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Boston Terrier 101: Breed History

Mar 31, 2008
Dogs were already in America when the colonists came, but the colonists did not like them. The Boston Terrier was created to fill the need of a companion dog. The Boston Terrier was developed from French and English Bulldog stock. The native dogs of America did not fit the bill for America. They are smaller, different colors and have a different shaped head - but always friendly.

Although not colored red, white and blue, Boston Terriers are the all-American dog. They were developed in the city of Boston, as their name suggests, and then spread out across the nation and the world. They are very much like the American owners who developed them. The Boston Terrier was not in America when the colonists arrived. They were developed from dogs brought over and imported from Europe.

The Boston Terrier was bred first and foremost to be a companion to man, woman and child. This has resulted in a breed more renowned for its good temperament than its cute looks. The Boston Terrier has gone through a lot of changes over the hundred and fifty years or so of it's existence. Both his size and color have gone through a lot of changes. But through it all, it has kept a sunny disposition. He truly earns his nickname of The American Gentleman.

There were dogs already in North America living with the Native Americans, but they were not the kind of dogs the European colonists were used to. Also, the Native American dogs were still half-wild and independent. The young country of America, although proud of their American-ness, also yearned for some of the comforts of the old country. One of these comforts was for a companion dog based on Bulldog stock.

Bulldogs, although developed for fighting bulls and other dogs, are incredibly friendly with people. This is probably because they turned to people as their pack members instead of other dogs. This is a trait in many Bulldog varieties, including the French Bulldog and English Bulldog, which were used in the Boston Terrier's creation. One of the old names of the Boston Terrier was the Boston Bull. Recently, bull in a breed name has gotten a bad reputation so the Bull part has been replaced by Terrier.

The Boston dog breeders first developed the Old English Bulldogge, which is a far larger dog of solid colors and a round head. The founding father of the Boston Terrier is considered to be the English import Hooper's Judge, which was bought by Richard C. Hooper of Boston in 1870. Smaller dogs were favored and kept in the breeding program. The Boston Terrier became a familiar sight in the fashionable homes of the North East as early as 1889.

The breed as we recognize it today wasn't seen until about 1900. That was when top breeders formally set down their breed standard. Although there were strict physical standards for a Boston Terrier to make it in the show ring, there were also strict standards on temperament. Although some outright mean dogs in other breeds have won in the show ring, this has not happened with Bostons. They are always ready, willing and able to be part of the family.
About the Author
Wendy Caples loves everything having to do with dogs, including Boston Terrier history. A Boston Terrier makes a great pet for both families and singles. Dog care books containing Boston Terrier information can help you understand the needs of this breed.
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