The author is a proud parent of a Boston Terrier. She enjoys sharing her
knowledge on various researched topics on the canine world.
5 Important Pros and Cons of the Boston Terrier Breed
Erik McLean @ Pexels
Owning a Boston Terrier
As of 2019, the Boston Terrier breed ranks #21 in popularity out of 190
purebred dogs by the American Kennel Association. Known as the “American
Gentleman,” the non-sporting dog’s bloodlines originated in the United
States—an obvious fact because of the notoriety of its name. The animal is
well-known for its cheerful disposition, playfulness, good nature, and
energetic companionship, making them a smart and solid choice for a pet. Let’s
take a closer look at the breed’s history, its physical characteristics, and 5
important pros and cons to help us decide if this type of dog is the right fit
for you and your family.
Dogs got personality.
Personality goes a long way.
— Quentin Tarantino
A Short History of the Breed
In 1870, a man from Boston, Massachusetts, by the name of Robert C. Cooper
adopted a dog suspected of having original Bull and Terrier or English Bulldog
ancestry. The owner bred Hooper’s Judge with a French Bulldog, downsizing
the offspring and giving the ancestral base to the modern day Boston Terrier.
By 1893, the original Bull Terrier Club of Boston changed its name to the
Boston Terrier Club, legitimizing the breed’s namesake and the rest, as they
say, is history.
The difference in appearance between a Boston Terrier and a French Bulldog.
By Internet Archive Book Images [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons
The typical Boston stands 12 to 17 inches tall when measured at the shoulder
and weighs on an average from 15 to 25 pounds. Though smaller in stature, the
build of the canine is well-balanced with a compact frame, sturdy chest,
square head, and short muzzle. The breed’s most prominent features are large,
round, expressive, seal-like eyes, pointed bat-like ears, and the usual black
or brindle coat with white markings, showcasing the physical qualities of an
altogether handsome-looking dog.
An expressive and peaceful Boston Terrier.
susanne906 @ Pixabay
The Five Important Pros
- Affinity for Children and the Elderly
- Charming Individualistic Personalities
- Quiet/Limited Tendency to Bark
- Energetic and Playful
- Simple Grooming/Low-Impact Shedding
The Boston enjoys the company of children, the elderly, other dogs, and even
cats. Given their congenial behavior, it’s no wonder they are stranger-
friendly. Charming to the core, each has its very own quirky disposition.
Intelligent, gentle, mood-sensitive, polite, playful, and downright
clownish—these are just some personality traits that define their
adaptability. Often peaceful, they seldom yap or bark at other pets or passing
strangers, hence the reason this breed does not make the best guard dogs.
The breed is well-known as lovers—not fighters, despite the origins of their
suspected pit-fighting history. Energetic and playful, this type of dog finds
himself the center of attention with lots of frivolity, hugs, and affectionate
petting. In such a case, the owner is fortunate since they are low maintenance
with minimal shedding or grooming needs. * __ __
__ * __
Boston Terriers Make Wonderful Companions
Pixaby CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication
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The Five Important Cons
- Sensitive to Owner’s Mood
- Sullenness and/or Stubbornness
- Slow to Routine Housebreaking
- Eye, Obesity, and Respiratory Health Issues
- Gluttonous Appetite and Flatulence
The Boston is pleasant by nature, yet sensitive to an owner’s mood. The dog
needs emotional stability to cope with its own nature. If given a harsh tone
or shamed to enforce obedience, this may cause a bout of sullenness or
stubbornness. Hence, another reason to take special care when training the
animal during housebreaking. Their intelligence does not supersede their
occasional need for insolent retribution.
Besides behavioral concerns, owners must keep in mind various health factors
pertaining to eye and respiratory issues given their susceptibility to
glaucoma and constant wheezing because of extreme heat or when pulled by the
collar. Obesity is another health concern that comes into play. The breed
comes with a voracious appetite with a tendency toward gluttony. Therefore,
owners must be careful with diet and not hand over human table scraps or
sugary foods, which often contribute to canine diabetes.
Despite the few cons that come along with this dog, if an owner avoids the
pitfalls which go along with these negative traits, the Boston Terrier makes a
wonderful pet. If you are a prospective owner and want a head-start on
training: _The Boston Terrier Handbook: The Essential Guide for New and
Prospective Boston Terrier Owners _by Linda Whitwam, delivers an excellent
wealth of information and gives the reader a key insight on personality and
traits and how to work with their varied behaviors, a definite keeper of those
invaluable reads that I suggest from my library.
Eight-Week-Old Boston Terrier Puppy
Travis Swan via Wikimedia Commons
Beware of the Teacup Ruse
There is no such thing as a Teacup pup! Any breeder trying to pass off a
Boston Terrier as a miniature teacup or mini-sized breed is setting the buyer
up with potential health problems, which might drain the bank in lieu of
veterinarian care. These dogs are runts of the litter, bred to one another
with a result of an even smaller runt born with faulty genetic traits. BUYER
An Owner and Writer’s Perspective
As an owner, I can’t say enough about this wonderful breed. After losing my
beloved Boxer, a few years passed before I adopted a female Boston. It so
happened that my adopted dog had the same medical condition as my belated pet,
a mass chain of cancerous tumors in the mammary.
Unlike my Boxer, my new dog was fortunate that she still had time for removal
since she only had low-grade cancer. After two operations, we are now cancer-
free, and my dog is living a happy, healthy life thanks to the lesson learned
with my Boxer, Fiona.
Do not wait! If you will not breed your pet, the wisest choice one could make
is to spay as soon as possible to avoid this predicament. I wouldn’t have had
to spend a few thousand dollars if the previous owner of my Boston had done
Cited Sources and Works
- American Kennel Club Association: Most Popular Breeds 2017
- Linda Whitwam. The Boston Terrier Handbook: The Essential Guide for New and Prospective Boston Terrier Owners, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 1, 2016)
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It
is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription,
or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional.
Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a
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