If you want a small dog weighing between 10 and 25 lbs., you can start by looking at the Boston Terrier. An "all American dog," the Boston Terrier breed had its beginnings in the stables of Boston, Massachusetts as a pit-fighting dog. Breeders imported a dog named Hooper's Judge to breed the pit-fighting traits out of the lineage. Judge, the ancestor of the modern Boston Terrier, sired many puppies that were strategically cross bred. The pit-fighting Boston Bulldogge transformed into a stylish, dapper looking and well-mannered Boston Terrier suitable for Boston society nicknamed "The American Gentleman."
People use many adjectives to describe their Boston Terrier dogs, such as clownish, dapper, charming and dignified. This breed, also known as the Boston bull has a short, muscular body and a head that looks square. Some breeds in the bulldog family have a large head disproportionate to the body. This is not true for the Boston Terrier. The eyes are large and wide set. The dog's coat is short, smooth and fine. According to AKC standards the dog's color can be seal, brindle or black with white markings.
The Boston Terrier is gentle, smart, and can be well-mannered. If the dog becomes bored and lacks exercise, he can become boisterous, anxious and irritable. Tone of voice is important to him. Since this breed likes to learn, the dog is not difficult to train. The Boston Terrier needs his owner to be a pack leader. As far as being sociable to humans, he is reliable with children, exceptionally good with the elderly and friendly to strangers. The Boston Terrier likes nothing more than to be part of a family. Play with the dog and let him chase a tennis ball and he will truly be in dog heaven.
The Boston Terrier gets juvenile cataracts and other eye problems. Because this breed's eyes are prominent, the eyes are injury prone. Deafness, heart problems and skin tumors are among the other diseases that can bother this breed. Breathing difficulties could arise when exerted in hot or cold weather. This is not a working breed, so he can overheat if pushed too hard. Less serious issues include snoring and drooling. Females usually give birth by cesarean section because the pelvis tends to be narrow, and the puppies' heads are large. This dog has a life expectancy of 15 years.
Brush the short-haired coat with a firm brush. Since the dog is prone to skin issues, bathe only when necessary. You should, however, get into the habit of wiping the face with a damp cloth after every meal, being especially gentle with the dog's eyes. Check the ears for ticks frequently, and look for grass seeds in the ears and eyes. You should clip the dog's nails occasionally. This breed is not a heavy shedder and never has a terrible dog odor.
Originating in the city of Boston, Massachusetts, this is one of the very few breeds developed in the United States. The original breed was a cross between the English Bulldog and English White Terrier, which is now extinct. The breed began as the Olde Boston Bulldogge, a tough pit-fighting dog weighing about 44 lbs. Bred down in size over the years, the final product was a cross with the French Bulldog which provided the foundation of the Boston Terrier. Terrier only in name, the Boston Terrier has mellowed from the pit-fighting dogs of the past.
Because breathing is already an issue for the dog, refrain from smoking around this breed. Chemical cleaning products can also cause a reaction. Lead him away from freshly-cut grass and pollen.
The Boston Terrier is a short-faced breed so oftentimes, veterinarians are not careful enough when administering anesthesia to these dogs. Be sure that your vet uses only the most modern anesthetics (such as isoflurane).
Keep the dog in an air-conditioned environment since this breed can easily have heatstroke. The short faces are problematic because the dog can't pant strongly enough to lower body heat.
Do not use a regular collar because it applies too much pressure on the dog's windpipe. Instead, use a Y-shaped harness that wraps around his chest, not his throat.