Boston Terrier - Small Dog Breed

Boston Terrier

Breed Group: Non-Sporting Group

Size Group: Small Dog Breeds

OriginUnited States

Height: 15”-17”

Weight12-25 lbs

Color: Black & white, black brindle & white, brindle & white, seal & white, seal brindle & white

Lifespan11-13 years

Temperament: Loving, affectionate, playful


Boston Terriers are easily recognizable by their trademark “tuxedo” coat. It is hard to imagine with their easy playful demeanor that they were originally bred as pit fighting dogs. These sweet excitable pups have put their fighting ways behind them to become wonderful companion dogs. Boston terriers are easily trained and love to be around their people.

Their intelligence mixed with excellent companionship tendencies make them a great candidate for therapy dogs. Wherever you go, your Boston terrier will want to be with you. Make sure you start training early, so you can always be a plus one.

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Celebrity Owners

Robin Williams, Joan Rivers, Jake Gyllenhaal, Helen Keller, Norman Reedus, Gary Oldman, Rose McGowen, Joan Crawford, Sandra Dee, Famke Janssen, Jean Arthur, Alison Sweeny, Louis Armstrong, Sonny Rollins, Cary Grant, Rudy Valee, President Gerald Ford

Fun Facts

  1. Boston terrier’s nickname is the “American Gentleman” because their coat looks like a tuxedo.


Boston Terriers’ most specific health concern is their eyes. Check them for redness or irritation daily known as cherry eye.

Other health issues may include:

  • Cataracts: A dog develops a cataract when the lens in its eye clouds. The clouding is caused by changes in the water balance or proteins in the lens.
  • Corneal ulcers: Cornea is the transparent membrane on the front of the eye. A corneal ulcer, the cornea is damaged.
  • Glaucoma: Glaucoma is caused by when the intraocular pressure (IOP) in the eye is increased.
  • Deafness: Deafness can be hereditary or can happen through infection, trama, or a degenerative cochlea.
  • Allergies: Histamine, which is a chemical in the body associated with immune responses, is released during allergic reactions.
  • Patellar luxation: Luxating simply means out of place or dislocated. Patella is a kneecap. A Luxating patella is a kneecap that chronically moves out of its normal position.
  • Brachycephalic syndrome: This syndrome describes anatomic abnormalities in certain breeds where the upper airways dysfuntion and/or are obstructed.

Lastly, be mindful flat-faced breeds have difficulty breathing in extreme weather conditions.

While you always hope your pet will live a long and healthy life, it is always a good idea to invest in pet health insurance.

Keeping your dog’s mouth clean and problem free goes a long way to your pup’s overall health. Dental hygiene can be the cause or can be the byproduct of other serious health issues.

Visual inspections can be performed to keep track of the signs of potentially waning oral health. These signs can be anything from bad breath to abnormal chewing to loss of appetite.

Keeping ahead of these warning signs can pay dividends. A preventative approach can delay and stop many of the common dental problems from arising.

Oral health can be tackled in five basic steps:

  1. Brushing your dog’s teeth to prevent an undesirable buildup of plaque
  2. Feed your dog a diet where the high quality dog food has dental benefits
  3. Regularly give your dog dental toys and treats
  4. Use mouthwash, to help where brushing misses
  5. At the sign of any abnormalities, consult a vet. You can even do it virtually, from the convenience of your home.

Dogs are just like humans in that they can experience anxiety. The degree to which they are susceptible to anxiety and how they deal with anxiety is breed specific. Left unchecked, initial signs of anxiety could give way to an anxiety disorder. The symptoms of anxiety disorders can lead to a myriad of behavior issues.

Knowing the signs and symptoms will best equip you to keep ahead of it and to nip it in the bud at the earliest signs. There are options available to help with anxiety.

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Boston terriers’ coat does not shed much. Grooming is relatively minimal, weekly brushing with a grooming mitt or a soft bristle brush to remove dead hair and redistribute naturally occurring oils.

Bathing should not exceed once monthly. As with all dogs, keep your pup’s nails trimmed and their ears clean and free of debris. Brush their teeth several times a week.


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Not to put too fine a point on it, but Boston terriers love their humans. The best exercise for them will vary dog to dog but being with you on walks, hikes or playing fetch or frisbee will be the best place to start at around an hour broken up over the day.

Provided you are involved and engaged, your pup will be too. To that end, being alone in the backyard will not suffice as exercise for a Boston terrier. Lastly, flat-faced dogs have difficulty breathing in extreme heat circumstance, be on watch that they do not overheat.


On average Boston terriers eat 1 cup of food per day. The amount your pup consumes will vary based on their age and level of activity.

We’ve taken a look at some premium dog foods, high in nutrition here.

Are You Feeding Your Dog The Best Food?

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As with all dogs, exposing your pup to other humans and dogs early on will help your pup thrive in social situations. Boston terriers are quick and eager to learn. They respond best to positive reinforcement. They love humans and make wonderful therapy dogs. They may have trouble housetraining; it will come it just may take extra time and patience. Crate training is highly recommended with these pups to give them a space to feel secure when traveling or in the company of unknown visitors.

Proper training is essential to ensuring the safety of your dog and those around you. Having your dog come when they should, and in general having them listen is something you want to address early in your pup’s life, as it will pay dividends down the line. There are many tried and true training programs to accomplish this training – faster and better than you might think!

Unless you’re living on a farm, or have the space, a yipping dog, or one that barks all day when you are gone could be an issue with the neighbors and/or landlord. Historically, dogs would bark to communicate with the rest of the pack when hunting and bark as a warning shot to predators eyeing up their flock. Barking is deep rooted in dogs and manifests itself in many ways and for a variety of reasons.

Just like any habit or instinct, there are effective ways you can train this issue away.

The Best Dog Vitamins and Supplements To Keep Your Pup Healthy. Period.

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A solid Glucosamine Supplement for hips and joints will go a long way to helping your furry friend.

Other helpful supplements include full-spectrum hemp oil or CBD oil. Fish oil skin and coat supplement.

Ensuring a comprehensive preventative vitamin and mineral plan is essential to keeping your dog healthy. Truth is, there are vitamins and minerals that your dog needs, but doesn’t produce naturally. While many of these vitamins and minerals can be found in your dog’s current diet and dog food, the question becomes, are there enough vitamins to ensure they aren’t deficient.

Poor nutrition can lead to some of the most common health issues, such as weak joints, compromised immunity, increased allergies, and low energy.

Vitamins play a vital role in your pet’s health and overall life expectancy. Here are some multivitamin and joint relief options.

As regulations around marijuana have eased, the emergence of CBD oils for humans and dogs have sprung up.

Just to begin to dispel the negative stigma, CBD extract comes from Hemp, marijuana’s cousin. Unlike its cousin, there are no psychoactive qualities in CBD oil. An emerging number of clinical and institutional studies have shown the wide variety of healing qualities in CBD, including pain management, and the containment of seizures and epileptic episodes.

Explore this remedy further to see all the health benefits that have transformed the lives of so many dogs to date.

Have You Tried CBD For You Dog's Health?

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The Good

Easy to train
Minimal gooming

The "Ruff"

Prone to flatulence
Susceptible to food sensitivities and allergies
Flat face leads to difficulty breathing in certain situations
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Other Dogs Like Boston Terriers

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Dogs NOT Like Boston Terriers

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Be Prepared for the unexpected.