The Barking Lot
Sit, stay, learn! Our blog about all things dog.
A little dog with a big personality makes the Boston terrier is a popular breed. Diminutive – usually between 15 to 17 inches high and 10 to 25 pounds in weight – but enthusiastic, well-mannered and alert while being gentle all at the same time. Boston terriers are known for being highly intelligent and eager to learn, making them a joy to train and a fantastic companion dog.
A True Family Pet
Boston terriers make some of the best family pets around, thanks to the playful and affectionate nature of the breed. Not exactly the best watch dog since they happen to be very accommodating to strangers. Boston terriers nevertheless are excellent with elderly people and are reliable and gentle pets when it comes to children – even the kinds of children that can be a bit more “hands on” for their own good. Boston terriers are often so even-tempered that they’re good with other family pets, cats (gasp)!
Of course, Boston terriers do need strong leadership from their human family. All dogs are pack animals, but Boston terriers thrive in a family dynamic where they know their place. Without being trained early on to show them where their rank is in the family “pack,” they can develop behavioral problems including attempts to establish dominance over the human members of the household. Remember, though: a Boston terrier will only do this when there’s a lack of solid leadership for it to get behind.
While smaller dogs often benefit by having increased life expectancies (a well cared-for Boston terrier can easily live to 15 years of age), there are some common health considerations to watch out for. Boston terriers are prone to both eye and breathing problems because they’re so short faced, much in the way other breeds like pugs, or English bulldogs with similar characteristics can also suffer.
Eye problems such as dry eyes, cherry eye, corneal ulcers, corneal dystrophy, glaucoma, entropion, distichiasis and late-onset or juvenile cataracts can occur. Meanwhile, Boston terriers who play a bit too hard in extremely hot or cold weather can find it hard to breathe, and can overheat quite easily if they overexert themselves. Snoring or drooling problems from their short faces are also common.
In many circumstances, Boston terriers can suffer from dry skin on their noses as well, especially in arid climates. This can lead to cracked and even bleeding skin, something that many pet owners may attempt to treat with petroleum jelly. However, this substance is toxic to dogs! The only products that should ever be used on your pet should be organic, all-natural, and non-toxic. Snout Soother from the Natural Dog Company is specially formulated to heal dry, crusty, cracked, and bleeding noses. It has been made with dogs in mind, so it is completely safe, natural, scent-free, and is an ideal choice for Boston terriers who habitually suffer from a dry nose.
Grooming, Exercise and Other Considerations
Boston terriers are great dogs for nearly any environment, as they’re compact enough to do well in an apartment in the city while they’re robust enough to have a good time out in the country – or even just in a well-fenced in backyard. However, Boston terriers do poorly in regions where there are extremes in the weather; if you do live in such an area, it is best to keep your pet inside most of the time except when going for a long walk at least once a day. If you do keep them inside for the majority of the time, make sure to provide them some structured play to keep their spirits up and get them the modicum of exercise they need to stay healthy and happy.
Overall, Boston terriers aren’t much in the way of high-maintenance dogs. Their short-haired and smooth coat is easily groomed with a firm bristle brush; Boston terriers don’t necessarily need regular bathing. An exception to this is to make sure their faces are clean at least once a day; use a damp cloth to ensure their eyes are clear and their nose isn’t dry, apply some Snout Soother if you do see some dry skin, and occasionally clip their nails to ensure your Boston terrier will be a very happy dog indeed.