The Boston Terrier wears a tuxedo coat and astylin’ attitude. He is friendly, portable and enthusiastic in everything he does. He gets along well with kids, other pets and pretty much everyone he meets. All in all, he’s a fantastic little companion dog. Boston Terriers have been popular since their creation a little more than a century ago. They were originally bred to be fighting dogs, but today, they’re gentle, affectionate companions with tuxedo-like markings that earned them the nickname “American Gentleman.” Overview
The Boston Terrier may have been bred to be a ferocious pit-fighter, but you’d never know it today. The little American Gentleman, as he was called in the 19th century, is definitely a lover, not a fighter, although males have been known to show their terrier ancestry with a bit of posturing when they feel their territory is being invaded by another dog. Boston Terriers are known for being very intelligent — sometimes too much so. Their lively, affectionate nature makes them extremely loveable, though their sometimes stubborn nature or spurts of hyperactivity can land them in hot water with their owners. Any angst about their behavior, however, soon melts when they look up at you with those huge, round eyes that seem to say “I love you.” Although Boston Terriers are small, they’re sturdy and muscular. They have a sleek, shiny, straight coat with crisp white markings in a pattern that resembles a tuxedo — part of the reason they gained the name American Gentleman. Boston Terriers’ distinctive ears naturally stand erect and are quite large. And then there’s those big, beautiful eyes that are set quite apart to add to their outstanding good looks. Boston Terriers have a broad, flat-nosed face without wrinkles. They belong to a class of dogs called brachycephalic . Like other brachycephalic dogs, the lower jaw is in proportion to the body, but they have a short upper jaw to give them a “pushed in” face. Boston Terriers’ carriage give them a presence that goes beyond their size. They have a slightly arched, proud neckline, a broad chest, and a sturdy, boxy appearance. Their tail is naturally short and set low on the rump. The Boston Terrier’s small size and lively, affectionate nature make him a great family pet and companion. They love children and amuse people of all ages with their antics and unique, appealing expression. They are especially good companions for older people and apartment dwellers. Although gentle and even-tempered, they can have the spunky attitude of their terrier ancestors. Highlights
Short-nosed dogs like Boston Terriers can’t cool the air going into their lungs as efficiently as longer-nosed breeds, and they’re much more susceptible to heat stress. Because of their short coat, they can’t stand extremely cold weather either. Even in temperate climates, the Boston Terrier should be kept indoors.
Because Boston Terriers can have respiratory problems, avoid pulling on your dog’s collar to get him to go what you want.
Your Boston Terrier is prone to corneal ulcers because his eyes are so large and prominent. Be careful about his eyes when you’re playing or taking him for a walk.
Depending in part upon their diets, Boston Terriers can be prone to flatulence. If you can’t tolerate a gassy dog, a Boston Terrier may not be for you.
Because of their short noses, Boston Terriers often snort, drool, and snore .
With their large heads and small pelvises, whelping isn’t easy for Boston Terrier mothers. If you have thoughts about breeding, be sure you realize that in addition to the potential whelping problems that often require a caesarean section, Boston Terrier litters typically are not large. You may have to wait for several months to get a good quality Boston Terrier puppy from a qualified breeder.
While Boston Terriers typically are quiet, gentle dogs, not prone to yappiness or aggression, males can be scrappy around other dogs that they feel are invading their territory.
Boston Terriers can be gluttonous about their food, so monitor their condition and make sure they don’t become overweight.
They can be stubborn, so persistence and consistency are definite pluses in training methods. They are sensitive to your tone of voice, and punishment can make them shut down, so training should be low-key and motivational. Crate-training is recommended while housetraining your Boston Terrier.
To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they’re free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments.
Other Quick Facts
The Boston Terrier is at home in any situation and never meets a stranger; everyone is a potential new friend.
The Boston Terrier is dapper in his black and white tuxedo, but he can also come in brindle or seal with white markings. His short coat is simple to groom and sheds little.
Boston Terriers get along well with children as well as other pets.
The Boston Terrier takes his name from Boston, Mass, where he was developed.
The Boston’s weight ranges from 10 to 25 pounds, with most weighing between 13 and 16 pounds, making them easily portable.
Bostons excel in dog sports, including agility, flyball, obedience and rally. They also make great therapy dogs.
AKC group: Non-sporting
UKC group: Companion Dog
Average lifespan: 11 – 15 years
Average size: 10 – 25 pounds
Coat appearance: Short, smooth, fine
Coloration: Brindle, black, seal; all colors have white markings
Other identifiers: Square and sturdy body structure, tuxedo-like coat
The Boston Terrier breed originated around 1870, when Robert C. Hooper of Boston, purchased a dog Judge from Edward Burnett known later as Hooper’s Judge, who was of a Bull and Terrier type lineage. Hooper’s Judge is either directly related to the original Bull and Terrier breeds of the 18th and early 19th centuries, or Judge is the result of modern English Bulldogs being crossed into terriers created in the 1860s for show purposes, like the White English Terrier. The American Kennel Club cites Hooper’s Judge as the ancestor of almost all true modern Boston Terriers.
Judge weighed over 27.5 pounds . The offspring interbred with one or more French Bulldogs, providing the foundation for the Boston Terrier. Bred down in size from fighting dogs of the Bull and Terrier types, the Boston Terrier originally weighed up to 44 pounds. The breed was first shown in Boston in 1870. By 1889 the breed had become sufficiently popular in Boston that fanciers formed the American Bull Terrier Club, the breed’s nickname, “roundheads”. Shortly after, at the suggestion of James Watson , the club changed its name to the Boston Terrier Club and in 1893 it was admitted to membership in the American Kennel Club, thus making it the first US breed to be recognized. It is one of a small number of breeds to have originated in the United States. The Boston Terrier was the first non-sporting dog bred in the US.
In the early years, the color and markings were not very important, by the 20th century the breed’s distinctive markings and color were written into the standard, becoming an essential feature. Terrier only in name, the Boston Terrier has lost most of its ruthless desire for mayhem, preferring the company of humans, although some males will still challenge other dogs if they feel their territory is being invaded. Boston University’s mascot is Rhett the Boston Terrier. The Boston Terrier is also the mascot of Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C.
Known as the American Gentleman, the Boston Terrier is lively, smart, and affectionate with a gentle, even temperament. They can, however, be stubborn, so persistence and consistency are definite musts when training.
Like every dog, the Boston Terrier needs early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they’re young. Socialization helps ensure that your Boston puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.
This Boston Terrier has an averafe lifespan of 10 to 14 years and is prone to minor ailments like stenotic nares, allergies, elongated soft palate, and patellar luxation. Deafness, demodicosis, seizures, corneal abrasions, and cataract may occasionally affect this breed. To identify some of these issues, a veterinarian may run hip, knee, and eye exams on the dog.
The Boston Terrier cannot tolerate anesthesia or heat. Additionally, Boston Terrier pups are often delivered by cesarean section.
The Boston Terrier is a lively dog, but he doesn’t have excessive exercise requirements. He’s relatively inactive indoors and well suited for apartment dwellers or those who don’t have a yard. He enjoys taking a walk with you and playing in a yard, but is definitely an indoor dog and should never be housed outside. Always keep in mind that Boston Terriers can’t handle the heat or cold very well.
Bostons are sensitive to your tone of voice, and punishment can make them shut down, so training should be low-key and motivational. Use positive techniques such as food rewards, praise, and play.
Boston Terriers are good for apartment as well as country living. They are relatively inactive indoors and do okay without a yard. This breed is sensitive to weather extremes.
A long daily walk and sessions of free play in a fenced-in yard are all the Boston Terrier needs to stay in shape. They are fairly lightweight and can easily be carried.
The Boston Terrier has a short, smooth coat that is easy to groom and doesn’t shed heavily. Brush him weekly with a rubber hound mitt to remove dead hair and keep the skin healthy.
The debonair Boston doesn’t have a doggie odor and he shouldn’t need a bath more often than every few months. The rest is basic care. Trim the toenails every few weeks. Long nails can get caught on things and tear off. That’s really painful, and it will bleed a lot. Brush the teeth frequently for good dental health.
Is this breed right for you?
Boston Terriers make excellent companions for all types of families and individuals. They have great temperaments and easily adjust to many lifestyles. Bostons tend to get along well with other pets and truly love being around others, both canine and human. Though environments associated with extreme heat are not recommended for this short-snouted breed, a close eye on outdoor activity is enough to keep them safe and healthy. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance pet, it doesn’t get any better than the Boston Terrier; their short coats allow for quick grooming sessions. The shortened snout makes them prone to breathing difficulties resulting in shortness of breath, snoring, snorting and farting. Yes, we said farting. If you prefer to call it “breaking wind” you’d better start looking for a more distinguished breed.
Children and other pets
The Boston Terrier loves children and makes a good playmate for them. He’s small enough that he won’t knock them down but large enough that he’s not easily injured. In general, he gets along well with other dogs and cats, especially if he’s socialized to them at an early age.
Did You Know?
Boston Terriers were bred in Boston, Mass., and all descend from a dog name Judge. They were first known as Round Heads, Bullet Heads or Bull Terriers, but in 1889 they officially took the name Boston Terrier.
A dream day in the life of a Boston Terrier
This easygoing breed is happy doing just about anything you’re doing. They’re prone to heat exhaustion, so you may choose to keep the Boston Terrier mostly indoors during hot summer months but other than that, this loving pup is the perfect size for toting along to any pet-friendly location. Easy to train and a lover by heart, you can bet this breed will love a day of socializing with humans and canines anytime.