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  Spartan Dogs - Boston Terrier 

Category: Dogs, Show Dogs, Terriers, Bull and Terriers, Bulldogs, Molossers, Boston, Massachusetts, United States, North America, Fighting Dog, Ratter, Family Dog

Boston Terrier / Boston Bull
Names Boston Terrier, Boston Bull, Boston Bull Terrier, Boxwood, American Gentlemen, Boston Bull & Terrier
Origins Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Tasks Fighting Dog, Ratter, Family Dog
Height 31-38 cm / 30-36 cm
Weight 6.5-13 kg / 6-10 kg
Lifespan 10-14 years
Registry FCI, AKC, ANKC, CKC, KC (UK), NZKC, UKC
Group Terriers, Bull and Terriers, Bulldogs, Molossers

The Boston Terrier (or Boston Bull Terrier) is a small sized, short coated, muscular dog that was developed in Boston, Massachusetts, in the United States. A small sized toy Bull and Terrier type family dog.

The Boston Terrier History

The Boston Terrier breed originated around 1870, when Robert C. Hooper of Boston, purchased a dog known as Hooper's Judge, who was of a Bull and Terrier type lineage. Hooper's Judge is either directly related to the original Bull and Terrier breeds of the 18th and early 19th centuries, or Judge is the result of modern English Bulldogs being crossed into terriers created in the 1860s for show purposes, like the White English Terrier. The offspring interbred with one or more French Bulldogs, providing the foundation for the Boston Terrier. Bred down in size from original dog fighting breeds also known as pit-fighting dogs of the Bull and Terrier types, the Boston Terrier originally weighed up to 44 pounds (20 kg).

Other smaller imported dogs are reported to have been used to further breed down the original old type Boston Terrier to make it look like the present-day Boston Terrier. In the early history of the breed, however, there was no established type, some favoring the bulldog-type, while others preferred the terrier-like specimens. They were called "Round-headed bull and terriers" or short "Round Heads" and "American Bull Terrier". The dogs that were used in the fighting pits were also used as family dogs. So, they had to demonstrate a loyal and friendly character, on top of their ability to fight. Their devotion to their masters was legendary.

So, while the Boston Terrier were being refined, and eventually developed into a toy breed, the original Boston Bulldog, which was considered not refined enough because it had too much bulldog influence, continued to be bred separately and ultimately included in the working populations of Bull&Terrier variants.

Over time, opposition arose from bull terrier and bulldog fanciers about the similarity of the breed's name. A noted writer and authority, James Watson, thus suggested that since this new breed did not resemble the Bullterrier, the dog should have its own breed identity. He felt that this dog having been bred in and around Boston, it should be named the Boston Terrier. So, in 1891, the American Bull Terrier Club changed its name to the Boston Terrier Club of America and changed the name of the breed to the Boston terrier. The breed was accepted into the American Kennel Club in 1893. Over the years the tendency has been to reduce them in size. In the early 1900's, one can still find Boston Terriers being shown in the Conformation Ring weighing around 30 pounds.

However, in the 1920's breeders started to pay more attention to the body proportions and markings on the body. Pit fighting lost popularity while the development of the industrialization and urban living conditions increased the demand for smaller-sized companion dogs. By the 1950's the Boston Terrier was very much like the dog we know today.

Like most dogs used for pit fighting in the 1800's the original Boston Bulldog (see Olde Boston Bulldogge) resulted from a cross between bulldogs and terriers (more specifically from the English Bulldog, the Bull Terrier and the White English Terrier), and varied in form. As a result some had the long, clean head of a terrier; others, the roundhead of the bulldog at that time. Most people believe that the French Bulldog was crossed in along the way, explaining the Boston Terrier's bat like ears.

Boston Terrier Appearance

The head should indicate a high degree of intelligence and should be in proportion to the dog's size; the body rather short and well-knit, the limbs strong and finely turned, no feature being so prominent that the dog appears badly proportioned. The dog conveys an impression of determination, strength and activity. Style of a high order, and carriage easy and graceful. The perfect Boston Terrier should be of small to medium height and size (not toy sized) with a round compact head and a solid, muscular and athletic body.

Body: deep and broad of chest, well ribbed up. Back short, not roached. Loins and quarters strong. Their neck is of fair length, without throatiness and slightly arched. Their forlegs are wide apart, straight and well muscled. With their elbows standing neither in nor out. The hindlegs straight, quite long from stifle to hock (which should turn neither in nor out), short and straight from hock to pasterns. Thighs well muscled. Hocks not too prominent. Their feet are small, nearly round, and turned neither in nor out. Toes compact and arched. The tail is set-on low, short, fine and tapering, devoid of fringe or coarse hair, and not carried above the horizontal. Disqualifications: Docked tail and any artificial means used to deceive the judge. Too narrow in the chest; Bowing or turned out resulting in poor movement; Down in the pasterns or splayed feet.

Head: deep and broad of chest, well ribbed up. Back short, not roached. Loins and quarters strong. Their neck is of fair length, without throatiness and slightly arched. Their forlegs are wide apart, straight and well muscled. With their elbows standing neither in nor out. The hindlegs straight, quite long from stifle to hock (which should turn neither in nor out), short and straight from hock to pasterns. Thighs well muscled. Hocks not too prominent. Their feet are small, nearly round, and turned neither in nor out. Toes compact and arched. The tail is set-on low, short, fine and tapering, devoid of fringe or coarse hair, and not carried above the horizontal. Disqualifications: Docked tail and any artificial means used to deceive the judge. Too narrow in the chest; Bowing or turned out resulting in poor movement; Down in the pasterns or splayed feet.

Height at Withers: usually the minimal height at the withers for males is 31 centimeters (12 inches) to about 38 centimeters (15 inches). Bitches are usually around 30 centimeters (11.8 inches) high to about 36 centimeters (14 inches).

Weight: the weight of dogs is 6.5 kg to 11.25 kg (14.5 to 25 pounds) and for bitches it is 6 kg to 10 kg (13 to 22.5 pound). Lightweight class, 12 and not to exceed 17 pounds; middleweight class, 17 and not to exceed 22 pounds; heavyweight class, 22 and not to exceed 25 pounds. The Boston Terrier should not weigh more than 25 lbs.

Coat: fine in texture, short, bright and not too hard. The coat is short, shiny and soft with a crushed velvet quality. This breed is an average shedder.

Colors: Brindle, seal or black with white markings. Brindle is preferred only if all other qualities are equal. Markings: White muzzle, blaze on face, collar, chest and feet.

Boston Terrier Temperament

Character: like the bulldog they have comical and interesting personalities and are very intelligent. They are active and playful but not the kind of neurotic and yappy dog that barks all day with no apparent reason. They love kids and can play with you as long and as hard as you want, but they can just as well sit in an easy chair and relax for hours. The disposition should be outgoing, loyal, lively and intelligent. The temperament is very stable and trustworthy. The Boston Terrier is loyal and brave, loving and courageous. Outgoing, loyal, lively and intelligent. Stable and trustworthy with family, very affectionate and bonds well with the family.

Social Build: Boston Terrier is mild and good with children. If socialized properly, it can go along with other dogs as well.

Boston Terrier Socially

Care: the short-haired, smooth coat makes this breed easy to groom. Comb, brush and bathe as necessary. As a toy breed the Boston Terrier is prone to the genetic deterioration and it's effects: juvenile cataracts, heatstroke, sinus problems, patellar luxation, deafness. Furthermore, pups often need to be born by caesarian intervention instead of natural birth.

Education: the Boston Terrier is easily trained. Enjoys working with it's owner and likes to please. Owners should decide upon the rules of the house and stick to them.

Activity: This breed does need to be exercised daily. Good for apartment as well as country living. They are relatively inactive indoors and do okay without a yard. This breed is sensitive to weather extremes.

Usability: the breed nowadays is almost exclusively held as a family dog.

Boston Terrier Quotes / Trivia


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