About Boston Terriers
The Boston Terrier originated in the city of Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Terrier is one of the few breeds developed in the United States. The original Boston Terriers were a cross between the English Bulldog and the English White Terrier (which is now extinct). In early 1865, interbreeding of some dogs by the wealthy resulted in cross breeds, one of them being between the English White Terrier and an English Bulldog. This created a dog named “Hooper’s Judge”. Judge weighed over 30 pounds. He was bred down in size with a smaller female, and one of those male pups was bred to an even smaller female. This offspring interbred with one or more French Bulldogs which provided the foundation for the now known Boston Terrier.
By 1889 the breed had become popular in Boston thus forming the American Bull Terrier Club. This name was not well received by bull terrier lovers so a short time after the breed was named Boston Terrier. The American Kennel Club recognized this breed in 1893 and in Canada in 1898-99.
The Boston Terrier has been nick named “Tuxedo Dog” or “The American Gentleman” because of its desired markings. Boston Terriers were the most popular breed in the United States between 1929 and 1935.
The tuxedo clad little dog has a very captivating expression and a big heart. The Boston Terrier is a compact, well-muscled dog. He is a lively, highly intelligent, smooth coated, short-headed, short-tailed, and a well-balanced dog.
The Boston Terrier has a short, smooth coat that is fine in texture and shiny. Acceptable colouring for the CKC Standard are: black and white; black, brindle and white; seal and white; and brindle and white. Any other colours such as tan, liver, mouse or solid black ARE NOT within the breed standard for both the CKC and AKC. The white muzzle, blaze over the head, collar, breast, all or part of the forelegs and hind legs below the hock all contribute to the look of a dog decked out in a tuxedo, resulting in the early nick name “Tuxedo Dog” and now “The American Gentleman”.
Although the Boston Terrier originated from tough pit fighters, through cross breeding and downsizing the Boston Terrier has mellowed to a gentle, alert, very intelligent, well-mannered and enthusiastic companion. Boston Terriers are very sensitive to the tone of one’s voice so proper positive, corrective training is what Bostons best respond to.
They like to learn and therefore are not difficult to train using the proper, positive reinforcement. They pick things up quickly and if the humans around the dog do not display the leadership that all dogs need, they are very willful and will begin to believe they are ‘running’ the show and need to tell YOU what to do. They need a gentle, but firm, confident, and consistent pack leader who displays authority over the dog. Positive reinforcement in setting house rules and expectations of your Boston Terrier in its early life will create a well-balanced and happy Boston Terrier. Without proper leadership from their human companion communicating to the dog what is acceptable behaviour and what is not, they can become dominant and somewhat obnoxious.
Boston Terriers are playful, very affectionate and love to be part of the family, so when considering adopting a Boston Terrier, one should make sure that they have the time, dedication and love to commit to their pet. With the right environment, a Boston Terrier can make a superb pet that will be extremely devoted, loving and loyal to their family. They generally get along well with non-canine pets as well with the proper introduction.
In Canada the breed weight is divided into three classifications:
Light Weight (under 15 lbs)
Middle Weight (15 to 20 lbs)
Heavy Weight (20-25 lbs)
length of the leg should balance with the length of the body to produce a square appearance.
The Boston Terrier is of the brachycephallic breeds and considered to be the healthiest. Because of their short muzzles, they tend to have trouble breathing in hot and cold temperatures or by exertion. Because of the short muzzle and shortened air passage, they do have a endency to snore and have been noted to flatulate (pass gas) as well.
The following are common health problems that have been noted for a Boston Terrier:
- Skin & heart tumors
- Cushings Syndrome (Adrenal Dysfunction resuling in obesity and muscle weakness)
- Luxating Patellas
- Eye Injuries
- Juvenile Cataracts / Cataracts
- Difficulty in whelping (puppies have large heads, bitch has narrow hips)
Luxating patellas are a dislocation of the knee. It is not purely a genetic problem and can be the result of environmental situations, development issues, injury to the ligaments or just the way the bone/cartilage is formed. This is one of the more common issues of the breed but does not mean that the Boston Terrier cannot lead a full quality life or that they will require surgery (dependent on the grade level of the luxating patella). A reputable breeder will test their Boston Terrier before they are entered into the breeding program to make sure that this is not an issue.
Eye injuries are another common health concern with Boston Terriers as they have protruding eyes and are susceptible to being struck by foreign objects causing injury, irritation and possible infection if not dealt with promptly. Juvenile cataracts are also noted, which is a genetic condition, and can lead to total blindness in dogs less than a year old. Reputable breeders can have their Boston Terrier puppies under a CERF test to determine if they are free from juvenile cataracts (or have them JHC clear through the parentage). Cataracts can also occur which is a degenerative condition that can lead to blindness if not detected and treated early on. This generally appears as the dog gets older.