Boston Terrier: Dog Breed Characteristics

Country of origin: USA
Shoulder height: 35 – 45 cm
Weight: 5 – 11.3 kg
Age: 13 – 15 years
Colour: brindle, black, or “seal”, each with white markings
Use: Companion dog

Boston Terriers are highly adaptable, enterprising, and lovable companion dogs. They are intelligent, easy to train with loving consistency, and well-tolerated when dealing with other people and dogs. A Boston Terrier can also be kept well in a city if you like to take them for long walks.

Origin and history

Despite the name “Terrier”, the Boston Terrier is one of the company and companion dogs and has no hunting origins. The Boston Terrier originated in the United States (Boston) in the 1870s from crosses between English bulldogs and smooth-coated English terriers. Later, the French bulldog was also crossed.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Boston Terrier was still quite rare in Europe – meanwhile, however, the number of puppies is also increasing steadily in this country.


The Boston Terrier is a medium-sized (35-45 cm), muscular dog with a compact build. Its head is large and quite massive. The skull is flat and unwrinkled, the snout short and square. The tail is naturally very short and tapered, straight or helical. The characteristic of the Boston Terrier is the large, erect ears about their body size.

At first glance, the Boston Terrier looks similar to the French Bulldog. However, its body is less stocky and more square-symmetrical than the latter. The Boston’s legs are longer and its overall appearance is sportier and more agile.

The Boston Terrier’s coat is brindle, black, or “seal” (ie black with a reddish tinge) with even white markings around the muzzle, between the eyes, and on the chest. The hair is short, smooth, shiny, and of fine texture.

The Boston Terrier is bred in three weight classes: Under 15 lbs, between 14-20 lbs, and between 20-25 lbs.


The Boston Terrier is an adaptable, hardy, and adventurous companion who’s fun to be around. He is people-friendly and also compatible in dealing with his conspecifics. He is alert but shows no aggression and is not prone to barking.

The larger specimens are more relaxed and calm, while the smaller ones show more of the typical terrier characteristics: they are more playful, lively, and spirited.

Boston Terriers are easy to train, very affectionate, intelligent, and sensitive. They adapt well to all living conditions and feel just as comfortable in a large family as with older people who like to go for walks. The Boston Terrier is generally very clean and his coat is extremely easy to groom. Therefore, it can also be kept well in an apartment.

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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