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Dogs 101 – BOSTON TERRIER
Top Dog Facts About the BOSTON TERRIER
The Boston Terrier is a small and compact breed that originated in – you guessed it – Boston. Unlike many other breeds of dogs, it has a very short and well-documented history of development. According to the American Kennel Club, which officially recognized the breed in 1893, all true modern Boston Terriers are descended from a dog named Judge, which lived in Boston around 1870. Judge was an import from England, and a cross between an English bulldog and an English terrier.
Judge was slightly larger than the modern Boston Terrier, but after interbreeding with smaller females, and possibly one or more French bulldogs, the foundation for the Boston Terrier we see today was laid. The breed was initially called the Bull Terrier, but the name did not get very popular. In just about 20 years of the breed being born and shown for the first time in Boston, the American Kennel Club had recognized it – a meteoric rise by any standards. The next few years saw breeders develop further consistency in the physical features of the dog.
The adult Boston Terrier’s height is usually between 15 to 17 inches. The weight can be between 10 to 25 pounds. In fact, the American Kennel Club divides the breed into three classes based on weight: less than 15 pounds; between 15 and 20 pounds; and between 20 and 25 pounds. Some of the most noticeable features of a Boston Terrier are its compact body, and short head, tail and muzzle. The upper and lower jaw can be even, or the lower jaw can have a slight undershot. The eyes are large and round, which give the dog a kind and intelligent expression. The ears are small and erect. The smooth coat is brindle, black or seal in color, evenly marked with white. A well-known feature of the coat is the tuxedo-like appearance.
Grooming: The Boston Terrier is easy to care for. The coat length is short, and requires weekly brushing with a hound glove or a soft bristle brush to keep it clean and shiny. The large eyes can collect dust, and regular cleaning is suggested. Checking ears for debris, trimming of nails and brushing of teeth are other routine aspects of the grooming regimen.
Temperament: A Boston Terrier is generally well-mannered when indoors, and also does not bark much unless necessary. This makes it suited to apartment living. Though originally a fighting and rodent-hunting dog, it was later bred for companionship. This means that it is gentle, but playful, and very sensitive to its human companion’s needs. Being protective of its owners, it might behave a little aggressively with other pets and strangers, but this can be controlled with training. With early socialization, a Boston Terrier can get along very well with children, the elderly or other animals.
Training: The Boston Terrier is an intelligent dog, known to learn easily. It requires its daily exercise, which can be provided with a walk on leash, and an occasional game of ball chase in a park. In fact, excessive exercise is inadvisable. The breed is also known to perform very well in all sorts of canine sports.
Health: The typical life span of the Boston Terrier is 10 to 14 years, but quite a few are known to live into their late teens. The breed has no major health concerns; some common, but controllable, issues include a sensitive digestive system, and sensitivity to extreme heat or cold. Snoring and reverse sneezing are common in the breed, but not harmful in most cases. 85 to 90% of births among Boston Terriers require a caesarean section.
An all-American dog, the Boston Terrier is renowned for being clever, friendly and sensitive. Package that with an adaptable nature and low maintenance requirements, and you have a dog that can do very well whether it is an apartment in the city or a home in the suburbs.
• The Boston Terrier was the first American breed to be recognized by the American Kennel Club.
• The Boston Terrier is the state dog of Massachusetts.
• Sergeant Stubby, called the most decorated dog of World War I, was a Boston Terrier.
• A Boston Terrier was Helen Keller’s close companion. His name was Sir Thomas.
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