The Boston Terrier was America’s first native purebred and dubbed the “American Gentleman”. Developed in Boston, Massachusetts during the 19th century by crossing the English Bulldog and the now extinct white English Terrier, the Boston Terrier was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1893, and was first registered in Canada in 1898-1899. The Boston Terrier was the most popular breed in the United States between the years 1929-1935 and is once again experiencing a resurgence in popularity.
The general appearance of the Boston Terrier is that of a smooth-coated, compactly built, short-tailed, well-balanced dog of small-medium size. Their common colouring is black and white or brindle evenly marked with white. Ideal markings are a white muzzle, even white blaze over head, collar, breast, part or whole of forelegs, and hind legs below hocks.
While early Boston Terriers weighed upwards of 40 lbs. (19 kg), according to the Canadian Kennel Club, today’s Boston Terrier is not to exceed 25 lb. (11 kg). Size is further divided into three classes: lightweight, under 15 lb. (7 kg); middleweight, 15 lb and under 20 lb (7-9 kg); heavyweight, 20 lb. and not exceeding 25 lb. (9-11 kg).
There are, of course, many Bostons with irregular markings and whose appearance varies from the breed standard. This does not change the fact that they make wonderful loving companions, and can excel in many dogs sports such as agility, flyball, obedience and more!
While we think that Boston Terriers are simply the best dogs in the world – playful, intelligent, loyal companions often described as little clowns, and just bursting with personality – we recognize the breed is not for everyone.
Although it’s somewhat cliché, Boston Terriers really are big dogs in little packages.
Some Boston Terriers are rowdy and sassy, others more mellow and laid-back. Most are fireballs of energy, and couch potatoes too, depending on what strikes their fancy at that particular time! Always alert, Bostons are natural watchdogs and some can be barkers. Bostons require time and attention; they love their family and want to be with their people as much as possible. While quick-learners, clever and generally easy to train, they can be stubborn too. They love to give kisses, so if this is an issue for you – then a Boston Terrier isn’t!
Boston Terriers are well-suited for a variety of homes due to their size and short coat which requires minimal grooming (weekly brushings are recommended).
Be aware, Boston Terriers have a tendency to snore quite loudly due to their short muzzles. They can also suffer from gas, but a high quality diet, daily exercise, and consistent feeding can help to control this issue.
As with any dog, Boston Terriers can be great with children, but children in the home must also be taught how to handle and behave around a puppy or dog. Safety should always come first when allowing a dog and child to interact and they should never be left unsupervised by an adult.
Although generally good with other pets if properly socialized, Boston Terriers do tend to try to be the boss. They are tenacious and won’t back down from a challenge.
Boston Terriers are indoor dogs only. As a brachycephalic (short-muzzled) breed, Bostons are easily susceptible to heat distress and will overheat very quickly and die if left in hot cars or if allowed to over-exert themselves in warm weather. In winter, their short, sleek coats do not protect them from the cold and they often need sweaters or coats to help retain their body heat while on walks.