falling asleep while you’re scratching behind their ears! Expect to hear some snoring then, but don’t worry, you will probably find it cute.

Boston Terriers are highly affectionate and social. They won’t mind hanging out with different people and will greet almost anyone with a smile.

They have high intelligence and are very amiable. They will get along nicely with children, but also with other pets. Bostons can be strong-willed occasionally, but most of the time you will find them eager to please.

However, their sociable nature means that they are prone to developing separation anxiety. They are companion dogs and absolutely love spending time with you and your family. Whenever you leave a Boston Terrier alone it will have a hard time accepting it, so make sure not to do it often.

As you probably already guessed, Boston Terriers are not good guard dogs. They are completely indifferent towards strangers and will warm up to anyone rather quickly.

Is a Boston Terrier easy to train?

Boston Terriers can be determined and strong-willed, but their main trait when it comes to their owners is that they are eager to please. Naturally, this makes them easily trainable dogs. For this reason, they have become more popular in dog sports in recent times.

Recall won’t ever be a problem with these pups, since they will always love being by your side. 

These pups can be quite boisterous sometimes, so it is important for them to have as much contact with other animals and humans as possible. This way they can learn good habits.

Early socialization is always recommended, as well as puppy training classes. Positive reinforcement will be your best friend during training, so prepare some treats for your Boston Terrier.

These dogs can be a bit sensitive so you should always use a gentle tone when addressing your pet. Use a lot of praise and warmth and you will achieve amazing training results.

How much Grooming does a Boston Terrier need?

The short and fine coat of a Boston Terrier isn’t that hard to care for. You will need to brush it once a week.

Boston Terriers don’t shed excessively, but they do nonetheless. Their hair can leave quite a bit of dander around your house. This means they are not hypoallergenic! 

When it comes to bathing, you won’t need to do it too often. These pups rarely smell bad and know how to keep themselves clean. 

Other things you should watch out for when it comes to grooming are the nails and the teeth. Trim the nails of your pup regularly, if they get too long they can cause tremendous pain. A good sign you should trim the nails is if you can hear them clicking on the floor.

Dental hygiene should not be ignored, and your vet will help you a lot here. They can help you choose the best doggy toothpaste for your pet Boston Terrier. Start brushing its teeth early so it gets used to it.

The Living Environment of the Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers are a medium energy breed and you won’t need to spend a lot of time walking with your pet. Around an hour each day should be enough, which should be manageable no matter where you live.

Yes, these pups can get used to basically any type of environment. They are small and don’t need to go outside often, which makes them excellent apartment dogs

As mentioned, Boston Terriers won’t mind cuddling with you on the couch and they are capable of spending the majority of the day in that position. Still, you should make sure your dog gets the proper exercise.

Most of the time these dogs won’t really enjoy playing alone. They are known to fall in love with their owners and will want to spend as much time with them as possible. This includes playtime as well.

Of course, all this also means you won’t be able to leave your Boston Terrier home alone for too long. They can develop separation anxiety and become destructive, so always make sure that someone is around to keep it company.

The Health and Nutrition of the Boston Terrier

Although Boston Terrier is generally healthy, there are certain conditions you should definitely watch out for.

  • First of all, since Boston Terriers are a brachycephalic breed you need to watch out when exercising. Never take your pet out to exercise when the weather is too hot. These dogs can overheat easily and have difficulties breathing.
  • As a brachycephalic breed, they can also develop other respiratory issues so always make sure you’re pet is not too exhausted from an activity. 
  • These pups have large eyes that have become their trademark, but this also means that they are susceptible to eye infections. Always check your pet’s eyes for any signs of irritation.
  • Patellar Luxation is another issue that is quite common with this breed. It is a condition in which the kneecaps slip out of place and become dislocated

Make sure to feed your Boston Terrier with the highest quality dog food. The amount will depend on the age, size, and activity level of your pet. Always divide the meals into several portions. Boston Terriers are prone to overeating and can become obese. You will want to avoid that so always pay attention to how much your pet is eating.

Where does the Boston Terrier come from?

The origins of the Boston Terrier are tied to the United States, but the breed itself was influenced by other breeds from other parts of the world. Some of them include the French Bulldog, the Boxer, and the American Pit Bull Terrier.

The Boston Terrier is actually the first American breed to be recognized by the AKC in the late 1800s. Back then, two Bull Terriers were mixed in Boston and this resulted in the standard that established the breed.

The UK Kennel Club recognized the Boston Terrier in 1914 and placed it in the utility group of dogs. This group is reserved mostly for various non-sporting breeds.

Nowadays, Boston Terriers are extremely popular pets and companions. They make amazing therapy dogs, especially for the elderly. However, they are quite popular in various dog sports including flyball, rally, agility, and obedience.

Questions people often ask about Boston Terrier

  • +Are Boston Terriers hard to housebreak?

  • +Do Boston Terriers bark a lot?

  • +Can Boston Terriers be left alone?

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