Showsight - November 2021

BOSTONS, BOYKINS, AND BLUETICKS Let’s Give Thanks for the American Breeds


I n 1621, the first Thanksgiving Day meal was served at Plymouth in present-day Massachusetts, and dogs in America have been begging for table scraps ever since. In the nearly four centuries that have followed, US breeders have produced a num- ber of hearty and hungry canine originals by combining established British, Euro- pean, and Asian breeds with local village dogs. Each of the nearly two dozen recognizable breeds developed on these shores has contributed to the growth of the nation in some way. Their prowess as hunter, herder, guardian, and companion is deserving of our eternal grati- tude and continued support. So, as we gather once again with family and friends to count our blessings, let’s remember to give thanks for the American breeds that helped to shape our national identity. It is hardly surprising that the Boston Terrier was one of the first home-grown hybrids recognized by the American Kennel Club. Known originally as the Olde Boston Bulldog- ge, the breed was admitted to membership in 1893. Early representatives were typical of the A version of this article was originally published in the November 2017 issue of SHOWSIGHT.

Bulldog-Terrier crosses, with some individuals weighing upwards of 44 pounds. By the beginning of the 20th century, French Bulldog influence had considerably modified the breed, and color and mark- ings became essential characteristics of the “American Gentleman.” Although recognized in 1936 as the Staffordshire Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier was bestowed its current name in 1969 through a revision to the breed standard. Originally nick- named the “pitdog” and the “half-and-half,” mid-century breeders in the US selected for a heavier dog. Their efforts produced the “Am Staff,” a Yankee original that is distinguished from both its smaller British cousin and the more slightly built American Pit Bull Terrier by its larger size and “proverbial” courageous.

The Boston Terrier is one of the first American breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club.

The Bull-and-Terrier breeds include the outgoing American Staffordshire Terrier.


Powered by