Showsight Presents The Boston Terrier

“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!

“SHORT, FOCUSED TRAINING SESSIONS WORK WELL WITH THIS BREED.”

“Indy” (Photo courtesy of Great Dane Photos)

248 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , F EBRUARY 2015

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