Boston Terrier
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Boston Terrier A Well Dressed Dog With Impeccable Manners

Where Do Boston Terriers Come From?

Unlike most dog breeds with very little documentation of their ancestry, the history of the Boston Terrier is well documented. Sometime in the late 1860s in England, an English Terrier (now extinct) and a Bulldog were bred and their puppy was sold to William O’Brien, an American, who took the dog to Boston.

O’Brien sold the dog in 1870 to Robert Hooper, and the dog became known as “Hooper’s Judge.” Judge weighed over 30 pounds and was bred with a smaller white bulldog-type female named Gyp. A smaller puppy named Eph was born. Judge and Gyp begat Eph, Eph begat Kate, and so forth. After a few more refinements by other breeders, today’s Boston Terrier breed was created. Hooper’s Judge is the patriarch of the Boston Terrier breed.

By 1890, these Boston Terriers became extremely popular in the Boston area and owners created a club called the American Bull Terrier Club. Shortly after, the dog’s breed name was officially changed to the Boston Terrier and was recognized by the AKC in 1893.

Dubbing the breed the “American Gentleman”, the legislature of Massachusetts declared the Boston Terrier to be the official state dog in 1979.

Despite its name, the Boston Terrier is not part of the AKC’s Terrier Group. Instead, it is included in the Non-Sporting Group. It is a relatively popular breed, ranking number 21 on the AKC’s list of most popular.

What Do Boston Terriers Look Like?

The Boston Terrier is a small dog standing about 16 inches tall and weighs not more than 25 pounds. They have erect ears, a short muzzle, and a coat that is a combination of white and black that resembles a tuxedo. The tuxedo look and its good manners are why it is nicknamed an American Gentleman.

The black part of its coat can have some variation. It can be completely black, black brindle, or sable. Sable looks black but has a reddish tint in bright lights. Its face does somewhat resemble the French Bulldog and these two breeds are often confused.

Black
Black Brindle
Brown Brindle
French Bulldog

 

 Are Boston Terriers Good Family Dogs?

The Boston Terrier is an excellent companion dog and usually gets along very well with all members of the family. They are affectionate and may become a bit possessive and territorial that can make them resentful of other dogs and strangers.

Generally, they are happy, friendly, and well-behaved members of the family. They need human companionship and are not outside dogs. They love to play with kids and need a lot of attention. They are not frequent barkers but will bark when necessary. This makes them pretty good watchdogs.

They do shed somewhat so are not a hypoallergenic breed. Consequently, they are not a good choice for people who are allergic to dogs. They need brushing about once a week and an occasional bath.

Boston Terriers are extremely devoted to their owner and are very sensitive to the atmosphere and mood around them. This dog can sense whether its owner or other people are feeling upset, happy, or angry. This unique characteristic makes the Boston Terrier a wonderful companion who is clever and learns very quickly.

They need daily exercise which only requires the typical walks on a leash or some playtime. They love to play chasing games and retrieving a ball. This tough-looking dog may seem like it could live outdoors, but it does not tolerate heat or cold temperatures very well. But most importantly, they want constant human companionship.

Are Boston Terriers Smart?

Ranked at number 54 in Stanley Coren’s book, “The Intelligence of Dogs, Boston Terriers are about average in doggie smarts. Owners will tell you these dogs are very clever and relatively easy to train. Owners may be biased, but the Boston Terrier is clever and eager to please, so training should not be all that difficult. They can be stubborn, so you must be patient. Their desire to please should soon lead them to do what you trying to teach them.

Are Boston Terriers Healthy?

With proper care, good nutrition, and enough exercise, your Boston Terrier should be relatively healthy. They have a lifespan of 11 to 13 years.

Some health issues that may come up are stenotic nares, patellar luxation, elongated soft palate, and allergies. Boston Terriers can also have hip dysplasia, knee problems, and potential eye issues. Because of their short nose, some with

Boston Terriers are a brachycephalic breed. This can cause some breathing problems, so they may snort or sneeze to try to clear their smaller nostrils. They sometimes snore.

Compare Bulldogs

Breed Country

English Bulldog
Height (inches): 14-15
Weight (Pounds): 40-50
Life Expectancy (Years): 8-10
Popularity (AKC): 5
Group (AKC): Non-Sporting
United Kingdom

American Bulldog
Height (inches): 20-25
Weight (Pounds): 60-100
Life Expectancy (Years): 10-12
Popularity (AKC): Not ranked
Group (AKC): Foundation Stock Services
United States
French Bulldog
Height (inches): 11-13
Weight (Pounds): under 28
Life Expectancy (Years): 10-12
Popularity (AKC): 4
Group (AKC): Non-Sporting
France
Bull Terrier
Height (inches): 21-22
Weight (Pounds): 50-70
Life Expectancy (Years): 12-13
Popularity (AKC): 62
Group (AKC): Terrier
United Kingdom
Boston Terrier
Height (inches): 15-17
Weight (Pounds): 12-25
Life Expectancy (Years): 11-13
Popularity (AKC): 21
Group (AKC): Non-Sporting
United States
Miniature Bull Terrier
Height (inches): 10-14
Weight (Pounds): 18-28
Life Expectancy (Years): 11-13
Popularity (AKC): 110
Group (AKC): Terrier
United Kingdom
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