Boston Terrier – The “American Gentleman”

Outwardly, Boston Terriers resemble their close relatives, the French and English bulldogs, in many ways. When it comes to health and intelligence, however, the national dogs of the USA have a number of advantages over their clumsy ancestors. You can find out what makes a Boston Terrier and why the animals are still a real rarity in Germany in the short breed portrait.

What do Boston Terriers Look Like?

Although no specific height at the withers is prescribed for Boston Terriers and the dogs are bred in three different weight classes, connoisseurs of the breed can tell them apart from other Great Danes at first glance. The black-coated dogs with large almond eyes make onlookers laugh with their unique facial expressions and appear significantly less stocky and ponderous than European bulldogs.

Boston Terrier weight classes

  • Under 6.8kg
  • 6.8 to 9 kg
  • 9 to 11.3 kg

Distinguishing characteristics of the Boston Terrier in detail

  • The Boston Terrier’s head appears square and the smooth forehead falls away steeply. In broader types, the forehead is sometimes slightly wrinkled between the eyebrows. In their American homeland, the dogs were formerly known as roundheads.
  • The muzzle takes up only about a third of the length of the skull and appears short, square, and powerful. No wrinkles form on the bridge of the nose and the lips only droop slightly.
  • The Boston Terrier’s eyes are large, round, and dark with distinctively shaped corners. They stand wide apart and do not protrude too far (bulb eyes). Their eye shape gives the dogs the intelligent and friendly expression that they are loved for in the United States.
  • The V-shaped ears are relatively small and hard, they stand out stiffly from the head and emphasize the shape of the head. They are slightly rounded at the tips, similar to French bulldogs.
  • The square body resembles that of a terrier rather than that of a Great Dane. The ribs are well developed without appearing barrel-shaped. The short back slopes slightly backward, but the dog still appears very sporty and agile.
  • The front legs stand straight on short, strong paws. The hind legs are slightly angled, with short and strong hocks. Overall, the Boston Terrier’s movements are very straight and graceful.
  • The tail is set low and should be as short and tapering as possible. Occasionally Boston Terriers are born with a helical tailor without a tail. Docking is strictly forbidden in Germany!

Coat and color of the Boston Terrier: Another unique selling point

Boston terriers do not have an undercoat, but rather a very short, dense topcoat that lies close to the body so that the individual muscle groups can be seen. An important part of the modern breed standard is the coat pattern: Only dogs with a white blaze between the eyes and a white muzzle are recognized as purebred Boston Terriers. In addition, white forelegs with a white chest and white hind feet up to the hocks are preferred. Overall, however, the dark coat color should dominate.

Color variations in the Boston Terrier

  • Black and white
  • Brindle and white
  • Seal: The very dark shade of red, black in normal light
  • The following colors are not approved for breeding: chocolate, blue (lightened black), lilac (lightened brown), liver (red).
  • Splash Boston Terrier: “Splash” is a form of piebald and refers to Boston Terriers that are predominantly white.

Origin of the Boston Terrier: The Oldest Companion Dog in America

The dog breed was first bred under the name Bull Terrier in the Boston and Chesapeake Bay areas. All of today’s Boston Terriers can be traced back to breeding efforts by Robert C. Hooper of Boston in the 1870s. In the US, the dogs quickly gained popularity and were kept as fighting and house dogs, although in the 19th century they were still significantly larger and stronger than the show and family dogs of today. The first Boston Terrier Club joined the AKC in 1893. The Boston Terrier was the first American companion dog to be included in the standards.

Terrier or Great Dane – Where does the Boston Terrier have its roots?

Despite its name, the Boston Terrier is a mastiff and not an earth dog. Ancestors of the first purebred Boston Terriers came from crosses between English Bulldog and English Terrier. The dogs were originally used in dogfighting arenas. However, smaller and friendlier breeds were bred early on because of their excellent qualities as companion dogs. Today, Boston Terriers retain none of their former qualities as wrestlers but have retained their athleticism and compactness. They are among the top 20 most popular companion dog breeds worldwide.

Nature and Character of the Boston Terrier: The Thinker Among the Dogs

Boston Terriers learn from experience and develop completely individual character traits. Among them there are little stubborn and silly pranksters, some are lazy, others very agile. Overall, they are very sociable dogs that learn a lot from the temperament of the owner. In a way, your dog is a small mirror of your own personality. How it develops over the course of its life depends on genetic dispositions, upbringing, and your dog’s everyday experiences.

A companion dog through and through

  • The dogs are sensitive and know how to please their owner in different situations.
  • They love harmonious togetherness and adapt to everyday family life.
  • Boston Terriers are very intelligent and love to perform tricks for rewards.
  • They get along well with children and with other animals in the house.

A dog for pleasure

The Boston Terrier only achieved worldwide fame in the course of the 20th century. As the name suggests, the dogs are ideal for city dwellers. With their extraordinary appearance, they quickly make new friends in the neighborhood, both animals and humans. You can sit still for a long time in the café or restaurant and watch what is happening; in the park, they love to meet other dogs and play with them. Boston Terriers are also suitable as playmates for children. However, affectionate dogs are reluctant to be left alone. Working single owners should clarify before purchasing whether their dog may be brought to work as an office dog.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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