How much do you know about the Boston Terrier? Boston Terriers are similar in appearance to a pug, with their flat faces and stocky bodies, but are taller, with signature markings in black and white. They are happy, loyal dogs named after the city that first created them: Boston, Massachusetts. Bostons are playful and energetic but can also spend plenty of time cuddling on your lap.  If you’re interested in adding a Boston Terrier to your family, here are a few things you need to know.

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Where Does The Boston Terrier Come From?

In the 19th Century, people bred bulldog-type breeds with terrier breeds to satisfy blood-baiting sports and pit fighting needs. In 1860, in Liverpool, one such crossing between a bulldog and a now-extinct English Terrier led to the birth of Judge, a dog who would become the father of the Boston Terrier. So, how did a crossbreed from England become the beginning of a new American dog breed?

An American man named William O’Brien bought the muscular, tough Judge and brought him home to his native Boston. In 1870, another Bostonian, Robert Hooper, bought Judge, who became the common ancestor of all true Boston Terriers. The Boston Terrier Club of America was formed in 1891, and the American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1893.

Bostonians have a lot of pride in their hometown dog breed; the Boston Terrier has been the official mascot of Boston University for over 100 years and is also the official dog of Massachusetts.

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What Does a Boston Terrier Look Like?

The Boston Terrier has a unique and readily identifiable “tuxedo” appearance that has earned them the nickname the “American Gentlemen.” They have a fine, smooth coat that comes in three colors: black, seal (black with a reddish tint), and brindle. All Boston Terriers have a white muzzle and chest, with a distinguished blaze on their face. They have bat-like ears, and round skulls with large eyes set wide apart.

Bostons are compact, sturdy little dogs that come in three weight classes: under 15 pounds, 15 to 19 pounds, and 20 to 25 pounds. They stand between 12 and 17 inches tall at the shoulder.

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What Is A Boston Terrier’s Personality Like?

Boston Terriers are fantastic companion animals. They are goofy, intelligent, and affectionate, with one of the most gentle, even temperaments in the dog world. This breed’s extremely loving nature means they don’t do well being left alone for long periods. Boston Terriers get along perfectly with children, couples, singles, elderly folks; in short, they get along with everyone. If socialized from a young age, Bostons can get along with all manner of other pets too, even cats! They enjoy living in houses but do just as well in an apartment setting. These dogs don’t bark much either, which can be ideal for apartment living.

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How Hard Is It To Train a Boston?

Socializing and training a new puppy are essential for any dog, and the Boston Terrier is no exception. As we’ve discussed, this breed is incredibly smart and eager to please their people. However, they can also have a bit of a stubborn streak. Don’t worry though, you’ll see that with patience and consistency, training your pup is an enjoyable pastime for you both.

During training, try to avoid methods like shouting or punishment, as these harsh techniques may cause your terrier to shut down. Instead, try to stick with positive reinforcement and keep your training sessions short and fun. A great-tasting training treat doesn’t hurt either. If you begin to feel frustrated, end your training session as quickly as possible, preferably on a positive note. 

How Much Exercise Does A Boston Terrier Need?

Despite their small size, Boston Terriers still require plenty of regular exercise to dispel some of their energy and to maintain a healthy, happy weight. Lucky for us, their small stature also means that they expel their energy pretty quickly! If you make an effort to take your pup for a quick walk or have a play session in the yard at least twice a day, you’ll be able to burn off your Boston’s extra energy. Dogs that don’t get enough exercise are prone to boredom, which can lead to destructive behavior; we all learn eventually that a tired dog is a well-behaved dog.

Due to this breed’s short snout, you need to remain aware of their breathing during activities. The shape of their muzzle can cause respiratory issues when exercising, especially in extreme temperatures. Speaking of extreme temperatures, Boston Terriers have a short coat that leaves them vulnerable in cold weather, so consider getting your Boston a stylish, warm sweater for the winter months.

This breed is particularly prone to obesity, so in addition to adequate exercise, it’s essential to follow serving-size recommendations from pet food manufacturers or your veterinarian, no matter how much they flash you those hungry puppy dog eyes!

black and white boston terrier puppy on green grass field during daytime

Do Boston Terriers Have Health Problems?

As with most purebreds, Boston Terries can suffer from a couple of inherited health issues.

  • Respiratory issues: as mentioned above, the short snout of a Boston makes them more likely to suffer from Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome, leading to breathing problems.
  • Eye issues: those large, beutiful eyes on a Boston can develop cataracts and cherry eye. Cataracts occur when a clouded film forms over the eyes and cherry eye occurs when the third eyelid prolapses. Both of these issues can normally be taken care of with surgery.
  • Allergies: Boston Terriers often suffer from food or contact allergies. 

A Boston’s life expectancy is between 13 and 15 years.

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How Do You Groom a Boston Terrier?

If you choose to bring home a Boston Terrier, you’ll be happy to hear that their grooming needs are relatively low maintenance because their short coat sheds infrequently. For best results, use a grooming mitt once a week to remove any dead hair and keep the coat shiny. They don’t need baths very often, but if you need to freshen them up, you can bathe them with a gentle, allergen-friendly dog shampoo.

Boston Terriers need special grooming care with their large, erect ears. These bat-like appendages require need cleaning to avoid irritation or infections. Use cotton pads soaked in an antibacterial ear wash once a week to wipe the insides of each ear. 

Can’t Go Wrong With a Boston Terrier

There’s a good reason Boston Terriers are such a popular breed. Their even temper, loving demeanor, and silly antics make them an ideal dog for almost any household. With a Boston Terrier, you will find a constant companion and cuddle buddy, a furbaby with the energy to keep up with your family. You can’t go wrong with a Boston terrier.

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