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Boston Terrier
Characteristics, History, and Health

Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers, also known as Boston Bulls, are a breed of dog originating in the United States. This American Gentleman was accepted in 1893 by the American Kennel Club as a non-sporting breed. Their origins trace back to the late 19th century when coachmen of the wealthy people in Boston started to interbreed some of the dogs owned by their employers. They were a mix of English Bulldogs and white English Terriers, which are now extinct. These early progenitors went through various breeding programs to reduce their size without sacrificing their good nature and sturdy build. One particular dog named Judge, owned by a man named Robert C. Hooper, is considered the ancestor of virtually all true modern Boston Terriers.

Main Info
Massachusetts, USA
Alternate Names
Boston Bulls, The American Gentleman
Life Expectancy
11-13 years
Average Male Height
10-12 inches
Average Female Height
10-12 inches
Average Male Weight
12-25 pounds
Average Female Weight
12-25 pounds
Coat Length
Coat Type
Coat Colors
Black & White, Black Brindle & White, Brindle & White, Seal & White, Seal Brindle & White
Coat Pattern

Genetic Predispositions and Health

Boston Terriers are prone to eye conditions including cataracts, glaucoma, corneal ulcers, and corneal abrasions. They may also suffer from deafness, patellar luxation, stenotic nares, elongated soft palate, allergies, demodicosis, and seizures. Boston Terriers are also sensitive to anesthesia, so this should be discussed with a veterinarian prior to any procedure for which it is required. As a brachycephalic (flat-faced) breed, they do not do well in heat. Genetic testing can assist veterinarians with diagnosis of and proactive care for some of these conditions, as well as help breeders identify affected and carrier dogs.

Personality and Behavior

Boston Terriers are known for their friendly and social nature. They are very intelligent and are quick to pick up on cues from their owners. This makes them relatively easy to train compared to some other breeds. Boston Terriers are known for their affectionate nature and can be great family dogs. They usually get along well with children, seniors, and other pets. They can adapt well to both apartment living and larger homes, given they get adequate exercise.

Boston Terriers are also known for their polite and gentle manners. They are generally not yappy dogs, but they will bark to alert their owners of anything unusual. They are also known for their expressiveness, as they can convey a range of emotions through their expressive faces.

Fun Facts

In 1891, the Boston Terrier Club of America was formed. It is considered to be a relatively new breed, and the American Kennel Club (AKC) registered its first Boston two years later in 1893.

The Boston Terrier has been the official mascot of Boston University (for around 100 years), and is also the official dog of the State of Massachusetts.