The Boston Terrier is an Intelligent and Playful Dog
The Boston Terrier, also known as the "American Gentleman," is a gentle, observant and clever dog that can become nervous and a bit rowdy if he isn't given an adequate amount of physical and mental stimulation. As one of the easiest breeds to train, they are very much people dogs and make good medium-sized pets for children and senior citizens. They also exhibit little shyness around unfamiliar people and really do enjoy socializing.
This dog happily participates in a game of tug of war or ball toss, is extremely affectionate and adores his family. However, these dogs do need to be shown early in life who is the boss and how they should behave. Otherwise, they tend to adopt the alpha male attitude around other dogs and humans, and may exhibit slightly aggressive behavior as a result of not being properly trained.
Originating around 1870 in Boston, Massachusetts, this breed's lineage is not known, but experts think he may be the result of an English Bulldog crossbred with a White English Terrier. By the 1890's the Boston Terrier was so popular that enthusiasts created the American Bull Terrier Club. In 1894, the dog was the first genuine U.S. non-sporting breed granted membership to the American Kennel Club.
By the end of the 1910's, this breed was the most popular in the U.S and, for the most part, remained at number one or close to it until the 1960's, when its popularity began to decrease.
The Boston Terrier is a compact, well-built and elegant looking dog with a squarish face and a mouth that when open appears to be giving everyone a radiant smile. They have short tails, erect ears, and a wrinkle-free short muzzle. The dog's coat is smooth and can be seal, brindle or black with distinct white spots of various shapes and sizes. Breed standards say that a Boston Terrier should weigh at least ten pounds, but no more than 25 pounds, and be around 15 to 17 inches tall.
A full-blooded dog should be white over the chest and muzzle area with a white band around his neck and one half-way up on his rear legs. Some may have a bit of white between the eyes. Because of this breed's unusually placed markings, the breed earned the nickname "American Gentleman" back in the days when men commonly wore suits.
Due to having prominent eyes, which slightly bulge, the breed is prone to experiencing issues with the eyes, such as cataracts, glaucoma, corneal ulcers, "cherry eye", corneal dystrophy and dry eyes. Owners need to be careful with this breed's eyes because they can easily be injured due to their overly-exposed position. Veterinarians will tell you that many Boston Terriers are brought to an animal hospital because something has bumped or entered the dog's eyes, causing irritation, bruising or even displacement of the eye.
Other health problems include:
• heart tumors
• skin tumors
• breathing difficulties (because of their short faces)
• prone to heat exhaustion
This breed may also drool, snore and suffer from allergies because of having a short muzzle. This condition, known as being "brachycephalic,” is seen in boxers and pugs as well, and indicates an animal with elongated palates and airways that are not long enough to accommodate the respiratory system adequately.
Females may experience problems when whelping because the pelvis is not wide enough to allow the rather large-headed puppies to be easily delivered. Often, females are given cesarean sections in order to facilitate the birthing process. On average, a female will give birth to two to five puppies.
A Boston Terrier can live to be 15 years old or more and does well in any type of home, whether it is an apartment or a country estate. Like all dogs, they need exercise, regular check-ups with the vet, and plenty of love from family members.