Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier
Other names: boston terrier , Boston Bull

The Boston Terrier is a small decorative breed of dog with a flattened muzzle, large eyes and a spotted coat color, bred in the USA by crossing an English bulldog with an English terrier.

Brief information

  • Breed name: Boston Terrier
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Weight: 3-11 kg
  • Height (height at the withers): 23-38 cm
  • Lifespan: 11-15 years


  • The well-being of Boston Terriers strongly depends on the weather, since the heat exchange processes in the animal body are somewhat inhibited. For example, they quickly get supercooled, and on hot days they can get heat stroke.
  • Unlike other brachycephalic dogs, "Bostons" do not suffer from excessive salivation, and their muzzles always remain dry and neat.
  • The breed is famous for its amazing delicacy and politeness, so its representatives are often called "American gentlemen".
  • Boston Terriers have the status of the official living symbol of the state of Massachusetts.
  • Most of the official duties of Boston terriers are alien, but they have a territorial instinct, so in case of urgent need, the dog can be entrusted with the protection of the apartment.
  • Representatives of this breed are friendly, friendly and malleable creatures, so they are often recommended to inexperienced owners, families with children, as well as the elderly.
  • Boston terriers express emotions by barking only in special cases, so neighbors are unlikely to complain about the excessive "musicality" of the pet.
  • Both puppies and adult dogs snore funny in their sleep, and during periods of wakefulness they emit characteristic snorts and funny squeals. In addition, they are quite jumpy and often jump on the owner, thus expressing their own location and affection.
  • Boston Terriers have funny facial expressions. Especially these sympathizers manage offended grimaces, as well as the expression of universal sorrow and regret – the latter usually follows immediately after the perfect dirty trick.

Boston Terriers - ultrapositive "eyeballs" who will be equally happy to go shopping with you and take a nap on the couch while mumbling their favorite TV series. In cynological circles, "Bostons" are considered the most responsive and non-confrontational pets, easily making contact, sometimes even to the detriment of their own safety. They never dictate their conditions and do not arrange lawlessness within a single apartment. In addition, these smart cute guys are great humorists who strive to fill the owner's life with bright and funny moments.

Breed characteristics

Aggressiveness ?
Moderate ( Rating 3/5)
Activity ?
Very high ( Rating 5/5)
Training ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Molt ?
Low ( Rating 2/5)
Need for care ?
Low ( Rating 2/5)
Friendliness ?
Very friendly ( Rating 5/5)
Health ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Cost of maintenance ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Attitude to loneliness ?
Does not tolerate ( Rating 1/5)
Intelligence ?
Standard ( Rating 3/5)
Noise ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Security qualities ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
*Characteristics of the Boston Terrier breed are based on expert assessment and reviews of dog owners.

History of the Boston Terrier breed

Boston Terrier

The history of the breed began at the end of the XIX century, in America. In 1870, Boston resident Robert Hooper bought an unusual dog from his friend William O'Brien. According to the seller himself, the stocky, sturdy male was a cross between an English terrier and a English bulldog , which provoked Hooper to make a spontaneous purchase. Without hesitation for a long time, the Bostonian christened his ward Judge and took him to mate with a bitch named Jeep, who belonged to Edward Burnett. In due course, Jeep gave birth to a cute male, nicknamed Wells Ef, and an elegant "girl" – Tobin Kate. When the puppies grew up, they were tied first with each other, and then with their parents, thereby laying the foundation for the gene pool of the future breed.

Over the next decades, Massachusetts breeders, including the same Robert Hooper, carried out purposeful work to improve the exterior performance of dogs. For example, the first generations of animals received the blood of the Old English white Terrier several times, which helped to make their figures less brutal. Gradually, another distinctive feature of Judge's descendants began to emerge more clearly – the rounded shape of the skull, in connection with which the dogs began to be called round-headed bullies. Later, the name was transformed into American bullies, and then into American bull terriers – it was under this phrase that the first "Bostons" lit up at exhibitions. This did not last long, as the breeders of the popular English bull terriers at that time rebelled against the name. The angry owners demanded the immediate renaming of the Massachusetts Mestizos in order to avoid confusion in the definition of breeds. So Judge's descendants became Boston Terriers.

The first club of fans of the breed was formed in her homeland, in Boston, in 1889. Two years later, the organization was renamed the American Boston Terrier Lovers Club, and a couple of years later it joined the AKC. As for the inclusion of animals in breeding books, it was first done in 1893, after which Boston Terriers became the most popular pets among middle-class Americans. However, already during the Great Depression, the popularity of the breed began to decline. The situation was aggravated by the Second World War, after which dogs from Europe began to be imported to the United States. Nevertheless, the "Bostons" have never been on the verge of extinction.

Video: Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier Breed Standard

Boston Terrier Puppy

The classic Boston Terrier is the owner of a bulldog–like flattened muzzle, spread front paws, combined with a muscular body and rapid movements. Solid, but proportionally built, this medium-sized "American" is completely devoid of bulldog stockiness and clumsiness, besides, he does not have folds on his muzzle, unlike his English ancestor.

By weight categories, Boston Terriers are divided into three classes: less than 6.8 kg; 6.8-9 kg; 9-11.35 kg. The height of the dog at the withers should be equal to the length of the body. "Bostons" are distinguished by a strong backbone, while not looking rough.

Sexual dimorphism in Boston terriers is expressed slightly, so the only thing that distinguishes "girls" from "boys" is a more elegant backbone and overall refinement of appearance. Boston terriers correspond to the image of stylish "dandies", which is facilitated by the proud posture of dogs and a unique color resembling an elegant tailcoat with a snow-white "shirt front" on the chest.


Boston Terriers are typical brachycephalians with a square, flat skull between the ears and an ultrashort, massive muzzle. The length of the muzzle should not exceed one third of the length of the cranial part. The eyebrows and feet of the representatives of this breed are clearly drawn, the cheekbones are flat. The look is resolute, quick-witted and, at the same time, friendly.

Jaws and teeth

The jaws of Boston terriers are square, massive, closed in a straight bite (let's say a snack). The teeth are medium-sized, with incisors located along the same line.


The lobe is stretched in width, with a well-drawn middle line between the nostrils.


The correct Boston Terrier has wide-set, round-convex, dark-colored eyes. The outer corner is at the level of the cheeks.


The dog's ears are erect, wide and set high. The standard also allows the cropped shape of the ear.


The neck of the Boston terrier is high, slightly arched, gently turning into the withers.

The muzzle of the Boston terrier


The dog's body has a square, but not a stretched format. The back line of the "Boston" is smooth, with a short loin and a sloping croup. The chest is wide, deep enough.

Boston Terrier from the back


Distinctive features of the front legs of the Boston Terrier are a wide set, oblique shoulder blades responsible for the grace of the animal in motion, and short, strong pasterns. The hind legs of the dog are smooth, with sloping fleshy thighs, distinct angles of articulation and short and straight metatarsals. The paws of the Boston Terrier are bunched into a ball, with arched fingers ending in short, massive claws. Representatives of this breed also have dewclaws, which are better to remove in a timely manner. The animal's movements are rectilinear, rhythmic, without stiffness.


The short, thin tails of Boston terriers keep straight or twist into a corkscrew and do not rise above the back line. The optimal length of the tail is ¼ of the distance from the croup to the hock joint.


Short glossy dogskin fits well to the skin and is practically devoid of undercoat.


The traditional shades of Boston Terriers' fur are dark brown (seal), black and tiger, and all of them should be diluted with white spots. The standard approved white markings: a wide stripe between the eyes, the outline of the muzzle, a spot occupying the entire chest. It is very desirable that the animal has white forelimbs, "collar" and hind legs (not higher than the level of the hock joints).

Defects and disqualifying defects

Boston terrier brown color (liver)

The "Bostons" ideal in the exterior plan are an exceptional phenomenon rather than a mass one. Usually animals have a couple of defects of varying severity that do not affect health, but prevent the dog from getting a champion diploma at exhibitions. These are: eyes with visible whites, a skewed lower jaw, large/disproportionately small ears, a tail rushing vertically, a back with a deflection or a humpback. Animals with loose paws, straightened hocks, waddling and ambling, do not have to count on excellent grades either.

Disqualifying vices:

  • complete absence of white markings on the coat;
  • blue eyes;
  • gray and liver colors;
  • docked tails;
  • light lobes.

Photos of the Boston Terrier

Character of the Boston Terrier


The Boston Terrier is a good–natured house clown, making funny faces, fooling around like a child and charging the surrounding space with positive energy. Friendly, restless, ready to give attention to everyone, he is absolutely devoid of such qualities as aggressiveness and suspicion. So, for example, a Boston terrier doesn't really care who the bipedal creature that appeared on the threshold of your apartment is - a representative of network marketing or a family friend. This "native of Massachusetts" is loyal to any person, as long as he does not violate territorial borders and does not try to use physical violence.

With children, dogs have peace and mutual understanding. Boston Terriers do not try to compete with representatives of the younger generation for the owner's attention, preferring to join their company in order to play pranks together. They also do not treat feathery-fluffy pets living with them in the house. Of course, attempts to run into a cat who has lost his vigilance have been, are and will take place. But usually, after receiving a sobering slap with a paw, most dogs calm down and stop pestering the purr.

Boston Terriers are philosophical about forced loneliness. They do not make scenes and do not smash the apartment if there is no creature nearby that resembles a person in any way. The main thing is to take your pet for a good walk before leaving him alone with his own thoughts. Having got rid of the energy and emotional burden, "Boston" will peacefully lie down in your absence, plunging headlong into the world of dog dreams and dreams. Well, those who plan systematic absences should start an animal company in the person of a second Boston terrier: it will be more fun for the two "gentlemen" to while away the hours waiting for the owner.

Boston terrier with a baby
Unrestrained fun

Education and training

All articles and books describing the nature of the Boston Terrier breed emphasize the manageability and complaisance of its representatives. However, in reality, "Bostons" are not such mattresses as they like to exhibit. Yes, they are not considered difficult to educate, but they can be stubborn very well. The intellectual abilities of dogs are also not super-outstanding, so get used to the fact that the educational material that is served to the pet will reach him from the second or even the third time.

Good boy

Boston Terriers have not heard anything about dominance, so during training they do not try to change the requirements and commands and put pressure on the owner. Nevertheless, the breed needs training at least because the credulity of its representatives can go sideways both to themselves and to the owner. For example, any stranger with a treat in his hands and a gentle voice is able to lure "Boston" and take him away in an unknown direction.

Most Boston Terriers cope quickly with the basic commands of the UGC and OKD. In general, these "Massachusetts gentlemen" have a good attitude to any discipline of obedience, which allows them to successfully pass the standards for offense and agility. However, do not overdo it. Boston terriers are vulnerable creatures, and any rudeness provokes the appearance of a grimace of disappointment on their faces, so it is not undesirable to apply force techniques to them, but strictly contraindicated. It is much more effective to bribe the dog's attention with treats, for which the "Bostons" will not only lay their own soul, but also the owner. It is necessary to treat the pet with delicacies after he has somehow fulfilled the requirement. In this case, the animal will have an incentive to improve further.

When teaching a Boston Terrier to use an outdoor toilet or tray, do not lose sight of the fact that this breed cannot restrain its natural needs for a long time. Accordingly, no matter how responsibly you approach the formation of a dog's "toilet" etiquette, periodically "Boston" will make puddles where necessary. Not out of spite, not because he doesn't understand, just out of necessity. Are you ready to respond adequately to sudden "lakes" on the laminate? In this case, the Boston Terrier is your pet.

They seem to have forgotten about us
"Where pleasure is there I am"

Maintenance and care

On hot days, the breed suffers from overheating, and in the cold, a short, undercoat-less coat cannot provide a four-legged friend with enough heat, so the Boston terrier should live in a house or apartment. It is advisable to arrange a separate resting place for the dog in a secluded corner, placing a soft mattress or basket in it. By the way, Boston Terriers are extremely dependent on soft feather beds, so they prefer ordinary beds to beds, where they willingly relax together with the owner. And yet it is better not to accustom them to such excesses, since the overwhelming percentage of "Bostons" suffers from flatulence. It is unlikely that you will be delighted with the absolute "gas contamination" of your own bedroom, which will become an indispensable addition to a pet sprawled on the bed.


The smiling dog

With Boston Terriers, you can save a lot on groomer services. The wool of the representatives of this breed is short, and it is enough for her to occasionally comb with a rubberized mitten. Although during the molting period (twice a year), the pet's body should be combed more thoroughly and every other day to speed up the process of updating the coat. You can bathe Boston Terriers as long as. If the dog did not measure the depth of puddles on a walk and did not ride with its back on animals that had long since died and had time to thoroughly decompose, there is no point in dragging it into the bathroom.

The faces of the "American gentlemen" will require closer attention. Dogs often get dirty while eating, so it is necessary to wipe the area around the nose and the foot fold more often. The eyes of representatives of this breed are convex, easily "catching" infections, so you will have to keep an eye on them both. In the morning, the Boston Terrier's eyelid mucosa is wiped with a damp cotton cloth (a separate napkin for each eye). If you notice that the eyelid half closes the eye, from which tears are constantly flowing, most likely, the pet has inflammation. Constant scratching of the eye area by animals is also a reason to look into the veterinary office.

At intervals twice a month, Boston Terriers have their hearing passages cleaned and their claws trimmed. There are no special subtleties of performing these procedures, the same principle applies here as for other breeds. At 3-4 months, puppies begin to glue their ears to homemade plastic or cardboard frames to give them the correct position (no longer than 5 days). During this period, it is advisable to stroke the pet on the head less, although many breeders claim that light touches to the ears do not affect their delivery. A couple of times a week, "Boston" is given an examination of the oral cavity, simultaneously removing the yellowish plaque from the teeth with a special silicone nozzle and cleaning paste for dogs.


Despite the fact that the Boston Terrier is a 99% decorative breed, its representatives are far from introverts and cannot do without walking. They take (or take out, if it's a puppy) the dog outside twice a day with an indispensable eye on the weather. If a blizzard is raging outside the window or the sun is scorching, it is better to postpone the promenade or move it to a later / earlier time of day. In the heat, it is more reasonable to take a bottle of water and a light plastic bowl with you to give your pet a drink during walking, thereby cooling it down.

On the street, dogs prefer active ball games and short runs. If you got an ultra-static pet, and it's winter outside, it's better to dress it up in a thick felt blanket. It is also important to wean the Boston Terrier to pick up any, even the most harmless and tempting pieces of food from the ground. Doghunters do not doze, it's worth remembering.


Boston terrier bites a bone

The taste preferences of Boston Terriers are quite traditional. Representatives of this breed respect raw lean meat, offal, fillets of oceanic fish, as well as low-fat sour milk. Dogs like all kinds of fiber-containing additives like cereals (buckwheat, rice) and vegetables much less, but pets quickly get used to them. Once a week, the Boston Terrier is supposed to be pampered with chicken yolk, but quail eggs can be given whole every day. In the first year of life, when Boston Terriers are actively forming a skeleton, the diet should include collagen-rich foods, such as cartilage, as well as vitamin complexes with chondroitin. By the way, the more such food is on the puppy's menu, the faster his ears will "stand up".

Prohibited products:

  • sweets and confectionery;
  • ice cream (you can occasionally have a couple of spoons);
  • any fatty meat;
  • legumes;
  • pearl and millet cereals;
  • potatoes;
  • river fish;
  • tubular bones.

The average Boston Terrier will never refuse an additive, which in fact may be absolutely superfluous. Nevertheless, the "American gentleman" will be happy to find a place in his own stomach for additional sweets. Such food fetishism looks funny, but it is not worth stimulating it specifically. Firstly, overeating and, as a result, excess weight have ruined more than one dog. And secondly, after the feast of the belly, there is an invariable reckoning in the form of a "gas attack", from which it will be your olfactory receptors that will suffer.

Health and diseases of Boston Terriers

Two friends

The genetic predisposition to the following diseases was inherited from the ancestors to the Boston Terriers:

  • atopy;
  • deafness;
  • melanoma;
  • cataract;
  • hydrocephalus;
  • mastocytoma;
  • pylorostenosis;
  • brachycephalic syndrome (breathing problems);
  • brain tumor.

But especially "Bostons" are vulnerable to colds and viral infections. So, for example, having overcooled on a walk, the dog is able to catch laryngotracheobronchitis, aka the cough of the kennels. The inhabitants of nurseries living in cramped conditions are most susceptible to infection. Pets usually "catch" the virus at exhibitions or under the door of the veterinary office.

Like all dogs, Boston Terriers must be vaccinated. The first vaccination is given in the nursery, at the age of up to 2 months. The vaccine is re-administered after two weeks. After the change of milk teeth, approximately at 6-7 months, "Bostons" are vaccinated against rabies.

How to choose a puppy

Puppy and mom
  • Believe only the documents provided by the seller: puppy metrics, vet passports, parents' champion diplomas. If, instead of documentary evidence, the breeder refers to the enthusiastic reviews of past buyers and his own competence in breeding, forget the way to him.
  • Bitches of purebred Boston Terriers are infertile, so there are usually 3-4 puppies in their litters.
  • Breeders interested in the quality of offspring test Boston producers for hereditary diseases: deafness, cardiac pathologies, patella. If the owner of the kennel openly declares that he financially "does not pull" medical examinations and brings his own sworn assurances to confirm the health of the puppies, it is better to refuse the purchase.
  • Take a closer look at how your favorite Boston Terrier puppy behaves in a team. If the baby is angry and pugnacious, it is definitely not worth taking it, since aggressive representatives of this breed should not exist in nature.
  • Boston Terrier puppies often have humped backs. In some babies, the defect passes as they grow up and strengthen the leg muscles, in others it remains forever, blocking access to exhibitions for animals.
  • A traditional "Boston" puppy should have a square torso and large eyes, although in recent years several breed lines have appeared, representatives of which are distinguished by small eyes and a relatively long body.
  • And don't forget: a non–profit breeder always keeps the best puppies for himself, since his main goal is the further development of the breed. In addition, a true specialist cares about the fate of the kids, so after the purchase, he "leads" the puppy for a year, advising the new owner for free on health, nutrition and pet care.

Photos of Boston Terrier puppies

Price of the Boston Terrier

In Russia, Boston terriers are not as widespread as in their homeland, nevertheless, there are several nurseries in the country engaged in breeding and popularization of the breed. As for prices, they are mainly due to the reputation of the breeder and the class of the puppy (show, pet, breed). In particular, looking for promising babies worth less than $400 in nurseries is an empty and meaningless occupation, because the average market price of a Boston terrier puppy with an ideal exterior – $500 - $800 . It is more expedient for unambitious animal lovers and reasonable savings to purchase pets of the pet category. Of course, the appearance of such "Bostons" is far from the reference, but the price for them is twice as low – $250 - $350.

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