The Boston Terrier has his beginnings in Boston, located in the United States. Around the year 1870, crossbreeding between English Bulldogs and English Terriers led to a few other breeds. One of the first such dogs was named, Hooper’s Judge. He was bred with a white female, resulting in the first of the Boston Terriers, although they did not go by that name until later.
In 1889, the American Bull Terrier Club was organized by owners of this new breed of dogs. Unfortunately, the founders of this club met with some opposition from both Bull Terrier and Bulldog owners. They did not believe that it was fair to consider this new breed in the same standing or to use the same name as their established breeds. The club quickly changed the name to the Boston Terrier Club.
Originally, crossbreeding produced inconsistent results and it took long years of selective crossbreeding, including inbreeding, before consistent results were achieved. Eventually, the breed became what it is today.
A small, compact dog that has a square skull and jaw with a shortened snout or muzzle, the Boston Terrier has round eyes that are set far apart. His head is short, as is his tail, which sits rather low on his backside or rump. His body is rather short due to his short legs.
The ears of a Boston Terrier are pointed and set at the corners of his square skull. They are carried perfectly erect upon his head. The nose of a Boston Terrier is wide and very black. The muzzle and fore chest are typically white in coloring.
Their coloring is commonly black with white markings, seal (a type of reddish-looking black) or brindle with white markings. It is this specific combination of dark coat with bright white markings that leads to the easy recognition of the Boston Terrier. Boston Terriers do not shed very much and their grooming needs are minimal. Trimming is unnecessary at all times.
The Boston Terrier is known for his friendly nature that makes him a wonderful companion. He does well in apartments and living with single people. However, he is equally adaptable to family living since he does get along well with children.
The Boston Terrier is an intelligent breed, lending him to easy training. His disposition is typically friendly and lovable. He enjoys spending time with people and being indoors is quite acceptable to him. In fact, remaining indoors is also advisable due to his extreme sensitivity to changes in temperature and proclivity to skin ailments.
Additionally, he is loyal and empathetic to his owners and their needs. As a watchdog, he is excellent and reliable. He is always alert to any changes and is quick to respond. Intruders will meet with his desire to run them off despite his relatively small size.
However, partly due to his original parentage lines, he does display a tendency to interact on rather an aggressive level with other dogs. He takes quickly to any challenge and does quite well presenting himself and managing to stay ahead in any ruckus.
Healthy Boston Terriers do not need lots of exercise to keep them happy and content. However, moderate exercise that includes walks and some play are important, especially in young puppies that tend to have more energy.
Regular walks and exercise, even on a moderate level are important not only to the dog’s physical health, but also, to his mental health. However, it is important to remember this breed’s tendency to respiratory problems and to keep his exercise to short sessions that do not involve overexertion on the part of the dog.
The Boston Terrier is a small to medium size. The lightweight dog usually weighs under 6.8 kg or 15 lbs. The middleweights usually weigh between 6.8-9 kg or 15-20 lbs. The heavyweights usually weigh between 9-11.3 kg or 20-25 lbs. The typical height of the adult is approximately 31 to 38 cm or 12 to 15 inches.
Health issues that may affect the Boston Terrier include hypothyroidism, megaesophagus, epilepsy, glaucoma, cataracts, cardiovascular problems, and allergic dermatitis. Eye problems and respiratory problems are common with breeds that have short muzzles. Therefore, this breed might also experience wheezing, especially during extremely hot weather.
The American Kennel Club recognized this breed in 1893. The average lifespan of the Boston Terrier is between ten and fifteen years.