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Black Boston Terrier: Facts, Origin & History (With Pictures)

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Black Boston Terrier

Perhaps the most popular color variant of a Boston Terrier, the black Boston Terrier has a rich and interesting history. They’re the first American dog breed, and while they might not look like it today, they were fighting dogs.

But those interesting facts are just scraping the surface of everything you should know about this breed. From their early history to their transition to the lovable lap dog they are today, we’ve highlighted everything you need to know about black Boston Terriers here.

Divider 7The Earliest Records of Black Boston Terriers in History

There’s no shortage of records on the Boston Terrier. They got their start in Boston, which is where they also got their name. Boston Terriers are a cross between the English Bulldog and the English Terrier and were originally fighting dogs with square heads.

But as dog fighting drew down, the square head and larger size no longer had a place, and as the size of the dogs shrunk, their heads rounded out. Originally, breeders wanted to call them the American Bull Terrier but the name never caught on.

How Black Boston Terriers Gained Popularity

The black Boston Terrier started as a cross between the English Bulldog and the English Terrier, and it was a strong fighting dog. But while early black Boston Terriers varied wildly in appearance, as dog fighting fell out of favor, breeders had to reinvent and adapt the Boston Terrier to a new market.

Surprisingly, women were the ones who went for these former dog fighters, and breeders responded by shrinking the dog and favoring a rounded facial appearance instead of the classic square face. These changes made the Boston Terrier a more adorable-looking breed, and since then they’ve stayed a highly sought-after breed for years.

Black Boston Terrier
Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

Formal Recognition of Black Boston Terriers

While the Boston Terrier has a rich history starting around the 1860s, it wasn’t until 1893 that the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the breed. At this point, the AKC began to regulate what to look for in a Boston Terrier, and it was at this point that the breed started to become more standard.

This included a smaller size, a rounded face, and standardized color markings. The AKC has always recognized the black coat as an official color option for the Boston Terrier, but there are mandatory white markings that a Boston Terrier must have.

divider 9Top 5 Unique Facts About Black Boston Terriers

The Boston Terrier is one of the more unique dog breeds out there, and it didn’t take us long to find a bunch of interesting and unique facts about the breed. We’ve highlighted a few of our favorites for you here:

1. They’re Not Actually a Terrier

Despite their name, the AKC recognizes the Boston Terrier as a non-sporting dog. This is because of the Bulldog roots. However, even though it’s not officially a Terrier, it does have English Terrier ancestry.

2. People Also Call Them the “American Gentleman”

Because of their calm and stately demeanor, the Boston Terrier has earned the nickname the “American Gentleman.” Between the appearance and origins of the breed, we certainly think the nickname fits.

3. President Gerald Ford Had Two Boston Terriers

President Gerald Ford served as the 38th president of the United States from 1974 to 1977, and during that time, he had two Boston Terriers in the White House. He named those Boston Terriers Fleck and Spot, and they just might be the two most famous Boston Terriers of all time.

4. Boston Terrier Have Served in the US Military

While you might not think of the Boston Terrier as a service dog, there have been a few that have served with the US military. The most famous is Sgt. Stubby, who served in World War I and even helped capture a German spy!

Black Boston Terrier with empty food bowl
Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

divider 9Does a Black Boston Terrier Make a Good Pet?

Yes! The Boston Terrier makes an excellent pet for a variety of reasons. First, they have a calm demeanor that’s easy to work with, and they get along great with kids and other pets. Moreover, while they have enough energy to run around and play games with, they’re small enough for apartment living and don’t require a ton of space.

There’s a reason so many people want a Boston Terrier as a pet: they’re extremely loyal and loving dogs. Finally, Boston Terriers are extremely intelligent, even if they do have a stubborn streak. With a bit of time and work, there’s not much you can’t teach a Boston Terrier.


Divider 7Conclusion

The black Boston Terrier is a lovable pup with tons of interesting facts. Now that you’ve learned a few of them, you can have a deeper understanding of what makes the dogs what they are today!

They’re uniquely American dogs with a strong British lineage, which matches the history of the country as a whole!

Featured Image Credit: JumpStory

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