Boston Terrier Club of America

Official National Breed Club of "The American Gentleman"

Boston Terrier FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About Boston Terriers

Every year, the BTCA receives hundreds of questions about the Boston Terrier. 

A few of the most often ask questions and their answers appear below for your convenience.

Are Boston Terriers good family pets? Are they good house dogs?

Boston Terriers were bred to be companion dogs and they are just that. They quickly become a part of the family and are most happy when they are in the company of family members. They do well around children, adults and even other pets. The Boston Terriers is an excellent house dog, being a nice small-medium size dog that can be comfortable to have around.

I would like to own a Boston Terrier but I do not want to buy from the local pet store or from a newspaper ad. How can I find a reputable breeder in my area?

The BTCA maintains a page on our web site that will guide you through the process of finding a good breeder in your area. Visit our Find a Boston page.
boston terriers make good house pets

How long does a Boston Terrier live?

A well-kept and healthy Boston can live well into their teens. The average life span is around 11 to 13 years.

Do Boston Terriers shed?

Yes, a Boston Terrier will shed but since they do not have an undercoat, the hairs are short and usually not a problem in most homes. Weekly brushing and your standard schedule of vacuuming and cleaning your home will keep the small amount of shed hair well under control.

I'm looking for a new Boston Terrier for a pet. How can I tell a good Boston from a bad one?

While there are no “bad” Boston Terriers, there are definitely ethical and responsible ways to go about finding one to add to your family. The first thing you need to do is to read and study the Official Boston Terrier Standard. All reputable breeders will align their breeding practices and decisions with the Boston Terrier Standard. The next thing you need to understand is that "bad" Boston Terriers are bred by people who have no regard for the health and well-being of the breed than any other reason. Most back yard breeders and Puppy Mills (sell online and to pet stores) can turn out Bostons faster than the shelters can rescue them. A Boston, when bred without due consideration as to the Standard, often have health issues and structure faults that are so severe that the quality of life for that puppy will not be as good as one that was produced by a knowledgeable and caring breeder. Choose your breeder and your new Boston carefully and you will be rewarded with a wonderful companion for many years. Remember, getting a new Boston Terrier is one of the few times in your life that you can choose a family member!

I want a Boston Terrier for a pet. Do rescue Boston Terriers make good pets?

It’s a sad fact of life that we as BTCA members and Boston lovers have to deal with the needs of rescued Boston Terriers. But the truth is that most of these little Bostons are just as loving as any. The only difference is that many have started off life under less than happy circumstances. Many are well loved pets that the owners can no longer properly care for due to personal health or other reasons and need new homes. The BTCA has a network of Boston Terrier rescue groups all across the U.S. that make sure that each and every Boston that is in need of a new home gets a chance to be adopted by a loving family. For more information, visit our Boston Terrier Rescue page.

My Boston has a little circle of dark hair on top of his head in the middle of his white blaze. I see not all Bostons have this. What is it?

This spot is called a Haggery Spot. One of the old founding lines of Bostons way back in the early 1900's was owned by the Haggertys. Many of their Bostons were born with the dot on the top of their heads, and the marking became associated with the line. Hence, when you see it, it is ofter referred to as a "Haggerty dot", "spot". Most lines can be traced to Haggerty stock way back, and the dot pops out once in a while in just about any of the present kennels. Vincent Perry, a very honoured international all-breed judge, and highly respected Boston breeder who wrote "The Boston Terrier", a book that went to at least 5 editions, called it "the kiss of God" and considered it the icing on the cake as far as perfect markings were considered.
little girl holding two puppies

I have a young Boston Terrier that I would like to breed. How can I find another Boston Terrier to breed to?

The very first thing you need to ask yourself is .."Why do I want to breed my Boston Terrier?" If you are breeding just because you want puppies, please stop and consider the fact that there are too many Boston Terriers found in shelters now. Too many people breed their dogs to the first one that they find that is close to them. A breeding of convenience is the worst thing you can do the breed as a whole and as a breeder. You must first research the background of your Boston and know its pedigree for at least three generations and their general health. Then know the same of the other Boston you plan on using. You must know the strengths of each generation and also their weaknesses. You must decide if that pedigree will help you improve the breed overall. You must never breed any two dogs that have the same faults or weaknesses. This only sets the breed back in development. You must try to find another dog that will help correct any weakness in your dog or line. Now...once you have done your homework and you are sure you want to breed your Boston, find a reputable breeder and ask questions and then listen to the many other things that you must be aware of before, during and after the breeding. If you are still wanting to breed, then make sure that when you do, you realize that you are helping create another litter of Bostons and YOU alone will be responsible for those puppies until they pass away...even if you have sold them as pets. Breeding Boston Terriers should not be taken lightly and done only after long and careful consideration as to the outcome. If you have made it this far in your desire to breed your Boston, step back and think about it one more time....are you sure? you must find that special other Boston to be the other parent of your new litter. That search is up to you...but don't take the easy way out and breed to the Boston on the block down the street!

Can Boston Terriers do agility?

If you want to see something that is not only exciting but fun for the whole family, then find an agility match that has Bostons in it...or go to the BTCA Agility competition held during the BTCA Nationals. There you will see just how athletic a Boston Terrier can really be. They can jump with the best of breeds. They can weave, run, sit & stay, go up and down planks, go through tunnels and anything else that is ask of them. But best of all, they can steal your heart as you watch them compete with all the heart of a true champion. For more information, visit our Versatility page.