A Brief History of The Boston Terrier
Known affectionately as 'The American Gentleman', the Boston Terrier has proven to be a popular companion for many since its inception straight through to this very day. The Boston Terrier breed originated around 1870, when Robert C. Hooper of Boston purchased a dog known as Hooper's Judge, who was of a Bull and Terrier type lineage. Judge's specific lineage is unknown; however, Hooper's Judge is either directly related to the original Bull and Terrier breeds of the 18th and early 19th centuries, or Judge is the result of modern English Bulldogs being crossed into terriers created in the 1860s for show purposes, like the White English Terrier.
Judge weighed over 29.7 pounds (13.5 kilos). Their offspring interbred with one or more French Bulldogs, providing the foundation for the Boston Terrier. Bred down in size from pit fighting dogs of the Bull and Terrier types, the Boston Terrier originally weighed up to 44 pounds (20 kg.) (Olde Boston Bulldogge). The breed was first shown in Boston in 1870. By 1889 the breed had become sufficiently popular in Boston that fanciers formed the American Bull Terrier Club, but this proposed name for the breed was not well received by the Bull Terrier Fanciers; the breed's nickname, "roundheads", was similarly inappropriate. Shortly after, at the suggestion of James Watson (a noted writer and authority), the club changed its name to the Boston Terrier Club and in 1893 it was admitted to membership in the American Kennel Club, thus making it the first US breed to be recognized. It is one of a small number of breeds to have originated in the United States. The Boston Terrier was the first non-sporting dog bred in the US.
In the early years, the color and markings were not very important, but by the 20th century the breed's distinctive markings and color were written into the standard, becoming an essential feature. Terrier only in name, the Boston Terrier has lost most of its ruthless desire for mayhem, preferring the company of humans, although some males will still challenge other dogs if they feel their territory is being invaded.
Boston Terriers were particularly popular during the 1920s in the US, and continue to be a high ranker among the American Kennel Club's yearly breed registrations to this day. Popular and much loved by a great many throughout the world, the breed has truly earned the monicker of 'The American Gentleman'.