Boston Terrier | Dog Breed Guide

Boston Terrier | Dog Breed Guide

by Scritch

Boston Terriers are smart, friendly little dogs who do well with children and other pets. They are devoted companions who love playtime and snuggle time with their people.

Weight: 10-25 pounds

Height: 16-17 inches

Life Expectancy: 11-13 years

Group: Non-Sporting group

Temperament: friendly, affectionate, smart

Energy Level:

Ease of Training:

Grooming Requirements:

History and Personality

Originating in Massachusetts in 1870, the Boston Terrier was the first breed developed in the United States. Initially bred to be fighters, Boston Terriers are a cross between the English bulldog and English terrier. In 1893 the Boston Terrier was the first breed recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). The revered Boston Terrier is the official dog of Massachusetts.

Nicknamed the “American Gentleman” because of his tuxedo markings, the Boston Terrier is a compact and stocky little dog with a short coat in black, brindle or seal with white markings, along with a short tail and erect ears. He’s not a big barker, so he is good for apartment living, and his protective nature also makes him a good watchdog. 

He is playful and affectionate and can be goofy and rambunctious. He is good with children and other pets and loves attention. He won’t be content to sit at home alone for long periods of time, or to be let outside by himself. His favorite thing is to be with his people, either playing games or sitting on someone’s lap. 

Because he loves to play, is eager to please and easy to train, the Boston Terrier is a good candidate for agility training.


Since his coat is short and smooth, the Boston Terrier needs little in the way of grooming. He doesn’t shed much, so giving him a brushing once a week to remove excess fur is all he needs. Brushing also helps distribute oils throughout his coat to keep it healthy. Of course, you’ll want to clip his nails, brush his teeth, and give him the occasional bath.

Energy Level

Some Boston Terriers like a lot of serious playtime, while others are content to go for a walk once or twice a day. They love a good game of fetch and may even play until they become exhausted.

Health Concerns

  • Cataracts
  • Patellar luxation
  • Breathing problems

Some common health concerns among Boston Terriers are eye problems such as cataracts and glaucoma. Because Boston Terriers have protruding eyes, they are also more prone to eye injuries, dry eye and infections. They are also susceptible to patellar luxation, similar to a “trick knee” in humans. Due to their short snouts, they can experience breathing difficulties. Problems with breathing are worse in hot, humid weather. Fortunately, these conditions can be covered by pet health insurance, provided enrollment occurs before symptoms appear.