So You Want A Boston Terrier
The Boston Terrier originated in Boston, Massachusetts around 1865. It is thought that Bostons were bred from the English Bulldog and the White Terrier, with possibly some Boxer, French Bulldog and Bull Terrier thrown in. Apparently they were trying to create a new fighting dog. Back then, Bostons were more like a Bull Terrier. The fighting dog aspect never caught on and instead they became popular as a companion dog.
Bostons were originally called "Round Head Terrier" and then "Boston Bull Terrier", but after an objection from Bull Terrier fanciers, the name was changed to "Boston Terrier." The breed was officially recognized by AKC in 1893. Bostons became very popular in the early 1900. There is a record of 160 Bostons entered in a single all breed show in 1918.
They are "brachycephalic" (flat nosed) breed with a sweet, easygoing personality like the Bulldog but with the slim body and tenacity of a Terrier. Bostons are often referred to as the "American Gentleman" because of their gentle disposition and also because the black & white markings often resemble a tuxedo. They are affectionate, smart and alert. In fact, the breed standard specifies a Boston to be "lively and highly intelligent".
They are a "BIG" dog in a small body. Bostons are divided into three-weight classes for AKC conformation shows: under 15 lbs., 15 to 20 lbs., and 20 to 25 lbs. Breed standards do not recognize Bostons who are over 25 lbs., although larger Bostons make wonderful pets. There are no weight restrictions for entering AKC performance events such as Obedience, Agility and Tracking.
Bostons come in three recognized colors: black and white, seal and white, or brindle and white, with specific breed-standard markings. Browns, fawns, whites and blues, that unscrupulous breeders might advertise as a "rare" Boston, are the result of genetic mutations and should never be bred. An excessively white or mismarked Bostons are susceptible to deafness due to the lack of pigment on the nerve endings in the ears. These Bostons may still make wonderful pets but are more prone to various genetic diseases so complete and regular medical screenings for these Bostons are essential.
Do Bostons make great pets? It all depends on you and your lifestyle. Bostons, due to their short coat and short snout, should not be kept outdoors. They are an indoor dog, even in areas of mild climates. Because of their large, prominent eyes, you need to be very careful when playing or even when you go for a walk. Corneal ulcers are a very common problem with this breed, which untreated can lead to a loss of vision. Bostons are extremely intelligent--sometimes too smart for their own good. They are lively, loveable and affectionate but at the same time they can be stubborn, tenacious, and hyperactive. They also tend to "snort" and drool more that the average dog. Due to their flat nose, Bostons can snore loudly, which can be a problem if you are a light sleeper. Bostons also have a tendency to be slightly more flatulent than other breeds although that depends somewhat on their diet.
If you are thinking about adding a Boston Terrier to your family, please consider the following:
Do your homework! Get your Boston Terrier from a responsible, reputable breeder. Health problems in this breed include but are not limited to:
No breeder can "guarantee" a perfectly healthy puppy, but why chance it? Ask the breeder about CERF (eye), BAER (ear), and OFA (joint) testing. The Sire and the Dam of the puppy should have passed these tests prior to being bred.
Good things come to those who wait! Boston puppies are hard to come by especially well bred ones. You may have to prepare yourself to wait a while. Boston Terriers often require a caesarian section birth to whelp a litter due to the size of the puppys head. Because of this, the frequency of breeding for females can be limited. The number in a litter also tends to be small and a litter of one is not uncommon. Dont be discouraged if you cannot find a puppy right away.
Back to school! Basic obedience training is a must not only for Boston Terriers but for all dogs. Every dog should know the following basic commands; "sit", "stay" and "come". Hopefully, by the time youve got your puppy, you have already searched around for a suitable puppy class and have started crate training. All dogs need a space they can recognize as their own and proper crate training will provide this for your dog. Crates should not be thought of as "cages" or "jails"--they are more like a dogs private room and quiet space. It is important that you know how to use a crate properly and effectively.
Fundamentals! These are so basic youll probably wonder why they are listed here, but you would be surprised how many potential puppy owners dont even think about them:
A Boston Terrier makes an excellent pet, but they arent for everyone. Again, do your homework! Here are some references to help you decide.
THE BOSTON PUPPY BOOK-
GENERAL DOG BOOKS:
BOSTON TERRIER BOOKS:
ON THE INTERNET
BOSTON TERRIER DISCUSSION GROUPS ON THE INTERNET:
© 2002, Show Bostons Inc.