Boston Terrier Breed Magazine - Showsight

Boston Terrier Breed Magazine features information, expert articles, and stunning photos from AKC judges, breeders, and owners.


Let’s Talk Breed Education!

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Official Standard of the Boston Terrier General Appearance: The Boston Terrier is a lively, highly intelligent, smooth coated, short- headed, compactly built, short-tailed, well balanced dog, brindle, seal or black in color and evenly marked with white. The head is in proportion to the size of the dog and the expression indicates a high degree of intelligence. The body is rather short and well knit, the limbs strong and neatly turned, the tail is short and no feature is so prominent that the dog appears badly proportioned. The dog conveys an impression of determination, strength and activity, with style of a high order; carriage easy and graceful. A proportionate combination of "Color and White Markings" is a particularly distinctive feature of a representative specimen. "Balance, Expression, Color and White Markings" should be given particular consideration in determining the relative value of General Appearance to other points. Size, Proportion, Substance: Weight is divided by classes as follows: Under 15 pounds; 15 pounds and under 20 pounds; 20 pounds and not to exceed 25 pounds. The length of leg must balance with the length of body to give the Boston Terrier its striking square appearance. The Boston Terrier is a sturdy dog and must not appear to be either spindly or coarse. The bone and muscle must be in proportion as well as an enhancement to the dog's weight and structure. Fault - Blocky or chunky in appearance. Influence of Sex . In a comparison of specimens of each sex, the only evident difference is a slight refinement in the bitch's conformation. Head: The skull is square, flat on top, free from wrinkles, cheeks flat, brow abrupt and the stop well defined. The ideal Boston Terrier expression is alert and kind, indicating a high degree of intelligence. This is a most important characteristic of the breed. The eyes are wide apart, large and round and dark in color. The eyes are set square in the skull and the outside corners are on a line with the cheeks as viewed from the front. Disqualify - Eyes blue in color or any trace of blue. The ears are small, carried erect, either natural or cropped to conform to the shape of the head and situated as near to the corners of the skull as possible. The muzzle is short, square, wide and deep and in proportion to the skull. It is free from wrinkles, shorter in length than in width or depth; not exceeding in length approximately one-third of the length of the skull. The muzzle from stop to end of the nose is parallel to the top of the skull. The nose is black and wide, with a well defined line between the nostrils. Disqualify - Dudley nose. The jaw is broad and square with short regular teeth. The bite is even or sufficiently undershot to square the muzzle. The chops are of good depth, but not pendulous, completely covering the teeth when the mouth is closed. Serious Fault - Wry mouth. Head Faults - Eyes showing too much white or haw. Pinched or wide nostrils. Size of ears out of proportion to the size of the head. Serious Head Faults - Any showing of the tongue or teeth when the mouth is closed. Neck, Topline and Body: The length of neck must display an image of balance to the total dog. It is slightly arched, carrying the head gracefully and setting neatly into the shoulders. The back is just short enough to square the body. The topline is level and the rump curves slightly to the set-on of the tail. The chest is deep with good width, ribs well sprung and carried well back to the loins. The body should appear short. The tail is set on low, short, fine and tapering, straight or screw and must not be carried above the horizontal. (Note: The preferred tail does not exceed in length more than one-quarter the distance from set-on to hock.) Disqualify - Docked tail. Body Faults - Gaily carried tail. Serious Body Faults - Roach back, sway back, slab-sided.

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Forequarters: The shoulders are sloping and well laid back, which allows for the Boston Terrier's stylish movement. The elbows stand neither in nor out. The forelegs are set moderately wide apart and on a line with the upper tip of the shoulder blades. The forelegs are straight in bone with short, strong pasterns. The dewclaws may be removed. The feet are small, round and compact, turned neither in nor out, with well arched toes and short nails. Faults - Legs lacking in substance; splay feet. Hindquarters: The thighs are strong and well muscled, bent at the stifles and set true. The hocks are short to the feet, turning neither in nor out, with a well defined hock joint. The feet are small and compact with short nails. Fault - Straight in stifle. Gait: The gait of the Boston Terrier is that of a sure-footed, straight gaited dog, forelegs and hind legs moving straight ahead in line with perfect rhythm, each step indicating grace and power. Gait Faults - There will be no rolling, paddling, or weaving, when gaited. Hackney gait. Serious Gait Faults - Any crossing movement, either front or rear. Coat: The coat is short, smooth, bright and fine in texture. Color and Markings: Brindle, seal, or black with white markings. Brindle is preferred only if all other qualities are equal. (Note: Seal Defined . Seal appears black except it has a red cast when viewed in the sun or bright light.) Disqualify - Solid black, solid brindle or solid seal without required white markings. Any color not described in the standard. Required Markings : White muzzle band, white blaze between the eyes, white forechest. Desired Markings : White muzzle band, even white blaze between the eyes and over the head, white collar, white forechest, white on part or whole of forelegs and hind legs below the hocks. (Note: A representative specimen should not be penalized for not possessing "Desired Markings.") A dog with a preponderance of white on the head or body must possess sufficient merit otherwise to counteract its deficiencies. Temperament: The Boston Terrier is a friendly and lively dog. The breed has an excellent disposition and a high degree of intelligence, which makes the Boston Terrier an incomparable

companion. Summary :

The clean-cut short backed body of the Boston Terrier coupled with the unique characteristics of his square head and jaw, and his striking markings have resulted in a most dapper and charming American original: The Boston Terrier. Scale of Points General Appearance Expression Head (Muzzle, Jaw, Bite, Skull & Stop) 10 10 15

Eyes Ears Neck, Topline, Body & Tail Forequarters Hindquarters Feet Color, Coat & Markings Gait Total

5 5

15 10 10

5 5 10 100

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Disqualifications : Eyes blue in color or any trace of blue. Dudley nose. Docked tail. Solid black, solid brindle, or solid seal without required white markings. Any color not described in the standard.

Approved February 11, 2011 Effective March 30, 2011


T he beginnings of the Boston Terrier harken back to 1865 amid the turmoil the country faced with the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the end of the Civil War. It was during that year that an imported dog, sent from the shores of England to the shores of Massachusetts, became one of the most historically significant progenitors of the breed. A cross between an English Bulldog and a White English Terrier or possibly bull terrier, the 32-pound import arrived in Boston in 1865 to augment the pit dog stock in the United States. William O’Brien sold this dog to Robert C. Hooper and consequently Hooper’s Judge was bred to Burnett’s Gyp (aka Kate). Noted historian-author Arthur Huddleston dubbed these two the Adam and Eve of the breed. Th e dogs tracing their ancestry back to Judge possessed more characteristics of the bulldog in these crosses. While a lengthy discussion could take place regarding the names, sizes, colors and conformation of these early, highly inbred dogs, limited space does not allow it, nor do these dogs have any place in the pedigrees of today’s Bostons. From the first and perhaps only litter sired by Hooper’s Judge, type didn’t begin to coalesce for maybe ten years. Possibly by the mid-1870s, Boston, Massachusetts livery stable owner John P. Barnard, oft times noted as the “Father of the Boston Terrier”, began to transition his kennel towards a focus on improving the outcomes from the original crossing. It was in 1878 that litter brothers Barnard’s Tom and Atkinson’s Toby were born, both becoming popular studs. Barnard’s Tom, more than any Boston heretofore, actually deserves the appellation “Founder of the Breed”, greatly contributing to establishing type in a breed that had yet to even receive a consistently-recognized name. Variously called Bullet Heads,

Ch. Ace of Aces - first BTCA National winner of the Fred Davis Cup (c. 1920s).



American Bull Terriers or Round Heads, in 1888 the New England Kennel Club recognized the breed in competition as the Round Head Bull and Terrier. Noted as a dog of stable keepers and barbers, the descendants of Judge soon enough acquired reputations as sought- after household pets. Bred down in size, their temperament was more suited as a companion than as either a ratter or a pit dog and the Boston Terrier quickly gained favor as a companion dog with both the working class and the wealthy. During the 1880s, the appeal of breeding dogs increased as an extensive assortment of breeds was brought into this country. Th is necessitated ever greater numbers of dog shows, to which many exhibitors travelled by train, horse drawn buggies, wagons or carts. However, the mode of customary transportation began to change in 1900 as automobile ownership began to grow. Travelling and shipping dogs by rail also enabled a greater market to be reached—by 1900 more than 200,000 miles of track crisscrossed the country and AKC registrations of Bostons were on the rise. At the beginning of the last decade of the 19th century, the most noted of breeders and fanciers in and around Boston came together with the intention of forming an organization, then calling themselves the American Bull Terrier Club. In 1891, armed with breeding and litter records and a newly written Standard of the breed, the club petitioned the American Kennel Club for breed admittance. However, opposition from the AKC O ffi cer, among them the a ffl uent dog and horseman August Belmont, Jr., (and first President of AKC) prevented recognition of the breed, citing lack of consistency of type. Although the breed was denied entrée to the Stud Book, the Boston Terrier Club

Illustrations from The Ideal Boston Terrier by Josephine Z. Rine (c. 1932).

was admitted to AKC membership and the breed was for once and for all given the o ffi cial name of Boston Terrier. Its Standard was adopted, allowing weight classes from 15 pounds and under and up to 36 pounds. Th e preferred colors were brindle and white, or brindle or solid white, but black, mouse or liver were not acceptable. Th ere was no consideration for the markings that later became coveted by the Boston Terrier fancy. Two years later, with conditions attached that only those Bostons having an approved three-generation pedigree would be eligible for registration, the Boston Terrier was finally admitted into the AKC Stud Book on February 27, 1893. By then, the good folks of Boston and its environs began breeding America’s first dog in earnest. More and more often Boston Terriers were brought from the stable and shed into the kitchen, where many a litter found warmth in a paper-lined box behind the wood-burning cook stove.

Over the next three decades, the Boston’s popularity grew and enthusiastic breeding of Bostons took on prolific proportions. During the 1920s, one-fifth or more of the entries at all-breed shows were found on the Boston Terrier benches and entries numbering over 200 weren’t unheard of at specialty shows. It was during the first third of the 1900s that such

Ch. Fastep – owner unknown (c. 1927).


Ch. Million Dollar Kid Boots owned by Mrs. Jesse Thorton (c. 1930s).



Ch. E. D’Lis Carry On – owner unknown. For its time, a rare uncropped champion. (c. 1920s/30s)

Ch. Emperor’s Ace owned by Mary and Fred Lucas (c. 1940s), Ch. Hagerty’s Surprise – Droll and Rosenbloom (c. 1940s), Ch. Emperor’s Ace owned by Mary and Fred Lucas (c. 1940s).

eminent examples of the breed influenced future generations: Ch. Ace of Aces, Ch. Million Dollar Kid Boots, Ch. Royal Kid Regards, Int. Ch. Rockabye Dempsey and Int. Ch. Grant’s Royal Command were but a few of the “good ones”. From 1905 until 1935, the Boston Terrier was the first or second most popular breed in the United States based on AKC registrations. Between 1921 and 1934, AKC saw registrations of Boston Terriers reach the 90,000 mark. And little wonder. Th e small, tuxedoed Boston Terrier is indeed, as the standard states, an incomparable companion. Friend to young and old, the Boston Terrier is well-named as the American Gentleman. A highly intelligent dog, the elegant Boston is one of the most accommodating of breeds. As willing to hike as he is to curl up on the couch with its master, the Boston Terrier is also an actively keen

contender no matter in what ring or arena he competes. Not particularly yappy, nonetheless, the Boston is alert to the safeguarding of his family and may be feisty with other breeds. He has an excellent temperament and is exceedingly affectionate, so it is most fitting to close with words from the venerable Vincent Perry, who wrote, “There is no better dog—no greater companion.” ABOUT THE AUTHOR A second generation breeder/owner-han- dler, Lisa Braunstein-LaMere first stepped into a show ring in 1958. In 1974, she handled her parent’s home-bred bitch to a Boston Terrier Club of America (BTCA) National BISS win. Lisa was the AKC-designated handler in the Boston Terrier video, served on the first

BTCA Pictorial and Illustrated Standard Committee, is a former BTCA President, chaired the BTCA’s Meet the Breed Eukanu- ba Committee and is honored to be a member of the Judge’s Education Committee. In the mid-80s, Lisa brought all her experi- ence to the written page as a Boston Terrier columnist for ten years. She cannot imagine a life without a Boston Terrier.


This Standard Comes With THE BOSTON TERRIER Everything BY CAROL GROSZ

T he hands that brought the world to Helen Keller were never far from her beloved “Phiz.” Cary Grant chose to own the only canine companion that was his equal in all things dapper and debonair. And for those of you who pause whenever you hear Louis B. Armstrong render his sig- nature ballad, “It’s a Wonderful World,” you might be amused to know that it was oft conjectured that Satchmo was crooning to “The General,” his Boston Terrier. Comforting. Debonair. Inspirational. All this and much more comes in a delightful package known as the Boston Terrier. Known as “a big dog in a small package,” just what is it about this lively little comedian that sends its owners flying to the dictionary for adjectives? For insight into their character and characteristics, we need look no further than the Breed Standard. Each recognized breed of dog has a standard that describes the perfect individual of its breed. Considering the breed’s original purpose, the Standard sets forth the physical attributes and person- ality traits necessary for the dog to successfully fulfill that purpose. Responsible breeders know their breed’s Standard inside and out, with each breeding carefully and meticulously planned. Breeders strive to produce an individual that not only reflects the Standard for conformation and movement, but also exudes the personality for which its breed is known. Each litter is evaluated for personality as well as structure to ensure that the puppy will thrive in its new environment. Does your dream dog win the ribbons and the points in the breed ring? Does he have the work ethic and drive to beat the clock in agility or score the highest points in the obedience ring? Maybe you’d like to share your Boston with other people, and you seek the individual who can quietly and comfortably make new friends who live in an extended care community. If your aim is to find a new best friend that enjoys a leisurely walk and a long nap on the couch, there’s a puppy ready to excel in that role too. Jodi and Dominic Koon have been breeding champion Bos- ton Terriers and world-class family companions for over 20 years. “Breeders seek to find the best homes possible for their puppies. We want to match the lifestyle, the home environment, and the fam- ily’s expectations with the puppy’s personality strengths. We have several repeat buyers of both companion and show puppies. We have also placed retired show champions. Companion homes are



“A consistently winning show dog requires more than an eye pleasing appearance to win in the conformation ring.”

looking for that special temperament of the Boston Terrier: loyal, alert, and friendly,” says Koon. “It’s very important to place the right dog in the right home.” The Koons are also willing to share the best of their breeding and show ring progeny with others. Cindi Bosley is one of these grateful owners whose dreams of owning and showing a superstar have come to fruition. When 10-year-old Cindi made her show ring debut in Pasadena, Cali- fornia, she did not come home with the blue. She brought home, however, the prize that would last a lifetime. Cindi came home with a heart on fire to compete. In 2019, she returned to that same venue and earned the coveted Best in Specialty with her sidekick and companion, MBISS GCHG QB and Hickory Hill’s Grand Tradition. Together, they are amassing an enviable record, each ribbon and title made more memorable as Cindi is an amateur handler. She gives all the credit to “Bronson,” her partner. “He finished his championship when he was just six months old, and each of those shows was a specialty,” shared Cindi. Just what is it that makes this specialty-winning dog so special? “He is structurally very correct. It’s his adherence to the Stan- dard that makes him difficult to defeat.” The 2011 AKC Standard calls for a calls for a “lively” dog that “conveys an impression of determination, strength and activity, with style of a high order” and with the prescribed color and markings. His overall message as he enters the ring shouts, “I’m something special and here I come!” His very demeanor reflects his intelligence, liveliness, and friendly nature. A consistently winning

show dog requires more than an eye pleasing appearance to win in the conformation ring. Those perfectly angled hindquarters and strong, short hocks help him enter the ring with the straight and effortless gait set forth in the Standard. With eye contact that reflects self-assured intel- ligence, he dares the judge to look any further. Athleticism, physical conditioning, and determination are factors as well. Dog show days are long days and the focus required to work with his handler is a necessity. Beginning with an early morning call to the breed ring, Bostons and their handlers must then settle in to compete for Best of Breed competition. Later in the afternoon is the Group ring and, hopefully, on to Best in Show where he will have to rely on the Boston’s determination to focus on his handler and “turn on” the shine. This requires a dog that is physically fit and engaged in close communication with his handler. A show dog must be physically fit to exe- cute his gait with animation, always holding his stacked position with intensity and flair. Mental alertness and the breed’s renowned intelligence help a dog like Bronson keep his mind on his mission. Unlike many dogs at the show, Bronson does not have to share his handler’s attention with anyone else. His day



breed’s activity level makes it a great can- didate for a wide variety of lifestyles. Their sensitivity to their owners’ needs is leg- endary. One adult male Boston, that was rescued at a year and a half, quickly took account of his new surroundings and got down to business. His new mistress had a pain disorder that often triggered full focal body tremors. Within six months of taking up residence, “Bugsy” was able to sense an oncoming incident. Whenever he came and sat in front of his owner, stamp- ing his front feet with determination, she and her husband knew what was coming. His quick diagnosis cut down on many visits to the emergency room. Sensitive and soulful. Comedic and compassionate. Alert and laidback. The individual Boston Terrier is certainly any- thing but “standard.” However, we look to the Standard when we are searching for a Boston that represents all the physical traits and characteristics we have come to know and love.

begins with an early morning groom- ing session and ends with evening walks geared to keep him both fit and relaxed; in a word, they are inseparable. It’s no sur- prise that he thrives on the road. Given the Boston’s predilection for being with their people, Bronson thrives on this arrange- ment. His owner can keep every detail of his home schedule the same when they are on the road. “They are just so smart. It’s my job to see that we stick to our rou- tine,” Cindi says. Meals at the same time of day, making sure he gets to bed on time and has plenty of rest; these are just a few of the things that help him feel right at home, no matter where they are. If he is happy and without worry, it shows up when he trots through the “in” gate, ready to take on all comers. Not all Bostons are destined for the show ring. There are many more that live their lives as integral members of their families. As happy settled into your lap as they are going for a hike and a swim, this

About the Author: Carol Grosz has been owned by Boston Terriers for over twenty-five years. She is currently training her younger dog, Joey (R), for his CGC. Carol is a published author and a freelance writer specializing in the preparation of promotional materials.


JUDGING THE BOSTON TERRIER By Ken Roux J udging a Boston Terrier requires a good depth of knowledge of the standard and an eye for correct breed type. It is not a bully breed, isn’t a toy nor fine-boned. It is somewhere in the middle. A Boston EXPRESSION 10 points HEAD muzzle, jaw, bite, skull & stop 15 points EYES 5 points EARS 5 points HEAD 35 points

Terrier should be a sturdy dog never appear- ing spindly or coarse. Fault: Blocky or chunky in appearance. Th e Boston Terrier standard is one of the few breed standards that o ff er a scale of points to assist in judging. It simplifies the components and helps to develop a good grasp on the breed. Th is is one of the most significant features in the standard and is too often forgotten. After examin- ing the scale of points it becomes apparent the Boston Terrier is a “head” breed first and foremost. SCALE OF POINTS General Appearance..............................10 Expression ............................................. 10 Head (Muzzle, Jaw, Bite, Skull & Stop)....... 15 Eyes.........................................................5 Ears .........................................................5 Neck, Topline, Body & Tail.................. 15 Forequarters ..........................................10 Hindquarters ........................................10 Feet .........................................................5 Color, Coat & Markings.........................5 Gait....................................................... 10 Total ................................................ 100 DISQUALIFICATIONS • Eyes blue in color or any trace of blue. • Solid black, solid brindle, or solid seal without required markings. All other colors are a disqualification. Without type as the priority, Boston Terriers are a hard breed to judge. If the only focus is on movement, a good down and back or clean go-around, a common dog will often win. An ignorant judge will place the dogs on the go around. Move- ment has some importance in the breed • Dudley nose. • Docked tail.






FEET 5 points

MOVEMENT 10 points


Keep a good grasp on the priorities of the breed and how the standard by following the prioritization chart above.

but it is a low priority for the Boston Ter- rier. Final consideration between speci- mens should always be re-tabled for head evaluations. Th e Boston Terrier is neither a sporting, working or hound dog. Th e Boston Terrier is a companion. A Bos- ton Terrier better look up with a beautiful head and expression from the couch. Several weeks back I asked a judge the priorities in which they were placing the dogs. Without delay, I interrupted and asked, “Isn’t the Boston Terrier a head breed?” She rolled her eyes and said, “If it peeks its head over a fence and looks like a Boston, then that’s a good enough head for me.” Th at is not the correct way to judge a Boston Terrier. Judging without head type as the highest consideration is an injustice to the breed. Th e head of a Boston Terrier is the top of the priority chart. What makes a good

head? As a judge, I put the most weight on the head, eyes and expression. Why? Th e standard is crystal clear on this. In the standard it states, Expression is the most important characteristic of the breed. Th is phrase alone sets the precedents in judging the Boston Terrier. Th e prominent part expression is the eyes. Th e standard states the eyes are wide apart, large and round, dark in color. I would estimate less than 20 percent of the dogs I see in the ring have the desired eye described in the standard. When examin- ing the eyes focus on a round opening. Any trace of blue in the eye is a disqualification; look carefully to be certain there are no hidden blue flecks. Th ere should be very lit- tle, if any, white showing in the eyes as well. Ears are also an important component of expression. Th ey should be small, car- ried erect and can be natural or cropped

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Eyes: The eyes are wide apart, large and round and dark in color. The eyes are set square in the skull and the outside corners are on a line with the cheeks as viewed from the front. Disqualify: Eyes blue in color or any trace of blue.

to conform to the shape of the dog’s head. Th ey should be situated as close to the cor- ners of the skull as possible. Th e standard says the Boston Terrier is to appear lively and highly intelligent. Th e ears reveal a lot when looking for a dog to fit this descrip- tion. An incorrect ear placement and shape will detract from the desired appearance that is called for in the standard. Be impar- tial to cropped or natural ears. Whether they are cropped or natural, they should be set high on the skull and at a position of 11 and 1, not lower. Th ey should be in pro- portion to the shape and size of the head. Th e muzzle, jaw, bite, skull and stop total 15 points in the standard. Th e skull is square, flat on top and free from wrinkles. Do not confuse cushion for wrinkles; they are not the same. Cushion is a term used to describe the fill under the eyes and muzzle area often times confused as a wrinkle or crease under the eye. Wrinkles on the skull and muzzle should be penalized, but cushion should be rewarded, as it is extremely di ffi cult to breed for and is a rare find in the breed today. Th e muzzle is short, square, wide and deep and in proportion to the skull. It is imperative to remember the muzzle area should be short- er in length than in width or depth; never should the muzzle exceed one-third the length of skull. Th e nose on a Boston Terrier should be solid black with a well-defined line between the nostrils. Nostrils that are con- stricted or wide are to be faulted. A butterfly nose is undesirable while a dudley nose is a disqualification. Be sure to know di ff erence. Th e jaw should be broad and square with short regular teeth. A wry jaw or teeth and tongue showing when the mouth is closed are serious faults. Th e bite of a Boston Ter- rier is to be even or su ffi ciently undershot to square up the muzzle. At no time should the bite be overshot. Th e muzzle is short and wide; too many specimens in the breed ring today are long-muzzled and give the appear- ance of being pinched. Th e flews or jowls of a Boston Terrier shouldn’t be pendulous; they should have a clean, tight lip line. Although no points are assigned to the cheeks of a Boston Terrier, it is important to note the square look that is desired requires a flat cheek line. Th e standard allocates 15 points to the neck, top line, body and tail.

too small

almond shaped


too much white/ haw showing


Eyes: Although eyes are only worth 5 points in the standard, they also attribute to correct expression and general appearance. The standard states, The ideal Boston terrier expression is alert and kind, indicating a high degree of intelligence. This is a most important characteristic of the breed.


to large, out of proportion with head

low set


low set

Ears: The ears are small, carried erect, either natural or cropped to conform to the shape of the head and situated as near to the corners of the skull as possible.

Th e length of neck must display an image of balance to the total dog. It is slightly arched, carrying the head grace- fully and setting neatly into the shoulders. A short or ewe-neck is undesirable. Th e topline is level and the rump curves slightly to the set-on of the tail. A proper topline is a rare find. Th ere should be no dip at the withers or sway or roach, which are serious body faults.

Th e back is just short enough to square the body. Th is gives a striking square out- line. Th e chest should be deep with good width and the ribs should be well sprung, carried back into the loins. A slab-sided rib is a serious fault. Th e tail is set on low, short, fine and tapering, straight or screw and must not be carried above the horizontal. Although the standard allows for a very short tail,

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“...the required markings are for the breed, A WHITE MUZZLE BAND, WHITE BLAZE BETWEEN THE EYES, AND WHITE FORECHEST. THAT’S IT.”

Boston Terriers should have a tail. A docked tail is disqualification. Th e forequarters and hindquarters make up 10 points. Th is is a moderate breed. Th e front is well laid back. Th e forelegs are straight with short, strong pasterns. Th e feet are small, round and compact. Four toes should touch the ground. High outer toes are a deformity. Th e rear is moderately angled. Th e Boston Terrier is a double track- ing breed at any speed and shouldn’t be run around the ring. Th e Boston Terrier should never move like that of a working dog or a sporting dog. Th ere will be no rolling, paddling or weaving when gaited. Th ey should not have a hackney gait. Th e legs should not converge. Crossing over in the front or rear should be heavily faulted. Color, coat and markings are often a big topic when discussing the Boston Ter- rier. Keep in perspective that five points are assigned to this area, although one could argue it also pertains to the general appearance. When judging markings for the Boston Terrier, the most important

thing is to understand what the required markings are for the breed, a white muz- zle band, white blaze between the eyes, and white forechest. Th at’s it. Any speci- men that does not possess these minimal markings are to be disqualified. After required markings the primary focus should be on type and structure. BIO Ken Roux resides in a small rural town west of Chicago known to most as Ronald Reagan’s hometown of Dixon, Illinois. Roux is an American Kennel Club judge for Bichon Frise, Boston Terriers, Bulldogs, Dalmatians, French Bulldogs and Poodles. He has spent his life with Boston Terriers and Bulldogs. Since 1982, Roux has been breeding and exhibiting Boston Terriers; in the early 1990s he has been showing and breeding bulldogs. Roux has finished many champions in both breeds but his expertise lies within Boston Terriers. His dogs are well-known all over the world for their correct breed type. His dogs are known for their classic head piece. Many of Ken’s dogs have won the breed Westminster, Eukanuba and spe- cialty shows throughout the country. In the last 20 years, many dogs from his breeding program have placed highly in the top 10 breed statistics as well. Coming from a background in chemistry and genetics, Roux is very knowledgeable in breeding and judging dogs. In addition, growing up on a dairy farm with cows and other farm animals and attending the school of hard knocks has helped him understand structure, anatomy and how form and func- tion go hand-in-hand. His seminars are well attended all over the country and he is a valuable mentor of both Boston Terriers and Bulldogs. He can be reached via email at

Required markings

Skull & cheek planes

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B oston Terriers are a fixture on the dog show circuit. Their good looks and formal appearance have earned them the title of “The American Gentleman.” Well- bred Bostons excel in the show ring, but they are capable of much more. In fact, they are standout performers in the myriad dog sports offered by the American Kennel Club. Bostons participate in many sports. You will find them in the Obedience ring and at Rally Trials, Agility Trials, Flyball, Fast CAT, Disc Dog, Dock Diving, Barn Hunt, and even Tracking events. A healthy, sound Boston is an athlete who can hold her head up among the best of them. A Boston can sail over the jumps and race around the ring, exuding joy at every turn. The Boston Terrier Club of America supports Bostons in the companion events by holding Obedience, Rally, and Agil- ity trials at its annual specialty. The club also recognizes the achievements of our breed at its annual awards banquet, award- ing certificates to the dogs who are in the Top 10 in Agility MACH competition and the Top 5 in Agility PACH compe- tition. Our annual Parade of Titleholders recognizes Bostons that have earned Agility, Rally, and Obedience titles in addition to those with Conformation titles. In addition, the club offers three levels of Versatility Awards to dogs who earn Conforma- tion Championships and titles in Companion, Performance, and Title Recognition Program events. Agility is a terrifically fun sport in which Bostons excel. It is an ideal venue in which to show off a Boston’s speed, jump- ing ability, and natural athleticism. Boston Terriers earned a whopping 377 Agility titles in the most recent AKC reporting period. The breed is also well-represented at the AKC Agility Invitational and the AKC National Agility Championships. The Boston Terrier’s speed is on display in the rapidly grow- ing sport of Fast CAT, a test of speed in which our dogs run a timed 100-yard dash. Bostons routinely exceed speeds of 22–24 MPH, with the current leader clocking in at 26.96 MPH! (This is faster than World Record Holder, Usain Bolt’s 23.2 MPH.) In the most recent AKC reporting period, 133 Fast CAT titles were awarded to Boston Terriers. The sport of Scent Work is similar to the kind of nose work performed by drug and bomb detection dogs. Cotton swabs saturated with essential oils are hidden out of sight in the search area. When the scent is detected, the dog must alert the han- dler who calls out the find to the judge. Some might think that Boston Terriers, with their short noses, would be at a disadvan- tage in this game, but Bostons earned a total of 104 AKC Scent Work titles in the most recent reporting period.

A Boston flies over an obstacle at the AKC Agility Championship.

Boston at top speed, closing in on the Fast CAT lure.

This Boston Terrier has detected the scent and is alerting her handler.



Obedience tests our dog’s ability to perform certain specific exercises on-command without verbal commu- nication or additional cues. Rally tests a dog’s ability to navigate a course of designated exercises with verbal communication and encouragement from the handler. Bostons earned 32 AKC Obedience titles and 48 AKC Rally titles. The AKC also offers titles in their Family Dog Pro- gram. These include the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test, which examines a dog’s good manners and ability to cope in social situations, and Trick Dog, which tests a dog’s ability to perform fun activities in five different levels of ability. Ninety-six Boston Terriers earned the Canine Good Citizen title and sixty-eight Trick Dog Titles were earned. Bostons compete in the team sport of Flyball, which is another fast-moving sport. Flyball is a team sport that requires the dog to speed through a set of jumps to catch a ball in mid-air and return to the start line. Boston Terriers have also earned AKC Farm Dog, Barn Hunt, Dock Diving, and Disc Dog titles. All of these activities require that you have a physically and temperamentally sound Boston, the kind you should expect from a responsible Boston Terrier breeder. Some European countries discriminate against the brachycephalic breeds, saying they are unable to live long, useful lives because they cannot breathe properly. The Boston Terrier Club of America rejects any such notion. Dogs bred to our Breed Standard excel in all of the dog sports. We offer a consistent record of excel- lence and achievement as evidence of the soundness and good health of a well-bred Boston Terrier. The Obedience & Rally classes at this year’s National Specialty are dedicated to the memory of Ellen Dresselhuis. Ellen was a pioneering women’s attorney, author, breeder, and owner-handler of Boston Terriers titled in Conformation, Obedience, and Agility. Ellen was a long-time member of the BTCA and the Minnesota Boston Terrier Club. In 1991, Ellen and her Boston, Brother Mack Duff, achieved the breed’s first Obedience Trial Champion- ship (OTCH), a feat that has been equaled only once— twenty-three years later.

A smiling Boston competes in AKC Rally.

Eyes on the finish, an athletic Boston heads for home in a Flyball competition.

A Boston Terrier jumps in mid-air at a Dock Diving competition.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Ellen Dresselhuis passed away on Sunday, September 11, 2022. Alzheimer’s. Ellen shared 83 years with all of us. She was very active in her church and church choir. She was passionate about her Boston Terriers and successfully showed and bred them. Her dog “Macky” was the first-ever Boston Terrier to earn an OTCH (Obedience Trial Championship) in 1991. She later bred Bostons that went on to win many awards as well as those residing in great homes as esteemed pets. Ellen was an active member in several dog clubs, both local and national. Professionally, she was a very fine lawyer, practicing when few women practiced law. She was quite active and passionate about women's rights throughout her career and life. —Charlie Leavitt, LC, MIES



B oston Terriers enjoy and excel in a wide range of performance activities, including Obedi- ence, Rally, Agility, Barn Hunt, Earthdog, Flyball, Tracking, Dock Diving and Weight Pulling. Th ere is a fallacy that Bostons cannot compete or compete at the highest levels, being a brachycephalic breed, but this is not true. Bostons are not only able to com- pete in most performance events, but com- pete quite successfully. At the AKC National Obedience Championship in March, 2014, OTCH Mandy UDX3 OM5 GO VER RE MX MXJ CA DM (“Mandy”, owned/handled by Molly Copelin) took home 1st place in the Non-Sporting Group. Molly became only the 2nd Boston Terrier in history to earn the top obedience title of Overall Trial Champion (OTCH) earlier in 2014. Bostons can and do excel at the physi- cal sport of Agility. Th e top Boston Ter- rier of all time, (per AKC lifetime reports), MACH7 Hoosier Hamburger Padees CD RE MXG2 MJG2 MXP MJP MXF TQX NFP (“Hoosier”, owned/handled by Kelly Misegadis) made the finals at the inau- gural AKC Agility Invitationals in 2006 and again 2008 and tried out for the AKC Agility World team on two separate occa- sions. In 2010, Wannabe Run’s Awesome Dawson RAE MX MXJ MJB MXP3 MXPB MJP3 MJPB NF OFP “Dawson” and owner/trainer Laura Tsuk finished in 7th place in the Preferred finals at AKC Agility Nationals, demonstrating the ath- letic capabilities of the breed. Th is prey-driven breed has the white English Terrier as one of its foundation breeds so it should come as no shock that the Boston excels at sports such as Barn Hunt and Lure Coursing. Some believe only “true” terriers and sight hounds can perform well in prey-driven sports such as Barn Hunt or Lure Coursing but watch a Boston in action and this belief will be quickly disproved. Th eir terrier heritage

“Hoosier” (Photo courtesy of Ken Gee)

“Mandy” (Photo courtesy of The Dog Sport Photographers)

quickly becomes apparent through their focus and drive in getting to the prey. “Lexi” (Riot I Want Crazy RATO, owned/ trained by Elizabeth Staley) is the 3rd Bos- ton in history to earn the Open title in Barn Hunt and demonstrate this prey drive. It comes as a surprise to some to dis- cover that not only can Bostons swim quite well but that many adore the water. Bos- tons have earned Dock Diving titles and routinely jump further than many bigger

“Lexi” (Photo courtesy of The Dog Sport Photographers)


“Bosley” Owned/trained by Kathy Stowe (Photo courtesy of Stephanie Prock)

“Rookie” Owned by Anne Keogh (Photo courtesy of Susan K. Herber)

Stacy Clear & “Tuf” and Kelly Misegadis & “Toby”, with floppy discs in tow

dogs and other known “water” breeds, as evidenced by Bosley’s jumps of over 14 feet. Th e secret to training a Boston Terrier is both quite simple and quite di ffi cult—keep it fun! Th e Boston only wants to please its own- er and will shut down with hurt feelings if they believe they have done something incor- rect or made the owner unhappy with its performance. Th is means for a top level per- formance, the trainer must rely not only on treats but also play and toys the dog enjoys. Bostons tend to prefer physical play, such as the owner grabbing the dog’s feet, tugging with a toy, or light tapping of the shoulders and hindquarters. Th ere is noth- ing the typical Boston loves more than hav- ing its owner get on the floor with him and have a good old fashioned wrestling match. Th e play should be appropriate to the dog’s size so as not to scare or injure the dog. Th ey can be quite obsessive with their toys, as evi- denced by the photo to the right. Bostons can and do use their intelligence and mischievous nature by creating their own brand of fun, which can become frustrating for the owner. It is imperative the owner not display frustration or anger with the dog but instead, stop the training session for the day. Bostons do not easily forget hurt feelings! If the owner displays anger or frustration dur- ing a training session, the dog may react by being timid, shy, scared or simply refuse to work at the next training session. Th is does not mean the Boston should not have rules and manners, however. Th e breed

is playful and can be mischievous so clear cut boundaries with consistent consequences such as time out in a crate or a firm “No” are imperative to both a peaceful household and a strong performance career. Th ere is a common belief Bostons are more susceptible to having problems working in hot weather but this is not necessarily true. Normal precautions that would be taken for any breed working in the heat must be taken but it is not nec- essary to stop competing in the summer months. Instead, periodic, very short training sessions during the middle of the day in the summer help acclimate the dog to working in the heat. Always keep these training sessions short and be sure to give the dog access to water. Cool coats, por- table fans, access to shade and shallow swimming pools are great additions to summer cooling e ff orts. Care must be taken in the cold with the Boston. Short coat and low body fat means the breed will not tolerate cold temperatures very well so boots and coats are a part of most Boston owner’s supplies. Th is means winter training for events such as agility, barn hunt and lure coursing can be chal- lenging, as the dog cannot tolerate being outside in lower temperatures for very long. Fortunately, the breed is quite intelli- gent and loves to learn (as long as learning is kept fun) so a little bit of training can go a long way. Short, focused training sessions work well with this breed.

Being a brachycephalic breed, Bos- tons can have problems with inverted (or reverse) sneezing, which can wreak havoc if the dog is about to step to the line for a performance event. While it sounds and looks scary, it can be easily stopped by either plugging the dog’s nose until it opens its mouth to breath or by teaching the dog to relax so it can learn to control the sneezing by itself. Gently rubbing the dog’s throat while it is reverse sneezing or using calming sig- nals (see Turid Rugaas’ book On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals ) can help the Boston learn to control the sneez- ing all by itself. Many Boston breeders now breed not only with conformation in mind but per- formance and overall health as well. One of the most titled Bostons of all times— CH MACH9 PACH3 Wagtime Inde- pendenz@Jo-Clem RAE MXC2 MJB3 MXP8 MXPG MJP8 MJPG PAX3 MXF MFP T2B3 TWBP2 CAX “Indy”, owned/ handled by Dan Haddy (and wife Julie)— has her health certificate from the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) and has produced several champions in both conformation and performance. Keeping the balanced Boston in mind is becom- ing more important than ever as people have begun to discover the Boston Terrier is capable of doing so very much. So pick a performance event that sounds fun to you and let the Boston games begin!


“Indy” (Photo courtesy of Great Dane Photos)




By Sue Herber

he Boston Terrier: A kind, fun, compact, ath- letic, personality-plus dog that adores human interaction... truly an American Gentleman.

Bathing requires a mild shampoo, condi- tioner and toweled dry. Th ey are very sensitive to extreme heat, humidity and cold due to their shortened faces and short, dark coats. Excessive expo- sure to the extreme elements can quickly cause death. Th eir coats are short, smooth shin- ing black and white, brindle and white or black, brindle and white. Th e classic white markings should be a white muzzle band, an even white blaze between the eyes (which may go over the head to the collar). Th e forechest should be white and there may be white on part or the whole of the forelegs. Hind legs may have white below the hock. Th e white minimally should appear on the front feet, chest, muzzle and a blaze between their eyes. Th e full white col- lar around the neck, white forelegs, white chest and wide white blaze between the eyes connecting to the muzzle are desirable and very flashy. Too much white or other colors are not truly what keeps the breed looking sporty giving it that classic tuxedo appear- ance that is desired by the breed standard. Structure is defined as a dog’s skeletal frame work that supports the muscles and vital organs. Structure comes from what DNA dictates through breeding choices. Anytime a dog is bred for such devia- tions as a wide, short muzzle, short back and square head there will be potential for structural deviations that are not sound for the dog. Structure will play a big role in how your dog performs in the ring and how long it can live. Structure will a ff ect how much energy and ability your dog will need to expend to navigate through any event in life. A Boston Terrier should not have structural defects that compromise its zest for living. Spines should be strong, patella’s sound and necks should long enough to be flexible. Jaws should be able

Created by breeding Bulldogs and the now extinct White English Terriers, and with some inbreeding that followed, the breed originated in the 1870s. Hooper’s Judge (owned by Mr. Robert C. Hooper) was the first known ancestor of the pres- ent day Boston Terrier. Th rough the breed’s forefathers tenacity, the Boston Terrier Club of America was created in 1891. Th e Boston Terrier became known as a specific breed in 1891 and received AKC status in 1893. Th is breed is the best dressed breed sporting its sleek tuxedo coat for every occasion. Boston Terriers are round-eyed, lively and highly intelligent dogs. Th ey are loving, interactive, attention-seeking fam- ily members that should reside inside the house. Th ey are NOT outdoor dogs with passive personalities. Th is breed comes with a sense of humor that will fill life with laughter and love. Boston Terriers have large, fun and opinionated personalities. Th ey are extremely expressive with their large, dark brown eyes, upright ears, square head and short, wide muzzle. Th ey have their own personal repertoire of snorts, grunts, sighs and assorted noises that they use as a means communication. Th eir compact size (generally 12-25 pounds) and easy maintenance are very attractive traits for busy lifestyles and limited spaces. Weekly nail trims, ear cleaning and routine toothbrushing are basic grooming needs for a Boston Ter- rier. Boston Terriers can have more dental needs due to their jaw shape and regular brushing helps greatly. Bathing is done on an as-needed basis only. Boston Terriers should not smell fowl nor appear dingy.

to close while being su ffi ciently undershot to not allow the tongue to protrude. Good balanced structure along with good conditioning, will give the dog a more comfortable and longer life. Exercise needs are minimal for Boston Terriers. Th ey benefit greatly from a good daily walk, weather permitting. Playing fetch indoors works well on the days they can’t spend much time outdoors. Th ey love a fenced yard to play in if it is avail- able. Th is can be enough exercise to keep muscles well-toned. Because they are easy to keep, the sport of sofa surfing and couch potato coaching suits them quite well. Th ey do need some activity to keep them healthy mentally and physically. Obesity will bring on other health problems and should be avoided. Th ey thrive on being engaged with interactive activities and will be just as happy playing, walking, doing tricks or any activity involving you as a partner. Feeding them copious amounts of treats, left-overs, and inappropriate foods is sentencing them to an early, avoidable death. A sporty, physi- cally fit physique looks much better in a tux- edo than a flabby, fat one! 4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& / 07&.#&3 t

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