Boston Terrier with brindle coat
|Other names||Boston Bull
Boston Bull Terrier
|Country of origin||United States|
|Notes||State dog of Massachusetts|
|Dog (Canis lupus familiaris)|
The Boston Terrier is a breed of dog originating in the United States. This "American Gentleman" was accepted in 1893 by the American Kennel Club as a non-sporting breed. Color and markings are important when distinguishing this breed to the AKC standard. They should be either black, brindle or seal with white markings. Bostons are small and compact with a short tail and erect ears. The AKC says they are highly intelligent and very easily trained. They are friendly and can be stubborn at times. The average life span of a Boston is around 11 to 15 years, though some can live well into their teens.
The American Kennel Club ranked the Boston Terrier as the 23rd most popular pure-breed in the United States in 2012 and 2013.
The Boston terrier breed originated around 1870, when Robert C. Hooper of Boston, purchased a dog, Judge from Edward Burnett known later 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 19th and early 20th 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 American Kennel Club cites Hooper's Judge as the ancestor of almost all true modern Boston Terriers.
Judge weighed over 27.5 pounds (13.5 kilos). The offspring interbred with one or more French Bulldogs, providing the foundation for the Boston Terrier. Bred down in size from fighting dogs of the Bull and Terrier types, the Boston Terrier originally weighed up to 44 pounds (20 kg.) (Olde Boston Bulldogge). The breed was first shown in Boston in 1870. By 1889 the breed had become sufficiently popular in Boston that fanciers formed the American Bull Terrier Club, the breed's nickname, "roundheads". Shortly after, at the suggestion of James Watson (a noted writer and authority), the club changed its name to the Boston Terrier Club and in 1893 it was admitted to membership in the American Kennel Club, thus making it the first US breed to be recognized. It is one of a small number of breeds to have originated in the United States. The Boston Terrier was the first non-sporting dog bred in the US.
In the early years, the color and markings were not very important, by the 20th century the breed's distinctive markings and color were written into the standard, becoming an essential feature. Terrier only in name, the Boston Terrier has lost most of its ruthless desire for mayhem, preferring the company of humans, although some males will still challenge other dogs if they feel their territory is being invaded. Boston University's mascot is Rhett the Boston Terrier. The Boston Terrier is also the mascot of Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C.
According to international breed standard, the dog should weigh no more than 25 pounds. Boston Terriers usually stand up to 15-17 inches at the withers. The American Kennel Club divides the weight of the breed into classes as follows: Under 15 pounds, 15 pounds and under 20 pounds 20 pounds and not to exceed 25 pounds.
Coat and color
The Boston Terrier is characteristically marked with white in proportion to either black, brindle, seal (color of a wet seal, a very dark brown that looks black except in the bright sun), or a combination of the three. Any other color is not accepted as a Boston Terrier by the American Kennel Club, as they are usually obtained by crossbreeding with other breeds and the dog loses its characteristic "tuxedo" appearance.
According to the American Kennel Club, an ideal Boston Terrier should have white that covers its chest, muzzle, band around the neck, half way up the forelegs, up to the hocks on the rear legs, and a white blaze between (but not touching) the eyes. For conformation showing, symmetrical markings are preferred. Due to the Boston Terrier's markings resembling formal wear, in addition to its refined and pleasant personality, the breed is commonly referred to as the "American Gentleman."
The Boston Terrier is a gentle breed that typically has a strong, happy-go-lucky, and friendly personality. Bostons are generally eager to please their owner and can be easily trained. They can be very protective of their owners, which may result in aggressive and territorial behavior toward other pets and strangers. The breed requires only a minimum amount of grooming.
While originally bred for fighting as well as hunting rats in garment factories, they were later down bred for companionship. They are not considered terriers by the American Kennel Club, however, but are part of the non-sporting group.
Both females and males are generally quiet and bark only when necessary, though early training in this regard is essential. Their usually sensible attitude towards barking makes them excellent choices for apartment dwellers. They enjoy being around people, get along well with children, the elderly, other canines, and non-canine pets, if properly socialized.
Health issues that are of concern in the Boston Terrier: cataracts (both juvenile and adult type), luxating patellas, deafness, heart murmur, mast cell tumors, and allergies. Curvature of the back, called roaching, might be caused by patella problems with the rear legs, which in turn causes the dog to lean forward onto the forelegs. This might also just be a structural fault with little consequence to the dog. Many Bostons cannot tolerate excessive heat and also extremely cold weather, due to the shortened muzzle, so hot or cold weather combined with demanding exercise can bring harm to a Boston Terrier. A sensitive digestive system is also typical of Boston Terriers. In the absence of good quality, proper diet, flatulence is associated with the breed.
Bostons, along with Pug, Shih Tzu, French Bulldog, English Bulldog and other short-snouted breeds are brachycephalic breeds. The word comes from Greek roots "Brachy," meaning short and "cephalic," meaning head. This anatomy can cause tiny nostrils, long palates and a narrow trachea. Because of this, Bostons may be prone to snoring and reverse sneeze, a rapid and repeated forced inhalation through the nose, accompanied by snorting or gagging sounds used to clear the palate of mucus, which does not harm the dog in any way. Brachycephalic dogs may be prone to complications with general anesthesia. To decrease this risk, the owner should seek an experienced and knowledgeable vet to perform any necessary surgeries. The best way to stop the dog from reverse sneezing is to rub their necks.
In the past, Bostons were primarily pit fighting dogs, but with their friendly and happy temperament they quickly moved into the houses and became a companion and rat hunter. In modern days, aside from an excellent companion breed, the Boston Terrier also excels in all sorts of canine sports. The breed is increasingly popular as a dog agility competitor, with numerous Bostons achieving the champion titles often. Also excellent in obedience training and rally obedience dog, Boston Terriers compete in tracking, dock diving, flyball, weight pulling, barn hunt, lure coursing, with success, being such a versatile breed.
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- American Kennel Club: Boston Terrier standard. Retrieved March 11, 2007
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- http://www.petwave.com/Dogs/Breeds/Boston-Terrier/Personality.aspx "Early training to learn a stop barking command is essential to maintain family sanity."
- http://bostonterriersrock.com/about-boston-terrier-dog/boston-terrier-temperament "Whilst Boston Terriers are small they are not a typical ankle biter and won’t yap or bark without reason. A well trained Boston will usually only bark when required." [emphasis added]
- "Boston Terriers". adoptaboston.com.
- "Brachycephalic". marvistavet.com.
- "Health Concerns: Respiratory System". Animal Health Center. New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association. Archived from the original on 2007-05-18. Retrieved 2007-04-06.
- Evans, K.; Adams, V. (2010). "Proportion of litters of purebred dogs born by caesarean section" (PDF). The Journal of small animal practice 51 (2): 113–118. doi:10.1111/j.1748-5827.2009.00902.x. PMID 20136998.
- Wedderburn, Peter (6 April 2009). "Why do over 80 per cent of Bulldog births happen by caesarian section?". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 28 March 2011.
- "The Boston Terrier Club Of America". bostonterrierclubofamerica.org.
- Bulanda, Susan (1994). Boston Terriers. Barron's Educational Series, Inc. ISBN 0-8120-1696-3.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Boston Terrier.|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1920 Encyclopedia Americana article Boston Terrier.|
- Boston Terrier Club of America, Inc.
- Boston Terrier Club of Canada
- The Boston Terrier and All About It at Project Gutenberg (First published 1910)
- Boston Terrier Photos, Videos and Informations
- “The Boston Terrier” in The power of the dog by Arthur Croxton Smith. 1910.