The Boston Terrier could easily be confused with a French Bulldog, but it is a separate breed. With its balanced, affectionate nature, the Boston Terrier adapts effortlessly to its people, likes children and accepts visitors without much yapping. He feels comfortable in a city apartment and is satisfied with the daily walks through the park, but he should also be given the opportunity to live out his enormous vitality on long walks in the country. The breed is less common in Europe, but the American state of Massachusetts has recognized the Boston Terrier as an official state dog since 1979.
The name affix refers to the cradle of the Boston Terrier, the American city of Boston. However, its story began earlier in England in the late 19th century when Breeder crossed a now-extinct white terrier with an English bulldog. The litter produced, among other things, a tall puppy weighing 14.5 kilos with the appearance of a bulldog.
This dog was sold to Boston, where it again changed hands. The mating with a short-legged, stocky bitch resulted in the male Well’s Ephy, who is regarded as the progenitor of the Boston Terrier breed. His destiny was to take part in the dog fights that were popular at the time. Many years passed before the massive, stocky Bulldog was bred into a light, short-nosed dog with an elegant appearance.
About 40 breeders formed the first American Bull Terrier Club. In order to improve the new breed and to prevent crossbreeding with other breeds, records were kept of all breeding activities. However, recognition by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1891 met fierce opposition from the breeders’ camp of the Bull Terrier breeds. The new breed would not be Bull Terriers and would damage the reputation of the English Bulldog, it was said. Court judgments came to the conclusion that the breed was still too uneven and not yet ripe for recognition. The naming was a further point of contention, which after much back and forth could be settled by the wise decision “Boston” Terrier. Accordingly, the breeders’ association changed its name to the Boston Terrier Club of America and they began to establish a uniform breed standard. This task turned out to be a difficult and time-consuming undertaking, as the individual breeders persistently tried to enforce their own dogs as models for the standard. In the end, the agreement was reached, and this standard still applies today, with a few minor additions. In the second attempt in 1893, the application for recognition of the breed at the AKC also worked, because the ancestry of the now around 75 animals could be traced back seamlessly over at least 3 generations in the stud books. The popularity of the Boston Terrier quickly grew beyond its regional fame. To date, the Boston Terrier Club of America has more than 30 breed clubs. In Canada, the Boston Terrier Club of Canada was founded in 1908, and one year later it presented its dogs at a show. The number of Canadian clubs increased rapidly and they all contributed significantly to the development and the now classic appearance of the breed.
The distinctive head of the Boston Terrier is square with a steeply sloping forehead, a well-defined stop and a flat top of the head. The ears are carried erect and large, round, dark eyes should be with the outer corners of the eyes parallel to the cheekbones. The short fore-face is wrinkle-free and deep, but not loosely drooping lips cover the wide, pincer bite, which gives the muzzle its characteristic square shape. A clearly visible line between the nostrils marks the wide, always black nose sponge. A rather short, slightly arched neck forms a harmonious transition to the well-set shoulders. The compact physique appears athletic due to the deep, wide chest, straight back and slightly sloping croup. The short straight or helical tail is set low and may only be carried below the horizontal. The forelegs are straight and moderately set apart, the hindquarters are well muscled, the hocks not pointing inwards or outwards. The short-haired coat is fine, shiny and silky. The colors black, brindle or “seal” (shimmering reddish black in sunlight) are allowed with white markings. The standard requires white markings on the muzzle, as a blaze between the eyes and on the front chest. Faults that exclude breeding are, for example, blue eyes, a light nose, cross bite or a coat color without the white markings. The height at the withers is variable as the breed is categorized into three size classes.
The peaceful nature of the Boston Terriers is an outstanding breeding success – especially the crossbreeding of the French Bulldog resulted in positive changes in both physique and character. The new breed was successfully relieved of the aggressiveness that had been undesirable since dog fighting was banned. The hunting instinct, a typical terrier behavior, is also mostly missing. In return, he has a strong watchful and protective instinct, which he shows as an extremely loyal family dog in contact with strange dogs (… and sometimes clearly overestimates his potential). These traits made the Boston Terrier a popular companion dog, but that’s not to say they’re boring. On the contrary, he has a pronounced self-confidence and sparkling temperament that the Boston Terrier best converts into kinetic energy in demanding dog sports such as agility or dog dancing. He feels at home as a member of his family pack, because an active environment also provides the right basis for the Boston Terrier’s mental workload.
Due to the nature of the ears, Boston Terriers are prone to painful inflammation of the outer ear (external otitis) caused by parasites, yeasts, or bacteria and which, if left untreated, can lead to deafness. One of the reasons for this is improper nutrition. Signs of the disease include frequent head shaking and the formation of bad-smelling, black ear wax through to blood and pus. Treatment at the vet is essential, just like when dermatitis occurs. These are disorders of the fur and skin, with itching, flaking and loss of fur. In addition, like other protruding-eyed breeds, the Boston Terrier is prone to conjunctivitis. Snorkeling breathing noise and snoring are relatively common, which is mainly due to the shape of the head and an instability or protrusion of the soft palate over the epiglottis, especially in brachymorphic races.
The Boston Terrier at a glance
Origin: USAFCI Classification Group 9 Companion and Companion Dogs Section 11: Small Great Dane-like Dogs Size: medium Height at the withers: not determined Weight: Size classes under 6.8 kg, 6.8 kg – 9 kg and 9 kg – 11.3 kg. Coat color: black, brindle or seal with each white markingsEyes: dark, large, roundNose: blackEars: standingBody structure: compact, powerfulUsage: companion dog, family dogCharacter: lively, intelligent, uncomplicatedHealth risks: breathing problems, deafness, sensitive to heat, cataract, dermatitisLife expectancy: 13 – 15 years
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