Boston Terriers have been popular since their creation a little more than a century ago. They were originally bred to be fighting dogs, but today, they’re gentle, affectionate companions with tuxedo-like markings that earned them the nickname “American Gentleman.”
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.
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.