"Dogs never talk about themselves but listen to you while you talk about yourself, and keep up an appearance of being interested in the conversation."
-Jerome K. Jerome
Watch Dogs- A Boston Terrier makes an exceptional watch dog! They aren't known to be particularly yappy. In other words, they don't bark for the sake of making noise. If your Boston is barking, there's probably a pretty good reason.
Size- Typically stands about 15" to 17" high at the shoulders and and weighs between 10 to 25 pounds.
Terriers are loving and very "people friendly" and they typically get
along well with other animals. This breed also enjoys the company of
children, but only the company of polite children. A child should never
be allowed to mishandle or harass or go unsupervised around a dog of any
Trainability- Boston Terriers are great at learning new tricks! There is an art to training a dog, but trust me, it's simplpositive training techniques.
Terriers are faithful, affectionate and loyal companions. They love
their people and have a great appreciation for family life. When you
adopt a Boston Terrier you will have adopted a contented soul who will
truly appreciate the comfort of a warm lap and show you his appreciation
daily with the loyalty only a dog could know.
General Breed Health-
High risk of poorly bred and puppy mill dogs in this breed. Like some
bulldogs, their short snouts can lead to breathing difficulties and
health issues. Many breeders are making this worse by purposely breeding
dogs to have snouts even shorter than normal. See more below in Health
NOT non-shedding- We do have a whole page devoted to non-shedding small breed dogs,
however, the Boston Terrier is not one of them. If dog hair is a huge
problem for you, be aware that you will have to deal with some degree of
shedding with a Boston Terrier.
Excitability- More sensitive than quick-tempered, an adult Boston is normally gentle, well-mannered and easy going.
Good with other pets?- You will rarely have any issues with introducing a Boston Terrier into the mix or introducing another animal to your Boston. Socializing early and often never hurts, when possible. And if you choose to adopt an adult dog (from a rescue group or shelter, etc), you'll already know if the dog is tolerant of other animals or children! One of the biggest bonuses of adopting, in our humble opinion!
Good with Children?- Yes (*), but with an asterisk. Bostons aren't quite as small and fragile as many of their toy breed cousins on the small breed dogs list, but that doesn't mean you should turn them loose with a toddler. Exercise caution even with older well-behaved children, but Bostons, in general, make great companions and playmates for kids who are taught to respect boundaries and play nicely.
Snoring and Flatulence- Endearing as they are, the noises that come from both ends of this little dog are nearly constant. Bostons are prone to suffer with breathing difficulties and the shorter their snouts, the worse it gets. I wouldn't recommend sharing a bed with an Boston Terrier unless you happen to be a heavy sleeper.
Heat Sensitivity- Bostons also have some degree of breathing difficulty due to their short snouts, so labored panting could easily kill this dog. Don't leave any dog locked up in a hot car, and especially not a short-snouted breed, like a Boston Terrier. Long summer-time walks should be done in the coolest part of the day and give your Boston periodic rest and plenty of water.
Separation Anxiety-Boston Terriers love companionship, so it's no wonder that they become frustrated when they're left home alone. Here are some great tips to help minimize the behaviors of separation anxiety, like "accidents" on your carpet and destructive chewing of your belongings.
Breathing Difficulty- Some conditions which can contribute to making this problem worse are Cleft palate and Elongated Soft Palate- This is seen commonly in breeds with pushed-in faces. Even mild cases often require surgery to correct. Symptoms to watch for include labored breathing, coughing, gagging, heavy snorting and fainting.
Stenotic Nares- A softening of the cartilage in the nasal cavity which makes it hard for a dog to inhale air. It's miserable for the dog and surgery is the only way of correcting it. Symptoms are: nasal discharge, labored breathing followed by snorting and lethargy due to lack of oxygen.
Eye Problems- Bostons are prone to Corneal Ulcers and Cherry Eye. Cherry eye appears as a red mass in the inner corner of the eye. These conditions are all painful for your dog and will require treatment or surgery to correct. Bostons are also prone to cataracts.
Hip Dysplasia A dog with hip dysplasia has a hip joint (ball and socket) that don't fit together as perfectly as it should. The popping in and out of place that can occur during normal activities can lead to severe and crippling osteoarthritis, a secondary condition of dysplasia.
Patellar Luxation-A joint condition in which kneecaps dislocate. This is very painful for your dog and expensive to correct. This is a common complication among many small dog breeds.
The use of pet steps has been shown to significantly reduce the wear and tear on joints and can prevent a serious hip or knee injury, like the ones above. Please consider pet steps if you own or plan to own a Boston Terrier.
Many Bostons also suffer due to allergies, Heart murmurs, deafness and Hypothyroidism- Hypothyroidism is a condion of the thyroid gland that can cause hair loss and obesity.
Boston Terrier actually come in a great variety of colors, not all of which are recognized in dog show circles, but they can still be AKC registered. Having a dog AKC registered is of little importance, however, if you don't plan to breed or show your dog. Having "papers" for a dog does not make it better or worse as a pet.
That said, a pet quality dog can be any color. While some colors come with more potential health problems, like the merle, for instance, all Boston Terriers have the same breed characteristics, more or less.
Those colors are:
Black/white - Black/White/Brindle - Blue/White - Blue/White/Brindle - Brindle/White - Cream/White - Fawn/White - Lilac/White - Liver/White - Liver/White/Brindle - Merle/White - Red/White - Red/Brindle/White - Seal/White - Seal/White/Brindle
Some of these colors are more rare, but varying degrees of each also applies. For instance a Red/White Boston Terrier can be more white than red and not all of these colors are listed on the registration papers in any of the purebred dog clubs or registries, but that doesn't mean they're not recognized as Boston Terriers. Many people will just check the next closest color.
Original Boston Terrier Dog Art: Now available as a 12" X 18" mini garden flag. Created, Sold and Shipped by me! Perfect for fall!
Send us a picture of your dog along with any information you'd like to include, like his name, how you got him or any of the cute tricks he knows and we'll put the photo on the pages of this site!