Weight Range: Male: 15-25 lbs.   Female: 10-20 lbs.
Height at Withers: Male: 17 in.  Female: 16 in.
Exercise Requirements: <20-40 minutes/day
Energy Level: Average
Longevity Range: 10-14 yrs.
Tendency to Drool: Low
Tendency to Snore: high
Tendency to Bark: Moderate
Tendency to Dig: Low
Social/Attention Needs: Moderate

Boston Terrier


The Boston Terrier has been popular since their creation a little more than a century ago. They were originally bred to be fighting dogs, but today, they’re gentle, affectionate companions with tuxedo-like markings that earned them the nickname “American Gentleman.”  Even though these are purebred dogs, you may find them in the care of shelters or rescue groups. Remember to adopt! Don’t shop if you want to bring a dog home.

Boston Terriers are highly affectionate dogs who get along with all members of the family in just about any type of home, even apartments. However, these playful pups also need plenty of exercise. If you can give your dog lots of love and physical activity, you’ll have an adoring and loyal best buddy.

Origin & History

Unlike most breeds, the origin of the Boston Terrier is well documented. Around 1865, the coachmen employed by the wealthy people of Boston began to interbreed some of their employers’ fine dogs. One of these crosses, between an English Terrier and a Bulldog, resulted in a dog named Hooper’s Judge. He and his offspring provided the foundation for the Boston Terrier.

By 1889, the breed had become sufficiently popular in Boston that the American Bull Terrier Club was formed, but this proposed name for the breed was not well received by Bull Terrier fans. The breed’s nickname, roundheads, was similarly inappropriate. Shortly after, the breed was named the Boston Terrier, after its birthplace.

The Boston’s rise from nonexistence to AKC recognition was meteoric by modern standards, as the breed was recognized by the AKC in 1893, less than 20 years after the breed was born. Breeders continued to seek greater consistency. In early years, color and markings were not particularly important, but by the early 1900s, the breed’s distinctive markings had become an essential breed feature. The handsome little Boston Terrier quickly gained favor throughout America, ranking as one of the most popular breeds in the early to middle 1900s and retaining great popularity today.

Boston Terrier breed features

Bostons tend to be good-natured, playful dogs. For people who want a cheerful companion, the Boston can be great choice.

Bostons generally get along well with other pets, even cats, especially if they are raised together. Because they have a sturdy build, Bostons are probably more tolerant of children compared with other small dogs. If children treat them well, the Boston really enjoys romping with kids. Most Bostons enjoy burying a bone under the pillow or in the flowerbed, but their favorite game is fetch.

Living With:

Bostons certainly require exercise, but a few short sessions of fetch daily or walks that are moderate in length are better than long, vigorous exercise sessions. Bostons are considered intelligent and can be well trained, but they can be stubborn. In other words, they may know "sit" and "stay," but they may not always obey when you want them to. They can also move very fast, so it is best never to let them outside unless they are in a secure, fenced-in yard or they are on a leash. Although they are likely to bark if there's an unexpected knock at the door, Bostons are not great protectors. Most of them are so congenial they will welcome anyone into the house, whether friend or foe.

Because of the short face, care must be taken that the Boston does not get overheated. Bostons also chill easily and, in general, should be protected from extreme cold, too. They are definitely house dogs, not outdoor dogs. Bostons do snort and some may snore, but these are usually endearing rather than irritating qualities.

Bostons also can be picky eaters. Some have a delicate digestive system, and are prone to gas. But once you figure out what commercial foods they like and what agrees with them, feeding them is easy. When bred, Bostons have small litters of only three or four puppies; delivery may be difficult, and cesarean sections are often performed. Bostons have good longevity ranging from 10 to 13 years.

An occasional bath, supplemented by brushing or rubbing with a grooming mitt, is all that's needed to keep the coat looking good and to control shedding, which occurs but is minimal in this breed.

White Swiss Shepherd Character & Character

Known as the American Gentleman, the Boston Terrier is lively, smart, and affectionate with a gentle, even temperament. They can, however, be stubborn, so persistence and consistency are definite musts when training.

Like every dog, the Boston Terrier needs early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they're young. Socialization helps ensure that your Boston puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.

Use of the Boston Terrier


The Boston is devoted and sensitive to his family’s wishes and moods. This dog is well-mannered indoors but saucy and playful (especially enjoying ball chasing) whenever the chance arises. Somewhat stubborn, Bostons are nonetheless clever and learn readily. Thy are reserved with strangers, and some may be assertive toward strange dogs, and should be introduced carefully. Some bark a lot.


This is a lively dog that needs daily exercise and interaction with his family. They love games, and most of their exercise requirements can be met with a romp in the yard or a short walk on leash. Some Bostons wheeze and snore, and many don’t tolerate heat well. The coat requires only minimal care, an occasional brushing to remove dead hairs.

The Basics of Boston Terrier Grooming

The Boston Terrier has a short, smooth coat that is easy to groom and doesn’t shed heavily. Brush him weekly with a rubber hound mitt to remove dead hair and keep the skin healthy.

The debonair Boston doesn’t have a doggie odor and he shouldn’t need a bath more often than every few months. The rest is basic care. Trim the toenails every few weeks. Long nails can get caught on things and tear off. That’s really painful, and it will bleed a lot. Brush the teeth frequently for good dental health.

Children And Other Pets

The Boston Terrier loves children and makes a good playmate for them. He's small enough that he won't knock them down but large enough that he's not easily injured. In general, he gets along well with other dogs and cats, especially if he's socialized to them at an early age.

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