Red Boston Terrier – Everything You Need To Know

Boston Terriers trace their origin to Boston, Massachusetts, and belong to the parental lineage of English bulldogs and English terriers. This breed belongs to the non-sporting companion dogs group. A Red Boston terrier resembles a Boston terrier except for the coat color. The red coloration of their coat is due to the presence of melanocyte cells producing the red pigment, pheomelanin. This coloration is often described as a liver tone. Hence, they are also called Liver Boston terriers. Red Boston Terriers result when their parents carry genes (e). However, they are not recognized as one of the standard colors of the Boston Terrier.  

Red Boston Terrier Pros and Cons 

Pros    Cons    
Family DogComplications in breeding
Suitable for apartment livingProne to obesity

Red Boston Terrier Basic Information 

  • Name: Red Boston Terrier
  • Height: 12-17 inches
  • Weight: Female: 10-20 pounds, Male: 15- 25 pounds
  • Coat: Short and smooth 
  • Color: Darker or lighter shades of red
  • Energy: Medium to High 
  • Activities: Companion dogs, family dogs, fighting dogs
  • Group: Companion dogs
  • Barking Level: Medium
  • Shedding Level: Low to Medium
  • Hypoallergenic: No 
  • Litter Size: 3 to 4 puppies
  • Life Span: 13-15 years
  • Other names: Boston Bull, American Gentlemen, Terrier Boxwood

Boston Terrier vs. Red Boston Terrier Comparison 

Features  Boston Terrier  Red Boston Terrier
Origin BostonBoston
Height 12 – 15 inches12 – 15 inches
Weight 10 – 25 pounds10 – 25 pounds
Size Small to mediumSmall to medium
Group Companion dogsCompanion dogs
Children Compatibility HighHigh
Family Compatibility Low to highLow to high
Pets Compatibility HighHigh
Barking Level MediumMedium
Shedding Level Low to mediumLow to medium
Hypoallergenic NoNo
Grooming Needs HighHigh
Overall Health Medium to highMedium to high
Energy Medium to highMedium to high
Exercise Needs Medium to highMedium to high
Trainability MediumMedium
Activities Companion dogs, family dogs, fighting dogsCompanion dogs, family dogs, fighting dogs
Complication in Red Boston TerrierNoNo
Litter Size 3 – 4 puppies3 – 4 puppies
Lifespan 13 – 15 years13 – 15 years
Other Names Boston Bull, American Gentlemen, Terrier BoxwoodBoston Bull, American Gentlemen, Terrier Boxwood

Red Boston Terrier Personality 

The Red Boston Terriers are small-sized dogs, well-known for their intelligent expression. Some of their distinctive physical characteristics include: 

  • Skull and face: Red Boston Terriers are smooshy flat-faced dogs with broad and short skulls. Their face is wrinkle-free, constituting well-balanced cheekbones and arched eyebrows. Their proportionate, deep jaws accommodate small teeth and tongues well encompassed between broad lips.
  • Nose: They have a characteristic reddish-brown nose, matching their paws. A well-defined partition line differentiates adult Red Boston terriers from their puppies. 
  • Eyes: Red Boston terriers have dark, blue-colored, protruding eyes during their puppyhood. However, as they reach four to six months of age, their eye color changes to gold or amber. In addition, their eyes are set wide-apart and well-tucked into the skull, giving them a pleading appearance.  
  • Ears: They have little, upright ears proportionate to their face. This enhances the squareness of their faces. 
  • Body: Red Boston Terriers have a compact stature with a sporty look. These broad-chested dogs have an arched neckline with sloped shoulders. Their leveled topline is supplemented with strong thighs that help them take an elegant gait. Their body ends with a curly or straight and short tail. These canines are well-balanced as the length of their legs is in proportion to their body’s size. 
  • Muzzle: They have a deep and short muzzle that is not skinny. 
  • Coat: Red Boston Terriers have an adorable red, tuxedo-like coat in varying shades of copper to vivid red. Their fur is red with white markings on the chest, between the eyes, and around the muzzle. 

Friendliness Overview

Affection level High 
Family-friendly Medium to High 
Kid-friendly High 
Pet-friendly High 
Stranger -friendly Medium to High 

Adaptability Overview

Good for apartment living High 
Good to new owners   Medium to High 
Sensitivity level High 
Tolerates being alone Medium
Cold-tolerance Medium
Heat-tolerance Low 

Red Boston Terrier Temperament 

Red Boston Terriers are known for their impeccable manners, social nature, and calm temperament. They are pretty intelligent, hyperactive, and affectionate. They love to play fetch, chase balls, walk, and are excellent at agility training. However, they cannot tolerate intensive exercise due to their shorter snout. Therefore, they are well-suited for active families. In addition, their shorter muzzles have contributed to their snoring and drooling tendency. They can be stubborn at times with a quiet and laid-back personality. However, this dramatically varies depending on their training and early socialization exposure. These dogs love to be cuddled and have a sensitive disposition. This makes them great family pets. In addition, they are very loyal and protective of their owners, which may lead to aggression. In the case of male dogs, they can also get aggressive when other canines conquer their territory. You will often see them drawing people’s attention with silly pranks. 

Red Boston Terrier Training 

Red Boston Terriers are known for their easy-to-train attitude and pleasing nature. However, a sudden onset of stubbornness can make their training sessions challenging. Your Red Boston terrier is an intelligent dog who quickly picks up commands. However, early socialization and motivational training work well due to their sensitivity. In addition, you have to be careful with them as they quickly sense their handler’s mood. However, when you shower them with rewards, praise, and play, they enjoy their training sessions. 

Wag Chicken Flavor Training Treats for Dogs
Buy at Amazon

A few basic training sessions for your Boston Bull includes:

Trainability Overview

Easy to train Medium to High 
Intelligence Medium  to High 
Mouthiness tendencies Low 
Barking and Howling tendencies Medium
Prey drive Low
Wanderlust tendencies High 

Red Boston Terrier Exercise Needs 

Red Boston Terriers require exercise daily, but they are not meant for intensive workouts. At the same time, they have to be enticed to play and walk as they won’t perform if left alone. In addition, they can be involved in other exercise routines like playing hide and seek, fetch, frisbee, chasing ball, or swimming

Exercise Needs Overview

Energy level Medium to High 
Exercise needs Medium to High 
Intensity High 
Playfulness High 

Red Boston Terrier Grooming 

Red Boston Terriers don’t shed much. However, their smooth coats have to be brushed once a week to remove loose hair. In addition, you have to use a dog-friendly shampoo for bathing them twice a week. Finally, however, you have to wash their faces daily to protect their large and prominent eyes. 

Hartz Groomer’s Best Combo Dog Brush
Buy at Amazon

TropiClean Dog Shampoo
Buy at Amazon


Tartar buildup and bacteria threaten your little dog’s dental health. Hence, you have to brush him at least twice or thrice a week to prevent these. This will also reduce the prevalence of gum disease and bad breath.

Virbac CET Enzymatic Toothpaste
Buy at Amazon

Pet Toothbrush
Buy at Amazon


You have to prevent your pet from tearing his nails. This calls for the need to clip your dog’s nails once or twice a month. Additionally, while you clip, ensure you don’t cut too far into the skin to prevent bleeding. This way, you can also encourage your dog to cooperate another time. 

BOSHEL Dog Nail Clippers and Trimmer
Buy at Amazon


Since your Red Boston Terrier is prone to developing ear infections, check for signs of redness or a foul odor. Additionally, you can clean your dog’s ear with a cotton ball dipped in pH-balanced ear cleaner to prevent infections. 

Virbac Epi-Optic Advanced Ear Cleanser
Buy at Amazon

Grooming Overview  

Easy to groom High 
Drooling tendency Low
Amount of shedding Low to Medium

Red Boston Terrier Health 

Red Boston terriers have a short snout, making them prone to breathing difficulty. However, this condition is prevalent across all small breed dogs. Therefore, you need to ensure you don’t expose them to a scorching climate and intensive exercise. In addition, like all breeds, they are predisposed to certain health conditions that can be both major or minor. They include:

Major Health Conditions
Patellar luxation
Cherry eye
Brachycephalic syndrome
Minor Health Conditions
Corneal Ulcers
Joint problems

Health Overview  

Overall health Medium to High 
Weight gain tendencies Low to Medium 
Size Small 

Red Boston Terrier specific health conditions 


When your dog experiences a thickening lens, it results in cloudy vision due to their age.  This condition is treatable either through medications or surgery.  

Cherry eye

When your  dog’s third eyelid gland bulges, it leads to redness at the corner of his eyes. However, you can treat this condition surgically.  

Patellar Luxation

Small dog breeds are genetically predisposed to this condition. It occurs when the kneecap is dislocated or moved out of its original position. Although this condition occurs in different degrees with no visible sign of exact pain. You may notice your dog exhibiting a slight lameness when he walks with his four legs and kicks the dormant leg to relocate the patella or the kneecap back to its position. Once this happens, your canine resumes his normal walking. However, leaving the patellar luxation to progress leads to arthritis in dogs. Therefore, it is crucial to get your buddy checked with a vet. 


Deafness is a heritable condition that may present unilaterally (deafness in one ear) or bilaterally  (deafness in both the ears). Therefore, bilaterally deaf dogs require some special considerations. To get to know your pet better, you can adopt a reliable scientific test called the BAER (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response), which helps you detect deafness in dogs. 


  • Food-based allergies: This can be treated by following an elimination diet that removes suspected ingredients the dog may be allergic to.    
  • Contact allergies: These allergies are caused due to the adverse reaction of a dog’s immune system when it comes in contact with a topical substance such as bedding, flea powders, dog shampoos, and other chemicals. Removing the cause of the allergy reduces the symptoms.   
  • Inhalant allergies are caused when your canine accidentally inhales airborne allergens like pollen, dust, and mildew. Treatment for these allergies depends upon their severity. Often, these allergies are accompanied by ear infections.

Corneal ulcers: Red Boston Terrier’s flat faces and prominent eyes lead to the development of corneal ulcers. These ulcers are painful and may cause other symptoms such as:

Symptoms of Corneal ulcers in dogs:

  • Squinting 
  • Pawing or rubbing the eyes
  • Redness and excessive discharge or tearing.

Treatment: Depending upon the severity of the ulcer, either pain-relieving medications like antibiotics, eye drops, ointments, or surgery may be advised. 

Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS): As the nostrils are short, they often experience breathing difficulty. Although all small breeds suffer from breathing difficulties, some dogs are more affected than others and show various symptoms such as:

Symptoms of BOAS in dogs:

  • Loud Breathing and Snoring
  • Intolerance to exercise or heat.
  • Collapse
  • Gagging
  • Regurgitation
  • Vomiting

Treatment: Surgery is the only option available.

Red Boston Terrier Diet and Nutrition 

You can feed Red Boston Terriers with high-quality dry dog food if you opt for a commercial food product. However, you need to ensure the food you are buying contains minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. In addition, select a protein-rich food low in sugar and salt to prevent weight gain, flatulence, and heart issues in your dog. 

Natural Adult Dry Dog Food
Buy at Amazon

Wag Dry Dog Food Beef & Lentil Recipe
Buy at Amazon

Below are the feeding guidelines for your adult dog or puppy: 

Dog’s age Feeding Schedule 
Adult dog0.5 to 1.5 cups of dry food, split into two meals per day
PuppyFeed him at least 3 to 5 times a day

Additionally, you have to check with your vet if this is suitable for your dog’s size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level. 

Red Boston Terrier Living Condition 

Red Boston Terriers are adaptable dogs who are well-suited to apartment life. They are people-oriented dogs who are excellent companions, especially for the elderly and children. However, supervision is necessary while they spend time with kids. Due to the shorter snouts, their noses don’t cool the inhaled air efficiently. Hence, they are pretty intolerant to heat stress. On the other hand, their short coats prevent them from withstanding cold weather. In addition, they drool and snore. 

Adding a Red Boston Terrier  to Your Family

Things to Remember Before Breeding a Red Boston Terrier

Red Boston Terrier mothers often undergo a cesarean section to deliver their puppies. This is due to their smaller pelvis and their puppies’ larger heads. This makes breeding a challenging process. 

Cost of a Red Boston Terrier

A Red Boston Terrier may cost you between  $550 and $2,000. However, the average cost is $1000.

Red Boston Terrier puppy
Find a Dog

Red Boston Terrier Images

Red Boston Terrier Videos 

1st Year with our Red Boston Terrier Puppy Ellie!

Red Boston Terrier

Red Boston Terrier with Blue/Grey eyes. Cutest puppy alive

Leave a Comment