The Boston Terrier has been around since the mid-1800’s and has been recognized by the AKC for almost as long as the breed has been around. Today, the Boston Terrier is the 23rd most popular breed and for good reason! With wonderful personalities, low-maintenance fur, and a compact size, these little gentlemen make excellent companion pets. Read on for our six awesome facts about the Boston Terrier!
- They are Nicknamed the American Gentleman
Boston Terriers are a distinctly American breed. These little dogs got their start as a cross between the English Bulldog and the English Terrier. The first known Boston Terrier was called “Judge.” William O’Brian of Boston sold the dog to Robert C. Hooper who was also from Boston, reports the AKC. This was the beginning of the Boston Terrier.
They are called the American Gentleman not only because of their origins, but because of their gentle disposition. Their kind personalities make them fantastic house pets. Reputable breeders carefully select for these wonderful personality traits. It’s important to select a respected breeder if you are considering purchasing a Boston Terrier.
- They are a University Mascot
Keeping their roots in the city of Boston, the Boston Terrier is the mascot for the well-known Boston University. As a large university with over 32,000 students, BU has a wide range of athletics that are all represented by their Boston Terrier mascot. Players and fans alike are simply called “Terriers.”
The Mascot himself is named Rhett. This name is taken from the character from Gone With the Wind. The colors of BU are scarlet and white and as stated on the Terriers’ page, “no one loves Scarlet more than Rhett.”
- They are Extremely Playful
Boston Terriers are well known for being playful and having plenty of energy. The type of exercise you give a Boston can vary widely, depending on where you live and what your housing arrangements are. Luckily, Boston Terriers aren’t too picky about their exercise, so long as they have a chance to put that energy somewhere.
An ideal situation is to provide a fenced-in yard for a Boston Terrier, however due to their small size, the yard itself doesn’t have to be large. If there is enough room to throw a ball, that’s enough for a Boston! Because of their terrier ancestry and instincts, many Bostons will enjoy chasing balls, frisbees, and other dog toys.
Access to a dog park can also be a great asset. Boston Terriers tend to be social creatures, and love to run and play off-leash with other dogs. It’s important to understand dog park etiquette before going to one. Try starting at the park when it’s quiet to see how your Boston Terrier does. Gradually increase visits and begin going at busier times. It’s important to remember that even though Boston Terriers are high energy and appear to have no fear, they are still quite small! Safety should always be an important concern.
Due to their shortened muzzle, Boston Terriers are more likely to overheat quickly than some other dogs. Take precautions when playing outside in the summer months. Bring plenty of water to keep your Boston Terrier hydrated. Wherever you are, be sure to find a shady spot where your Boston can relax and cool down. If your Boston Terrier appears much overheated, it’s okay to cut play time short and find an air conditioned space. You can always make up for it later.
- They Excel at Agility
Since they have a ton of energy, Boston Terriers make excellent agility competition dogs. The Boston Terrier is a smart breed, and will learn obedience and even agility courses quickly, with plenty of enthusiasm.
Agility is especially fun for Bostons because of their love for running and playing. Courses that include jumping, climbing, and running through tunnels will be great for a Boston Terrier and a lot of fun for you to watch!
If you are considering doing agility with your Boston Terrier, get ready for some exercise of your own! Despite their small stature and short legs, Boston Terriers are fast. Any owner planning to do agility with one will have their own fitness tested during the agility trials!
- Above All, They are People Pleasers
A Boston’s playful spirit and excellence at obedience activities is all centered around one fact: they love people! No matter what activity a Boston Terrier is performing, they will do it to the best of their ability if they are with you. In fact, if no person is there, they may not do it at all!
A Boston Terrier is certainly not an outside dog. They don’t possess the independent spirit of some breeds, and prefer to be with human companions as much as possible. Their social nature is what draws them to activities such as dog parks and dog day care. They love to interact with others!
Because they are so people focused, Boston Terriers can make excellent therapy dogs. Their small size means they can visit with a human in need in almost any situation. They are often equally happy curling up in someone’s lap as they are playing with that person in the yard. Because they are so loving, they do well with almost anyone – from young children to seniors. They truly are a lovable dog!
- Despite Their Short Coat, They Do Shed
Their short coat may seem appealing to a future dog owner with allergies, but the Boston Terrier does in fact shed. And they shed year round, so be ready to brush them about once a week. Choose a brush that is gentle on the skin, since the Boston Terrier has a short, single-layered coat. Weekly brushing and a basic vacuuming schedule can keep the hair under control.
Boston Terriers are also prone to dander, which is the real culprit when it comes to allergies. If you have your heart set on a Boston though, diet can keep the dander under control. High quality, fish-based dog foods are rich in omega-3s and healthy oils that keep a dog’s skin in good condition. If switching food isn’t an option, fish oil food additives can also be purchased to keep your Boston’s coat glossy and their skin healthy.
Share photos of your Boston Terrier with us! We’d love to see what kinds of activities your Boston’s love to do with you.