14 March

Small Dog Chronicles: The Two Sides Of Boston Terriers

by Jon Katz

I think what keeps me from roaring at Bud is what I have come to see as the two sides of Boston Terriers. Bud took me to the woodshed today grabbing things that were not his, chasing chickens, intimidating the sheep, jumping on Red, stealing Fate’s treats right out of her mouth, farting and burping, nibbling on various kinds of feces.

I was yelling at him about half the day, not that he noticed or minded. More than any dog I have lived with, terriers have a ton of attitude, and minds of their own. They fool you, they’ll do anything for a treat, and nothing if they are distracted.

Then came the afternoon, I sat down to meditate, fell asleep and woke up with a dog on my chest. He could not have been cuter, or more affectionate. But then he was.

This evening, I saw that Bud has wiggled his way onto Maria’s chair, a great spot to keep warm and get some cuddling in.  I can’t imagine how he even corkscrewed his way next to her.

This combination of hellion and cuddler is one of the things that makes Boston Terriers so interesting to me – and keeps me from shipping Bud right back to Arkansas.

But is in the family now, we love him no matter what. There are times when he is hard to love, and times when it is quite easy.

A fascinating mix of traits, dogs really have our number.


  1. Jon…I have one B/T that will mind me always!! All I have to do is call “come” and he runs so fast to me that he leaves a skid on the porch. Now, the other one, that is a far different story…When I give her a command she just stares at me and gives me that look of “make me”! They are all similar but in so many ways they are different. Good luck! I asked Sylvie to share the photos I sent her with you…was wondering if she ever did…probably forgot…

  2. At a Pet Expo in our city many years ago, the guest of honor was Stanley Coren. A large crowd gathered to hear him speak. I was near the front with Mandy, my Jack Russell terrier. When Dr. Coren came over to us, Mandy barked a couple of times and before you knew it, several other dogs were barking, too. Dr. Coren looked at Mandy, smiled and said that all terriers should come with a T-shirt that read “Born to Bark”. Might be a good shirt for Bud. We don’t call them “terrors” for nothing! I also remember meeting a lady at a dog show who bred Irish wolfhounds. When I told her I had a terrier, she said “You’ve got more dog than I do”. That’s the small dog experience.

  3. I love these stories!! Never tire of hearing about the antics of the animals–
    Bud is a hoot
    I Love them all esp Red and the donkeys!!

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