Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers are known as the "American Gentleman," because of their dapper appearance and their all-American ancestry. They were developed as companion dogs in Boston after the Civil War, and they represented America as the official Bicentennial Dog in 1976. Although they are called terriers, they have more in common with their bulldog ancestors. They are not particularly anxious or high-strung, but their streamlined body is more terrier-like in appearance.

The Boston Terrier is an easy-going, friendly family dog who tends to make friends wherever he goes. They are well-suited for apartment life because their exercise requirements are not strenuous. They make excellent companions for busy people because their grooming needs are not extensive and the appreciate accompanying their owners on any kind of activity, whether it is a quick errand or a short walk.

Boston Terriers are lively, enthusiastic little dogs who can adapt well to just about any living situation. They are well-suited to apartment life because they can fulfill most of their exercise needs with boisterous indoor activity and rambunctious play. Boston Terriers are generally friendly and engaged around people. Part of their reputation as a well-mannered little gentleman comes from their affability and good manners. They won't create too much trouble indoors, but they can become recreational barkers if they are left alone too often. Boston Terriers are alert and intelligent, so they learn fast. They are very sensitive and responsive to their owner's tone of voice and emotions, so training works best when it is positive and reward-based.

Their adorable, pushed-in faces and shortened snouts make them brachycephalic. As a result, they are sensitive to heat and tend to cough and wheeze, especially after straining themselves. Make sure they don't overheat or struggle to breath by keeping them comfortable indoors during hot weather.

The Boston Terrier's fashion-forward "tuxedo" patterned coat is seen in shades of brindle, seal and black with white marks along the face, chest and occasionally the lower legs. Be wary of dogs in solid colors, as they are poorly bred and can be prone to retardation and health problems. The Boston Terrier should be a bi-colored dog. The coat is short and smooth wit fine hair of an even length all around the dog's body. The coat should be bright and have a shine to it. Boston Terriers, like their relatives the Boxer and the French Bulldog, have alert prick ears and wrinkly, pushed-in faces.  

No aspect of home dog grooming requires as much time and regular devotion as brushing. Routine brushing keeps your pet’s hair clean and tangle-free, while keeping his skin healthy by stimulating blood flow, removing dead hair and distributing natural oils.

Dogs with smooth coats are relatively low maintenance when it comes to brushing. However, they still require a nice, weekly brush using a bristle brush. Brush all the way down to the skin. You might want to follow up with a rubber curry brush to remove loose fur. Brush from front to back with smooth coats. A light mist of detangling spray after brushing leaves a great shine.

This little gentleman is a wash and wear kind of dog. Rub down the coat with a firm bristle brush to remove dead hairs and keep it shiny.

What you need

  • Slicker, bristle or steel pin brush
  • 2-in-1 comb
  • Shedding blade (for heavy shedders)
  • Liquid detangler 

With preparation, perseverance and a positive attitude, bathing can become a fun and fulfilling part of the regular grooming cycle, while helping your dog avoid many diseases and infections.

Smooth coated breeds adhere to the general rule of dog bathing: about once every three months. The coat should end up fresh smelling, shiny, with no loose or shedding hair. First give the dog a good brushing to remove dead hair and mats. Place a rubber mat in the tub to provide secure footing and fill the tub with three to four inches of lukewarm water. Use a spray hose, pitcher or unbreakable cup to wet the dog, taking caution to avoid getting water in the eyes, ears and nose. Massage in pet shampoo, saving the head for last. Immediately rinse thoroughly, starting with the head to prevent soap from dripping into the eyes. Towel dry. Wipe wrinkled breeds with a soft cloth and make sure they are totally dry after bathing.

Take extra care to wash the Boston Terrier with a damp cloth, especially around his face, because the facial wrinkles are prone to infection if they collect dirt or saliva.

What you need

  • Slicker, bristle or steel pin brush
  • Dog shampoo
  • Rubber tub mat
  • Towels
  • Bathing tether (if needed)

Clipping or trimming your dog’s coat is far easier than you would ever imagine. With the right clipper, trimmer and scissors, giving your dog a haircut is easy on your wallet and your schedule.

Dogs with smooth coats generally only require trims and tidying up in areas of excessive hair growth using a trimmer or blunt scissors. It's always wise to take a dog for a short walk or exercise to calm them down before trimming. Remember to brush the coat first to remove any tangles and mats. Don't forget to trim around the paws, pads, tail, chest and sanitary areas, as needed. The coat should lay flat and smooth against the body when finished.

What you need

  • Slicker, bristle or steel pin brush
  • 2-in-1 comb
  • Shedding blade (some coats)
  • Pet clipper
  • Pet trimmer

Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.
Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience.  As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.
You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.

Because Boston Terriers do not always engage in a lot of outdoor activity, they will benefit from having their nails trimmed at least monthly to make up for natural wear and tear and keep them comfortable.

What you need

  • Sharpened nail clipper
  • Styptic powder

Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.

It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Some smooth-coated dogs, like Basenjis and Boxers, and dogs with large ears, like Weimaraners and Great Danes, have sensitive ears that should be checked  weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face. If you have a small dog, like an Italian Greyhound, take special care to  clean around their eyes with a cotton ball or soft cloth and use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around their eyes to make sure they are comfortable. Dogs with facial wrinkles, like French Bulldogs and Boston Terriers, should have their faces wiped down at least weekly to prevent infection.

What you need

  • Pet trimmer
  • Blunt scissors
  • Cotton balls or soft cloth
  • Warm water
  • Mineral oil (or olive oil or witch hazel)

Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.

Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.

What you need

  • Dog toothbrush
  • Dog toothpaste (homemade recipe of baking soda, salt and water is acceptable)