Boston Terriers: The Spunky American Gentleman

Boston Terriers are a spunky breed originally bred for fighting. They are now one of the most popular companion dogs because of their small size and ease of care. The AKC rated them 15th in overall popularity in 2006. Boston Terriers get their name because they were originally bred in Boston in the late 1800’s. Their unique look originates from a cross breeding of a Bulldog and a now extinct white Terrier breed. They were one of the first non-sport breeds bred in the United States.

Boston Terriers range in color from black, brindle, seal, or a combination of the colors. Seal is a color that appears black at times but reddish at other times. Most Boston Terriers have white markings on their chest, face, and head. The white may also extend to their bellies and necks. These tuxedo-like markings and their origination in the United States have earned the Boston Terrier the nickname, The American Gentleman. On average they weigh anywhere between 10-25 pounds and stand between 15-17 inches tall. They have a square shaped head that is flat on top. Their ears stand erect, and their tails are short and usually stick straight out from their bodies.

Boston Terriers are gentle dogs, but they may be protective of their family. Their good nature makes them a great dog for children or other dogs. Boston Terriers are very intelligent and can be trained to do a variety of tricks. On the other hand, they are not quick learners and need much repetition before they catch on. This can cause a problem when trying to housebreak them, but after some practice they will learn the signs to give when they need to go out. Boston Terriers make great companion dogs because of their love for people. While they enjoy their romps through the yard, cuddling up on the couch or snuggling in bed with their owner is enjoyed even more. Boston Terriers should not be left outside for long periods especially in severe weather. Boston Terriers like neither extremely cold, nor extremely hot temperatures. Boston Terriers are definitely happiest indoors.

Care for a Boston Terrier is relatively easy. Their short hair means there is little shedding and few worries in the area of dog grooming. Some of their health concerns include cataracts, deafness, allergies, and frequent coughing. The coughing is nothing serious, just a side effect of having a pushed in muzzle. Snoring can be a problem for some Boston Terriers and some may need to be evaluated for more serious health problems. Due to their curious nature, when outside a Boston Terrier should be in an enclosed space or on a leash. Boston Terriers have a tendency to want to explore everything around them. If they get out unsupervised they will take off on a self-directed adventure. Since Boston Terriers are such people dogs be sure to have plenty of chew toys available when they are home alone. Boston Terriers are prone to get bored easily and can be destructive if left alone over a long period. Overall, the Boston Terrier is a friendly, gentle dog with a lot of love and curiosity. With the right amount of attention and stimulation, the Boston Terrier makes a great companion dog.

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  1. Most of this is accurate, but there are too many generalizations here & some outright inaccuracies. For example, not all Boston Terriers are gentle. Some like to fight — a vestige of their heritage. I've seen a really mean one or two. It seems strange that you wrote that Bostons are very intelligent yet are not quick learners. Say what? In any case, mine learn commands and tricks so quickly that it's downright spooky. Tricks or commands that would take most dogs dozens if not hundreds of repetitions, these guys pick up after maybe half a dozen lessons. Another inaccuracy is the comment about indoors vs. outdoors, which couldn't be less true when it comes to certain Bostons. Both of my Bostons would rather be outdoors, though one of them enjoys the indoors a lot too. The other LIVES to be outdoors. He adores, even worships the outdoors. The indoors just makes him sleepy. Contrary to your comments about weather temperatures (which I've read elsewhere as well), but one of our other Boston LOVES hot, sunny weather & will lie out there way too long if you don't tell him to come in. NEITHER of our Bostons dislikes cold weather either!

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