The Brindle Boston Terrier is the quintessential gentleman dog.
Dressed to the nines in a dapper tuxedo, the Boston Terrier is a socialite, has refined manners, and is comfortable in urbanity. The round head and large, alert eyes give it a friendly and frank appearance.
The Boston Terrier is a fantastic household pet for compact homes, is easily trained, gets along well with other pets, and loves all people — young and old. Before putting a deposit down on a gorgeous Brindle Boston Terrier, here’s everything you need to know.
What is a Brindle Boston Terrier?
The Brindle Boston Terrier is a compact, muscular little dog with a regal bearing and friendly demeanor. This little dog comes in 15 different colors, depending on genetic combinations, but only 5 variations are recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) breed standards.
These colors are:
- Black and brindle
- Seal and brindle
The brindle coat on a Boston Terrier has a “tiger stripe” appearance with long, brown lines adorning the base color of the coat.
These brown stripes may be pronounced or subtle and of a lighter or darker stripe. The AKC standards demand a white forehead blaze, a white ring around the muzzle, and a white collar and chest.
Boston Terriers are the first non-sporting dog breed developed in the United States.
The first Boston Terrier was whelped in 1860 from a cross between a very small all-white female bulldog, and a larger Brindle English Bulldog and White English Terrier mix.
The first puppy from this union wasn’t popular, but her small offspring were refined into what we know today as the Boston Terrier. The breed was developed in the elite urban and suburban neighborhoods. It became especially popular with ladies, as it’s a perfect companion dog with non-sporting exercise needs.
Are Brindle Boston Terriers Purebred?
Brindle Boston Terriers are a pure breed. The recessive gene that produces brindle is quite common, resulting in Boston Terriers with numerous interesting iterations of the brindle coat.
The earliest Boston Terriers were considered to be of mixed breed, and the coat and size of each dog varied widely. However, by 1893, dog breeders had successfully isolated the breed to 75 unique dogs with three-generation pedigrees, so it was recognized as a separate breed by the AKC.
Brindle Boston Terrier Colors and Coat Types
The Brindle Boston Terrier has a sleek coat that sheds minimally all year. Brushing once or twice weekly will cut down on shed hair. A grooming mitt does this very well and is a favorite grooming tool for Boston Terriers.
There are 5 colors that are considered breed standards by the AKC. 3 of these colors include brindle markings. All variations must include the standard white blaze, band, and collar.
- Black brindle and white Boston Terriers: These have a black undercoat with light or dark brown stripes over the black.
- Brindle and white Boston Terriers: These dogs have a mixed brown tuxedo. It’s most typically a dark brown coat with light or medium brown stripes.
- Seal brindle and white Boston Terriers: The seal coat color is black with a red cast in the light. When this is overlaid with brown stripes, it’s called seal brindle.
There are no “rare” colors accepted by the AKC or Boston Terrier clubs. These dogs are considered to have adulterated genes and can be prone to health complications.
For more on the brindle color variation in breeds, refer to our guide on the Best Brindle Dog Breeds! You’ll discover which dogs are commonly bred in this striking color pattern.
Brindle Boston Terrier Cost
A well-bred Brindle Boston Terrier will generally cost between $1,200 to $1,500. The cost can be significantly higher for show-quality dogs with extended pedigrees.
A “pet quality” Boston Terrier with some marking flaws that will be spayed or neutered will cost less because it cannot be used in a future breeding program, creating competition for the original breeder.
Where to Find a Brindle Boston Terrier
Variations of the Brindle Boston Terrier are quite easy to find. It’s a common coat color and looks adorable on this perky little dog.
The best place to find a puppy with a good pedigree is to find a puppy from a breeder that is registered with the AKC. Always interview the breeder and check references, if possible, before committing to a puppy from the litter.
Beware of sellers that offer “rare” colors. This will not likely be an issue from an AKC registered breeder and these rare dogs won’t likely be purebred. Rarity is a frequent claim in newspaper and internet classified ads.
These dogs are anomalies in the breed and may have genetic issues from mixing with other breeds to create unusual color variations.
Adoption is a fantastic way to get a Brindle Boston Terrier. Organizations take in dogs and work to find them foster homes and forever families. These are usually not given up for behavioral issues but rather changes in the living situation. Adoption from a local facility is an excellent way to rescue.
How Long Do Brindle Boston Terriers Live?
The Brindle Boston Terrier life span averages from 11 up to 15 years. Life span can be maximized by keeping the dog at a healthy weight, feeding it nutritious food, and keeping it active with age-appropriate exercise.
Boston Terriers are indoor dogs and will live longer when given adequate shelter, preferably indoors with the family.
As they’re a flat-faced breed, they struggle to breathe in excessive heat and humidity. If they’re not given protection from these environmental difficulties, they can suffer effects from diminished oxygen intake and lung irritation.
Common Brindle Boston Terrier Health Problems
The Boston Terrier is typically a very healthy little dog, not prone to many of the organ failure issues common to other breeds.
The main health issues for the Boston Terrier are in the eyes and joints. The Boston Terrier is susceptible to patellar luxation, where the kneecap slides out of place, causing pain and limping. They’re also prone to cataracts and corneal ulcers due to the lack of protection for their protruding eyes.
Cataracts are a condition commonly seen in older Boston Terriers and look like a white or blue haze or flecks in the eye. This will eventually cause blindness, which is dangerous for the dog. Cataracts should be removed by a veterinarian as soon as they’re detected.
Boston Terrier Skin and Respiratory Issues
The Boston Terrier is prone to contact dermatitis, which can cause rashes, dandruff, and open sores from scratching. A veterinarian can conduct skin patch allergy testing to determine the cause of skin allergies. Special shampoo may be required to keep skin healthy.
The flat face of the Boston Terrier makes it susceptible to respiratory problems. It doesn’t have wide-open nasal air passages, and breathing is more difficult for the dog when it’s very hot and humid. Allergies can inflame the airways further, making the dog snort, snore, and wheeze more than usual.
Overall, the Boston Terrier doesn’t suffer from particularly deadly or expensive health complications. However, mitigating the health issues that the dog does have can increase its lifespan and quality of life to the very end.
Do Brindle Boston Terriers Shed?
Brindle Boston Terriers shed a little all year. The shedding isn’t excessive and is easily kept under control with a grooming brush or mitt. Boston Terriers love this grooming but will likely end the session belly-up for a good scratch.
Contact dermatitis can cause the dog to shed more and get patches of itchy, irritated skin. When the dog scratches, this causes more shedding. The solution is to have a vet diagnose the cause of the irritation and eliminate it so that the coat can heal and regrow.
What Kind of Temperament Do Boston Terriers Have?
Boston Terriers are spunky, charming, friendly, and playful. They’re a fantastic companion dog for anyone who wants a charming little shadow who likes to eat treats and take naps.
They’re quite alert and will notify owners of changes in the environment but aren’t prone to excessive or pointless barking. Their mental stimulation needs are less than other breeds, so they’re also less prone to boredom, being happy to sleep during periods of inactivity.
They’re a very playful breed and love to play ball, tug-of-war, take walks, and participate in some types of dog sports like agility training. Care should be taken to not force the dog to stress joints during dog sports because they’re prone to knee damage.
Boston Terriers are affectionate, non-aggressive, and make friends easily. They’re easy-going and adapt fairly well to changes like new children, new pets, a move, or daily routine variations. They achieve their best personality traits when they complete obedience training.
Are Boston Terriers Good with Children?
Boston Terriers adore children, and the feeling is mutual. This charming little dog is very playful but isn’t large enough to be scary for children. Like any other dog, they don’t like to be stepped on or abused by children and can nip if pushed. That said, their patience is outstanding and they’re unusually tolerant dogs.
Children should be taught to respect the dog and play gently.
The Boston Terrier is strong for its size, so very small children shouldn’t hold the leash while walking until they’re strong enough to keep the dog in line. While Boston Terriers can be trained to walk like perfect gentlemen, they can be distracted and suddenly tug to the side, pulling the child into danger.
Overall, Boston Terriers and children get along famously. Both are up for playtime, naptime, snack time, and exercise.
The Brindle Boston Terrier is affectionate, spunky, and energetic. They’re not suited to long-distance running because of their difficulty breathing and short stature. However, they enjoy walking multiple times a day.
Keep an eye on its legs, and don’t make the dog walk until it limps. Use a harness for walking, so the dog doesn’t choke or have decreased air intake from tugging on a collar.
Bostons are always up for playing a fun game indoors or out. They love to play games with kids and especially love to do things like:
- Play tug-of-war
- Perform tricks for small treats
Boston Terriers also do very well with small agility training circuits.
When the Boston Terrier is well-socialized, it’s also up for games with other pets, whether a cat or dog. However, being a terrier breed, it shouldn’t be left alone with livestock, fowl, or small animals. Instincts to chase and catch can rise to the surface quickly.
As the Boston Terrier ages, the favorite activities tend to be eating and napping. The dog has to be coerced to get outdoors for short walks for its health and longevity. They’re prone to weight gain and a sedentary lifestyle as they age, which can cause knee injury during activity.
Read our related article, Do Terriers Like to Swim? Find out if the Boston Terrier is water savvy and how to stay safe on the water!
Do Boston Terriers Make Good Pets for First-Time Dog Owners?
Boston Terriers are excellent pets for first-time dog owners. Their exercise needs are simple, and they’re content, well-behaved, and trainable. Their compact size and easygoing habits make them perfectly suited for small homes, apartments, and city life.
Their intelligence is at a medium level, making them seem stubborn, but they simply need additional work to learn what to do. This intelligence level makes them easier to deal with during off-hours because they don’t get bored as easily.
They don’t like to be alone for long periods and can develop nervous habits like chewing if they’re left alone all day. Because of their lovable nature, Bostons prefer a family they can spend all day with or at least someone who can stop by during periods throughout the day to check-in.
The Boston Terrier should always be housed indoors for its health. The respiratory tract of the Boston Terrier can’t handle outdoor heat, humidity, and allergens for prolonged periods.
Pros and Cons of Owning a Brindle Boston Terrier
Are there any cons? All we can think of are pros. The Boston Terrier is friendly, perky, curious but not overly adventurous, and not prone to aggression. The Boston Terrier loves to play games, cuddle, share treats, and take walks.
The Boston Terrier is an excellent companion dog for young and old, singles, couples, and families with young children. This dog has a good disposition and temperament, with a slight stubborn streak that can be mitigated by obedience training.
Cons of a Boston Terrier are very few if any. They tend to have a more pungent dog smell as they age, which can be eased by bathing them and keeping their ears and gums clean. A Boston Terrier with many allergies can struggle with skin irritations and breathing trouble.
How Fast Does a Brindle Boston Terrier Grow?
The Boston Terrier grows consistently, reaching about 16 pounds by 40 weeks old. Between 40 and 60 weeks, the dog will fill out and grow very slowly, gaining only a pound or two.
There’s a wide full-grown weight and size range for Boston Terriers. Some reach maturity at a petite 12 pounds, while others grow up to 30 pounds. Females are typically smaller and lighter than males.
For more information on puppy growth, refer to our guide where we discuss When Puppies Stop Growing.
|Lifespan||11 to 15 years|
|Weight||12 to 30 pounds|
|Height||15 to 17 inches tall|
|Suitable For||Singles, couples, families, children|
|Grooming Requirements||Weekly brushing|
|Health Concerns||Cataracts, respiratory tract, knee joints|
|Temperament||Loyal, playful, loving, energetic, bright|
The Brindle Boston Terrier is a consistently popular dog due to its easy-going nature. It’s up for anything at any time but is often content to nap or chew a favorite toy rather than demanding attention.
The Boston Terrier’s grooming and exercise needs are minimal, being content to pal around with family members and go for exploratory walks. Though the Boston Terrier loves to play a game on a wide green lawn, it’s also a fantastic dog breed for those who live in more cramped housing with sidewalks for exercise.
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