Friday, January 9, 2015

The Boston terrier temperament: Sinead demonstrates in 4 photos

Sinead the Boston terrier on her couch

Boston terriers aren't all that common in Oregon. As a result, whenever I take Sinead out and about, people ask me a lot about her breed. Specifically, they often ask me about the Boston terrier temperament. They'd like to know what it's like to live with a little dog like this, and if I have Liam with me, they want to know how Bostons are different from pugs.

It's a tricky question, as each Boston is different. But, Sinead has a few little quirks that seem endemic to the breed (from what I understand), and I've got a bunch of these behaviors on film.

So here's what I know.

They're quirky, funny dogs

Sinead the Boston terrier in her red sweater

Bostons like Sinead are so great to live with, in part, because they're hilarious. Here's just one example.

Sinead has some definite ideas about what she likes and what she dislikes. And her little face is wonderfully expressive. If I'm doing something she's not too fond of, she shoots me a face like this. If I ignore the look of displeasure, she lets out a very theatrical sigh. If I keep ignoring it, she'll stamp her little feet.

She has a huge personality, as do most Bostons, and that's really why most of us love them.

They're deep thinkers

Sinead the Boston terrier is deep in thought

Sinead always seems to be one step ahead of the action, thinking about what will happen next, and what she should do to prepare. It's one of her best qualities, really, as this kind of deep intelligence makes her easy to train. She loves to put her little mind to work.

Most Bostons seem to fall into this super-bright category. They like to think, and they like to work, and that makes them wonderful for things like agility. They're easy to train, and they love to put that training to work. 

They play as hard as they work 

Sinead the Boston terrier and her toys

Sinead takes her toys very seriously. She's a huge fan of playing fetch (she'll run after a ball for hours without tiring), and she often takes her toys off to sleep with her when the play session is done.

Unlike some breeds that don't seem to have an "off" switch, and that will keep on working from dawn to dusk, Bostons have a very mirthful, playful side. 

They dislike cold weather 

Sinead the Boston terrier shivers outside

Here's that stink eye again. This time, she's upset because she's standing outside in 45 degree weather without a jacket.

These Bostons don't have a whole lot of fur, especially on their legs, and they really don't like to be cold. As a result, Sinead can be a total slug in the wintertime. She'll fight against the idea of going for a walk, and she'll shiver like crazy unless she has a sweater on inside the house.

This has an impact on her temperament, as she's neither willing to work nor willing to play when she's too cold. I tell people it's an important point to consider, as I've met a few people who don't believe in "coddling" a dog with clothing or heated beds. Those who don't want to coddle really shouldn't get a Boston, IMHO. 

Basically, they're not much like pugs

Liam the pug sitting outside

I'll go into this more next week, when Liam will take the spotlight in a photo essay about the pug temperament. But the short answer is that behaviors that seem common in pugs just aren't all that common in Boston terriers. They're very different, and hey, that's why you should have both!