Boston Terrier

June 2, 2020 // 7 minute read

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Boston Terriers are known for their compact and sturdy body. They have a steady posture, which made them regarded as little American Gentlemen of the 19th century. And although the Boston Terrier was initially bred to fight, these dogs are now known to be extremely loving.

They feature a square head, short muzzle, and beautiful, round eyes that speak kindness or curiosity. Their ears are erect and large, and they wear a sleek and shiny coat with tuxedo-like patterns.

The Boston Terriers are excellent family dogs, especially if you’re living in a city. They love children, and they have natural humor that will certainly put a smile on your face.

Boston Terrier Dog Breed

Boston Terrier Statistics

Dog Breed GroupNon-Sporting
Breed SizeSmall
Height15-17 inches
Weight12-25 pounds
Lifespan11-13 years

Boston Terrier Ratings

Energy level
Exercise needs
Requires attention
Friendly with family
Friendly with kids
Friendly with strangers
Friendly with other dogs
Prey Drive

Boston Terrier History

Bloodsports have been very popular in 19th century England, and breeders across the nation have been crossing terriers and bull-type breeds for these sports. It’s believed that the Boston Terrier resulted from the crossbreeding of a Bulldog and a White English Terrier. This dog was named Judge, known to be the first of the breed.

Judge was described to have a dark brindle color, a square head, and a white blaze on his face. He had a solid build and weighed 32 pounds.

His owner sold him to William O’Brien, an American who brought the dog to Boston. In 1870, Judge was again sold to Robert C. Hooper, a Bostonian. From then on, the dog became known as “Hooper’s Judge.”

Judge was bred only once, and that is to a white-dog named Burnett’s Gyp. The breeding resulted in one male puppy, Well’s Eph. Well’s Eph was again bred to a female named Tobin’s Kate, wherein their offspring was bred to French Bulldogs. And that breeding is what became the foundation of the Boston Terriers. From being a heavy fighter, the breed became smaller, sweeter, and more attractive companion dogs.

It was only in 1893 when the AKC recognized the breed. They also became one of the first non-sporting dogs bred in the US. Plus, they are one of the first ten made-in-America dog breeds.

The breed became widely popular, and by 1915, they are the most popular dog breed in the US. By 1976, they became the bicentennial dog of the US. They were also named as the official Massachusetts’ state dog in 1979.

Celebrities adored them, and several universities even made them their official mascot.

Boston Terrier Temperament

Boston Terriers’ temperament varies from one dog to another, depending on the environment you set. Some can be humorous, while others act calm and dignified. Some are stubborn, while most are sweet and gentle.

But generally speaking, Boston Terriers are charming dogs. The American Kennel Club loves to describe them as friendly, bright, and amusing. They love to play, and chasing balls is one of their favorites.

They are excellent family dogs, and they love being with their humans. Their expressive eyes will surely bring out those parental instincts that will want you to take care of them very well.

Some Boston Terriers are one-person dogs. Meaning, they can be easily attached to one person only and be extremely sensitive to that person’s emotions. Most of the time, this can be with the elderly.

Though there are times that they can be stubborn, most are still outgoing with everyone. You can depend on them when it comes to watching your home because they will surely let you know if you have a visitor.

If you have other pets, then that’s also not a problem. Boston Terriers are friendly with other family pets, but they might bark at a larger dog on the other side of the street.

Just like other dogs, Boston Terriers need early socialization to prevent stubborn or aggressive behavior.

Boston Terrier Facts

Care Requirements For Boston Terriers

  • Nutrition: Dogs need a high-quality and well-balanced diet always. This is the same case with the Boston Terriers. It is also necessary to watch their calorie intake and make sure not to overfeed them. If there’s one thing to remember, it’s that they should have a diet high in animal protein. When it comes to the type of food they can eat, you can feed them dry food, canned food, or a combination of both. Just make sure always to check the ingredients that it only contains high-quality. You can also give them treats in small amounts, but make sure to include the calories on your Boston Terriers’ everyday calorie intake. To calculate the needed daily calorie, you can consult your vet. This will likely depend on your dog’s age and activity.
  • Grooming: Boston Terriers are known for their sleek, shiny coat that doesn’t shed frequently. However, it would still need weekly brushing to remove loose hair. This way, it will no longer accumulate and will create more problems for you. At the same time, this will help keep his skin and fir healthy. Bathing them should also be occasional unless they get too dirty. This dog breed is generally clean, especially that they are likely to spend a lot of time at home. And just like any other dog breeds, check his ears and make sure to clean them regularly. Check his nails and trim them, too. Long nails will make it difficult for your dogs to walk and run without pain.
  • Exercise: Boston Terriers exercise needs vary from one dog to another. Some would find a brisk walk daily enough, while others enjoy running and playing. If it’s the latter, then you should participate in his play as well. You can’t simply get him off a leash and expect him to play as he will likely laze around. Grab a ball and have him chase it as this is something he would likely enjoy.
  • Health: Boston Terriers are prone to several health conditions, particularly ones that affect the eye. This includes cataracts, corneal ulcers, and glaucoma. Eye conditions are probably one of the most reported health problems reported for this dog breed. Boston Terriers are also prone to breathing difficulties brought about by their flat face. Minor problems, however, may include snoring and sniffling. Another common condition is the luxating patellas, also common to other small dog breeds. This is a condition where kneecaps slip out of place and might need surgery for repair. Because of these conditions, screening tests might be necessary for early detection. Regular check-ups would be helpful too in keeping your dog’s health optimal.
  • Lifespan: The life expectancy of Boston Terriers is 11-13 years.

Boston Terrier

Famous Boston Terriers

  • Judge: The first Boston Terrier
  • Sergeant Stubby: A decorated American WWI hero; warned American soldiers against poisonous gas and other attacks; mascot of the 102nd infantry
  • Chopper: The Biker Dog; A 5-year-old therapy dog who rides his own Harley Davidson
  • Owen TD: An 11-year-old certified therapy dog owned by Janet Johnson; A retired championship Boston Terrier that has his CRC, RN with AKC.
  • Princess Peia: A certified therapy dog with HHIAT in Greensburg, PA; She was extremely popular in Pittsburgh and was said to have enriched lives of everyone she met
  • Rhett: The Boston Terrier mascot of Boston university

Fun Facts About Boston Terriers

  • The Boston Terrier is the official state dog of Massachusetts.
  • They were originally bred as fighters.
  • Although they’re named terriers, they don’t belong in the terrier group. Instead, they were placed under the non-sporting group.
  • They are loved by famous people, including Presidents Warren G. Harding and Gerald R. Ford.
  • Boston Terriers is the first US breed; they originated from Boston, Massachusetts.
  • They also served in the military.
  • They have had many names: Round Headed Bull, American Gentleman, Boston Bull Terrier.

Check Out Other Non-Sporting Dog Breeds:
American Eskimo Dog, Bichons Frises, Bulldog, Chinese Shar-Pei, Chow Chow, Coton de Tulear, Dalmatian, Finnish Spitz, Keeshonden, Lhasa Apsos, Lowchen, Norwegian Lundehund, Schipperkes, Shiba Inu, Tibetan Spaniel, Tibetan Terrier, Xoloitzcuintli

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