Despite what their name implies, Boston Terriers are actually in the Non-Sporting Group and are best known for being world-class companions rather than working dogs.
Their large, round eyes, intelligent expressions, sweet natures, and unique coats have people falling in love with them at first glance. And once you know a bit more about them, you will find out that your first impressions weren’t wrong!
Let’s Start at the Very Beginning
The breed originated in 1875 when a Robert C. Hooper purchased a dog named Judge, later known as Hooper’s Judge. It was of bull and terrier lineage, directly related to those two breeds as they stood in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The American Kennel Club recognizes Hooper’s Judge as the ancestor of all Boston Terriers.
Hooper’s Judge weighed just over 30 pounds, about 15 kilograms, and was bred to Burnett’s Gyp, also known as Kate. She weighed about 20 pounds, or just under 10 kilograms and had a stocky, strong body and the blocky head Bostons are now immediately recognized by.
From here, the type as we know it got refined, with animals being bred down in size from fighting dogs and earning the name Roundheads by 1889. They entered into the American Kennel Club in 1893, becoming the first American breed to do so.
A Devoted Companion
Boston Terriers are people-oriented dogs and will always choose a company over alone-time. He is an eager playmate for kids but can be just as happy with a calmer lifestyle for older owners. They are miserable if they don’t receive the considerable time and attention they need from their owners, so bear this in mind before you decide to get one.
They are highly intelligent dogs, learning quickly and excelling at dog sports like Agility and Flyball. They pick up tricks fast but do have a streak of stubbornness thanks to their Terrier ancestors. But you will find it almost impossible to stay angry with your Boston, especially when they turn their intelligent, quizzical little gazes on you.
Keeping Your Boston in Good Nick
These dogs enjoy exercising, especially if it involves humans, but they’re also compact enough to make great city dogs and will be more than happy with walks in parks or around your neighborhood.
Another factor to bear in mind, however, is that they are brachycephalic. This means that they have small, broad skulls and a shortened upper jaw. It makes them susceptible to overheating in hot or humid weather and they’re also less tolerant of cold. But this means that you can go to town when it comes to bingo games for money!
Quick Facts About the Boston Terrier
- They are less excitable than other Terrier breeds thanks to their Bulldog genes.
- They’ve been popular for the whole of the 20th century, right up to the present day. According to the AKC statistics, they were either the first- or second-most popular dogs in the United States of America between 1905 and 1935.
- They are Massachusetts’ official state dog.