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rec.pets.dogs: Boston Terriers Breed-FAQ

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                              Boston Terriers

   Pam Dupre,
   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
     * Health
     * Frequently Asked Questions
     * Boston Terrier Rescue
     * Resources
          + Parent Club
          + Affiliated Clubs
          + Unaffiliated Clubs
          + Books and Magazines
     * A Look at the Standard
          + Introduction
          + Twelve Sections of the Boston Terrier Standard
          + The Boston Terrier Standard
Breed Origin

   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
   physical activity.
   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
   to America.
   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
   that time.
   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
   Boston Terrier.
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.
  Juvenile Cataracts
   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 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.

  Parent Club
   Boston Terrier Club of America, Inc
          Marian Sheehan, Corresponding Secretary, 8130E Theresa Dr.,
          Scottsdale, Az. 85255 Ph. 605-585-1560
   Club Officers 1995-1996
          Norman Randall
   Vice President
          Ann McCammon
   Corresponding Secretary
          Marian Sheehan
   Recording Secretary
          Ellen Dresselhuis
          Richard Nix
   Board of Directors
   Pam Dupre: Lousiana
   Patricia Holland: Washington
   Susan Kennedy: Arizona
   Roger Perry: Indiana
   Donald Van Avery: Rhode Island
   Breeder Referral West
   Pat Stone
          14792 Ronda Dr., San Jose, Ca. 95124; 408-371-7452
   Breeder Referral East
   Joyce Fletcher
          610 Fern Court, Cincinnati, Ohio 45244; 513-528-3091
  Affiliate Clubs
          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
          92040; 619-443-5345
          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
          46322; 219-924-2982
          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
          50021; 515-964-0556
          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 ArdwickİArdmore Rd., Springdale, Md.
          Ph. 310-341-2157
          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
          55421; 612-571-8984
          Heartland Boston Terrier Club,br>
          Anita Crowell - Secretary, 12402 NW Porter Road, Parkville, MO
          64152; 816-891-6367
          Lenape Boston Terrier Club
          Roseanne Zott - Secretary, 169 Magnolia Avenue, Dumont, NJ.
          07628; 201-584-9485
          Tri-Angle Boston Terrier Breeders Club
          Michele DeJulia - Secretary, 109 East 9th Avenue, Pine Hill, NJ
          08021; 608-784-8179
          Boston Terrier Club of New York
          Dorothy Gomes - Secretary, 4108 Hill Avenue, Bronx, NY 10466
          Ph. 818-994-0834
          Boston Terrier Club of Greater Cincinnati
          Joyce Fletcher - Secretary, 610 Fern Court, Cincinnati, OH
          45244; 513-528-3091
          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 İ 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
          54307; 414-865-7846
  Unaffiliated Clubs
          Pacific Coast Boston Terrier Club
          Lil Huddleston - Secretary, 17524 Lanark Street, Northridge, CA
          91325; 818-344-3487
  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
   carried gracefully.
   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 windİup 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
   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
   representative specimen.
   "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.
   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.
   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,
   white forechest.
   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
        General Appearance                      10
        Expression                              10
        Head (muzzle jaw bite skull stop)       15
        Eyes                                    5
        Ears                                    5
        Neck, Topline, Body, Tail               15
        Forequarters                            10
        Feet                                    5
        Color, Coat, Markings                   5
        Gait                                    10

        Total                                   100

   Eyes blue in color or any trace of blue.
   Dudley nose.
   Docked tail.
   Solid black, solid brindle, or solid seal without required markings.
   Gray or liver colors.
    Boston Terrier FAQ
    Pam Dupre,
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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM