Skip to Content

10 Surprising Facts About Brindle Boston Terriers (2023)

Brindle Boston Terrier

Have you been thinking about getting a dog lately?

How about getting a Brindle Boston Terrier?

They’re so cute and compact.

And you know what else?

Read on to find out:

  • History of the Brindle Boston Terrier breed. 
  • 10 surprising facts about Brindle Boston Terriers.
  • 10 health conditions that Boston Terriers are prone to.
  • And many, many more…

How Boston Terriers came about 

Have you ever thought about how a certain dog breed came into existence?

Well, in 1865, Robert C. Hooper, a Boston resident, bought a mixed-breed dog.

The dog had an English Bulldog–white English Terrier cross and named him Hooper’s Judge.

He had a dark brindle color and white blaze.

Soon after, Hooper’s Judge was bred with a female white English terrier, named Burnett’s Gyp.

Thus, their puppy became the blueprint for Boston Terriers.

The dogs used to be called Round-Headed Bull and Terrier but were later renamed as Boston Terrier in 1891. 

Not long after, the Boston Terrier Club of America (BTCA) was formed to protect the dog breed. 

In 1893, the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized them as one of the first breed clubs.

As well as, the only club devoted to a dog breed that originated in the US.

Boston Terrier breed traits

  • Lifespan: 11-13+ years. 
  • Breed type: non-sporting.
  • Weight: 10-25 lbs (4.5-11.3 kg).
  • Height: 15-17 inches (38.1-43.1 cm).
  • Color: black, brindle, or seal with white markings.
  • Appearance: compact body, square head, short tail, and pointed ears.
  • Tail shape: corkscrew, curl, or straight and under 2 inches (5.08 cm).

Despite having a long lifespan, Boston Terriers are prone to various health conditions. 

Sometimes associated with their short noses and corkscrew tails.

10 Surprising Health Conditions

#1: Brachycephalic syndrome

Brindle Boston Terrier Brachycephalic Syndrome

As Boston Terriers have short noses, they’re more prone to respiratory diseases. 

Short-nosed dogs have the same amount of nose and throat tissues as longer-nosed dogs.

 But with lesser area to contain them. 

As a result, the soft palate at the back of their mouth’s roof is too long and hangs down into their airway.

They also have small nostrils and a narrow windpipe.

This makes breathing difficult for them.

To know if your dog is having difficulty breathing watch out for symptoms like:

  • Fainting.
  • Coughing.
  • Bluish gums.
  • Loud breathing.
  • Exercise intolerance.

With their short noses, they’re also prone to other health problems like:

  • Heatstroke.
  • Flatulence.
  • Pneumonia.

Warning: If you see your dog breathing difficulty, consult their veterinarian to know if they need surgical correction.

#2: Luxating patella

A luxating patella is a condition where your dog’s kneecap slides in and out of place.

According to the ACVS, it is a common orthopedic condition in dogs, diagnosed in 7% of puppies. 

This condition usually affects small dog breeds including:

  • Chihuahuas.
  • Pomeranians.
  • Boston Terriers.
  • Yorkshire Terriers.
  • Miniature poodles.

But larger dog breeds are also starting to be affected, like:

  • Akitas.
  • Great Pyrenees. 
  • Chinese Shar-Pei.
  • Flat-Coated Retrievers. 

Most dogs with a luxating patella will suddenly carry their leg up for a few steps or skip, and shake or extend it as if to pop the kneecap back into place. 

Treatment of this condition depends on the severity of the situation. 

If only one leg is affected, your dog’s veterinarian will prescribe an arthritis medication. 

The good thing is, veterinarians can also detect this condition early during a routine physical exam.

Tip: To prevent underlying health conditions from developing, bring your dog to routine physical exams with their vet. 

#3: Eye issues

Eye Issues


A cataract is a disorder that progressively turns the eye lens cloudier.

Although a cataract isn’t painful, it causes blurred vision that eventually turns into blindness.

According to a study in North America, 11.11% of Boston Terriers had cataracts. 

Which makes them the breed with the highest prevalence of developing cataracts. 

There are several causes of cataracts in Boston Terriers, including:

  • Genetics.
  • Diabetes.
  • Eye trauma.
  • Inflammation in the eye.
  • Primary hypoparathyroidism.
  • Radiation from cancer treatments.

So how do you know if your dog is developing cataracts?

Here are symptoms to look out for:

  • Vision loss.
  • Clumsiness.
  • Bumping into objects.
  • White cloudiness in the pupils


Glaucoma is a painful eye condition that appears when the pressure in the eye elevates to a dangerous level.

This happens when fluids in the eye called aqueous humor, can’t drain normally. 

It builds up pressure in the eye, causing extreme pain, which eventually leads to blindness.

According to a study, Boston Terriers have a 2.88% rate of developing glaucoma compared to other dogs.

Symptoms of glaucoma in Boston Terriers include:

  • Lethargy.
  • Blindness.
  • Watery eye.
  • Painful eye.
  • Swollen eye.
  • Eye redness.
  • Loss of Appetite.
  • Blue or cloudy eye.

Dry eye

According to VCA, dry eye or Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) is a condition where the cornea and its surrounding tissues get inflamed resulting in dry eyes.

Dog breeds that are commonly affected by dry eyes are:

  • Pug.
  • Shih Tzu.
  • Samoyed.
  • Pekingese.
  • Lhasa Apso.
  • Bloodhound.
  • Boston Terrier.
  • English Bulldog.
  • Yorkshire Terrier.
  • Miniature Schnauzer.
  • English Springer Spaniel.
  • American Cocker Spaniel.
  • West Highland White Terrier.
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

To know if your dog is suffering from dry eyes, symptoms include:

  • Squinting.
  • Irritated eyes.
  • Corneal ulceration.
  • Blinking excessively.
  • Thick, yellowish eye discharge.

Reading recommendation: 9 Weird Reasons Why Dogs Scratch Their Eyes + 3 Tips

#4: Obesity

As mentioned above, Boston Terriers have healthy appetites, which could lead to obesity if left uncontrolled. 

Obesity is a condition where your dog’s caloric intake is greater than the number of calories they burn off.

An obese dog can have a higher risk of developing health issues, such as:

  • Cancer.
  • Arthritis.
  • Diabetes.
  • Heart disease.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Decreased life expectancy.

To know if your dog is obese, here are a few indications:

  • Laziness.
  • Big belly. 
  • Weight gain.
  • Gets tired easily.
  • You can’t feel their ribs.
  • You can’t feel their waist.
  • Aversion to physical activity.

So if you’re a pet parent that can’t resist your dog’s pleas to give them treats between meals.

Give them healthy dog-safe foods instead, like fruits and vegetables.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Pears.
  • Celery.
  • Apples.
  • Carrots.
  • Pumpkin.
  • Broccoli.
  • Zucchini.
  • Bananas.
  • Cucumber.
  • Cantaloupe.
  • Blueberries.
  • Raspberries.
  • Watermelon.
  • Green beans.
  • Sweet potatoes.
  • Sugar snap peas.

Tip: If your dog is obese, consult their veterinarian for a healthy meal plan to reduce their weight.

You might also want to check out: 9 Ways To Deal With A Dog That Is Always Hungry

#5: Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease

Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease

Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease in dogs is a painful hip condition where the femur suddenly begins to degenerate.

Where overtime causes a hip collapse that leads to arthritis. 

Currently, the exact cause is unknown, but it is thought to be caused by the disruption of hip blood flow due to blood clots in the blood vessels. 

A symptom of Legg-Calve-Perthes disease is dogs will limp on their affected leg. 

The limping could progress over several weeks until dogs will no longer place any weight on the leg.

The disease is most commonly seen in smaller dogs weighing under 20 lbs (9.07 kg), including terriers and toy breeds.

Mild cases can be managed with physical therapy and pain medication.

But your veterinarian may recommend surgery in severe cases.

#6: Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is an inherited disease where the hip joints are not properly developed.

This causes its ball and socket to not fit properly. 

It causes them to rub and grind against each other instead of gliding smoothly.

Aside from inheritance, hip dysplasia is also caused by:

  • Obesity.
  • Types of exercise.
  • Improper nutrition.
  • Excessive growth rate.

To determine if your dog has hip dysplasia, the symptoms to look out for are:

  • Pain.
  • Swaying.
  • Grating in the joint.
  • Decreased activity.
  • Stiffness or limping.
  • Lameness in the hind leg.
  • Loss of thigh muscle mass.
  • Decreased range of motion.
  • Noticeable enlargement of the shoulder muscles.
  • Difficulty or reluctance rising, jumping, running, or climbing stairs.

Although, hip dysplasia is more common in larger dog breeds, including:

  • Bulldogs.
  • Saint Bernards.
  • Golden Retrievers. 
  • German Shepherds.
  • Labrador Retrievers. 
  • Old English Sheepdogs.

 Smaller dog breeds, including, including Boston Terriers, can also be affected.

#7: Demodectic mange

According to VCA, demodectic mange is the most common form of mange in dogs.

It is caused by a parasitic mite called Demodex canis, which lives in your dog’s hair follicles.

Demodectic mange happens when a dog has an immature immune system.

It allows skin mites to grow rapidly. 

It occurs in dogs 12-18 months old, and if left untreated, results in a weakened immune system as they grow older.

To know if your dog is suffering from Demodectic mange, here are symptoms to look for:

  • Skin crusting.
  • Swelling paws.
  • Patches of hair loss.
  • Face or head rubbing.
  • Excessive oil on the skin.
  • Skin redness or inflammation

Treatment depends on the severity of the condition.

Your dog’s veterinarian can prescribe topical creams like:

  • Anti-mite creams.
  • Benzoyl peroxide.
  • Corticosteroid creams.
  • Anti-inflammatory creams.

More severe cases may need anti-parasitic medications or antibiotics.

Tip: If your dog starts is showing symptoms, consult their veterinarian immediately. 

#8: Epilepsy

Epilepsy in dogs is the condition of repeated episodes of seizures.

There are three types of epilepsy:

  • Primary.
  • Reactive.
  • Secondary.

Reactive seizures are caused by the brain’s reaction to low blood sugar, organ failure, or a toxin.

Secondary seizures are the result of brain tumors, stroke, or trauma.

While primary seizures are inherited from your dog’s lineage. 

Boston Terrier seizures usually appear between 6 months or 3 years of age.

It currently has no cure, but your dog’s veterinarian can prescribe medication to keep the seizures under control.

#9: Cushing’s Disease

Cushing’s disease is also called hyperadrenocorticism.

It is a condition caused by a tumor in the pituitary gland.

That causes the cortex to release large amounts of cortisol.

Symptoms of Cushing’s Disease include:

  • Panting.
  • Hair loss.
  • Extreme thirst.
  • Enlarged belly.
  • Skin infections.
  • Excessive peeing.
  • Increased appetite.

Dog breeds that are prone to developing Cushing’s Disease are:

  • Boxers.
  • Dachshunds.
  • Boston terriers.
  • Yorkshire terriers.
  • Staffordshire terriers.
  • Poodles, especially miniature poodles.

#10: Hemivertebrae

Hemivertebrae is a condition where the bones of your dog’s spine are abnormally shaped.

This results in their bones not aligning correctly with other neighboring bones. 

This can lead to the instability and deformity of your dog’s spinal column, which in turn leads to a squashed and damaged spinal cord.

This condition commonly affects Boston Terriers and other short-nosed breeds that have screw-tails.  

To know if your dog is suffering from hemivertebrae, look out for these signs:

  • Pain.
  • Hind limbs weakness.
  • Urinary and fecal incontinence.

Boston Terriers can develop many diseases. 

But they’re the most gentle, lovable, and energetic dogs you could have.

Brindle Boston Terrier: 10 surprising facts

#1:  They have brindle patterns

As mentioned, Boston Terriers usually have black, brindle, or seal colors with white markings.

Black and white Boston Terriers are more common, but Brindle Boston Terriers look more unique. 

The Brindle Boston Terrier has a brindle pattern, that looks like tiger stripes.

They usually have a tan or brown base color with black hair.

The pattern may range in dark to light colors, and the actual pattern varies for every dog. 

This brindle pattern is caused by pigmentation from one of the recessive genes in their DNA.

So no Brindle Boston Terrier looks alike, making your dog one of a kind.

Fun fact: There’s also a second type of Brindle Boston Terrier called “the reverse brindle” where light brown stripes appear on a dark coat.  

#2: They’re nicknamed the “American gentleman”

As mentioned above, Boston Terriers come from a line of Bulldog and French bulldog ancestors.

They were originally bred for dogfighting, 

But as the Boston Terrier became more popular with lady dog parents, they were later bred to be smaller and have gentler personalities.

That’s why a modern Boston Terrier has a fine disposition and calm temperament. 

In fact, Boston Terriers are so well-mannered they were dubbed as the “American gentleman”. 

Fun fact: They’re so well-behaved, they’re even worthy for presidents. Former US President Gerald Ford had two Boston Terriers named, Fleck and Spot. While former US President Warren G. Harding had one called, Hub.

#3: They’re the first non-sporting breed from the US

According to the AKC, a non-sporting dog is made up of different breeds with various sizes, coats, personalities, and overall appearance.

As Boston Terriers come from varying breeds of Bulldogs and Terriers, it makes it difficult to group them into one breed.

Thanks to Hooper’s Judge and Burnett’s Gyp, a loveable and playful breed was born in a time where several dogs were bred for dogfighting.

Fun fact: Even though Boston Terriers are categorized as a non-sporting breed, they actually perform well in sports.  

#4: They’re known for their “Tuxedo” look

Like most Boston Terriers, the Brindle Boston Terrier also has a solid color, with a white forechest that resembles a tuxedo.

Dress them up with a bowtie, and they look like they’re ready for a formal event.

According to the AKC, a purebred Boston Terrier either has a black, brindle, or seal color with white markings.

Brindle is only preferred if all other qualities are equal.

They must have a white muzzle band, a white blaze between the eyes, and a white forechest.

Fun fact: Even if they are not officially recognized by the AKC, other Boston Terrier colors exist, like cream, blue, lavender, lilac, and merle. 

#5: They’re a popular dog breed

From 1905 to 1939, the Boston Terrier was the most popular dog breed in the US, and to this day, remains popular.

According to the AKC, Boston Terriers are the 21st most popular dog breed in the US in 2020.  

#6: They’re easy to groom

Boston Terriers have short hair coats that shed rarely.

To control this, brush them weekly with a firm-bristled brush, to keep their “tuxedo” looking sharp.

If they need a bath, bathe them with a dry powder shampoo and a damp cloth. 

But if needed, give them an occasional bath with dog soap and water.

Also, because they have large and prominent eyes, make sure to wash their faces every day and check for signs of redness and irritation. 

Since Boston Terriers are prone to cavities, brush their teeth at least two or three times a week to remove tartar buildup.

Better if you can do it daily to prevent gum disease and bad breath.

Also, trim their nails once or twice a month, if your dog doesn’t naturally wear them down, to prevent painful scratches.

Lastly, check their ears weekly for signs of redness or a bad odor, which are signs of infection.

When checking, wipe them with a cotton ball with a pH-balanced ear cleaner to clean their ears.

Remember to not insert anything inside the ear canal, just clean the outer ear. 

It’s also a good idea to check for sores, rashes, or signs of infection on their skin, mouth, nose, and eyes.

As examining them weekly can save your dog from potential health conditions early.

#7: They’re very intelligent

According to the AKC, Boston Terriers learn quickly and perform well in dog sports, like agility and flyball.

They’re also easily trained, but can also turn stubborn, so you’ll have to be persistent and consistent while training. 

They can also be sensitive to the tone of your voice, and punishing them can make them shut down.

So opt for a motivational tone, instead of screaming at them to avoid this.

You might like: Top 20 Most Stubborn Dog Breeds That Are Difficult To Train

#8: They don’t need much exercise

Brindle Boston Terriers are playful and lively dogs.

So they can be up for playtime with children or their pet parents.

But since they’re small and compact, they don’t require a lot of exercise. 

So if you’re having a busy day, they’re also content with walks around your neighborhood. 

Just make sure to not pull on their leash as they’ll have difficulty breathing.

If you need a new outdoor activity with your dog, check out this video of Boston Terriers hiking:

Just remember, Boston Terriers are brachycephalic, meaning they have flat, broad noses and short jaws. 

Avoid over-exercising them as they can’t cool the air going into their lungs, compared to long-nosed dogs.

Give them time to rest and plenty of drinking water to avoid them getting a heat stroke.

#9: They naturally have a big appetite

Despite their size, Boston Terriers are very passionate about their food. 

They naturally have big appetites.

So if you have one, it’s best to keep an eye on their eating frequencies to avoid them from getting obese.

The recommended daily intake is between 1-1 ½ cups (128-192 g) of high-quality dry dog food, twice a day. 

But it also depends on your dog’s actual size, age, metabolism, and amount of activity.

Tip: Consult your dog’s veterinarian for a healthy meal plan that suits your dog.

You might also be interested in: 9 Reasons Why Your Dog Is Always Hungry All Of A Sudden

#10: They seldom bark

If you’re the kind of person that prefers the quiet countryside to a bustling metropolis, then you’re going to love Boston Terriers.

They’re often quiet and gentle so you don’t have to worry about your dog constantly barking at nothing at 3 A.M.

Boston Terriers also don’t have shrill barks, so if they do bark, they don’t hurt your ears.

They also usually don’t show signs of aggression.

But males can turn scrappy if they feel like someone’s invading their territory. 

You might want to know: 9 Reasons Why Your Dog Barks At Certain Dogs & 5 Tips

#BONUS: They’re great family dogs

With their small size and friendly dispositions, Boston Terriers are great family dogs.

They have playful personalities that go well with children.

They’re small and compact, so their size is perfect to play fetch with your kids. 

Their friendly disposition also assures you they’re a safe companion to young children.   

As long as they have proper care and love, Boston Terriers can be loyal and loving dogs.