Boston Terrier

If you’ve ever seen a Boston Terrier, you likely won’t forget it. These pint-sized pups are quite unique, with “tuxedo” markings and bulbous eyes. Plus, they’re uniquely American, bred in the city that gave them their name. This breed can make a great apartment dog and they’re one of the most polite breeds out there. Read more to learn about the Boston Terrier.

Description of the Boston Terrier

This breed has many of the characteristics of a terrier. These dogs have a ton of personality built into a small package. They’re happy creatures, always up for a game. As amusing as they are, they’re also calmer and more polite than most terriers!

The Boston Terrier has an interesting back story. They are descendants of a single common ancestor named Judge. Judge was a mix of terrier and bulldog, a breed meant to fight in some of the darker days of Britain’s betting past. In America, the breed was transformed into a smaller and cuddlier form of the original.

These dogs have some characteristics that are similar to breeds like the Bull Terrier. However, they give off an overwhelmingly cute vibe. Their squashed faces, big eyes, and pointed ears are unmistakable.

The Boston has a short coat, that comes in white mixed with black, brindle, or seal.

Life Expectancy and Size

The Boston Terrier stands 15 to 17 inches tall, and weighs 12 to 25 pounds. These are very convenient apartment dogs.

Unfortunately, these dogs do have some health problems. Some of these can be managed. Working with a reputable breeder can help avoid some genetic issues. Still, the Boston Terrier only has a life expectancy of 11 to 13 years.

Protective Ability

This Boston may huff and puff at strangers, but usually he is friendly with people. As small dogs, they don’t really offer much in the way of protection. All of the fight has been bred out of them through years of responsible breeding.


These dogs are a joy to train. Generally, they respond quickly and easily to positive reinforcement. In fact, they usually respond so well that there is no need for treats! If you do want to feed them, make sure to do so sparingly. Too many treats can lead to weight issues.

Many Bostons love learning tricks. They may be candidates for sports like agility or competitive obedience.

Energy Level

There is a wide variety in this breed’s activity level. Some need more than others, but all Bostons require a base level of activity to stay happy and healthy.

These dogs love to play together outside. They would much rather spend time with their owners than explore on their own. Try to take them for daily walks or spend an hour or two playing fetch. Usually these dogs will tell you when they’re bored, often by running around the house like maniacs!

What Living with a Boston Terrier is Like

Owning a Boston Terrier is like owning a bundle of joy. They make absolutely great companions. Indeed, they particularly love channeling that energy into time with their family. They will always be up for a game or a snuggle. These dogs are not as high energy as most terriers, though.

They’re amusing dogs to look at, too, with their bugged eyes! Their tendency to huff and snort adds to their clownish qualities.

Unfortunately, these dogs do have some real health problems. This dramatically shortens their life expectancy.

Care of the Boston Terrier

This breed has some unique requirements to keep him healthy. For families that can manage, the Boston will prove to be a sweet companion.

Environmental Needs

The Boston Terrier should do well in most environments. These dogs have short coats, so they cannot tolerate extreme temperatures as well as some others. Likewise, their short muzzles mean that they can have trouble breathing. This can be a particular issue in the heat. Always have ample shade and fresh water available.

Exercise Needs

These dogs will not exercise themselves. If you let them outside alone, they’ll likely just wait at the door for you to come back. To keep them happy and healthy, make sure to take them for a walk or play with them in the yard daily. Sessions can be short and sweet, but Bostons do need to have a chance to vent their energy.

This breed has a short face that can make it hard to breath. Monitor them carefully during heavy exercise, especially in high heat.

Shedding and Grooming

Regular baths and brushing with a soft brush or mitt are all that this breed requires. They shed only minimally and their short coat is wash and wear. In fact, they only need to be washed when they start to smell! Make sure to keep up with their nails, which can become long and painful.

Ideal Home Environment

The Boston Terrier does best with a single owner or a couple that understands his special needs. Although these dogs are social, they are also very people-oriented and can become overwhelmed by too many emotions.

This breed can do well in cities, provided that he gets enough play times. Owners should be sensitive to breathing problems, and monitor the Boston during extreme heat or heavy exercise.

Health Concerns

These dogs are cute. Unfortunately, they’re not built for practicality. Their short muzzles make breathing hard and their large eyes can easily become irritated.

Other health issues include deafness and knee pain.

Behavior Problems

The Boston Terrier is an easy-going companion. Housebreaking comes up as a common issue, which can be exacerbating by this breed’s small bladder.

These dogs are also not ideal for the prim and proper. They slobber a lot and love to make loud snorting sounds. Some even say they are prone to flatulence!