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July 20, 2012 at 8:00 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Boston Terrier

By Victoria Swanson More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Purebred Star Blog Series

Known most famously as the "American Gentleman" because of their gentle and kind demeanor, the Boston Terrier could be what you are looking for!

This little breed was developed in the late 1800's and is one of the first breeds to be created in the United States, hence their name which is from the city they were created: Boston, Massachusetts. Their descendants are thought to be: American Pit Bull Terrier, Boxer, Bull Terrier, French Bulldog, and English Bulldog.

Bred For

The Boston Terrier is considered a companion breed, but was originally bred to hunt rats in garment factories. Today its sole purpose is to be a companion for humans. They typically do not have the "terrier" type personality traits. However, males have been known to get territorial if they feel threatened.


The Boston's height is 15 - 17 inches and they can weigh between 15-25 pounds. The Boston's distinct tuxedo look is their most distinguished and recognized look across the world. Their coat is short and smooth and also comes in two other colors: brindle or seal with white markings. They are small, compact, with a square shape and muscular body. They have a wide-flat black nose, and their eyes are large, round, and dark. Their ears are naturally erect or will sometimes hang and their tail is short which can be straight or screw.


This little breed is a very happy, easy-breezy breed. They are intelligent so training is simple with them. With the title of "American Gentleman," the Boston lives up to that name with total ease, as they are a very gentle and well-mannered breed that tends to go with the flow. The Boston has an expressive personality about it and can be silly at times too. This breed loves to be around children and other dogs! However, like with any breed if proper early socialization and training is not done with children and other dogs, this can hinder this wonderful trait of the Boston. The other exciting trait of the Boston is they only bark when necessary, so overall they are considered a quiet breed, making them an excellent condo or apartment companion!

Activity Level

Their activity level is moderate. They will require one to two 30 minute walks a day. During extreme heat, care must be taken so the Boston doesn't overheat due to their flat nose causing them to have difficulties with breathing. If you are looking to fly abroad with your Boston, they might not be airline approved, meaning a majority of airlines are banning flat-nose breeds from flying due to their breathing issues.

Health Concerns

A typical life span for the Boston 11-15 years. This breed is considered to be an overall healthy dog! Health concerns are: Cataracts, Deafness, Brachyephalic (difficult with breathing), Hypothyroidism, Luxating Patellas, and Mange

Rescue First

As you begin looking for a Boston Terrier, please check with rescue organizations first. Every year there are millions of dogs being euthanized, not because they are bad dogs, but because there is no home for them and insufficient resources to care for them at rescues. By adopting a dog, you are truly saving a life!

At the very least, NEVER purchase any dog from a pet store. Unfortunately, those puppies almost always come from puppy mills. Instead, look for a reputable breeder to work with.

On a final note, it is important to spay and neuter your puppy by 6 months old to have a healthy and happy pet for many years to come!

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Dog Breed Info

Original Dog Bible, 2nd Edition by Kristin Mehus-Roe

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