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Red Boston Terrier: Breed Info, Pictures, Traits & Facts

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Red Boston Terrier

Height: 15–17 inches
Weight: 12–25 pounds
Lifespan: 11–13 years
Colors: Red and white
Suitable for: Active families with older children, experienced pet owners
Temperament: Entertaining, attractive, people-oriented

Boston Terriers are energetic companion dogs. They are easily recognizable by their tuxedo jacket. Red Boston Terriers are exactly like regular Boston Terriers, only they have a red coloration. They are not technically a separate breed and are extremely similar in terms of temperament. The only difference is their coloration.

Most prominent breeders do not even advertise their dogs as “red”, even if they have the reddish coloration. The term “Red Boston Terrier” is mostly used as a marketing ploy to allow breeders to charge extra for their dogs, even though the red coloration isn’t any rarer than the regular black-and-white. However, this coloration is not recognized by any national or international organization.

Despite this, we will review the personality and temperament of this breed below. There isn’t much difference between a Red Boston Terrier and a regular Boston Terrier.

Divider 1Red Boston Terrier Puppies

red color seven week old Boston Terrier puppy_Susan Schmitz_shutterstock
Image Credit: Susan Schmitz, Shutterstock


Boston Terriers are apartment dogs. They’re compact and sturdy. They don’t weigh more than 25 pounds, with many being much smaller than that. They have a tuxedo pattern, which is one of their most defining features. Their head is very square, and their muzzle is very compact. This compact muzzle can cause some health problems, which we will discuss in depth later.

These dogs are well-known for their people-oriented nature. They are curious, and many consider them to be personality dogs. These canines are very alert and can be a bit noisy. However, they are not nearly as yappy as other dogs.

Red Boston Terriers are great for apartment living due to their small size and low maintenance.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Red Boston Terrier

1. Red Boston Terriers are not a separate breed

They are just a different coloration from the usual Boston Terrier. They are not particularly rarer, though the coloration is not recognized by most national programs.

2. Red Boston Terriers are also called Liver Boston Terriers.

Liver is a coloration descriptor that refers to a reddish tone. Because of this, Red Boston Terriers are also described as having a liver coat.

3. Red Boston Terriers are a native American breed.

They are one of the few breeds that first appeared in the United States.


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Temperament & Intelligence of the Red Boston Terrier 🧠

Despite being smaller dogs, Red Boston Terriers have a lot of energy. They need to play and take walks daily. They do best in active families because of this. They love to play fetch and are great at things like agility training—even if you don’t plan on competing.

Because of their short muzzles, these canines do not do particularly well in the heat or cold. They may need to be protected from the elements. Red Boston Terriers also don’t do well with intense exercise, as they cannot breathe properly. Furthermore, their short muzzle also causes them other problems. They tend to snore a lot and drool—this is due to their breathing difficulties.

Red Boston Terriers are very adaptable and can live basically anywhere as long as they are protected from the climate. They enjoy being around people, whether they know the person or not. They are gentle, but may not necessarily be great with small children because they can be easily injured. They are sometimes protective of their owner, which can cause some aggression. They tend to be a bit clingy.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

They can be with proper socialization. They can be a bit protective of their “primary” owner, which can result in some aggression towards those who try to approach this owner. This can be particularly worrisome with children, who may become scared of the dog.

Furthermore, these dogs are sturdy, but they are also very small. Toddlers and young children can easily hurt them if they are not used to being gentle with animals. This can result in snapping and bites. They should always be supervised with children for this reason.

Overall, Red Boston Terriers can be good with children if they are socialized properly. Of course, you should always keep an eye on the interaction for the sake of the dog and child.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

Yes. The Boston Terrier does not have strong prey instincts. Because of this, they usually will not chase cats or other small animals. They are not particularly friendly to other dogs and are not pack-oriented. However, if they are raised with other canines, they tend to be friendly towards them.

They can be a bit protective of their owner, which is something you’ll need to keep in mind when introducing new dogs into your household. However, they are often not protective against dogs they grow up with. If you socialize them with a wide variety of canines when they are young, they will often turn out friendly.

Boston Terrier - Red and white
Image By: PeakPX

Divider 4Things to Know When Owning a Red Boston Terrier:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

As small dogs, Red Boston Terriers don’t eat very much. Because of this, it is easier to feed them a high-quality food than it is a larger dog. They eat less, so you can often afford to feed them a bit higher quality food than you may your large dog.

Boston Terriers do not have any particular dietary needs. They can eat any commercial dog food. Because of their common health problems, you may want to feed them a particularly high-quality dog food. Of course, there is no guarantee that the food will prevent health problems, but it can’t hurt!

Exercise 🐕

Red Boston Terriers need regular exercise. They are not particularly sedentary like other small dogs. They will require regular walks and playtime. However, because they are smaller, they do not need as much exercise as larger dogs, however. They can function in a city well as long as you walk them regularly.

You cannot expect your Boston Terrier to get enough exercise when left to their own devices. They love people too much to run around a yard by themselves. Instead, they will need you to purposefully wear them out every day.

They do not do well at home by themselves all day. Because of this, dog walkers are often used to get these dogs out and about on a daily basis.

Training 🦮

Boston Terriers are very easy to train. Early socialization and puppy classes are very recommended. However, when socialized and trained early, Red Boston Terriers grow into very well-mannered dogs. They are not the smartest dogs, so it may take them a bit longer to figure out commands than other breeds. However, once they know what you want, they will almost always perform.

Patience is required for training these dogs, but they tend to be very eager to please.

Grooming ✂️

Red Boston Terriers will shed some, but not nearly as much as other dogs. A weekly brushing session is plenty. A hand glove is a great option for grooming these dogs since they likely won’t run away from you petting them.

They only need to be bathed occasionally when they get messy. You will also need to trim their nails and brush their teeth regularly.

Health and Conditions ❤️

Boston Terriers can not breathe properly. They are brachycephalic, which means their faces are squished to the point that it interferes with their breathing. This can cause all sorts of health problems. For example, they are sensitive to anesthesia and heat. They are also prone to a variety of other health conditions, mostly because of their misshapen faces.

Minor Conditions
  • Cataract
  • Corneal ulcers
  • Joint problems
Serious Conditions
  • Patellar luxation
  • Cherry eye
  • Allergies
  • Brachycephalic syndrome

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Final Thoughts

Red Boston Terriers are just normal Boston Terriers with liver coloration. They are not particularly uncommon, though the coloration is not recognized by most national kennel clubs. These dogs are best for apartments and active families. They are small and compact but need a bit of exercise each day.

They are easy to train and get along with most animals and people when well-socialized. Early socialization is necessary, though, because they can be a bit protective of their primary owner. They are also quite unhealthy due to their short faces.

Featured Image Credit: safepaws, Pixabay

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