breed
breed

Boston Terrier

avatarAlanna Mallory, BS, LVT, VTS (SAIM)

Height15 - 17"
Weight15 - 25 Ibs
TypeNon-Sporting
Life Expectancy11 - 13 years
Area of OriginUnited States

Energy Level

Playfulness

Friendliness to dogs

Friendliness to strangers

exercise requirements

affection level

friendliness to other pets

watchfulness

Grooming Requirements

Vocality

The Boston Terrier is a friendly, intelligent, non-sporting breed that is one of the few that originated in America. Their square jaw, screw tail, and tuxedo markings are just a few of their distinctive characteristics. They are a gentle, well-mannered breed that is easily trained, which makes them excellent companions for children and elderly alike. The Boston Terrier is not a fighter and has been nicknamed "the American Gentleman," but can certainly hold their own if challenged. They are perfectly content in an urban setting, but are just as happy in the suburbs.

Energy Level

Playfulness

Friendliness to dogs

Friendliness to strangers

exercise requirements

affection level

friendliness to other pets

watchfulness

Grooming Requirements

Vocality

Where Are Boston Terriers From?

The first Boston Terrier, a dog named Judge, was imported from Liverpool, England in 1870 and purchased by Robert Hooper. He became known as Hooper’s Judge and was dark brindle in color with white markings, a combination of its two breeds, the English Bulldog and the white English Terrier. He weighed about 30 pounds and resembled the English Bulldog. He was bred with a 20-pound, white-colored female that was short and square, named Gyp. Their male offspring, named Wells’ Elph, was a short and muscular dog that was dark brindle in color with white markings. Wells’ Elph was later mated with a golden brindle female weighing about 20 pounds, named Tobin’s Kate. The breed’s appearance has standardized over time as a result of multiple breedings.

In 1889, the American Bull Terrier Club was established and the breed was shown as “Round Heads” or “Bull Terriers.” Due to the similarity of the breed name, the Club experienced opposition from Bulldog and Bull Terrier fanciers. As a result, the breed was named the Boston Terrier after its city of origin and, in 1891, the Boston Terrier Club was formed. The Boston Terrier achieved American Kennel Club recognition in 1893. The breed’s popularity spread across the country in the following years and reached Europe in the 1920s.

Where Are Boston Terriers From?

The first Boston Terrier, a dog named Judge, was imported from Liverpool, England in 1870 and purchased by Robert Hooper. He became known as Hooper’s Judge and was dark brindle in color with white markings, a combination of its two breeds, the English Bulldog and the white English Terrier. He weighed about 30 pounds and resembled the English Bulldog. He was bred with a 20-pound, white-colored female that was short and square, named Gyp. Their male offspring, named Wells’ Elph, was a short and muscular dog that was dark brindle in color with white markings. Wells’ Elph was later mated with a golden brindle female weighing about 20 pounds, named Tobin’s Kate. The breed’s appearance has standardized over time as a result of multiple breedings.

In 1889, the American Bull Terrier Club was established and the breed was shown as “Round Heads” or “Bull Terriers.” Due to the similarity of the breed name, the Club experienced opposition from Bulldog and Bull Terrier fanciers. As a result, the breed was named the Boston Terrier after its city of origin and, in 1891, the Boston Terrier Club was formed. The Boston Terrier achieved American Kennel Club recognition in 1893. The breed’s popularity spread across the country in the following years and reached Europe in the 1920s.

Care

What Kind of Diet Does a Boston Terrier Need?

The Boston Terrier should be fed a high-quality, age-appropriate diet. As with any dog breed, they have the potential to become overweight. Avoiding free-choice food and sticking to the recommended daily calorie amount can help prevent obesity. It is also helpful to keep track of their weight and to adjust feedings accordingly.

Caring for a Boston Terrier

What Kind of Diet Does a Boston Terrier Need?

How Much Grooming Does a Boston Terrier Need?

Are Boston Terriers Healthy Dogs?

How Much Training Does a Boston Terrier Need?

Do Boston Terriers Need a Lot of Exercise?

What Kind of Diet Does a Boston Terrier Need?

The Boston Terrier should be fed a high-quality, age-appropriate diet. As with any dog breed, they have the potential to become overweight. Avoiding free-choice food and sticking to the recommended daily calorie amount can help prevent obesity. It is also helpful to keep track of their weight and to adjust feedings accordingly.

What Are the Physical Characteristics of a Boston Terrier?

The Boston Terrier is a short, muscular, distinguished looking dog. They have a square head and short tail. They also have tuxedo markings. The average height is 15 – 17 inches. Their weight classes are under 15 pounds, 15 – 20 pounds, and 20 – 25 pounds.

Bostons have dark, wide-set eyes with short, triangular ears set high on top of the head. Their noses are dark and wide. Their heads are square with a short muzzle and white blaze markings.

Boston Terriers are broad chested, with white blaze markings on their chests and necks. They have a short, straight back with a small pelvis.

Bostons have a short tail that is set low on the rump. It can either be straight or screwed.

Boston Terriers have a wide stance with laid-back shoulders. The forelegs are straight with small, round feet and arched toes.

The Boston Terrier has a smooth, short coat that sheds occasionally. They come in seal (black with reddish hues), black with white markings, and brindle, which features dark flecks of color on a brown coat.

The thighs are muscular and the stifles are bent. The hock joint should be well-defined and their stance straight. Feet are small and round.

Boston Terrier Facts

1

The Boston Terrier is the official mascot for Boston University and has been for the last 100 years.

2

Today's Boston Terrier is thought to be the result of breeding a mixture of the Pit Bull, Boxer, English Bull Terrier, French Bulldog, and English Bulldog. The French Bulldog was thought to be introduced into the breeding to reduce the Boston's size to under 25 pounds.

3

Although today's Boston Terrier is a dapper, gentle dog, it was originally bred for pit fighting.

Other Breeds to Explore

Boxers - Choosing a Boxer - Dog Breeds
French Bulldog
English Bulldog

References

  • American Kennel Club. The Complete Dog Book. Random House Digital, Inc., 2006.
  • Morris, Desmond. Dogs: The Ultimate Dictionary of Over 1,000 Dog Breeds. Trafalgar Square, 2002.
  • Wilcox, Bonnie and Chris Walkowicz. The Atlas of Dog Breeds of the World. T.F.H Publications, Inc., 1995.

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