Boston Terrier

  • Overview

    Boston Terriers are known as the "American Gentleman," because of their dapper appearance and their all-American ancestry. They were developed as companion dogs in Boston after the Civil War, and they represented America as the official Bicentennial Dog in 1976. Although they are called terriers, they have more in common with their bulldog ancestors. They are not particularly anxious or high-strung, but their streamlined body is more terrier-like in appearance.

    The Boston Terrier is an easy-going, friendly family dog who tends to make friends wherever he goes. They are well-suited for apartment life because their exercise requirements are not strenuous. They make excellent companions for busy people because their grooming needs are not extensive and the appreciate accompanying their owners on any kind of activity, whether it is a quick errand or a short walk.

  • Personality

    Boston Terriers are lively, enthusiastic little dogs who can adapt well to just about any living situation. They are well-suited to apartment life because they can fulfill most of their exercise needs with boisterous indoor activity and rambunctious play. Boston Terriers are generally friendly and engaged around people. Part of their reputation as a well-mannered little gentleman comes from their affability and good manners. They won't create too much trouble indoors, but they can become recreational barkers if they are left alone too often. Boston Terriers are alert and intelligent, so they learn fast. They are very sensitive and responsive to their owner's tone of voice and emotions, so training works best when it is positive and reward-based.

    Their adorable, pushed-in faces and shortened snouts make them brachycephalic. As a result, they are sensitive to heat and tend to cough and wheeze, especially after straining themselves. Make sure they don't overheat or struggle to breath by keeping them comfortable indoors during hot weather.

  • Coat Care

    The Boston Terrier's fashion-forward "tuxedo" patterned coat is seen in shades of brindle, seal and black with white marks along the face, chest and occasionally the lower legs. Be wary of dogs in solid colors, as they are poorly bred and can be prone to retardation and health problems. The Boston Terrier should be a bi-colored dog. The coat is short and smooth wit fine hair of an even length all around the dog's body. The coat should be bright and have a shine to it. Boston Terriers, like their relatives the Boxer and the French Bulldog, have alert prick ears and wrinkly, pushed-in faces.

Brushing

This little gentleman is a wash and wear kind of dog. Rub down the coat with a firm bristle brush to remove dead hairs and keep it shiny.

Bathing

Take extra care to wash the Boston Terrier with a damp cloth, especially around his face, because the facial wrinkles are prone to infection if they collect dirt or saliva.

Hair Clipping

Clipping or trimming your dog’s coat is far easier than you would ever imagine. With the right clipper, trimmer and scissors, giving your dog a haircut is easy on your wallet and your schedule.

Dogs with smooth coats generally only require trims and tidying up in areas of excessive hair growth using a trimmer or blunt scissors. It's always wise to take a dog for a short walk or exercise to calm them down before trimming. Remember to brush the coat first to remove any tangles and mats. Don't forget to trim around the paws, pads, tail, chest and sanitary areas, as needed. The coat should lay flat and smooth against the body when finished.

Nails

Because Boston Terriers do not always engage in a lot of outdoor activity, they will benefit from having their nails trimmed at least monthly to make up for natural wear and tear and keep them comfortable.

Eyes / Ears

Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.

It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Some smooth-coated dogs, like Basenjis and Boxers, and dogs with large ears, like Weimaraners and Great Danes, have sensitive ears that should be checked  weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face. If you have a small dog, like an Italian Greyhound, take special care to  clean around their eyes with a cotton ball or soft cloth and use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around their eyes to make sure they are comfortable. Dogs with facial wrinkles, like French Bulldogs and Boston Terriers, should have their faces wiped down at least weekly to prevent infection.

Teeth

Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.

Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.