The Boston Terrier has been nicknamed the American Gentleman due to his wonderfully gentle disposition and tuxedo-like coat. One of the few breeds that is truly “made in the USA.”
Boston Terriers are rated by the American Kennel Club as one of the most intelligent dog breeds; simplifying home training. Over time, they have become a gentle breed that is content to sit on your lap and be petted.
Originally bred downsized from fighting dogs, the Boston Terrier was much larger than it is today, weighing up to 44 pounds.
It seems hard to believe that these little dogs were once tough fighters in the pits. The Boston Terrier resembles the Staffordshire Bull Terrier with its strong fighting instinct. The Boston Terriers of today are a far cry from the proud fighting dogs of the past.
The Boston Terrier resulted from a cross between the English Bulldog and a white English Terrier. Around 1870, an imported dog known as “Judge” was sold to Robert.C.Hooper. The dog became known as “Hooper’s Judge” and was a prize stallion that mated with many females. He was a heavy dog weighing in at 30 pounds. It was bred in size. It is believed to be the ancestor of many of today’s Boston Terriers.
These offspring were bred with some French Bulldogs and these matings provide the foundation for today’s Boston Terriers.
In 1889 the American Bull Terrier Club was founded. In its beginnings it only had 30 members and called the dogs Bull Terriers. In 1981 the Boston Terriers club was formed to showcase these dogs. The American Kennel Club only admitted them into their stud books due to the consistent persistence of fanciers for the breed.
In the early years, color and markings were not as important as they are today. In the 1900s, breed markings and colors were an essential part of the breed characteristic. According to the breed standard, characteristic markings must be marked white in proportion to a black, brindle, seal, or a combination of those three. ‘Seal’ is a word used to specifically describe a color found in Boston Terriers: a black color with red highlights. The white must cover the chest, muzzle and a band around the neck, up to the middle of the front legs. In show dogs, symmetrical markings are preferred. A new breed of colors (red) Boston Terriers is not stamp.
Compared to other breeds, this is a relatively new breed. Most of the progress in the breed has been made in the 20th century.
In 1979, the Boston Terrier was recognized by the state legislature as the state dog of Massachusetts.
Today’s Boston Terrier is not considered a fighting dog, but it can hold its own. The Boston Terrier is a wonderful companion for everyone.