The Boston Terrier breed originated around 1870, when
Robert C. Hooper of Boston purchased a dog known as
Hooper's Judge, a cross between an English Bulldog and
an English White Terrier.
Judge weighed over 30 pounds (13.5 kg.).
He was bred down in size with a smaller female and one
of his male pups was bred to yet a smaller female. Their
offspring interbred with one or more French Bulldogs,
providing the foundation for the Boston Terrier. Bred
down in size from pit-fighting dogs of the bull and
terrier types, the Boston Terrier originally weighed
up to 44 pounds (20 kg.) (Olde Boston Bulldogge). Their
weight classifications were once divided into lightweight,
middleweight, and heavyweight.
The breed was first shown in Boston
in 1870. By 1889 the breed had become sufficiently popular
in Boston that fanciers formed the American Bull Terrier
Club, but this proposed name for the breed was not well
received by the Bull Terrier Fanciers. The breed's nickname,
"roundheads", was similarly inappropriate.
Shortly after, the breed was named the Boston Terrier
after its birthplace.
In 1893, the American Kennel Club (AKC)
admitted the Boston Terrier breed and gave the club
membership status, making it the first American breed
to be recognized. It is one of a small number of breeds
to have originated in the United States that the AKC
The Boston Terrier was the first non-sporting
dog bred in America.
In the early years, the color and markings
were not very important, but by the 1900s the breed's
distinctive markings and color were written into the
standard, becoming an essential feature. Terrier only
in name, the Boston Terrier has lost most of its ruthless
desire for mayhem, preferring the company of humans,
although some males will still challenge other dogs
if they feel their territory is being invaded.
Boston Terriers enjoyed particular popularity
during the 1920's in America.