The Boston Terrier originated in 1865, in Boston, Massachusetts. Pit fighting was still a popular with many people. The Boston Terrier began as a fighting dog. The Boston Terrier of 1865 is not the dog we know in modern
The history that has been documented is that Robert C. Hooper, of Boston, Massachusetts, came into ownership of a mutt that was part English Bulldog, and part English Terrier(now thought to be extinct). This dog's name was Judge. He was tall, and was colored a dark brindle with a white stripe on his face. His head had a blocky appearance. Judge weighed around 32 pounds. A cross breeding with a Bulldog-type bitch by the name of Gyp, who was owned by an Edward Burnett, of Southborough, Massachusetts. The bitch was shorter, and she also had short blocky head type. She was smaller and weighed approx. 20 pounds. The breeding produced very large dogs that may have resembled the American Staffordshire terriers that we know today. Some of the dogs grew up to weigh 60 lbs.
There is some speculation that the
French im migrants who worked in the sweatshops brought over lap dogs (French bulldogs) whom may have eventually gotten into this mix. It is true that the Boston terrier exhibits some characteristics of the “frenchie”.
The specifics of the early development of the breed are up for debate. Many speculate that the breed has also been derived from boxers, American pit bull terriers and bull terriers. The dogs eventually were called "stableman's" or "the barber's dog". This title came from the working class, whom often would gather at the pubs and arrange breedings for the pit. Some of these people had access to their employer's purebred dogs.
Wealthy people of the time being the ones to mainly own purebreds. These people would borrow the dogs of the folks they worked for, and breed the dogs. The mongrel offspring often ended up in pits unfortunately by the hands of those who bred them in the first place, secretly for that purpose. Surprisingly the breedings were strategically planned for certain characteristics, it was not hit and miss. These same dogs also had duel purposes as vermin exterminators, family pets, and for guard. They were strongly regarded by all walks of life to be loyal, trustworthy, and sound.
By 1891, the Boston Terrier was considered an established breed of dog. Through the many breedings of these working class people, the Boston bred into something that we may recognize as similar to the breed today. Puppies grew to resemble their parents, which is a known as a term called "breeding true". A handful of breeders decided to form the American Bull terrier Club after this time they applied to the American Kennel club. Fanciers of the bull terrier were outraged. The dog that was being recognized looked nothing like a bull terrier. James Watson a writer at the time, gave the dog a new name, to avoid confusion. He believed that because the origins of this animals began in Boston, that it should be called the "Boston Terrier". With this, in agreement, the Bull Terrier club changed its name to the Boston Terrier Club and in the year 1893 it was accepted as a pedigree breed into the American Kennel Club.
The Boston terrier has the distinction of being the first American breed recognized by the A.K.C. In the beginning of the 1900's, Boston Terriers being exhibited still may have weighed around 30 pounds or so. In the 1920's more care was put into the refinement of type, markings and weight. Fortunately fighting was quickly becoming a sport of the past, causing many of the Bostons of that time to be taken in as companions. The breed took a turn as a parlor dog and began to be bred even smaller. Around the middle of the century the Boston was recognizable as what we might see today. In current times the dog is prized as a beloved family pet. Sizes may range from 10-25 pounds.
Bostons are energetic and lively dogs. Rarely you will find a "couch potato" in this breed. They excel at most things especially in making you laugh. They are mischievious and get bored if there is no direction(much like a child). When looking at new puppy homes I often look for a strong sense of humor, patience, and for people that really enjoy life. These three traits are a must for any potential Boston owner.