Born in the USA, the Boston terrier is a nice alternative after seeing so many breeds originating from Germany, France and England. This black and white pooch with a characteristic expression, is hard to confuse among the 300 and more dog breeds scattered through the world.
The breed originated in the late 1800’s, obviously from the city of Boston, Massachusetts. While it’s a certainty that this breed is “bostanian” just as much as Boston cream pie, there are some doubts about this breed’s real origins. On one hand, there’s belief this breed was bred by coachmen of wealthy people who crossed bulldogs with English white terriers in order to obtain a fighting pit- dog. The breed was also used for hunting rats in garment factories.
On the other hand, there are accounts that Boston resident Robert C. Hooper imported from England a dog called Hooper’s Judge in 1865. Judge was a bulldog/English terrier cross that reminded him of a dog of his past childhood. The dog was bred and soon there were more and more pups with appealing traits. Back then, the breed was known by many different names including bullet heads, round-headed bull-and-terriers, American terriers, and Boston bulldogs. Back in those days, little importance was given to coat color and marking, so there were quite varied dogs. In was only in the 1900’s that distinctive markings and coat colors were written in the standard.The breed was recognized in 1893 by the American Kennel Club and categorized under the non-sporting group.
This American Gentleman became quite popular in the US in 1915 and in 1976, the Boston terrier became elected the bicentennial dog and a few years later he became the official state dog of Massachusetts.
With a history of being selectively bred to be a pit-fighter, you would expect the Boston to be quite a ferocious dog. Instead, he’s as sweet as can be. He’s a very intelligent pooch, affectionate and adorable. Many owners report they are unable to hold a grudge with their Boston even when he acts out because of his baby face and pleading eyes asking for forgiveness. As with snowflakes, no two Bostons are the same. They each come with their own personalities. Some are calm and dignified, others are clownish and quite vivacious. These dogs love playing and chasing a ball is a favorite. This breed loves being with his family and wasn’t meant to be left unattended in the yard for hours at a time.
These dogs have a muscular body with a shiny, sleek coat with a distinctive coat that resembles a tuxedo. The ears are erect, the eyes are bright, big and dark. Their faces have brachycephalic traits with a smashed-in face. Their upper jaw is short compared to the lower jaw. The tail is naturally short and kept low. This breed typically stands between 12 and 17 inches. According to the standard, they can be under 15 pounds; 15 pounds and under 20 pounds; 20 pounds and not to exceed 25 pounds.. The coat is black, brindle or seal with white markings.
The Ideal Household
This is breed that is lively, affectionate and extremely smart. His needs for exercise aren’t excessive which makes him a good companion for those who are a bit on the couch potato side. A walk and some play time is all he needs.
With other dogs, remember the terrier ancestry. He may posture when he feels threatened by other dogs entering his territory. He has the potential to make a great family dog, entertaining everybody with his antics. They get along with children who respect them and know how to properly interact with dogs. This breed is just about the perfect size, not too small to get easily injured, not too large to knock down a child. They also make great companions for seniors.
This breed can live in an apartment. This is typically not a yappy breed, with most of them barking only when necessary.They make good watchdogs, alerting you if someone is at the door. This breed is a an easy keeper and a good choice for first-time dog owners.
This breed has brachycephalic traits which makes them prone to snoring, snorting, grunting, snuffling, slobbering and over heating. Make sure you don’t over exercise them especially in those humid, hot summer days. At the same time, this breed has a short coat, which makes him prone to feeling cold too. Keep him indoors in the winter and if you must walk him, give him a nice doggy coat to wear. This breed should not be yanked on the collar and excessive pulling can put strain on his windpipe which can make him prone to trouble breathing. Invest in a harness instead. It’s not that uncommon for some of these dogs to suffer from displacement of the eyeball out of the eye socket. They are also prone to a vast array of eye disorders. Other disorders this breed is prone to include: flatulence due to his conformation which makes him swallow air, whelping complications due the large heads (about 90 percent require a Cesarean section), hip displaysia, cataracts, cherry eye, luxating patella, heart murmurs, deafness, megaesophagus, reversed sneezing. This breed loves food and can easily become obese, given the opportunity. Because if their conformations, with short noses, they may suffer from a blockage in their sinus cavities causing excess discharge and dry tears. This breed may be prone to anesthesia complications. The average life span is around 11 to 13 years
Where to get one
Most litters of Boston terriers are low in number, sometimes with even only one singleton puppy. Finding a pup may be difficult and you may have to be put on a waiting list.
These dogs are highly intelligent, but they have a stubborn streak. While stubborn, they are also sensitive at the same time, so make sure to not raise your voice and make sure to implement positive training techniques to prevent them from shutting down.Make sure you are consistent in your training. As with any breed of dog, invest in socialization to help your dog learn about the world around him and cope with novelties. When it comes to house-training, this breed can be slow in the process.
Blessed with a short coat, this breed is very easy to groom and care for.Luckily, they do not shed much, especially if you brush them often. With their large, prominent eyes, make sure to keep an eye on them for scratches, irritations and unusual redness. Also, it doesn’t hurt to wash the folds in his face after he eats his meals.
Be wary of breeders selling Boston terriers in solid colors. Most are backyard breeders, trying to pass their puppies as rare. These dogs aren’t adhering to the breed standard.
Where to get one?
Alabama Boston Terrier Rescue
Wonderdog Rescue (Northern California)
Boston Buddies (Southern California)
Boston Terrier Club of CT Rescue
Boston Terrier Rescue of Florida
Midwest Boston Terrier Rescue
Kentucky Tennessee Boston Terrier Rescue
MidAmerica Boston Terrier Rescue
Boston Terrier Club of Maryand Rescue
Nebraska Boston Terrier Rescue
Boston Terrier Club Rescue of Southern Nevada
Boston Terrier Rescue of North Carolina
Northeast Boston Terrier Rescue
Boston Terrier Club of Western Pennsylvania Rescue
Boston Terrier Rescue of North Texas
Boston Terrier Rescue of West Virginia
Boston Terrier Club of America, Inc.