Showsight Presents The Boston Terrier

WITH COLLEEN BROSSARD, MARCIE DOBKIN AND MICHAEL & BEVERLY STALEY boston terrier Q&A

and judges, we put a lot of emphasis on a correct topline. On profile while moving the topline should remain level.

M&BS: Yes, the Boston Terrier is definitely a head breed as there are 35 points allotted to the head in the standard which is over a third of the total points. Although the Boston Terrier is a head breed, we shouldn’t accept poor structure for a good head. 7. Describe the proper/ideal expression for a Bos- ton. How important are eyes, wrinkles, and facial markings in influencing expression? CB: The eyes are what, in my opinion, give the ideal expres- sion. The eyes have to be large and round; which we lost for a while, but more and more through the hard work of breeders of today--they are coming back. MD: The expression should be intelligent, soft and sweet with a twinkle of mischief. Round, dark eyes, (without bulging and white showing or lateral gaze ) are what gives the Boston his distinct way to melt our hearts! A square, full muzzle adds to the softness and balance. Ideal markings are just that, but correct expression can also be achieved with minimal required markings. M&BS: Expression is a most important characteristic of the breed. The Boston expression is alert and kindly, indicat- ing a high degree of intelligence. This expression comes not only from the Boston’s large, round, dark eyes and proper ear set, but also from an inner attitude that let’s you know how special a dog he thinks that he is. The skull is square, flat on top, and free from wrinkles with a well-defined stop, but slight wrinkling can occur in front of the ears when the Boston is excited or animating, or from lifting of the ears as well. This wrinkling in front of the ears should not be penalized. 8. Are there any traits in this breed you fear are becoming exaggerated? CB: In the past ten years, we have seen so many improve- ments in the Boston breed; that is why they are catching the eyes of many Judges today. MD: Although no traits seem exaggerated in today’s ring, I am disturbed, right now, seeing Bostons that are too small and “toyish” with the coordinating round heads,

5. What effect does ear cropping have on head style vs. natural ears in Bostons? Should there be a pref- erence for either cropped or natural ears? CB: I love the cropped ears. Yet today more Bostons have smaller ears and I feel that there are really only a few vet- erinarians who trim the Bostons correctly. The small ears or bat ears are very hard to trim. Therefore, today many Bostons look fine either way. The Boston with larger or longer ears really clean up the Boston and give they look of dignity when trimmed. MD: I love cropped ears! The cropped ear adds a clas- sic, “finished” look of elegance to the headpiece. Small upright ears on the back corners of the skull are equally as lovely, but very difficult to find. Cropped ears are becoming much less common in the ring, but breeders don’t seem to put emphasis for the correct ears, thus big, incorrectly set ears are common and detract from proper intelligent and sweet expressions. I’m not sure why cropping has faded in practice, maybe difficulty in finding a skilled vet, cost, influence of the AR move- ment or owners afraid it will be painful to their beloved animals are factors. M&BS: As judges we feel that whether the ear is cropped or uncropped what is important is the correct placement of the ears on the skull and that the ears should be erect and in correct balance with the head. There should be no preference between cropped and natural ears. 6. Is the Boston a head breed? CB: Yes, in my opinion, it is a head breed; but yet again bal- anced with the rest. Without a proper head it would be too Terrier. That is where the shorter nose and the width are most important. I look for what we call the square look of the head from all angles! MD: The Boston is a head breed! As companion dogs, this is the part we look at the most and seek in a dog whose only job is to make us happy.

“THE BOSTON EXPRESSION IS ALERT AND KINDLY, INDICATING A HIGH DEGREE OF INTELLIGENCE.”

150 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , J ANUARY 2017

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