Temperament: Friendly, Bright, Amusing
- Height: 15-17 inches
- Weight: 12-25 pounds
- Life Expectancy: 11-13 years
- Group: Non-Sporting Group
The Boston Terrier is a lively little companion recognized by his tight tuxedo jacket, sporty but compact body, and the friendly glow in his big, round eyes. His impeccable manners have earned him the nickname “The American Gentleman.”
The Boston Terrier is a lively, highly intelligent, smooth coated, short-headed, compactly built, short-tailed, well balanced dog, brindle, seal or black in colour and evenly marked with white. The head is in proportion to the size of the dog and the expression indicates a high degree of intelligence.
The body is rather short and well knit, the limbs strong and neatly turned, the tail is short and no feature is so prominent that the dog appears badly proportioned. The dog conveys an impression of determination, strength and activity, with style of a high order; carriage easy and graceful.
About the Boston Terrier
Boston Terriers are compact, short-tailed, well-balanced little dogs weighing no more than 25 pounds. The stylish “tuxedo” coat can be white and either black, brindle, or seal (black with a red cast when viewed in sun or bright light). The head is square, the muzzle is short, and the large, round eyes can shine with kindness, curiosity, or mischief. Ever alert to their surroundings, Bostons move with a jaunty, rhythmic step.
It’s a safe bet that a breed named for a city—the Havanese or Brussels Griffon, for instance—will make an excellent urban pet. Bostons are no exception: they are sturdy but portable, people-oriented, and always up for a brisk walk to the park or outdoor cafe. A bright dog with a natural gift for comedy, the dapper Bostonian is a steady source of smiles.
NUTRITION The Boston Terrier should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
GROOMING The Boston’s sleek, fine coat does shed somewhat, though not a lot. Weekly brushing with a soft-bristle brush, a rubber grooming mitt or tool, or a hound glove will help to remove the loose hair. A good brushing also promotes new hair growth and distributes skin oils throughout the coat to help keep it healthy. Bostons need to be bathed only occasionally, unless they get into something messy. As with all breeds, the Boston’s nails should be trimmed regularly, because overly long nails can cause the dog pain as well as problems walking and running.
EXERCISE The Boston’s need for exercise varies from individual to individual. For some, a brisk walk once or twice a day will be enough. Others will need more time to run and play every day and let off steam. Simply letting a Boston out into the backyard doesn’t count as exercise—he’ll probably just sit at the door waiting to be let back in. Left alone for long periods of time, a Boston will tend to become frustrated and develop undesirable behaviour. Throw him a ball or a toy, however, and he’ll be more than happy to play with you. Participation in canine sports such as agility, obedience, fly-ball, and rally is an enjoyable way to channel the breed’s energy.
TRAINING As with all breeds, early socialisation and puppy training classes are recommended. Socialization—gently exposing the puppy to a wide variety of people, places, and situations—will help him develop into a well-adjusted, well-mannered adult. Treats make a great training incentive. Many Bostons are quite sensitive; for them, gentle corrections should be followed by warmth and praise.
HEALTH Protecting the Boston Terrier’s beautiful but prominent eyes is of special importance. The eyes should be checked daily for redness or irritation. Some owners carry saline eye drops to flush out dust or debris. Responsible breeders screen their stock for eye problems such as cataracts, corneal ulcers, and glaucoma, as well as deafness and pateller luxation (comparable to a “trick knee” in humans). Like all flat-faced breeds, Bostons can experience difficulty breathing when not given adequate shelter from excessive heat or humidity.
Recommended Health Tests from the National Breed Club:
- Patella Evaluation
- Ophthalmologist Evaluation
- BAER Testing