Dog Breed

Boston Terrier

Fits in your backpack
Primary image of Boston Terrier dog breed
Full Name
Boston Terrier
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Life Span
11 - 13 years
10 - 25 pounds

These dogs are sometimes known as "The American Gentleman" because of their black and white tuxedo coat, and because they can seem very proper, and well mannered. However, anyone who has owned one knows how goofy and playful they really are.

They are very friendly, and make a great family dog. They are small and can be great for apartment living, but they are still terriers so need a good amount of exercise.

Overall the Boston Terrier is a healthy breed, but they do oftentimes have problems with their eyes. The eyes are exposed, and are vulnerable to dust, pollen, and injuries.

United States of America
Bred For
Ratting, Companionship
Family Considerations
Child Friendly

Is the Boston Terrier good with children? Nearly all dogs enjoy playing with small children, but some can play too rough, or be a bit careless. In some cases dogs can get jealous of small children, or try and "herd" them due to their natural instincts.

Stranger Friendly

Is the Boston Terrier friendly with strangers? Getting a dog that is friendly with people really depends on what your lifestyle is. Dogs who are more cautious with strangers oftentimes make good guard dogs, which can be a great fit for some owners. If you are social, live in the city, or frequently have guests over, you may want to consider getting a stranger friendly dog.

Dog Friendly

Is the Boston Terrier friendly with other dogs? Of course this is particularly important if you already have another dog at home. However, it's an important factor to consider as well if you plan on frequently going to the dog park. Otherwise, even a dog who is not automatically friendly with other dogs can be an excellent fit, as they can still be affectionate with their human family.

Likes to Cuddle

Does the Boston Terrier like to cuddle? All dogs want love, but they have different boundaries when it comes to physical affection. If you plan on frequently having a dog on your lap or pushed up against you, then you should consider whether this breed enjoys that.


Does the Boston Terrier like to play? All puppies are playful, but as adults certain dogs are more playful. If you have children, or otherwise want to keep your dog active with plenty of play, there are plenty of options of breeds who will be happy to play all day.

Service Dog Ability

Does the Boston Terrier make a good service dog? When looking to train a service dog it's important to consider how they were historically bred, and if their personality makes a good fit. A service dog must be smart, patient, and obsessed with pleasing their owner. Working dogs are a good fits since service dog 'work' gives them a feeling of accomplishment from doing a job.

Overall Ease of Breed
Ease for Novice

Is the Boston Terrier good for first time owners? Dogs that are good for first time owners are ones who are easy to train, and are eager to please their owner. Very large dogs, or dogs with very high energy may also not be the best for first time owners since it adds a layer of complexity.

Training Potential

How well can the Boston Terrier be trained? This rating is about the training potential of the Boston Terrier. Dogs with high training potential oftentimes are good service dogs, police dogs, and dog show competition dogs. This does not necessarily mean they are the easiest to train, since many will be very intelligent and demanding.

Amount of Shedding

Does the Boston Terrier shed a lot?

Ease of Grooming

Is the Boston Terrier easy to groom?

Exercise Need

Does the Boston Terrier need a lot of exercise?


How smart is the Boston Terrier?

Amount of Barking

How much does the Boston Terrier bark? Does the Boston Terrier bark too much? It depends on your lifestyle, and where you live. Dogs use barking to communicate, keep guard, and alert. A strong bark can be a good characteristic for guard dogs, or flock guardian dogs who need to be vocal.In apartment living you should consider getting a dog who is less vocal.

Guard Dog Ability

Is the Boston Terrier a good guard dog?

Tolerates Being Alone

Is the Boston Terrier good at staying alone? Is the Boston Terrier independent?

Home and Environment Considerations
Good for Apartment Living

Is the Boston Terrier a good apartment dog? Can the Boston Terrier live in an apartment without becoming frustrated or destructive? Typically people immediately consider the size of the dog, but energy level and historical habitat are also factors.


How big is the Boston Terrier?

Tolerates Heat

How much does the Boston Terrier tolerate hot weather? When is it too hot for a Boston Terrier?

Tolerates Cold

How much does the Boston Terrier tolerate cold weather? When is it too cold for a Boston Terrier?

Potential to Run Away

Does the Boston Terrier try to run away? Some dogs have natural wanderlust and are escape artists... they will do everything to get out and explore.

Physical Characteristics
General Health

Is the Boston Terrier a healthy dog? The general health of a Boston Terrier should be measured not just by how many years they live, but how often they have health issues during their lives. It is important to know which health conditions your breed is prone to- hip problems, eye problems, bloating, and arthritis are all common dog health problems.

Energy Level

How energetic is the Boston Terrier? Is the Boston Terrier too energetic for your lifestyle?

Amount of Drooling

How much does the Boston Terrier drool?

Prey Drive

Does the Boston Terrier have a large prey drive? Does the Boston Terrier like to chase birds, cats, and other small animals? Prey drive can be bothersome at the park, but really an issue at home if you have small animals, since this comes as a natural instinct for dogs with high prey drive, to chase cats, birds, etc.


Is the Boston Terrier atheltic? Is the Boston Terrier fast and strong?

The Boston Terrier is a purebred dog that belongs to the Toy Terrier sub group, which falls under the larger Non-Sporting dog breed group.
Non-Sporting group: The Non-Sporting group of dogs is probably the most diverse in the sense that it has a variety of dogs, and they were not all bred for one specific purpose. Each breed in the non-sporting group is unique! They have been primarily bred as house pets, and because of that make excellent additions to the family. Exercise is still important for them, but the typical non-sporting dog does not have the energy of of a sporting or working group dog.
Toy Terrier sub-group: Expect craziness and cuteness all in one. The toy terrier is a toy dog that is very small, perfect for your lap, and will provide endless amounts of love. But at the same time, at their core they are a terrier- with a big personality and plenty of confidence that exceeds their size a hundred times over. They are very alert, so can even serve as a bit of a watchdog- certainly compared to other toy dogs. They were bred to hunt vermin, so they like when they have a job, and they have more energy than the average toy dog. Because of their proud personality, they may not be immediately friendly with strangers or other dogs.

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