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What Should I Know Before Adopting a Boston Terrier?


Are you thinking of adopting a Boston Terrier? They are such a great breed of dog and make perfect pets, but there are a few things you should know before bringing one into your home. In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know before adopting a Boston Terrier, from their personality traits to what they need in terms of care. By the end, you will be an expert on all things Boston Terrier and be ready to bring one into your life!

Known as the ultimate gentleman for its dapper good looks and gentle nature the Boston Terrier makes a great apartment pet and loves kids.

Boston Terriers are categorized as a non-sporting breed and are far removed from their fighting, ratting pasts, having been bred mainly as a companion dog for many generations. Generally, they are quiet dogs and love people and children, though if they are poorly socialized as puppies they can be a little nervous.

Bostons are sturdy, muscular and robust dogs and although they tend to be boisterous with boundless energy, if exercised daily can adapt to apartment living.


I would be happy living with a family, single person or an older person. So long as I’m not left alone for long periods, as I do like human company. I am perfectly content to snuggle up on the couch and do not need constant activity and play like many other terrier breeds. I can be a little protective of my family at times, so please take care to train and socialize me as a puppy. Take a look at some of our dog training articles to get started.


Lifespan 12-14 years
Weight 5-11 kg (11-24 lb)
Height (at shoulder) 38-43 cm (1’2-1’4)



Stubborn/strong-willed – Boston Terriers are known to be a little stubborn at times. They can be easily trained if motivated and only positive training methods are used, but they will often have a mind of their own.

Loyal – A Boston will often bond very closely to one person in the family and be extremely loyal. This can translate to a dog that is not suited to long periods of being alone and perhaps even a bit snappy if not socialized appropriately.

Affectionate – Bostons love absolutely everyone and thrive in a family where they get lots of attention. They love cuddles, brushing and play and need to be with another dog or their family rather than being left alone for long periods.


Exercise Requirements Low – 0-0.5 hours per day
Training Requirements Low – 0-0.5 hours per day
Apartment Friendly? Yes


Boston Terriers are small dogs that do not require vigorous exercise but do love to go out on excursions with the family. They should not be left alone for long periods and will bond very closely with their owners. Training requirements are minimal, so they are ideally suited to elderly owners and apartment dwellers.


Trips to the Groomer No – easy care at home
Tick Friendly? Yes
Hypoallergenic No
Brushing Low – Little to now brushing
Hair fall Moderate Shed – will drop some hair, but not excessive
Coat Type Short



Good With Kids Excellent – Good with kids of any age
Good With Other Small Pets High – Good with other smaller animals
Sociability Medium – Can live alone or with others.


Boston Terriers are sturdy little dogs that if socialized when young are great with kids of any age. If not socialized they can be a little nervous and worried about interactions with children and other dogs. They don’t have a high prey drive, unlike other terriers, so most are safe with smaller animals such as cats so long as they are supervised.


Overall Expenses (Annual) Low $1000-$1500
Veterinary Expenses (Annual) Low – $100-$300
Food Expenses (Weekly) Low – $5-$10




Tracheal collapse – many Bostons have a characteristic ‘goose honk’ cough with exercise or excitement due to the tracheal cartilages being a little weak, this can lead to increased risk of airway infections.

Dental disease – Small breed dogs often get significant dental disease, sometimes through poor diet and lack of chewing, but also simply due to genetic factors. Implementing daily brushing, diets that involve chewing and perhaps water additives can help.

Luxating patella – Bostons often have knee caps that pop in and out, sometimes with no pain, but in a relatively small number of cases they need surgical correction.

Brachycephalic Airway Disease – one of the trade-offs for that cute snub-nose is breathing difficulties, particularly with exercise. Those narrow nostrils and the long soft palate can be surgically corrected to help some dogs. Most Bostons will snore and they must avoid weight gain or exercise in hot conditions.


Keeping your Boston Terrier a healthy, lean weight will limit orthopedic diseases and complications from luxating patellas, breathing difficulties and tracheal collapse.
Implementing some strategies such as water additives, daily brushing and chewing can help limit the risk of costly dental treatment later in life.

Avoid exercising your Boston in the heat of the day, as they can easily overheat and develop heatstroke.

Having large, protuberant eyes on the front of the head, without protection from a long nose can mean that Bostons are more prone to eye trauma. Some may even sleep with their eyes partly open, leaving them susceptible to drying. If your Boston has weepy, red eyes or is squinting, see your vet immediately for assistance.


The Boston Terrier is one of the few breeds that originate in the US and was the first American bred breed to be registered by the American Kennel Club.

The Boston is known as the ‘American Gentleman’. They originated from one dog owned by Robert C. Hooper, coming from a Bull Terrier lineage. The breed was very popular in Boston in 1870, which is where it got the name Boston Terrier.

Boston Terriers are popular therapy dogs in the US and Canada due to their love of people and calm temperament.

The round circle on the top of some Boston Terrier’s heads is known as the ‘kiss of God’ and is thought to represent that the dog is descended from one of the original Haggerty family dogs from the early 1900’s.


Petfinder lists all types of dogs who need homes, both purebred and mixed breeds, adults and puppies.

The ASPCA often has Bostons for adoption, just do an advanced search on their adoption page.

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