Boston Terrier

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10-25 lbs
United States
Boston Bull, Boston Bull Terrier

The Boston Terrier is a Native American canine breed. The Boston Terrier originated in 1870, by breeding an English Bulldog with a white English Terrier.  It is hard to believe that they were bred to be pit-fighters. The breed is now nicknamed the “American Gentleman” because of their gentle disposition. This attractive breed is a muscular and compact dog. The Boston Terrier is usually a gentle, intelligent, friendly, well-mannered and loving canine. It can be a little rambunctious and does need daily exercise. Boston Terriers can't handle the heat or extreme cold very well. They have a smooth, short coat that does not require much care. It is recommended to occasionally comb them. They do not need frequent bathing. The creases in their face do need to be wiped daily. 

ratting, fighting, companion
Date of Origin
terrier, bulldog, french bulldog

Boston Terrier Health

Average Size
Height: 15-17 inches Weight: 10-25 lbs
Height: 15-17 inches Weight: 10-25 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Cherry Eye
  • Allergies
  • Brachycephalic Syndrome
Minor Concerns
  • Cataract
  • Corneal Ulcer
Occasional Tests
  • Knee
  • X-Rays
  • Eye Examination
  • Allergy Tests

Boston Terrier Breed History

The Boston Terrier breed originated around 1870, when Robert C. Hooper of Boston, who owned an English Terrier; purchased a Bulldog from Edward Burnett. These two dogs had a litter of puppies. Their offspring were then interbred with French Bulldogs, which led to the Boston Terrier.  The breed gets its name because they originated in Boston. The early Boston Terriers were larger and heavier (weighing up to 44 pounds) than the breed is today.  They were used in pit-fighting. Today they are considered lovers and not fighters. By the year 1889, the breed had become very popular in Boston.  In 1893, they were admitted to the American Kennel club. The Boston Terrier was the first non-sporting dog which was bred in the United States. During World War I, a Boston Terrier by the name of “Sergeant Stubby” was the official mascot of the 102nd Infantry Regiment.  He served 18 months and participated in 17 battles. He found wounded soldiers, warned his unit of gas attacks and even caught a German spy. Stubby held the spy by the seat of his pants until his fellow soldier found him with the prisoner. He was promoted to sergeant because of his loyalty and bravery in the field of combat. When the war ended he was smuggled back into the States and he got to meet Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, and Warren G. Harding. Boston Terriers were own by President Warren G. Harding and President Gerald Ford. Boston University made the Boston Terrier its official mascot in 1922. The Boston Terrier also became the state dog of Massachusetts in 1979.  Currently, the Boston Terrier is the 23rd most popular breed in America.

Boston Terrier Breed Appearance

The Boston Terrier is a compact, sturdy little dog with a broad head. The muzzle is short but proportional with his head. The Boston Terrier’s nose is black.  The body is short with a square-like appearance. The bite is either even or may be undershot. The breed has an expression of determination and liveliness. They have large, round wide-set eyes. Their erect ears are small and are either cropped or left natural.  The tail is set low on his body and can be straight or sometimes screwed-shaped.  The Boston Terrier has a short and smooth coat, which can come in black and white, seal and white or brindle and white. The Boston terrier has muscular legs, which are set wide apart. His chest is broad and his neck has a slight arch. He has the appearance of a small tank.

Eye Color Possibilities
Nose Color Possibilities
Coat Color Possibilities
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Boston Terrier Breed Maintenance

The Boston Terrier is not a big shedder so he only needs to be combed out once a week and bathing is only necessary when he gets dirty.  The creases in their face must be cleaned and dried daily. Their eyes should be cleaned regularly.  Cleaning their ears and teeth may be done weekly; be sure to get the proper technique demonstrated to you by a member of the veterinary team.  The Boston Terrier’s nails should be clipped monthly. Boston Terriers have a lot of energy and enjoy fun activities such as fetch, running, walking daily, catching discs, and agility training.  Please keep in mind that the breed does not tolerate heat or extremely cold weather. Brachycephalic breeds usually have respiratory problems and should only be walked with a harness. A collar around his neck may cause injury. Because of their short muzzles they snort, drool and snore loudly. The Boston Terrier can easily live happily in an apartment or in a house.  They enjoy being wherever their owner is and can do well in an apartment environment provided that they are walked daily. Boston Terriers are known for having flatulence. Feeding them a diet high in grains can make the flatulence worse. Boston Terriers can also develop food sensitivities and allergies.  It is best to feed them a good quality diet that is high in animal protein and low in grain. It is important to watch his caloric intake.  Obesity can worsen the symptoms of brachycephalic syndrome.

Brushes for Boston Terrier
Pin Brush
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Daily Weekly Monthly

Boston Terrier Temperament

The Boston Terrier is usually a gentle breed with a friendly and happy personality. The breed is very intelligent and is easy to train.  They do tend to be protective of their owners, which may result in aggression toward other animals or strangers. The Boston Terrier is not a big barker, which makes them ideal for apartment living.  If properly socialized, they are good with children but should always be supervised. The breed may be small but they are sturdy and playful dogs. The Boston Terrier is a sensitive breed and does not do well with harsh training or being yelled at.  They thrive with positive reinforcement training.  Boston Terriers can be slow at being housebroken (4 to 6 months); crate training is highly recommended. The Boston Terrier is eager to learn and to please.  They make wonderful and loving companions for an individual or for a family with children.

Boston Terrier Activity Requirements

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
8 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes

Boston Terrier Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
1 cups
Daily Cost
$1 - $1.3
Monthly Cost
$30 - $37.5

Boston Terrier Height & Weight

6 Months
Height: 13 inches Weight: 7 lbs
Height: 13 inches Weight: 7 lbs
12 Months
Height: 15 inches Weight: 11 lbs
Height: 15 inches Weight: 11 lbs
18 Months
Height: 16 inches Weight: 17 lbs
Height: 16 inches Weight: 17 lbs

Top Boston Terrier Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Boston Terrier breeders of 2017.
Painted Bostons
Shoals, Indiana
Savanas Boston Terriers
Schriever, Louisiana
Circle J Boston Terriers
Tyler, Alabama
Marti Acres
Lamar, Missouri
Our Brindle Bostons and Japanese Chin
Lexington, Oklahoma
Bremer Kennels
Azle, Texas
Atlantis Boston Terriers
Palm Harbor, Florida
Birch Tree, Missouri
West Plains, Missouri

Boston Terrier Owner Experiences