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Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier

A small dog with a short, square muzzle and erect ears, the Boston Terrier is strong and well-muscled with eyes which are fairly large, round and wide apart. Originally bred as fighting dogs, this unusual looking breed soon found its place in the hearts and homes of people across the world.

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for non-experienced owners
  • Basic training required
  • Enjoys gentle walks
  • Enjoys walking an hour a day
  • Small dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming once a week
  • Non hypoallergenic breed
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Guard dog. Barks and alerts
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • May require training to live with kids

Key Facts

Lifespan: 13–15 years
Weight: 4.5–11.5kg
Height: 38–43cm
Colours: Short-coated, the Boston Terrier comes in various colours, including brindle and white, and black with white markings
Size: Small
Kennel Club group: Utility


Family-friendly: 4/5
Exercise needs: 4/5
Easy to train: 4/5
Tolerates being alone: 3/5
Likes other pets: 5/5
Energy level: 4/5
Grooming needs: 3/5
Shedding: 2/5


The Boston Terrier is a lively, happy dog that can be quite determined and strong willed. They are usually good with children and love to play, but they can be boisterous and care must be taken that games are not too rough, as they can be prone to injury, especially their eyes. They love human company and make affectionate pets and are outgoing and social to all. While they are called a ‘terrier’ they are not in the terrier group and neither do they behave like one, being far happier at home with their owner than getting into the usual mischief!

The Boston Terrier would suit an owner who enjoys their unconventional appearance and who wants a fun, affectionate companion that doesn’t need much exercise but does want to join in with everything that is going on.

History and Origins

In the 1800s, the Boston Terrier dog breed was originally a cross between an English Bulldog and an English White Terrier. Then around 1893, more crossbreeding was carried out, seeing the breed crossed with the English Bull Terrier, Boxer and the Pit Bull Terrier, along with other terriers. Originally the Boston Terrier weighed over 20kg, but was bred smaller and smaller until they became the size we know them as today.

Health and Common Issues

Exercise Needs

Space Requirements

Nutrition and Feeding

Grooming Boston Terriers

Training Boston Terriers

Best Family Dog Breeds

Did you know?

  • The Boston Terrier is also known by the nickname ‘the American Gentleman’ due to their tuxedo like markings.
  • The most successful and unexplained dog clairvoyant was a Boston Terrier called Missie from Denver in the United States. Missie stunned her owner and experts alike by predicting the results of sports events, the next US president, the sex and weight of babies, and even the date and time of her own death. She could also tell people’s phone numbers. She did this either by barking or by touching cards.
  • Helen Keller had a Boston Terrier called ‘Phiz’.
  • This breed is great at tricks and a Border Terrier called Dexter has even mastered the skateboard.
  • These dogs are big snorers because of the size and shape of their muzzles!
Dog with red collar looking out the window
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