Boasting a variety of nicknames, including the 'American Gentleman,' the 'Round Head,' and the 'Boston Bull,' the popularly-known Boston Terrier is believed to have descended from the original English Bulldog - frequenter of the fighting pit - and the English White Terrier - a breed that is now extinct. Notably one of the only breeds developed in the United States, the Boston Terrier originates from Boston, Massachusetts and was primarily bred as a fighting dog, although the modern Boston Terrier has grown in popularity as a friendly and affectionate family pet.
Despite its small size, the Boston Terrier is classified under the non-sporting 'utility' branch of canines, alongside the Bulldog, Poodle and Dalmatian. The breed is easily identified for its small form, high-set ears, well-defined black and white colouring, short, wide muzzle and straight, muscular legs. Common in colours of white, seal, black and brindle. The ideal companion dog for a modern family or dedicated sole owner, the Boston Terrier possesses an easy, amiable temperament, is obedient to instruction and enthusiastic in exercise and play.
Highly compatible with children and other pets, the Boston Terrier is portable enough to be taken anywhere. With a cool, calm and collected temperament, the breed is well suited to relaxed family life. Weighing an average of 4.5-11.3 kg with discrepancies across gender, the breed has a life expectancy of 10-15 years, although it is not uncommon for a Boston Terrier to outlive this.
Due to its flat-faced appearance, the Boston Terrier is susceptible to various respiratory complaints, including difficulty breathing, snoring and bronchitis. Additionally, the breed is prone to optical disorders such as corneal ulcers, cataracts and glaucoma. A significant number of Boston Terriers suffer with early-onset deafness, either in one ear or both, something which is helpful to recognise early. In general, smaller dog breeds are prone to exhibiting some degree of behavioural problem, so early and consistent obedience training is essential.