Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Irish Bostetter (Boston Terrier & Irish Setter Mix): Info, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

Rachel Giordano

By Rachel Giordano

Parent breeds of the Irish Bostetter (Boston Terrier Irish Setter Mix) - Featured Image

The Irish Bostetter is a hybrid breed that comes with many pleasant qualities. Sometimes, combining two dogs to create a hybrid dog is fairly unpredictable in terms of temperaments, traits, and characteristics, but with the Bostetter, both parent breeds are playful, outgoing, and sweet-natured. If you’ve never heard of an Irish Bostetter, read on to learn more about these hybrid dogs and where they came from.

Breed Overview

Height: 19–22 inches
Weight: 30–45 pounds
Lifespan: 10–14 years
Colors: Seal, white, black, red, chestnut, brown
Suitable for: Active families, families with children
Temperament: Loyal, loving, intelligent, easy to train, friendly, gets along with other pets

The Irish Bostetter is a hybrid combination of the Boston Terrier and the Irish Setter. Both dog breeds carry exceptional traits and temperaments, resulting in a sweet-natured, playful, intelligent, and friendly dog.

Both parent breeds were bred for different reasons: the Boston Terrier, also known as the “American Gentleman,” was bred for pit fighting and killing vermin. On the other hand, the Irish Setter was bred for hunting and retrieving birds. Typically, the look of an Irish Bostetter tends to lean toward a smaller and stouter version of an Irish Setter but with Boston Terrier-like features.

Irish Setters are beautiful, large dogs with brilliant mahogany or chestnut coats. They stand around 2 feet tall and weigh 60 to 70 pounds. The hair is silky and straight, and it’s described as being medium length. They have featherings of fur around the chest, ears, stomach, backs of the legs, and tail. Boston Terriers are short and stout with short coats and smushed faces, weighing from 10 to 25 pounds. The black and white Boston coat resembles a tuxedo, hence the nickname “American Gentleman.” Bostons can also come in brindle or seal.

Irish Bostetter Breed Characteristics



Irish Bostetter Breed Puppies

Parent breeds of the Irish Bostetter puppy (Boston Terrier Irish Setter Mix)
Image Credit: Left – YenniVance, Pixabay | Right – Rebius, Shutterstock

The Irish Bostetter is a combination of two entirely different-sized breeds, which is unique in itself. However, both parent breeds have exceptional temperaments that will likely result in a fun-loving and sweet-natured dog. It’s impossible to predict the size of a Bostetter, considering the vast difference in size. Typically, these dogs are 19 to 22 inches in height from the shoulder and weigh between 30 and 45 pounds.

You will need a breeder in order to add an Irish Bostetter to your family, and finding one will be a challenge. It’s believed these dogs originated in the 1980s in Europe, although the exact history is unclear. Breeders seem to be few and far between, and if you get lucky and find one, ensure the breeder is reputable. Ask to meet the puppy’s parents and be sure to receive a clean bill of health before putting any money down.

You can always check your local animal shelters for one, or you can ask your veterinarian about potential breeders in your area.

Parent breeds of the Irish Bostetter (Boston Terrier Irish Setter Mix)
Image Credit: Left – Erik Mclean, Pexels | Right – Reddogs, Shutterstock

Temperament & Intelligence of the Irish Bostetter

Considering the phenomenal temperaments of the parent breeds, you can rest assured the Irish Bostetter will be friendly, outgoing, and loving. These dogs will likely have the spunkiness of the Boston Terrier and the sweet, good-natured temperament of the Irish Setter. While their size may be unpredictable due to the huge difference, their temperament will be on the positive side with lovely outcomes. Both parent breeds are intelligent, which will result in an intelligent dog. They are friendly with everyone, and they are playful and energetic.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Given their playful, energetic, and cheerful personalities, these dogs are good for families with active lifestyles. They tend to protect the children in their lives and are devoted to their human families. The Irish Bostetter does well with children and is friendly with adult strangers. In other words, they are not advisable for being guard dogs. These dogs love to be in the company of their humans and will want to accompany you on any adventures.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

Not only are Irish Bostetters friendly with people, but they are also friendly and respectful with other pets. They show no aggression around other animals and will want to meet and greet any animal that crosses their path. They can be boisterous at times, but a romp in the yard or a long walk can exert enough energy to calm them down, which is why they do better with active families.

Parent breeds of the Irish Bostetter (Boston Terrier Irish Setter Mix) with other pets
Image Credit: Left – Tamara Hastings, Shutterstock | Right – dannaragrim, Pixabay

hepper-dog-paw-divider 4

Things to Know When Owning an Irish Bostetter:

Before committing to adding an Irish Bostetter to your family, it’s wise to understand their requirements to ensure you keep them healthy, both mentally and physically. Knowing exercise requirements, feeding guidelines, and other pertinent information can help you make the best decision possible.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The Irish Bostetter will require a high-quality diet, with high-quality protein as the first ingredient. Look for dog foods that exclude artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives to ensure the quality of the food. They do well with 3 cups of kibble daily divided into morning and evening feedings.

Exercise 🐕

By now, you can tell that these dogs have high energy, and they do better with active families to fulfill their exercise needs, as they are athletic dogs. These dogs will not do well with a sedentary owner and need plenty of room to romp and play. Having a secured fenced yard is recommended for play and exercise, and you should strive to provide 45 to 60 minutes daily.

A fun way to exercise these dogs is by enrolling them in agility course events. In doing so, their athleticism will shine. These types of dog events will also satisfy their mental stimulation needs. If you’re a walker or runner, take your Irish Bostetter along so you both can get exercise simultaneously.

parent breeds of Irish Bostetter (Boston Terrier & Irish Setter Mix) - irish setter and boston terrier with sticks
Image Credit: Left – dannaragrim, Pixabay | Right – Avis_Colors, Pixabay

Training 🎾

The Irish Bostetter is intelligent, but a downfall is that some can potentially be stubborn, which may interfere with training. It’s beneficial to keep training sessions short and fun for success. If the Irish Bostetter is not in the mood for a training session, they simply will not participate. If this happens, give them a break and try again later. Also, the earlier you start with training, the better the outcome. Positive reinforcement is key to successful training, and remember to keep it fun. Both parent breeds are highly trainable and are eager to please their humans, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble.

Grooming ✂️

Grooming an Irish Bostetter is not too involved. They will likely have a shorter coat that’s not as long as the Irish Setter and not as short as the Boston Terrier. A quick brush a few times a week will keep the coat in shape and remove dead hair.

Dental hygiene is often overlooked, but it’s crucial to keep the gums and teeth healthy. Aim for brushing the teeth at least three times per week, and more if your Irish Bostetter will let you. Ensure you use doggie toothpaste; human toothpaste has harmful and toxic ingredients not meant for canines. Check the ears weekly and clean them when needed with a safe ear solution or ear wipes. Also, clip the nails when needed. You can have your veterinarian or groomer perform these tasks if you’re uncomfortable doing them yourself.

Health and Conditions 🏥

All dogs, whether hybrid, purebred, or mixed, can inherit health issues, but this doesn’t mean your dog will develop serious health conditions. However, it’s good to know any possibilities so you know what to watch for. Knowing the possibilities allows you to get a head start on treatment if needed. Irish Setters are generally healthy dogs, but the Boston Terrier is prone to certain medical issues, which an Irish Bostetter could inherit.

Minor Conditions
  • Cataracts
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Corneal ulcer
  • Cherry eye
Serious Conditions
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Brachycephalic syndrome
  • Patellar luxation
  • Epilepsy
  • Gastric torsion (bloat)
  • Progressive retinal atrophy

Male vs. Female

Males tend to be bigger than females, which is true for any dog breed or hybrid; however, you will see big differences in gender with intact dogs. For example, intact females may become moody and can be more independent. On the contrary, they are less territorial and tend to be calmer than males. Irish Setters are known for being slow to mature, and you may see this is your male Irish Bostetter.

Intact males will be territorial with the desire to roam. Males are a little harder to train because they may not be as focused as females. It’s best to have your dog spayed/neutered to prevent health issues later, such as ovarian or testicular cancer. Spaying/neutering also keeps unwanted bad behaviors to a minimum.


3 Little-Known Facts About the Irish Bostetter

1. They Are Hard to Find

If an Irish Bostetter sounds like your next companion, you may have a difficult time finding a breeder. These dogs are not in high demand, but that could change over time. Since they are scarce, you can expect to pay a high dollar for one.

2. Helen Keller Owned a Boston Terrier

As for one of the parent breeds of these hybrid dogs, Boston Terriers have been owned by elite members of society over the years. Their charm captivated people, and Helen Keller was one of those people who couldn’t resist owning one. Her Boston, named Sir Thomas, even accompanied her to lectures while attending college.

3. Irish Setters Are Talented Hunters

The Irish Setter has sharp hunting skills, and hunters have used them for bird hunting since the 18th century due to their hunting, pointing, and retrieving skills as bird dogs. They have keen noses, strong hunting instincts, and will hit the field passionately and skillfully.

hepper-dog-paw-divider 3

Final Thoughts

The Irish Bostetter may be hard to find, but if you do find one, you’ll gain an excellent companion. We don’t recommend this hybrid dog if you have an inactive family, as these dogs need at least an hour of daily exercise. If you have an active family who loves to go on adventures, the Irish Bostetter is for you. They will gladly accompany you on walks, hikes, hunting excursions, and anything involving being outdoors. Both parent breeds are remarkable companions with desirable temperaments, and the Irish Bostetter will likely inherit the admirable traits.

See Also:

Featured Image Credit: Left – Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock | Right – Mr_Incognito_, Pixabay

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database