Boston terrier dog breed information, pictures, characteristics & facts

Boston terriers are friendly, intelligent dogs that enjoy brisk walks just as much as cuddling on the couch. Learn more about why these dogs are nicknamed “American Gentlemen.”
Breed Group herding hound hybrid non-sporting none sporting terrier toy working
Dog Size extra large (101 lbs. or more) large (61-100 lbs.) medium (26-60 lbs.) small (0-25 lbs.)
Other Traits easy to groom easy lớn train friendly toward humans friendly toward other pets friendly toward strangers good for first-time pet owners good lap cat high potential for weight gain high prey drive sầu highly territorial hypoallergenic low prey drive sầu prone to lớn health issues requires lots of grooming svào loyalty tendencies tolerates being alone tolerates being picked up
height 15-17 inches
weight 12-25 pounds
life span 11-13 years
breed size small (0-25 lbs.)
good with children seniors dogs cats families
temperament outgoing friendly playful
intelligence high
shedding amount infrequent
exercise needs medium
energy level active
barking level when necessary
drool amount medium
breed group non-sporting
coat length/texture short
colors blachồng brown / chocolate / liver red blue trắng
patterns tuxedo brindle
other traits easy khổng lồ train easy khổng lồ groom prone to lớn health issues high potential for weight gain good for first-time pet owners

With their signature tuxevày coats, Boston terriers are, no doubt, dapper dogs. But don't let their formal attire, jaunty walk, và nickname—the "American Gentlemen"—completely fool you. These happy-go-lucky dogs are as goofy as they get.

"Boston terriers are the clowns of the dog world," says Jackie Moyano, a training and behavior consultant & the owner of Behavior United. Boston terriers do love sầu to lớn be the center of attention—it's fitting that they're the official mascot of Boston University! Highly intelligent & people-oriented, these pups know just how to lớn win over fans with their antics, like a well-timed cocked head coupled with a quizzical gaze.  

In the early 1900s, they were the most popular breed in the U.S. Today, Boston terriers remain a popular small dog breed for families. Between 12–25 pounds, they have compact, sturdy bodies, smooth coats and eyes that are big, round, và friendly (và, yes, sometimes hint at mischief). 

Boston terriers are lively and love sầu to play. But because Bostons are brachycephalic (that's the technical term for smooshy-faced), they can be prone khổng lồ some respiratory issues and may need khổng lồ take a breather while they're playing fetch or out for a brisk walk. Once they've had a fair nội dung of exercise and mental stimulation, the affectionate Boston may just sit still long enough for you to snuggle.  

Boston terriers are already dressed khổng lồ the nines in a debonair tuxevì coat, so go ahead và complete the look by adding a bow tie khổng lồ his collar. With a sleek và smooth short coat, these dogs don't shed much. 

Breeding standards Hotline for a blaông xã, brindle, or seal (a blaông chồng coat that has a red cast when your Boston is, say, bathing in sunlight) coat that's evenly marked with white, according to lớn the Boston Terrier Club of America. He has Trắng markings that appear on places like his chest and run like a stripe between his eyes. You can also find red, brown, & blue Boston terriers, though black-and-White is most common.

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With their dapper tuxevì coat & big, dark eyes, it"s no wonder Boston terriers are nicknamed "the American Gentlemen." Just look at that face!
Another defining feature on Boston terriers are their large, dark, round eyes that are phối wide apart. This dog's eyes can be comically expressive sầu, so much so that the breed standards even say the dog's igiảm giá khuyến mãi expression is "alert & kind, indicating a high degree of intelligence."  

While they may not be the best running partners if you're training for a maraeo hẹp (that short snout makes them more equipped for short-distance sprints, or "zoomies"), Boston terriers vày have sầu a sporty body toàn thân equipped with strong, muscular thighs. Small & sturdy, these dogs typically weigh between 12–25 pounds.  

Curious about Boston terriers vs. French bulldogs? The two breeds are commonly mistaken for one another. An easy way to identify the two: Frenchies have sầu a bigger bone structure, while Bostons stvà on longer legs.

With boundless energy, Boston terriers are friendly and love lớn play. But these diplomatic companion dogs can also be couch potatoes that will cuddle up next khổng lồ you, enjoy some behind-the-ear scratches, &, before you know it, be snoozing (and snoring!).




Left: Boston terriers are high-energy dogs, but because of their smooshed faces, they aren"t one for long jogs. You"ll often find them tuckered out after a few zoomies. | Credit: eksann / Adobe Stochồng
Right: Because of their small stature và moderate exercise needs, Boston terriers are perfect apartment dwellers và love to lớn snuggle up on the couch. | Credit: JoeChristensen / Getty
"Boston terriers make great companions, as their affectionate & social nature has earned the breed the nickname 'the American Gentleman,'" says Shawna Garner, DVM và U.S. lead veterinarian at FirstVet.

Because they are highly intelligent, Garner says Boston terriers are easy khổng lồ train & very amiable. Whether you're bringing trang chủ Boston terrier puppies or going the adoption route, Bostons can be good family dogs that get along well with other pets or older children.

With a nod khổng lồ a major metropolis in their name, it's no surprise that Boston terriers can flourish in an urban environment và live in apartments, so long as they're not too short on space. A large living room or a small outdoor space will suit them just fine, as long as you make time khổng lồ walk out that energy.

"As a lively breed, it's important for them khổng lồ have a space khổng lồ run around and play in during the day, in order khổng lồ keep them occupied," Garner says.

Boston terriers love sầu being by their human"s side—and their adorable head tilts often have perfect comedic timing.
Because Bostons are bidding to lớn be your best friend, they enjoy nothing more than spending chất lượng time with their humans. The perfect afternoon for these chipper dogs is joining you on a walk, then cuddling on the couch. Their motto: "Just as long as we're spending time together."

"While their affectionate personalities make Boston terriers friendly pets, they can also suffer from separation anxiety if they are left alone for too long," Garner says. For that reason, she says, these dogs bởi vì best when their owners can be around for most of the day, or when other dogs can keep them company.

If you own a Boston terrier, you'll need to lớn be mindful of the weather. Because they're brachycephalic, they're susceptible to overheating when it's hot và humid outside. For that reason, taking them on a hike on a hot summer day is a no-go. Also, because they have short fur, they can also get the shivers. Layer your Boston's tuxedo with a coat or sweater khổng lồ keep hyên comfy và warm in colder weather.

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Boston terriers' light, sleek coats make them easier to groom than many other dogs, as they tkết thúc not to lớn shed as much. However, they should still be brushed once a week, Garner says. You can use a soft-bristle brush or rubber grooming mitt to lớn help collect their loose hairs. Like all dogs, they need regular nail trims—nails that are too long can make walking uncomfortable or become prone to infection. An occasional bath keeps them smelling fresh, too.

Their short, smooth coats make Boston terriers easier lớn groom than many other breeds. But regular brushing & the occasional bath are still a must.
The amount of exercise Boston terriers need can vary, but two walks a day should be enough to keep them in good shape, Garner says. Highly energetic Boston terriers might need lớn burn even more energy by playing & running. These dogs probably won't zoom around the backyard on their own; they want you to be their playmate, tossing them a ball or playing tug of war with them. Make sure you have sầu access khổng lồ a fenced-in space khổng lồ romp around with your pup.

In addition lớn physical exercise, Moyano says Bostons need some mental enrichment, too. Bring on the food puzzles! 

Because Boston terriers' playful nature can veer into boisterousness, Garner says, it's important to train them so they learn good habits và make sure they're socialized with humans and other dogs. As with any dog, use positive sầu reinforcement training for a happy (và effective!) training session. Bostons are eager to lớn please, super smart, and soak up praise when they're being trained. Treats & head pats are a winning combo for these sensitive sầu, yet outgoing dogs. 

Because they have sầu short fur, they can get the shivers. Layer your Boston"s tuxedo with a coat or sweater lớn keep hyên comfy và warm in colder weather.

These small dogs generally have lifespans of 11–13 years. And as with any breed, Boston terriers are more susceptible to lớn certain health issues you'll want khổng lồ watch out for. 

As a brachycephalic breed, Garner says Boston terriers can often suffer from respiratory issues, so owners should make sure to lớn give sầu them breaks during exercise when needed, particularly in hot weather. 

Boston terriers' prominent eyes are a signature marker of their appearance, but they're also more susceptible to eye health issues than other dogs, Garner says. Owners should be vigilant and regularly check for any signs of irritation or infection.

This breed does not lượt thích khổng lồ be left alone, so they"ll thrive with owners who are homebodies (or who are willing to let their Boston terriers join them while out và about).
Some Boston terriers also experience issues with their joints và bones, which can affect their mobility. In particular, Bostons are more likely to have sầu issues with their knee joints, Garner says, and their kneecaps can be prone lớn slipping out of place, which is known as patellar luxation. They're also more likely to lớn suffer with hemivertebrae (a misshapen spine), which can have effects ranging from making the dogs unsteady on their feet lớn paralysis, she says.

The Boston terrier has strong ties to—you guessed it—Boston. But, his story begins in Engl&. 

Back in the 1860s, a bulldog và the now-extinct trắng English terrier were crossbred in Liverpool to create a muscular dog named Judge, according to the Boston Terrier Club of America. In 1870, an American purchased Judge and brought the dog to Boston, where he sold Judge khổng lồ fellow Bostonian Robert C. Hooper. Known as "Hooper's Judge," the dog became the patriarch of the Boston terrier breed. 

Originally dubbed "round heads," the name was changed lớn Boston terriers when the Boston Terrier Club of America was formed in 1891. Two years later, the American Kennel Club officially recognized the breed. 

Famous owners of Bostons include 38th President Gerald Ford, who grew up with the American breed. His love sầu for dogs continued inkhổng lồ his presidency, when his Golden Retriever named Liberty joined him in the White House.

The Boston terrier became the official state dog of Massachusetts in 1979. Boston University’s mascot is a Boston terrier. Nearly a century ago in a student vote, the dog beat out a moose lớn represent the university. Boston terriers are the first dog in the non-sporting breed group bred in the U.S.