Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier Care and Info

Also known as the American Gentleman, the Boston Terrier is a gentle family companion with distinctive tuxedo-like patterns in his fur. They are one of the most popular canines in homes across the country even though they were initially bred to be fierce fighting dogs. The Boston Terrier is an exceptional companion dog that stands a little over a foot tall and typically weighs up to 25 pounds. The American Gentleman is capable of living up to 15 years or more with proper love, compassion, and overall care.

History of the Boston Terrier

The Boston Terrier dog breed is thought to have originated in the United States with Hooper’s Judge in the late 1800’s. He is thought to have been related to one of the original Bull and Terrier dog breeds. Hooper’s Judge was then cross-bred with French Bulldogs. This cross-breeding became the foundation for the Boston Terrier breed. Boston Terriers were first entered into Boston dog shows in 1870. Their popularity steadily increased, and by 1889, the American Bull Terrier Club had formed. The club’s name was almost immediately changed to the Boston Terrier Club as suggested by James Watson. The Boston Terrier Club was accepted as a member of the American Kennel Club in 1893 (which made the Boston Terrier the first U.S. dog breed to be entered).

Personality and Temperament of the Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers are typically gentle, fun-loving, and humorous canines. They strive to please their owners and can be easy to train if the owner is patient and has experience. They are also rather protective of their owners, and while this can be a wonderful trait, it can also be seen as a fault. Some Boston Terriers have been known to become jealous and sometimes even aggressive towards other animals in the home that are receiving attention from the owners.

Boston Terriers are also described as being lively and smart canines with even temperaments. They will benefit from early socialization which will broaden their horizons and make them a more well-rounded dog. They should be around a wide variety of sights, smells, people, and experiences beginning in their puppyhood.

Caring for the Boston Terrier

People that are considering adopting a Boston Terrier should be willing to do their research and find a reputable breeder or a well-established shelter. Boston Terriers are typically healthy dogs but, they can be prone to certain health conditions. These health conditions become far more likely if the dogs were not bred properly or mistreated. Boston Terriers may develop or suffer from:

  • Cataracts
  • Cherry eye
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Heart Murmurs
  • Deafness
  • Brain tumors
  • Allergies
  • Megaesophagus
  • List Element
Feeding

These fancy pups should be given half a cup of dry kibble to a cup and a half of dry kibble each day. The quantity of food should be separated into at least two feeding times (i.e. half the daily amount of kibble at breakfast time and the other half of the daily amount given at dinner time). The brand of kibble that you choose to feed your Boston Terrier should be of high-quality. The more nutritious his food is the bigger difference it will make to his overall health. Pick a kibble that is suitable for your Boston Terrier’s size, weight, activity level, and age. These pups are a smaller dog breed and should be given a kibble with smaller pieces.

Boston Terriers can be quick to engulf their food and then ask for more. Owners should be firm with the amount of kibble they provide to their pooch and be observant of his weight gain and physical health, overall. These pooches are particularly prone to gas, as well. Sometimes the flatulence is a result of their diet and may be fixed with a diet change. However, more often than not, the gas is just a smelly added bonus of having a Boston Terrier.

Owners should also be wary of offering their Boston Terrier a lot of treats and table scraps. These pups will happily accept treats and scraps whenever they are offered, which is the problem. They will consume these items, and many owners will provide these items without a thought about the added calories and fat that they are adding to their Boston’s diet. Therefore, it is highly recommended to choose healthy treat options as often as possible and to provide them only during training sessions. Owners may want to avoid table scraps altogether.

Exercise

Three different weight classes separate the American Gentleman. The first group consists of Boston Terriers that are less than 15 pounds. The second group consists of Boston Terriers that are between 15 pounds and 19 pounds. The third group includes Boston Terriers that are between 20 pounds and 25 pounds. As stated in the breed standards established by the American Kennel Club, Boston Terriers should not weigh more than 25 pounds. However, they are prone to unwanted weight gain due to their excessive eating habits and their lack of exercise drive. These pups can be playful and energetic.

Unfortunately, they would almost always rather lay on the couch with their owner than going for a jog around the block. Also, exercise is difficult for Boston Terriers, especially during extremely warm or cold months of the year. Their respiratory systems have a difficult time in the heat, and they can often suffer from heat stress as a result. On the other hand, their short fur coats are also very thin, and therefore these pooches don’t do well in cold climates. Owners should consider a doggie jacket and booties for their Boston Terrier to wear for outings in cold weather.

Exercise is essential for the Boston Terrier’s physical health. Without sufficient daily exercise, the pup will gain weight, possibly suffer from obesity and will have an increased risk of developing diabetes and various other health conditions. While exercise may be difficult for the Boston Terrier, owners should see to it that their pooch is walked at least once each day and that they engage in some type of play indoors to help prevent health issues from occurring.

Habitat Requirements

These fancy pooches are not known to bark without a reason which will make them suitable for apartment living. Their small size, low maintenance exercise needs, and gentle demeanor towards children will also make them an excellent apartment or condo dogs. However, they will still need sufficient outdoor access and low-intensity exercise on a daily basis. They may be happiest if they are the only pet in the home as they can become jealous. Boston Terriers also do very well in homes with children. He is not likely to knock them down due to his small size, and he will enjoy the children as much as they enjoy him.

Training and Barking

The American Gentleman is often easy to train as they enjoy pleasing their owners. They should begin crate training at an early age, and they should also be able to follow basic commands, perform standard tricks, and relieve himself outdoors before his adult years. 

 Owners should begin training sessions as early as eight weeks old (the breeder may start earlier), and socialization should take place on a daily basis throughout their lives. This breed is typically quiet and should only bark when it is necessary.

Grooming

The Boston Terrier is a compact little dog. His head is square-shaped, his ears are erect, and his neck is slightly arched. His muzzle is rather short, but not wrinkled. His jaw is typically even, although he can sometimes have a slight underbite. The Boston Terrier has black and white fur patterns that usually resemble the appearance of a tuxedo, and he also has a short tail. While these pups are most commonly seen in black and white, they can also be found in brindle, seal, or dark brown.

Boston Terriers are low-maintenance in the grooming department. They require weekly brushing with a firm brush. The brush used should not harm his skin. These pooches are not heavy shedders. If brushing is done regularly then shedding should be controlled. He will need bath time when the owner feels it is necessary (i.e. if he is dirty or smelly). To avoid a dirty and smelly pup, use a dry doggie shampoo and a wet washcloth for more frequent cleanings. A Boston Terrier’s eyes should regularly be observed for any signs of irritation or redness. Eye gunk should be gently wiped away. His teeth should be brushed a couple of times each week; his nails should be trimmed monthly, and his ears should be cleaned weekly. These tasks may require the assistance of a professional groomer or a licensed veterinary professional.

10 Fun Facts about the Boston Terrier
  • The Boston Terrier has a short muzzle which is unable to cool the warm air inhaled into their lungs correctly. This makes living in hot climates rather stressful for the pup, and he becomes increasingly susceptible to heat stress.
  • They have a difficult time living in cold climates as their fur coat is very short and thin. The Boston Terrier is best suited for areas with changing climates and should not spend a lot of time outdoors in either temperature
  • Boston Terriers also have eye problems such as corneal ulcers. This condition is often the result of large, prominent eyes that appear to bulge out a bit. However, this condition means that owners should be careful during playtime and walks.
  • The American Gentleman is often described as being a very gassy dog! If you can’t handle flatulence, then you may want to consider a different dog breed.
  • They are also prone to snorting, snoring, and drooling!
  • Female Boston Terriers typically will require a C-section performed by a licensed veterinarian in order to have puppies. It is not unheard of for a Boston Terrier to be pregnant with a single pup.
  • Male Boston Terriers tend to be more territorial than females. They may become yappy or agitated by another dog invading their space.
  • The Boston Terrier dog breed is especially prone to becoming overweight. This is often a result of their intense eating habits combined with their couch potato lifestyle.
  • These pups should be crate trained early on. They have a tendency to be stubborn during training sessions, and therefore they will require a consistent, positive, and motivational training method. Boston Terriers do not respond well to punishment, and it should be avoided.
  • Boston Terriers are typically very quiet and gentle dogs. They enjoy the company of their families and will be perfectly happy lying on the couch with you all day!