Boston Terriers

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This is a truly American-bred dog. Sweet and friendly, Bostons make excellent companions. Tidy and compact, they not only look dapper, they are kind and polite as well. Boston Terriers have short faces and short hair; they must be black, brindle or seal with white markings.

They are a short-faced breed. Care must be taken to keep them from over-heating and over-exertion. Their shortened airways mean that especial care must  be taken on a walk or when traveling that they don't overheat.


The breed was developed in the stables of Boston after the Civil War. Resulting from crosses between English Bulldogs and white English terriers, an imported dog named "Hooper's Judge" was the first known dog of the breed.

It's thought that the first American war dog was a Boston Terrier. 

He was a stray that made friends with soldiers drilling at Yale Field in New Haven, CT. Corporal Robert Conroy took the dog in and named him Stubby, because of his short legs. He hid the small dog on board the troop ship. Conroy taught Stubby to salute his commanding officers and so the little Boston charmed his way into World War 1.

Stubby served with the 102nd Infantry, 26th (Yankee) Division in France for 18 months, and took part in 18 battles. (Like his cousin, the French Bulldog, loud noises do not bother Bostons in general.)

But Stubby wasn't content to just hang out in the trenches -- he pioneered the most noble of all canine jobs -- Search and Rescue. His specialty was coming out of the trenches and locating wounded soldiers.

In April 1918, during a raid to take Schieprey, Stubby was wounded in the leg by retreating Germans. He was sent to the rear for convalescence but quiet R and R wasn't Stubby's style -- he proceeded to charm and entertain the wounded just like he had done his fellow soldiers. 

All healed up, Stubby returned to the trenches.

After being gassed and nearly dying, Stubby learned to warn his unit of poison gas attacks, and since he could hear the whine of artillery shells before humans, he warned against them as well.

At the end of the war, Conroy smuggled Stubby home. The little dog became a celebrity, leading parades and meeting three Presidents; Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge and Warren G. Harding.

Boston Terriers By the Numbers

Size: They can range in size from under 15 lbs. up to 25 lbs.
Coat Care: 1 – low. Bostons have a short coat which doesn't require brushing. They need an occasional bath to keep their whites white and their blacks black.

Trainability: 8– medium to high. Bostons learn easily but also are easy to distract. 
Energy level: 6. Bostons are friendly and lively. They enjoy walks but must be kept cool to protect their shortened airways.

Good with Children: 8 – They do well with older children and are eager to join in the fun. Due to their shortened airwaves, make sure they don't over exert themselves.
Noise level: medium – 4: Boston Terriers will bark when strangers approach but are not a noisy breed.

Low Shedding/hypoallergenic: – 3, low Bostons do shed but have have very little dander.

To get more information or to find a Boston Terrier puppy, contact the Boston Terrier Club of America to start your search. Enjoy the short video below to see some Bostons in action. 

Stubby was a courageous charmer who delighted a generation. This All-American dog just might be the right companion for you as well.

Tell Us About YOUR Dog!

People come to About Small Dogs to find a good dog, one that matches their lifestyle, their family and what they yearn for.

The best people to explain the finer points of what a breed is like are the people who own and are owned by them.

If you own this breed, this means YOU. What is your dog like? What stories can you tell? What would you like to say to someone who is considering your breed? What is your dog's sterling qualities? How about some of his or her not so great characteristics? Tell us a bit about the ideal owner for your breed as well.

People become good dog owners because they are educated. You know your breed better than any others. Share what you know!

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