Boston Terrier

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  • Boston Terrier
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Exercise Level:
Barking Level:
Good with Children:
Good with other pets:
Height: 38 - 43cm M | 38 - 43cm F
Weight: 4 - 11kg M | 4 - 11kg F
Life Expectancy: 13 - 15 Years

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The Boston terrier is a breed popular as a companion dog. It originated in the US in the late nineteenth century. This breed is nicknamed the ‘American gentleman’ and is a cross between a bulldog and an English terrier (now extinct). The Boston terrier is very intelligent and incredibly adorable. However, it can also be stubborn and hyperactive that it often gets in trouble. Boston terrier weighs 10–25 pounds and stands 38–43 centimetres at the withers. This breed is known to suffer a few health problems that may be a bit costly. The average life expectancy of a Boston terrier is nine to fifteen years.

Are you looking to own a Boston terrier? Here is a brief information about this lovable companion dog.

book icon History

There are different claims on how the Boston terrier came to be. One report suggests that the Boston terrier breed existed in the late 1800s, with its origin traced back to Boston, Massachusetts. It was when certain wealthy families crossed bulldogs with the now-extinct English white terriers to develop a new bullfighting breed.

Other stories credit a Bostonian, Robert C. Hooper, who brought the breed (bulldog/English terrier cross) 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 27.5 pounds and was interbred with French bulldogs, paving the way for the Boston terrier known today.

In 1888, the first Boston terrier was shown and exhibited in a class under the ‘Round-Headed Bull Terriers of Any Colour.’ Thus, at one point, the Boston terrier was known as the Boston round head. It was in 1893 when a Mr J Watson or a Mr H Lacey came up with the name Boston terrier for the breed, which led to the founding of The Boston Terrier Club in America.

comb icon Appearance and Grooming

The Boston terrier is a small but solidly built, muscular, and well-balanced dog. It sports a square-looking head, distinctive wide and erect ears, and slightly curved neck. The muzzle is short and without wrinkles. Boston terrier belongs to the brachycephalic (short head) class of dogs. Like other brachycephalic dogs, the Boston terrier has a slightly undershot bite that gives it a pushed-in face. It has a broad chest with a boxy appearance. The tail is also short and set low on the hindquarters. According to breed standards, a Boston terrier should weigh 10–25 pounds and should stand 38–43 centimetres tall at the withers.

When it comes to the coat, the Boston terrier wears a short, smooth, and fine coat that comes in three colours: black, seal, or brindle. It also should have a white colour covering its chest and muzzle, a band around the neck, half on its forelegs up to the hocks of the rear legs, and a white blaze between the eyes.

Because of its short coat that sticks to its skin, the Boston terrier 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 rest is basic grooming. Trim the nails every few weeks since long nails tend to get caught on things, which is painful for it. Also brush its teeth regularly to maintain oral health and avoid dental problems.

bulb icon Temperament and Intelligence

A few characteristics to describe a Boston terrier are enthusiastic, sweet, and intelligent. The Boston terrier has a merry sense of humour and is clownish. This adorable breed loves to be the centre of attention and likes to be with people. Boston terrier is a certified lapdog and will be content to stay indoors and cuddle or snuggle.

It can also be stubborn, persistent, and hyperactive which often gets it (and the owner) in trouble. Early socialisation and exposure to people, sights, sounds, and experiences when young is essential to control these natural impulses.

On the other hand, the Boston terrier has an eager-to-please personality that makes it easily trainable. Despite being small, it is not an excessive barker and only bark when necessary. Its sensible attitude towards barking makes it an excellent apartment dweller.

It mainly loves being around people of all ages and other pets, both canine and non-canine, if properly socialised. Still, it is vital that playtime is supervised to prevent any untoward incidence. The Boston terrier is an excellent choice for a family pet in a home where one person can keep it company; otherwise, it will develop separation anxiety if left alone.

food icon Nutrition and Feeding

A typical serving for an adult Boston terrier is 0.5–1.5 cups of premium-quality dry dog food per day. However, it is best to consult a veterinarian or the breeder just to be sure. The amount of food serving is relative to the dog's age, size, build, activity level, and metabolism. There are a lot of information found online, but remember that each dog has unique nutritional needs.

Typical calorie needs of an adult Boston terrier per day:

  • Senior and less active: up to 590 calories daily
  • Typical adult: up to 660 calories daily
  • Physically active/working dog: up to 730 calories daily

As with any dog, feed your Boston terrier good-quality dog food high in animal protein. Recommended diet consists of grain-free dry kibbles containing animal meat such as chicken, beef, and salmon. The Boston terrier loves to eat and has a ravenous appetite, so it 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 the meals.

stethoscope icon Health and Exercise

All dogs are prone to develop genetic health problems. For the Boston terrier breed, it can potentially suffer from genetic disorders such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, Von Willebrand disease, cataracts, cherry eye, patellar luxation, heart murmurs, allergies, and megaesophagus.

The Boston terrier does not have excessive exercise needs. It can stay inactive indoors and would love nothing better than to cuddle or snuggle with its family. However, the Boston terrier also enjoys short walks and playtime in the yard.

pound icon Cost of Ownership

A Boston Terrier puppy costs anywhere from £700 to £1000. Expect to pay more for a well-bred pedigree puppy from a KC-registered breeder. On top of the purchase price, you have to pay for dog supplies and equipment which include leashes, collars, beds, bowls, toys and more.

Veterinary consultations such as regular health checks, initial vaccinations, boosters and neutering can quickly add up to £1,000 a year. Pet insurance is an additional monthly expense of £24 a month for basic cover and £55 a month for lifetime policy.

Boston Terrier Breed Highlights

  • The Boston terrier is a couch potato and is content to stay indoors and snuggle.
  • It is low-maintenance and easy to groom.
  • It is a great apartment dweller and does not bark much.
  • The Boston terrier is also a great watchdog.
  • It has a tendency to suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for long periods.
  • The Boston terrier is great for first-time dog owners.

Are you sure the Boston Terrier is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.

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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.

The information, including measurements, prices and other estimates, on this page is provided for general reference purposes only.

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