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Boston Terrier | Breed Info + Is a Boston Terrier Right for You?

Sara Ochoa

By Dr. Sara Ochoa

They’re friendly, they’re brilliant, and they’re surprisingly bright.

Meet the Boston Terrier!

He’s been affectionately dubbed “The American Gentleman” and has the manners to prove it.

His coat is tuxedo-like, most commonly combining white with black.

He’s silly and he’s sophisticated.

The Boston Terrier loves a loyal friend.

He is an avid lover of close companions and despises being left alone.

Regarding breed, he is considered non-sporting.

In appearance, his body is compact and sturdy.

His eyes are round and dashingly large, while his head is square in shape.

True to his city-name, this little pal is great for city living.

While he’ll be quick to adapt to country living too, thanks to his compact size and love for people, the Boston Terrier is easy to transport and quick to make friends.

The result?

He’s basically the dream city dog.

Boston Terrier - What to know before brining one home.

Boston Terrier Appearance

Standing up to 17 inches tall at the shoulder, the Boston Terrier is a compact little fellow, typically weighing between 12 and 25 pounds.

A typical lifespan for this little dapper, provided he is well cared for, is 11 – 13 years.

Boston Terrier
Boston Terrier

In appearance, these pals carry a smooth coat and short hair.

Their tail is short, and their face is square.

They typically sport two colors: a combination of white mixed with either black, brindle, or seal (dark brown).

Black and white – the signature tuxedo look – is the most common look on the Boston pooch.

Boston Terriers have already been confused with the French Bulldog.

However, if you look a bit closer at build, you’ll notice a Frenchie carries a bigger bone structure while the Boston Terrier has longer legs.

All-in-all, you can count on a Boston pupper to be well-muscled and quick to love on people.

Provided he is socialized properly, he can be great with both children and other household pets.

Boston Terrier Personality

Boston Terrier
Boston Terrier

A charmer to the core, the Boston Terrier thrives on making people laugh.

As already mentioned, he is superb with children and has the best canine nature.

He’s playful and affectionate with a touch of brilliance.

Thanks to his sheer love of people (and hatred for being alone), spend lots of time with a Boston puppy.

Take him along shopping, watch movies together, visit the dog park together.

Look for ways to do life together.

Your little pal will love you for it!

Boston Terrier Care

Boston Terrier
Boston Terrier

Those large, compelling eyes need to be checked regularly for any signs of redness or irritation.

In addition, plan to wipe your little pal’s face and clean the eyes regularly.

Each day as you groom and love on your little pal, always be alert for signs of redness and inflammation.

Thanks to his charming flat face, the Boston Terrier is no match for extreme heat and humidity.

If it’s a hot day and you really want to be outside, fill a kiddy pool with a touch of water for your pooch to splash in.

Provide your Terrier with lots of shade, and always make sure fresh water is accessible.

When it’s time for that daily walk, choose the cool of the day (morning or evening) to keep your pal from overheating.

When the days turn colder, the Boston Terrier is again left unprepared.

Thanks to his short doggy coat, cold temperatures will find him cold and miserable.

So again, it’s your responsibility to keep your puppy pal warm.

Look for a little doggy coat or puppy blanket.

Wrap your Boston Terrier warm, and then go on and enjoy the winter months.

A trait for the Boston Terrier is his knack for snoring and drooling.

Some folks think it’s adorable, others do not.

Whatever the case, you’ll do best by keeping a cloth handy to wipe up drool and keep the mouth dry.

While the drool may run a bit excessive, a clean Boston Terrier actually has very little doggy odor.

Thanks again to his short coat, there simply isn’t much space for any odor to get trapped.

Boston Terrier Grooming

Boston Terrier
Boston Terrier

The Boston Terrier carries a sleek, shiny coat and sheds only very little.

As a result, a weekly brushing should do the trick for removing dead hairs while keeping the coat free of mats and tangles.

When brushing your little Terrier,  favorite tools can include a soft-bristle brush along with a hand glove.

Both of these are excellent tools for removing loose hair while distributing body oils evenly throughout the body.

In addition to brushing, give your pal an occasional bath.

Every few months should be sufficient unless your pooch gets into a mess and appears dirty sooner than that.

Use your judgment and simply be alert for when doggy odor may be high or the coat is starting to appear dirty.

When it is bath time, use a gentle, vet-approved shampoo and have fun bonding with your pupper-pal.

Those nails will also need an occasional clipping.

Your goal is to clip your pup’s nails just before they start clicking on the ground.

This way they can enjoy a touch of nail, without it causing them discomfort while exploring.

Boston Terrier Training

Boston Terrier
Boston Terrier

To your advantage, the Boston Terrier loves to please.

Making you smile will thrill these puppies straight to their core.

So when it comes to training, the Boston Terrier especially thrives on positive reinforcement.

Within positive reinforcement training, you largely ignore bad behaviors while lavishly praising and rewarding good behaviors.

Rewards can be as simple as a favorite treat (although these should be given in moderation for health reasons), a special toy, playtime together outside, or verbal praise.

When you repeatedly praise good behavior while ignoring the bad, your Terrier pal will be intentional to do more of what pleases you while letting the negative behaviors fall into the background.

To ensure your puppy grows into a mature, adult friend, begin socialization while your pooch is still just a pup.

Once he is properly vaccinated (this schedule tells you which vaccines he needs and when), take him with you everywhere!

Visit dog parks together, frequent an outdoor shopping market, go on dinner dates together (in dog-approved spaces, of course), have friends over.

Look for opportunities where you can simply do life together with your dog.

As your puppy is exposed to a variety of sights, sounds, smells, and tastes, he will be given the tools necessary for maturing into a well-rounded, adult dog.

The energy level of a Boston Terrier ranges from medium-low to medium-high.

Many of these pals will be happy with a simple walk each day outside.

However, you’ll meet the exception who wants a daily walk, plus a play session in the back yard, plus another evening walk.

Whatever the case, always try to avoid boisterous puppy behavior.

Plan to always go on at least one walk together each day.

In addition, depending on your pup’s energy level, add an occasional game of fetch as well as time at the dog park.

Once his energy needs are met, your pooch will be delighted to simply sit and cuddle on the couch.

If you are feeling adventurous, or if your puppy is wanting more action, consider enrolling your Boston Terrier in dog sports including agility, obedience, flyball, or rally.

It’s important these pooches are given lots of mental stimulation.

Otherwise? They will likely be high-strung, boisterous, and slightly miserable.

When it comes to training, remember you are the master – not your dog.

As such, it’s your responsibility to remain gentle, consistent, and kind.

Always include lots of positive praise and you’re bound to have a good time!

Boston Terrier Health

Boston Terrier
Boston Terrier

Thanks to their flat face – known as brachycephalic – the Boston Terrier is prone to respiratory issues (meaning he’ll need frequent breaks when exercising or out and about!).

In addition, possible issues related to his handsome, large eyes include:

  • Entropion
  • Corneal dystrophy
  • Cherry eye
  • Dry eyes
  • Corneal ulcers

Clean the eye area regularly and always be alert for any signs of redness and infection.

In the whelping department, the Boston Terrier frequently requires a cesarean section.

Combine their exceptionally large heads with a narrow pelvis, and natural birth becomes nearly impossible.

Diet is another contributing factor when talking of dog health.

Always ensure your pooch is enjoying high-quality dog food that is specific to his age.

Avoid feeding your pal these human foods, and always always always see that your pup has access to fresh, clean water.

Boston Terriers are especially prone to obesity and unwanted weight gain.

So be sure to monitor calorie intake to keep your little Terrier healthy and trim.

Boston Terrier History

Boston Terrier
Boston Terrier

Believe it or not, during the early 1900s, the Boston Terrier ranked top in popularity throughout the United States.

However, the breed began already forty years prior in England.

Appearing first during the 1860s, the Boston Terrier was a result of crossing a Bulldog with a White English Terrier, which today is extinct.

And while the name implies this breed began in Boston, the very first of his kind was bred in Liverpool, England, and was simply named Judge.

In 1870, an American dog lover purchased Judge and brought him to Boston (hence the name!).

Today Judge is considered the patriarch of all Boston Terriers.

However, for the first several years, Boston Terriers remained without a confirmed name.

Instead, they were affectionately dubbed simply as “Round Heads.”

Finally, in 1891 the Boston Terrier Club of America was formed.

It was at this point that “Boston Terrier” became the confirmed name for what we today know as the Boston Terrier.

Noteworthy facts about the Boston Terrier:

  • In 1979, the Boston Terrier became the official state dog in Massechusetts.
  • The Boston Terrier is the official mascot for Boston University. Nearly a century ago, the Boston Terrier won by student vote when given the option of choosing between a Boston Terrier or a moose for school mascot.
  • Bruschi, a black and white Boston Terrier, received the Guinness World Record title for “dog with the largest eyes.” His eyes measured an entire 28.8mm in diameter.
  • The 38th president of the United States, Gerald Ford, grew up with a Boston Terrier.

Where Can I Find a Boston Terrier?

Boston Terrier
Boston Terrier

Right here at VIP Puppies.

Browse our newest puppies for sale here, and rest assured your new puppy is coming from a quality breeder.

When you buy directly from a reputable breeder, you bypass any middle man and are able to communicate directly with your puppy’s expert.

And yes, it’s the breeder – not a pet store or even kennel – who is the actual expert on your brand new little pup.

It’s the breeder who has been with your puppy since day one.

He/she knows if and when your pup’s been vaccinated, he understands everything that has gone into socializing your little pup, he knows both the mother and father of your little pup, and so much more.

If you have any questions about a puppy, simply contact the breeder directly.

You can even ask for photos of the mother dog, or of the home your puppy is being raised in.

Whatever the case, when you buy straight from a quality breeder, you can rest assured your puppy is coming from a good and safe space.

Boston Terrier FAQ

Boston Terrier
Boston Terrier

Q. What age do Boston Terriers die?

The Boston Terrier typically enjoys a lifespan of 11 to 13 years. Occasionally, you’ll meet an older Boston Terrier provided they’ve been given a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Q. Can Boston Terriers be left alone during the day?

While the Boston Terrier loves people, with proper training, he can enjoy 4-6 hours of alone time per day. When alone, ensure he has access to fresh water and toys for entertainment.

Q. Do Boston Terriers bark a lot?

Boston Terriers do bark, but typically only to inform you that something is amiss. Meaning they will do great at guarding while not being excessive in the barking department.

Q. Do Boston Terriers like to cuddle?

Yes, yes, and yes! The Boston Terrier is the king of cuddles. Provided he has adequate exercise, he will be thrilled to spend the day cuddling by your side.

Now that you know better what to expect when bringing your very own Boston Terrier home, come browse these newest puppies for sale right here.

As always, we are glad you are here!

Know that I am cheering you on in your puppy parenting journey.

Barks and wags,



AKC (n.d.). Boston terrier. Retrieved from

Anas, B. (2021). Boston terrier. Retrieved from

The Purebred Boston Terrier (n.d.). Dog breed info. Retrieved from

Picture of author Dr. Sara Ochoa in her scrubs with a cute dogSara Ochoa, DVM is an expert veterinarian ready to help you give your dog an amazing life. Stationed in East Texas, Dr. Ochoa specializes in small and/or exotic animals. She’s currently loving life alongside her husband Greg and their three fur babies: Ruby the Schnoodle, Monkey the tortoise, and Oliver James (affectionately dubbed “OJ”) the cat.

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