Boston Terriers Information

How do you know if a Boston Terrier is right for you and your family? Learn all about them.


Boston Terriers are cute, fun-loving dogs. Bostons actually hail from the United States (Boston) and were originally "bred down" from a larger, English Bull and English White Terrier mix. The American Kennel Club established them as a breed in 1893.

Bostons were originally nicknamed "round heads" because of their large, round heads. Bostons were originally classified as a form of bulldogs, but were finally labeled "terriers" and named after their home town after several years.

Bostons are truly terriers only in name, and have turned into an often overlooked, yet perfect-for-the house-dog. Bostons prefer the company of humans and make great pets, but they also require high maintenance and have some health issues you should be aware of before you go out to the pet store and adopt them.

How do you know if a Boston Terrier is the right dog for you? Take a look at its traits and decide if YOU'RE the right owner for a Boston Terrier.

The Beauty of Bostons

Bostons are relatively small dogs, with cute round heads and pointed ears. Also referred to as the Boston bull, they exhibit a few traits similar to bulldogs, including their compact size and well-muscled frames.

A Boston's face is full of expression through its short, wide muzzle and large round eyes. They have broad, flat heads and, unlike bulldogs, they have no wrinkles on their face or body. They have a nice, square muzzle that leads to a large black nose. The Boston's body is thick with a broad chest and strong neck. Strong, straight legs support its body.

The Boston Terrier's coat is short-haired and shiny in shades of black and white. As they age, their hair grays, giving them a look of dignity and personality.

The Boston Terrier is a breed recognized by the American Kennel Club and the Federation Cynologique International.

The Character of Bostons

Like bull dogs, the Boston Terrier was originally bred to participate in fights with bulls and other dogs. Since then, the breed has been bred with less aggression. The modern-day Boston Terrier is a gentle, responsive dog who carries itself with class.

As a whole, Boston Terriers are very intelligent, mischievous dogs that enjoy getting into "trouble", occasionally tearing things up around the house. They have a great sense of humor and are responsive to their owner's tone of voice. (However, this doesn't mean that they listen""they tend to be stubborn at times!)

Bostons enjoy learning and are very receptive to the rewards of being trained. Because they are intelligent, they learn quicker than other breeds, making them easy to train.

Male Bostons make good watchdogs and bark when strangers (and squirrels!) approach their territory. They take pride in defending their masters. However, female Bostons are milder in their barking patterns; if stranger approaches they may not bark at all.

The Boston's Companions

Boston Terriers are great with children and elderly people, and are often friendly with strangers. They are playful dogs that are affectionate and like to be considered a part of the family. If you have young children you may want to consider adopting an older puppy or grown dog. Young puppy Bostons tend to be clumsy and may not be able to "get away" when faced with a child as an obstacle! Also, sometimes they are often difficult to housebreak.

They also get along well with other pets, as long as they're NOT dogs. They tend to be able to live with each other, but their demeanor around other dogs depends on each individual dog's personality. Some males are dominant and may fight with other dogs.

Bostons get along very well with other, non-dog pets. However, remember that it is always different for each dog's personality. Your dog may be the exception to the rule!

The Boston's Ideal Environment

Boston Terriers are great "housedogs" and are relatively sedentary. They are sensitive to extreme hot and extreme cold weather; they thrive in mild climates. They do well in both an apartment setting and in an open-space setting, adapting to both indoor environments and back yards.

Boston terriers need regular walks and outdoor play to keep healthy and happy. They are picky about walks and can't walk for a long length of time. If they get tired, however, they're small enough for you to carry home.

Grooming the Boston Terrier

The smooth, short-haired coat of the Boston Terrier is easy to groom. To groom a Boston, you should comb and brush it with a firm bristle brush. Bostons only need to bathed when necessary, such as after a swim in the local creek.

You should also wipe a Boston's face with a damp cloth every day and clean their eyes carefully. Bostons shed about as much as any other short-haired dog, and they require regular nail clippings.

They have sensitive ears and should be checked regularly for grass seeds, ticks, and ear mites.

The Boston's Health

Boston Terriers have a long life that averages about 15 years. They, like other man-created breeds, tend to have an array of health problems.

Because of their short faces, they may have breathing difficulties in extreme hot or cold temperatures. Because of these difficulties, they also often snore loudly and drool.

The Boston's eyes are sometimes injury-prone. Juvenile Cataracts are common among the breed and occur between 8 weeks to 12 months of age. Because of their large heads, pregnant Bostons are often delivered by cesarean section. Bostons also may have heart or skin problems.

Bostons also tend to be "gassy" dogs, but this problem can be remedied through proper nutrition as a puppy. If they suffer from periods of malnutrition, serious gastrointestinal disorders may develop. Feed them well!

Of course, each dog is different, and they may have any or all of these conditions. Be prepared to care for them in sickness and in health.

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