Bringing a new dog into your life and home is exciting yet daunting. This is a life-changing decision, and you want to find an ideal animal for your household. But it’s also vital that you consider the animal’s needs.
A purebred dog breed can come with many great qualities. However, the right dog for you may be a mixture! A mixed breed may be the perfect dog for you. Mixing two separate breeds may produce a dog much better suited to your lifestyle. A Boston Terrier Italian Greyhound mix, commonly known as a Bostalian, might be the perfect animal for you.
Let’s take a look at some of their best qualities.
A Bit About Italian Greyhounds
Italian Greyhounds are an ancient working breed dating back almost two thousand years. They are a sighthound, a group of animals that would aid hunters in tracking down animals. As the name suggests, they would do this by sight rather than smell like a gundog would.
While these practices have been modernized, these days an Italian Greyhound is much more commonly found in a family home than on a race track. These small dogs make wonderful additions to many families.
They are people-orientated and love to cuddle up in the warmth with their chosen family. Aside from this, they still maintain the same love for running and chasing toys with their killer chase instinct.
A Bit About Boston Terriers
Boston Terriers are small and extremely loveable pets. Originating in Boston, USA, they were bred from the bulldog and now-extinct English White Terrier. Their original purpose is rather unknown. But many assume it was to be dog fighters and vermin killers, as they were often found in the homes of Boston’s elite class.
The traits you would expect from this dog breed certainly didn’t follow through to the modern-day Boston Terrier. These dogs are now incredibly friendly, playful, and family-orientated. They make wonderful companions for first-time or experienced owners, each bringing in their own quirks to liven up any household.
The Boston Terrier Italian Greyhound Mix
A Boston Terrier is a small yet stocky dog. It has a square-shaped head with large gleaming round eyes. This breed does have a short muzzle and a brachycephalic skull shape. These dogs are born with a bobbed tail and ears that stand tall and not floppy.
An Iggy is a much slimmer dog, with a longer snout but similar round eyes. They tend to have ears that flop rather than sit up straight.
From these traits, your Bostalian is more likely to take on the Boston Terrier’s body shape. It will most likely be a medium-sized dog, have a more filled-out build, and will be slightly heavier and taller overall.
But lucky for you and the dog, they are very likely to inherit the longer muzzle from the Italian Greyhound which will allow for much easier breathing for the dog. This means reduced health issues and vet bills.
An Iggy and a Boston Terrier have sleek, singled-coated fur, so a Bostalian is bound to have the same.
An Iggy’s coat can come in a small range of colors such as black, seal, fawn, and gray. These colors also come in their own subtle variations.
A Boston Terrier’s coat is very distinct. They have a ‘tuxedo’ effect in their fur, with white markings from their face down to their stomach and either a black, brindle, or seal coat over the rest of their body.
More often than not, a Bostalian would inherit the Boston Terrier’s colors. But it’s not unheard of for them to develop Iggy’s colors too.
Temperament and Behavior
Bostalians often have very gentle temperaments which can be credited to both parents. A Boston Terrier is a very loving dog and can live happily and comfortably in a home with any family type and young children. They are also very friendly to strangers and other dogs but should still be supervised around unfamiliar people to be safe.
Boston Terriers do require high amounts of attention and tend to develop separation anxiety. If left alone for too long, they may demonstrate destructive behaviors to help soothe their nerves.
Typically, they will chew on your furniture so it might be a good idea to crate-train them so you can leave the house without worry. This will also give your dog a safer, less overwhelming place to stay.
Iggies are also known to be rather anxious dogs alongside their friendly demeanor. They crave attention from their chosen person and become anxious if they don’t receive it.
This hybrid breed can be cautious when being touched, and it’s best to pet them when they ask for it to prevent spooking them. Iggies are sensitive dogs and are also prone to developing separation anxiety.
Anxiety & Chasing Habits
Iggies also maintain their chase instinct. This means that, while they’re great with people, they might not be the best for households with other pets. They might get upset if you pay too much attention to the cat. Or they might try to chase your rabbit or guinea pig.
Mixing both of these breeds is almost guaranteed to create an anxious dog, so if you are away from home a lot this might not be the best breed for you. But if you can work past this, you will undoubtedly have an extremely loyal companion by your side.
A Bostalian is usually a good middle ground when it comes to exercise. They are likely to be much calmer than purchasing a purebred Iggy.
Like any dog, your Bostalian will need a high-nutrition and balanced diet to be as healthy as possible. You will need to consider their activity level, age, and overall metabolism.
Due to their slim stature, Iggies have slightly smaller stomachs than other dogs their size so they won’t be able to eat as much in one sitting. You should feed your Bostalian in smaller amounts, but slightly more frequently throughout the day to aid digestion and prevent bloat, which Iggy’s are prone to.
Despite their small size, a Bostalian is likely to be highly athletic thanks to its Italian Greyhound parent breed. They can live in smaller homes or apartments but will require longer walks or a nice open area to run around in.
Both the parent breeds are prone to random bursts of high energy. So it’s important to ensure they are adequately stimulated through walks and exercise for their mental well-being. It’s also crucial for maintaining your furniture! A poorly exercised dog is hyperactive, and they will take their frustrations out on anything they can find.
Bostalians are fairly simple to train. Boston Terriers are often eager to please and love learning new things. This trait will hopefully be passed on to their Bostalian offspring.
Iggies, on the other hand, are slightly more difficult. They sometimes take a little longer than the average dog to learn something new and can be stubborn. They can be difficult to teach if they don’t respect you as pack leader.
To gain a dog’s respect, it’s all about food! A simple way to show your dog that you’re in control is to ensure you eat something first when serving meals. This can be a simple snack, like a couple of grapes or a banana, or even plan your mealtimes to match their mealtimes.
You have dinner, they have dinner. In the natural world, the pack leader would eat first before serving the rest of the pack. Your dog watching you eat before them will replicate this, and they will know you are in charge.
Iggies are known to be challenging to housetrain due to their sensitivity to weather changes and their small bladder. Though the larger build of the Boston Terrier often balances out the small bladder issue in the Bostalian, they might still be unwilling to go outside if it’s raining or too cold.
Grooming and Maintenance
Grooming for a Bostalian is straightforward. An Iggy has single-coated fur, is hypoallergenic, and sheds extremely little. They barely need brushing at all. A Boston Terrier is almost the same!
While they aren’t hypoallergenic, their fur is also very short and they don’t shed much at all either. Your Bostalian probably won’t be hypoallergenic, but it won’t shed much. Like any dog, they should be bathed every few weeks to remove any dirt and grime caught in their fur.
Like most dogs, their nails should be clipped or filed bi-weekly to prevent them from becoming overgrown. They need their ears cleaned with a simple cotton wool ball weekly, too to prevent a build-up of earwax and moisture that can lead to infection.
Iggies and Boston Terriers are also prone to dental issues. So, it may be wise to brush your Bostalian’s teeth a couple of times a week, or even every day if you notice your dog is having increased amounts of bad breath, increased plaque build-up, or hesitation while eating.
However, if you notice these signs, then you should also consult a vet.
All dog breeds are going to be more susceptible to some health conditions than others. It’s a common belief that a crossbreed will allow you to avoid all health issues relating to specific breeds, but sadly, this isn’t true.
Yes, it can help reduce risks, but not always remove them altogether. Both breeds are more inclined to develop certain conditions. But that’s not to say that your Bostalian is guaranteed to develop these, their symptoms are simple things to look out for.
Boston Terriers are more prone to skin conditions than other breeds. Mange being one of the more severe ones. Parasitic mites cause mange and present themselves in balding spots and irritated skin.
When caught early it can be easily treated through a series of topical treatments. The most common strain of mange, called Sarcoptic mange, can pass onto humans, so it’s extra important to get to a vet when you notice symptoms in your dog.
Italian Greyhounds and Boston Terriers have an increased risk of dental issues such as gum disease. For both breeds, their skull shape leads to their teeth being a little more compact.
The lack of space allows tartar and plaque to build up much more quickly. This can eventually lead to infection and gum disease if left unmanaged. They will need regular teeth brushing multiple times a week to prevent this.
If regular brushing is not enough, bi-annual vet check-ups for more in-depth cleaning might be necessary.
Heart failure is the leading cause of death in Boston Terriers. So, this is a natural concern for Bostalians, and 75% of heart failure is caused by valve deterioration. The problem valve will have a heart murmur and be detected by a vet.
Signs that your dog may suffer from heart disease are shortness of breath, chest swelling, lethargy, and loss of appetite. If caught early on, there are medications your vet can supply to prolong and improve their quality of life.
An Iggy has rather low body fat, and very short fur leads them to have poor insulation compared to other breeds. Being outside or exposed to colder temperatures for prolonged periods makes them vulnerable to hypothermia.
A Bostalian is less likely to be at such a high risk for this as they will have a higher body fat percentage thanks to the Boston Terrier genetics, but it’s still better to be safe than sorry. When it gets cold, have a nice, warm coat to wrap up your dog in, and potentially some boots to protect their paws.
In conclusion, the Bostalian is a unique and lovable hybrid dog that combines the best traits of the Boston Terrier and the Italian Greyhound breeds. These designer hybrid dogs are small, making them perfect for apartment living, and they have a playful and affectionate personality.
They are also known for being low-shedding and hypoallergenic, which can be a plus for some dog owners. However, it’s important to note that hybrids can inherit any combination of traits from their parent breeds. So, thoroughly researching both breeds thoroughly before bringing a Bostalian into your home is essential.
The Bostalian is a great choice for those looking for a small, active, and loving companion.
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