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Boston Terrier: Breed Characteristics, Training, Care & Nutrition

The Boston Terrier is a companion dog from the United States. He is listed by the FCI in Group 9 of the company and companion dogs. Section 11 for small mastiff-like dogs indicates its “true” kinship. You can find out more about the Boston Terrier in the breed portrait.

Boston Terrier Dog Breed

Size: 35-42cm
Weight: 4.5-11.5kg
FCI Group: 9: Companion and Companion Dogs
Section: 11: Small mastiff-like dogs
Country of origin: United States
Colors: black and white, brown and white, brindle white and seal white
Life expectancy: 11-15 years
Suitable as: family and companion dog
Sports: dog dancing, agility
Personality: Intelligent, Friendly, Lively, Reliable, Loyal, Affectionate
Exercise requirements: rather high
Low drool potential
The thickness of hair rather small
Maintenance effort: low
Coat Structure: Short, smooth, shiny, and fine
Child friendly: yes
Family dog: rather yes
Social: yes

Origin and breed history

The Boston Terrier’s physique speaks to its fighting dog history before the French bulldog entered the gene pool. Over the years, the Bostonian has developed into an excellent family dog that promises protection as a loyal companion without developing a high potential for aggression.

In the 18th century, the little terrier was still involved in Boston backyard dogfights. Officially, the “tournaments” had been banned since 1826, all too often the spectators continued to rave and bet high stakes on “muscular flat noses”. The terrier made a name for itself in duels when “resourceful” farmers crossed English bulldogs with now-defunct white English terriers. The breed was superior to all others and was known as the American Bull Terrier.

More than half a century later, not only were the final fights banned but the ban was actually enforced. Boston settled down. The powerhouses survived under the breed name Boston Terrier. The dog breed underwent moderate socialization until the Boston Terrier finally became a family dog, fond of children, cheerful, and playful. “To blame” for this peaceful development is, among other things, the French bulldog, which was diligently crossed and left the Bostons their “bulldog charm” and still ensures a balanced temperament in the breed today.

Nature & Temperament of the Boston Terrier

The American is a dog for many occasions because of its size, intelligence, and friendliness. It adapts just as effortlessly to a family structure with small children as to the everyday life of a couple or a single household.

Apart from being kept in a kennel, he gets involved in almost any form of keeping. In the country or in the city, his home is where his owner lives. Walks in the woods will be equally relaxed as the Bostonian has no hunting instincts and if well socialized will not cause any problems with other dogs. He protects what he loves, but is not a barker or an aggressive dog.

The Boston Terrier is a lively dog ​​who likes to play and learns quickly. He has a special affinity for children, who are enthusiastic about his joy of playing. However, the owner should not leave the children alone with the dog, because an animal is an animal and children are sometimes thoughtless. Situations escalate and while this breed loves children, it is sometimes easy for actions on either side to be misunderstood. The Boston Terrier is a dog who wants to please, and on particularly dreary days, the cheerful American almost always manages to convince his loved ones that life is beautiful just the way it is.

Is a Boston Terrier an Attack Dog?

No. He originally came from breeding with fighting dog genes but has been crossed with other breeds over the years, such as the French bulldog, so that nothing remains of the fighting dog character.

The appearance of the Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers come in three different weight classes: light, medium, and heavy. The sporty guys in their group weigh seven, nine, and twelve kilograms at most. The body looks athletic, the coat is smooth, short, and without an undercoat. The head is large and round, optimally more square. It has a short snout and its dark eyes are set wide apart, as are its pricked ears reminiscent of a bat. The coat comes in four different varieties: black and white, brown and white, seal and white, and brindle.

The average height at the withers is 40 centimeters. His body is muscular and could indicate a competitive athlete. However, there are a number of breeders who breed for “beauty” rather than health. Due to the round shape of the head with an extremely short nose, the dogs do not manage to equalize the temperature well, breathing problems arise, and due to the narrow hips of the bitches, normal birth is often impossible.

Upbringing & keeping the Boston Terrier – this is important to note

As with any other dog breed, the Boston Terrier should receive a basic education that teaches them respect and obedience. The Boston Terrier is a model student: docile, cooperative, and peaceful. With early socialization, it gets along just as well with conspecifics as with representatives of other species. The upbringing is successful if no brute force is used to enforce the commands and the findings from behavioral research are applied. The Bostonian is a sensitive and attentive companion who knows how to interpret the slightest facial expression and reacts very promptly to its owner.

He is considered a beginner dog. Nevertheless, a visit to a dog trainer or dog school is important. There the two-legged newcomer can socialize with other dog owners and the dog makes friends. The relationship between the owner and the Bostonian can also be strengthened through dog sport and daily parenting training.

How long can a Boston Terrier be left alone?

With training started early, the Bostonians make it to a couple of hours. However, this breed is not a dog for days of solitude.

Nutrition of the Boston Terrier

In this area, the Bostonian shows a sensitive nature, equipped with a sensitive digestive system. The owner once again pays attention to a species-appropriate diet with as few artificial additives as possible. The wrong diet often causes digestive problems, especially in winter. Unfortunately, there is no one right food that tastes equally good for all dogs and is good for them in the same way. The varieties and compositions require a little personal initiative. Through “trial and error” every dog ​​owner learns to distinguish between what is acceptable and what is incompatible. Each feed change should be organized with small amounts over a longer period of time. The advice of an experienced dog owner always helps here.

Otherwise, there is of course puppy food for puppies and age-appropriate food for seniors, which takes into account the increased need for trace elements and vitamins. The subject of “nutrition” is a special one and, moreover, a sensitive one.

Health – life expectancy & common diseases

In connection with the Boston Terrier, an unpleasant topic is touched on at this point, the “torture breeding”. Unfortunately, this breed is also at least partially affected. A variety of races are bred without regard to losses! One speaks of torturous breeding in dogs when the breeding goal concerns one or more external things that are obviously harmful to the dog’s health. Examples are hairless dogs, skin indentations, or dwarfism.

In some breeding lines, the Boston Terrier shows external characteristics that mean considerable limitations for him. The shortening of the caudal spine, the so-called “corkscrew tail” is even a desired breeding goal. Brachycephaly, the “round head”, can also be found in many Boston Terriers. A round skull shortens the nose and jawbones, which means that the Bostonian is at risk of heatstroke and can suffer from breathing difficulties.

The Boston Terrier must be kept in a cool place when it is hot, as it has major problems with thermoregulation due to its small nasal cavity and mucous membranes. Snoring is another indication of “defects in the system”, his protruding eyes are poorly protected and are therefore exposed to an increased risk of injury.

The average life expectancy of the Boston Terrier is 12 to 15 years.

Grooming the Boston Terrier

The Boston Terrier is uncomplicated and can be “brought into shape” without care instructions. He loves being massaged with a rough care glove. This is how the dog owner gets the coarse dirt and dead hair out of the smooth short fur. The eyes are regularly checked for foreign objects. In winter, a Boston Terrier owner should buy his friend a dog coat. Because the Boston Terrier has no undercoat and freezes very quickly in frosty temperatures.

The time that the caring dog owner has left by sparing fur care (missing undercoat and smooth short hair only needs to be brushed) can confidently be invested in mindfulness. The physical sensations of the Boston Terrier give an important indication of the current state of health of the four-legged friend. If the four-legged friend has watery eyes, his ears are clean and the planned off-road tour may be too strenuous. Breeding the Bostoner requires special attention to dogs of this breed.

How old do Boston Terriers get?

The average age is twelve years, plus or minus three years.

Boston Terrier – Activities and Training

The Boston Terrier is an active and lively dog but doesn’t need “mammoth activities” to be happy. Dog sports like dog dancing and agility are popular with Bostonians, but a traditional walk in the woods with its owner will do, too. It is important that activities in extreme heat are taboo and regular breaks should be taken during long-lasting activities.

The American is not a competitive athlete, although his muscular physique tells otherwise. Breathing and the ability to regenerate at high temperatures do not play this game. Still, the Boston Terrier is not a dog that just wants to sit around. With this breed, it is important that his caregiver occasionally reminds him of the physical limits if the dog would also exceed them for his owner.

Good to know: Peculiarities of the Boston Terrier

“Less is more” could be the motto for the Boston Terrier. Everything is allowed, just not too much of it. The owner will have to take care of his four-legged friend for the rest of his life. Flatulence, shortness of breath, complications during births, sensitivity to heat and cold are impairments that are caused by extreme breeding and can lead to health problems in one or the other Boston Terrier. On the “plus side” are characteristics such as child-friendliness, intelligence, lack of hunting instinct, protective instinct, eagerness to learn, peacefulness in being with other species, and exceptional friendliness. A Boston Terrier is a “one person dog” and it doesn’t matter to him whether it’s a young or an old person, a single person, or a person in a large family, as long as he, the Bostonian, is allowed to go everywhere being.

The Boston Terrier has been the state dog of Massachusetts, USA since 1979. The Bostoner’s fan club is also growing in Europe.

Do Boston Terriers have breathing problems?

Unfortunately yes, how often these problems occur depends on the breed.

Disadvantages of the Boston Terrier

The disadvantages or the impairments that the Boston Terrier experiences through human breeding goals are a major disadvantage of this dog breed. For this reason, future owners should always look for a reputable breeder, which, however, is difficult to find in Germany. The demand for Boston Terriers is usually significantly higher than the supply. By focusing on healthy breeds, action can be taken against the tormented breeding of this breed. At some point, the insight has to prevail that certain external beauty features in dogs are usually not healthy for the four-legged friend.

Additionally, the Boston Terrier is often mistaken for a list dog because of its outward appearance. But he is not.

Is the Boston Terrier right for me?

Purchasing the lovable Boston Terrier is more than an affair of the heart. If the heart has already decided, the mind puts a warning triangle in front of the heart’s gate. Future dog owners should ask themselves the following questions, among others:

  • Are you ready to potentially sleep side-by-side with a snoring Bostonian?
  • Don’t you mind taking care of your four-legged friend in summer if he doesn’t get enough air?
  • Aren’t you mad when people ask you in the woods if that’s a list dog?
  • Do you accept flatulence even if the smart guy is already on a special diet because he has a sensitive stomach?
  • Is your wallet well-stocked to potentially pay for additional vet bills? You get 365 days of everything you still lack and a little bit more.
  • Can you promise the Boston Terrier a forever home? That is ultimately the all-important question. The Bostonian is not a “try-out” dog. If you bring him to you and make him familiar to you, he always counts on you until the end!

How Much Does a Boston Terrier Cost?

With a breeder, the buyer pays up to $2,000 for a puppy. Distressed Boston Terriers are available for a lot less money. The animal shelter nearby will certainly offer help.

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