The Boston Terrier is an American breed with ancestry traced back to a single dog, a white English Terrier and English Bulldog mix named Hooper's Judge. Developed following the Civil War, the breed is known for its kind and gentle behavior. Boston terriers make excellent companions, thrive as house pets and like to stay close to their owners. They consistently rank among the most popular breeds in the United States.
Boston Terriers are outgoing dogs, known for their sunny, cheerful dispositions. They are generally well-behaved, lively, alert and curious. Originally bred to be fighting dogs, they were later bred as companion dogs instead and are eager to please their owners. Despite their origins as fighters, the modern version of the Boston terrier is not a fighter and is not inherently aggressive. Boston terriers rarely bark, making them good apartment pets. They’re often used as therapy dogs, working with patients in hospitals, nursing homes and other medical facilities.
Exercise and Training
Boston terriers are active, like to play, and need daily walks. They enjoy playing outdoors as much as possible, as long as they are not left alone outside without human interaction. Highly intelligent, they are easy to train and have historically performed well in the show ring, in obedience trials, and in such performance events as weight-pulling, flyball and agility. Their enthusiasm for people may cause them to be overzealous when greeting people or playing, and they need basic training to ensure they don’t jump up on people or nip during play.
Bred to live side-by-side with humans, Boston Terriers need plenty of interaction with people. They do well with people of all ages, making excellent playmates for active children and devoted, calm companions for senior citizens. They require a significant time and attention commitment in return, and do not do well left on their own with minimal contact, particularly outside. Boston Terriers need to be around their human families and involved in their daily lives. They are as friendly and gentle with other animals as they are with humans, and do well in households with other pets, including other dogs and other species. However, some Boston Terrier males may assert dominance around other male dogs.
Owning a Boston Terrier requires dedication and the willingness to monitor the dog for inherent health and safety concerns. They are not a good breed for someone needing a low-maintenance dog. Because of their shortened muzzles, Boston Terriers do not handle extreme temperatures well, especially when combined with exercise. They fare best in moderate climates, and should never be left outdoors in either hot or cold weather. They must be vigilantly monitored to ensure they do not overexert themselves. Because they are prone to several hereditary health concerns, including vision problems, breathing problems and problems giving birth, they require frequent preventive veterinary care.