AKC Dog Breeds: Boston Terrier

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Non Sporting Group
Height: 15-17 inches   Weight: 10-25  pounds  Color: Black/white, Brown /white, brindle/white

Truly an "All-American" dog, the Boston Terrier is a lively and highly intelligent breed with an excellent disposition. Conveying an impression of determination, strength and activity, he is short-headed and compactly built, and must be black, brindle or seal with white markings. Following the Civil War, the Boston Terrier breed was developed in the stables of Boston, Massachusetts, as a fighting dog. An imported dog known as "Hooper's Judge" (sold to a Boston man in 1870) became the ancestor of almost all true modern Boston Terriers The breed is an American creation, resulting from a cross between an English Bulldog and a white English Terrier. In 1891, the breed became known as Boston Terriers, taking the name of the city where they originated.

General Appearance

Boston Terriers, also called the Boston bull, are compact and well-muscled dogs.  Their faces are unmistakable with a short, wide muzzle, dark, large round eyes set far apart, and small, fine, erect ears. They have a broad, flat head without wrinkles and a short, square muzzle leading to an ample black nose. Its neck is slightly arched and its chest is broad.  Its limbs are straight and muscular. Its hair is short, brilliant, and of a fine texture that comes in brindle & white or black & white and some are born brown & white.

The Boston Terrier is a very mild mannered, gentle, and affectionate dog, and his good natured disposition and sociable nature has earned him the nickname the American gentleman of dogs'. This is one of the most popular breeds in the United States, and his compact size coupled with his amiable and easygoing nature has made him a hit amongst dog lovers. The Boston Terrier is eager, always ready to please his loved ones, and extremely loyal. A dedicated pet and a lover, and giver, of attention, this is a dog that just loves to be a part of the family and loves to get involved. The Boston Terrier can sometimes be very spirited but at other times can be calm and dignified. The Boston Terrier gets along very well with children, and he also get along well with other animals and pets. Some say that these dogs have an overly trusting nature, as not only do they get along with strangers and love to meet new people, but they will quite willingly go off with a stranger, which is something to bear in mind. Although the well socialized Boston Terrier is sweet and gentle, these dogs are very independent as well and can be stubborn at times

Regular brushing with a firm bristle brush will minimize loose hair. This breed should be bathed only when absolutely necessary using a mild shampoo. The Boston Terrier has a tendency to drool so frequent wiping of the face is recommended. They eyes and ears need to be checked and cleaned on a regular basis.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy
With their short faces they can have problems breathing, especially when stressed or hot. Some can have problems with Allergies as well. Their big, buggy eyes are easy to harm. The biggest eye problem is Corneal Ulcers. Around 1 in 10 will experience Corneal Ulcers in their life time. Corneal Ulcers are caused initially by injury to the eyes. They are also prone to Cataracts and Juvenile Cataracts. Deafness has been known to occur in Boston's sense the beginning of the breed. Deafness can occur in any Boston, but it is more prone to affect Bostons that have one or both eye blue or white and there offspring.

The most common orthopedic problem found in Bostons is patellar luxation, which can lead to rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament. Occasionally Bostons can suffer hip dysphasia, but this condition occurs more often in large breeds, while patellar luxation is more common in small breeds. Ingrown or corkscrew tails can become a serious problem. The tail grows backwards and down creating a deep crevice that can become painful and infected. In severe cases the tails need amputated. Milder cases require attention to keeping the area clean and dry to maintain the pet's comfort. The lifespan of the Boston Terrier is around 10-14 years.

Activity Level
Relatively inactive indoors, the Boston Terrier is quite content to just be with the family at all times. However, regular daily exercise is a must to keep this breed fit and in shape. They benefit from and enjoy securely leashed walks, family play sessions, and free play in a safely fenced area. Boston Terriers do well in an apartment, condominium, or city dwelling provided they are given sufficient exercise, attention, and stimulation.


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boston terrier dog on dog encyclopedia
Boston Terrier profile on dog encyclopedia