The Boston Terrier is one of the few breeds that originated in the United States. After the Civil War, Bostonian William O'Brien sold an imported dog named "Judge" to fellow Bostonian Robert C. Hooper. Judge is the ancestor of almost every Boston Terrier today. Originally mated with a white female owned by an Edward Burnett, the Boston Terrier breed was unofficially born and the Boston Terrier Club of America was established in 1891. It was accepted to the American Kennel Club's Studbook in 1893. Today, this gentle, happy-go-lucky dog is the perfect companion and family dog that gets along well with humans and other family pets alike, while being extremely protective of its family.
The Boston Terrier is a true American, but is not actually a Terrier. Instead, its ancestors came from the Old Boston Bulldogge breed, a cross between the English White Terrier (now extinct) and the English Bulldog. Developed in Boston, Massachusetts, this cross produced Hooper’s dog named Judge who was "massive" for the time, weighing over 30 pounds. Judge’s offspring were bred down in size by using a smaller female as a breeding companion. The smallest male pup was then bred to an even smaller female, and those puppies were interbred with French Bulldogs. Those offspring ultimately became the first Boston Terriers.
By 1889, the breed was popular enough in Boston that the American Bull Terrier Club was born. Lovers of the breed didn't like this name, however, nor did they like the nickname of "Roundhead," which was given to the breed. Finally, the name "Boston Terrier" was settled on in honor of Boston as the breed's birthplace. The breed itself was recognized by the AKC in 1893 as part of its Non-Sporting Group rather than of its Terrier group. In its first shows in Boston in 1870, color was not originally important, but by the 1900s the colors of black and white; seal, brindle and white; and brown and white; were accepted as part of the standard. Today, these generally gentle dogs get along well with everyone, including non-canine pets, although some may exhibit their dormant but still existent "fighting" tendencies with other dogs if not given a firm hand.
The Boston Terrier, or "Boston Bull," is a compact and well-muscled dog with a sporting body. Its deep, wide muzzle is short but in proportion with its head. A black nose; large, round dark eyes; and small, erect ears; as well as a broad chest; are typical of this sturdy, affable, extremely friendly pet. Although small, standing just 15 to 17 inches at the shoulder and weighing 10 to 25 pounds in adulthood, the Boston Terrier is no “lightweight.” Active and athletic, this dog needs a lot of exercise, although it can tolerate life in an apartment. Short, stubby and stocky, with straight, muscular limbs, the coat is short and fine-textured and comes in colors of brindle; seal; brindle and white; black and white; or brown and white.
If properly trained, this dog will live up to its moniker: "gentleman dog." When given clear guidance from its earliest age, this dog will be well-mannered, very intelligent, alert, gentle and enthusiastic. However, you must give your pet the proper mental stimulation and physical exercise, along with consistently firm but gentle training to reinforce desired behavior, since Boston Terriers need guidance to avoid being rambunctious and high strung. Be careful how you use your voice, since this breed will be very sensitive to it and could be easily hurt by it. Use your voice to display authority over your pet, as a strong pack leader who knows how to offer effective influence. This is what your pet needs; do NOT spoil your pet or let it take the lead in any way, since the Boston Terrier is one of the major breeds that has difficulty with a personality disorder called Small Dog Syndrome. If your dog gets everything it wants from a well-meaning but misguided owner, it will become a spoiled rotten brat. In order to keep this from happening, remember that your little pet is indeed a dog, not a small child or baby. By remaining firm with your pet at all times, providing it with the security of clear expectations, your dog will be honestly happy when guided by you in this manner.
This breed will comingle well with other pets, including non-canines in your household, as long as you introduce it to these variables from puppyhood. It will be a devoted loving family companion to children as well, given the same early guidelines. Easy to train because of its intelligence and strong inclination to follow the “pack leader,” this joyful, alert, little dog will want to be in on the action at all times. As an added bonus, this dog will bark only if necessary and generally will be a quiet member of your family, as well as a polite addition to your apartment or neighborhood. If you can be as devoted to your pet as it is to you, you will have a true friend for life.
The Boston Terrier can be prone to several health disorders, including eye problems like juvenile or late onset cataracts, corneal dystrophy, dry eyes, and corneal ulcers. This dog’s prominent eyes may be particularly prone to injury. Patellar luxation (dislocation of the knee); deafness; tumors, including mast cell tumors; and breathing difficulties because of this breed’s short snout; can also be medical issues to watch for. Don't push your dog to overexertion, especially in hot or cold weather. This breed can easily overheat. Snoring and drooling can also be problems. Puppies are often born by cesarean section, since puppies' heads are often too large for the females' narrow pelvises. However, a long life expectancy of 15 or more years is very good.
Smooth and shorthaired, this dog is easy to groom and simply needs a good brushing and combing with a bristle brush on a daily basis. Bathe only if necessary and wipe your pet's face with a damp cloth every day. Clean your pet's prominent eyes carefully on a daily basis, too, to avoid infection. Clip the nails regularly to keep them properly trimmed and check for ticks in the ears as well. This breed sheds an average amount on a consistent basis, and has no prominent doggie odor.
AKC Meet the Breeds®: Get to know the Boston Terrier.
Retrieved October 12, 2013.
Retrieved October 12, 2013.
Boston Terrier (Boston Bull) (Boston Bull Terrier).
Retrieved October 12, 2013.
Group Classification: Non-sporting group.
Country of Origin: N/A
Date of Origin: N/A
Shedding: Lite Shed
Body Size: N/A
Weight M: 10-25 pounds
Height M: 15-17 inches
Weight F: 10-25 pounds
Height F: 15-17 inches
Litter Size: 4 puppies
Life Expectancy: 13-15 years
Recognized By: CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, ANKC, APRI, ACR
Bostons are either Black and white, Brown and white, brindle and white, and (in rare cases) red and white.
Bostons can adapt very well. They are happy living in apartments, small homes, large homes, mansions, in the city with short daily walks, or the country with a lot of room to run and play. They are inside dogs and MUST be kept inside. They have a hard time handling harsh weather and they are much happier inside with their family than they would be outside.