Like many terriers, the Boston Terrier was bred to be a fighter. However, the popularity of this breed as a family dog, their kind nature, and their “gentleman” markings have made an impact on how we see Boston Terriers today. Originating in the late 1800s in Boston, Massachusetts, the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1893. It was one of the first namely American breeds accepted by the AKC. The breed has been liked to many Hollywood stars including Rudolph Valentino’s lover Pola Negri and is the mascot for Boston University, Wofford College in South Carolina, and Redlands High School in California.
They are small dogs, weighing between 10 and 25 pounds on average. They are muscular and energetic as well as very strong for their size. The head is square with a short snout and unusually large eyes. Fur is short and comes in black and white, brindle and white, and rarely brown and white. The black and white markings are the most common, creating a tuxedo pattern on the dog’s body. Because of their short fur and size, they are not equipped for cold weather, and their short snouts make it hard to adapt to hot weather. They are best suited for mild temperatures and inside environments. Their small size makes Boston Terriers a good fit for both household and apartment living. Health problems are related to their size, their eyes, and allergies (which are common in many breeds and vary based on many different factors). Small dogs are prone to patellar luxation, a condition where the knee cap does not properly align with the other bones in the leg. It can also lead to arthritis in the knees as the joint is improperly utilized. Cataracts are common in Boston Terriers and “cherry eye” can affect young dogs, usually before they turn a year old. However, they are also common later in life for many dogs. They are comparatively healthy dogs when considering other terrier breeds.
Boston Terriers are energetic, lively dogs. Their size and playfulness make them ideal mates for small children when supervised. With short snouts, they are prone to snoring, but they love to cuddle. Training is recommended early in life and to be consistent and firm as the puppy ages. Otherwise the Boston Terrier may grow up to be more independent, headstrong, and obnoxious than you would want. With proper training and socializing, Boston Terriers make excellent family pets and apartment companions.