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The Boston Bulldog: Everything You Need to Know

The Boston Bulldog: Everything You Need to Know

Boston Bulldogs are a rare type of dog that many have never even heard of. Though commonly associated with Boston Terriers, they’re distinct in many big ways. How are you supposed to know to care for a type of dog that few even know exist?

Luckily, we’ve compiled all the information you need to know about raising a happy and healthy Boston Bulldog right here for you.

A Little History and Controversy Surrounding Breeding

Boston Bulldogs date back to the early 1900s and are believed to be the result of a combination of terrier and bulldog interbreeding. It is also believed that the widely-known Boston Terrier was initially bred off this line of dogs, though they are now two distinct breeds.

Portrait of a Boston Bulldog

Like the Boston Terrier, the Boston Bulldog was traditionally bred as a fighting breed. Boston Bulldogs are also known for being great at hunting and sniffing out small game.

This type of dog is more frequently referred to as the Olde Boston Bulldogge, referring to the traditional Boston Bulldog that has since become less commonly known. This breed is considered rare, though there have recently been efforts to breed and establish them by the International Olde English Bulldogge Association (IOEBA).

There is a lot of controversy surrounding whether the Olde Boston Bulldogge/Boston Bulldog is an actual defined breed.

While the IOEBA recognizes it as a breed, it is essentially alone in this and requires little authentication when registering dogs that are supposedly Boston Bulldogs. More reputable associations, such as the American Kennel Club (AKC), don’t recognize the Boston Bulldog as an official breed.

This controversy largely stems from a lack of records concerning the breed, compared to the very well-documented Boston Terrier. The wide variations in color and appearance also lead to an apparent illegitimacy of the “breed.”

That said, there are an increasing number of breeders fighting to establish the Boston Bulldog as a breed. Just make sure that if you’re looking for a pure-bred Boston Bulldog to only consult with a reputable breeder—so do your research and check out their dogs!

General Appearance

Despite the controversy surrounding the pseudo-breed, there are lots of features and characteristics that Boston Bulldogs tend to share.

Male Boston Bulldog

Essentially, they look like a different, larger version of Boston Terriers. They tend to be described as “round-headed” and have small ears that are floppier than their Terrrier relatives’. They have compact, athletic bodies with broad chests. These small-medium dogs typically weigh between 25-45 lbs.

In terms of facial features, the dogs have a square-jaw, large nose, and wide set eyes.

These dogs come in basically any color of the rainbow—well, maybe you won’t be finding any bright green or purple bulldogs, but you catch our drift. The Boston Bulldog can be found in combinations of the following colors: red, fawn, brown, black, white, black blue, seal, and tuxedo.

These dogs have short hair that is fine and soft, causing an average amount of shedding.

What to Know to Raise a Healthy and Happy Boston Bulldog

Now that we’ve gone over a bit of the general facts and history of the Boston Bulldog, let’s get into what you can expect from your dog and how best to train and treat it. With the below knowledge and tips, you’ll be able to ensure that your dog lives a happy and healthy life.


Boston Bulldog smiling

Boston Bulldogs are very intelligent dogs and are typically described as having a sound temperament colored with tenacity. These dogs are very friendly and devoted to their owners, taking their cues from their humans.

Owning a Boston Bulldog will certainly never be a boring experience. Their intelligence and curios nature often lead to very interesting personalities that often wind up being very comical. These dogs love to play and be active, but they aren’t obnoxious in the way that smaller, little yapper dogs tend to be.

Because of their athletic build, these dogs love playing and can be active for long durations of time, but they also enjoy living a life of leisure so they’re adaptable to your lifestyle.

These dogs are extremely loyal and great with children.


Boston bulldog on a leash

This dog is very trainable. Its loyal nature combined with its intelligence makes it very easy and eager to train. As mentioned above, these dogs are traditionally known for being adept at sniffing out and hunting small game. Tasks such as these that involve working with their owners are particularly rewarding for this people-motivated dog.

For no matter what kind of dog you’re training, consistency is key. If rules change from puppyhood to adulthood, or because of another change in circumstances, your dog will be confused and not understand what it is doing wrong.

This is especially true of the Boston Bulldog. This dog craves human leadership and praise, and so likes knowing what is expected of it. Therefore, establishing and sticking to the rules of the house are very important to this breed.


Couple of Boston Bulldog

These dogs naturally get along great with children and adults. It should be noted, however, that this type of dog finds its roots as a fighting breed.

This does not by any means mean that your Boston Bulldog will be unable to get along with other dogs. Rather, just take care to socialize it and provide it with positive interactions from an early age.

Ideal Living Situations

bulldog is shy

Boston Bulldogs do well in a variety of living situations. Though this dog should be exercised daily, this can be accomplished simply with a long, mild walk once a day. It loves to play, but it is also content to curl up on the couch with you after a long day. Therefore, these dogs can fit in with a variety of lifestyles, whether you live out in the country or in an urban apartment.

This breed does not do well, however, in extreme weather conditions. So, if you intend for your dog to be more of an outside dog, you may want to consider the environment you’re living in. Extreme heat and cold do not mix well with this breed.

Health and Care

Boston bulldog puppy

All in all, these are pretty healthy dogs mostly devoid of serious health issues. While some types of bulldogs have been known to have breathing issues, this is not the case with the Boston Bulldog. These dogs tend to live between 12-14 years.

When it comes to the reproductive nature of these dogs, they are best left to free-breeding (choosing their own mates). Unlike the Boston Terrier and many other forms bulldogs, females should be allowed to free-whelp. That is, take care of their young without any assistance.

As mentioned above, these dogs naturally have an athletic build. This means that they do well with regular, daily exercise. While long walks can suffice for the most part, these are dogs that enjoy being active. If you have a yard, they’ll do great with a game of fetch that gives them a chance to sprint away and burn off some energy. If you don’t have a yard, try to find a nice field to take advantage of.

This dog has short and thin hair that is easy to maintain for grooming purposes. They shed about an average amount for a dog, their lost hairs fine and short. They’ll enjoy any combings you give them as a way of receiving their attention. As with any dog, you should bathe them as often as necessary depending on their cleanliness levels and your own personal preferences.

Beware of Breeders

Beware sign

Though the traditional Boston Bulldog should be devoid of any major health issues and display the traits listed above, the lack of establishment of this dog as an official breed can lead to some dishonesty on the history and origin of the dog you purchase.

Be careful, therefore, when purchasing a Boston Bulldog from someone who claims to be a breeder. You should investigate their dogs to see if the dogs they are breeding are truthfully Boston Bulldogs to begin with. Also request background information on the family history of the dog you want.

If you purchase from a dishonest breeder, you may very easily find that your dog has a variety of health issues.

Loving Your Boston Bulldog

Boston bulldog with a ball

Whether Boston Bulldogs are an established breed or not, they are still dogs and will serve as excellent companions. Boston Bulldogs are loyal, intelligent, and above all desire to please their owners.

In raising a Boston Bulldog, therefore, it is important to keep them clean and exercised for a happy and comfortable existence. It is also important to establish consistent house rules so that your dog will not be confused about what is expected of it. What is most important, though, is to show your dog that you love it.

These dogs crave human affection and approval, and showering them with love is the best way to ensure they lead a happy life. These dogs are the perfect addition to any family unit.



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