Boston Terrier

  • Temperament Lively, Friendly, Intelligent
  • Family Friendly Yes
  • Trainability Somewhat Easy to Train
  • Shedding Low
  • Group Non-Sporting
  • Color Brindle, Seal, or Black with White Markings
  • Origin United States (1800s)
  • Height 15-17 inches
  • Weight 10-25 lbs
  • Original Function Companion
  • Current Function Companion
  • Lifespan 11-15 years

Origin of the Breed

The Boston Terrier was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1893. They were originally a pit-fighting dog, bred as a cross between the English Bull Dog and English White Terriers, which are now extinct. They original mix was then interbred with French Bull Dogs resulting in what we know as a Boston Terrier.

Coloring and Size Variations

These midsized dogs have white and black markings, and can be brindled, cream, brown or liver colored, though that is less common. Because of the familiar appearance and heritage, Boston Terriers also contribute breeding variation called a "Frenchton" or a "Faux French Bull Dog," which are mixed of a Boston Terrier/French Bull Dog.

Behavioral Tendencies

Boston Terriers are friendly creatures that work well both with children and the elderly, having a gentle yet playful spirit. They are known to be affectionate with their family, and tend to coexist well with other species, though they may have territorial issues with other dogs. This breed can become rather high-strung and agitated if not exercised regularly.

Training Needs

Boston Terriers respond well to training, and enjoy being given tasks. They are very sensitive to commands, vocal inflections and can detect stress or anger easily. It is vital that the owner exercise very clear authority over Boston Terriers, so that the dog does not try to exert leadership over the human. House breaking Boston Terriers can also prove to be a struggle, and will require focused and attentive training from their owner.

Health Complications

This breed tends to suffer numerous eye afflictions such as cataracts, corneal ulcers, dry eyes, etc. They have battled deafness, tumors, breathing difficulties, and heat fatigue. Even puppy birthing usually results in a cesarean section.


Healthy routine walks will be key for Boston Terriers, and they also appreciate play time and romping around. This breed enjoys attention from their owner and does not require rigorous activity beyond a good stretch of the legs.

Living Conditions

If these dogs get a solid walk, they live quite contentedly in an indoor space, such as an apartment. Note that extreme weather temperatures, both hot and cold are a struggle for Boston Terriers, as they thrive best in temperate climes.


Boston Terriers have large eyes that require regular wiping in order to dispose of the dust, bugs, or grass that can plague them. These pups also benefit from brushing, and bathing when necessary, and unlike many breeds do not have an unpleasant "dog" odor.

Top 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds in the United States