VCA Lewelling Animal Hospital

Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier

Basic Boston Terrier Information

  • Lifespan: 10 - 14 years
  • Height: 15 - 17 inches
  • Weight: 10 - 25 pounds

Medical Conditions Seen in Boston Terriers

Boston Terrier Traits

  • Joggin Partner
  • Lap Dog
  • Good with Children
  • Warm Weather
  • Cold Weather
  • Grooming Requirements
  • Shedding
  • Barking
  • Ease of Training

Boston Terrier History

  • The Boston Terrier originated, not surprisingly, in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • The coachmen of wealthy Bostonians interbred their employers' dogs to create dogs for themselves. Around 1865, a cross between an English Terrier and a Bulldog produced a dog named Hooper's Judge. Judge weighed in at 30 pounds, but in subsequent generations smaller dogs arose as his descendents were bred to smaller females, and probably to French Bulldogs as well.
  • By 1889, the breed was established to the extent that fanciers formed the American Bull Terrier Club. A new name had to be found, however, because a breed called the Bull Terrier already existed, and its fanciers complained. After several name suggestions, including "Roundheads," the name Boston Terrier was agreed upon.
  • The AKC recognized the Boston Terrier in 1893. This may be the shortest period between the creation of an entirely new breed and AKC recognition.
  • At first, color and markings were immaterial, but by the early 1900s, the breed's distinctive coat pattern became essential.
  • Between 1905 and 1935, the Boston Terrier was consistently the first or second most popular breed in America.

Boston Terrier Behavior Concerns

  • Makes a devoted and lively companion.
  • Playful and affectionate.
  • Very good with children.
  • Somewhat reserved toward strangers.
  • Usually good with strange dogs, although may initially challenge them.
  • Good with other pets.
  • Clever, but can be stubborn. It tends to rebel against forceful methods.
  • Does best with reward-based training with good control and leadership.
  • Some bark a lot.

Boston Terrier Suggested Exercises

  • Makes a calm and alert housedog.
  • Requires daily exercise in the form of a walk, short jog, or energetic games.
  • Ball-chasing is a favored game.
  • Obedience provides needed mental exercise.
  • Does not tolerate cold well because of its small size and short coat.
  • Does not tolerate heat well because of its flat face.

Boston Terrier Grooming

  • Coat is short, flat and fine.
  • The coat needs only weekly brushing to remove dead hair.
  • Shedding is average.

Suggested Boston Terrier Nutritional Needs

  • Boston Terriers tend to stay in good weight or tend to be slightly overweight.
  • Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight.

Did you know?

  • Grapes and raisins are harmful to dogs.
  • Some dog parasites are transferable to humans.
  • Many common pet ailments may be detected early and prevented by visiting your veterinarian twice yearly - saving both time, money, and most importantly, ensuring the best quality of life for your dog.

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Have unanswered pet health questions? Dr.Donna Spector, with 10+ years of hands-on Internal Medicine experience, is here with your answers every Friday.


Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, please contact Bay Area Veterinary Specialist at (510) 483-7387