Boston Terrier, The American Gentleman

Boston Terrier is a popular breed of dog that has tuxedo-like markings. It is known to be a lively little companion, earning the nickname, “American Gentleman, and is also considered to be one of the best dog breeds for seniors. Aside from having expressive eyes and boundless energy, let us know more about the Boston Terrier breed.


Boston Terriers are known to have come in existence in the late 1800s in Boston, Massachusetts. But even though everyone agrees with this, there are still different stories on how it came to be.

Based on one story, there were coachmen of wealthy families that developed the breed through crossing bulldogs and the English White Terrier which is now extinct, to create a new dog-fighting breed. Another story tells that Robert C. Hooper, a Bostonian, imported a Bulldog and English Terrier cross named Judge in 1865 in England. It’s because he was reminded by it of Hooper, the dog he had when he was a child. And another story states that Hooper purchased Judge around 1870 from William O’Brien, who is another Bostonian.

No one knows which of these stories were true, but the fact is that there was a dog named Judge and it was from him were the breed we know today came from. Based from a book titled, “The Complete Dog Book”, Judge was a well-built dog that weighed 32 pounds, had a dark brindle color, a white blaze on his face, and a square head.

Judge was bred only once from a union with a 20-pound white dog named Kate owned by Edward Burnett from Southborough, Massachusetts. It resulted in a male puppy named Well’s Eph. It wasn’t an attractive dog but he had some characteristics that Hooper, as well as his friends, admired that’s why he was widely bred.

Before they were called Boston Terriers, they were called various names such as round-headed bull-and-terriers, American Terriers, bullet heads, and Boston Bulldogs In 1889, the American Bull Terrier Club was formed and they named the breed Round Heads or Bull Terriers. However, the Bulldog contingency had a lot of power with the AKC during that time, that’s why they decided to change the name of their club to the Boston Terrier Club, as a tribute to the birthplace of the breed.

In 1893, the Boston Terrier was recognized by the AKC and it was one of the first non-sporting dogs that were bred in the United States. It was also first of the ten made-in-America breeds that are currently recognized by the AKC.

In 1915, it became the most popular breed in the US and remained on the top ten until the 1960’s. There were also 60 amazing Boston Terriers that entered in a single all-breed show in 1918. Boston Terrier was named as the bicentennial dog of the US in 1976 and after three years, it became the official state dog of Massachusetts, and Boston University’s mascot is Rhett the Boston Terrier.

Characteristics of Boston Terriers


Boston Terriers belong to the companion dog breed group. They come in three weight classes such as under 15 pounds, 15 to 19 pounds, and 20 to 25 pounds. They can typically grow from 12 to 17 inches tall at the shoulder and can live from 13 to 15 years. No matter how much they weigh or how tall they stand, they should look sturdy and never skinny.

Boston Terriers are on the best-dressed list because they were smooth, fine coats that comes in three colors which are seal, black, or brindle and all of them have a white muzzle, chest, and face blaze, making them look like they’re wearing a tuxedo.

It is an affectionate breed with a gentle, even temperament, and it is also a lively and smart kind of dog, that’s why it is referred to as the American Gentleman. However, they can also grow to be stubborn that’s why persistence and consistency is important when training them.

Caring for Boston Terriers


Though Boston Terriers are known to be lively dogs, they do not have any excessive exercise requirements. They are also great from apartment dwellers or those who don’t have yards at home because they are inactive indoors. They are indoor dogs and should never live outside because they cannot handle heat and cold very well. You can just take them out for a walk once in a while.

They can also be sensitive to the tone of voice, and punishing them can make them shut down, therefore, you have to be motivational and low-key when training them.

Boston Terriers are very easy to groom. You just have to brush them weekly and bathe them using a dry, powder shampoo and a damp cloth. You should also wash their faces every day because they have large and prominent eyes. It is also required to brush their teeth two to three times a week and trim their nails once or twice a month.

When feeding them, the recommended daily amount of food for Boston Terriers is 0.5 to 1.5 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals. They can be gluttonous about their food, therefore, monitoring their condition is important to avoid becoming overweight.

Boston Terriers are indeed great companions and house pets because of their kind and gentle disposition. So, if you’re looking for a sweet pet at home, you might want to get yourself an American Gentleman as well.