The Boston Terrier: A Breed That Loves Unconditionally


The Boston Terrier is a fairly modern dog that was created in America, although its history can be traced back to the English dog’s history. It was in the year 1700 that breeders would keep records of the genealogy of dogs and would exhibit them in dog shows and competitions.

By the year 1860s, the sport became popular and would eventually reach the United States, where the Boston Terrier would then participate.

The creation of the Boston Terrier began when the Cruelty Against Animals Act of 1835 has been passed. It banned the then-popular gambling sports bear and bull-baiting. To satisfy the masses’ hunger for blood sport, dogfighting was developed.

Dog fighters then quickly realized that two breeds are excellent in this area – the Bulldog and the Terriers. The Terriers are quite aggressive and would fight a dog to the death.

The Bulldogs, although bigger, don’t have the same aggression that the Terriers have.

To create the ultimate fighting dog, the fighters decided to cross the two breeds and called them Bulls and Terriers or Bull Terriers.

A variety of the Bull Terriers, the Staffordshire bull terrier, was then imported to the US. The breed became popular in America, especially in Boston. Eventually, breeders who don’t have an interest in dogfighting became interested in the then called Boston Bull Terriers or Roundheads.

In 1888, a standard was created for the breed, and the name was changed to Boston Terriers.


Traits and Behavior

This happy, cheerful, and good-natured dog is a favorite as a family pet. It’s very people-oriented and loves to be around its family all of the time. This is the reason why they often develop separation anxiety.

This is a very affectionate dog that loves to snuggle. They tend to become clingy, which can become annoying. Some of them are one-person dog, but most have equal affection towards other family members.

This dog is friendly around strangers when properly trained. Their friendly nature makes them unreliable watch and guard dogs. They tend to welcome anyone who would play with them rather than scare away intruders.


Boston Terriers are great around children. They are a sturdy breed that can tolerate rough play. They are extremely playful, but their small size makes it unlikely to hurt a child.

They are also good for senior citizens. Their compassionate, gentle, and non-dominant nature makes them perfect for first-time owners.

This is an intelligent dog that is eager to please. It is easy to train a Boston terrier, and they fair well in obedience and agility trials.

They respond better with reward-based training, therefore, punishments are not to be used. However, their small bladders make them hard to housebreak. This should be corrected as they are small enough to hide under furniture.

Pet Care and Diseases

This energetic dog has a low exercise requirement. Daily walks are sufficient for this breed which makes them good for people living in apartments.

However, they can endure long hours of play. If not exercised, they tend to become hyperactive, and at times, destructive.


Because they have short coats and small bodies, this breed has low grooming requirements. They only need occasional brushing. However, they aren’t low maintenance. Their eyes, due to their size, need special care.

This breed can live up to 14 years, however, they are considered to be unhealthy. Boston Terriers suffer from several health problems that are associated with its brachycephalic head.

This dog suffers from many health issues such as difficulty breathing, heat intolerance, wheezing, eye injury and other eye problems, skeletal problems, and heart problems. It is important to have this dog checked for any health issue.


Boston Terriers are small but not tiny. They are often described as bulldog-headed terriers wearing tuxedos. In shows, they are divided into 3 categories: under 15 pounds, 15 to 20 pounds, and 20 to 25 pounds. Most Boston terriers weigh around 10 to 25 pounds and stand at 14 to 18 inches tall. They have sturdy, athletic, and muscular built.

This breed is brachycephalic; meaning, they have a pushed face. They have a flat, square head with flat cheeks. Their muzzles are short and they also have a pronounced underbite that is not visible when the mouth is closed.


They can have a smooth or wrinkly face with big, dark, round eyes. Their triangular ears are long and wide. Some breeders crop these ears to make them proportional to the dog’s size.

A Boston Terrier’s coat is short, smooth, and bright. It comes in three colors, black and white, brindle and white, and white and seal.

General Information

The estimated life expectancy for this breed is about 11-15 years. The average litter size is approximately 3-4 puppies. Other names include Boston Bull, Boston Bull Terrier, Boxwood and American Gentlemen.

Breed Club

Visit these dog club websites dedicated to Boston Terriers. Click these links:

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