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Bostalian (Italian Greyhound & Boston Terrier Mix): Info, Pics, Traits

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By Nicole Cosgrove

bostalian italian greyhound boston terrier

Height: 13 – 15 inches
Weight: 15 – 25 pounds
Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
Colors: Blue, red, brown, black, white
Suitable for: Active families looking for a low-shedding, energetic dog
Temperament: Loyal, Loving, Kind, Elegant, Relaxed, Stubborn

The Bostalian is a hybrid breed that crosses the Italian Greyhound with the Boston Terrier. The resulting breed tends to be sociable and outgoing. They get along with all people and other dogs, but their Greyhound lineage means that they may not be suitable to keep around smaller animals, including cats.

The Boston Terrier was bred as a fighting dog and has existed for more than a century. They are nicknamed the “American Gentleman”, thanks in part to their tuxedo style markings. They are a medium-sized dog, but as a terrier, they require a lot of exercise.

The Italian Greyhound is a similarly-sized medium dog and was bred to hunt small game. They are more often chosen as a family dog nowadays, and they are especially prized because they are rarely vocal. They can be a little shy and timid, so usually require early socialization.

Combining the Italian Greyhound and Boston Terrier has given rise to a popular, medium-sized dog. The Bostalian has moderate to high energy levels, does require early socialization, and despite being loving and wanting to please their owner, they can be a little stubborn.

Divider 1Bostalian Puppies


The Bostalian is a popular dog and generally considered to be a relatively trouble-free breed, even for first-time owners.

Always ensure that you buy from a reputable breeder — dishonest breeders do exist. As well as trying to sell different breeds as Bostalians, they may not take good care of their animals. Ask to meet at least one of the parent dogs. This will usually be the mom and meeting her will give you a good chance to get to know the breed better. You will get a good understanding of their size and physical characteristics, and the mother’s temperament can also dictate the temperament of her puppies. If she is alert, energetic, and happy to meet you, it usually means that she is kept in good conditions and allowed to socialize. Her puppies will benefit from the same environment.

If you decide to check your local shelter to rescue one of these pups, ensure that you meet them before agreeing to take them home. You can learn a lot from one or two meetings, and this will give you a chance to introduce them to the kids and other family members. You can also ask the shelter whether they have been tested with cats and how they react to other people.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Bostalian Dog

1. The Boston Terrier Was the First Official American Breed

In the 1860s, an English cross between a Bulldog and English Terrier, named Judge, was sold to an American breeder called William O’Brien. Judge was transported to Boston, where he was bred with a white female. Since then, he has been bred smaller and sweeter, so as to become the companion pet that he is known as today, rather than the fighting dog of his predecessors.

Although they were originally known as the American Bull Terrier, The Boston Terrier Club was formed in 1891 and the breed was first recognized by the American Kennel Club two years later, in 1893. As well as being the official dog of Boston University, he was also named as the official dog of Massachusetts.

2. The Boston Terrier Makes A Great Guard Dog

Although the breed is known for his impeccable manners and good graces, he actually makes a very effective guard dog. He is very loyal, and he is protective of his family. He also has a surprisingly loud bark for a dog of his somewhat diminutive stature. If he sees somebody he doesn’t know approaching his family’s territory, or if he thinks his family is under threat, he is happy to vocalize his concerns. He will let you, all of your family, and possibly a few of your neighbors know that there is a potential intrusion.

3. The Italian Greyhound Adapts Very Well to Small Living Spaces

The Italian Greyhound is a medium to small dog and while a lot of people expect him to have high energy levels, he is actually just as happy curled up on the sofa with his family as he is chasing small animals through fields. Two or three brisk 20-minute walks a day will prove ample exercise, and although they can experience mad moments, they will settle into apartment life very well.

They are also known for being quiet dogs, rarely raising their voice, which means that they are especially suited to life in an apartment, where the neighbors tend to live in close proximity to the dog’s family. The only time you will think of the Italian Greyhound as being especially large is when they sleep, because they do love to stretch their legs out when they rest.

Parent Breeds of the Bostalian
Image Credit: Jumpstory

Temperament & Intelligence of the Bostalian Dog 🧠

The Bostalian tends to be a lively and active little dog and has plenty of love to give to his owners. He will adapt to life in an apartment, but he will have reasonable energy levels and will require somewhere to run around and burn off his energy. Although his exact temperament will depend on which parent breed is dominant, you should expect a dog that requires early and ongoing socialization, but one that will excel at high energy sports like agility. He may well have a high prey drive, which means that it could prove difficult to introduce him to cats and other smaller animals when he gets older.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

The Bostalian is considered an excellent family dog. He will get along with all human family members, including small children, and he will love to spend time playing and causing a little mischief with older children. He is not usually aggressive or snappy, is understanding of children, but you will need to supervise time spent with very small children because they can tend to grab and pull.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

As well as being great family dogs for human families, the Bostalian also makes a great companion dog for other dogs. They will not usually be too troublesome, will want to make friends rather than attack or snap at the other dog, and they may benefit from being shown how to behave around people.

However, they can have a considerable prey drive, and this means that they are not well suited to life with cats and other small animals. This also means that they may not be suitable for walking off the leash. As is typical with any breed, a Bostalian will normally get along with cats if they are introduced when they are puppy and kitten, but this does not mean that they will get along with a new cat later in life.

Divider 4Things to Know When Owning a Bostalian:

Before considering buying or adopting one of this breed, there are some factors to take into consideration.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The Bostalian is not a picky eater, and he does not really have any special dietary requirements. Expect to feed approximately one and a half cups of food per day, ideally spread over two meals. If you use treats as a means of training, remember to take this into account and deduct the equivalent from your Bostalian’s daily food allowance.

Exercise 🐕

When it comes to exercise, the Bostalian is fairly active and lively. He will enjoy getting out and burning off some energy, ideally being given two or three walks a day, each lasting for about 20 minutes. Expect to walk between seven and 10 miles a week. Although the terrier benefits from running and sprinting, the Greyhound is just as happy with a brisk walk, and unless your dog has an exceptional recall, you should avoid letting them run free off the leash, because of their high prey drive.

Training 🦮

You should expect a degree of stubbornness when it comes to training this lively breed. This means that you will need to be firm and persistent, although this should never be taken to mean being physical with your dog. Once you have installed yourself as master and as the alpha dog, training will become easier. The Boston Terrier, in particular, is known for picking up a large roster of tricks and commands, and with persistent and fun training, you can expect your hybrid to show a similar willingness.

Early socialization is important. The Greyhound, in particular, can be quite shy and timid. By signing up for puppy classes, you enable your dog to meet new people and make friends with other dogs, while also giving you the extra confidence that comes from attending.

Grooming ✂️

Grooming a Bostalian is also relatively simple, although you should not expect him to have a “hypoallergenic” coat like the Italian Greyhound. However, your dog’s fur will be simple and relatively short. Both he and you will benefit from giving your dog a weekly brush. This will remove any dead hair and provide greater comfort for the dog. It also limits the amount of dog hair that gets on furniture and the floors.

You will need to pay attention to their eyes. The Boston Terrier is known for weeping eyes, and as well as potentially looking unsightly this can lead to other complications. Be prepared to wipe your dog’s eyes with a damp cloth, every day if necessary.

Like any breed, you will need to provide assistance in dental hygiene and nail clipping. Brush their teeth at least twice a week, ideally three times, and get into this habit when they are a puppy. Not all older dogs are comfortable with a toothbrush in their mouth if they have not become accustomed to it at a younger age. Similarly, start trimming their nails when they are young and when it is necessary. You can usually tell when a dog’s nails need trimming because of the noise they make on hard floors.

Health and Conditions ❤️

Both dogs are hardy breeds, and the Bostalian is an equally healthy dog. There are some complaints that the parent breeds are more prone to, and you should keep an eye out for these. If you see any signs or symptoms of the following conditions, get your dog checked out by a vet as soon as possible.

Minor Conditions
  • Eye complaints
  • Cataracts
Serious Conditions
  • Patellar luxation
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease

Divider 5Male vs. Female

Both genders of this breed are known to be sweet and loving, but some owners have reported that the male is slightly easier going. Both genders also reach a similar size and weight, but you should expect the male to grow slightly larger.

Divider 3Final Thoughts: Bostalian Dogs

The Bostalian is considered a sweet, loving, and likable little dog. Enroll in puppy classes and ensure that your puppy is well socialized, and always take care around small animals because they can exhibit a high prey drive.

Other than this, and a potentially stubborn attitude, the breed is excellent for any owner, including first-time dog owners and inexperienced handlers. Their size means that they will adapt to life in an apartment, although their energy requirements dictate that they will need two or three brisk walks a day to stay healthy.

We hope you have a chance to get to know this fun-loving pup!

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Featured Image Credit: Rebekah Zemansky, Shutterstock

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