BOSTON TERRIER APPEARANCE:
Boston Terriers are typically small, compactly built, well proportioned, dogs with erect ears, short tails, and a short muzzle that should be free of wrinkles. Boston terriers can weigh from 10 to 25 lbs, typically in the vicinity of 15 lbs. The breed is known for its gentle, alert, and intelligent expression.
The Boston Terrier is characteristically marked with white in proportion to either black, brindle, seal, or a combination of the three. Seal is a color specifically used to describe Boston Terriers and is defined as a black color with red highlights when viewed in the sun or bright light. Ideally white should cover its chest, muzzle, band around the neck, half way up the forelegs, up to the hocks on the rear legs, and a white blaze between but not touching the eyes. In the show ring, symmetrical markings are preferred. Due to the Boston Terrier's markings resembling formal wear, in addition to its refined and pleasant personality, the breed is commonly referred to as the "American Gentleman."
Frequently, variations on the standard are seen depending on the ancestry of the individual dog. At various times, the English Bulldog, English Mastiff, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and French Bulldog—among other breeds—have been crossbred with Boston Terrier lines to minimize inbreeding in what is necessarily a small gene pool.
This breed originated in Boston, Massachusetts, in the late 19th century, by combining the English White Terrier with the English Bulldog, and was originally called the Boston Bull. The English White Terrier as a breed is currently thought to be extinct. Boston Terriers were first acknowledged by the American Kennel Club in 1893.
Several health issues are of concern in the Boston Terrier: cataracts (both juvenile and adult type), cherry eye, luxating patellas, deafness, heart murmur, and allergies. Curvature of the back, called roaching, might be caused by patella problems with the rear legs, which in turn causes the dog to lean forward onto the forelegs. This might also just be a structural fault with little consequence to the dog. Many Bostons cannot tolerate excessive heat and humidity due to the shortened muzzle, so hot weather brings the danger of heat exhaustion.
Originally bred for use for Dog fighting, the modern Boston Terrier can be gentle, alert, and well-mannered; however they may be difficult to potty train in the beginning. They're known to be quite rambunctious, with a sense of humor. Some Bostons enjoy having another one for companionship. Both females and males generally bark only when necessary. Having been bred as a companion dog, they enjoy being around people, and if properly socialized get along well with children, other canines, and non-canine pets. Boston Terriers can be very cuddly, while others are more independent. Some Boston Terriers have an excitable or dominant temperament that requires special training and handling by the owner. Some are aggressive towards other dogs and some dogs are just attached to one person. Boston Terriers do not typically realize that they are small animals and are not afraid to confront larger dogs or other animals.