When first researching this breed, the Heat and Cold Tolerance didn't stick out to me as MUCH as I think it should have. My friend who is a Vet Assistant works in a kennel at a local Vets Office, she is working her way upstairs to being a vet assistant/tech. Well, they got a new trainee in to do the kennel(which is down stairs) while my friend is being trained upstairs & this girl was not informed about short faced breeds and their low heat tolerance. They have indoor runs as well as outdoor runs, and trainee decided to put the dogs she had in the outdoor runs. Well, with in 20minutes a boston terrier was rolling around on the ground, vomiting & acting very weak. My friend who was to go down and check on the new trainee every once in a while & found the Boston. She immediately got him indoors and some water to relax. The Boston is OK! thank goodness! The vet did say it was from the heat. But my point being I haven't really put much thought into as a breed.
I guess the fact I see Bostons out camping, fishing, walking with their owners during hot weather and cold weather, I didn't take it as seriously - until my friend was telling me this story during our nightly walk.
Now I am rethinking just a LITTLE about this breed for me. Sometimes we spend hours on a Boat right directly out in the sun, because it is that particular best fishing spot we have found while searching. Of course we bring a cooler with Cold/fresh water, but no shade. And camping, well we camp with a Tent! There is no going into an RV or camper to cool down, But We always pick a shaded spot. Our last spot was COMPLETELY shaded, no sun on us the entire time, so it wasn't that bad. I take walks nightly, Last night it was HOT (Of course were having a very rare and odd heat wave for our area!) But, still makes me think could a Boston With stand what Our family has to throw at a dog? Now, these aren't things are not done constantly (besdies the walking), but it is something for me to think about - I think.
Am I thinking into this to much? Or are these valid things I need to really consider & maybe reconsider this breed for us? There is only one other breed I think would suit us and me, and that is the Rat Terrier. But honestly I love everything about Bostons, but could this be a deal breaker for our family?
Just wanting some opinions/Advice from other fellow Boston Owners?
Last edited by jsn042; 07-30-2011 at 10:52 AM. Reason: Mispelled Title.
I definitely think the heat/cold tolerance is something you need to keep in mind when choosing a dog. It most definitely won't be as enjoyable to own a dog that doesn't fit your lifestyle. However, while most BT's do have a low tolerance, I also strongly believe that their tolerance my change depending on how/ where they are raised. For instance, we have a 2 year old BT and we live in the Mojave Desert where in the summer temps reach 120 degrees F. With this being said, we obviously can't go for long runs or hikes in the middle of the day, but enjoy long evening walks or early morning runs. Vegas (our BT) is also let outside many times throughout the day to bask in the sun, which he loves and play in the yard (which is really just sand...). We too like to hike and boat and spend a lot of time out in the sun, but even WE the owners can't really stand that kind of heat. So if we do want to do such things, we make the drive to cooler area and better hiking trails. We live 2 hours from San Diego, and L.A and about 45 mins from a National park that is almost 20-30 degrees cooler than where we live. We go hiking and swimming in these places and Vegas does just fine. We are always sure to pack lots of water and make sure shade is around. If on a boat, he can jump in the water and go swimming, if on a long hike we pour water on him to cool him off, or tie a cool water soaked bandana around him (the bandana can even be frozen in the cooler).
My point being, we live in extremely hot, dry conditions (for now anyway, thanks to the military), but we are still able to enjoy all the things we like to do. All it takes is a little preparation and planning. If there is anything that seems to be too much, Vegas can always stay behind at home and he can join us for the next trip. I am sure that his tolerance is stronger than most B.T's simply because he's been raised here and has gotten used to it. I think that is something you would need to take into consideration as well. Will you be adopting or purchasing an adult dog that has never lived in a warmer environment? Or has the dog been around it for all it's life, but mostly stayed inside? Or will you be adopting/ purchasing a puppy?
While you do have many things to think about before expanding your family, I just wanted to share our story of raising Vegas, our desert BT
*Side note: Vegas has never been affected by the heat, but this is just OUR story, I'm in no way saying ALL dogs raised in the desert can withstand such strong heat, but I just wanted to share and give you something to think about.
"Dogs feel very strongly that they should always go with you in the car,
in case the need should arise for them to bark violently
at nothing right in your ear." - Dave Barry
I'm new to Bostons, but have had several boxer companions and extreme temps are a concern from them as well. Living in the Midwest, we get both ends of the weather spectrum, but have never had a problem with our dogs. It does take some common sense and planning. In the summer we make sure our dogs always have fresh water and shade available when outdoors. When out on the lake we "make some shade" on the boat with a light weight pop-up carrier or a sheet. We also keep a wading pool in the backyard for swimming and cooling off, and avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day. In the winter we make use of coats and boots as needed. I really think it's about what they get used to. If I'm okay being outside, my dogs are with me. If I'm inside, they are too. I would never take a dog who is used to being in air conditioned comfort 99.9% of the time and toss him into 100 degree weather, but it's been my experience that dogs who get a good chunk of daily outdoor time acclimate and do just fine with the proper precautions. We took our Boston creek walking yesterday morning in some very toasty weather. He kept cool by romping in the water, resting in the shade and taking lots of drink breaks, and had an absolutely fabulous time.
Another thing to look for if you do decide to go the boston route--my vet said that because my Tessie has a slightly longer snout (not long by any stretch) she is less likely to have the heat problems. Take that for what it's worth.
I posted in this thread ^^ but I'll cut and paste it here also or I'd basically be repeating myself lol
I live in Southern Nevada....it's VERY hot and dry here. My dogs can tolerate high temps compared to what a lot of others say, guess it's because they grew up here and are use to it. It's 100+ degrees during the day and only gets down to the high 80's at night for about 4 months out of the year.
We don't walk when the sun is up or in the heat of the day, sidewalks get too hot for their paws. They have a dog door, so they go out when they want and spend as much time as they want outside, which isn't long in the heat of the day but 2 of mine like to lay in the sun till they are toasty then come inside and cool off. We play in the backyard once the sun starts going down and the yard is shaded for about 20-30 mins on average, it's about 95-100 degrees out. When they start panting heavily or they stop playing or they go inside on their own we stop playing. We have a kiddie pool filled with water that they will play in to cool off if we play outside when the suns out or it's really hot out.
My dogs are never kept outside, they have the dog door to use as they please.
For example.. it was 105 as the high today and will get down to 88 for the low and at almost midnight it's still 97 degrees out. They can take a 15-20 minute walk around the block at about 9pm when the sidewalks are cool enough (sun goes down just after 8pm) and it's between 95-100 degrees, but with no sun beating on them. Even at 7am it's already around 90 and the sun is up, so we don't walk in the mornings either, but they could do a walk around the block before about 8-9am and be okay with it.
I have a cooling vest to use in case I ever have to take one of them out in the heat of the day...
My dogs don't like the cold and to them under 60 degrees is cold and under 50 they shiver...We have shirts, jackets and sweaters for them and it very rarely gets below 40 degrees here LOL. Winter highs are about 60 and the low is about 40.
and I'll add...We are an active family and we take the pups to the dog park, for random car rides, for long road trips, hiking, camping, to the lake etc...they have gone many places with us and they do just fine as long as we prepare them for it and pack what is needed to keep them cool in the summer or warm in the winter.
So for what it's worth and just my opinion, I would not look for a BT that varies far from the breed standard with the hope that it will improve the heat tolerance.
Cliff was born in September of last year, so this is his first time to experience heat. And nope, he's not doing so well. It's been over 100 degrees for 31 days in a row here in Dallas, and we have to make sure Cliff is not outside for too long or he throw up everywhere. He was previously having stress issues, but now it's heat.
However, Cliff has a pretty cush life. We're not really "outdoors" people and Cliff is in AC most of the time. His exercise comes from daily walks in the morning and night, then some Dog Park and BT Meetup groups.
On the other hand, my Aunt has 3 BT's that live on her farm in Iowa. Those 3 are outside all the time unless it's snowing and they love it. She's never had an issue with heat or cold. I agree with the above posters that it's all in how the pup is raised.