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The Boston Terrier: An All American

May 28, 2008
The history of the Boston Terrier parallels the history of the new Americans descended from European colonists. In the 1800's, new America was trying to find their own identity not only in their place in the world, but in their own homes. They wanted to take the best of the European dogs they were familiar with, but change it a bit to make the dog breed more American like they were. They wanted a companion in the home.

Dogs were already well established in North America by the time the very first European settlers arrived. However, anything having to do with the Native Americans was seen as shocking, savage and unfamiliar. So the Native American dogs, along with their owners, were ostracized from new America. Boston was one of the biggest shipping towns in New America, and still had close ties to Europe. Therefore, the Boston Terrier came from predominately European bulldog lines.

The first dog considered to have the most influence on today's Boston Terriers was a dog imported from England called Hooper's Judge. He was thought to have been born in about 1865. He was purchased by Richard C. Hooper of Boston in 1870 and known for excellent looks, as well as a friendly and lively disposition. Most of his puppies looked like him, but dog breeders purposefully tried to breed smaller dogs. He often was put to the now extinct breed English White Terrier.

No matter what kind of bitch Hooper's Judge was put to, the puppies took on mostly his characteristics and not hers. Nobody spayed or neutered their dogs back then, as there was usually a need for more dogs, and no sign of the pet overpopulation problem of today. Also, veterinary medicine for dogs was pretty primitive back then. Soon, the Boston Bull Terrier was known outside of Boston.

Eventually, the determined Boston breeders got the dog they wanted. This Boston Bull Terrier or Boston Bull was about fifteen to twenty five pounds, had a naturally short tail and had an evenly proportioned amount of white with the colors black, seal or brindle.

Various name permutations have included the Bull Terrier (which ticked off the emerging breed of the same name), the Boston Bull and the Boston Bull Terrier.

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.

Despite all of the generations of fighting dogs in him, a Boston Terrier is more inclined to run away than pick a fight.
About the Author
Wendy Caples is an avid lover of the Boston Terrier and has a popular website where you'll discover how to have a happy, healthy and well behaved Boston Terrier. Among other topics at this website, you can also learn all about Boston Terrier Training plus a whole lot more.
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