Boston Terrier

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Boston Terrier

Intelligent, enthusiastic and friendly, with a smooth coat, short head, and big, round eyes, the Boston Terriers have been popular since a century ago, and they are called “The American Gentleman”, which is not only a reference of their polite nature but also a sign that makes them look like they are wearing a tuxedo.

Other Names Boston Bulldog
Color Black & White, Black Brindle & White, Brindle & White, Seal & White, Seal Brindle & White
Height Males: 0-25 inches. Females: 0-25 inches.
Weight Males: 15-17 pounds. Females: 15-17 pounds.
Life Span 11-13 years
Personality Friendly, Bright, Amusing
Exercise Regular Exercise
Popularity #21
Groom Needs Weekly
Kids Friendly Yes
Dog Friendly Yes with supervision
Watch Dog
Family Dog Yes
Litter Size 1-6

Boston Terrier Pictures

Boston Terrier Video


A Boston Terrier is small but sturdy, quick, and lively without being aggressive. Nonetheless, a Boston Terrier is no coward, he occasionally rises up to a fight when challenged in his territory. A stout nose, which may occasionally be a cause of respiratory problems, rests in front of a square head, yet they were once nicknamed “round-heads”. Boston Terrier is a funny little dog with large round eyes. The standard coat color is usually white and brindle or black. Where Boston Terriers go there’s lots of joy to follow.

A Boston Terrier weighs somewhere around 11 or 25 pounds, supported by a sturdy frame which stands to a height of 15-17 inches. Short-tailed and compact Boston Terriers have an average lifespan of 10-13 years.

Living with Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers have a short, smooth coat and don’t shed heavily, so they are easy to groom. Weekly brush with a firm bristle brush and rubber hound mitt to remove the dead hair. Good brushing can also promote new hair growth and distribute skin oils throughout the coat to keep it healthy. Giving a bath to your dog when necessary or using a dry power shampoo and a damp cloth.

Boston Terriers’ eyes are large and prominent, so owners should wash their faces every day and check their eyes for the symptoms of irritation and redness.

About their ears, check them weekly for redness or a bad odor which may be a sign of infection. And don’t insert anything into the ear canal, you just need to clean the outer ear.

Brush your dog’s teeth at least two or three times a week remove tartar buildup and bacteria that lurk inside it. And if you want to prevent gum disease and bad breath, daily brushing could be helpful. 

Trim their nails every few weeks, because overly long nails could cause the dog pain or the walking and running problem.

Exercise Exercise is important to prevent obesity in Boston Terriers. Usually, a brisk once or twice a day is enough for the Boston Terrier, but it could be different from individual to individual. Some others may need more time to run or play and burn energy. You couldn’t just simply let your dog out into the backyard, it doesn’t count as exercise – he would probably just sit at the door and waiting to be let back in. Left alone for long periods of time, a Boston will tend to become frustrated and develop undesirable behaviors. Most Boston Terriers enjoy playing games with their pet parents, throwing a ball or toy. Or you could take your dog to participate in canine sports, such as obedience, agility, and flyball.

Since this short-headed breed may have difficulty breathing in very hot or humid weather, please avoid overexerting or exercising them in these conditions. 

High-quality dog food is essentials for Boston Terriers whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. A complete and balanced formulated dog food or a combination of dry and canned food could be the options for them. Also, meat and vegetables could be supplements for them. And stay away from processed foods as well as certain foods like chocolate when feeding dogs. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity.

Besides, the diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age, and Boston Terriers can be gluttonous about their food, they are easy to get overweight, once they get obesity the disease such as arthritis, diabetes, and high blood pressure may happen to them, so you need to watch out your dog’s calorie and weight level to avoid overweight.

Boston Terriers are prone to some breed-specific health concerns, including breathing problems, allergies, knee and joint concerns, spinal problems, eye disorders or injuries, obesity, deafness, heart disease, and caesarean section is commonly required during delivery. And Like all flat dogs, the Boston Terriers can also have difficulty breathing if it is not sufficiently protected from excessive heat or humidity.

Recommended Health Tests:

Patella Evaluation

Ophthalmologist Evaluation

BAER Testing

Total Annual Cost: $2680

Cost is estimated for the first year and may vary depending on many factors, such as dog food, health care, leash, collar, licensing, possible fencing, crates, training and obedience classes, dog-walking, grooming, treats, toys, flea, tick, and heart-worm meds, microchips, etc.

Boston Terriers tend to be stubborn, so remember that patience is the key to train Boston Terriers at home. The tenacious Boston Terriers are smart and can easily learn basic commands, but they may not always want to comply. They are a sensitive breed, motivated by food and praise, and respond poorly to harsh punishments. 

Socialization could help the dog grow into a well-adjusted, well-managed adult, you can start as your dog is a puppy and gently expose it to a variety of people, places, and situations. House-training Boston Terriers goes slowly, not because they’re dumb, but because they want to do things their own way.

Some dogs scream loudly and lose their temper when thwarted. They often complain and grumble when they are depressed. You may think that it is interesting, but if you want them to stop losing their temper, it is best not to give any attention, because doing so will reward the behavior.

Advanced skills training can be enjoyable for smart Boston Terriers. The Boston Terrier is becoming more and more popular in the agile dog obedience game. Also, their enthusiasm for taking the ball is very high when in the flying ball game. But because their noses are short and may cause difficulty breathing, care should be taken to avoid overheating. 


The Boston Terrier is the first recognized American-bred dog. A native of Boston, Massachusetts, the breed was the first non-sporting American dog breed to develop. The Boston Terrier was purportedly bred from ancestors which consisted of a chain of Bulldogs, Terriers, and bull-and-terrier type dogs. The beginning of this lineage of dogs dates back to the 1870s when an American Breeder residing in Boston decided to breed an All-American bred Terrier. This man, Robert C. Hooper by name, was said to have purchased a bull and terrier type of dog from one Edward Burnett. The dog was later bred by Hooper, cross-bred with Bulldogs and Terrier breeds, although some accounts add that a French Terrier went into its breeding to temper the aggressive behavior of the hybrid formed.

The first Boston Terrier emerged and was known as Hooper’s Judge. Soon, the breed grew into prominence and its admirers decided to form a club for it. So, in 1889, the American Bull Terrier Club was founded, shortly after which its name changed to the Boston Terrier Club. It was in 1893 that the dog was registered into the American Kennel Club.

It is accepted that the Hooper’s Judge was the direct ancestor of subsequent Boston Terriers, who progressively shed off the inclination to be aggressive and fight people or other animals. In this, the Boston Terrier was transformed from the image of its bull-and-terrier type ancestor (who were notorious for dogfighting sports and bull-baiting), hence affording it the name ‘American Gentleman’.

The Boston Terrier has developed to become an iconic dog in the US, even ranked 21st most popular dog by the American Kennel Club. It is the official state dog of Massachusetts.

Helpful Information


Breed Club Link:

Breed Club Rescue: The BTCA Rescue Committee

Breed Club Rescue Link: