Dog Breeds Dog Health

Do Boston Terriers Shed? – How to Deal With Boston Terrier Shedding

Boston Terriers are low shedding dogs, but still require maintenance and grooming.
Written by Tiffany Jeng

Like with most terriers, Boston Terriers are friendly and energetic dogs. They have a bright personality, making them wonderful companions for all families. But if you’re sensitive to dog fur, excessive shedding can be a real concern.

So, do Boston Terriers shed? Boston Terriers are not heavy-shedding dogs. They sport a single coat that’s made of thin and short fur, meaning they won’t shed as much as other dog breeds. As a result, their smooth, shiny coat is relatively easy to groom and maintain.

Just because Boston Terriers don’t shed much doesn’t mean you should ignore grooming. Read on to discover why these terriers are low-shedding dogs and how you can maintain a healthy and shiny coat.

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How Much Do Boston Terriers Shed?

We measure a Boston Terriers intelligence by their obedience.

Boston Terriers don’t shed a lot. But like with nearly all dogs, the Boston Terriers will still shed a certain degree. Not all dogs within a breed will shed the same amount. Some may be heavier shedders than others.

So, we surveyed the popular Boston Terrier Subreddit and other dog forums to ask owners about their dog’s shedding. Here’s what real Boston Terrier owners have to say:

Real Owner Answers

1. Zezera08 says Moderate: “Some Boston Terriers shed more than others. But regardless of how much, their fur is short so it’s not really a big deal.”

2. Paprikaginger says Low: “My Boston Terrier barely sheds. We gave him a blanket on my bed and it’s probably the only place i’ll ever find his dog hair. Compared to my Boxer, he shed MUCH less.”

3. Zeroup38 says Low: “Our Boston Terrier sheds so little that I’m actually surprised when I see fur, which is obviously very rare.”

4. Stitchthestitch says Low: “They’re low-shedding dogs. If you have your Boston Terrier professional groomed about once a month, you won’t really find much hair. I’m a grooming and Boston owner.”

5. Tronkfool says Low: “I would consider them light shedders. Just make sure they get a lot of run in the sun and a bit of fish oil.”

6. Rubbersforwork says Moderate: “They’re relatively light shedding dogs, however I’ve seen other posts stating some shed more. End of the day, they’re small dogs with short hair…it can’t be that bad.”

7. Avoidthetrapu says Moderate: “My Boston Terrier has fairly typical shedding. I’ll always see it around the house, but it’s by no means excessive.

8. Biddleswife says Low: “My Boston Terrier hardly sheds. Occasionally, I’ll find a few black hair on the couch but that’s about it. I never have to bring out the broom or vacuum for dog fur.

Why Boston Terriers Shed Less

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Not all dogs are as fortunate as the Boston Terrier, especially considering there are many popular dogs that shed heavily. For example, both Welsh Corgis and Australian Shepherds are heavy shedders.

And although some terriers, such as the Yorkshire Terrier, are hypoallergenic, many other terriers shed a lot. But why is it that some dog breeds shed more than others? And why do Boston Terriers shed so much less? Let’s dive into the reasons.

The Single Coat

Boston Terriers have been fortunate enough to be bred with a single coat. And as you can guess from the name, it means that they only have one layer of thin fur. But despite popular belief, not all dogs have single coats.

On the contrary, most of the heavy shedding dogs have a double coat. The difference is a double coat is a coat that consist of an inner and outer layer. The primarily purpose for the double coat is to protect the dog, either from weather or terrain.

The inner coat is a dense coat made up of short hairs. It’s usually fluffy and sometimes a bit shaggy, giving it a wool-like texture and feel. And like actual sheep-wool, the inner coat is designed to keep the dog warm.

On the other hand, the top coat is made of longer hairs, called “guard hairs.” As the name suggests, this layer protects the coat from external environmental factors. Such factors can include rain, snow, sun rays, brushes, shrubs or debris.

That said, double coats are often seen in breeds that hunt in rough terrain or work in harsh cold and hot climate. While Boston Terriers were originally bred to be fighting dogs, they’ve evolved into gentle companions today.

Needless to say, a double coat sheds more than a single coat, which is especially true during spring and fall seasons as these dogs’ coats prepare for a temperature change. But again, Boston Terriers (or rather, the owners) are lucky to have single coats

Small Boston Terriers

Boston Terriers are relatively small dogs. That is, they’re around 14 – 17 inches tall and can weigh between 10 to 25 pounds. If you think about it, there’s not a lot of dog to go around.

And as you can imagine, small dogs will shed less than big dogs. Sure, they may shed with higher frequency, but because they’re so small, they’ll produce less shed fur.

A great example is the Great Dane, who also sports a smooth and short single coat, similar to the Boston Terrier’s. However, they’re classified as moderate to heavy shedders simply because they’re such big dogs.

Did you know the Great Dane is the largest dog breed in the world? They weigh up to 200 pounds and can be as tall as 34 inches at the shoulders! If Boston Terriers were as large as the Dane, things would be different.

Dealing With Boston Terrier Shedding

As long as you provide your Boston Terrier with basic grooming, you’ll be able to reduce the amount of shed hair. Just because your Boston Terrier is classified as a low-shedding doesn’t mean you can completely ignore this part of dog care.

Boston Terrier Brushing

Brushing your dog is essential for every dog breed that has some fur. Boston Terriers are no exceptions. If you don’t want to brush your dog, consider a hairless dog breed instead. But thanks to their thin coats, brushing is easy and quick.

They don’t have a double coat, so a premium de-shedding tool such as the Furminator isn’t really necessary. Instead, I’d recommend a bristle brush like the Go Pets Professional Pin & Bristle Brush. It’s perfect for a Boston Terrier:

Just make sure you’re very gentle when brushing your Boston Terrier. Like we mentioned, their coats are thin and you can easily tear the dog’s skin if you’re not careful. Always be gentle and try to calm your dog down before brushing.

Though it’s recommended you brush your Boston Terrier twice a week, I think you can get by with once a week. It can also depend on how active your dog is outdoors. Those that play a lot may need brushing to get out the debris stuck on the coat.

Bathing a Boston Terrier

Another great way to reduce shed hair is to bathe your Boston Terrier. Good news: Boston Terriers only need to be bathed once a month, according to Cesar Millan. Though this may depend on how active your dog is outdoors.

Remember you don’t want to go overboard with bathing. By bathing your Boston Terrier too frequently, you may be hurting more than you’re helping their health.

Too frequent bathing will remove the dog’s natural oils that protect them against natural allergens and bacteria they encounter daily. It can also create dryness of the skin, which may increase the amount of dander in the dog.

Now, when it comes to picking dog shampoo, there are a few things to consider. Never use human shampoo. While some may suggest using mild baby shampoo, it’s still better to get shampoo made for canines.

After all, human skin is much more acidic and requires a different shampoo formula.

Best Shampoos for Boston Terriers

If possible, pick something organic. Dr. Jennifer Coates suggests going with an oatmeal-based shampoo for your dog. Here are my top picks that i’ve personally tried for our dogs:

  1. Pro Pet Works All Natural Oatmeal Dog Shampoo – It’s of course all natural (oatmeal based). In addition, it’s recommended by veterinarians including thousands of happy owners. Expect high quality, as it’s made in the USA.
  2. Earthbath All Natural Dog Shampoo – This shampoo is a time-tested product, as it’s been on the market for a long time. Just read the reviews and you’ll see why there are so many raving fans of Earthbath’s product!
  3. Paws and Pals Dog Shampoo – Paws and Pals is a very reputable brand. We just started testing this with out Aussie, but I know quite a few people that swear by it! So far, so good.

Maintaining a Healthy Diet

If you didn’t already know, the diet of your dog can drastically affect the physiology of your dog. Not only can it make them weaker, but also lead to excessive shedding. Roy Cruzen DVM says, “the number one reason for excessive shedding is a poor diet.”

Always make sure they’re getting their meals from a reputable brand. Don’t just purchase the cheapest dog food and expect great results. Popular brands don’t always mean the best quality. Rather, they just barely meet the requirements.

If your Boston Terrier is experiencing some abnormal shedding, then you may want to boost their Omega 3 intake by introducing fish oil into the diet.

And don’t worry – Omega 3 is recommended by veterinarians as a safe supplement for a healthy coat and great skin. Nonetheless, you’ll want to consult with your dog’s vet before proceeding with this.

And if you’re wondering what we use for our Australian Shepherd, I’d recommended getting The Amazing Omega for Dogs:

According to owners, Boston Terriers usually are fairly food driven, so getting them to take these supplements won’t be too difficult.

And if you’re having problems, just slide the Omega 3 tablet into a treat or throw it into the bowl with the rest of the meal. Most of the time, they will have no idea.

Boston Terriers Are Not Hypoallergenic

There’s been a lot of confusion on what is and isn’t a hypoallergenic dog. Hypoallergenic dogs are breeds that don’t shed or shed very little. And while Boston Terriers don’t shed much, they’re technically not hypoallergenic.

People are allergic to dog dander, which is the dog equivalent of human dandruff. So when a dog sheds, they release dander into the air, thus triggering an allergic reaction.

Even though all dogs produce allergens, only dogs that release a small enough amount of dander are considered hypoallergenic. In other words, there has to be enough dander to be able to trigger an allergic reaction.

But if you’re set on bringing home a Boston Terrier and you’re allergic to dog dander, you can still minimize the allergic reactions by practicing our suggestions.

Grooming, maintenance and coat care are the best ways to minimizing shedding, even with a Boston Terrier. As long as you’re consistent and stick to a schedule, you should have no problems dealing with a Boston Terrier’s shedding.

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About the author

Tiffany Jeng

Tiffany is a licensed vet tech and a product of Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine (class of 2022). With over 5 years of veterinary technician experience, she's dedicated her life and career to dogs. When she's not studying or working, she's taking care of her Mini Australian Shepherd - Olympus! Read More.

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