Boston Terrier: Breed History & Origin

The Boston Terrier is one of the few breeds bred in the United States about which Americans, with good reason and legitimate pride, can say “Made in Boston”. The unofficial capital of New England, the city of Boston, is one of the oldest and richest cities in the United States, from here begins the history of this unique breed – the Boston Terrier. The formation of this American Terrier was very typical for the country of the 19th century.

The history of the breed is mainly studied, contains reliably studied facts, and practically has no “white spots”, unlike the history of many other breeds, the emergence of which goes back so far in the past. It all started not with a breeding idea to create a new breed, but by chance, which later played the role of a fundamental fact in the creation of a national breed. Homeland, which is the largest port city of Boston, Massachusetts.

The first Boston breeder was Robert Hupper in 1865. In the port, from a sailor, he acquired a ship’s dog – Judge. The dog turned out to be a typical Bull Terrier, which was widespread in England as participants in dog fights. The Judge had a dark brindle color with a white chest and throat, docked ears, a short tail, a large rounded head with a short massive Bulldog muzzle. It was a rather impressive dog that weighed about 15 kilograms. The Judge was crossed with a neighbor’s female Jeep owned by Mr. Barnett. These dogs gave surprisingly uniform offspring, almost completely repeating the father, which indicates the stable heredity of the English Bull Terriers.

Breeding of all Boston Terriers began from Judge and Jeep puppies. The descendants of this pair, the squat, well-knocked dog Wallis and the female Tobin’s Keith, a small short-legged brindle dog, mated with each other, as well as Judge’s daughters again with him. All puppies inherited rounded heads, so the originally received dogs were called round-headed Bulls. Later, local patriotic dog breeders began to call the dogs from Massachusetts Boston Bulls – American Bulls. However, the breeders of the English Bulldogs objected to it.

In 1878, the first Hopper Terriers were shown at a Boston show called the Round-headed Bulls.

Terriers quickly gained popularity and became widely known throughout the country. This Terrier reaches a special peak of fame in the United States by the 20s of the twentieth century. They call him the Boston gentleman. The ladies preferred him as a wonderful companion to accompany them everywhere.

In 1891, fans of the new breed unite in the Boston American Bull Terrier Club. The club applied for registration with the AKC, but it was refused on the grounds that the name should not contain the word “Bullterrier”. Then the association changes its name to Boston Terrier Club.

After two years of discussions, in May 1893, the Boston Terrier was finally officially recognized as an independent breed by the AKC. In the same year, Boston Terriers were first shown at an exhibition in Boston, Massachusetts, under a new name. Topsy became the first champion of the breed in 1896 at a show in Philadelphia (by the way, her great-grandfather was an English Bulldog). The popularity of the breed grew rapidly, even President Wilson had a Boston Terrier in the White House. In the 1930s, 20 to 30% of the exhibitors at American exhibitions were Bostons. The most titled Boston Terrier in the history of the breed was El-bo’s Rudy Is A Dandy, he was raised by lovers of the Bob and Eleanor Kenslenda breed. Rudy was voted the best dog in the show 18 times, beating more than 50,000 competitors, he was awarded the title 50 times before retiring in 1984.

And in the same 1893, he received official recognition. AKC begins recording Boston Terriers in the studbook. The first representative of the breed in 1893 was a male named Hector. To date, more than 30,000 Bostons are registered in the United States.

Hupper and Barnett, who became the founders of the new breed and became its first breeders, united around three dozen enthusiasts and patriots, who formed the backbone of the new canine association, doing painstaking selection work. All the work was carried out on the basis of the descendants of Judge and Jeep, but later it took the influx of new other bloodlines. So American breeders undertook a number of crosses with the Old English White Terrier. The blood of the White Terrier greatly influenced the appearance of the dogs being bred, significantly ennobling and giving features that irrevocably took away from their primitive and rude ancestors.

Other crosses were undertaken with representatives of breeds imported from England: Bull Terrier, English Bulldog, French Bulldog. There are references to the crossing of Bostons of the late 19th century with Pit Bulls and Boxers. The breed had a number of intermediate names that appeared in different periods of its formation, depending on which crossing the offspring was more successful: American Bull Terrier, Boston Bull, Boston Bulldog.

In 1891, the first breed standard was adopted – the Boston Terrier. So the Boston Terriers quickly gained popularity and became widely known throughout the country, and the port city, whose name is engraved in their name, became known as the birthplace of the national breed – the Boston Terrier. After the First World War, “gentlemen from Boston” went to continental Europe, and then in the twenties of the twentieth century – to Great Britain. In other European countries, Bostons are not as numerous as in the United States. (This is partly due to the fact that for the general public, the differences between the Boston Terrier and the French Bulldog are subtle. However, experts know that in addition to external differences, the two breeds have completely different characters). So in Germany in 1998 – 1999 there were registered 95 – 80 puppies. In the early years of the XXI century, Bostons appeared in Russia.

The Boston Terrier is an undoubted success for American breeders. Americans are very proud of this breed, which became the first official breed in the New World. Currently, overseas, the Boston Terrier is one of the 25 most popular breeds, 12-13 thousand puppies are born annually, and the population is about 120 thousand. The modern Boston Terrier is an elegant, intelligent companion dog. It’s hard to believe that such an intelligent creature was used to participate in dog fights. Today’s Boston Terrier is an elegant, noble dog that combines all the “winning” qualities of its ancestors. Modern Boston has nothing to do with the combat past of its ancestors.

Charm, enthusiasm and an optimistic outlook on life, cheerfulness – this is the motto of the Boston Terrier!



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