Boston Terrier Dog Breed

Country of Origin: United States
Height: 15–17 inches [est.]
Weight: Three classes—under 15 pounds/15 pounds to under 20 pounds/20–25 pounds; 20 pounds to no more than 25 pounds [AKC]|under 15 pounds (7 kg) up to and including 25 pounds [UKC]
Coat: Short, smooth, bright, fine
Colors: Black, brindle, seal; white markings
Other Names: Boston Bull; Boston Bull Terrier
Registries (With Group): AKC (Non-Sporting); UKC (Companion)

Origin and History

Named after his city of origin—Boston, Massachusetts—the Boston Terrier is as American as apple pie and baseball. In 1865, Robert C. Hooper, a resident of Boston, purchased an English Bulldog–white English Terrier cross. This mixed-breed dog, with his dark brindle color and white blaze, became known as Hooper's Judge. At the time, bulldog and terrier mixes were used for the horrific sport of dog fighting and bullbaiting, and it is believed that Hooper's Judge may have been imported from England for that very purpose. Luckily, Mother Nature had other intentions, and Hooper's Judge was bred with a white female of unknown origin. Several generations of dogs later (and probably with some French Bulldog crossings), the modern Boston Terrier was born. Because the breed possessed so fine a disposition and was free of its ancestors' fighting temperament, it gained the nickname "The American Gentleman." At the time, the breed was known by the name "Round-Headed Bull and Terrier," but by 1891, it had been renamed "Boston Terrier" and the Boston Terrier Club of America (BTCA) was formed. From 1905 to 1939, the Boston Terrier was the most popular dog in the United States and today remains a popular and devoted companion dog.

Personality Profile

Keen, intelligent, and biddable, the Boston is a dog who can adapt to almost any situation and thrive in it. He has a sense of humor and can be quite playful, yet he will settle down nicely at home with his family.

Care Requirements


The Boston loves to get out and about, but his exercise needs aren't great. A few walks around the block to stretch his legs and satisfy his curiosity will suit him fine, and he gets the rest of his exercise from following his people around the house.


The Boston Terrier's short, sleek, coat is easy to keep clean with a fine brush and a brisk rub with a soft cloth. The wrinkles and fine skin on his face need attention, as they attract dirt and dust.

Life Span

The average life span of the Boston Terrier is about 15 years.


The Boston is a quick and eager learner who takes well to training and is a frequent competitor in all manner of dog sports and activities, from agility to therapy.

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