The Red Boston Terrier

We’ve had our Boston Terrier for years and recently decided to add a Red Boston Terrier to the family. While it took some adjusting to add the new pup to the family, it was well worth it in the end. The two are quite inseparable now.

Red Boston Terriers have a tuxedo-like coat with red coloring, a reddish-brown nose, and amber-colored eyes. Their build and temperament are almost identical to the traditional Boston Terrier. However, they are not recognized by most kennel clubs.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Red Boston Terrier, its appearance, and its characteristics, then you should read on. We are going to discuss how this dog is with families and other pets as well as why many kennel clubs do not recognize them.

What Is a Red Boston Terrier?

A Red Boston Terrier, as you might have guessed, is a Boston Terrier with red coloring. Some of these dogs will be a darker red while some will be lighter. The red color is also referred to as liver and is considered non-standard for the breed.

What Does a Red Boston Terrier Look Like?

Red Boston Terriers, like their standard counterparts, are compact dogs. They weigh between 12 and 25 pounds and measure 15 to 17 inches in height. They are also brachycephalic.

Facial Structure

The head is proportionate to the rest of the size of the dog. The skull is flat, the head is short, and the jaw is square.


The Red Boston Terrier’s coat is comparable to a tuxedo. The color can vary from a copper tone to a vivid red and should not contain any black hairs or pigmentation. They feature white markings on their chest, around their muzzle, and between the eyes.


A true Red Boston Terrier will have a reddish-brown nose that matches their paws.


Their eyes are wide set and may be blue when they are born. At around four to six months of age, they will turn to an amber color.


Red Boston Terriers have cat-like ears. They typically stand erect.


Their muzzles are short, square-shaped, deep, and wrinkle-free. In combination with their flat cheeks, this creates the appearance of a pushed-in face.


The Red Boston Terrier’s body is short, sturdy, and muscular. It features a short tail, a broad chest, and short limbs. 

The temperament of the Red Boston Terrier

jojo tail image

Despite their small size, Red Boston Terriers are full of energy. They require daily walks and a lot of playing. An active family is the best option for them. 

However, because of their short muzzles, they are not a good fit for extreme heat or cold and you may need to protect them from the elements. Intense exercise is also not good for them as they are prone to breathing problems.

They are very adaptable and can live almost anywhere as long as you protect them from the climate. They are gentle and love to be around people, even the ones they do not know. Because of their size, it’s best to supervise them around small children to prevent injuries.

Is the Red Boston Terrier a Good Family Dog?

With the proper socialization and training, the Red Boston Terrier can be an excellent family dog. However, they can be a slight bit overprotective of their primary owner, resulting in some aggression toward people trying to approach this person.

While these dogs are sturdy, they are still small and this can be a bad combination with smaller children who do not understand boundaries. Your dog has the potential to be hurt accidentally by an overzealous child. In turn, there can be snapping and biting.

To prevent this from occurring, never leave your children unattended with your dog. Overall, your Red Boston Terrier will be a good match for your children.

Does the Red Boston Terrier Get Along with Other Pets?

Red Boston Terriers tend to do better with other dogs if they are raised together. Otherwise, they are not very friendly with other dogs and are not a pack kind of dog. They can also be protective of their owners when a new dog is introduced into the home.

They do not have predator-prey instincts when it comes to cats, so they will do fine in a home with feline pets. They will usually not maliciously chase cats.

For the best results, socialize your Red Boston Terrier at a young age. Introduce them to a variety of dog breeds. This will allow them the opportunity to get to know different kinds of dogs and will result in them being friendlier.

What’s the Difference Between a Red Boston Terrier and Other Boston Terriers?

Aside from the color differences, there is no real difference between the Red Boston Terrier and other Boston Terriers. They are not a separate breed of dog, just different colorations of the same breed.

There are, however, stereotypes attached to the Red Boston Terrier name that are not attached to the traditional Boston Terrier name. This is in relation to tracing back their lineages. The questionableness of the Red Boston Terrier is partially due to AKC standards.

Do Kennel Clubs Recognize the Red Boston Terrier?

The Red Boston Terrier is not recognized by many kennel clubs. Neither the American Kennel Club nor the Boston Terrier Club of America acknowledges this dog’s coloring as a breed standard. 

In fact, according to AKC standards, to qualify, the Boston Terrier must have one of the following colors with the required white markings:

  • Black
  • Black brindle
  • Seal
  • Seal brindle
  • Brindle

The liver color has been in existence since the early stages of the breed’s existence. Regardless, the AKC eliminated it in its 1990s standards revisions. They also eliminated other colors such as splash, lilac, albino, fawn, blue, and gray.

An original Boston Terrier is determined by the AKC based on a set of points. These include individual body parts, expression, and appearance. 

The Red Boston Terrier comes up short more than once. For instance, they do not have dark-colored eyes or black noses so they are automatically disqualified from competing in AKC dog shows.

If you don’t intend to raise a dog for competitions, this really doesn’t affect you. A Red Boston Terrier will make an excellent house dog and the two of you will be extremely happy together.

JoJo the Boston Terrier


The Red Boston Terrier is much like its traditional Boston Terrier counterpart. In fact, the only real difference is the coloring. 

Red Boston Terriers are, as their name suggests, of red coloring and their coats are like a tuxedo. They have a sweet but energetic temperament. Despite their similarities to traditional Boston Terriers, they are not typically recognized by kennel clubs.

This particular dog will make a great family dog if you take the time to provide socialization at a young age. Other pets are also not a problem, especially if you raise them together.

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