OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE BOSTON TERRIER
General Appearance - The Boston Terrier is a lively, highly intelligent,
smooth coated, short-headed, compactly built, short-tailed, well balanced
dog, brindle, seal or black in color and evenly marked with white. The head
is in proportion to the size of the dog and the expression indicates a high
degree of intelligence.
The body is rather short and well knit, the limbs strong and neatly turned,
the tail is short and no feature is so prominent that the dog appears badly
proportioned. The dog conveys an impression of determination, strength and
activity, with style of high order; carriage easy and graceful. A
proportionate combination of "Color and White Markings" is a particularly
distinctive feature of a representative specimen.
"Balance, Expression, Color and White Markings" should be given particular
consideration in determining the relative value of GENERAL APPEARANCE to
Size, Proportion, Substance - Weight is divided by classes as follows: Under
15 pounds; 15 pounds and under 20 pounds; 20 pounds and not to exceed 25
The length of leg must balance with the length of body to give the Boston
Terrier its striking square appearance. The Boston Terrier is a sturdy dog
and must not appear to be either spindly or coarse. The bone and muscle must
be in proportion as well as an enhancement to the dog's weight and structure.
Fault: Blocky or chunky in appearance.
Influence of Sex: In a comparison of specimens of each sex, the only evident
difference is a slight refinement in the bitch's conformation.
Head: - The skull is short, flat on top, free from wrinkles, cheeks flat,
brow abrupt and the stop well defined. The ideal Boston Terrier expression
is alert and kind, indicating a high degree of intelligence. This is a most
important characteristic of the breed. The eyes are wide apart, large and
round and dark in color. The eyes are set square in the skull and the
outside corners are on a line with the cheeks as viewed from the front.
Disqualify: Eyes blue in color or any trace of blue. The ears are small,
carried erect, either natural or cropped to conform to the shape of the head
and situated as near to the corners of the skull as possible.
The muzzle is short, square, wide and deep and in proportion to the skull.
It is free from wrinkles, shorter in length than in width or depth; not
exceeding in length approximately one-third of the length of the skull. The
muzzle from the stop to end of the nose is parallel to the top of the skull.
The nose is black and wide, with a well defined line between the nostrils.
Disqualify: Dudley nose.
The jaw is broad and square with short regular teeth. The bite is even or
sufficiently undershot to square the muzzle. The chops are of good depth,
but not pendulous, completely covering the teeth when the mouth is closed.
Serious Fault: Wry mouth.
Head Faults: Eyes showing too much white or haw. Pinched or wide nostrils.
size of ears out of proportion to the size of the head. Serious Head Faults:
Any showing of the tongue or teeth when the mouth is closed.
Neck, Topline and Body - The length of neck must display an image of balance
to the total dog. It is slightly arched, carring the head gracefully and
setting neatly into the shoulders.
The back is just short enough to square the body. The topline is level and
the rump curves to the set-on of the tail. The chest is deep with good width,
ribs well sprung and carried well to the loins. The body should appear short.
The tail is set on low, short, fine and tapering, straight or screw and must
not be carried above the horizontal. (Note: The preferred tail does not
exceed in length more than one-quarter the distance from setting on to hock.)
Disqualify: Docked tail. Body Faults: Gaily carried tail. Serious Body
Faults: Roach back, sway back, slab-sided.
Forequarters - The shoulders are sloping and well laid back, which allows
for the Boston Terrier's stylish movement. The elbows stand neither in nor
out. The forelegs are set moderately wide apart and on a line with the upper
tip of the shoulder blades. The forelegs are straight in bone with short,
strong pasterns. The dewclaws may be removed.
The feet are small, round and compact, turned neither in nor out, with well
arched toes and short nails. Faults: Legs lacking in substance; splay feet.
Hindquarters - The thighs are strong and well muscled, bent at the stifles
and set true. The hocks are short to the feet, turning neither in nor out,
with a well defined hock joint. The feet are small and compact with short
nails. Faults: Straight in stifle.
Gait - The gait of the Boston Terrier is that of a sure footed, straight
gaited dog, forelegs and hind legs moving straight ahead in line with
perfect rhythm, each step indicating grace and power. Gait Faults: There
will be no rolling, paddling, or weaving, when gaited. Hackney gait. Serious
Gait Faults: Any crossing movement, either front or rear.
Coat - The coat is short, smooth, bright and fine in texture.
Color and Markings - Brindle, seal, or black with white markings. Brindle is
prefered ONLY if all other qualities are equal. (Note: SEAL DEFINED. Seal
appears black except it has a red cast when viewed in sun or bright light.)
Disqualify: Solid black, solid brindle or solid seal without required white
markings. Gray or liver colors.
Required markings: White muzzle band, white blaze between eyes, white
forechest. Desired markings: White muzzle band, even white blaze between the
eyes and over the head, white collar, white forechest, white on part or
whole of foreleg and hind legs below the hock. (Note: A representative
specimen should not be penalized for not possessing "Desired Markings".) A
dog with a preponderance of white on the head or body must posess suffivient
merit otherwise to counteract its deficiencies.
Temperament - The Boston Terrier is a friendly and lively dog. The breed has
an excellent disposition and a high degree of intelligence, which makes the
Boston Terrier and incomparable companion.
Summary: The clean-cut, short backed body of the Boston Terrier coupled with
the unique characteristics of his square head and jaw, and his striking
markings have resulted in a most dapper and charming American original: THE
Scale of Points
Head (Muzzle, Jaw, Bite, Skull & Stop)
Neck, Topline, Body & Tail
Color, Coat & Markings
Eyes blue in color or any trace of blue.
Solid black, solid brindle, or solid seal without required white markings.
Gray or liver colors.