A Complete Guide to the Boston Terrier Dog

Originally bred in the Boston area in the 1870s, the Boston terrier is the quintessential American dog and a distant cousin of the Jack Russell terrier. Also known as the Boston bull, the Boston terrier dog is muscular, lively and sociable.


Height: Adults usually stand between 15 and 17 inches tall.

Weight: These dogs are light, weighing in between 10 and 25 pounds.

Coat: With fine, short hair, Boston terrier puppies and dogs are delightful to pet. Colors are brindle-and-white, black-and-white or brown-and-white.

Ears and Eyes: Boston terrier breeders hold that these dogs should have large, round, dark eyes that are squarely set and spaced far apart. These dogs have small ears, which should be carried erect.

Tail: The tail of a Boston terrier dog is narrow, low-set and tapers towards the end.


With proper direction, a Boston terrier puppy will grow up to be an affectionate, well-behaved and enthusiastic little dog. Displaying a high degree of intelligence, these dogs learn quickly and tend to be friendly to both strangers and children.

AKC Group: Non-sporting

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Training: Boston terrier puppies are sensitive to the intonations of the human voice. Physical correction is usually unnecessary. These are smart dogs that love to learn, and as such, Boston terrier breeders contend that this breed ranks alongside the Bischon Frise as one of the easiest to train.

Ideal Environment: Boston terrier dogs are sensitive both to extreme cold and extreme heat. They tend to be most comfortable in temperate climates.

Health and Care

Feeding: Boston terrier breeders note that these dogs have sensitive digestive systems. Flatulence can be a problem unless they are fed high-quality food.

Grooming: Beyond clipping this dog's nails and brushing its coat from time to time, little grooming is necessary. However, if a particular dog is active outdoors, its eyes, ears and face should be cleaned every day.

Exercise: Given their small size, most Boston terriers need only a daily walk to stay in shape. Particularly active dogs can be let out in a fenced-in yard to work off their excess energy.

Health Problems: Overexertion in hot or cold weather can lead to serious breathing problems. Skin and heart tumors are also significant health issues for this breed. While all breeds are subject to their own particular set of potential health problems, every dog is at risk for ringworms, tapeworms and heartworms.

Average Lifespan: These dogs are long-lived, normally surviving for 15 years or more.

Take Home a Boston Terrier

Boston terrier rescue centers help abused, unwanted, neglected and abandoned dogs find new owners to love and care for them. Contact a local animal shelter or SPCA branch for region-specific information on Boston terrier rescue resources. Otherwise, find Boston terrier puppies for sale through a certified breeder, and expect to pay roughly $400 to $850.

Prospective owners are urged not to give their business to puppy mills. These establishments show disregard for the ethical treatment and overall health of their animals.