Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier


Boston Terriers or the ‘American Gentleman’ as it is usually referred to as, is a small, compact dog with calm and friendly nature. It holds a place in the top 20 most popular dog breeds in the US.

Lifetime Care

Breed Profile


9 – 15



10 - 25


Life Span

11 – 13




Brachycephalic Airway Obstructive Syndrome

of dogs

What is it?:

Found in dogs with a short nose, brachycephalic airway obstructive syndrome is a condition which affects breathing and can lead to respiratory complications.

Clinical signs

The clinical symptoms of this condition may include -

  • Rapid breathing

  • Breathing difficulty

  • Noisy / laboured breathing

  • High pitched wheezing

  • Open-mouth breathing

  • Sitting up or keeping chin in an elevated position when sleeping

  • Sleeping with toy between teeth to keep mouth open to compensate for nasal obstruction

  • discoloration of the skin, due to low blood oxygen in the lungs

  • Stress and heat intolerance during exercise.

  • Snoring, gagging, choking, regurgitation, vomiting


The treatment is often a surgery recommended by the vet. The treatment would include widening the nostrils, removing the excess tissue of an elongated soft palate, or removing everted laryngeal saccules.

Average vet bill for Brachycephalic Airway Obstructive Syndrome


Reimbursement Rate

Amount a Spot accident & illness plan would cover*


Your Net payment


*Hypothetical reimbursement examples illustrate reimbursement of an eligible vet bill at the noted reimbursement rate, assuming the annual deductible had already been met.


Luxating Patellas

of dogs

What is it?:

Patellar luxation is a condition where the kneecap (patella) slips out of the groove in which it normally rides up and down. It could be slipped medially, which is towards the opposite leg, as opposed to laterally, which would be away from the dog.

Clinical signs

Skipping or hoping for a few strides while running and kicking the leg frequently to put the kneecap back in place.


If it is a mild condition of luxating patellas, common arthritis medicine would work. But, if the problem is severe then a re-alignment surgery would be needed

Average vet bill for Luxating Patellas


Reimbursement Rate

Amount a Spot accident & illness plan would cover*


Your Net payment


*Hypothetical reimbursement examples illustrate reimbursement of an eligible vet bill at the noted reimbursement rate, assuming the annual deductible had already been met.



The Boston Terriers a small statured breed but not a delicate one.


This breed is very intelligent and responds well to training sessions


They are not an aggressive one and will be often found having fun with everyone around them

Lifetime Care


Boston Terriers have a short and smooth coat


The coat comes in brindle with white markings, black with white markings, or seal and white markings.




There is a little bit shedding here but a weekly brush with a soft-bristle one would suffice. Along with that an occasional bath, regular nail trimming and teeth cleaning is important


Intelligence and human friendliness both help here making the training very easy for the owners. They can be sensitive at times so praises and warm hugs can help during training.

The Boston Terriers are basically a toned-down version of Bull Terrier and Terrier type dogs. It originated around 1870s and finds a place with the other only few dog breeds originated in the US. It is also said that the Boston terriers were the first officially recognized breed in the US. They also have a club there called the ‘Boston Terrier Club’. To add on that, the Boston Terrier is the official state dog of Massachusetts since the year 1979.

Despite having aggressive parents, these dogs are quite the opposite of that. Even the fighting spirit is missing from these dogs as they are one of the non-sporting dogs of the US. However, male rivalry may still exist to mark territories. Can’t help that.

Boston Terrier: Introduction to the Breed

Before you own any dog, it is very important to research about it, its nature, physical and emotional traits to check if it suits you and your lifestyle. Here is some additional information about the breed -

The Boston terriers have quite a few unique physical traits that help breeders identify them. These include -

  • Large prominent eyes

  • Square shaped skull

  • Short tail (usually 2 inches)

  • Erect ears with an arched neck

  • Short and wrinkle-free muzzle

  • Broad chest

Best suited for pet-owners:

  • Who have kids

  • Who are first time pet owners

  • Who have a strong and dominant personality

  • Who have sufficient time to spend with the dog

Things to watch-out before deciding to own a Boston Terrier

  • They can make a room very much gassy. And this can be despite a proper diet.

  • These dogs may be little in statue but their snort is not. Otherwise well mannered, they snort like a 65 year old man

  • In general they like to please people but can be really stubborn at times. Once they decide to do or not do something, it will get difficult to convince them otherwise

  • Bostons are an offspring of fighting and working dogs but apparently not built for it. They are more of an indoor dog which are not built for extreme temperatures. So a thick coat will become necessary in winters.

  • A lot of these terriers have a grain allergy. They tend to get dry and red skin in some cases.

What are the potential health issues for Boston terriers?

Some potential issues that can affect Boston terriers are corneal abrasions, deafness, patellar luxation, brachycephalic syndrome, cataracts, seizures, allergies, stenotic nares, and demodicosis.

Since these dogs have more difficulty breathing, it can also cause other health problems that restrict the airways even more, similar to what you would find in pugs or bulldogs.

They are also prone to patellar luxation. The kneecap usually rests in a grove (the trochlear groove) in the femur (the upper bone in a dog’s leg). As the leg moves, the kneecap is supposed to move up and down the groove.

Although it’s not something we like to think about, it’s important to be prepared. Spot Pet Insurance members have access to 24/7 telehealth services powered by VetAccess. We can also help you cover eligible visits to licensed vets across the United States and Canada.

How to be the best pet parent for a Boston terrier?

Boston terriers are friendly and devoted dogs who deserve the best care their family can provide.

It’s important to spend time with your pet and learn their quirks. Boston terriers will love the attention, and their favorite thing is to spend time with their amazing pet parent.

How much does a Boston Terrier dog or puppy cost?

Adoption fee: $50-$3,000

[Expense: first year, following years]

Food: $75-$130, $70-$180

Water/food bowls: $5-$20, N/A

Treats: $40-$240, $40-$240

Collars: $5-$40, N/A

Leashes: $5-$20, $0-$20

Dog bed and crate: $35-$145, N/A

Toys: $15-$50, $0-$50

Vaccines and routine care: $385-$1,095, $280-$645

Heartworm and flea prevention: $5-$15, $155-$220

Total: $570-$1,755, $475-$1,175

For more information on price, check out our blog on what's the price os a Boston terrier?

Basic training and behavior etiquette for your dog

Even though Boston terriers are very social dogs, they need to be socialized while young. This means introducing them to new people, places, and dogs gradually as they get older. If you keep them isolated, they can become antisocial and aggressive.

Boston terriers do well with gentle correction and warmth and praise after they correct their behavior. They are sensitive, so they may sulk if corrected harshly. Treats are an excellent training aid.

What should a Boston Terrier eat?

A regular healthy diet, packaged or home-made both would be good. There are no special diet requirements as such for the breed. Just the fact that during training they tend to respond well to treats, so it is very important to limit the treats as they can get obese. So watch the calorie consumption. And due to their short and flat muzzle, breathing can be difficult at times and the oxygen levels can fall in the body. For that reason, clean and fresh water should be available all the time to compensate for the oxygen requirements.

What type of foods should a Boston terrier never eat?

Although there are many human foods that you can enjoy with your pup, some foods are toxic for dogs to eat and should be avoided. Some of the foods that could be toxic for your Boston terrier are:

Exercising tips to keep your dog to stay fit and healthy

Boston terriers can’t be outside in hot weather for long periods of time since they get overheated very easily. With their short coat, however, Boston terriers can’t handle extreme cold either, so stick to indoor play to meet their exercise needs on cold weather days.

Most Boston terriers prefer to exercise with you. They aren’t very interested in independent play, but they love to play a vigorous game of fetch. They also enjoy going for walks with you, but you should keep them on a leash, so they don’t go off exploring.

If you just let them out into the yard, they tend to wait by the door for you to let them in. Boston terriers want to play with you.

Boston terriers have a moderate energy level and need daily exercise.

Boston terrier life stages

Puppy: 0-2 years

Adult: 2-8 years

Senior: 8-13 years


The Boston Terrier is so well mannered that it has earned the title of ‘The American Gentleman’. On top of that, it is energetic, affectionate, protective, short but strong, intelligent and smart. What else could you ask for in a dog? It is a complete package in itself. Even the few cautions that the breed comes with are nowhere close to the positives. So if you’re looking for a short-cute gentleman in the form of a dog, the Boston Terrier is for you.

Happy Health and Mood to your Dog and Lots of Love and Licks to you!