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How to Find a Reputable Boston Terrier Breeder

  • April 9, 2018
  • By MaggieLovesOrbit
How to Find a  Reputable Boston Terrier Breeder

Know what a Boston Terrier Puppy should look like and why you should find a reputable breeder

If you’re looking for a Boston Terrier puppy, educating yourself with what they look like and how to find a reputable breeder should be a priority.  I learned this lesson late and so I want to save you some heartache and time.

First thing is you have to know what the standard looks like.  Not knowing what the breed standard is means you could easily be duped into buying what you think is a Boston Terrier puppy.

ANY breeder can register the puppy and tell you they are purebred and that they are AKC registered.  This is just paperwork and words.

It’s not enough to be simply purebred, or mix bred. They must be PURPOSEFULLY bred.
Acquire your family member from a responsible AKC Breeder. Health tested families. They’re purposefully preserving the specific integrity of the breed of your CHOICE.

A purposeful breeders respects the standards of over hundred year plus tradition of excellence.

6 photos side by side showing what a purebred boston looks like vs. wellbred

I didn’t know the difference with my first Boston Terrier Puppy

My first Boston Terrier came from a puppy mill.  There I said it.  And no I didn’t know it at the time when I purchased her.

I found her online … went to go see her.  A few red flags, parents were not on site.  She really wasn’t very conversational.  Not much being shared about the health or temperament other than making sure I was really clear on the price.

But I was done at the smell of her puppy breath.  I paid my deposit and picked her up a week later.  She was 8 weeks.

I would encounter others in our neighborhood who picked up puppies from the same breeder.  A few puppies had developed major illnesses.  One even passed.  Sounded so odd to hear these stories about the breeder.  Our Zoey had a few health issues.  Her heart was too big.  And she had symptoms of hip problems.  Sadly we lost her too early (neighbor’s dog attacked her).  And I won’t go into it more than that.

So then we had an empty home.  Nothing worse than not having a puppy around.  It was quiet.  I remember we would leave all the time – we didn’t want to be in a home that didn’t have Zoey.

I was determined to find a new Boston Terrier.

How to Find a  Reputable Boston Terrier Breeder

Looking for a Reputable Boston Terrier Breeder Takes Time

I had to learn patience.  Being that my first puppy was found online and fairly immediately available … this was now a waiting game.  Puppies don’t grow on trees you know.

Unlike larger breeds that have ten to twelve puppies at a time; the boston terrier breed has small litters.  Some one.  Some four.  Some more.

Go meet breeders where they are – at dog shows

We started going to dog shows to see if we could meet some breeders.  I basically threw myself in front of the people showing asking for a puppy.

There wasn’t much of a response.

Basically it was like trying to get to home base on the first date.  It doesn’t happen like that.

two boston terriers playing in bed
two boston terriers playing in bed


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A reputable breeder has a commitment to improving the breed

I really wanted to get a dog from someone who showed dogs.  Not that because I myself was going to show … but I understood that show breeders had a commitment to the line and health of the dog which was above the care a casual breeder might.

A dedicated breeder can tell you about the puppy’s pedigree and would have a record of the puppy’s parents, grandparents and further back (depending on how long they have been breeding).

Keep in mind “AKC Registration” doesn’t mean that the puppy you’re interested in is a fully fledged Boston Terrier.  It just means it was registered with AKC.

A welcome back program

Full disclosure and a welcome back program was also the norm for a reputable breeder.  They would let you know all the health issues and be the first to want to take the puppy back home should you not be able to care for it.

A reputable breeder is just as interested in you as you are in them and the puppy

And I also learned … show or reputable breeders are just as interested in you as you are in the puppy.  They want to know your profession (can you afford the care of the dog for it’s lifetime); and your schedule and activities …. because they view these puppies as extended family.  So they want to make sure they are going to good hands.


Join your local Boston Terrier Club

So after a few months of chasing the idea of puppies, I joined the local Boston Terrier Club.  And through the club connections, I was able to get referrals to Maggie and then Orbit.

I’m very happy with my two.  And even more, I’ve gained new friends.   The breeders have become the girl’s “grandpuppy parents”.  We communicate and stay in touch.

Because this method has worked for me – it’s what I recommend to those that ask me.  But I know it doesn’t always work like that for everyone so here’s a few more notes:

  • Start off by looking up the National Boston Terrier Club website.
  • Look for the local breeders in your area and call them.
  • Keep in mind 95% of reputable breeders are not going be online.  The reason is the transaction of puppies going into new homes is relationship based and most of this happens at the dog shows or dog clubs or referrals.  And so most puppies are spoken for or have a long waiting list.
  • Just because someone says they are “AKC” registered doesn’t mean the puppy is healthy or comes from a line that meets breed standards.  AKC registration is just paperwork someone files.
  • Always ask for health testing records.
  • Ask about the welcome back program.
  • See if you can visit the breeder’s home and meet the puppies.
  • Ask if the parents are on site.
  • Interestingly enough – reputable breeders also won’t let you bring the puppy home until they are between 10 and 12 weeks of age.  The additional time allows the puppy to learn more from their litter.   A dedicated breeder knows how much a puppy has to gain by staying longer with her pack and her mother.  The first 12 weeks shapes your puppy’s future.  The breeder is most likely aware of the teaching of “Puppy Culture” of the “Puppy’s Rule of 12”.
  • If you’re looking for two puppies, reputable breeders will not let you take two littermate puppies home to avoid littermate syndrome.

Now these are just some cliff notes of what you should ask your breeder.

Instead of recreating the list – I urge you to do your own research and reading.  A complete list of all your questions can be found by reading through the Boston Terrier National Club site.

Educate yourself on what it means to have a Boston Terrier be “Breed Standard“.  Also understand about approved Boston Terrier Coat Colors.

What are some Red Flags when considering a Boston Terrier Puppy that meets Breed Standard

I am assuming that if you are reading this article, you’re interesting in finding a healthy boston terrier puppy from a breeder that has experience in the breed.

I also am assuming that if you want a boston terrier puppy you should know the difference between what makes a dog meet the breed’s standards and what doesn’t.  If a seller is claiming to sell you a “boston terrier puppy” then that’s what you should get.  Not a boston terrier puppy that will develop health issues or one that has been mixed with a chihuahua or other breed.

There are a lot of hobby breeders that care deeply for their dogs.  And you may be the type of dog parent that wants to obtain a puppy from a hobby breeder.  There is nothing wrong with that.  Just know that a hobbyist will not have as much information passed onto you as a puppy from a reputable ethical breeder.

So without further ado – here are some red flags when you’re considering a puppy for your home.

  • Bloated bellies on puppies – indicating a possible worm infection
  • Incorrect head shape
  • Eyes that are easty westy (eyes that are not centered and looking at different walls)
  • Blue eyes
  • Long noses
  • Long tails
  • Ears like jackrabbits
  • Nails that are long and sharp (indicating the breeder is neglecting nail care)
  • Inability of the breeder to explain the pedigree
  • Inability of the breeder to explain the health issues
  • Disqualified colors (blue, red etc).  A great site to learn from is Colored Boston Terrier Truths
  • Not sharing results of recommended health testing
  • Puppies that are sent home at 8 weeks.  Most reputable breeders will ask to wait until 9 weeks at a minimum all the way up to 12 weeks
  • Saying that the whole line is 100% healthy.  There’s always some known issues even if it’s a few generations back.
  • Breeders who have multiple litters each year.  A reputable breeder, breeds for the dog fancy and allows their dog to rest between litters.
  • Dull thin sparse coats – will indicate generalized demodex
  • A breeder that states pups are HUU clear and CMR clear.  These are not standard tests and a breeder claiming this is either new to the breed or got one of those off the shelf cheek swab tests to claim their pups are health tested
  • A breeder who claims to be an AKC “Breeder of Merit” but when you look it up on the AKC website you cannot validate it on the AKC website
  • Breeders that do not ask you questions.  A reputable breeder wants to build a relationship and get to know you first.

Taking your boston terrier puppy home

Once you’ve selected your puppy and made arrangements the fun part starts.  Getting the toys and supplies you need which can be as simple as:

Also a cute toy to have at home for your new puppy is the Snuggle Puppy which also has a heart beat and heat source to mimic being part of the pack. 

Boston Terriers are lovable, comical and sweet pet companions.  My two have brought me so much joy and wish you the very best as you look for yours.

I’ll leave you with more photos of Maggie and Orbit playing below.

In case you are wondering:  Maggie came from a hobby breeder who’s mother is healthy and who’s dad has his championship title.  I remain close to the family that she came from.

Orbit came from a show breeder who’s parents have both earned their championships.  Orbit is close to “breed standard” but not quite able to compete in the show ring.  Hence I have her as my pet companion dog.  I remain close and friends with her breeder as well.

I share daily photos and stories on our Instagram @maggielovesorbit and we’d love to meet you there.

Disclosure: Their shirts were sent to us by Canada Pooch – a brand that we vouch for and asides from the complimentary apparel we have received – we’re also customers and buy from them when we are gifting to our best Boston Terrier friends.

If you’ve found this article useful, please share with others who are looking for puppies and pinning it to your Pinterest Board.

two boston terriers playing in bed
boston terrier in bed in pajamas
boston terriers in bed in pajamas
boston terrier in bed in pajamas
boston terrier in bed in pajamas
boston terriers in bed in pajamas
boston terriers in bed in pajamas
boston terrier in bed in pajamas biting her sister's leg playing
pinterest image how to find a boston terrier breeder


Hannah Zulueta and her two dogs Maggie and Orbit

Hello my name is Hannah and I dance with my dogs.  A self proclaimed Boston Terrier addict, (aka breed advocate) I started this blog because there isn’t enough space to write on our Instagram.  Maggie is my socially awkward one; which I find highly relatable because I am completely out of place in large groups myself.  And Orbit is my sensitive flower.  Blow on her skin wrong (ok I might be exaggerating) and she breaks out in a rash.

You won’t read about cats here… but you will get a fairly large dosage of articles dedicated to the Boston Terrier.    Read more about us. 

By MaggieLovesOrbit, April 9, 2018
  • 13
  • Paula
    November 28, 2018

    Something similar happened to us. Bought a puppy from akc marketplace but Puppy died before he was 12 weeks with leaver failure and we are still devastated…my kids pray daily for a dog (sometimes they pet-sit our neighbors’ dogs when they go out of town, but it is not the same). We love Boston’s and need one, where did you find yours?

    • MaggieLovesOrbit
      January 3, 2019

      I’m so sorry to hear your story. I live in San Diego. I joined the local Boston Terrier Club. The members have a deep network so they knew who was having puppies. I was referred to a breeder in Las Vegas so I flew to meet Maggie and then picked her up when she was older. About 5 months later I was referred again through the club to a breeder in Montana who just had puppies. We started chatting online and even did face time. When the puppy was 8 weeks old she agreed to let me be the puppy owner. I flew to pick her up. Neither are breeding anymore so it’s hard to refer you to them. The best recommendation would be to join your local club – and start there. The breeders want to get to know you as much as you want to get to know them. That’s a good sign.

  • Mary
    December 7, 2018

    Missing Huey

  • Elle
    March 8, 2019

    Do you mind sharing the breeder you were referred to in Las Vegas where you found Maggie? I’ve been looking for a Boston Terrier but frankly am terrified and don’t know who to trust.

    • Maggie Loves Orbit
      March 12, 2019

      Hi Elle – she’s actually no longer breeding her dog is fixed now. The nature of who is breeding and not changes and the best way to find them is through your local club.

  • MaryAnnM Kenniger
    March 16, 2019

    Thank you for this very informative article. As a breeder for over 35 years of another breed your comments are very true of love and dedication to a breed by good breeders. Shows ate a great place to find quality pets. Breeders keep the top dogs to continue quality.

    • Maggie Loves Orbit
      March 19, 2019

      Thank you so much for reading and your comments. I truly want to help other dog parents know the difference of a well bred puppy. I have a lot of respect for breeders. It took mentorship from Orbit’s breeder. She really took me under her wing to help educate me and I love her for that.

  • Liana Gaudenzi
    March 25, 2019

    This site was super helpful! I was looking for a Boston terrier if u know any available if you could let me know! Thank u!


    • Maggie Loves Orbit
      March 27, 2019

      Hi Liana . I don’t know any breeders having puppies but if you follow the guidelines in the article and join the local club – you will find out who’s having boston terrier puppies near you.

  • Janet
    May 1, 2019

    I love Boston’s and I got stung too many times. I just recently lost an incredible Boston.His owner couldn’t take care of him. He was almost 11 when the problems hit. He had cushions disease, lost one eye, etc. I had to put him down. I emailed a reputable breeder it will be one week tomorrow and I haven’t heard from her. Should I call her

    • Maggie Loves Orbit
      May 20, 2019

      Hi Janet – I just saw your comment. From my experience the reputable breeders I met prefer phone calls or face to face meetings. Have you connected with her yet? I’m sorry you lost your boy. Sending you hugs.

  • redtube
    November 23, 2019

    Boston Terriers are compact, short-tailed, well-balanced little dogs weighing no more than 25 pounds. The stylish “tuxedo” coat can be white and either black, brindle, or seal (black with a red cast when viewed in sun or bright light). The head is square, the muzzle is short, and the large, round eyes can shine with kindness, curiosity, or mischief. Ever alert to their surroundings, Bostons move with a jaunty, rhythmic step.

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