Boston Terrier

If you’re wanting to adopt a dog that’s intelligent, displays plenty of affection and is great with young children and other pets, you may want to consider the playful and loving Boston Terrier as a new potential addition to your family

Boston Terrier

If you’re wanting to adopt a dog that’s intelligent, displays plenty of affection and is great with young children and other pets, you may want to consider the playful and loving Boston Terrier as a new potential addition to your family. Once a common sight throughout the country in the 1940s and 50s, the Boston Terrier’s popularity fell off in New Zealand as other breeds rose, such as the Fox Terrier and the Labrador Retriever. Now, a recent surge in popularity has been largely attributed to social influence, as they’ve made more frequent appearances in movies, television shows and advertisements.

If you’re thinking of adopting a Boston Terrier but want to learn more about this breed first, you’re in the right place. Here, you’ll find information on their personality and physical characteristics, what they're like with families and other pets, potential health issues you should be aware of first before adopting, their trainability as well as a brief background on the origin of the Boston Terrier.

Breed History

The Boston Terrier was the result of crossing a British Bulldog with the English White Terrier. Their name is attributed to the capital city of Massachusstes in which they were first bred at the end of the 19th century. They quickly became one of the most popular breeds throughout the state, and this popularity dispersed throughout the country. The original ancestor of the modern Boston Terrier is a dog known as ‘Judge’, who was the first cross between the two parent breeds, the Bulldog and White Terrier. Over the years, the breed became smaller and more compact, but retained their distinctive ‘tuxedo’ colourings that make many of them instantly recognisable today.

Physical traits

Historically this short-haired breed is most recognisable for their black and white coat, but they can also be brindle and white or a seal and white. The ‘seal’ colouring appears as a reddish-brown in sunlight, but otherwise looks black. Regardless of the combination, the two coat colours are distinctively proportionate.

A sturdy and compact dog, the Boston Terrier typically wont exceed 11 kilograms, with males usually standing slightly taller than females. they're a well proportioned breed that are easily recognisable by their flat heads and low set, small tails. They typically wear an alert or kind expression on their faces.

Personality type

As their usual facial expression suggests, the Boston Terrier is a kind and inquisitive dog. They make a great companion for those looking for a happy and playful breed to share their home with. they're a great dog to have around children and will quickly establish close bonds with every member of the family. they're also well-suited to homes with other dogs or cats, particularly when raised together from a young age. As they're an affectionate breed, this also lends itself to not being great once left alone for long periods of time. We recommend exercising them immediately prior to leaving them at home alone.


The Boston Terrier’s natural intelligence, high energy level and interest in new things, certainly make them a trainable breed. Because they’re a very loving dog, the fastest route to teaching yours new routines and tricks is through positive reinforcement and affection.

Health and grooming requirements

Because of their ‘squashed’ faces and short noses, the Boston Terriers mechanism of cooling themselves in warm conditions is hindered. This is because longer-nosed breeds have a greater distance for which air must travel before reaching their lungs, allowing for more time for this air to be cooled. Because of this, they're more susceptible to overheating, and therefore, rigorous exercise, especially in warm conditions, should be avoided.

They’re also prone to eye problems such as glaucoma, corneal ulcers and cataracts. As an owner of a Boston Terrier, it’s important to regularly check their eyes for redness, irritation. If a glassy or cloudy look arises in your Boston Terrier’s eyes, this could likely indicate early onset health issues, in which case they should be taken to their vet as soon as possible. The typical lifespan of a Boston Terrier is 11-13 years.

Although a very short-haired breed that doesn’t require a huge amount of grooming attention, the Boston Terrier will always enjoy a good brush from their owner. Consider using a soft-bristled brush to avoid damaging their skin, as their thin coat makes them more susceptible to scrapes when using firm-bristled brush or metal comb.

Exercise requirements

As an excitable and energetic breed, Boston Terriers love to play and get out of the house for walks or a game of fetch. Without the appropriate amount of exercise each day, this can result in them being highly strung and unable to settle down. They will require anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes of exercise per day depending on their size and age. It’s best to break up their exercise times into two or three 10-15 minute periods per day, opposed to rigorous or extended periods of exercise, as this can make them susceptible to overheating.

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