BOSTON TERRIER ROOTS by LISA BRAUNSTEIN-LAMERE
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).
“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.”
S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , F EBRUARY 2015 • 241
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