Boston Terriers are a small breed of dog that originated from Boston, Massachusetts in the U.S. He’s often described as a friendly, lively, and smart companion that makes you smile.
And he does shed, but not very much.
Summary: Boston Terriers have a short, smooth coat that sheds very little year-round, although you may notice a slight increase in shedding in late spring and fall. They’re also very easy to groom, so brushing every few days with a rubber brush or bristle brush can help you maintain his coat and keep your home fur-free.
In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at how much hair you can expect to see around the home, what they’re like to groom and some of the best ways to keep shedding to a minimum.
Boston Terrier Shedding
Boston Terriers are a low shedding breed.
They’re not as low shedding as some dogs, like the Havanese for example, but they’re not far from it either. And they generally don’t shed as much as breeds like the Pug or French Bulldog. Overall, they drop about the same amount of hair as a Shih Tzu.
Either way, being a small dog, there’s only so much hair he can drop. And when the hair does fall out, it’s typically not very noticeable given how short his coat is.
But there is one caveat to this. While Boston Terriers do shed very little throughout most of the year, the shedding does tend to increase once or twice per year as the seasons change.
This is known as seasonal shedding. And the good news is, it’s not very extreme with a Boston Terrier, especially not compared to a large dog with a thick double coat. But you may notice a slight increase in shedding in late spring to early summer or late fall to early winter.
Shedding is a natural, normal process most dogs go through, the old fur is simply falling out to make way for the new batch. And the reason some dogs shed more than others has to do with the individual breed and their hair growth cycle. As in, how quickly their hair goes from the growth phase (anagen) to falling out, which is something that differs from dog to dog.
In any case, shedding is normal and for the most part, nothing to be concerned about. Even healthy dogs can shed heavily depending on the breed and factors like the time of year.
In some cases, however, the shedding can be cause for concern. And factors like stress, poor diet, fleas, and allergies can cause excessive shedding. So if you believe the molting isn’t “normal” for your dog, contact your local veterinarian.
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Are Boston Terriers Hypoallergenic?
No, Boston Terriers are not hypoallergenic.
The term “hypoallergenic” is somewhat controversial though, because it seems to imply that dogs labelled as hypoallergenic won’t cause problems for allergy sufferers, which is simply NOT the case.
There is no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog breed. Even non-shedding and completely hairless breeds can be allergenic. And this is because the hair itself isn’t the problem, it’s mostly the dog’s dander (dead skin flakes) that cause issues for people who suffer from allergies.
Related: What is a Hypoallergenic Dog?
And a dog’s dander can cling to their fur, so the more they molt, the more dander can spread around your home and become airborne. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that, because Boston Terriers don’t shed much, they may be more suitable for those who suffer from allergies than a heavy shedding breed.
But he’s not considered to be hypoallergenic by the American Kennel Club, which lists hypoallergenic breeds, like the Basenji for example, on their website. So there are potentially better options than a Boston Terrier for people who want a non-allergenic dog.
What Are They Like to Groom?
Boston Terriers are a very low maintenance breed, grooming them doesn’t require a lot of time or effort.
And the main reason for this is because they have a short, smooth coat. So, unlike dogs with thick, profuse coats (like the Great Pyrenees), they typically only need a brush once per week.
During periods of heavier shedding, however, you may want to step this up to brushing a few times per week. But either way, it’s not a difficult job and doesn’t take very long at all.
The best brush to use for a Boston Terrier is either a rubber brush or soft-bristle brush. Both of these are inexpensive, are suitable for dogs with short, smooth coats and work well to maintain the coat and remove loose fur.
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There are different variations of rubber brush in the market, but basically these are just brushes (or hand gloves) with rubber, instead of pins or bristles, that massage the dog’s skin and remove dead hair. And bristle brushes are made of tightly packed bristles that are ideal for short-coated dogs.
Boston Terriers don’t smell or have that typical dog odor either, so they really only need the occasional bath. And, like most dogs, trimming his nails regularly is important.
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Reducing Excessive Shedding
Reducing the amount of fur your Boston Terrier sheds mostly comes down to brushing, bathing and making sure his diet is optimal. There’s no magic pill, but these simple things can help.
Brushing is probably the simplest and easiest method of all. A five minute brush every couple of days with a rubber brush or bristle brush can go a long way to keeping your home fur-free.
Not only does this remove the old, dead hair before it drops off of him and onto your furniture, but it massages his coat and spreads his skin oils. Which naturally promotes a healthy, moisture rich coat.
Bathing also helps because it can loosen up the old fur. So bathing your Boston Terrier with a good quality dog shampoo, followed by a thorough brushing session, can remove a lot of dead hair. However, it’s important to avoid over bathing him, as this can dry out his skin, which in turn can actually increase shedding and just isn’t nice for him.
What you feed your Boston Terrier can also make a difference. Selecting a dog food that is made of quality ingredients, and one that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and things like Omega 3 and Omega 6, can be beneficial. And this is something that your vet should be able to help you with.
At the end of the day, you can’t completely stop shedding, it’s something most dogs do. But thankfully the American Gentleman (AKA Boston Terrier) doesn’t shed much.
And these simple tips can help you keep whatever he does molt off of your furniture, clothes and floors. So you can spend more time enjoying his company, and less time vacuuming! See our full guide to reducing excessive shedding for more tips.