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Subject: rec.pets.dogs: Boston Terriers Breed-FAQ
This article was archived around: 21 May 2006 04:22:52 GMT
Posting-frequency: 30 days
Last-modified: 17 Oct 1999
There are many FAQ's available for this group. For a complete
listing of these, get the "Complete List of RPD FAQs". This article
is posted bimonthly in rec.pets.dogs, and is available via anonymous ftp
to rtfm.mit.edu under pub/usenet/news.answers/dogs-faq/faq-list, via
the Web at http://www.k9web.com/dog-faqs/lists/faq-list.html, or
via email by sending your message to firstname.lastname@example.org with
in the body of the message.
This article is Copyright 1997 by the Author(s) listed below.
It may be freely distributed on the Internet in its entirety without
alteration provided that this copyright notice is not removed.
It may NOT reside at another website (use links, please) other
than the URL listed above without the permission of the Author(s).
This article may not be sold for profit nor incorporated in other
documents without he Author(s)'s permission and is provided "as is"
without express or implied warranty.
Pam Dupre, LUCY81354@aol.com
The AKC Standard, Club Names and Breeder information were all provided
by information given out by the Boston Terrier Club of America, Inc.
All materials used with permission. Copyright 1995 by the Boston
Terrier Club of America, Inc.
Additions, corrections, and suggestions are welcomed.
Table of Contents
* Breed Origin
* The Boston Terrier Club Of America
* Care, Exercise, and Grooming
* Frequently Asked Questions
* Boston Terrier Rescue
+ Parent Club
+ Affiliated Clubs
+ Unaffiliated Clubs
+ Books and Magazines
* A Look at the Standard
+ Twelve Sections of the Boston Terrier Standard
+ The Boston Terrier Standard
Although the Boston Terrier is a cute, compact little dog, and you
have decided you would like to be owned by one, it is important to
understand the special nature of this little dog and why the breed
exists. The Boston Terrier requires a certain amount of mental and
One of the few native American breeds, and often called the American
Gentleman, the Boston Terrier is a recent addition, comparatively
speaking, to the realm of purebred dogs.
The handsome little dogs we see today have come a long way since their
beginnings in the fighting pits of Boston. The Boston Terrier was bred
from a cross between Bull Terriers and Bulldogs. The first crosses
occurred in England, and some members of this hybrid stock were sent
In 1889, about thirty fanciers in Boston and surrounding cities
organized the American Bull Terrier Club. Dogs were bred and exhibited
by these fanciers as "Round Heads" or "Bull Terriers". Bull Terrier
breeders objected that these crosses were not Terriers. Bulldog
fanciers objected because they were not Bulldogs. In 1891 the name was
changed to the Boston Terrier Club of America, (BTCA) and a standard
was written. They applied for entrance to the AKC stud book, but were
denied. In 1893, however, the breed was accepted and the first Boston
Terrier was admitted. He was Hector #28814, by Bixby's Tony ex Dimple.
By 1915 the breed was stabilized and had become the most popular in
the country. They were number one in registrations of the top twenty
breeds, when all breeds numbered 22,127. They were on top again in
1920. The Bostons were back in first place in 1930. The Boston Terrier
remained in the Top Ten until 1960, but have slipped steadily since
The Boston Terrier, refined and standardized, has maintained its place
in American history as a spunky little dog of intelligence and
spirit...a fitting representative from Boston commons from whence it
The Boston Terrier Club Of America
The BTCA is designed to protect the breed from proliferation of
genetic faults, and to ensure the standard of the Boston Terrier.
Membership includes a quarterly newsletter magazine with breed
information, interesting articles, and activities throughout the
country. A major function of the BTCA is education, and many
informational publications are distributed to assist BTCA members and
prospective Boston Terrier owners. There are BTCA representatives in
most states throughout the U.S. to assist in providing information.
If you would like to learn more about the Boston Terrier and the BTCA,
please contact the Boston Terrier Club of America, or one of our
affiliate clubs both listed below.
Boston Terrier Rescue is a division of the BTCA, and along with the
BTCA, is dedicated entirely to the protection and preservation of the
Care, Exercise, and Grooming
Boston Terriers are extremely easy dogs to live with wanting only to
please. Bostons are extremely easy to train. Bostons are strictly
house dogs, they are not able to cope with extreme cold, nor can they
deal with extreme heat. Bostons can overheat very quickly due to the
short muzzle and a slightly elongated palate.
Bostons are active dogs needing daily exercise. They love toys,
playing fetch, chase, and children. Please remember children need to
be taught how to handle and care for a pet. The Boston Terrier is a
short haired dog that sheds minimally. The brushes I have found that
work the best are: rubber palm brush and grooming mit. The palm brush
used in a circular motion lifts out dead hair and brings the oil to
the surface, grooming mit traps loose hair. A grooming session at
least once a week should be sufficient.
Ear cleaning is a must as is nail clipping.
Snoring & Snorting
The Boston Terrier possesses a short muzzle or pushed in face. Some
Boston Terriers may show some degree of airway obstruction. This is
because the dog has an elongated soft palate. After you have a Boston
for awhile, you don't even realize that they snore.
A carefully planned diet, along with regular exercise, will put your
Boston on the road to a long and healthy life. Proper nutrition must
begin as a puppy in order to develop strong bone, well-conditioned
muscles and a natural immunity to diseases and infections. An
incorrect diet of table foods can lead to gastrointestinal problems in
the Boston Terrier creating excessive gas. This problem can usually be
controlled through diet.
A very serious genetic disorder in the Boston Terrier and several
other breeds. Juvenile Cataracts occur between 8 weeks to 12 months of
age. Some cataracts are clearly visible to the eye, while others are
diagnosed by a veterinary ophthalomologist by a CERF test. This is a
serious problem in the Boston Terrier and carrier dogs should not be
This can cause many problems and you should ask about this in parents
and grand parents. This problem can usually be controlled with
Frequently Asked Questions
Do they bark a lot?
No. However, Bostons make excellent watch dogs. They take pride in
defending their masters. They are fearless, often attacking a dog
much larger than themselves.
Do they dig? Can I leave them outside in the backyard?
Yes, most dogs do. They love to bury their bones, toys, etc. They
can be left outside for short periods. Due to the short muzzles,
they can not survive outside during the summer/winter months.
Do they shed?
Yes, however, regular brushing and bathing will take care of this
Are they good with children?
Yes. If they are raised with a child, they will usually become that
child's protector and babysitter. Just remember, children have to
be taught how to handle a young puppy.
Would a puppy or an adult dog be better?
This depends on a lot of different things. For young children, I
would have to recommand an older puppy or grown dog. One that can
get away from the children, if the dog will be left alone with the
children for any length of time. Many times, an elderly person
would rather have an older dog -- one that does not require as much
physical activity, etc. Remember, think about this before you add a
dog to your household. How much time you have to spend with this
dog or puppy? Are you willing to take the time to housetrain? Are
your children ready to help handle the responsibility for a pet?
Can you handle the extra expense of a dog?
What kind of activities do they like? Walking? Hiking? Obedience?
Agility? How trainable are they?
If people are involved, Bostons usually love to participate. They
love long walks, hiking, etc. Bostons do have a stubborn streak,
but are very trainable and love obedience.
How long do they live?
Bostons have an average life span of 10-13 years. Some longer. My
oldest Boston lived to be 15.5 years of age.
How well do they get along with other dogs or pets?
Bostons get along very well with other pets. I personally have had
Bostons with cats, horses, ducks, goats, and other dogs. I have
also known Bostons who hated cats. This is something you hve to
check on a dog-to-dog basis. Bostons usually like being the "Top
What would be some reasons I should NOT get a Boston Terrier?
They must be kept inside. They are active. They need attention and
want to be played with.
Boston Terrier Rescue
The BTCA and Boston Terrier Rescue are here to help... We are
dedicated to the Boston Terrier.
What is Boston Terrier Rescue?
It is a network of BTCA affiliate clubs/members dedicated to
placing unwanted or abandoned Boston Terriers. The Network arranges
for emergency rescues throughout the country, and gathers
information designed to match appropriate dogs in appropriate
permanent and temporary homes.
What is wrong with the dogs needing rescue?
The majority of the dogs are simply unwanted by no fault of their
own. Owners often find that they were unprepared for the care
required. Owners are often gone all day, and therefore unable to
provide the time, attention, and level of activity necessary to
this lovely little dog. Sometimes jobs or life situations change,
making it impossible for someone to keep their beloved pet.
Can a dog with behavioral or health problems be put up for adoption?
Boston Terrier Rescue can not place a dog that is aggressive to
humans, dogs in poor health (i.e. incurable) are also not suitable
for adoption. The BTCA Rescue does not function as a clearing point
for dogs with serious behavior or health problems, but does make
every effort to assist or counsel when an owner seeks advise that
might enable them to keep a dog in its current home.
Can I use a rescue dog for breeding?
ABSOLUTELY NOT. All animals must be spayed or neutered as part of
the placement process, and they are placed strictly as pets. Many
of the dogs rescued are not good examples of the breed standard,
and often there is no pedigree or record of ancestry.
Is there a charge to surrender a dog?
If possible, owners are asked to take full responsibility for
having the dog's medical requirements up-to-date, including
spaying/neutering, and a current health certificate as their
concerned participation in the process. Donations are also helpful
to assist in the expenses involving the dog's temporary care and
preparation for placement in a new home.
Is there a charge for adopting a dog?
Yes, Boston Terrier Rescue is not a clearing house for free dogs to
be given to just anybody. Owning a dog requires financial and care
giving responsibility of the new owner. Relocation costs and travel
crate is the responsibility of the new owner.
Who can adopt a dog from the Rescue?
BTCA Rescue screens prospective owners to be sure they can provide
suitable homes. Approval is based on, the owners lifestyle (i.e.,
available time for the dog), and their ability to house the dog
properly. A fenced yard is required; the dog cannot be allowed to
run free without supervision. Once a prospective owner is approved,
the Rescue network then tries to match them up with the appropriate
May I adopt a female?
Interestingly, most of the Bostons needing homes are males in age
from one to five. Many people incorrectly think females to be more
affectionate than males. The Boston Terrier male is a sweet and
responsive companion. Since all rescue animals are required to be
neutered as part of the placement process, the gender should not
matter. Males who are rejected are often nearing sexual maturity,
and instead of neutering the dog, the owner puts them up for
adoption. Even when an owner had not desired to breed, they will
often reject the pet as a result of problems that could have been
resolved by neutering.
What if a rescue dog has a problem?
The Rescue has volunteers who work to adjust behavior problems that
are not serious in nature. Sometimes telephone advice to present
owners has given insight into behavioral modifications that has
saved more than one dog from being displaced from its present home.
Are shelters and humane societies helpful with Boston Terrier Rescue
Some are great; others are not at all interested in our
involvement, and are perhaps over-protective of their wards. Often
shelters do not know the animal in their keep is a Boston. We send
letters of introduction and policy, and are listed in Project Breed
Rescue so that shelters will better know of our intent to help the
Boston Terrier in a reputable way.
What can I do to help?
Never sell a Boston Terrier to anyone, if you think the home
inappropriate, if only by instinct, do not sell to that person. Do
the people have children? Do the children mind the adults? If they
cannot control their children, they will for sure have problems
with the dog and with the combination of the dog and children.
Be honest about the breed. Plan litters and have good homes
reserved for them, or do not breed. If you do not have a serious
breeding program, do not breed. If you think it will make your pet
complete, you are very wrong. There are too many unwanted pets, and
certainly too few suitable homes for this special dog. Be
responsible and committed to the breed. If what you are breeding is
not a contribution to the future of the breed, please leave it in
the hands of experienced breeders. Inform and educate others as to
the special nature and physical and mental requirements of the
Boston Terrier. Make it understood that although small and cute,
the Boston Terrier is clearly not for everyone or every lifestyle.
If you can provide a good home for a Boston Terrier, get in touch
with us immediately. The dogs in need are far ahead of homes
available. It is a sad and growing problem. Please consider
adopting and adult dog over having a cute little puppy in your
life. Puppies grow up fast...an older dog is usually very loyal,
extremely affectionate towards their new owners, appreciate their
new homes, never looking back. Most adopted dogs adjust quickly,
with few adjustments problems. Most importantly, their life depends
on someone like yourself being willing to give them a chance.
Foster care is an important necessity. If you can provide a temporary
home for a Boston Terrier in need, drop us a line so that we can enter
you into our computer files. Check shelters and look for Boston
Terriers who may need a home if time at that shelter is limited.
Donations are greatly needed. Rescuing and placing dogs is often an
expensive process, and Boston Terrier Rescue is operated primarily on
donations. We need your support.
For more information, please call: Linda Trader, 724-883-4732, The
Boston Terrier Club of America Breed Rescue Coordinator, or write to
127 First Street, Box 53, Mather, Pa. 15346.
Boston Terrier Club of America, Inc
Marian Sheehan, Corresponding Secretary, 8130E Theresa Dr.,
Scottsdale, Az. 85255 Ph. 605-585-1560
Club Officers 1995-1996
Board of Directors
Pam Dupre: Lousiana
Patricia Holland: Washington
Susan Kennedy: Arizona
Roger Perry: Indiana
Donald Van Avery: Rhode Island
Breeder Referral West
14792 Ronda Dr., San Jose, Ca. 95124; 408-371-7452
Breeder Referral East
610 Fern Court, Cincinnati, Ohio 45244; 513-528-3091
Birmingham Boston Terrier Club
Gloria Wilson - Secretary, Route 13 Box 13 Jasper, AL 35501;
Valley of the Sun Boston Terrier Club
Karen Milham - Secretary, 2421 West Anderson Avenue, Phoenix,
AZ. 85023; 602-942-8983
Pasadena Boston Terrier Club
Betty L Hall - Secretary, 1817 E. Greenleaf Drive, West Covina,
CA. 91792-1910; 818-965-3660
Boston Terrier Club of San Diego County
Sherrie Stratton - Secretary, 13645 Choisser Lane, Lakeside, CA
Golden Gate BTC
Terry Furry, Secretary, 595 Athol Avenue, Oakland, Calif.
94606. PH. 510-465-6438
Boston Terrier Club of Connecticut
Jane Pronovost - Secretary, 104 Homestead Avenue, Naugatuck,
CT. 06770; 203-729-7784
Boston Terrier Club of Miami Florida
Mary A Hunter - Secretary, 365 Navarre Drive, Miami Springs,
FL. 33166 Ph. 305-887-5057
Florida Suncoast Boston Terrier Club
Geraldine Wilson - Secretary, 1870 W. Leewynn Drive, Sarasota,
FL 34240; President # 813-953-2396
Western Boston Terrier Club
Rayetta Waldrop - Secretary, 9318 Grace Street, Highland, IN
Fort Wayne Boston Terrier Club
Emily Griffith - Secretary, 4330 Kekionga Drive #1, Fort Wayne,
IN 46809; 219-747-0882
Hawkeye Boston Terrier Club
Mary N. Harris - Secretary, 506 SE Sharon Drive, Ankeny, IA
Boston Terrier Club of Louisville
Doris Miles - Secretary, 1306 Myra Court, LaGrange, KY 40031,
Boston Terrier Club of Louisiana Rescue (north)
Pam Dupre - Rescue Contact Person, 3037 Gray's Creek Road, Dry
Prong, LA. 71423; 318-899-5681
Boston Terrier Club of Louisiana Rescue (south)
Jane Collins - Rescue Contact Person, 2606 Hundred Oaks, Baton
Rouge, La. 70808; 225-344-3144
Minuteman Boston Terrier Club
Fred Comstock - 36 Twin Lakes Dr., Waterford, CT 06385, E-mail:
Boston Terrier Club of Maryland
Rachel Toczylowski - 8906 Ardwick©Ardmore Rd., Springdale, Md.
Boston Terrier Club of Detroit
Ola Jeanne McCollugh - Secretary, 11353 Island Lake Road,
Dexter, MI 48130; 313-426-0188
Minnesota Boston Terrier Club
Arlene Albers - Secretary, 1390 Skywood Lane NE, Fridley, MN
Heartland Boston Terrier Club,br>
Anita Crowell - Secretary, 12402 NW Porter Road, Parkville, MO
Lenape Boston Terrier Club
Roseanne Zott - Secretary, 169 Magnolia Avenue, Dumont, NJ.
Tri-Angle Boston Terrier Breeders Club
Michele DeJulia - Secretary, 109 East 9th Avenue, Pine Hill, NJ
Boston Terrier Club of New York
Dorothy Gomes - Secretary, 4108 Hill Avenue, Bronx, NY 10466
Boston Terrier Club of Greater Cincinnati
Joyce Fletcher - Secretary, 610 Fern Court, Cincinnati, OH
Oklahoma City Boston Terrier Club,br> Jessie Erwin - Secretary,
7432 NW 26th Street, Bethany, OK 73008; 405-789-9458
Boston Terrier Club of Portland Oregon
Verla Snook-Fagan - Secretary, 9772 Alsea Highway 34,
Tidewater, OR 97390, 503-528-3286
Boston Terrier Club of Western Pennsylvania
Linda Trader - Rescue Contact Person, 127 First Street Box 53,
Mather, PA. 15346; 412-883-2169
North Texas Boston Terrier Club
Adrienne Stern - Secretary, 11631 Sahara Way, Dallas, TX 75218;
Greater Houston Boston Terrier Club
Maxine Uzoff - Secretary, 12377 Kingside, Houston, Texas, 77042
- Ph, # 713-468-3065
Greater Houston Boston Terrier Club Rescue
Grace MacGillivary - Rescue Contact Person, 907 Joesph Drive,
Porter, Texas; 713-354-7444
Boston Terrier Club of Western Washington
Patricia Holland, Secretary, 132 Priest Point Dr., NE,
Marysville, WA. 98271, Ph. # 206-653-6115
Boston Terrier Club of Western Pennsylvania
Susan Hunter © Rescue Contact Person, 275 McCullogh St.,
Morgantown, W.V. 26505; 304-599-9194
Boston Terrier Club of Milwaukee
Gail Gerlach - Secretary, 4230 Anston Road, Green Bay, WI
Pacific Coast Boston Terrier Club
Lil Huddleston - Secretary, 17524 Lanark Street, Northridge, CA
Books and Magazines
There are many books on the Boston Terrier that are out of print. You
can look for these at old book stores, dog shows, etc.
The Official Book of the Boston Terrier by Muriel P. Lee, Published
The Boston Terrier by Arthur Huddleston, Published 1985
The Boston Terrier: An American Original by Beverly & Michael Staley.
Published 1995 by Howell Book House.
The Boston Quarterly Holfin Publishing, Inc., 4401 Zephyr Street,
Wheat Ridge, Colorado 80033; 303-934-5656, 303-422-7000 FAX.
A Look at the Standard
The Boston Terrier Standard was revised on February 28, 1990 to
clarify and adapt the language so that everyone -- novices,
exhibitors, breeders, judges, and potential judges -- would understand
it. There are many definitions for the words "standard", but when
referring to the Boston Terrier Standard, this one is preferred: "A
degree or level of requirement, excellence or attainment." When you
read the breed Standard, the words paint a picture of excellence. In
any breed Standard, there is very little leeway for interpretation.
There is only one version. Not ours, not yours, but the right one.
The Boston Terrier Standard is divided into 12 sections. Each is an
important part of the breed. Without excellence in all these parts, no
Boston Terrier can be an outstanding specimen of the breed, no matter
how many ribbons it wins.
Twelve Sections of the Boston Terrier Standard
APPEARANCE: describes a number of points. It gives us an outline of
the dog, shows us the character of the breed and artistically requires
that the dog not only be in balance, but must be well proportioned. It
gives a synopsis of the breed and tells us without actually using
these words, that the perfect Boston is a bright, sound, elegant,
beautifully moving, typey dog, with prescribed color and markings.
General appearance is especially affected by all parts of the dog. For
example, if the dog is faulted in hindquarters, it can not move with
determination and an easy and graceful carriage. Neither can a dog
with too much white showing in his eyes look intelligent.
SIZE, PROPORTION, SUBSTANCE: The most important point about the weight
classification is that each size be in proportion in bone and muscle.
That does not mean that because a dog is 20 lbs, it should be coarse
and bully. Conversely, an under 15 pound dog must also be in
proportion to its size. As owners or breeders, we can have a size
preference in the dogs we own or breed; judges cannot. However, this
section does state that the length of leg must balance with the length
in body to give the dog its striking "square" appearance. You will see
that when other parts of the dog's conformation are correct, it will
also help to make the dog appear square.
The influence of sex is really self-explanatory. It should not be
interpreted to mean that a slight refinement in the bitch's
conformation allows the muzzle to be snipy or the body long.
HEAD: It is difficult to imagine a square head on a dog, but when the
skull is square, it will be determined by the set of the ears and
eyes. The ears should be as close to the corners of the skull as
possible, with the outside corners of the eyes in line with the
cheeks. The eye placement and the muzzle should both form the lower
square of the head. One would believe that the correct Boston Terrier
expression comes from the eyes. This is only partially true. It also
comes from his upright ears and that exceptional bearing that the
Boston has that says "I'm something special!" The eyes should be round
and large with a very minimum of white showing. The eyes should be as
dark as the coat color, otherwise they will appear even lighter by
Not only should the ears be set properly at the corners of the skull,
they must be in proportion to the size of the skull and the muscles
that hold the ear erect must be strong so that the ears are held as
tightly as possible. Ears like this make the dog appear alert and of
course help square the head. Ears that are set badly, are too large or
too small, or without good muscles are still apparent to the
experienced eye, even if they are cropped.
While the muzzle should be short, square, wide and deep, it cannot be
correct unless the jaw is broad with an even or slightly undershot
THE NECK, TOPLINE AND BODY should blend smoothly together, with the
length of the neck in balance with the body so that the head is
The chest should be deep, and as a rule, in line with the elbows.
Aside from aesthetics, the main reason for requiring a level back is
that the power generated in the hindquarters is delivered forward by
thrust, through the spinal column to the forequarters. A straight
column of bones delivers thrust to a better advantage than one that is
When the ribs are carried well back, the loins will be short. If you
think of the loins as a bridge between the front and rear of the dog,
you can understand that a short bridge will be stronger than a long
one. It will also help to square the body.
The rump curves slightly to a low tail set. A too-flat rump usually
gives a dog a higher tail set and consequently, straighter stifles.
THE FOREQUARTERS or front assembly, help to give the Boston Terrier
its stylish movement. The shoulders are sloping and well laid back.
This kind of shoulder requires an angle of 90 degrees, which gives the
dog the proper reach in front. When the shoulders are well laid back,
the neck will be the proper length. A dog with straight shoulders will
also have a neck that is too short, with a shorter reach of the front
legs. When the front legs are suspended, they will drop perfectly
straight without toeing in or out. While we do not call the feet
"cat's feet", they are cat-like; small round, and compact.
THE HINDQUARTERS provide the power that is needed to give a dog the
drive or push to propel the front. The stifle must be well angulated,
with a long upper and lower thigh and the hocks should be well let
down, or short in comparison, to give the dog endurance. When the
hindquarters have the correct length of bone and angulation, they will
be well muscled.
THE GAIT of the Boston Terrier is that "of a sure footed, straight
gaited dog, forelegs and hind legs moving straight ahead in line with
perfect rhythm, each step indicating grace and power." The key words
in this description are "grace and power". From this, one can see that
the Boston Terrier was not meant to move with dysplastic hindquarters
or like a wind©up toy. If he does not move correctly, he cannot convey
an "impression of determination, strength, and activity, with style of
a high order, carriage easy and graceful.
COAT texture is often determined by the color of the coat. Brindle
coats are usually finer than darker colors. Fortunately, even though
some coats are not as fine as others, the quality of the coat is
usually determined by the condition of the dog.
COLOR AND MARKINGS are very important. They make a Boston look like a
Boston. Desired markings are icing on the cake. It gives that extra
bit of flashiness that sometimes is needed, However, it will not
compensate for other things that they may be lacking.
THE TEMPERAMENT of the Boston Terrier is a most important requirement
of the breed and one we must take care not to lose. Without their
friendly disposition and intelligence, they wouldn't be Boston
THE SUMMARY is an abridged version of the Standard..."The Boston
Terrier in a Nutshell".
THE SCALE OF POINTS is a guide that can be used to determine the
relative importance of parts of the whole dog. If it is used to
critique a dog, remember that if the value of one area is lowered, it
often affects another. There is also one area that has not been
assigned a point value, without which a Boston would be without value
and that is excellent temperament. Let us not forget it.
Boston Terrier breeder Joseph Balmer said it beautifully for us, many
years ago... WE ARE THE HEIRS OF THE PAST AND THE TRUSTEES OF THE
The standard helps us to safeguard and improve the breed; it is our
responsibility to protect the Standard.
The Boston Terrier Standard
The Boston Terrier is a lively, highly intelligent, smooth coated,
short headed, compactly built, short-tailed, well balanced dog,
brindle, seal or black in color and evenly marked with white. The head
is in proportion to the size of the dog and the expression indicates a
high degree of intelligence.
The body is a rather short and well knit, the limbs strong and neatly
turned, the tail is short and no feature is so prominent that the dog
appears badly proportioned. The dog conveys an impression of
determination, strength and activity, with style of a high order;
carriage easy and graceful. A proportionate combination of "Color and
White Markings" is particularly distinctive feature of a
"Balance, Expression, Color and White Markings" should be given
particular consideration in determining the relative value of GENERAL
APPEARANCE to other points.
Weight is divided by classes as follows: Under 15 pounds; 15 pounds
and under 20 pounds; 20 pounds and not to exceed 25 pounds. The length
of leg must balance with the length of body to give the Boston Terrier
its striking square appearance. The Boston Terrier is a sturdy dog and
must not appear to be either spindly or coarse. The bone and muscle
must be in proportion as well as an enhancement to the dog's weight
and structure. Fault: Blocky or chunky in appearance.
Influence of Sex in a comparison of specimens of each sex, the only
evident difference is a slight refinement in the bitch's conformation.
The skull is square, flat on top, free from wrinkles, cheeks flat,
brow abrupt and the stop well defined. The ideal Boston Terrier
expression is alert and kind, indicating a high degree of
intelligence. This is a most important characteristic of the breed.
The eyes are wide apart, large and round and dark in color. The eyes
are set square in the skull and the outside corners are on a line with
the cheeks as viewed from the front. Disqualify: Eyes blue in color or
any trace of blue. The ears are small, carried erect, either natural
or cropped to conform to the shape of the head and situated as near to
the corners of the skull as possible.
The muzzle is short, square, wide and deep and in proportion to the
skull. It is free from wrinkles, shorter in length than in depth; not
exceeding in length approximately one-third of the length of the
skull. The muzzle from stop to end of the nose is parallel to the top
of the skull. The nose is black and wide, with a well defined line
between the nostrils. Disqualify: Dudley nose.
The jaw is broad and square with short, regular teeth. The bite is
even or sufficiently undershot to square the muzzle. The chops are of
good depth, but not pendulous, completely covering the teeth when the
mouth is closed. Serious Fault: Wry mouth. Head Faults: Eyes showing
too much white or haw. Pinched or wide nostrils. Size of ears out of
proportion to the size of the head. Serious Head Faults: Any showing
of the tongue or teeth when the mouth is closed.
NECK, TOPLINE AND BODY
The length of neck must display an image of balance to the total dog.
It is slightly arched, carrying the head gracefully and setting neatly
into the shoulders. The back is just short enough to square the body.
The topline is level and the rump curves slightly to the set-on of the
tail. The chest is deep with good width, ribs well sprung and carried
well back to the lions. The body should appear short. The tail is set
on low, short, fine and tapering, straight or screw and must not be
carried above the horizontal. (Note: The preferred tail does not
exceed in length more than one-quarter the distance from set-on to
hock.) Disqualify: Docked tail. Body Faults: Gaily carried tail.
Serious Body Faults: Roach back, sway back, slab-sided.
The shoulders are sloping and well laid back, which allows for the
Boston Terrier's stylish movement. The elbows stand neither in nor
out. The forelegs are set moderately wide apart and on a line with the
upper tip of the shoulder blades. The forelegs are straight in bone
with short, strong pasterns. The dewclaws may be removed. The feet are
small round and compact, turned neither in nor out, with well arched
toes and short nails. Faults: Legs lacking in substance; splay feet.
The thighs are strong and well muscled, bent at the stifles and set
true. The hocks are short to the feet, turning neither in nor out,
with a well defined hock joint. The feet are small and compact with
short nails. Fault: Straight in stifle.
The gait of the Boston Terrier is that of a sure footed, straight
gaited dog, forelegs and hind legs moving straight ahead in line with
perfect rhythm, each step indicating grace and power. Gait Faults:
There will be no rolling, paddling, or weaving when gaited. Hackney
gait. Serious Gait Faults: Any crossing movement, either front or
The coat is short, smooth, bright and fine in texture.
COLOR AND MARKINGS
Brindle, seal, or black with white markings. Brindle is preferred ONLY
if all other qualities are equal. (Note: SEAL DEFINED. Seal appears
black except it has a red cast when viewed in the sun or bright
light.) Disqualify: Solid black, solid brindle or solid seal without
required white markings. Gray or liver colors.
Required Markings: White muzzle band, white blaze between the eyes,
Desired Markings: White muzzle band, even white blaze between the eyes
and over the head, white collar, white forechest, white on part or
whole of forelegs and hind legs below the hocks. (Note: A
representative specimen should not be penalized for not possessing
"Desired Markings".) A dog with a preponderance of white on the head
or body must possess sufficient merit otherwise to counteract its
The Boston Terrier is a friendly and lively dog. The breed has an
excellent disposition and a high degree of intelligence, which makes
the Boston Terrier an incomparable companion.
The clean-cut, short backed body of the Boston Terrier, coupled with
the unique characteristics of his square head and jaw, and his
striking markings have resulted in a most dapper and charming American
original: The Boston Terrier
SCALE OF POINTS
General Appearance 10
Head (muzzle jaw bite skull stop) 15
Neck, Topline, Body, Tail 15
Color, Coat, Markings 5
Eyes blue in color or any trace of blue.
Solid black, solid brindle, or solid seal without required markings.
Gray or liver colors.
Boston Terrier FAQ
Pam Dupre, LUCY81354@aol.com