Meet the Boston Terrier!

Boston has many icons, from the Red Sox to the Tea Party to the infamous Cheers bar. One of our favorite ones is the Boston Terrier. This famous local pooch is also our state dog, and the official mascot of several local universities. A Somerville, MA vet discusses Boston Terriers below.


Boston Terriers were recognized by the AKC back in 1893. In 1976, they were named the official Bicentennial dog breed. There is a bit of a mystery surrounding the origins of the Boston Terrier. While we know that they originated in Boston in the 1800’s, there are a few variations of the story behind the breed’s development. One version holds that the breed was developed by the coachmen of rich families, and came about through a cross between Bulldogs and the English White Terrier, which is now extinct. Another tale says that a Boston man, Robert Hooper, imported the Bulldog/Terrier cross, which he named Judge. In yet another version, Hooper bought Judge from a local breeder. Judge’s existence has been verified: the rest, we may never know.


Although the Boston Terrier was initially bred as a fighting dog, these guys are actually very lovable and friendly. Affectionate, sensitive, and playful, they are good with children, and are very entertaining to watch. They don’t need very much exercise, which makes them quite popular with senior citizens. They can be a bit stubborn, however, so proper training is a must.


Boston Terriers are quite small, rarely weighing more than 25 pounds. This makes them a great choice for apartment dwellers. These lovable pups are dressed for formal occasions, with a pretty coat that looks rather like a tuxedo. They are brachycephalic, which means they have a shortened upper jaw that gives their faces a cute, scrunched-up look.


Like other brachys, Boston Terriers do have some specific care needs. They are not well-suited to vigorous exercise, because they can lose their breath so quickly. You’ll also need to get a harness, rather than a collar, for your pooch. They are also very sensitive to extreme temperatures, and should only live indoors. Ask your vet for more information on caring for a Boston Terrier, including nutritional needs, suitable activities, and common health issues.

Do you have questions about caring for a Boston Terrier? Call us, your Somerville, MA animal clinic, anytime. We’re here to help!

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