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Boston Terrier

The Boston Terrier is one of the few breeds originating in America. It can be traced back to Boston Massachusetts in 1865 when pit fighting between dogs was a popular pastime. The Boston Terrier was bred for this purpose.

Robert C. Hooper bought an all white part English Bulldog/part English Terrier in 1870, named Judge. Judge was a dark brindle with a white stripe on his head and was tall, stocky and weighed about 32 lbs. In Southborough Massachusetts, lived a man named Edward Burnett , who had some Bulldog-type bitches. It was arranged to have one of his bitches , named Gyp, to be bred to Judge. That breeding resulted in puppies weighing about 60 lbs.

These dogs were known as Barber’s dogs and were used in pit fighting. In time, employees of wealthy owners of purebred dogs were able to get some of these purebred dogs and breed them to their own Barber dogs. They carried out this breeding program very carefully because they were looking for certain qualities in the dogs they bred. The breeding of these dogs with the purebred French Bulldogs, was the foundation of the Boston. This new breed was used in the fighting pits, but also were becoming great family dogs as they were known to be very devoted to their owners. By 1889 the breed had become so popular in Boston that the American Bull Terrier Club was founded. But because they didn’t resemble Bull Terriers in any way, the Bull Terrier owners were not happy with them having that name. So the dog was given it’s own identity and named after the its birthplace, Boston. The AKC recognized the breed in 1893 making it the first recognized American breed.

So far the coloring has not been that important, but by the 1900’s the distinctive markings and coloring were written into the standard. As pit fighting became less popular, breeders began concentrating on the breed as pets and companions. By the 1950’s the Boston had become the dog we have today.

Height: Average about 15in

Size: Small

Weight: up to 25 lbs

Lives : about 15 years


  • Good with children
  • Very good breed for the elderly
  • Good for apartment living
  • Good watchdog
  • Good with other dogs and pets
  • Low dominance
  • Easy to train
  • Good for novice owners
  • Little grooming needed


  • Can be difficult to housebreak
  • Wheezes, snores and can drool
  • Strong willed but adaptable

Boston Terrier (Boston Bull Terrier)

  • Sensitive to temperature extremes
  • Must have mental and physical stimulation
  • Difficult births due to large heads  (usually have  cesarean sections)
  • Some badly bred Boston’s may have a skull bone defect that stunts brin growth resulting in a retarded dog
  • Prone to injury, heart problems, skin tumors and breathing difficulties

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