The Boston Terrier
The Boston Terrier is a popular, small-sized dog breed that originated in America. The Boston Terrier was developed in the late 1800s by crossing Bulldog and now-extinct White English Terrier. First Boston Terrier was named Judge and he represents the founding dog of the Boston Terrier breed.
FUN FACT: Although they are called Boston Terriers, these dogs are not technically terriers.
The breed was accepted by the American Kennel Club in 1893 and was named the official dog of Massachusetts in 1979.
FUN FACT: The Boston Terrier has been the official mascot of Boston University for nearly 100 years.
The Boston Terrier is 15-17 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs 12-25 pounds. There is a little difference in size between males and females. Boston Terriers are compact, well-proportioned dogs with a square head, short muzzle, and large, expressive eyes. Ears are usually small and erect, but, sometimes it happens that a Boston Terrier is born with floppy ears, that are then cropped. The tail is short.
The Boston Terrier has short, sleek and shiny coat that sheds moderately. Boston Terriers are low maintenance and require only weekly brushing with a soft bristle brush to get rid of dead hair and keep the coat beautiful. Regular nail trimming and teeth brushing are also needed. Boston Terriers are a little more demanding when it comes to eye care. Their face and area around the eyes should be washed every day and eyes should be checked for signs of redness or irritation. The Boston Terrier’s coat comes in three colors: black, seal (black with red cast) and brindle. They have white markings on a muzzle, face blaze and chest. These white markings make Boston Terrier look like he is wearing a tuxedo.
FUN FACT: Because they are such a well-mannered breed and have tuxedo-like markings, Boston Terrier is also known as “The American Gentleman”.
Boston Terriers require exercise but the amount of exercise varies from individual to individual. For Boston Terriers a few daily walks or sessions of fetch are a better choice than long, hard exercises. Boston Terriers are bright, outgoing, and active dogs, always ready to play. They are indoor dogs that need to be protected from extreme cold, as well as from very hot weather, as they can get overheated easily. They are people-oriented dogs and they thrive on human contact and attention. Boston Terriers make an awesome family pets and companions. They go along great with children and other pets. And, although they are small-sized dogs, Boston Terriers are protective of their family, and some of them make great guard dogs. Because Boston Terrier is born to be with people, if left alone for to long Boston Terrier tends to become frustrated and can develop undesirable behaviors, so make sure that your Boston Terrier is always occupied with all kind of toys for physical and mental stimulation.
Boston Terriers are known for their intelligence. Although they are quick learners, sometimes training a Boston Terrier can be a nightmare. These dogs can be extremely stubborn, so consistency and persistence are necessary when training them. Training, as well as socialization, should start from an early age. Boston Terriers are sensitive to their owners’ moods and tone of voice so punishment can cause them shutting down. This is why the training should be motivational and filled with positive reinforcement. Delicious treats are what make Boston Terriers interested in listening to you and your command.
Boston Terriers are lively, funny, cheerful little dogs, ideal for families, but everyone getting a Boston Terrier should be aware that this breed is prone to suffer from all kinds of health problems, especially those related to the physical structure of the breed’s head, face, and body. First of all, Boston Terriers belong to a class of dogs called brachycephalic (dogs with short muzzle). This type of dogs can suffer from several chronic breathing problems. Also, because of their short noses, Boston Terriers snort, snore, snuffle, wheeze, grunt and often drool.
TIP: Because Boston Terriers can have serious respiratory problems, you should avoid using classic collar and pulling the dog on the collar to get him to go what you want. You should always use harness while walking your Boston.
Their eyes require special care. Boston Terriers are prone to suffer from a lot of eye and eye-related problems, such as glaucoma, corneal ulcers, or cataracts. Cataracts can be early-onset hereditary cataracts and late-onset hereditary cataracts. Boston Terriers can be genetically tested for early-onset hereditary cataracts. A lot of Bostons’ owners use saline eye drops daily in order to clean the dog’s eyes and flush out dirt and dust. Boston Terriers can also suffer from hereditary spine and joint disease, such as luxating patella (when kneecap is dislocated out of its normal location) or hemivertebrae (when bones of the spine are abnormally shaped – most commonly seen as so called “screw tail” or “corkscrew tail” when tail bones are not shaped normally). Some other conditions Boston Terriers are prone to heart murmurs, deafness, brain tumors, etc.
Some Boston Terriers have a delicate digestive system that causes them to fart a lot. But, once you figure out what food agrees with your dog’s digestive system (usually real meat and vegetables), gassiness is not a problem anymore.
Boston Terriers are prone to obesity, so make sure to monitor your Boston Terrier’s meals and to give him enough exercise.
FUN FACT: A healthy Boston Terrier has a long life expectancy of 11-13 years.
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