The American Gentleman, as the breed is known, is one of the few original American breeds that isn't a hunting dog. He's dapper and daring, and always well-dressed in his tuxedo.
The Boston Terrier originated in Boston in the late 1800s, when a Bulldog and White English Terrier cross named Hooper's Judge was bred to a female named Gyp. Later crosses to French Bulldogs reduced their size. In the 1910s, the Boston Terrier was the number one breed in America, and they stayed among the ten most popular breeds for the next six decades. They're the state dog of Massachusetts and mascot of Boston University.
Rowdy and rambunctious, the Boston Terrier is among the most entertaining of dogs. His serious expression belies his comical character. He is a very toy-oriented dog and demands a great variety. Avoid overheating, as his short snout makes cooling less efficient. As playful as he is, he's also gentle and loving, content to share a place on the couch as long it's beside you.
Feed your Boston Terrier puppy a puppy food designed for small dogs. Very small puppies should be fed small amounts often---more than larger dogs---because they can't store glucose efficiently. They can easily develop hypoglycemia if they are active and have gone without food for too long. Puppy food for small dogs combats hypoglycemia because it is high in protein, fat and complex carbohydrates. If your puppy becomes sleepy to the point of being hard to rouse, or unresponsive, it's an emergency. Rub syrup on his gums and get him to the veterinarian immediately. Most Bostons outgrow the danger by only a few months of age, but you should be aware of the signs and prevention. Even as adults, a food designed for small dogs is the best choice.
Bostons are somewhat prone to knee problems. If you see your Boston skipping for a step or two, he may have a condition your veterinarian needs to check. He may also eventually develop arthritic changes in his knees. To combat this, add a glucosamine-chondroitin supplement to his diet as soon as he shows any signs of hopping or lameness.
Like all flat-faced dogs, Bostons have a tendency to pass gas. Adding an anti-gas pill to the diet can help your home be gas-free!
Boston Terrier coat care is generally easy. The hair is short and requires only a quick brushing to remove dead hair once a week. But pay attention to any facial skin folds, especially between the eyes and muzzle, as they can harbor moisture and set up an ideal location for infections. To combat this you must clean the folds with an antibacterial wipe and dry thoroughly. For most Bostons, once a week will suffice; for others, once a day.
Bathe your Boston as needed to combat doggy odor. For dogs with healthy skin, we suggest a deodorizing shampoo or a whitener (which can actually give a better shine even to black coats). For those with itchy skin, try an avocado oil or oatmeal-based shampoo.
Most Bostons have healthy ears, but you should still check them for signs of redness, itching or debris weekly. Any time they get goopy, clean with an ear-cleanser. If the goop comes back, see your veterinarian.
Smaller dogs are prone to dental problems and tooth loss, so brush the teeth daily.
Clip the nails every two weeks or so using a medium-duty dog nail clipper.
Boston Terriers hate to slow down for anything, but sometimes age-related physical changes, such as arthritis, make it tough to keep going at full intensity. Besides any intervention recommended by your veterinarian, a soft cushion to lie on and glucosamine chondroitin supplements added to the diet can help soothe aching joints, and keep him as young in body as he is in spirit.