Is a Boston Terrier right for You?
The Boston terrier was originally
bred in the mid-1800s in Boston, Massachusetts by crossing an English bulldog with a white English terrier. They were originally called Round Head Bull Terriers. Today, the Boston terrier is often referred to as “the American gentleman.”
The Boston Terrier of the 1870’s
was much bigger and more aggressive than the dogs of today, weighing up to 45 pounds. They were used as ratters and some say pit fighters but there is little evidence of widespread dog fighting involving the breed. They were sometimes known as Old Boston Bulldogs.
Boston Terriers were first recognized
by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1893. They were extremely popular, in fact, the AKC registered more Boston terriers from 1900-1950 than any other dog breed!
In Landmark Research on Modern Dog Breed
development, the Boston Terrier has been shown to share the most DNA with an ancestor of the following breeds:
American Staffordshire Terrier
What about “RED” Boston Terriers?
Some people say they are “liver” and some say “seal” but a true red Boston terrier will have a reddish brown nose as well. They are pure bred dogs and are NOT rare. The color red is NOT a breed accepted coat color.
Merle is sometimes passed off as a Boston terrier color. It is not. Boston terriers do not carry the merle gene.
According to FCI Breed Standard
the Boston Terrier can reach up to 17 inches in height and up to 25 pounds in weight. Accepted coat colors are:
“Brindle, seal, or black with white markings. Brindle is preferred only if all other qualities are equal. (Seal appears black except it has a red cast when viewed in the sun or bright light.)”
What’s in a Name?
Despite their names, Boston Terriers are NOT considered a terrier breed by the AKC. They are in the non-sporting group.
Growing Up Boston Terrier
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The AKC Conducts Dog Racing Trials
each December in Orlando, FL. called the Fast CAT Invitational. This is a 100 yard race where dogs run individually chasing a lure. The average running speed by a Boston Terrier is 21.2 mph. The fastest recorded speed by a Boston was by a dog named Gaines’ What You Do To Me at 29.78 mph!
Unfortunately, the Boston Terrier’s
eyes are fairly prone to eye injury because of their large size and prominence. There are more than 20 different eye diseases that can affect Boston’s.
The CBARQ Dog Temperament Research
study, conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, is a giant study of over 300 dog breeds and 60,000 individual dogs. In this study, the Boston Terrier ranks 14 out of 124 breeds in excitability. When a stimulating event occurs such as going for a walk, friends arriving, doorbell ringing etc. a Boston reacts. They tend to have a hyper-active personality which can come across as being high energy or active without being able to sit still. It may take them a minute to calm down after an exciting event!
In this Same Research
the Boston terrier ranks very low 100 out of 124 breeds in aggression towards their owners. They do, however, rank much higher in aggression towards other dogs, both familiar and unfamiliar. Essentially, this means when another dog is approaching their territory, toy, food etc. they may react by growling, bearing of teeth and in severe cases lunging or biting.
Boston Terrier Humor!
In the Landmark Book
entitled, “The Intelligence of Dogs”, professor Stanley Coren researched and documented the intelligence of over 130 different dog breeds. In his book, the Boston Terrier ranks 54th out of 138 breeds in working/obedience intelligence. Essentially this means they will learn new commands in 25 to 40 repetitions and obey first commands more than 50% of the time. This puts them in the “average working and obedience intelligence” category. In contrast, the most intelligent breeds will learn the same command in 5 repetitions or less and the least intelligent, 80-100 repetitions!
Boston Terriers Have an Average
lifespan of 11-13 years. A Boston Terrier named Chanel lived to be 21 years old while the oldest BT on record lived to age 26! They are a tough little breed, there are some health concerns to be aware of :
Being a brachycephalic
breed, (flat faces and short muzzle) Boston terriers tend to “swallow” a lot of air. And, as you know what goes in, must come out. A gassy Boston can clear a room in no time! They also may snort, snore and make some unique sounds.
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