Boston Terrier, Breed of the Week

Boston Terrier, Breed of the Week

Boston Terrier, Breed of the Week

I love the Boston Terrier. Besides the Shih Tzu, the Boston Terrier is another smallish dog that I would own in a heart beat, for many of the same reasons. Every Boston I’ve known has been sweet, quiet and laid back, as well as sturdy and quick.

Boston Terrier
This is Beasley, my brother’s Boston Terrier and one of the best dogs I ever knew.

The AKC breed page has this to say about the Boston Terrier:

The Boston has been nicknamed “the American Gentleman” because of his dapper appearance, characteristically gentle disposition and suitability as companion and house pet. They require only a moderate amount of exercise and a minimum amount of grooming. The breed is easy to train and they are easy keepers, preferring to remain by their owner’s sides.

The Boston Terrier? It’s another perfect dog. Not too little, not too big, gentle and easy maintenance. And my friend Karen, the mama of Jack the French Bulldog, raised Bostons for awhile. Did you know that Boston Terriers are available in more than black and white?

French Bulldog
Jack, the French Bulldog, munches on a non-approved treat. Give that dog a Jones Natural Chew!

Here’s a secret: When I was a kid, my grandmother had a Boston, Miz Beasley, and she ate Meow Mix. I loved that dog. I played with her as often as I could. And I wanted a Boston of my own, and when I got married and we went looking for a dog, my new husband insisted on a larger dog, a Lab or a Golden. We wound up being adopted by an Australian Shepherd (a breed wholly unknown to us at the time). But I love little Bostons.

Sweet Boston loves its mama
Did you know that Boston Terriers do agility? I took this photo several years ago at a National Championship here in Tulsa.

Pros and Cons of Boston Terriers

Let’s look at the pros and cons of this stocky, sturdily built dog.


  • Great with kids and elderly people, as well as friendly with strangers – the Boston Terrier makes a great family pet
  • Great apartment dogsBostons don’t need the same level of activity that other dogs might and will be happy in a smaller space – but they’ll still need a daily walk
  • Life expectancy – this cute little thing will live about 15 years
  • Easy to groom – the Boston has a short coat and sheds, but not prolifically – they do need a wet cloth to the face and eyes regularly
  • Great watchdogs, but not really barkers
  • Intelligent, easy going and easy to train


  • Health problems – most of the problems are with the Boston Terriers eyes, it seems, both with the eyes in general and a result of their protruding – but they’re prone to a host of other health issues
  • Can develop Small Dog Syndrome, but that’s a result, most often, of owner issues – don’t let the dog rule the roost

Is It the Right Dog For You?

Okay. So. Health issues are the worst thing I can find to say about the Boston Terrier. The heck? If we weren’t already overrun with critters, I’d be popping here in a heartbeat to find the Boston of my dreams. Seriously. This is a gently recycled post. We wound up with, not one, but two lap dogs, bringing our family to four dogs. Neither are Boston Terriers, but shaggy little mutts.

I like to dream of treats our dogs of the week would love. I’m thinking the Boston Terrier would love the Jones Natural Chews Knee Cap or Braided Stix, as well as some yummy Taffy. AND I’d name my Boston Terrier Amanda or Frederick. No Hobbit names for my dog. Well. Maybe I’d name it Elrond. Yeah, I’d probably name it Elrond.

Spreading the good chews …


26 thoughts on “Boston Terrier, Breed of the Week

  1. Mom used to spend a lot of time in Boston when she was a flight attendant but she said she never saw any of these dogs there! There is one in our neighborhood, he is a funny little guy and he does seem to think he is a Great Dane and is always trying to show his dominance over my sister and I but we just laugh at him 🙂

  2. I see a couple of Boston “regulars” at the agility trials I attend. Cute little buggers. Another thing to consider about Bostons, similar to Pugs and Frenchies, is they are very sensitive to heat due to the short snout. Care has to be taken when walking them in hot weather.
    Taryn recently posted..Wilson Wants on Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

  3. Yay Bostons! I might be a *little* biased, but I think they’re the best dogs in the world! They really don’t have a lot of cons. Their most common health problems are due to their eyes and if poorly bred, luxating patellas. In terms of behaviour, they’re like any other dog; if you don’t train them and socialize them, they’ll be little terrors. Generally though, they are very easy to train. When Remy was a puppy (and even still now) he was as smart as a whip. He made me look great in puppy training classes even when we didn’t finish the homework!
    Sarah recently posted..Wordless Wednesday #37My Profile

  4. I’ll admit, my particular penchant is for smooth-haired long-snout breeds… Greyhounds, Dachshunds, Dobermans are my three biggest heart-stealers, but I love ALL long-snouts!. Flat-faced kiddos (American Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, English Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Pugs, Pekingese, etc.) just make me nervous. Not their behavior… they are generally very sweet dogs with laid back personalities. I mean their predisposition to breathing problems. Parents of brachycephalic breeds need to pay very, very close attention to their breathing. Some even have bad enough problems with their respiratory tracts that they need surgery. Scary! But I think the breathing problems are worse in say, American Bulldogs, than in Bostons.
    Pam recently posted..Wordless Wednesday 06/19My Profile

  5. Oh my God, I love Boston terriers! 🙂 I would like to own one some day. They are the perfect size yet still athletic and kind of bad-ass looking. I was looking at rescue groups and I saw that one rescue would not adopt out any of its dogs to homes with kids and I thought that was terrible. I don’t have kids, but I think a lot of Bostons can make wonderful family pets as you said in your post.
    Lindsay recently posted..Is it OK to love a pet that hasn’t been abused?My Profile

  6. how did I miss this post? 😀
    Ditto on the short faces making them susceptible to overheating in the summer, and the very short coat making them susceptible to freezing in the cold temps…these are not “outside” dogs.
    But after having two, I am completely head-over-heels with the breed. Like any other breed, as long as you get your pup from a responsible breeder (even if they aren’t “breeding for show”), you will have a very healthy and happy dog with minimal health issues.
    My girls (my Bostons) welcomed home each of our kids from the hospital and would watch them closely when we had visitors…nothing creepy or territorial, but they just stayed nearby until they felt the visitor (even known family/friends) was okay with the baby. Before her passing, my older dog would turn on Watchdog Mode when my husband left town, alerting me to noises (including barking at thunder, haha), and the younger dog would walk with me to lock up the house and check on the kids before I turned in for bed. Both were very easy to train and were/are very sensitive to the tone of voice…they are complete people-pleasers and just overall super-sweet, smart pups. 😀

  7. Disclaimer: I’m biased. My Boston terrier is an absolute joy in almost every way. She’s funny, lively and sensitive all at the same time. She doesn’t have the breathing problems mentioned here, nor does she have a great deal of difficulty with her eyes. She might be an outlier. She’s also a little unique in that she’s really small at only 8 pounds. I can’t say enough nice things about her or the breed as a whole. Thanks for the awesome breed profile!

    Jean from Welcome to the Menagerie

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