Red Boston Terrier: Info, Pictures, Traits & Facts!

Red boston terrier

The Red Boston Terrier is quite similar to other Boston Terriers. While it shares many of the same traits as its parent breed, from cuteness to kindness, one thing sticks out: its impressive red coat of fur! In this comprehensive look at Red Boston Terriers, we’ll go down the path of history to find out where they came from and how you can treat them best if you own one. Let’s learn all about this loveable pup!

History of the Red Boston Terrier

The ancestry of the Boston Terrier is a little shocking considering how small and friendly these animals are. It all started back in the 1860s in Liverpool, England, where dog fighting was extremely popular. Breeding had reached wild heights. Everyone wanted a leg up on the next competitor, and the best way to do that was to breed your own dog. One of these dogs wound up being a cross between the now-extinct English Terrier and the Bulldog. The dog’s name was Judge.

The owner of Judge then sold him to a Bostonian named William O’Brien, who brought Judge to America. This was the first time that this breed of dog had been in the United States. Once back home in Boston, O’Brien then sold Judge to another Bostonian, a man by the name of Robert Hooper. Hooper kept Judge (who became known as “Hooper’s Judge”) and the pair went on to make history.

Judge was of decent build (35-40 lbs.) and was bred with a smaller white female of 20 lbs. They produced a tiny pup named Well’s Eph. The next dog bred was named Tobin. These dogs looked like the modern-day Boston Terrier: two-toned fur with a white stripe between the eyes and an even mouth. Although descended from fighting dogs, these pups were much happier as cuddlers and lovers and are still adored today as such.

a cute red boston terrier
This is one cute Red Boston Terrier puppy.

The dogs quickly became popular and had their own club by 1891. In 1893, the Boston Terrier was officially recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club. This pup is a point of pride for Bostonians. Because of their sweet nature, they were given the nickname, “American Gentleman.”

The Red Boston Terrier shares this exact same history. The only difference is their rare coat of fur. As such, they are highly sought after. Breeders do their best to keep up with demand, but there’s only so much you can do with nature. Producing a red coat of fur is not an exact science, and there is no way that a breeder can guarantee a Red Boston in any litter. They’re actually rare enough that some people don’t even believe in their existence. Also, the American Kennel Club will not allow Red Boston Terriers to compete in competition. There are many who have been fighting to change this.

There is a good amount of controversy surrounding the Red Boston Terrier. If you are just a random dog lover, you might take one look at this breed and instantly fall in love. Those who are breeders of show dogs and Boston Terrier enthusiasts would say otherwise. These folks urge others not to buy Red Boston Terriers, as they are never bred “on purpose” by show breeders, only by those looking to make a fortune off of the public’s understanding of what a Red Boston is. Some more extreme Boston Terrier groups do not even recognize Red Boston Terriers as Boston Terriers.

Physical Makeup of the Red Boston Terrier

The Red Boston Terrier looks exactly like a Boston Terrier, except for their red coat. The red contrasts beautifully with the glimmering white stripe down the middle of their roundish, blocky heads. They hardly shed, and their fur is tight to the body. While they don’t require as much grooming as other dogs, they do appreciate a good pet and scratch!

Their ears stick straight up, as if surprised, with matching big eyes to highlight their alertness. Their mouths resemble that of a Pit Bull, but their faces are about as deep as a Pug. The head is generally in proportion with the body. Their necks are stocky, which lends to their general well-built, muscular appearance.

red boston terrier sitting down
A Red Boston Terrier just chilling.

The Red Boston is an interesting and cute breed because they are so small. If this dog was 50-60 lbs., it would probably be seen as quite intimidating! But at their absolute biggest, Red Bostons are about 25 lbs. and 12½ inches tall.


The Red Boston Terrier is an extremely intelligent dog, which makes for an easier training process than other breeds. While they are quite smart, you still want to socialize them early to make sure that they will get along with humans, as well as other four-legged creatures.

While these dogs love to play, they don’t require that much exercise. About 30 minutes a day of fun activity will be enough for your Boston, but feel free to play more if you like! They love a good game of catch or anything that involves spending time with their favorite animal: you!

Bostons get along with other animals wonderfully well, even cats, if they are raised together. While other dogs might be frustrated or overly curious by a feline’s independent ways, the Boston is empathetic and would rather not get pawed in the face. Bostons are also wonderful with children. Because of their muscular build, they can handle a young child’s rougher moments, but if a child is gentle with a Boston, they will be even more bonded throughout life.

If you love cuddles, this is a wonderful pet for you — though they are notorious snorers!

Health Care and Common Health Issues

When properly cared for, Boston Terriers can have nice long lives of 15 years or more. There are no diseases or health issues specifically related to the Red Boston Terrier. They are, of course, prone to anything that any other dog can get. Boston Terriers have famously sensitive stomachs, and they are equally famously picky eaters, though it might be allergies that cause this sensitivity (something you should monitor with your vet). Another consequence of their sensitive stomach is that it can be hard to plan a proper diet.

red boston terrier looking up
A Red Boston Terrier ready for his daily walk.

Another thing to be considerate of is the Red Boston’s lovely eyes! Because they are so big, they are prone to drying out. Some vets may recommend eye drops for your little pupper. You should also regularly visit your vet to have your pup tested for cataracts and cherry eye.

Your Boston might also be susceptible to deafness, knee problems, and certain allergies.


As the Red Boston Terrier is a high-quality dog, they require a high-quality diet! Part of this is due to their sensitive bellies, as well as the fact that they only deserve the best. The diet you select for your Red Boston Terrier should be done along with your vet. You should also monitor your pet closely in case they start acting differently. This might be because of dietary reasons.

A low-calorie diet is normally recommended for Red Bostons because they are prone to becoming obese. To make sure they stay their fit, muscular selves, you will want to avoid a high-calorie diet and not give them too many treats — even though they totally deserve them!

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Red Boston Trivia!

  • Red Boston Terriers are recognized by the American Kennel Club but are not allowed to compete.
  • The Boston Terrier and the Red Boston Terrier are native to the United States, specifically Boston.
  • The Boston Terrier is nicknamed the “American Gentleman.”
  • Though they are now full-time cuddle monsters, they were originally bred to be fighters.
  • They are the Massachusetts state dog.
  • They are not part of the Terrier breed, as per the American Kennel Club.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3

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