Boston Terriers are one of the most popular breeds in America. They have been bred since the early 1900s and they were first used in World War I. Today, there are approximately 20 million Boston Terriers living throughout the world. The breed was originally called “Boston” because it resembled a small, black dog with white markings on its body and legs. However, after some time, it became known as “Terrier”.
The Boston Terrier is a medium sized dog weighing between 30–40 pounds (13–17 kg). Its coat is usually grayish or reddish brown. There are two main color variations: Seal and Fawn. These colors come from different combinations of white, black, red, yellow and other colors. The seal variety has no spots while the fawn variety does have spots.
Both varieties are very similar in appearance but differ in their temperament.
Seal Boston Terriers tend to be reserved and quiet. They prefer to live alone or in groups of 2–5 dogs. They do not like children and will often bark at them if approached too closely. Some seal types may even growl when greeting visitors. Other seals may act friendly towards strangers but they are still wary around kids and other animals.
When interacting with other dogs, seal types will look away quickly, sniffing the air before approaching another dog again.
Fawn Boston Terriers are slightly more friendly and outgoing than their seal counterparts. They prefer to live in groups of 2 or 3, but will be fine with living with a family that interacts with them on a regular basis. Fawns can get on well with children but will sometimes nip at their fingers and hands. They may also chase animals like cats and other dogs often (though this isn’t a habit all fawn types share). They may also growl when greeting a new person or animal.
Regardless of coat color, Boston Terriers can come in several different color variations. The most common is solid: meaning that the base color of the dog is uniform throughout and lacks any patterning. Another color variation is a roan (meaning that the base color is mixed with white hairs). There is also the possibility of having markings on the face, ears, legs and body. Markings vary from distinct spots to vaguely defined splotches of color.
The Boston Terrier has a sturdy, compact body with a short, easy to maintain coat. Its head is shaped like an instep and its ears are V-shaped, small and folded. Its eyes are small and dark with a strong jaw and defined stop. Its back is slightly arched and its chest is broad and deep but it has a lean body. Its hindquarters are wider and stronger than the front.
Its short tail is set high and normally curved tightly over its back.
The Boston Terrier can be a wonderful dog for people who do not have small children in the house and who can give it the attention and exercise that it needs. It does not do well with children who are rough or prone to excessive noise and should not be left alone for long periods of time. It is a fairly active breed and will do best with a yard or at least regular opportunities to run and play.
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The Little Gentleman
The Poor Man’s Gentleman
Weight Male 30–40 lb (13.6-18.1 kg)
Weight Female 24–36 lb (10-16 kg)
Height Male 10.5 in (27 cm)
Height Female 9.5 in (24 cm)
The Boston Terrier is a small, compact and well built dog. The skull is slightly wider than it is long and flat on top with a well defined stop. The muzzle is short, square and blocky. The nose is large with wide open nostrils and the black nostrils are on the same level as the bottom lip and extends over the corners of the mouth. The strong jaws have a well defined underbite.
The teeth should form a scissors or level bite. The lips are thick and the upper lip should overlap the lower lip, with the upper lip being longer. The small, dark eyes are deeply set and the eye rims are black. The ears are small, V-shaped and set high on the head. The neck is strong and of medium length. The shoulders are well laid back. The chest is broad, deep and well developed with the belly not protruding. The back is short, strong and straight. The loins are strong. The tail is set high and either stuck out in a single curl or flipped over the body. The legs are short and straight. The feet are round with arched toes and well padded. The nails are black. The coat is glossy, fine, smooth and short.
The Boston Terrier comes in black, brindle or seal with white markings.
The Boston Terrier is intelligent, playful and affectionate. It is active and enjoys the company of people. It gets along well with children and can even take teasing and torment from them. It is protective of its territory and will let you know when there is an intruder. It does not like to be left alone for long periods of time or to be kept outside.
It does best in a place where it can be close to its owners and can even become destructive if not provided with toys and things to do.
The Boston Terrier is fairly easy to groom as it has a short coat that is mostly free of mats and tangles. Some owners prefer to clip the coat shorter and this can be done every couple of months. Clean and trim the nails regularly and brush the teeth at least twice a week.Ears should be checked weekly and cleaned if needed. The Boston Terrier is a fairly healthy dog but some issues can include ear infections, skin allergies, eye problems, patellar luxation and heart defects.
The Boston Terrier is a fairly active dog. While it can live in an apartment if there are regular opportunities to walk, run and play it is happier living in a home with a yard. If it does not get the chance to expend all its energy it can become destructive. This breed is not really appropriate for people who cannot offer it the kind of lifestyle it needs.
The Boston Terrier is native to Boston, USA. It was developed in the 1800s by crossing the now extinct Black and Tan Terrier with the now extinct Bull Terrier and English Terrier. It was first known as the Bulldog or Yankee Terrier and was used for hunting vermin. It became a very popular breed and even had its own breed club by 1863. It was renamed the Boston Terrier in 1891.
It is the only breed that is native to America.
Sources & references used in this article:
Young at Heart: The Story of Johnny Kelley, Boston’s Marathon Man by H McLENNON – ALA Bulletin, 1941 – JSTOR
The Baltimore Orioles: The History of a Colorful Team in Baltimore and St. Louis by F Lewis, D Johnson – 2005 – books.google.com
The City-State of Boston: The Rise and Fall of an Atlantic Power, 1630–1865 by F Lieb – 2005 – books.google.com