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History /Origin
(and fun facts)


Along with his playful character and his desired markings, the Boston Terrier has been nick named the “Tuxedo Dog”. The first of the breed to be exhibited made its debut at the Massachusetts Kennel Club show in 1878. The breed went through several name changes before it was granted recognition by the American Kennel Club in 1893 and became known as the Boston Terrier. Early Bostons were much heavier than the current canines but as the breed pared down in size, it gained in popularity and was the most popular breed in the U.S. between 1929 and 1935.


A friendly and lively dog, the Boston is noted for its excellent disposition and high degree of intelligence.

Activity Level

Though the Boston enjoys activity, he is not a hyper animal. His size makes him suitable for most living accommodations. He makes a fine companion and housepet with exercise needs being minimal.


For show purposes, the breed is divided into three weight classifications: light (under 15 lb/7 kg), middleweight (15 to under 20 lb/9 kg) and heavyweight (20 to under 25 lb/11.5 kg). A sturdy dog, the length of leg should balance with the length of body to produce a square appearance.


The Boston sports a coat that is short, smooth, bright and fine in texture.


The colour is brindle or black with white markings that ideally include a white muzzle, blaze over the head, collar, breast, all or part of the forelegs and hind legs below the hocks. The effect is that of a dog decked out in a tuxedo.


Nothing to it. An occasional bath and brushing is all that’s needed.

Boston Terrier Breed Standard

 - General Appearance

The general appearance of the Boston Terrier should be that of a lively, highly intelligent, smooth-coated, short-headed, compactly built, shorttailed, well-balanced dog of medium station, of “acceptable colour” and evenly marked with white. The head should indicate a high degree of intelligence and should be in proportion to the size of the dog. The body rather short and well knit, the limbs strong and neatly turned; tail short; and no feature be so prominent that the dog appears badly proportioned. The dog should convey an impression of determination, strength and activity, with a style of a high order; carriage easy and graceful. A proportionate combination of “colour” and “ideal markings” is a particularly distinctive feature of a representative specimen, and a dog with a preponderance of white on body, or without the proper proportion of “acceptable colour” and white on head, should possess sufficient merit otherwise to counteract its deficiencies in these respects. The ideal “Boston Terrier expression” displays “a high degree of intelligence,” and is an important characteristic of the breed. “Colour and markings” and “expression” should be given particular consideration in determining the relative value of “general appearance” to other points.

 - Size

Not exceeding 25 lb. (11 kg), divided by classes as follows: lightweight, under 15 lb. (7 kg); middleweight, 15 lb and under 20 lb (7-9 kg); heavyweight, 20 lb. and not exceeding 25 lb. (9-11 kg).

 - Coat and Colour

Coat short, smooth, bright and fine in texture. Colour Black, Seal, Black Brindle, Brindle, all with white markings.

 - Description of Colours:

Black: Self explanatory. With white markings

Seal: Base colour is Black with Reddish Brown cast over the top of the coat “Only seen in bright light or sunlight”. With white markings

Black Brindle: Base colour being Black with Brown hairs distributed through the Black. With white markings Brindle: Base colour being Brown with Black hairs distributed through the Brown. With white markings All other colours are to be disqualified including any solid colour

 - Description of White Markings: Required Markings: White muzzle band White blaze between the eyes White fore chest Desired Markings: White muzzle band White blaze between the eyes and over the head White fore chest Full or part white collar Part or all of front legs white White on the toes of rear feet Preferably not more than one third of the entire body should be white

Faults Long or coarse coat; coat lacking lustre. Preponderance of white on body; without the proper proportion of “accepted colour” and white on head; or any variation detracting from the general appearance.

 - Head Skull square, flat on top, free from wrinkles; cheeks flat; brow abrupt, stop well defined. Muzzle short, square, wide and deep, and in proportion to skull; free from wrinkles; shorter in length than in width and depth, not exceeding in length approximately one-third of length of skull; width and depth carried out well to end; the muzzle from stop to end of nose on a line parallel to the top of the skull. Nose black and wide, with well-defined line between nostrils.

- Mouth: The jaws broad and square, with short regular teeth. Bite even or sufficiently undershot to square muzzle. The chops of good depth but not pendulous, completely covering the teeth when mouth is closed.  - Eyes wide apart, large and round, dark in colour, expression alert, but kind and intelligent. The eyes should be set square in the skull, and the VI-3.1 GROUP VI NON-SPORTING DOGS BOSTON TERRIER January 2014 Canadian Kennel Club Official Breed Standards outside corners should be on a line with the cheeks as viewed from the front. Ears carried erect, either cropped to conform the shape of the head, or natural bat, situated as near the corners of skull as possible.

Faults Skull “domed” or inclined; furrowed by a medial line; skull too long for breadth, or vice versa; stop too shallow; brow and skull too slanting. Muzzle wedge-shaped or lacking depth; down-faced; too much cut out below the eyes; pinched or wide nostrils; butterfly nose; protruding teeth; weak lower jaw; showing turn-up, lay back; wrinkled. Eyes small or sunken; too prominent; light colour or walleye; showing too much white or haw. Ears poorly carried or in size out of proportion to head.

 - Neck Of fair length, slightly arched and carrying the head gracefully; setting neatly into shoulders.

   Faults Ewe-necked; throatiness; short and thick.

 - Forequarters Shoulders sloping.

 - Elbows standing neither in nor out.

 - Forelegs set moderately wide apart and on a line with point of the shoulders; straight in bone and well muscled; pasterns short and strong.

Faults Loose shoulders or elbows; long or weak pasterns.

Body Deep with good width of chest; back short; ribs deep and well sprung, carried well back to loins; loins short and muscular; rump curving slightly to set-on of tail; flank very slightly cut up. The body should appear short but not chunky.

Faults Flat sides; narrow chest; long or slack loins; roach back; sway back; too much cut-up in flank. Hindquarters Hind legs set true; bent at stifles; short from hocks to feet; hocks turning neither in nor out; thighs strong and well muscled.  - Feet round, small, and compact and turned neither in nor out; toes well arched.

Faults Hind legs too straight at stifles; hocks too prominent; splay feet.


 - Tail Set-on low; short, fine and tapering; straight or screw; devoid of fringe or coarse hair, and not carried above horizontal.

Faults A long or gaily carried tail; extremely gnarled or curled against body. Note: The preferred tail should not exceed in length approximately one quarter the distance from set-on to hock.

 - Gait 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 with power.

- Faults There shall be no rolling, paddling, or weaving when gaited, and any crossing movement, either front or rear, is a serious fault.

 - Disqualifications Any Solid Colour; black and tan; red; mouse colours. All white, absence of white markings. Eyes blue in colour or any trace of blue. Docked tail. Dudley nose. January 2014

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