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Canine Breed Spotlight: Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier!

Dog breed group: Non-sporting

Average life expectancy: 11-13 years

History

The Boston Terrier originated in the United States in the 1870s in Boston, Massachusetts. In the past this breed of dog was primarily bred as a pit fighting dog. The original Boston Terrier was a dog named “Judge”, he was Bulldog/English Terrier cross- a sturdy dog with a blocky head. “Judge” and his offspring were bred with the smaller French Bulldog until the Boston Terrier we know today was created; a small, compact dog with a short tail and erect ears.

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Temperament

These dogs have left their fighting days behind and are now known for their friendly and happy temperament. Each Boston Terrier is different, some are stubborn, some are very high spirited and excitable, other can be calm and gentle. These dogs love to play games! Fetch, dock diving, flyball and agility are all favorites. Because of their sweet and charming personalities Boston Terriers are also popular therapy dogs.

Is this breed right for you?

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  • Boston Terriers have a short face, this makes them prone to snorting, snuffling, wheezing, snoring, so they can be noisy sleepers.
  • They are highly active and need exercise and will do better when the owners are at home for the majority of the day.
  • They are slow to house train. This is due to their stubborn streak. Expect to put a lot of time and effort into crate training and housebreaking your Boston Terrier.

Health concerns

Both pure-bred and mixed-breed dogs have varying kinds of health problems that may be either influenced by genetics or environmental factors. Here is a look at some health concerns that are commonly seen in the Boston Terrier.

This breed is brachycephalic (short faced) and this can lead to some health problems. This is what makes them snort and snore. It can also cause episodes of reverse sneezing. The short face also makes them “bug-eyed” which can lead to eye problems such as cataracts, corneal ulcers and glaucoma. Brachycephalic breeds also at a slightly higher anesthetic risk than dogs with long faces.

Boston Terriers can be prone to luxating patelllas (loose knee caps). Patellar luxation is a condition in which the kneecap (patella) slides out of its normal place. If this occurs in your pet, surgical correction may be needed. If your Boston Terrier has problems with their rear legs it may cause them to lean forward and stand more onto the forelegs. This can cause a curvature of the back called roaching.

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