Boston Terriers are one of those breeds that simply are NOT for everybody. At the same time, they are surely becoming one of the trendiest dog breeds, and often are confused with French Bulldogs (they are, in fact, related to Frenchies). Bostons do things just a little bit differently. I know that my Boston Terrier, Gatsby, is the best to me. He does weird things, he’s wild, and he has no concept of personal space, but he’s mine. This article aims to celebrate the Boston Terrier breed, and perhaps dually serves as a warning to those who would not jive with them!
A Little Bit About the Great Gatsby
After moving to Philadelphia with my boyfriend, I started to talk about getting a dog. ALL. THE. TIME. It got to the point where I was actively looking at different dogs at local shelters online and even thinking of dog names. We had chatted about it off and on, and Chris only wanted a dog that he could walk or take outside without looking like he was walking a frou-frou, girly dog. He thought Boston Terriers were small, manly looking, and had researched that they are also great apartment dogs because they barely bark.
The seed was planted. The idea kept rolling around in my head, until he suggested to go check out a traveling adoption program happening at Petsmart. It turned out that this event had been cancelled, so on the way home we stopped at a little pet store. We looked at all of the adorable puppies there, but spotted two Boston Terrier puppies and a French bulldog. The French bulldog was straight up just chilling there like a person, while the Bostons were frantically running back and forth in their area. That should have served as my first clue to Gatsby.
Out of the boy and the girl, we picked the boy pup. The markings on Bostons look like a tuxedo, so I wanted to call him Gatsby (plus that is my favorite book and movie). Since we have taken Gatsby home, I have learned an AWFUL lot about Boston Terriers as a breed. It was basically a crash course. Luckily, it’s also been an adventure, and I couldn’t love my crazy dog any more!
You Know You Have a Boston Terrier When…
- Your Dog Can’t Slow Down
This is a real photograph with Gatsby (and often what happens if I try to take photographs with him). He looks like a blur. When anyone except for my boyfriend or I comes home, he gets so energetic that he literally can’t slow down. I’ve watched him run in circles carrying a toy in his mouth between five people, but never stopping long enough to be petted by anyone. The same thing happens when he’s around other dogs…pure madness.
My extended family and Chris have given him several different nicknames, and none of them are exceptionally positive. First, Chris calls him Crackhead, because he’s so wild. My mom calls him Ricochet Rabbit, who was a Hanna-Barbera cartoon rabbit sheriff who was known for his quick speed and ricocheting off every surface nearby. He runs around and jumps off of things and people quite a bit. In addition, my uncle dubbed him the Tasmanian Devil after the Looney Tunes. He does tend to leave our house a wreck after he runs around! Oh, and if you ever want to see something funny, look up “Boston Terrier Dog Shows” on Youtube. The poor dogs can’t stand still for anything!
When we moved to a much larger house, Gatsby was much happier! We have so much space to run around, and a fenced in backyard where he can go crazy. He did escape a few times from our yard, because the previous dog had dug a few holes that we didn’t spot at first. Gatsby ran up the steps to the front door of one person’s house and the next time ran into someone’s house who was just moving in. Luckily, we got him back, no problem!
- Your Dog is Gluttonous and a Fart Machine
I have to put both of these together. Gatsby could eat every single waking moment of the day. He loves food, and scarfs it down as soon as it hits his bowl. We started feeding him a tiny bit more than the recommendation, because we started to really, really see his ribs. He has luckily been trained very well by Chris to sit at a spot opposite of whoever is eating so that he’s not begging. He also freaks out if you ask him, “Want some food?”
When he was a puppy, Gatsby couldn’t digest different kinds of dog foods very well. They gave him terrible gas and diarrhea. We had to eventually switch his dog food to Hills Science Diet, which has a little Boston Terrier on the front. I wish I could say that he completely stopped farting, but that didn’t eliminate it completely. Apparently Boston Terrier suck in a lot of air into their stomachs as they eat and/or throughout the day, so it has to come out some way! This tends to be a problem for dogs with shorter snouts. I can still picture our friend Brent the first time that he came over with Gatsby. He had his face hidden in his t-shirt the whole time to get away from the smell. I feel ya, Brent! I’m just a little too used to it.
- Your Dog Makes Weird Noises
Boston terriers are known as good apartment dogs because they don’t tend to bark too much. They are exceptions to this, however. Gatsby does bark when he’s startled or if someone comes to our door. He only barks once, and then he is pretty much done. He also kind of snuffles around like a little pig. Sometimes the two of us snore, and my boyfriend leaves to go sleep on the couch.
The strangest noise that I have ever heard a dog make was by Gatsby. I’m not sure if this is common for other Boston Terriers, but Gatsby literally screams when he sees other dogs or sees cats. I wish I was exaggerating, but it is the most annoying and mortifying moment when I am walking him and he’s making a huge scene.
- Your Dog is Stubborn
I wouldn’t say that Gatsby has necessarily been hard to train. Chris may be the dog whisperer. He has him trained to a snap (and his deep yell!). Sometimes, when I try to get Gatsby to take a bath or go in his crate, he does what is picture above. He rolls onto his back and basically forces me to pick him up to do whatever terrible thing I’m trying to get him to do. He also looks at me like, “No Mommy, don’t take me!”
He also stares at us if we are supposed to do something. Most of the time, he wants to steal our seat. He will sit beside you and lean against you until you are forced to move. Then, he will happily take your spot. If you get up to go get something, you better bet that this little jerk will have taken your spot. Gatsby did take a while to potty train at the beginning, but now he’s really, really good with it. I want to say that it took a good 6 months of having him. Not sure if that’s normal or not!
- Your Dog Loves Everyone
I know that Gatsby would be the worst guard dog in the world. He’s always so happy to see everybody. It doesn’t matter who you are. He WILL try to jump on you and lick you. If you’re a dog, same thing. He has made friends with gigantic pitbulls and boxers. He simply doesn’t understand the feeling of fear!
I remember taking him for the first time to meet my Uncle Mike’s boxer, Bailey. A few years previous to this, Bailey had more or less attacked my dog Molly (nothing serious, but it scared me). I wasn’t sure what would happen. Bailey growled at Gatsby initially, but he started playing and running circles around her. You could tell that both dogs liked each other, and eventually Bailey got tired out!
Gatsby tries to sleep right on my lap whenever I am relaxing on the couch, or he has to be right beside me. I call him my buddy and my shadow, because he always has to be right behind me. He even tries following me into the bathroom, which isn’t always a welcome experience! No matter what his list of annoying qualities are, Gatsby’s lovable characteristics far outweigh them and make him my little buddy.
Which traits have you seen in other Boston Terriers? Have any funny stories about your pets?
Written By: Melissa from Polka Dot Blonde