Boston Terrier: Character, Care And Attitude

Pst, insider tip: the Boston Terrier is full of life, bright, intelligent, and loving. However, he also has a breeding-related problem.

When you meet the Boston Terrier for the first time, if you don’t know the breed, the first thing you’ll think is: Oh, what a cute bulldog. But far from it! Because the dogs with the characteristic face and elf ears are actually a separate breed of dog that doesn’t even have “Bulldog” in their name. The Boston Terrier comes from the USA and is considered a popular companion and family dog there, while the dog is (still) relatively unknown in this country.

In this breed portrait, we duly introduce the Boston Terrier. Find out more about the appearance, character, health, care, and husbandry of this unique terrier.

What does a Boston Terrier look like?

The Boston Terrier’s appearance is very reminiscent of a less crumpled version of the English Bulldog or a slimmer version of the American Bulldog. In fact, the Boston Terrier is a purposeful breed from the English Bulldog and the now-extinct White English Terrier. If the face of the Boston Terrier clearly follows the bulldog, the physique is more recognizable as a terrier. The body is more square like most terriers, with lean but muscular proportions.

Unlike the English Bulldog, the Boston Terrier does not have wrinkles on its face. His nose is typically mastiff-like and therefore very short. Of course, that’s not what the dogs want. Therefore, it is gratifying that recently in breeding more attention has been paid to the longer snouts of the animals.

The dogs have bat-like protruding ears and large, beautiful almond eyes that are set rather wide apart. The head is square to slightly rounded, which is why the dogs are also affectionately called “round heads” in their homeland. The tail is always short and pointed.

The dog’s coat is very short and has no undercoat. Permissible coat colors are

  • black,
  • brindle or
  • a very dark red (seal).

All dogs, regardless of base color, must have a white blaze between the eyes and a white muzzle to be recognized as a purebred dog breed. White markings are also desirable on the chest, legs, and paws.

How big is a Boston Terrier?

If one is strict about the coat color in breeding, one apparently turns a blind eye to the size of the dogs. There is no prescribed height at the withers for the breed. On average, the growth height is 23 to 38 cm. This means that the dogs belong to small to medium-sized dog breeds.

How heavy is a Boston Terrier?

When it comes to weight, you’re more accurate. There are three different weight classes for dogs:

  • light (max. 6.8 kilograms),
  • medium (6.9 to 9 kilograms), and
  • heavy (9 to 11.3 kilograms).

How old does a Boston Terrier get?

The Boston Terrier pleases us with a lifespan of 9 to 15 years. This mainly depends on how big and heavy the individual dog is. However, with good care, nutrition and health, a Boston Terrier can definitely live to a ripe old age.

What character or nature does the Boston Terrier have?

If you want to describe the Boston Terrier in one word, “sociable” is probably the best. The dogs are considered gentle, friendly, spirited, and full of life. In their homeland, they are referred to as “happy-go-lucky”, which can be translated as carefree or carefree. The breed is considered intelligent, inquisitive, and eager to please its humans.

Basically, the Boston Terrier is not described as aggressive. Barking loudly is not his thing, nor is exaggerated territorial behavior. However, this can be different from dog to dog and depends on upbringing, keeping, and handling.

The stimulus threshold of dogs is high. With their serenity and openness, they enchant here and there even one or the other dog-shy person.

The History of the Boston Terrier

In contrast to many other dog breeds, the history of the “round heads” can be traced back relatively precisely. All of today’s purebred Boston Terriers can be traced back to the American breeder Robert C. Hooper from Boston. Around 1875 he acquired the dog “Judge”, a crossbreed of the English bulldog and the now extinct white English terrier, from acquaintances. Delighted with Judge’s character and looks, Hooper began breeding the breed.

By 1889, the dogs were well known and loved, especially in and around Boston. In 1891, the breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club. The “Bostie” is one of the first recognized American dog breeds and one of the few dog breeds that originated in the USA.

While the clever dogs were initially bred for dog fighting purposes, early on breeders were fascinated by the Boston Terrier’s excellent qualities as a companion dog. They, therefore, began to promote them in breeding. Dogs with friendly faces are still very popular, especially in the USA. But also in Europe and in Germany the number of breeders and born puppies is steadily increasing.

Boston Terrier: Proper Keeping and Training

Because of its intelligence, its will to please, and its open-minded nature, the Boston Terrier is generally well suited as a beginner’s dog. His upbringing is quite simple provided you stick to the basic principles:

  • loving consequence,
  • positive reinforcement,
  • socialization and
  • adequate mental and physical activity.

The breed is also considered to be suitable for the big city, as the dogs also do well in a smaller city apartments. However, the dogs are quite athletic and enjoy activities such as outdoor play, dog sports, and other activities.

If the Boston Terrier has enjoyed the appropriate socialization, he proves to be an extremely relaxed dog. Lying quietly under the table in a café or happily sniffing other dogs in the park are just a few of his many strengths.

However, it is very difficult for this dog to be left alone. If you want to get a Boston Terrier, first check whether you can take the dog to work with you. It is important that this is also possible permanently. And that means 9 to 15 years!

What Grooming Does the Boston Terrier Need?

Thanks to the very short fur, grooming the dogs is uncomplicated. The coat needs little brushing as it has no undercoat. However, this also means that your dog is very likely to get cold in winter. If so, a dog coat can be a good investment.

When caring for them, be sure to pay attention to the XXL ears, which you should clean and check regularly. The Boston Terrier is prone to dental problems, so you should get your dog used to brushing its teeth. Alternatively, treats for dental care and chews are particularly good here. Just add it to the diet.

What are the typical diseases of the Boston Terrier?

Purebred Boston Terriers from controlled breeding are considered to be very robust and in good health, if they are cared for and fed appropriately. However, there are three clinical pictures that are relatively common in the breed:

  • Eye diseases: The big googly eyes are sensitive and can easily be injured, e.g. B. by branches, dust, or UV radiation. It is, therefore, better to avoid the blazing sun in midsummer when you are out with your dog. In addition, common eye diseases such as corneal irritation, progressive retinal atrophy, or cataracts can occur.
  • Joint and Spine Problems: Malformations, stiffness, and patellar luxations can be found here and there in this breed.
  • Shortness of breath: You know it from pugs and other dog breeds with brachycephaly: shortness of breath. Unfortunately, this can also show through in the Boston Terrier, even if luckily a longer muzzle is now favored again.

How much does a Boston Terrier cost?

The dog from the USA is still an insider tip in Germany – but it is becoming more and more popular. If you are interested in a puppy (or an adult dog), you should definitely take a look at the 1. Club for Boston Terriers in Germany e. V. over. Most breeders in Germany are listed there. Because breeders and thus puppies are still rather rare, you have to expect higher prices from 1,000 euros for a puppy. (Also read: 11 particularly rare dog breeds)

When buying, make sure that the breeder pays attention to a sufficiently long nose. Anything else might be considered cute by some, but it is nothing but animal cruelty.

Or you stop by the animal shelter to see whether a small or large “round head” is looking for a new home. So much happiness on four paws definitely deserves a loving home!

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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