In the later half of the 19th century in England, a breeder crossbred an English Bulldog with a White English Terrier. The result of this breeding was a dog of high stature weighing 32 lbs, dark brindle in color with white markings and a rather “bully” appearance. In 1865, the dog was exported to a Mr. William O’Brien of Boston, Massachusetts, who later sold him to Mr. Robert C. Hooper, also of Boston. The dog was named “Hooper’s Judge”, and all research from many authors indicates that Hooper’s Judge was part of the stock that laid the foundation for today’s Boston Terrier.
A group of about 40 owners banded together in 1891 and organized a breed club. To improve the bred, they started keeping breeding records, and outcrossing to other breeds was no longer acceptable. That same year, they applied to the American Kennel Club (AKC) to be recognized and allowed to register their dogs. They were met with much resistance. The chosen name being one of the main problems, the group of owners experimented with different names, including Roundheads, Bullet Heads and American Bull Terriers, but none of the name seemed satisfactory. But later, since the breed originated in Boston, it was decided to call it the Boston Terrier.
Characteristics of the Boston Terrier
The Boston Terrier is an excellent choice for a family dog. He is quiet, sweet and loving, while still playful and active for the children. Although small in stature, he is able to hold his own anywhere. He is not a fighting dog, but he is plucky and ready to stand his ground should a scrap be forced upon him.
The Boston Terrier is a charmer. His expressive, round, dark eyes, alert and pleasant disposition, great intelligence and desire to please make him a perfect companion.
He is a clean, easily groomed dog. A good brushing every morning and a bath once in a while will keep him shiny and odor-free.
He is a healthy dog and, if he is properly fed and cared for, can live to be 12 to 14 years. Being a short-nosed breed, Boston Terriers sometimes possess congenital problems, such as a cleft palate or hare lip, and they also are prone to sinus problems. Some Bostons react badly to anesthesia, something you should always remind your vet.
Perhaps his greatest problem is that those beautiful brown eyes are vulnerable and prone to injury because of their size. The Boston Terrier is among the breeds susceptible to juvenile cataracts, so it is wise to ask your breeder if he has an eye certification for his dogs.
Bostons are great little travelers and, should you be on a long trip, you will find their behavior exemplary.
The little Boston loves to play, and part of his charm is that he seems to stay a puppy. One must be careful that he does not overdo it, as he will play until he completely wears himself out.
If it is your desire to exhibit a dog, a Boston is a fine choice. His size makes transport easy and his good manners and intelligence make him a welcome guest.
If you want a dog that will love only you, do not buy a Boston. His love for everyone is one of his virtues. He is interested and friendly to all people. Be sure that you are worthy of the little dog. You will give him your love and understanding – and he will give you his heart!