Linda Simon
Dr Linda Simon (MVB MRCVS, University College Dublin)
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Both the Boston Terrier and the Dachshund have very unique and distinctive looks while their offspring, the Bo-Dach, can vary in appearance. In general, they are sturdy little dogs with large triangular ears that tend to flop forwards, a long body and stubby limbs. Their coat can be practically any colour and is most often short.

Bo-Dach dogs have pleasant temperaments and are sociable with both humans and other pets. They can thrive in small homes and apartments and do not have particularly high exercise requirements, making them a good choice for the modern, urban owner.

About & History

Like many other hybrid dogs, the Bo-Dach was established sometime in the late 1900s, when the demand for ‘designer dogs’ was at its peak. Owners appreciated the diverse range of dogs that were suddenly available on the market and breeders capitalised on this, developing as many ‘pedigree cross-breeds’ as they could. When bred correctly, these dogs have the potential to inherit the best characteristics of each parent breed, making them highly desirable.

The Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers have wise faces, intelligent eyes and a much-loved black and white ‘tuxedo’ coat. Though small, they have big personalities and are never lacking in confidence. An American dog developed from a large range of breeds, including the Boxer, the Bull Terrier and the Bulldog, the Boston Terrier sure does have a varied gene pool.

They get their name from the area where they originated in the States: Boston, Massachusetts. The first examples of the breed were far larger than the Boston Terriers we know and love today. They were originally developed at the end of the 19th century though were not officially recognised by the Kennel Club until 1914 and remain within their Utility Group today.

The Dachshund

Dachshunds have recently soared in popularity thanks to their appearance in a number of advertising campaigns and television shows. They are well-liked for their sweet dispositions, long ears and comically elongated back. However, we are now understanding the impact that breeding for an exaggerated conformation can have and there has been a call to start breeding Dachshunds with more ‘normal’ spines to reduce the incidence of spinal disease within the breed.

While it may seem hard to believe now, these dogs were originally developed as working dogs. They would use their developed sense of smell to seek out a number of animals, including badgers and foxes. Their short legs gave them the advantage of being close to the ground, meaning they could pick up on even the faintest of scents. This breed comes in several sizes and fur lengths so there are technically six ‘variants’ of Dachshund, any of which can be used in the breeding of the Bo-Dach.


Bo-Dach dogs vary widely in appearance as they are relatively new on the scene and come from two quite different parent breeds. They are typically compact and sturdy. Their skull is rather small and their muzzle should not be overly short. They should have large, dark noses with wide open nostrils.

Their ears can potentially stand upright in erect triangles but will usually hang forward in a semi-erect fashion. They should be well-spaced apart. They have long, barrel-shaped bodies and short limbs that mean they are always close to the ground! Their tail can be a number of lengths and shapes depending on which genes they inherit.

A small-sized breed, Bo-Dach dogs will measure from 25cm to 38cm at the withers. Compact little fellas, they tend to weigh between 4.5kg to 7kg. The coat of the Bo-Dach is normally short and straight but can be longer and wirier depending on which variant of the Dachshund they were bred from. They come in a wide range of potential fur colours, including the classic black and white of their Boston Terrier parent, brindle, brown and black, among many others.

Character & Temperament

Affectionate and good-natured, the Bo-Dach is a real family dog that likes to place itself directly in the middle of everything that’s going on. They are outgoing and brave with heaps of self-belief. As they can be rather boisterous, it is advised that playtime with younger children is always supervised as they are known for becoming over-excited.

Fabulous watch dogs, no-one will go unnoticed in the Bo-Dach’s household as the second a new person arrives they will announce their presence to everyone with plenty of barking and running about. In fact, some owners can find their yapping frustrating at times. Due to their small stature and friendly temperament, they would make a poor choice of guard dog.

Although their Dachshund parent was used for hunting, the prey drive of the Bo-Dach should not be overly-developed and if raised around other animals, such as cats, they should be tolerant of them. When it comes to other dogs, they thoroughly enjoy their company and relish the opportunity to burn off some steam running around with them in dog parks and doggy day care.


For most Bo-Dach dogs, the issue when it comes to their training is their inherent stubbornness. They do not always see the point in following commands and will question their trainer at every step of the process. This can be largely overcome with treats and other bribes (like their favourite toy) but can mean that training takes a little longer than expected.


Inevitably, there will be certain medical conditions that we encounter more frequently in the Bo-Dach than in other hybrid dogs. As the Bo-Dach as a breed is still in its infancy, we need to be extra cautious, only breeding the healthiest individuals to prevent one of these diseases becoming a prevalent issue.

Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)

Those who have inherited longer bodies will be more at risk of developing IVDD during their lifetime. To reduce the risk of this happening, owners should prevent obesity, limit jumping and the use of stairs and invest in good-quality body harnesses; avoiding the use of neck collars completely.

IVDD occurs when the discs between the spinal vertebrae herniate and press onto the spinal cord. The degree to which this occurs will determine to what extent the dog is affected. For some, they may simply experience mild stiffness and discomfort, while others may become completely paralysed.

Urinary Stones

Symptoms of urinary stones can be subtle and may come and go. They can include frequent urination, blood in the urine and difficulty when passing urine. Stones may be picked up on ultrasound scans or x-rays.

In some cases, altering the diet can dissolve the stones. However, this is not always achievable and some dogs will require a surgery to physically remove the stones. Going forward, prescription diets are commonly fed for life to prevent stone recurrence and dogs should be monitored at regular intervals.

Mitral Valve Disease

Mitral valve disease is a cardiac condition that is not uncommon in older, small-breed dogs. For some, the disease will progress very slowly and may never actually impact on their quality of life. For others, they may develop a cough and might experience a reduced ability to exercise.

For most, the issue is first picked up when the vet hears a heart murmur during a routine exam. Medication can be prescribed to reduce symptoms and slow down the progression of the disease.

Exercise and Activity Levels

The Bo-Dach can certainly have its moments and may decide to suddenly sprint from one side of the room to the other, run in circles and jump from person to person. However, these bursts of energy are generally short-lived and, for the most part, Bo-Dach dogs only require a moderate amount of exercise to keep them happy.

They should be brought out a few times a day for short walks to get fresh air and socialise, though the majority of their exercise is from pottering about indoors and playing games.


As the majority of these dogs will have short, neat coats, they only need to be brushed a couple of times a week. While they are not prone to matting, the brushing is still useful as it helps to spread their natural oils and remove any dead skin. A sensitive shampoo should be used for bathing and owners should avoid bathing them too often why can cause the skin to become dry and irritated.

After bathing, those with ears that hang down should have their ear canals dried thoroughly. Similarly, these dogs should have their ears cleaned every week or two to remove any waxy build-ups.

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