Boston Terrier Breed: History, Temperament, Care, Training & more

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Boston Terrier Breed Information

Boston Terrier
Level of Energy    
Exercise Needs      
Level of Affection    
Climate Tolerance      
Good With Children    
Tolerance of Animals   
Suitable as Guard Dog  

Just The Facts

  • AKC Popularity:  23
  • AKC Breed Group: Non-Sporting
  • Size of Male:  10-25 lbs. 15-17 in.
  • Size of Female:  10-25 lbs. 15-17 in.
  • Color:  Brindle, Seal, Black & White
  • Average Lifespan:  10-14 years
  • Breed Origin:  United States
  • Purpose:  Companion

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General Description

The Boston Terrier is a sensitive, devoted dog, playful but well mannered and quick to learn. Although fairly low maintenance, this
dog breed still needs daily play. They do not tolerate extreme climates well and need an indoor environment.

Origin and History

The Boston Terrier is interbred from the English Terrier and the Bulldog, as well as the French Bulldog. The breed became popular in the late 1800s, leading to the formation of the American Bull Terrier Club in 1893. By the early and mid-1900s, the breed was one of the most popular in the United States, a distinction it still holds today.

Boston Terrier Temperament

This Terrier breed tends to be well tempered, showing excellent manners indoors. When outdoors, the dog is quite playful and enjoys playing catch or chasing a ball. These dogs learn quickly, and although they are quite friendly, they can be reserved around strangers and unfamiliar dogs. Frequent barking is not uncommon with this breed.

Care, Grooming, Diet & Exercise

Living Environment – This small dog breed needs an indoor environment. Because they are primarily indoor dogs, they do well with plenty of room to run. They also do well when there is a yard to play in.

These dogs need an environment that can afford them a great deal of attention, as they crave the company of their owners. They are among the best apartment dogs and they are well suited for life within a large city.

Grooming – These short-haired dogs are easy to groom and require only occasional brushing. They can also be cleaned with a damp cloth to improve their coats. Checking the skin and eyes regularly, along with trimming nails, can help prevent infections.

Diet & Exercise – As with most breeds, these little dogs need regular exercise. The breed loves to play games, and spending time with the family. Playing in the yard is an excellent form of exercise. Short walks are also appreciated by these dogs.

Health – The Boston Terrier tends to wheeze and snore. This breed is intolerant to extreme heat and quite prone to heatstroke. Other health problems common in these dogs include heart problems, deafness, thyroid problems, skin and eye infections, seizures, epilepsy, and luxating patella. Over-exercising can also cause respiratory problems.


While this dog breed can be difficult to housebreak, they are quick to learn. Crate training is recommended for housebreaking.

This dog breed is very sensitive by nature, so positive dog training methods (praise, patience and rewards) are very important during training. Harsh or heavy-handed methods are not recommended when training Boston Terriers and consistency is very important to maintain.