It all started with Hooper’s Judge back in the 1870s. He was a cross between an English Bulldog and English White Terrier, and is generally considered to be the father of all modern Boston Terriers. These dogs, like their name suggests, originated in Boston, USA and were the country’s first dogs to be bred just for show and not sports. In those early days the “Round Heads”, as they were called, were much larger and of varying colours. However, by the 1900s the dog’s features were refined to the compact body, small muzzle, erect ears and short tail we love about them today.
Bostons are a smaller breed of dog, yet they are quite muscular and have an almost square appearance. There are almost no size or weight differences between males and females – with the dogs generally being between 38 – 43cm in length and 4.5 – 11kg in weight.
Boston Terriers are quite a happy breed and tend to be very friendly, affectionate and lively. They are intelligent and enjoy learning, which makes them a breeze to train. They also love being part of a family and get along well with people, children and the elderly. They also don’t mind other dogs or pets.
Because of their breeding, Bostons are not generally aggressive, but will defend their owner should they need to. They also tend to be quite well-behaved, when they know their place, and aren’t big on barking.
Their chilled behaviour and relaxed attitude towards barking make Boston Terriers the perfect apartment dogs. When indoors they tend to be quite inactive, but will become a bit naughty if not mentally and physically exercised enough. A daily long walk and some playing is all they need to stay in shape.
They are also very easy to groom, don’t shed too much and tend not to have too strong an odour.
Health is a bit of concern with Boston Terriers. They are prone to a range of eye problems, including early-onset cataracts, glaucoma and corneal ulcers. Their eyes are also prone to injury due to their prominence.
They can also develop deafness, allergies, heart and skin tumours, and have breathing difficulty during strenuous exercise in particularly hot or cold weather. They can also snore and have sensitive digestion.
Like most smaller dog breeds, Boston Terriers live for quite a while. Their life expectancy is around 11 – 15 years.