When choosing a breed, think about how the dog vocalizes — with barks or howls — and how often. If you're considering a hound, would you find their trademark howls musical or maddening? If you're considering a watchdog, will a city full of suspicious "strangers" put him on permanent alert? Will the local wildlife literally drive your dog wild?
Do you live in housing with noise restrictions? Do you have neighbors nearby?
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Some breeds are more free-spirited than others. Nordic dogs such as Siberian Huskies were bred to range long distances, and given the chance, they'll take off after anything that catches their interest.
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And many hounds simply must follow their noses, or that bunny that just ran across the path, even if it means leaving you behind. High-energy dogs are always ready and waiting for action. Originally bred to perform a canine job of some sort, such as retrieving game for hunters or herding livestock, they have the stamina to put in a full workday. They need a significant amount of exercise and mental stimulation, and they're more likely to spend time jumping, playing, and investigating any new sights and smells.
Low-energy dogs are the canine equivalent of a couch potato, content to doze the day away. When picking a breed, consider your own activity level and lifestyle, and think about whether you'll find a frisky, energetic dog invigorating or annoying. A vigorous dog may or may not be high-energy, but everything he does, he does with vigor: he strains on the leash until you train him not to , tries to plow through obstacles, and even eats and drinks with great big gulps.
These dynamos need lots of training to learn good manners, and may not be the best fit for a home with young kids or someone who's elderly or frail. A low-vigor dog, on the other hand, has a more subdued approach to life. Some breeds do fine with a slow evening stroll around the block. Others need daily, vigorous exercise -- especially those that were originally bred for physically demanding jobs, such as herding or hunting.
Meaning of "Boston terrier" in the English dictionary
Without enough exercise, these breeds may put on weight and vent their pent-up energy in ways you don't like, such as barking, chewing, and digging. Breeds that need a lot of exercise are good for outdoorsy, active people, or those interested in training their dog to compete in a high-energy dog sport, such as agility.
Some dogs are perpetual puppies -- always begging for a game -- while others are more serious and sedate. Although a playful pup sounds endearing, consider how many games of fetch or tag you want to play each day, and whether you have kids or other dogs who can stand in as playmates for the dog. The Boston Terrier may have been bred to be a ferocious pit-fighter, but you'd never know it today.
The little American Gentleman, as he was called in the 19th century, is definitely a lover, not a fighter, although males have been known to show their terrier ancestry with a bit of posturing when they feel their territory is being invaded by another dog. Boston Terriers are known for being very intelligent — sometimes too much so. Their lively, affectionate nature makes them extremely loveable, though their sometimes stubborn nature or spurts of hyperactivity can land them in hot water with their owners.
Any angst about their behavior, however, soon melts when they look up at you with those huge, round eyes that seem to say "I love you. Although Boston Terriers are small, they're sturdy and muscular. They have a sleek, shiny, straight coat with crisp white markings in a pattern that resembles a tuxedo — part of the reason they gained the name American Gentleman.
Boston Terriers' distinctive ears naturally stand erect and are quite large. And then there's those big, beautiful eyes that are set quite apart to add to their outstanding good looks. Boston Terriers have a broad, flat-nosed face without wrinkles. They belong to a class of dogs called brachycephalic brachy meaning short, and cephalic meaning head. Like other brachycephalic dogs, the lower jaw is in proportion to the body, but they have a short upper jaw to give them a "pushed in" face.
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Boston Terriers' carriage give them a presence that goes beyond their size. They have a slightly arched, proud neckline, a broad chest, and a sturdy, boxy appearance. Their tail is naturally short docking is forbidden and set low on the rump. The Boston Terrier's small size and lively, affectionate nature make him a great family pet and companion.
They love children and amuse people of all ages with their antics and unique, appealing expression. They are especially good companions for older people and apartment dwellers. Although gentle and even-tempered, they can have the spunky attitude of their terrier ancestors. Although everyone agrees that the Boston Terrier came into existence in the late s in Boston, Massachusetts, there are varying stories about how the breed came to be. One story has it that coachmen of wealthy families developed the breed by crossing Bulldogs and the now extinct English White Terrier to create a new dog-fighting breed.
Another account is that a Bostonian named Robert C. While we may never know which story is true, the fact is that there was, indeed, a dog named Judge, and that from him, came the breed we know today as the Boston Terrier. According to The Complete Dog Book , Judge was "a well-built, high-stationed dog" weighing about 32 pounds.
He was a dark brindle color with a white blaze on his face and a square, blocky head. Amazingly, Judge was bred only once.
From a union with a pound white dog named Burnett's Gyp or Kate who belonged to Edward Burnett, of Southboro, Massachusetts, came one puppy, a male named Well's Eph. By all accounts, Judge and Kate's offspring wasn't an attractive dog, but he had other characteristics that Hooper and his friends admired, so he was widely bred. One of his matings was to a female named Tobin's Kate, who weighed only 20 pounds and had a fairly short head. She was a golden brindle color and had a straight three-quarter tail. It's thought that their offspring was bred with one or more French Bulldogs to form the foundation for the Boston Terrier we know today.
But they weren't called Boston Terriers in the beginning. The multitude of Eph's offspring were called by various names, including bullet heads, round-headed bull-and-terriers, American terriers, and Boston bulldogs. Bull Terrier and Bulldog fanciers objected to the name. Since the Bulldog contingency had a lot of power with the American Kennel Club AKC at that time, the Boston Bull Terrier fanciers decided that discretion was the better part of valor and changed the name of their club to the Boston Terrier Club, in tribute to the birthplace of the breed.
People started referring to the breed as Boston Bulls. The breed was recognized by the AKC in In the early days, the breed's color and markings weren't considered to be very important. Additionally, although the dogs being bred met the standard outlined by the club, there was a lot of inconsistency within the breed. After years of careful inbreeding to set the type, the Boston Terrier as we know it today was developed.
In the s, the breed's distinctive markings and color were painstakingly written into the standard, making them an essential feature of the breed. Boston Terriers quickly became popular in the U. In , Boston Terriers were the most popular breed in the U.
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In , there were an amazing 60 Bostons entered in a single all-breed show. Hollywood actors and actresses adored their Boston Terriers. Silent film star Pola Negri, Rudolph Valentino's lover, reportedly took her Boston Terrier, Patsy, with her everywhere, including restaurants and nightclubs. When one of the restaurants refused to let her enter with her beloved dog, she stormed out, shouting "No Patsy, no Pola. Goodbye forever!
In , the Boston Terrier was chosen as the bicentennial dog of the U. Three years later, he was named the official state dog of Massachusetts.
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Rhett the Boston Terrier is the mascot of Boston University. The Boston Terrier comes in three weight classes: under 15 pounds, 15 to 19 pounds, and 20 to 25 pounds. They typically stand 12 to 17 inches tall at the shoulder. No matter what they weigh, they should look sturdy, never skinny or spindly. Known as the American Gentleman, the Boston Terrier is lively, smart, and affectionate with a gentle, even temperament.
They can, however, be stubborn, so persistence and consistency are definite musts when training.
Like every dog, the Boston Terrier needs early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences — when they're young. Socialization helps ensure that your Boston puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog. Boston Terriers are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they're prone to certain health conditions. Not all Boston Terriers will get any or all of these diseases, but it's important to be aware of them if you're considering this breed.
If you're buying a puppy, find a good breeder who will show you health clearances for both your puppy's parents. Health clearances prove that a dog has been tested for and cleared of a particular condition. In Boston Terriers, you should expect to see health clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals OFA for hip dysplasia with a score of fair or better , elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and von Willebrand's disease; from Auburn University for thrombopathia; and from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation CERF certifying that eyes are normal. You can confirm health clearances by checking the OFA website offa.
The Boston Terrier is a lively dog, but he doesn't have excessive exercise requirements. He's relatively inactive indoors and well suited for apartment dwellers or those who don't have a yard. He enjoys taking a walk with you and playing in a yard, but is definitely an indoor dog and should never be housed outside. Always keep in mind that Boston Terriers can't handle the heat or cold very well. Bostons are sensitive to your tone of voice, and punishment can make them shut down, so training should be low-key and motivational. Use positive techniques such as food rewards , praise, and play.
Recommended daily amount: 0. NOTE: How much your adult dog eats depends on his size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level. Dogs are individuals, just like people, and they don't all need the same amount of food.
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It almost goes without saying that a highly active dog will need more than a couch potato dog. The quality of dog food you buy also makes a difference — the better the dog food, the further it will go toward nourishing your dog and the less of it you'll need to shake into your dog's bowl. Boston Terriers can be gluttonous about their food, so monitor their condition and make sure they don't become overweight.