Boston Terrier

Truly an “All-American” dog, the Boston Terrier is a lively and highly intelligent breed with an excellent disposition. Conveying an impression of determination, strength and activity, he is short-headed and compactly built, and must be black, brindle or seal with white markings.

The Boston Terrier is a gentle breed that typically has a strong, happy-go-lucky and friendly personality. Bostons are generally eager to please their owner and can easily be trained given a patient owner.

The Boston has been nicknamed “the American Gentleman” because of his dapper appearance, characteristically gentle disposition and suitability as companion and house pet. They require only a moderate amount of exercise and a minimum amount of grooming. The breed is easy to train and they are easy keepers, preferring to remain by their owner’s sides.

Following the Civil War, the Boston Terrier breed was developed in the stables of Boston, Massachusetts, as a fighting dog. An imported dog known as “Hooper’s Judge” (sold to a Boston man in 1870) became the ancestor of almost all true modern Boston Terriers.

The breed is an American creation, resulting from a cross between an English Bulldog and a white English Terrier. In 1891, the breed became known as Boston Terriers, taking the name of the city where they originated. The Boston Terrier was admitted to the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1893, making it the first US breed to be recognized.

According to international breed standard, the dog should weigh no less than 10 pounds and no more than 25 pounds. Boston Terriers usually stand 15-17 inches at the withers. The average life span of a Boston is about 11 years.

Several health issues are of concern in the Boston Terrier: cataracts (both juvenile and adult type), cherry eye, luxating patellas, deafness, heart murmur, and allergies. Curvature of the back, called roaching, might be caused by patella problems with the rear legs, which in turn causes the dog to lean forward onto the forelegs. This might also just be a structural fault with little consequence to the dog. Many Bostons cannot tolerate excessive heat and also extremely cold weather, due to the shortened muzzle, so hot or cold weather combined with demanding exercise can bring harm to a Boston Terrier. A sensitive digestive system is also typical of the Boston Terrier. In the absence of proper diet, flatulence is associated with the breed. In some cases, even a proper diet cannot abate flatulence. Bostons frequently require caesarean section to give birth.

Bostons, along with Pug, Shih Tzu and other short-snouted breeds are brachycephalic breeds. The word comes from Greek roots “Brachy,” meaning short and “cephalic,” meaning head. This anatomy can cause tiny nostrils, long palates and a narrow trachea. Because of this, Bostons may be prone to snoring and reverse sneeze, a rapid and repeated forced inhalation through the nose, accompanied by snorting or gagging sounds used to clear the palate of mucus, but does not harm the dog in any way.

Because of their short noses, Boston Terriers have a hard time in hot weather nd need to be watched for signs of overheating.  During the winter they may need a coat or a sweater due to their extremely short coats.

Both females and males are generally quiet and bark only when necessary.
Their usually sensible attitude towards barking makes them excellent choices for apartment dwellers. Having been bred as a companion dog, they enjoy being around people, and if properly socialized, get along well with children, the elderly, other canines, and non-canine pets. Some Boston Terriers are very cuddly, while others are more independent.

While originally bred for fighting, they were later down-bred for companionship. The modern Boston Terrier can be gentle, alert, expressive and well-mannered. It must be noted however, that they are not considered terriers by the American Kennel Club, but are part of the non-sporting group. So the terrier part of their name is something of a misnomer. 



  • Are lively and active, NOT a couch potato or over the top hyper dogs
  • Are house pets and must be inside with air conditioning in the summer months and with heat in the winter months
  • Are energetic, NOT a jogging partner/they can overheat and die in hot, humid conditions
  • Are amusing dogs that can play on a moments notice but can settle down into your lap when playtime is over 
  • Love to cuddle and give wet kisses 
  • Are enthusiastic and occasionally rambunctious but encompass a great sense of humor 
  • Are reliable with children; patient and tolerant – great family pet! 
  • Are eager to explore new things in their environment 
  • Love to be the center of attention 
  • Have a high degree of intelligence, but can be headstrong; always striving to please their owner 
  • Do well with other pets – can play rough 
  • Love for their owners to take part in their activities; playtime and one-on-one time is important 
  • Prefer sleeping in bed with their owners, especially under the covers 
  • Low-maintenance dogs with little grooming required. Shed lightly, short hair
  • Are short muzzled known to snore, sneeze, wheeze, and snort. 
  • Not considered to be vocal dogs. Do not bark muchunless making you aware of the presence of another dog or person 
  • Would prefer not to be away from the family for long periods of time, being family oriented 
  • Are alert and tend react quickly to sound 
  • Are big dogs in a little dog’s body; Average size is from 17 lbs to 25 lbs 
  • Take pride in defending their master. 



The most common health issues to the Boston Terrier breed are:

  • Brachycephalic syndrome
  • Patellar luxation
  • Hemivertebrae
  • Sensorineural deafness
  • Eye Problems
  • Allergies



  • Eye injuries due  to their prominent eyes
  • Breathing difficulties when stressed by exertion in hot and cold weather
  • Reverse Sneezing – gulping air and wheezing
  • Overheating ~  Bostons are indoor dogs and should not be left outside or in your vehicle for any length of time
  • Anal gland infection
  • Flatulence (Gas) – Bostons have a sensitive stomach and are prone to frequent gas, so feeding them the right food is important.  Grain-free is preferred.



3 Responses to About BOSTON TERRIERS

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