Description: The Boston Terrier was developed to be a companion and ratting dog, and they are a downsized version of the bull and terrier types of dogs. They are easy to care for, small in size and have a delightful disposition. Boston Terriers are a strikingly handsome muscular dog that has a short, square body, a square skull and a short, wide muzzle. Boston Terriers have black noses and large, round dark eyes that are set far apart. This breed is a odor free dog who rarely sheds. They are usually black and white with white on the muzzle, blaze, forelegs and chest. They can be brindle as well. They love to go for walks or rides in the car. Boston Terriers love to play and can be energetic when you want them to be, but calmed down when you need them to be. They are also good watchdogs, as they like to bark at things passing by. Boston Terriers are one of the most popular breeds in the United States because of their affectionate nature. They can sometimes be determined and self willed. Boston Terriers are very intelligent, obedient and easily trainable. They are an excellent dog for the elderly because they are loving, love to be around their master, and also love to please. A joy to have around, Boston Terriers are a delightful breed that is sure to please.
Other Names: Round-Headed Bull and Terrier, Boston Bull, Bullet Heads, Roundheads
Type: Companion Dog
Height: 10 – 17 inches.
Weight: Boston Terriers are classified as lightweight, middleweight, and heavyweight. Lightweight is under 15 lbs.; middleweight is under 20 lbs.; heavyweight is under 25 lbs. All Boston Terrier weights are between 10 – 25 lbs.
Colors: Brindle with white markings, black with white markings. Also can be seal with white markings. White markings appear on the muzzle, blaze, forechest and sometimes white collar and lower legs are white.
Coat: Short and smooth.
Temperament: Boston Terriers are lively, intelligent and alert. Strong willed, yet even tempered disposition, they usually get along with everyone. Even though the Boston Terrier was originally used for fighting, they should not show aggressive behavior towards people. Boston Terriers are loving, thoughtful, and well mannered. They are saucy and playful, devoted and can be somewhat stubborn. They also learn obedience very well.
With Children: Yes. Bostons are affectionate toward their family.
With Pets: Yes. Boston Terriers are friendly towards other animals. Some are wary of strangers, and may be aggressive towards strange dogs.
Special Skills: Good companion, ratting dog.
Watch-dog: High. They will sound an alarm if someone approaches their home. They like to bark.
Guard-dog: Low. Boston Terriers are mostly friendly dogs.
Care and Training: Care of the Boston Terrier is minimal. Rub down the Boston Terrier with a damp towel several times a week. Bathe only when necessary. Check ears and eyes regularly. Trim nails from time to time. Boston Terriers are easy to house train. They respond well to training if their owner spends time with them. Regular walks or free play in a fenced yard will keep the Boston Terrier in shape. A simple romp in the yard tends to exercise them well.
Special Needs: Attention, training.
Learning Rate: High. Bostons are very intelligent and respond well to training. Obedience – High. Bostons love to please.
Activity: Medium. Boston Terriers can be lively when you’re willing to play, but thoughtful and considerate when you need them to calm down.
Living Environment: Adapts to urban or country living. A house with a fenced yard, daily exercise and attention. The best environment for this dog would be a family or individual in a city, suburban or rural home. Boston Terriers tend to bark, but do not need a lot of space. They are usually well mannered.
Health Issues: Juvenile cataracts, luxating patellas, brachycephalic syndrome. Bostons tend to have breathing difficulties because of their short face. Whelping is often difficult due to the large head and puppies are often delivered by C-section.
Life Span: 10 – 14 years.
Litter Size: 3 – 4 puppies. Puppies often need to be delivered by Cesarean section.
Country of Origin: United States
History: The history of the Boston Terrier is unclear. Developed in the 1800s by English dogs, Boston Terriers are ironically considered one of the true American dogs. In a mix of American dogs developed to fight in the pit, the Boston Terrier was born of all or a few of the following: the French Bulldog, White English Terrier (now extinct), American Pit Bull Terrier, Boxer, Bull Terrier, and the English Bulldog. Most sources agree that the Boston Terrier came from crossing the extinct white English Terrier and the English Bulldog. The story goes that a few wealthy businessmen began interbreeding some of their employers’ dogs in 1865, and eventually resulted in a certain dog named Hooper’s Judge, this being the dog to become the archetype for all other Bostons. They bred this dog with similar others to achieve the small size. In 1889 the breed gained popularity and a club was formed called the American Bull Terrier Club–which was not the same breed! Later, they changed the name to the Boston Club, renaming the breed after the birthplace of the Boston Terrier, obviously to avoid confusion. Other versions say there was not a single Boston, but a pair of original “roundheads” in 1893 that served as the progeny. These were named Hooper’s Judge and Burnett’s Gyp. Yet another version states that the original example of the Boston in 1865 was named Barnard’s Tom and was the first to have the longed-after screw tail. Whatever version is true, the Boston Terrier was officially the first dog to be registered by the AKC, and was registered in 1893. The Boston Terrier was used for ratting and fighting in the pit. It was also one of the first breeds created within the U.S. The Boston Terrier was developed in Boston, Massachusetts.
First Registered by the AKC: 1893
AKC Group: Non-Sporting
Registries: AKC, CKC, FCI (Group 9), KC (GB), UKC