dog breeds

Boston Terrier Dog Breed at a Glance


The Boston Terrier dog breed, also known as the Boston Bull, Boston Bull Terrier, Boxwood, and American Gentlemen, is an amusing and bright, friendly family dog ideal to urban life. Ranked as the 23rd most popular dog breed in the United States, this small sized Terrier is very intelligent and easy to train. It is an excellent breed for new owners without any previous dog ownership experience, as well as with kids. Good to know: these dogs wheeze and/snore, due to their flat nose.

Breed Group: Non-Sporting

Boston Terrier Puppies

Did you know? Boston Terriers are usually delivered by cesarean section!

HISTORY of the Boston Terrier Dog Breed

A native American dog, it was bred using the white English Terrier and the English Bulldog, and was actually, at one time, the most popular breed in the United States. Further crossbreeding with French Bulldogs lead to a more refined specimen. The breed was recognized as the official state dog of Massachusetts in 1879.

Origin: United States


The Boston Bull is a cat-friendly, gentle and affectionate companion that’s playful and full of life. It is sensitive, however, so it does not take well to reprimanding or punishment. The Boston Terrier also makes a great watchdog, as it is quick to alert owners of any strangers or intruders, but it is not to be relied upon for protection. It may bark occasionally and nip at times, but this can be discouraged by offering chew toys. It can be stubborn and has a high impulse to wander, so keep it on a leash at all times when out and about.

The biting statistics indicate that the Boston Terrier was involved in two human attacks since 1982. These resulted in one death. Considering that the annual attack by this breed is zero, there is no need to exercise caution with this dog. It is highly unlikely to cause casualties.

Physical Characteristics of the Boston Terrier

This breed has is short, smooth, and shiny coat, tight-fitted on its compact body. It has a flat nose, centered between its large, round eyes, with pointy ears, and a short tail. Easily recognizable and nicknamed the “American Gentleman” for its “tuxedo coat,” this dapper dog always has a kind expression on its short face.

The common colors accepted by the AKC are black and white, brindle and white, seal and white, black brindle and white, and seal brindle and white.

The Boston Bull weighs between 10 and 25 pounds and stands between 15 and 17 inches tall, regardless of gender.

Boston Terrier Dog Breed

Shedding is minimal, so it is an excellent dog for those who don’t want to increase their housekeeping efforts. However, it is not a hypoallergenic dog breed, and typically, it not known to drool.

HEALTH and CARE of the Boston Terrier Dog Breed

Life Expectancy

The life expectancy of the Boston Terrier is between 10 and 14 years, which is about average for this size.

Common Health Concerns

Each dog breed is susceptible to certain health issues due to genetics. The Boston Terrier is generally a healthy breed, but may develop the following health issues:

  • Cushing’s Disease
  • Cataracts
  • Deafness
  • Craniomandibular Osteopathy
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Mitral Valve Disease
  • Seizures
  • Demodicosis
  • Corneal Abrasions


This breed is suited for apartment living, and has minimal exercise needs, so it’s a good match for busy owners. In fact, a good amount of indoor play time and a short daily walk will meet its needs.

The Boston Terrier, a brachycephalic breed, can’t tolerate heat, so be especially careful not to overexert it on hot days, and to be safe, keep it indoors when the temperatures are extreme. In cold weather, they should wear a dog coat when on their walk, but they should not be outdoors for too long.

dog breeds


Feed your dog a high-quality dog food to ensure health and longevity. With the average weight of a Boston Terrier being 18 pounds, feed your dog between 3/4 and 1.5 cups of kibble each day.


With regards to grooming, the Boston Terrier is a low-maintenance dog. Stripping and trimming are not required, and only the occasional brushing and bathing is necessary to keep it clean and shiny.

The AKC officially recognized the Boston Terrier dog breed in 1893.


American Kennel Club