Are you planning to breed your dog? Maybe one of your concerns is at what age can you breed a Boston terrier? In this article, I will talk about the right age to breed, what are the things to consider, health concerns when breeding, and your responsibility as a breeder.
What Age Can You Breed a Boston Terrier?
A Boston Terrier should be at least 2 years old to breed. It applies to both male and female dogs. Male and female Boston Terriers should be physically and emotionally mature before they are allowed to breed.
You should consider if your dog is up to standard, healthy enough to bring pups into the world, and is physically ready to give birth.
Official Standard of a Boston Terrier
The American Kennel Club provides a list of body features and abilities of Boston Terriers before they can be considered up to the standard. These standards can also serve as your guide if you are planning to breed or want to get another puppy.
Here are some of the standards acceptable to AKC in Boston Terriers:
Size, Proportion, and Substance
The Boston Terriers’ body weight is divided into three categories: under 15 pounds, 15 pounds to under 20 pounds, and 20 pounds and not exceeding 25 pounds. To achieve a square appearance, their legs should be in equal length with the body. Their bones and muscles should be well-proportioned.
Here’s a list of considered head features for a Boston Terrier:
- Skull: flat on the top, square-shaped, without wrinkles, flat cheeks
- Expression: alert and kind
- Eyes: wide apart, dark, large, and round
- Ears: small, erect, situated at the corners of the skull
- Muzzle: short, square, wide, and deep
Shoulders, Elbows, and Front Legs
The shoulders should be well laid back. The elbows are neither in nor out. The front legs are set moderately wide apart. They should be aligned with the upper tip of the shoulders. The feet are small, round, and compact.
Thighs and Hind Legs
The thighs should be strong and well-muscled. The thighs should be bent on the knee joint (stifle). The hock joint should be well-defined.
Coat and Color Markings
The coat of Boston Terriers should be short and smooth. The texture should be fine. Acceptable colors are brindle, seal, or black with white markings.
A Boston Terrier that does not meet these standards will not be considered for breeding.
Responsibilities of a Boston Terrier Breeder
If you are planning to breed your Boston Terrier, be ready for the doubled or maybe tripled responsibilities. To make the breeding successful from start to finish, you must perform your responsibilities as a breeder. Here they are.
Know the Pedigree
Take time to research the pedigree of your Boston Terrier from the farthest that you can get. It is very important to know if there are possible diseases in his or her line. Sometimes, they may not show signs of those diseases. They are just carriers.
Once they are bred, those hidden disorders may be seen in one or all of the litter. Some of them may be carriers too. To avoid producing offsprings with a disorder or carrier, knowing where and what kind of Boston family they came from is very essential.
Know the Possible Diseases
Not all diseases are hereditary, sometimes they can just develop over time. Proper testings can be done to diagnose diseases that your dog may have. You should have regular testing for diseases that are common to Boston Terriers.
By doing this, you are not just being a responsible owner. You are also protecting your dog from future diseases that may cost them their life.
Here are some health concerns common to Boston Terriers:
- Dystocia: due to their small hips and birth canal. Boston Terriers will usually have difficulty in giving birth. The size of the puppy’s head is also a big factor. At least 80% of Boston terriers undergo C-sections rather than normal birthing.
- Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome: happens when the airway is blocked by a compressed soft tissue in the nose. It causes difficulty in breathing. Most Boston Terriers will experience it at different extents.
- Patellar Luxation: is typically hereditary or caused by the genes. Sometimes it can be due to physical trauma. Patellar luxation is when the knee cap moves out of its place causing your Boston Terrier to skip or move using only three legs. In severe cases, patellar luxation needs surgery.
- Hip Dysplasia: is usually inherited from parent dogs, and typically happens in growing puppies. It is an issue in bone formation which causes the hip joints not to form properly. As a result, the bones in the hips will grind together which can lead to arthritis.
- Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts (JHC): is one of the most common ailments in purebred dogs. An estimated 11% of Boston Terriers are affected by JHC whether a carrier or showing the disorder itself. You can detect JHC in puppies as early as 8 to 12 weeks of age.
Accept the Risks and Additional Puppy Responsibilities
There are lots of risks before mating, during pregnancy, and after giving birth. As a breeder, you have to be prepared for these stages. Proper medical care should be given to the mother dog and her puppies. Additionally, the puppies need to stay with their mom for at least 8 weeks before rehoming.
How Many Puppies Can a Boston Terrier Have?
Boston Terriers can have an average of 3 to 5 puppies in a litter. The number of puppies is mainly affected by their size. In rare situations, they can have a maximum of 7 puppies in one litter.
How Long Does a Boston Terrier Stay Pregnant?
A Boston Terrier can stay pregnant for an average of 63 days. This is the normal gestation period for dogs. Expect them to give birth between the 63rd to 65th day of pregnancy.
Breeding your Boston Terrier requires a proper age, which is at least 2 years old. This is to ensure that their body and mind are ready. Breeding is not an easy task both for the dog and the breeder. Make sure that you are also prepared for the responsibilities.