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The Boston Terrier is a utility breed that is popular as a companion dog. The breed originated in the US in the late 19th century. This breed has a nicknamed the 'American Gentleman,' but he is also known as the Boston Bull, Boxwood, and Boston Bull Terrier.
The Boston Terrier is a cross between an English Bulldog and the now-extinct English Terrier. This Bull breed is a very intelligent and incredibly adorable canine companion. However, he can also be stubborn and hyperactive, often committing mischief.
The Boston Terrier dog breed weighs 5–11 kilos and stands 38–43 centimetres at the withers. He is considered the smallest of all the Bull breeds. He is known to suffer a few health problems that may be a bit costly. The average life expectancy of a Boston Terrier is 9–15 years.
Are you looking to own a Boston Terrier puppy? Here is brief information about this lovable companion dog.
There are differing claims on how the Boston Terrier dog breed came to be. One report suggests that the breed existed in the late 1800s, with his origin traced back to Boston, Massachusetts. Some thought that this breed hailed specifically from New England City located in Boston.
This small Boston Terrier dog was created when certain wealthy families crossed the English Bulldog with the now-extinct English White Terrier to develop new pit fighting and bullfighting dogs.
The Boston Bull Terrier was originally a mid-size dog weighing around 20 kilos (44 pounds) before breeders bred him down in size. The breed was classified into three divisions during bullfights—the lightweight, middleweight, and heavyweight.
Other stories credit a Bostonian, Robert C. Hooper, who brought an English Bulldog-English Terrier dog named Judge from England in 1865.
Another account suggests that Judge was purchased by Hooper from another Bostonian, William O'Brian, in 1870. Judge weighed over 12 kilos and was interbred with the French Bulldog, paving the way for the Boston Terrier that we know today. He was considered the father of this small Bull breed.
The Boston Bull Terrier gradually transitioned from a bulky bullfighter to a small and affectionate family companion after years of selective breeding.
The first Boston Terrier was shown and exhibited in 1888 in a class under the 'Round-Headed Bull Terriers of Any Colour.' Thus, at one point, the breed was known as the Boston Round Head. The breed was also called Bullet Head and Bull Terrier.
This Bull breed used to be called the American Bull Terrier as well. However, strong objections from Bulldog and Bull Terrier owners put a stop to this.
He was named Boston Terrier when a Mr. J Watson or a Mr. H Lacey came up with the name for the breed in 1893. This was also the year the American Kennel Club officially recognised the breed. It led to the founding of a breed club called the Boston Terrier Club of America.
The Boston Terrier club membership was only exclusive to Bostonians at first, but the popularity of the Boston Bull became widespread in the United States around the 1950s.
The Boston Terrier's distinctive markings and colour were officially included in the breed standard in the 1900s. In 1979, the Bull breed was called the 'American Gentleman,' the official dog of Massachusetts by the state legislature.
The Boston Terrier has been Boston University's official mascot for nearly 100 years. Prominent people also fancied this lovable breed, including US president Gerald R. Ford. Louis Daniel Armstrong, a renowned musician, and actor, was a fan as well. He owned a Boston Terrier named General. The dog was believed to be the musician's inspiration in some of his compositions.
The Boston Terrier is a small but solidly built, muscular, and well-balanced dog. He sports a square-looking head, distinctive wide and erect ears, and a slightly curved neck. The muzzle is short and without wrinkles.
The Boston Terrier dog breed belongs to the brachycephalic (short head) class of dogs. Like other brachycephalic dogs, the Boston Terrier has a slightly undershot bite that gives him a pushed-in face. He has a broad chest with a boxy appearance. The tail is also short and set low on the hindquarters.
The Boston Bull Terrier should weigh 5–11 kilos and should stand 38–43 centimetres tall at the withers according to breed standards.
If you have heard about the Teacup Boston Terrier, know that this is not recognised as an official dog breed. Buying this small dog is discouraged as he is highly prone to serious health problems.
The Boston Terrier dog wears a short, smooth, and fine coat that comes in three colours: black, seal, or brindle. This smooth-coated breed should also have white markings covering his chest and muzzle, a band around the neck, half on his forelegs up to the hocks of the rear legs, and a white blaze between the eyes.
The Boston Bull Terrier's short coat sticks near his skin, so he is easy to groom. Weekly brushing with a firm bristle brush will do. Occasional baths with dry powder shampoo and a damp cloth are also recommended.
The Boston Terrier's facial wrinkles require daily cleaning. Use a moist cotton ball to wipe between the gaps. Be sure to dry the wet areas completely after cleaning. Otherwise, bacteria will proliferate in the wrinkles and cause skin infection. The bad odour may also emanate from wet skin folds.
Trim the Boston Terrier's nails every few weeks since long nails tend to get caught on things, which is painful for the dog. Also, brush his teeth regularly to maintain oral health and avoid dental problems.
The Boston Terrier has prominent eyes that often produce eye discharge. Wiping it off is important to avoid fur discoloration under his eyes. Remove eye discharge by using a damp, soft, warm cloth. Make sure to wipe gently to prevent accidentally poking or injuring his eyes.
This Bull breed has loose jowls, thus drooling is something you will have to deal with daily. Always keep a clean towel with you to wipe off your dog's slobber. You can also tie a cloth around his neck so it will catch the saliva. During mealtimes, have a mop ready as he tends to drool more whilst eating.
A Boston Terrier puppy can be neutered between the ages of 4–9 months. This operation will prevent behavioural problems, including marking and aggression. It will also prevent health problems that he may encounter as he grows older, including prostate and testicular cancers..
Whilst for a female Boston Terrier, there is no set time to have her spayed. Some suggest to have her spayed before her first heat (5 months old), but some say that doing this operation early on will make her susceptible to mammary tumours. The best option would be to ask for the vet's opinion before going through this operation.
A Boston Terrier dog is enthusiastic, sweet, and intelligent. He has a merry sense of humour and is clownish.
This adorable Bull breed loves to be the centre of attention and around people. He is a certified lapdog and will be content to stay indoors and cuddle or snuggle.
The Boston Bull can also be stubborn, persistent, and hyperactive, which are traits that often get him and his owners in trouble. Early socialisation and exposure to people, sights, sounds, and experiences whilst young are essential to control these natural impulses.
The Boston Terrier dog's sensible attitude towards barking makes him an excellent apartment dweller. Despite being small, he is not an excessive barker and only barks when necessary.
The Boston Bull mainly loves being around people of all ages and other pets, both canine and non-canine, if properly socialised. Still, playtime must be supervised to prevent any untoward incidence. Young and older children should be taught how to gently handle the Boston Terrier to avoid both parties' injuries during playtime.
The Boston Terrier is an excellent choice for a family pet in a home where one person can keep him company. Otherwise, he might develop separation anxiety if left alone for long hours.
An adult Boston Terrier should be fed around 0.5–1.5 cups of premium-quality dry dog food per day. However, it is best to consult a veterinarian or a breeder just to be sure. The amount of food serving is relative to the dog's age, size, build, activity level, and metabolism. But also know that each dog has unique nutritional needs.
Here are the typical calorie needs of an adult Boston Terrier per day:
A Boston Terrier should be fed good-quality dog food that is high in animal protein. The recommended diet consists of grain-free dry kibbles containing animal meat.
The Boston Terrier dog loves to eat and has a ravenous appetite, so he has a tendency to become overweight. To avoid this, make sure that you don't leave out food all day (free feeding). Instead, measure and divide his meals.
The Boston Terrier has an average lifespan of 13—15 years if well-cared-for. With that said, all dogs are prone to develop genetic health issues, which may shorten their lifespan if immediate vet care is not provided.
The Boston Terrier breed can potentially suffer from genetic disorders, such as:
A Boston Terrier can develop patellar luxation, which is a very common orthopaedic problem in this breed. It occurs when the kneecap is dislocating, resulting in pain and limping. Prompt vet treatment should be provided to the affected dog. Or else the condition may lead to other health issues such as arthritis and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).
A Boston Terrier that has a mild case of luxating patella will need to be prescribed medications and supplements to strengthen the joints. In other cases, a Boston may need knee braces.
Massaging the affected area can be done as well, so the patella is placed back to its original position. If you opt for this treatment, you will first need to consult the vet. Severe cases will require surgery and rehabilitative therapy.
The Boston Terrier dog has bulging eyes, which are quite prone to eye problems. Cataracts are one of them. This degenerative ocular disease can cause blindness. The Boston Bull often suffers from juvenile cataracts. It can lead young dogs to lose their eyesight permanently.
A Boston Terrier with this condition has cloudy eyes and difficulty in moving from one place to another. The dog may also incessantly scratch the affected eyes. Cataracts can be removed through surgery. Cataract operation has a high success rate, but the vet will first need to check if your Boston Terrier is a suitable candidate.
Buy a Boston Terrier puppy from a reputable breeder. Their puppies and dogs should be health-screened for eye diseases. This will help you choose a puppy that is less likely to inherit cataracts from his parents.
The Boston Terrier dog breed can suffer from corneal ulcers. It causes the eyes to become cloudy and very painful. Corneal ulcers can occur because of trauma, viral or bacterial infections, and other diseases.
The vet will prescribe antibiotic drops or ointments for treatment. In some cases, surgery may be recommended.
Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome
The Boston Terrier, being a flat-faced or brachycephalic breed, is very vulnerable to this health problem. The syndrome is a result of abnormalities in the upper airway. It can cause several respiratory problems, including nasopharyngeal turbinates, laryngeal collapse, and everted laryngeal saccules.
Signs that your Boston Terrier has the disease include coughing, vomiting, noisy breathing, and gagging. Inflammation in the airway and heart problems may occur if the condition is not treated. Medications, exercise restriction, and weight management are suggested for mild cases. If these treatments aren't effective, surgery may need to be performed.
The Boston Terrier may need to undergo eye, knee, and hearing evaluation to check how likely he is to develop these health problems.
The Boston Terrier dog can stay inactive indoors and would love nothing better than to cuddle or snuggle with his family. However, he will need daily exercise too. A Boston Terrier puppy should have 5 minutes of exercise every day, whilst an adult Boston Terrier requires at least an hour of exercise. A senior Boston will only need 40 minutes of exercise or lesser.
Since the Boston Terrier dog is a brachycephalic or flat-faced breed, he cannot withstand hot temperatures. He is extremely at risk of overheating or heatstroke because of his inability to properly regulate his body temperature. Thus, be sure to walk him during cooler parts of the day, such as in the early morning or the evening.
A Boston Terrier puppy costs anywhere from £1,200 to £3,000. Expect to pay more for a well-bred pedigree puppy from a KC-registered breeder. On top of this, you will need to purchase dog supplies and equipment for your puppy, which include lead, collar, bed, bowls, toys, and more.
Veterinary consultations such as regular health checks, initial vaccinations, boosters, and neutering or spaying can quickly add up to £320–£430 a year.
Pet insurance is an additional monthly expense of £24 a month for basic coverage and £55 a month for a lifetime policy.
Are you sure the Boston Terrier is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.Dog Breed Selector Quiz
Have you decided to buy a Boston terrier? If you're not sure, check out our Pet Finder for other suggested dog breeds that suit your lifestyle.
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Raising and taking care of a dog is a great experience for couples. It does not only provide them with enjoyment but also strengthens their bond. Finding the right furry companion may be overwhelming because there are several fantastic dog breeds to choose from.