boston terrier pup on white background

Boston Terrier

Breed Characteristics

Despite the name “terrier,” the Boston Terrier was not bred to chase vermin but to be a companion animal. An average watchdog, as Bostons can get very friendly towards strangers. Generally well-mannered; adult Boston Terriers are especially laid-back. Cannot handle extremes climates.

Is the Boston Terrier approved as a pet in a Singapore HDB flat?



Boston, 1870s. Originating in the city of Boston, Massachusetts, the Boston Terrier is one of the few breeds developed in the USA. The English Bulldog and English White Terriers (extinct) are in the bloodline. The first Boston Terriers were larger than the ones seen today, weighing up to 20 kg (Olde Boston Bulldogge). It is hard to believe that these little dogs were once tough pit-fighters. Terrier only in name, the Boston Terrier has mellowed from the pit fighting dogs of the past.

Original Purpose


Behaviour and Temperament

Boston Terriers are known to be gentle, playful, lively, enthusiastic, friendly, and strong-willed.

What are some Physical Features of the Boston Terrier?

30.5 to 43 cm; 5 to 11.5 kg. Short snout and muzzle. Colours are black, brindle, or seal with white markings including a muzzle band, blaze, and fore chest. A white collar and white markings on the legs are also desirable.

Coat Type and Recommended Grooming

Short, shiny. Minimal care; Boston Terriers require once-a-week brushing. However facial area cleaning is recommended to make sure the wrinkle area is clean, dry and clear from skin infection. Minimal shedding. Estimated grooming charges in Singapore: Basic, S$45-60. (Full grooming is not required.)

Life Expectancy of the Boston Terrier

10 to 15 or more years.

Have a Boston Terrier?

Health Concerns

Bloat, respiratory problems, tumours, Cushing’s disease, thyroid disease, deafness, heart problems, skin problems (allergies), cancer, and eye problems such as cataracts, entropion, glaucoma, corneal dystrophy, corneal ulcers and cherry eye.

Exercise Needs

Low to medium. Daily long walks are all that is required for the Boston Terrier to stay in shape. These short-faced dogs may have breathing difficulties when stressed by exertion in hot or cold weather and can overheat if they are pushed too hard. However, without the proper amount of mental and physical exercise, Boston Terriers can become restless and marginally high strung.


Ideal for apartment life. They are relatively inactive indoors and will do well even without a yard. Boston Terriers may suffer on hot days in Singapore if not sufficiently cooled.


Most Boston Terriers are very good with kids; some may not be tolerant of young children. Especially good with elderly people and can get very friendly with strangers. Generally good with other pets; some males can be somewhat aggressive to other male dogs.


High, although the Boston Terrier breed is known to be stubborn. Some may be difficult to housebreak.

Recommended Activities

Obedience, agility.