The Boston Terrier is sweet, cheerful and above all very pleasurable to live with on a daily basis due to its good character and intelligence. These dogs are sociable, get along well with their peers and appreciate the presence of children. Although very attached to their social group, they are nevertheless still terriers that sometimes do as they please. Seducers at heart, they know how to make people understand what they need and, in particular, how to convince their loved ones to get what they want.
Key facts about the Boston Terrier
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Origins and history
Almost nothing is known about the Boston Terrier’s origins, except that they evolved most significantly in the United States, in the city of Boston, from which they got their name. The Boston Terrier seems to have evolved through the crossbreeding of the English Bulldog and the English White Terrier. However, the French Bulldog must have also been involved as the Boston Terrier resembles them a great deal. The American breed evolved in 1891 and two years later, it was recognised by the AKC (American Kennel Club), the equivalent of the Kennel Club in the UK. The breed was introduced in 1901 in the UK.
FCI breed nomenclature
Group 9 - Companion and Toy Dogs
Section 11 : Small Molossian type Dogs
Physical characteristics of the Boston Terrier
Female : Between 10 and 16 in
Male : Between 10 and 16 in
Female : Between 13 and 24 lb
Male : Between 13 and 24 lb
Weight doesn't exceed 25lbs.
The coat of this little molosser can be either brindle, and white or black and white. They have a white stripe at the muzzle, a white stripe between the eyes and white at the breast corresponding to their official standard.
Type of coat
Their hair is short.
Their coat is smooth, shiny and of a fine texture.
The eyes are dark.
The Boston Terrier is a robust, small dog. Their head is composed of a flat, square skull, not heavy, a steep forehead, a well-defined stop and a short, broad, square muzzle. The teeth are slightly prognathic. The eyes, wide apart, are very large, round and dark, with an attentive and gentle expression. The ears, usually cut, are small, thin, and straight. The legs are straight, muscular and well balanced. The tail, short and low, can be straight or oblique; it is carried horizontally. It should be noted that there are three varieties of weight: less than 15 lbs, between 15 lbs and 20 lbs and between 20 and 25 lbs.
Good to know
The Boston Terrier is a truly versatile companion dog, but until recently it was poorly represented outside the United States. The existing breeds are of very good quality, but it is necessary to book the puppies well in advance.
In recent years, this breed has enjoyed great popularity, just like their cousin the French Bulldog to whom they are often compared to or mistaken for.
They are nicknamed the gentlemen of dogs because of their black and white coat which gives the impression that they sport a tuxedo.
They are often cheerful and very close to their social group. They require a lot of attention and can sometimes be very intrusive when they expect an interaction that they can't get.
It should be noted that males are often needier/more attached than females.
Very energetic and enthusiastic, this dog is always ready for a play session, especially with children whom they appreciate enormously.
The Boston Terrier has the ability to get excited very quickly but to calm down as soon as they are asked. In this respect, they know how to settle down, but it is preferable for their needs to have been met in order to facilitate a rapid return to calmness.
The intelligence of this companion dog is reflected in its ability to adapt to many situations, environments and living conditions.
Even if it may not be obvious, the Boston is a terrier that may sometimes chase things, but this is a very modest instinct and you should not expect to hunt anything with this dog, mice perhaps.
Fearful / wary of strangers
Neither aggressive nor fearful, this dog greets guests with enthusiasm but can be a barker (not excessive) when they do not know newcomers.
The Boston Terrier loves its master to such an extent that they would never want to be separated from him or her. The only fault they could be accused of is being too "invasive"; they are always between legs and would always like to be held in your arms! Independence is not a concept that this companion dog easily embraces.
Behaviour of the Boston Terrier
Because of their strong attachment to their adoptive family, periods of loneliness can be complicated for this dog if they do not benefit from an early and progressive habituation to their owner’s absences.
Easy to train / obedience
Sometimes determined, like any good self-respecting terrier, it is necessary to introduce rules and limits at home as soon as the Boston Terrier puppy arrives, to avoid being overstepped.
The advantage of this small companion dog is that they are very energetic and attentive, which makes the different learning processes quick, and all the more so when they are provided in a consistent, coherent and fair manner.
In short, the Boston Terrier is not a difficult dog to train if the educational methods are simultaneously firm and gentle and respect the principles of positive education.
The barking of this dog is never untimely, it barks very little. On the other hand, when they feel that someone is approaching, they may bark, not excessively, but simply to prevent any danger.
Tendency to run away
Deprived of any protective instinct and very attached to their social group, the Boston Terrier does not flee. They would prefer to stay warm with their family rather than being alone, far from home.
The Boston Terrier is destructive when left alone without any positive habituation to loneliness. Thus, it is mainly belongings that carry the smell of their masters who might be affected. Otherwise, this dog knows how to be calm at home.
Greedy / Gluttony
The Boston Terrier has a good appetite but is not greedy.
This small dog has the reputation of having the character of a big dog. In fact, they can sometimes consider themselves to be far more disruptive than they really are. They can be good alert dogs, but they will never go beyond this.
This friendly, cheerful and above all very pleasant little dog is the perfect companion for owners who want to adopt a small, energetic, cheerful and easy-going pet.
Moreover, being very flexible, they adapt to many living environments and can easily integrate in a home made up of children and other animals.
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Boston Terrier in a flat
This companion dog adapts to all living environments. Whether they live in the city or in the countryside, as long as they are with their master, they are happy.
Life in the apartment therefore suits them perfectly, however, it is important to offer them regular walks during the day, and not just to do their business.
If they live in the countryside or in a house with a garden, however, it is not an option to leave them outside at all times. This dog does not have the physical abilities to live outside and prefers the inner comfort of a house, alongside the members of his/her social group from whom he/she has difficulty moving away.
Need for exercise / Sporty
Despite their small appearance, the Boston Terrier still needs regular outings to stretch its legs and exercise both physically and socially, as well as to stimulate their senses.
The walks must be daily and rich in stimulation to maintain the physical and psychological balance of this dog.
Nevertheless, they willingly adapt to the rhythm of life of their masters, being very dependent on them. Thus, they can be both a very active dog, even a sporty one, as well as a dog who will remain quiet at home with their owners (better yet, on the couch).
Travelling / easy to transport
The small size of this molosser dog allows them to accompany their masters everywhere, which suits them well seeing as they can't stand to be separated from them.
To transport the dog, the easiest way would be by placing them in a transport bag (for the smaller sized terriers) but a positive habituation to the bag is necessary in order to teach the dog to remain calm.
Although naturally sociable, it is still necessary to accustom the Boston Terrier puppy very early on to live all kinds of experiences with their owners, in various environments, so that they do not stress when they find themselves in a situation that they have never previously experienced.
Boston Terrier and cats
This dog can get on easily with the house cat, however it would still be preferable for them to have grown up together to ensure a serene cohabitation.
Boston Terrier and dogs
As sociable dogs, they are very friendly and cheerful towards their fellow dogs. However, despite their friendly nature, it is essential to offer them early, constant and good quality socialisation so that they can develop and strengthen their canine codes through regular and positive encounters.
Boston Terrier and children
Ideal for the whole family, this dog is a first-choice companion for children as they are very playful and gentle.
Boston Terrier and the elderly
Since this dog adapts a great deal to the rhythm of their owner’s lives, they can adapt perfectly well to everyday life with elderly people. They appreciate more than anything the fact that the elderly are constantly with them.
However, if their master cannot take them out or offer them sufficient attention, the use of a dog walking service should be considered.
The price of a Boston Terrier varies according to its origins, age and sex. It is necessary to count on average £980 for a dog registered with the KC.
Concerning the average budget to support a dog of this size, it is necessary to account for approximately £20/month.
Neither exhausting nor constraining, the Boston Terrier is very easy to maintain, thanks in particular to its short and smooth coat. A few regular brushing sessions are enough to maintain the cleanliness and beauty of their coat.
In addition, their eyes and ears must be regularly monitored and cleaned to avoid infection.
Hair loss is moderate but increases considerably during moulting periods, mainly in autumn and spring. They require daily brushing to remove dead hair.
Nutrition of the Boston Terrier
Neither difficult nor greedy, this dog adapts to everything and is content with little. In fact, a diet based on high quality kibble is suitable for them, as are homemade meals based on meat, rice, pasta and vegetables.
Veterinary follow-up is recommended, especially during the puppy's growth, in order to provide all the nutrients necessary for proper physical development.
One meal a day is enough for them once they become adults, preferably in the evening. Even if they could very well regulate themselves, it is not advisable to use a self-service bowl, for obvious health reasons.
Health of the Boston Terrier
Life expectancy is estimated at around 14 years.
Strong / robust
The Boston Terrier is a small dog that is very robust considering its size and can live for a very long time. However, their coat does not allow for them to properly withstand harsh or cold weather properly, so they are somewhat fragile.
Although much less sensitive to heat than its cousin Bulldog, the Boston Terrier is still fragile and can suffer from respiratory problems. Thus, outings must be carried out early in the morning and late in the evening in summer and regularly renewed water must be made available to them.
This small dog's short, smooth coat does not allow it to withstand the elements, cold or harsh rain. Thus, in winter, they are happy at home and it can be worth considering a coat for them to go out in.
Tendency to put on weight
If their dietary portions are balanced, controlled and adjusted, this companion dog has no particular reason to gain weight, other than a lack of physical activity and the overconsumption of snacks between meals.