By Susan M. Keenan © 2007
Since 1979, the Boston Terrier has been the official state dog of Massachusetts. However, he has been around since 1870 when crossbreeding between English Terriers and English Bulldogs led to a few new breeds. Two of these resulting dogs were bred together.
Robert C. Hooper, a resident of Boston in 1870, bred his dog, Hooper’s Judge, with a white female. Although the name did not come until later, the result was the Boston Terrier. In 1889, several owners of this new breed of dog formed a club, the American Bull Terrier Club. At the time, owners of Bull Terriers and Bulldogs kicked up a fuss and this is when the Boston Terrier got his name.
Originally bred for fighting, the Boston Terrier is now bred mainly for companionship or competitive showing. In fact, it took years of breeding to produce the specific features of the Boston Terrier as he is today. This small dog gives a compact appearance with his short snout, square jaw, and square skull. Additionally, everything about him seems to be small- his tail, head, and legs. Pointed ears and round eyes set far apart complete this adorable picture.
Known for a friendly nature, the Boston Terrier does well with families or individuals living in small apartments. Intelligent, easy to train, alert, loyal, and lovable are only some of the words that can be used to describe this breed. Unfortunately, he is plagued with sensitivity to temperature changes and skin ailments.
Quite popular during the years prior to the Great Depression, the Boston Terrier does display some aggression toward other breeds. However, on the other hand, he is an excellent watchdog, that is ready to protect his family despite his size.
The coloring of this breed is typically black with white markings, brindle with white markings, or seal, a reddish-black coloring. This coloring makes the Boston Terrier quite a distinctive looking dog. Additionally, very little grooming is required and very little shedding is evident.
Young puppies require more exercise than their adult counterparts. Moderate exercise such as a long walk or plenty of playtime are recommended on a weekly if not daily basis. However, since this breed is also prone to respiratory problems, it is important to keep an eye on him while he is exercising and to avoid overexertion on his part.
With an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years, the Boston Terrier does quite well despite tendencies to develop glaucoma, cataracts, hypothyroidism, allergic dermatitis, and cardiovascular problems. Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1893, this breed is bound to continue being popular with families and single adults for a long time.