BOSTON-TERRIER.jpg
Breed Group Group 4: Bull Breeds
Sub-group 4-B: Bull-and-Terrier Breeds
Origin Country United States
Weight Males: 15-17 pounds. Females: 15-17 pounds.
Height Males: 0-25 inches. Females: 0-25 inches.
Other Name(s) Boston Bulldog
Breed Type Pure
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Boston Terrier

Breed Group Group 4: Bull Breeds
Sub-group 4-B: Bull-and-Terrier Breeds
Origin Country United States
Weight Males: 15-17 pounds. Females: 15-17 pounds.
Height Males: 0-25 inches. Females: 0-25 inches.
Other Name(s) Boston Bulldog
Breed Type Pure
click here for FULL BREED STANDARD

Breed Spotlight

Origins

As the name suggests, this breed of dog is an All-American breed that originated in the great city of Boston, Massachusetts. The ancestors of the Boston Terrier include bulldogs, terriers, and the bull-and-terrier crosses that were so commonly used for the gruesome sports of bull-baiting and dog fighting.

The Boston Terrier breed is believed to have begun under the guidance of Boston native Mr. Robert C. Hooper in the 1860s. He used his handsome brindle and white Bulldog-White Terrier cross, Hooper’s Judge, as foundation stock. It is also believed that early French Bulldogs were incorporated into the breed at some point, possibly to tone down the tenacity of the terrier temperament and produce the American Gentleman that we have today. Originally known as the Round-Headed Bull and Terrier, then as the Boston Bull Terrier, the name was finally shortened to the Boston Terrier in 1891. The Boston’s reign of popularity was at its peak from 1905 to the end of the 1930s. Today the Boston Terrier remains one of the most easily recognized and iconic American dog breeds in the world, with his popularity extending far beyond American shores.

Breed Characteristics

Head: Somewhat brachycephalic in skull-type, moderate in size, and in proportion to the rest of the body. The head should appear square and flat on top when viewed from the front. In profile, the topskull is somewhat long and may be flat or slightly arched, with an abrupt brow. The muzzle should be sufficiently long enough to prevent a flat-faced profile. The head is clean-cut without excess skin or wrinkle.
Eyes: Moderately large in size, round, set widely apart, and medium to dark brown in color, with dark colors preferred. The eye rims are well-fitted and well-pigmented. The eyes should be free of exposed whites, pink membranes, or haw. The eyes are never bulging. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes.
Ears: Medium in size, set high on the skull, and set as far to the upper and outer corner as possible. They may be natural or cropped. Natural ears should be small in size, V-shaped, and carried firmly erect. Cropped ears are cut short to enhance the square proportions of the head. The ears are never long, overly large, or broken.
Muzzle: The muzzle is short, square, full, very deep, and very broad. It should be dry, having no wrinkles or pendulous flews. The muzzle is level from stop to the tip of the nose. The jaws are broad and strong with a slightly turned up lower jaw. Upper and lower jaws have good bone substance, appearing strong and well-developed, never appearing long and snipey, or flat and flush with the profile of the face.
Nose: The nose is well-pigmented and black, or self-colored according to the coat. The nose is wide, and nostrils are well-opened.
Neck: Moderate length to allow for proud head carriage and strongly-muscled, with a slight arch. The neck tapers smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is clean-cut, without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap.
Chest: Deep, broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows.
Body: Compact, solid, and of good substance. The body is squarely proportioned, never racy or bulky. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Feet: Oval to round, compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads.
Tail: Set low on the sloped croup. The tail thick at the base, and tapering toward a blunt end, ideally not exceeding a length that is one quarter the distance from the set-on to the hock joint. Screw tails and kinked tails are undesirable.
Movement: The Boston’s movement is swift, agile, and sure-footed. The characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the center line of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.
Temperament: The Boston Terrier’s temperament is true to his gentlemanly reputation. He is known to be lively, watchful, sociable, and intelligent. With his family, he can be quite cheeky and clever, but he may be more reserved around strangers. Boston Terriers are known for bonding strongly with their families. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.
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Breed Standard

BREED GROUP 4: Bull Breeds

Proportions: Square in body proportions, measured from the point of the forechest to the point of the rump being just slightly greater than the height at the withers. The ideal height-to-length ratio of the body is between 1:1 and 10:9. Females may be slightly longer. The body is well-put together, with sturdy substance and medium bone. The dog must exhibit enough leg length to maintain a square build, but must not appear racy, spindly, or coarse. Many organizations recognize different varieties of the Boston Terrier that are separated by sizes (under 15 pounds, 15-20 pounds, and 20-25 pounds).

Head

General Appearance: Somewhat brachycephalic in skull-type, moderate in size, and in proportion to the rest of the body. The head should appear square and flat on top when viewed from the front. In profile, the topskull is somewhat long and may be flat or slightly arched, with an abrupt brow. The muzzle should be sufficiently long enough to prevent a flat-faced profile. The head is clean-cut without excess skin or wrinkle.
Expression: Always dressed for the occasion, the Boston Terrier has somewhat of a professional air about him, with his built-in suit. The expression of the American Gentleman should appear intelligent, cordial, pleasant, alert, and amiable.
Stop: The stop is definite, preferably forming a 90-degree angle between the topskull and muzzle.
Skull: The ideal muzzle-to-skull ratio is between 1:3 to 1:4, with the topskull being just longer than the muzzle.
The ideal muzzle-to-skull axis is convergent.
Muzzle: The muzzle is short, square, full, very deep, and very broad. It should be dry, having no wrinkles or pendulous flews. The muzzle is level from stop to the tip of the nose. The jaws are broad and strong with a slightly turned up lower jaw. Upper and lower jaws have good bone substance, appearing strong and well-developed, never appearing long and snipey, or flat and flush with the profile of the face.
Lips or Flews: Lips are thick and of a good depth, yet rather clean and fit well over the teeth and jaws, and covering the teeth completely. They are never loose or pendulous in appearance. The upper and lower lips meet in front of the upper and lower incisors, forming an inverted V-shape where the upper lips meet at the philtrum.
Nose: The nose is well-pigmented and black, or self-colored according to the coat. The nose is wide, and nostrils are well-opened.
Cheeks: The cheeks may be smooth to gently padded. They are never chiseled or coarse.
Dentition and Bite: Forty-two strong, clean, white teeth. Bite may be level, scissor, or reverse-scissor, or just slightly undershot, with no more than 1/4 of an inch of contact loss between upper and lower incisors.
Eyes: Moderately large in size, round, set widely apart, and medium to dark brown in color, with dark colors preferred. The eye rims are well-fitted and well-pigmented. The eyes should be free of exposed whites, pink membranes, or haw. The eyes are never bulging. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes.
Ears: Medium in size, set high on the skull, and set as far to the upper and outer corner as possible. They may be natural or cropped. Natural ears should be small in size, V-shaped, and carried firmly erect. Cropped ears are cut short to enhance the square proportions of the head. The ears are never long, overly large, or broken.

Body and Tail

General Description: Compact, solid, and of good substance. The body is squarely proportioned, never racy or bulky. Width at forequarters is approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Neck: Moderate length to allow for proud head carriage and strongly-muscled, with a slight arch. The neck tapers smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. The neck is clean-cut, without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap.
Chest: Deep, broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows.
Topline: Level from withers to croup or from withers to loin. The back is short, broad, strongly muscled, and supple. The loin is taut, and may be flat and level, or slightly arched, yet supportive. The topline is never swayed or roached.
Croup: Gently sloped.
Underline: Slight is present. The underline is taut and firm, without any indication of sagging or excess weight.
Ribs: Long, well-sprung, well-laid-back, and oval-shaped, never barrel-chested or slab-sided.
Tail: Set low on the sloped croup. The tail thick at the base, and tapering toward a blunt end, ideally not exceeding a length that is one quarter the distance from the set-on to the hock joint. Screw tails and kinked tails are undesirable.

Forequarters and Hindquarters

Forequarters: Forequarters are always in balance with the hindquarters. Forequarters are well-angulated with well-laid-back shoulder blades. Shoulder blades are approximately equal in length to the upper arm and forearm.
Elbows: Elbows are close to the body. The point of the elbows is approximately half the dog’s height at the withers.
Forelegs: Frontal View: Straight, of good muscle and bone, and parallel to one another.
Side View: The forelimbs appear straight with strong pasterns.
Pasterns: Never weak or broken.
Hindquarters: Upper thigh and lower thigh are equal in length, appearing strong, sturdy, of good bone, and well-muscled.
Rear View: When viewed from the rear, the rear pasterns are parallel to one another.
Side View: Good angulation will allow the rear toes to align with the point of the rump or within one to two paw-lengths behind the point of the rump, with the rear pasterns remaining perpendicular to the ground and parallel to one another.
Stifle Joint: Well-angulated with a good bend to well-let-down rear pasterns.
Angulations: Angulation of hindquarters is always in balance with angulation of forequarters.
Feet: Oval to round, compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads.

Coat

Skin: Well-fitted, yet supple. The skin should never obstruct the outline of the dog.
Coat Type: CKC recognizes three coat varieties of the Boston Terrier: the standard smooth coat, the long-haired, and the wire coat.
Standard (smooth-coat variety): The coat is short, smooth, and close to the body throughout. The texture is fine and glossy. No fringe or feather permissible.
Long-coat variety: The coat is short on the face, forehead, and front of the forelimbs and hindlimbs. The coat is longer on the neck, ears, rear of the forelimbs and hindlimbs, feet, and tail, forming well-developed fringe and furnishings. Undercoats may or may not be present. The coat should never be abundantly thick, abundantly long, or silky.
Wire coat: Coat is rough, wiry, hard, and dense. It is distributed evenly over the dog, or may be broken coated, with rougher wire coat in some areas (usually white coat color) and smoother coat in other areas (often black or other variation of color).
Coat Color or Pattern: CKC recognizes two color varieties of the Boston Terrier breed: the standard color and nonstandard color variety;
Standard coat color variety: Brindle, seal (black with red cast), or black with the traditional white Irish spotting pattern ranging from Tuxedo markings (white muzzle band, blaze, forechest), or extended Irish spotting, including the previous areas, but also including white between the eyes, over the center of the head, on part or the whole forelegs or hind legs up to the hocks.
Non-standard coat color variety: Any solid colors, including solid black, brindle, seal, or white. A dog of any color with white markings extending beyond the normal Irish Piebald pattern, or a predominantly white dog with patches of previously listed patterns and colors. Liver, blue, gray, mouse, Isabella, fawn, merle, sable, or smut, either in solid, Irish Piebald, or pseudo-Irish piebald (white extending beyond the traditional Irish piebald realm), or predominantly white dogs with these colors or patterns.

Movement

The Boston’s movement is swift, agile, and sure-footed. The characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws moving neither in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the center line of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.

Temperament

The Boston Terrier’s temperament is true to his gentlemanly reputation. He is known to be lively, watchful, sociable, and intelligent. With his family, he can be quite cheeky and clever, but he may be more reserved around strangers. Boston Terriers are known for bonding strongly with their families. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.

Faults

All dogs should be in proper healthy condition, free from disease or defect. Any departure from this description is considered a fault. Unless altered, all male dogs should have two fully descended testicles.