American Bully Association

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Boston Terrier

The Boston Terrier breed was started by Robert Hooper from Boston Massachusetts in 1870 when he acquired a dog of Bull and Terrier lineage. At this time in history both ancestral breeds were common in various forms but lacked breed recognition due to the undeveloped Registration industry at the time.


One of the common terriers that was regularly accepted as a breed at the time was one known as the White's Terrier, which is now extinct. This terrier is a common ancestor also in the foundation of the American Pit Bull Terrier breed.


The White's Terrier was often bred with larger rangier bull types to bring their size down for the initial purpose of ratting. Ratting was a gambling sport that often took place in holes or Pits dug in the center of pubs where a certain number of rats were released and then a dog released in the Pit for a certain period of time. At the end of the allotted time the number of rats killed was added up and the dog with the most kills was the winner. This sport was perpetuated due in part to Bull baiting being made illegal. Because space was limited in most pubs the Bully breeds needed to be bred down in size for this new sporting and gambling activity. Adding terrier to the mix was a natural conclusion as terriers were known for their natural inclination for small game hunting. This is where the American Pit Bull Terrier got the name Pit added to its name. Many people who are uneducated or mis-educated on the Pit Bull make the mistake that the breed got its name first from fighting other dogs.


The Boston Terrier was developed in much the same way as the American Pit Bull Terirer but instead of White Terrier and large Bully breeds being used it was the White Terrier and smaller bully breeds such as the English Bulldog and French Bulldog that were used to make up this newly forming breed.


Where the Pit Bull was bred for a working purpose the Boston Terrier was bred for show purposes and was first shown in 1870. Originally known as the Olde Boston Bulldogge and the American Bull Terrier in 1893 it was officially changed to the Boston Terrier at the suggestion of James Watson.


While the original Boston Terrier weighed in around 40lbs through the years it has been down bred where today the maximum weight usually does not exceed 25lbs.


Visually the Boston Terrier should appear short, compact and well balanced.




Cropped or uncropped acceptable but should be carried erect.









Should close square. No tongue or teeth showing when mouth is closed.



May be straight or screw. In some cases may be docked but not preferred.





Expected Markings

It is expected that specimens should have a white muzzle band and blaze between the eyes. White forechest.


Desired Markings

White collar. White on forelegs and hind legs below the hocks.



Black, brindle or seal