Choosing a Boston for your family
Once your family has decided upon a Boston terrier for a family pet, consider the following:
Should it be a male or a female?
This is strictly a matter of choice. They are both loving and clean, providing you do your job of training him young, with patience and love.
How will a Boston be with children?
Perhaps you should ask, "How will my children treat the Boston pup?" Constant supervision during the early socialization period will help to educate children in the family. Bostons are natural companions and all puppies love children. But neither the kids nor the puppy should be allowed to "rough house". Children who are kind and loving with their new puppy will learn a valuable life lesson.
Children and puppies are meant to be an unbeatable team. However, if the kids haven't had dogs, or puppies before, be prepared to closely supervise all play times. Never allow your children to rough house with the puppy, and never allow your children to tease a puppy. Bringing a new puppy into a house also brings responsibility on your part. The bond that develops between children and their family pet will last a lifetime, and is an important character development for children. The bottom line here is love, and kindness, and more love.
Puppy or an older Boston?
Most families, especially children, prefer a puppy. But remember that housebreaking can be a long process, as is the chewing and teething period. Are you prepared to stick it out Older Bostons are hard to come by but can be the ideal companion for any family. There are lots to be said for a housebroken, well behaved adult.
Care of Your New Boston Puppy
The first few weeks. At 8-12 weeks of age, the average age puppies are sold, they still require more sleep than play time. Children should only be allowed short play periods, then it's off to bed for the puppy. It's a good idea to keep dry food available all the time, as well as fresh water. Change uneaten food every day. In addition, twice a day a small amount of dry food mixed with a little water and some canned meat can be offered. After a few hours throw away left over wet food. Discuss the type of food to use with your breeder. And don't forget those booster shots. See your vet soon after purchasing your new Boston puppy.
House breaking and crate training.
Be patient. Housebreaking takes time and requires bladder control. Like human babies, there is no set time that this will take. It's physical control. All puppies want to be clean and to please you, but be patient. The rule of thumb is: Take the puppy out to do his duty, or on a piece of newspaper: first thing in the morning, after each meal, after every nap, the last thing at night.
Please buy a crate!
Socializing your new Boston puppy. This is a very important part of the puppy's development.
Hold and love your pup, let children play, gently, with him, and take the pup for short walks. Protect it from larger dogs but let passers by pat the puppy. To be a good family member, your new puppy needs to be people oriented.
The ideal setup is a fenced in area so your Boston can run loose. It doesn't have to be the whole yard, nor do you need to use expensive fencing. Daily walks are another good way to exercise your Boston, good for you and the dog. They love it too.
Cut those nails every other week. In order to avoid bleeding, trim only the tips, that part beyond the 'quick'. It's helpful to have either the breeder or your veterinarian give you a lesson in nail cutting. It is a lot easier than you think. Bathing does not need to be done as often. If your pet gets really dirty, then it's time for a bath. Towel dry and don't put the dog outdoors until it is completely dry.
Clean the portion of the ears that you can see very carefully with a dampened Q-tip during bathing. And it's a good idea to accustom him to having his teeth brushed. Your vet has doggy toothpaste.
Manners and Training
Not every visitor wants to be jumped on, and Bostons have springs on their feet! Do plan to get your pup under control and obeying commands early on. Set the ground rules at the beginning of your relationship.
You are the alpha, and that's not debatable.
Your family pet needs a leader and it must be you. Leaders stick to the rules, but are kind and loving at the same time. Don't be a pushover. don't let your Boston run the house. They are good at trying to do just that!
The breeder will let you know what shots the puppy has already had, and will give you a schedule for further vaccinations.
Visit your vet within days of purchasing your new Boston puppy and he too will update you on all that is necessary to raise a healthy pet.
Availability of puppies and expense
Boston Puppies are scarce and expensive. First of all, most Boston mothers require Cesarean sections. Remember the terrier type body and the bully head. The pelvic area of the mother often can't pass the large head of the puppy. Secondly, the average size litter is 2-4 puppies. Third, the mortality rate in Boston pups is high, so a breeder can start with a litter of four and end up with only two or three. If people are only breeding to make a "buck" they are going to choose some other more prolific, free whelping breed. So, this leaves us with a small number of breeders, and a small number of puppies. But if your family has it's heart set on a Boston Terrier, be patient. One will turn up sooner or later. It's worth the wait.