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Boston Terrier Breed Information

black and white boston terrier dog

This spunky and fun Terrier is the perfect family pet. Whether you live in a house, condo, or small apartment, they will fit your lifestyle. They love to play, but also love to snuggle up with their owners, giving them plenty of time for belly rubs and cuddles. If you are looking for a pet that can entertain itself and get along wonderfully with kids as well as other dogs (or cats!), this is the dog for you! 

BREED TYPE / MIX Purebred ENERGY Moderate SHEDDING Moderate TRAINING Determined TEMPERAMENT Affectionate, Friendly, Lively, Playful ADULT WEIGHT 10-25 lbs ADULT HEIGHT 15-17 in LIFE SPAN 10-14 yrs

Characteristics

  • The Boston Terrier is a fun, friendly dog that loves to play and entertain 
  • Some of their favorite activities include snuggling with their family and playing with toys 
  • They are easy to train, they get along great with kids, and will fit in with any home environment 
  • The American Kennel Club (AKC) describes it as "a spirited little fellow who loves life" 
  • Boston Terriers are intelligent and curious, but they're also very affectionate and playful 
  • They're extremely loyal to their owners and make great companions for children 
  • Boston Terriers are very attached to people, especially those in their immediate family 
brown and white Boston terrier on grass

Appearance

The Boston Terrier is a small and sturdy dog with a compact body and well-proportioned frame. It has a short muzzle, large bat-like ears, and large dark eyes. They have soft, round heads with unique-looking flat faces. Its ears are set high on its head, and its tail is docked to about one inch long. The coat of the Boston Terrier can be brindle, seal, or black in color with white markings on its chest and feet. 

Their faces are flat, with large eyes, round ears, and a short muzzle. Their coat is short and smooth, with no undercoat. They have muscular bodies that are compact and well-proportioned. 

The Boston Terrier usually stands 15 to 17 inches tall and weighs 20 to 25 pounds. Their ears are folded over at the top and held close to his head when at rest. When alert or excited, their ears will prick up and stand straight up. Their tail is carried down when relaxed and up when excited or alert. 

Temperament

Boston Terriers are a loving, affectionate, and playful breed. They love spending time with their families and will often follow their owners from room to room. They are very loyal to their owners and make great watchdogs. 

They are excellent companions for children. They are calm and patient around children and will not get overexcited when playing with them. 

They love snuggling up with their humans at night. It is best to keep your Boston Terrier on his own bed or crate at night, so he does not feel left out. 

A Boston Terrier is an excellent choice if you want a dog that is easy to train because they are very intelligent dogs that learn quickly.  

They also love learning new tricks which makes them even more fun to have around the house! You can teach them all kinds of tricks such as shaking hands, rolling over, and sitting up on command! 

Care

Grooming

Boston Terriers are a low-maintenance breed. They shed very little, and their coat needs no more than occasional brushing. 

They require very little grooming. Weekly brushing is sufficient for the coat, which is short and fine. The dog’s nails should be clipped every month or two. If you let them grow too long, they might scratch at you or your furniture. 

Bathing them should be done when necessary — usually once or twice per year — with only mild shampoo that is specifically designed for dogs. 

Brushing their teeth at least three times a week will help keep them clean and fresh smelling, while also preventing tooth decay and gum disease. 

Exercise Needs

Boston Terriers are active dogs, but they don’t have high exercise needs. They love canine games and sports like fetch, Frisbee, and obstacle courses. 

They can be walked on a leash or harness, but they’re better suited for off-leash walks in open areas where they can run around and play with other dogs. 

The Boston Terrier was bred to hunt rats in Boston-area shipyards and mines. It's no surprise that this breed loves to swim. They also enjoy playing in small kiddie pools or on the beach. 

Health

Unlike some other breeds, Boston Terriers are generally a healthy group of dogs. They rarely face serious health problems and tend to live long lives. That being said, they do experience some health conditions that can sometimes be managed with medication or surgery. 

Some conditions that Boston Terriers may face include: 

  • Deafness— This is a result of their short muzzles and large ears blocking the inner ear canal.  
  • Facial Skin Rashes— This condition is caused by blocked sebaceous glands found in the hair follicles. The most common place for this to happen is around the eyes and muzzle, making it look like tear stains on their face.  
  • Cataracts— This condition causes clouding in the lens of the eye, making it difficult for your dog to see clearly. Cataracts are typically a result of old age.  
  • Patellar Luxation— Commonly known as "kneecap dislocation". 

Lifespan

As with most purebred dogs, their average lifespan is 10-14 years. The oldest Boston Terrier on record lived to be 15 years old. 

Training

Boston Terrier training is not difficult, but it requires patience and consistency. They are intelligent but sometimes can be stubborn dogs. They are very focused on their trainer though and will do just about anything they know they can get away with to get a treat or to give you affection. 

12-week-old puppies are much easier to train than older dogs. Once the puppy reaches 4 months of age, it will have developed the habit of playfully nipping and biting, which should be stopped at an early age before it becomes a problem. 

A good method for stopping this behavior is to make a loud noise when the dog begins to nip at you and then stop playing with them for a minute or two. This applies during any game of tug-of-war, fetch or chase.  

Training should start as soon as possible after bringing them home from your breeder. Make sure to be consistent in your training methods, while being patient and giving them praise when needed. 

History

The Boston Terrier is known for its distinctive personality. The breed, which was once called the Boston Bulldog and the Yankee Terrier, is a true American original. It is believed that the breed originated in Boston in the 1850s. While there is no one true origin story for this breed, it is widely accepted that Robert C. Hooper was responsible for creating the Boston Terrier as we know it today. 

Hooper bred a bulldog with a small white Terrier-type dog in hopes of creating a dog that could compete in ratting competitions. After further breeding and tailoring, the result was a small but agile dog with plenty of energy and personality. 

This breed has been registered with the American Kennel Club since 1893. The AKC recognized two types of Boston Terriers: one was larger than modern standards and another smaller variety that became known as the Miniature Boston Terrier (which later became recognized as a separate breed). The larger variety of dogs was used as guard dogs while their smaller counterparts made great companions. 

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