What Are the Different Colors of Boston Terriers?

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Boston Terriers have distinguished tuxedo coats, yet some of them may grow different and unique colors. When thinking of adopting or buying a pet, you also need to know what are the different colors of Boston Terriers, as they can give you an idea about their genetics and health.

What Are the Different Colors of Boston Terriers?

The standard colors for Boston Terriers include black, seal, or brindle colors with white markings. Intentional breeding can cause some Boston Terriers to have blue, red, lilac, and fawn coats. Meanwhile, some health conditions can cause Boston Terriers to have white or merle fur. 

Graphic image of two different colors of Boston Terriers with a text explaining how Bostons have a variety of standard colors for its breed

It’s important to know the different colors of Boston Terriers as these can help you understand the condition of the dog you’re going to buy or adopt. Besides, the American Kennel Club only accepts certain colors for Boston Terriers to enter competitions, so you’ll need to follow the breed’s standards.

Standard Boston Terrier Colors

When you think of Boston Terriers or do a quick image search on the internet, most pictures would show the classic black and white coat. However, there are other common Boston Terrier colors aside from the usual tuxedo-like fur. 

About 25% of purebred dogs enter American shelters each year, so if color is an essential factor for you, make sure to pick colors that best suit your preference.

Black and White Boston Terriers 

Black and white coats provide the classic Boston Terrier look, giving the breed its moniker of “The American Gentleman”. This coat color is a combination of predominant black fur with white markings.

  • Boston Terriers with this color would have sleek, shiny, straight black coats with crisp white muzzle bands, white blazes between the eyes, and white chest splashes. 
  • Purebreds typically have brown eyes and black noses.

Seal and White Boston Terriers 

Also known as brown and white, the American Kennel Club also considers seal and white as an acceptable Boston Terrier coat.

A person touching a Boston Terrier's face
  • The coat looks more black with red undertones, causing Boston Terriers to appear like a wet seal when exposed to bright light.
  • Boston Terriers with this coat can also have black noses and brown eyes.

Brindle and White Boston Terriers 

Brindle coats in Boston Terriers indicate more of a pattern, as this color tends to be rare.

  • Brindle-coated Boston Terriers can come with varying patterns. Some would have solid coat colors, while others would have diluted patterns. 
  • The white stripping can either be minimal or highly evident.
  • May sometimes appear as “tiger stripping”. 

Boston Terrier Colors From Intentional Breeding

While the AKC deems some brindle patterns as acceptable colors for Boston Terriers, it’s vital that you know these colors come from intentional breeding. Since brindle is a form of dilution, the formation of patterns may result in different colors. 

Breeders may charge higher prices for these coat colors. However, these are atypical colorations, so make sure to get health checks and lineage documentation.  


The blue comes from a dilution of the standard black fur. A mutation of the dilution gene causes the black pigmentation to create a lighter tone, ultimately resulting in a bluish hue. 

  • Boston Terriers with predominantly blue coats would also have white streaks. 
  • Boston Terrier puppies with blue coats would change the hue from medium to dark steel blue as they age. 
  • Eyes can be light blue or gray and would darken to hazel-brown as they reach adulthood. 


If diluted black causes blue, lilac fur comes from dilution of black and brown coat. Boston Terriers with this color would have this appearance:

  • Distinct purple-blue coats, sometimes looking like dusty red.
  • Some Boston Terriers can have lilac tones in their noses.
  • Iris can be the eye color and may change into light yellow or amber as they grow into adulthood.
Boston terrier standing on a pillow

Red and White

Instead of a dominant black, some Boston Terriers would have a red coat with white stripping. The shades of red can range from deep red to bright copper. Since this is not a standard color, red and white-coated Boston Terriers tend to have red-colored noses and amber eyes.


Some Boston Terriers may get a light fawn coat that resembles champagne, while others can have dark fawn or light red. Although rare, this coat color also comes from a dilution of black pigmentation.  

  • Fawn-colored Boston Terriers would still have white markings on the muzzle, blaze between the eyes, and chest. 
  • A distinct characteristic is that Boston Terriers with this color would have intermingled black hairs on the fawn fur. 
  • The pattern resembles a Boxer dog’s mask.

Boston Terrier Colors Due to Health Issues

About 75% of people consider appearance when adopting dogs. Intentional or not, these Boston Terrier colors genetically relate to particular health concerns. 

If you want a Boston Terrier with these colors, you also have to be ready with the health effects that come with them so that you can provide the appropriate food intake and grooming needs.  


Albinism isn’t a coat color, per se, as it refers to a lack of pigmentation that creates a white-like coat. Some Boston Terriers may develop off-white or cream-colored coats as they age.

Furthermore, Boston Terriers with this kind of coat can’t go out without sunscreen due to the high risk of sunburn. As a result, they have a high rate of skin irritations and allergies.


Also called dapple or harlequin, merle is a controversial coat color for Boston Terriers. Merle is a common coat pattern among breeds like Border Collie, Australian Shepherd, Catahoula Leopard, and Shetland Sheepdogs. However, Boston Terriers don’t naturally get a merle coat. 

Hence, a Boston Terrier with this kind of coat color is most likely not a purebred. While crossbreeding can help you achieve this color, know that this also risks potential health issues such as deafness and abnormal eye conditions.

Boston Terrier dog breed. All breed characteristics and facts about Boston Terrier dogs


Boston Terriers have traditional black and white furs, as well as seal and brindle coats with white markings. Breeders can produce blue, red, or lilac colors, while albino or merle coats come with health issues. However, keep in mind that a Boston Terrier’s health is more important than the color.

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