If you’re looking for a furry companion for you and your family, then a Boston Terrier might be the right choice. Today we’ll look at this bright, energetic, and loving dog breed in detail to help you determine if this is the right little dog to add to your family.
We’ll cover its size, weight, looks, temperament, suitability with people, including children, and how well they get along with other dogs. We’ll also discuss their notable traits and how much care they’ll need.
About Boston Terriers
Whether you’re new to Boston Terriers or have a long history with them, you might be surprised to learn of the breed’s rich and storied past.
The Boston Terrier originates from 19th century Liverpool England where an Englishman looking for a tough breed for dog fights bred a bulldog with a now-extinct English white terrier.
The resulting dog, named Judge, is the forebearer of all modern Boston Terriers. After changing hands and arriving in Massachusetts, Judge would be bred with a female from the Boston area.
Over several generations, the breed became synonymous with the Boston area until the name of the breed was officially changed to Boston Terrier.
The dogs have become such a part of the city that Boston University has had one as its mascot for over 100 years, and in 1979 the Boston Terrier was named the state dog of Massachusetts.
Coat and size
According to the Boston Terrier Club of America, a purebred Boston Terrier is black with white undertones, resembling a tuxedo. This has led to the dogs being called “the gentlemen of Boston.”
However, Boston Terriers can be other colors, including brown, red, gray, blue, cream, lilac, and champagne, though the club does not accept these colors.
They have a thick short-haired coat across their entire body and generally weigh around 20-25 pounds, making them a small dog breed.
They are known to have short tails and muzzles with a square head and large rounded eyes, making them inquisitive and playful-looking.
Health and lifespan
It’s important to remember that all dogs are a responsibility, and managing and maintaining their health is incredibly important if you plan to own a dog.
Boston Terriers have an average lifespan of between 13 and 15 years.
A smaller dog with a longer lifespan than many other breeds, some have been known to live up to 15 years or more with proper care and nutrition.
While they are generally healthy dogs, like any breed, they do face unique health problems. Most notably, because of their large eyes, Boston Terriers are more prone to eye problems, including glaucoma and corneal ulcers.
They may also experience knee-related issues with age, which may require surgery to fix. This is also why a healthy diet is essential to maintain the proper weight.
Flat-faced dog breeds also exhibit difficulty breathing when exposed to extreme heat and humidity, so adequate shelter should be provided.
Exercise and training aptitude
Boston Terriers are highly energetic dogs and typically need plenty of exercise.
However, this particular breed often needs accompaniment to enjoy exercise. Simply letting them outside will not suffice, as they will spend all their time waiting to be let back in rather than running and playing.
Engagement is key to getting them proper exercise. Throwing a ball or frisbee, engaging in dog sports, or running with their owner is encouraged.
The exact amount of exercise needed will depend on the individual dog, with some only requiring a brisk walk once or twice a day and others needing large amounts of activity.
Regarding training, Boston Terriers are highly intelligent and eager to learn dogs. However, because they are such high-energy dogs, they may need treats and other incentives to keep them focused on the task.
They are also highly emotional dogs. They train better with encouragement and positive reinforcement versus scolding and punishment and desire lots of attention once training is complete.
Grooming and nutrition
The Boston Terrier breed is a low-shedding dog thanks to its fine-haired coat.
Brushing with a dog brush once weekly and removing loose hair will keep them from shedding and keep their short, smooth coat nice and healthy.
They also don’t require bathing very often unless their high energy level finds them playing in the mud or getting things stuck in their fur.
Their nails should be trimmed regularly, as with all dogs, to prevent problems walking and running, which Boston Terriers love to do. Overall, they are very low maintenance in terms of grooming.
Regarding feeding and nutrition, Boston Terriers do well with most high-quality dog foods or home-prepared food. The food given to them should be appropriate for each stage of their life.
One thing to monitor is your dog’s calorie intake, including food and treats.
Because Boston Terriers are smaller dogs, it is easier for them to gain too much weight, and extra pounds can cause various health issues.
A full-grown Boston Terrier should weigh no more than 25 pounds.
Temperament and attitude
If you’re looking for a family-friendly small dog, then a Boston Terrier should fit right in.
Though they are high energy, they love affection and being lap dogs and are kind and gentle around babies and children.
They tend to be docile unless excited; even this is a playful sort of excitement, making them the perfect small companion for young children and families.
They generally get along with other dogs well, though their high energy can be off-putting to some older dogs or dogs that aren’t as enthusiastic.
Overall they should pair well with a family with dogs in the home. Their friendly and eager-to-please nature makes them fairly well-adaptable and great when visitors come around.
Final thoughts on Boston Terriers
There you have it, our profile of the Boston Terrier, its health, habits, and needs.
- Well mannered
- Easily trainable
- Low maintenance
- Relatively long lifespan
- Energetic and playful
- Need mental and physical stimulation most of the time.
Alana Redmond is a legal content writer and consumer safety expert working with Elk & Elk Co. Ltd, a personal injury law firm specializing in dog bite injuries.