Boston Terrier: The Standard and Does it Matter?

To compete with your Boston Terrier you will need to understand the requirements and procedures used for judging. The American Kennel Club releases breed standards for each breed of dog and the Boston Terriers specifications can be found here. You can also check more specialized clubs for the information about required standards for your Boston Terrier. The American Kennel club is currently revising these standards.

If you want your Boston Terrier to take part in dog shows then you will need to understand the standards and how they relate to your dog.

If you already own or are thinking about owning a Boston Terrier and would like to compete (or show off your dog) here’s a guide to understanding breed specifications.

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It’s important to note that these are descriptions of ideal Boston Terriers.

Competition ranking systems: Dogs are judged out of a total 100 score.

When judging Boston Terriers this score comprises the following elements:

– General Appearance
– Size, Proportion, Substance
– Head – skull shape, characteristics of eyes, ears, muzzle, jaw shape.
– Neck, Topline and Body
– Forequarters
– Gait
– Coat
– Temperament
– Faults in the breed: can lead to instant disqualification

General Appearance

Boston Terriers are intelligent dogs. General appearance needs to be well-balanced; this means all limbs are in proportion. Boston Terriers have a smooth coat which is generally brindle, seal or black. The dog must have even white markings.
The body is short and the limbs are strong. The tail is short.

Size, Proportion, Substance

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This refers to your dog’s weight. There are several official weight categories but the dog’s weight cannot exceed 25 pounds.

The Boston Terriers legs should be proportioned to give it its characteristic square appearance. The dog looks sturdy and muscular.

In general the only difference between the male and female is that the bitch generally has more refined features.

Head

The skull is short and flat on top. There should be no wrinkles.

The cheeks are flat and the stop is well defined. Boston Terriers should have an alert _expression; reflecting their high intelligence. The eyes should be wide set and large. Boston Terriers with blue eyes – or any hint of blue in their eyes will be disqualified immediately. The ears should be small and stand upright.

The jaw is square and wide with short teeth. The bite is even.

Neck, Towline and Body

The neck should be slightly arched and carry the head gracefully. The neck of the ideal Boston terrier should display an image of balance.

Topline refers to the shape of the dogs back. The back should be shaped in such a way that it completes the square shape of the body.

The chest should be deep with a good width, ribs etc.

Forequarters

The shoulders should be laid back and should slope. IT is this shape which gives Boston Terriers their stylish movement.

The elbows should be straight and not protrude in any way. The dewclaws may be removed.
Gait

This refers to the way in which your dog carries himself. The ideal Boston Terrier is sure-footed and straight gaited. The forelegs and hind legs should move in a straight line with perfect rhythm. Each step should be that of grace and power.

Coat

The coat should be short, smooth and fine in texture. Color must be brindle, seal or black with bright markings. The Boston Terrier must have a white muzzle band, white between the eyes and a white chest.

Temperament

The ideal Boston Terrier is friendly and lively. The dog is known for its high intelligence.
Faults in the breed (grounds for disqualification)

Any traces of blue or blue eyes – eyes must be dark

Dudley nose – This means a loss of pigmentation in the nose and it is pink or flesh colored, however when Boston’s are first born and up to 6 months their nose will be pink. It will change to the color black so don’t let this hinder you from buying a Boston with a pink nose.

Docked tail – This refers to the practice of cutting tails.

It is an outdated practice and your dog will be disqualified.

Lack of required markings

Other serious faults

Wry mouth – one side of the mouth is longer than the other.

Any showing of the tongue/teeth when the mouth is closed

Other faults

Blocky or chunky appearance

Overshot bite/undershot bite – much like human ‘faults’ this just means an over or under bite.

The Boston Terriers make a great family pet. They are highly intelligent, loyal, great with children and very easy going. They are not considered fighters but definitely can hold their own. If you don’t plan to show your Boston then these qualifications don’t mean a thing. Boston Terriers are the perfect all around companion just the way they are.

Thank you for taking the time to read our article.
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