The Boston Terrier – all about the breed

Well-mannered, Amusing, Compact.

The Boston Terrier has a lot of personality packed into that sporty little body of his. Those big round eyes can shine with adoration, mischief or interest and his mouth can give you the biggest silliest grins. His tuxedo colors and good manners have earned him the nickname “The American Gentleman”. But not all Boston Terriers are black and white. They also come in white and brindle or white and brown.

The Boston Terrier’s ability to make comical expressions and his penchant for playing the clown will give you hours of amusement, although some Boston Terriers are more calm and dignified in nature. The Boston Terrier does not normally bark, does not shed a lot, and doesn’t need a large amount of exercise. These features, as well as his compact size, make him a good city pet.

The Boston Terrier weighs no more than 12 – 25 pounds  (6 – 10  kg) and he has a life expectancy of 12 – 15 years. You can maximize his life expectancy by feeding him a healthy longevity diet.

Boston Terrier at beach
Boston Terriers love to play.

Famous Boston Terriers

Chopper the Biker Dog rides a Harley Davidson to work. He’s a therapy dog, visiting hospitals to bring joy to the sick and elderly. He also raises money for charities to help children and animals in need.

Sergeant Stubby was a Boston mix who served in WWI, spending eighteen months on the Western Front protecting his men from surprise mustard attacks and finding and comforting the wounded. He even caught a German soldier by the seat of his pants, holding him until American soldiers found him. He was promoted to Sergeant for his work and upon returning home, he lead parades and retired with one of his fellow soldiers.

Rhett is the official mascot of Boston University and attends the University sports games to cheer on his team, always wearing his team color – scarlet.

Robin Williams, Louis Armstrong, Famke Janssen, Rose McGowan, Jake Gyllenhall, have all had and loved Boston Terriers. #BostonTerriers

Positive Traits of the Boston Terrier 

  • The Boston Terrier has a compact, handsome body,
  • Large expressive eyes,
  • A short easy-care coat that does not shed a lot.
  • The Boston Terrier is normally a good natured and amusing family dog who loves to play.
  • The Boston Terrier gets on well with other pets.
  • He may put on a macho show when he sees a larger dog, but he is seldom truly aggressive.
Boston Terrier
The Boston Terrier is normally a good natured and amusing family dog who loves to play

Negative Traits of the Boston Terrier

  • Due to his short snout, the Boston Terrier is susceptible to breathing problems, especially if he overheats.
  • He may snort, snuffle, snore or slobber.
  • He also passes wind.

Exercise for the Boston Terrier

The Boston Terrier needs a moderate amount of exercise and loves company, so letting him into the back yard isn’t going to exercise him unless you engage him with lengthy and energetic play. A brisk walk once or twice a day with some active play time should be enough.

Boston Terriers are outgoing and thrive on company. If you leave him alone for long periods of time he may become lonely and develop bad behaviors. Channel his energy into play or exercise. Boston Terriers might enjoy canine sports such as flyball, rally, obedience and agility training.

Boston Terrier Swimming
Boston Terriers love balls and balloons and will go to great lengths to get them

Training the Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers are eager to please and outgoing, so they will take to training quite well. Due to the Boston Terrier’s sensitive nature, positive reinforcement works best. Follow corrections with praise. Use treats as an incentive. To keep his weight under control try these healthy low-calorie treats

Socialize your puppy by gently exposing him to a wide variety of situations and people so that he grows into a well-adjusted dog.

Boston Terrier Health Issues

The Boston Terrier, as with all pure breed dogs, has proclivities to certain health issues. As a brachycephalic (short-nosed breed), his short snout makes him susceptible to breathing problems. To minimize this, ensure he does not overheat. Keep him cool on hot days and during exercise. Read about the signs of heat stroke and how to keep your dog cool. Breathing troubles are also exaggerated if dogs become overweight. 

His prominent eyes should be checked daily for redness or weepiness. Use saline eye drops to flush out dust. Boston Terriers are also susceptible to patella luxation (a dodgy knee).

When buying Boston Terrier puppies, check for eye problems such as cataracts, corneal ulcers, glaucoma by getting an ophthalmologist evaluation. Also have BAER testing and a patella evaluation.

As with all breeds, keep his nails trimmed. Brushing him with a soft bristle brush or grooming mitt will reduce his shedding and make his coat glossy.

Boston Terrier puppies
When buying Boston Terrier puppies have an ophthalmologist and patella evaluation, and a BAER test.

History of the Boston Terrier

Almost all true Boston Terriers share one common ancestor – a tough and muscular dog named ‘Judge’. Judge was a Bulldog and English Terrier cross who ended up in Boston. He bred with a smaller white female, and ongoing selective breeding refined the original bulkiness of Judge into what we have today – a sweet-natured, attractive and companionable Boston Terrier.

Boston is proud of its role in the Boston Terrier’s history. The Boston Terrier has been the mascot of Boston University for over 100 years and is the official state dog of Massachusetts. 

Keep your Boston Terrier active with our free WAGSTA walkies, weight and wellness tracker! Join the pack and create the optimal healthy lifestyle for your dog! 

Create the optimal healthy lifestyle for your dog with WAGSTA walkies, weight and wellness. Learn more now.

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