Boston Terrier puppies are adorable, and they are also a handful – but hey, what puppy isn’t?!
If you have decided that you have the time, resources and patience to care for a Boston Terrier puppy… then the next thing is to find a breeder!
Unfortunately, not everyone can be trusted.
There are many breeders that sell sick puppies online or keep their puppies in very bad conditions.
The situation is so bad that some dog rescue associations go to non-trustworthy breeders (puppy mills) to rescue puppies before they are “sacrificed” because they cannot sell them! Just the thought of it makes me shiver. I volunteer in one of those rescues and it’s very upsetting to hear about and see those pups.
That’s why it is important to find a reputable breeder that has accreditation, follows animal welfare laws and that you can trust.
Alternatively, you can adopt a Boston.
(Sadly) There are so many looking for a new family and rescue groups can tell you about their personality and health.
If you are set on a pup, with a bit of patience you might be able to find BT puppies looking for a home! 🙂 You can find out more about adoption in the How to Adopt a Boston Terrier and What to Look For guide.
Without further ado, I will guide you through the details of finding a reputable breeder and how to get a healthy Boston Terrier puppy home!
Before finding a breeder, get familiar with the breed standards.
Why? If you don’t know them, you will be at a loss when examining puppies. You want to be able to identify a purebred Boston Terrier from a crossbred.
Plus, a shady and unethical breeder might try and take advantage of you. Breeders can register their Boston Terriers claiming that they are purebred when they might not be.
According to the AKC, the official Boston Terrier breed standards state the following:
A purebred Boston Terrier is:
A Boston Terrier belongs to one of three weight classes:
In terms of proportion:
A Boston Terrier should have:
The Boston Terrier is:
The key question here is: Why the breeder is breeding dogs? And if their breeding practice is safe for the dogs.
Dogs are primarily bred for dog shows, work, or sports. Since Bostons aren’t a working breed, they are bred for:
But if I just want a pet, not a show or sports dog… Well, it’s still worth looking for breeders who participate in those events for many reasons.
Show dogs are judged (by an impartial third party) for their structure, temperament, and fitness for breeding. Winners, apart from being good dogs, also are good examples of a Boston Terrier and have all of the traits of the breed.
Sports dogs, on the other hand, prove that a dog is more than just physically healthy. They also demonstrate being versatile and the ability to compete in sports beyond shows.
However, there’s nothing wrong with Boston Terrier breeders that don’t compete in shows and sports.
The important fact is that you find a reputable breeder that is trustworthy and looks out for the breed’s welfare.
Getting a purebred Boston Terrier from a reputable breeder assures that your pooch has a good temperament, good health and follows the breed standards.
You want to stay away from pet shops and online dog sales since those pups come from “puppy mills.”
This means that moms and pups are kept in very bad conditions, with little regard to their wellbeing or welfare needs.
Insider Tip: As a prospect owner, using a shady breeder means you will likely bring home a Boston that has health or/and behaviour issues due to irresponsible breeding practices. This will lead to large medical bills and in some cases, the early death of your pooch (sadly, it’s not an exaggeration).
So, where can I find a Boston Terrier breeder?
My first stop will be to visit the Kennel Club’s Assured Breeder Scheme website for Boston Terriers:
You can also:
Finding a reputable breeder can take time and patience since you also need to wait for puppies to be born!
Unlike larger breeds, Boston Terriers have small litters, from 1 to 4 pup and some moms need to have a cesarian to deliver the puppies.
Most reputable breeders don’t have an online presence. They allocate their litters on a relationship-basis during dog shows, sports competitions, clubs or referrals. So, most puppies are spoken for or have a long waiting list.
You can either meet breeders at their facility or at dog events like conformations (dog shows) and sports competitions.
Eventually, you will want to inspect their breeding facility.
Insider Tip: Just asking the breeder about their dogs and breeding practices is not enough to determine their reputation. All trustworthy breeders will be happy to show you around.
For dog shows and sports competitions, you can have a look at the AKC dog events calendar.
How do I know if the breeder is trustworthy?
Reputable breeders will keep their dogs healthy and cared for. They will show you the Boston Terrier litter with the pup’s mother (dam) being present (on-site).
However, it’s totally normal for the father (stud) not to be present.
This is because the breeder will want to choose a male that best complements the female and that often means using a male from a different kennel.
Female dogs should not be bred before they are two years old and should have a limited amount of pregnancies (around 4 for Bostons Terriers). Consistently breeding a female dog has adverse health effects on her.
Also, reputable breeders won’t allow puppies to be taken home before 8 weeks. Depending on the breeder, they may wait until they are 12 weeks old.
This is due to the importance of growing healthy and the need to be with the dam and littermates when they are young (critical socialization time). Depriving pups of that time can have negative effects on the dog’s behaviour as they grow up.
Finally, most reputable dog breeders focus on one or two breeds.
The main reasons being that each dog breed needs very specific and personalized care. It’s an expensive practice and to guarantee safe and healthy breeding they cannot, and should not, cut corners.
Apart from assessing the facility (clean and safe area in their home), pay attention to the dogs.
The Boston Terriers should look lively, happy, healthy and energetic. This indicates that they are being well taken care of.
Also, you want to make sure that the breeder follows breed standards mentioned above (#1 – Learn About Breed Standards). Remember that breeding for colour instead of temperament, health, or structure is not responsible.
Does the colour matter for long term health?
Usually no. However, if a breeder is selling “grey/lavender” coat Boston Terriers… You should ask yourself this:
“Why is the breeder producing dogs that are ineligible to compete in dog shows?”
Often, breeders do this because those colours are popular with puppy buyers, disregarding the breed’s health, temperament, etc.
Always ask to see the breeder’s credentials – whether they are registered with the AKC, their documentation on the pups’ lineages and breeds, their records for vet visits, etc.
Look them up online and offline, and try to find as much information as you can.
Most reputable dog breeders will have a reference book or records of their clients’ opinions and feedback. Ask to check them out as they can give you an insight on if you would want to deal with this breeder.
Lastly, never work with a dog breeder that doesn’t offer you:
Boston Terriers are prone to a number of health issues, including eye problems, allergies, cardiac issues, luxating patella, and congenital deafness.
So a reputable owner should provide the new owner appropriate health certifications registered with the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals.
At a minimum, Boston Terrier breeders should provide:
“A vet check or a promise from the breeder that their dogs are healthy is not a sufficient substitute for OFA exams”.The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA).
Bear in mind that these health tests cannot be completed before a dog is two years old. So don’t buy from someone that is breeding their dog before she’s two years old.
According to the Blue Cross, a reputable breeder should tick all these boxes:
|❐ Gives lots of information in an advert for selling the puppies.|
|❐ Has a waiting list for puppies.|
|❐ Encourages you to meet your puppy several times before taking them home.|
|❐ Has a clean and safe area in their home for puppies and their mum.|
|❐ Puppies and mum are obviously clean, happy and healthy where they are kept in at the breeder’s home.|
|❐ Will ask you lots of questions about why you want a puppy.|
|❐ Will want you to ask lots of questions about them and their puppies.|
|❐ Gives you their vet’s details so you can ask the vet questions about the litter and parents.|
|❐ Sells puppies with a contract that promises to take the puppy back if there are any problems (the Welcome Back Program).|
|❐ The puppies are microchipped before you can take them home (it is a legal requirement for all dog breeders).|
|❐ Won’t let you take the puppy home until they’re old enough to leave mum, at least eight weeks. Some wait until the pup is 10 to 12 weeks old.|
|❐ Encourages you to meet other members of the litter’s family so you can be sure about temperament.|
|❐ Can tell you all about the socialisation they’ve been doing, eg. taking them in the car, meeting lots of people of all ages, meeting other animals, playing, etc.|
|❐ Has started housetraining the pups by the time they are old enough to leave.|
|❐ Gives evidence of relevant health testing records, including OFA health certifications and genetic testing.|
|❐ Provides pet insurance for the first few weeks to cover illness.|
|❐ If you’re looking for two puppies, reputable breeders will not let you take two littermate puppies home to avoid littermate syndrome.|
What should I ask a Boston Terrier breeder?
When you are evaluating prospective breeders, here are some questions you should ask:
Reputable breeders will want to know as much about you as you do about them and their dogs!
Once you have selected your puppy and made arrangements with the breeder, the fun part starts!
Before your Boston Terrier pup arrives… Here’s what you can do:
Purebred Boston Terriers can be expensive and you may find yourself paying anywhere between $1,000 to $2,000 USD to get a purebred Boston Terrier puppy.
Check How Much Do Boston Terriers Cost? and What Is The Annual Cost of Owning a Boston Terrier? blog posts for more info!