With large, rolling brown eyes and a pink flapping tongue, the Boston Terrier greets you with the air of a bubbly and slightly clumsy gentleman. They’re charmers who were bred to be your best friend and are particularly good with children. They don’t require much exercise but also like to play around, which makes them energetic enough for young families but chill enough to live in a small urban dwelling. One of the older modern breeds, the Boston Terrier has been around since before the AKC was founded and has been a part of the national club almost from their very beginning. Let’s investigate their interesting past and see why the Boston Terrier is still one of America’s most endearingly popular breeds today.
Fascinating Boston Terrier Facts
1. The Boston Terrier originated in (you guessed it) Boston, Massachusetts
This breed is an all-American dog if there ever was one. The first Boston Terrier was born in the 1860s in the home of U.S. Congressman Edward Burnett. The Boston Terrier is one of the oldest modern dog breeds, and one of the only ones with American origins. For historical context, the American Kennel Club wouldn’t even be formed for another 20 years.
2. The father of the first Boston Terrier might have been a hybrid of a breed that’s now extinct
Well’s Eph, the curious name of the first known Boston Terrier, was born to Gyp, an all-white bulldog, and Judge, an English Bulldog that was likely mixed with the now extinct White Terrier. This breed disappeared around the beginning of the 20th century.
3. In 1979, the Boston Terrier was dubbed the state dog of Massachusetts
Only 13 states have official state canines, so this was quite an accomplishment.
4. Boston Terriers have a couple of nicknames
Their elegant black and white pattern gives them their nickname, the American Gentleman. The Boston Terrier has also been called the Tuxedo Dog.
5. The AKC officially recognized the breed in 1893
The Boston Terrier joined their ranks nine years after the breeding group formed.
6. They’re categorized in the AKC non-sporting group
It simply wouldn’t do for a gentleman to work a hard labor job, such as pulling sleds. Even so, the Tuxedo Dog takes advantage of its recreational status by diligently fulfilling their roles as companion dogs.
7. The AKC has consistently rated the Boston Terrier between #21 and #23 for the most popular dog in America since 2011
Even though they already have a highly popular status, you might believe they should have an even higher ranking since you see them all the time. You might be mistaking a Boston Terrier for a French Bulldog. At a glance, the trendy Frenchie looks very similar to a Boston Terrier. However, the French Bulldog stands a little shorter with a more compact body shape. They’re currently ranked as the second most popular dog in the United States.
8. Delivering a litter of Boston Terrier puppies is a laborious task
Unfortunately, natural births aren’t very common for Boston Terriers, which is one reason why puppies can be so expensive. A Cesarean section is required in over 80% of cases, and usually only 3-4 puppies are born at a time.
Boston Terrier Characteristics
The Boston Terrier is notoriously charming, handsome, and easy to live with. They don’t require much exercise, but they do need to stay physically fit in order to avoid becoming obese. A simple 30-minute walk coupled with a round of fetch should appease their physical needs. Lively and spunky, the American Gentleman is the life of the party, but rarely part of the unruly crowd. After a quick frolic in the park, they’ll likely curl up by your side for a nap—with plenty of snores due to the shape of their face.
Important Things to Know About Boston Terriers
Boston Terriers are a brachycephalic breed, which means that they have an adorable snub nose. While this feature looks cute, it also means you’ll have to take extra considerations when exercising your Boston Terrier during extreme weather.
Brachycephalic breeds struggle to regulate their body temperature. They might experience respiratory trouble when it’s too hot or cold, or if they’re overexerted. Avoid taking walks during the middle of the day during the peak of summer and bundle them up in cute sweaters and coats if you live in a cold climate. Always make sure they have access to plenty of water, and don’t let them run too hard regardless of the temperature outside to keep them safe.
While Boston Terriers are considered to be a relatively healthy breed with a 11–13-year average lifespan, you should also know that they’re prone to having sensitive digestive systems. Skin irritation and allergies are common, as well as developing gas and diarrhea. Talk to your vet about finding an appropriate diet for your Boston Terrier. They may recommend a sensitive stomach or allergy-friendly diet that avoids certain common protein allergens such as chicken and beef.
Eye problems are relatively common, ranging from a mild case of dry eyes to more serious vision troubles. Eye drops are often recommended since they’re prone to mild eye irritation. Many more serious problems are hereditary, though, which is why it’s important to buy from a responsible breeder who tests their dogs for conditions like glaucoma before breeding.
Otherwise, you should take your Boston Terrier to the vet at least annually to make sure they stay in optimal shape. Unfortunately, they share health concerns frequently seen in all dog breeds, such as cancer and hip dysplasia.
Since their early days during the Industrial Revolution, the Tuxedo Dog has kept us in awe of their dapper coat and charming ways. With their easy-going personality, they generally tolerate most living conditions, whether you have a suburban house with a spacious yard or a small townhouse in the city with a community dog park. They usually love children, but also would make a good companion for a single person or couple. It’s no wonder that the Boston Terrier is consistently ranked as one of the most popular dogs in America. Few dog breeds are so flexible, and none can boast its established native past that’s rooted in one of the country’s most patriotic cities.
Featured Image Credit: bubutu, Shutterstock