Boston Terrier

Breed Summary

The Boston Terrier is a lively, highly intelligent, smooth coated, compactly built, well-proportioned dog. Their head is short, square-looking with erect ears and arched neck. Overall, they are a well-balanced dog with a short muzzle, broad chest, and a short tail. The body is short and well-knit with strong limbs. The dog conveys an impression of intelligence, determination, strength, and activity.

Country of Origin: USA

AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 21 of 196

AKC Classification: Non-sporting group

UKC Classification: Companion Dog

Exercise Requirements: <20-40 minutes/day

Height: 15-17 inches

Weight: 12-25 pounds

Physical traits: Well-balanced, Compact, Short

Coat: Length: Short

Characteristics: Flat

Colors: Brindle with white, seal with white, black with white.

Overall Grooming Needs: Moderate

Personality traits/Temperament: Friendly, Bright, Amusing

Energy Level: Average

Tendency to Drool: Low

Tendency to Snore: high

Tendency to Bark: Moderate

Tendency to Dig: Low

Social/Attention Needs: Moderate

Life Expectancy: 11-13 years


The Boston Terrier is a healthy breed with no major problems. Their life expectancy is 11 to 13 years. Like all flat-faced breeds, they can experience difficulty breathing when not given adequate shelter from excessive heat or humidity. Some dogs can develop itchy skin conditions where baths with a high-quality dog shampoo and conditioner is recommended. Flea control is also essential. Responsible breeders screen their stock for eye problems such as cataracts, corneal ulcers, and glaucoma, as well as deafness and patellar luxation (comparable to a “trick knee” in humans). The eyes should be checked regularly for redness or irritation.


The Boston Terrier dog depends on high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared. Add a high-quality dog multivitamin to complete the nutritional circle. Provide a diet according to the different stages of a dog (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so monitor your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Don’t give human foods that are not safe for them. Consult with your veterinarian for further advice.


As with all breeds, Boston Terrier requires early socialization and puppy training classes. Early socialization gently exposes the puppy to a wide variety of people, places, and situations that will help him develop into a well-adjusted, well-mannered adult. Treats make a great training incentive. Boston Terrier are sensitive, so gentle corrections should be followed by warmth and praise during training.


Boston’s need for exercise varies from individual to individual. According to the American Kennel Club, their energy level is moderate. They require only a brisk walk once or twice a day. Use paw balm daily to protect their feet. Many Boston’s need more time to run and play every day and let off steam. Boston terriers move very fast and should never be let outside unless they are in a secure, fenced-in yard or on a leash. Boredom can make Boston become frustrated and develop undesirable behaviors. Participation in canine sports such as agility, obedience, flyball, and rally is an enjoyable way to channel the breed’s energy.

Fun Fact

The Boston terrier is the first official breed created in the United States. They’re nicknamed the “American Gentleman” because of their tuxedo-like markings.


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