1910-1920 Fawn Boston Terrier
History of Colors in the Boston Terrier
The History of the Native American Boston Breed states that, "The White Terrier and the English Bull Dogs (Who come in many, many colors) were bred together to make the Boston Terrier". Of course the White Terrier was mainly all white and the English Bull Dogs came in various colors. Many of the original Bostons or "Round Heads", as they were first called, where different shades of Brindle. In many of the old pictures I have seen, the first Bostons look very much like Staffordshire Terriers (who also come in many different colors Blue & Chocolate included).
JP Barnard, the Father of the breed, once possessed 13 White Boston Terrier Dogs. There is a painting from the turn of the century by artist Gustav Muss Arnolt. A dog of the Arroyo line. The white body was an acceptable color in the very early days.
Dogs that exhibited white markings or patches were used in the very early development of the breed. Over 100 years later you can see an occasional Boston with too much white; this comes from these early ancestors. The BTCA standard accepts Black, Brindle and Seal (black with some brown hairs visible in sunlight) only. The BTCA decided that the colors red, chocolate, liver, brown, fawn, blue or white are not acceptable colors in the Boston Terrier standard. (That was a choice made by people who only preferred Black/ White, Seal and Brindle Colors. The "other" colors were there too in the foundation lines of the Boston Terrier.) Brindle was made the only acceptable color in the late 1800's and it wasnt untill the late 1930s that Black/White was accepted and even later True Seal.
The establishment of type was the most difficult task for early breeders. It was the French Bulldog that was of great help in establishing the desired type. Since the French Bulldog was the result of inbreeding some English Bulldogs belonging to the lace makers of Nottingham, this genealogy made the French Bulldog the perfect choice to assist in the improvement of the Boston Terrier breed. Occasionally you will still see a Boston Terrier that is a throw back to the French Bulldog crosses that were done by the early breeders. It is amazing that out of all of these early breedings, varying so greatly in size and color, the forefathers of our breed were able to produce as much uniformity as they did. This is not to say that these dogs were anywhere near the quality of today's Boston Terriers. They had much improvement ahead in establishing type in body, head, color, markings, and size." (Parts Taken from the History of the breed on the BTCA Site.) Frenchies have a Rainbow of colors in their breed.
Here is another interesting bit of color information about some of the original dogs bred to form the Boston breed.
Taken from Molosserworld of Boston Terriers.
Many breeders in the early-to recent stages of the Boston breed, would "cull out" (Kill) puppies of any color other than Black/White, Brindle/White and Seal/White (black with a reddish cast in the sun). It hasn't been until recent years that some breeders have decided not to cull these beautiful puppies, just because of color. They are bred to standards in every other way, except the 3 acceptable "Show Colors".
The Color controversy is no stranger to the" World of Dogs" especially the "Show Dog World". Other breeds experience this too, such as Collies, Dobermans, Labradors, Rat Terriers, Newfoundlands, Chows, Dachshunds, and Bostons just to name a few, and that is just the tip of the ice burg of color controversy in dog breeds. I know of this issue in the "Horse and Cat Show Worlds too".
A breeding program should be to breed for the betterment of the breed! HEALTH and BREED STANDARDS should be first and foremost! Color should be the icing on the cake.
Breeders that have the "Other Colors" should educate new puppy owners on the color and any problems linked to it.
Dilute colors such as Blue, Pearl, Champagne, etc., CAN have a lower hair count. There is a condition called Alopecia, that can cause hair thinning and loss. Breeding for a higher hair count, is a must in a dilute color program.
There are breeders now, working very hard to have these "other"colors added to the Boston Color Codes on AKC registrations. Breeders, who produce these "other" colors, must register their puppies under the acceptable color codes, when that is not the true color they really are.
AKC does let the "Other Colors" compete in AKC events except "Conformation", and has begun to register some with their true colors (due to some really hard work by vigilant breeders). There is a now Colored Boston Club, called the All Colored Boston Terrier Club or the ACBTC. It is an International Club, and has been participating in Shows, Events, and Education for over 2 1/2 years now. Great Progress has been made, especially with Colored Boston Terriers being able to be shown Conformation in the United Canine Association.
Please see the current Colored Boston Terrier Breed Standard that is on their site. http://ucadogs.com/Breed_Info_Colored_Boston_Terrier.htm
Here the original breed standard from 1891 and the second revised standard from 1910 from Edward Axtell's Book:
By Edward Axtell
The present AKC Boston terrier standard was adopted by the Boston Terrier Club on October 7, 1914, as a result of a revision recommended by a committee appointed by the Boston Terrier Club.
It was felt, in view of the fact that the dog had become established all over the continent among breeders and fanciers not as familiar with the ideal of the breed as were the original breeders and friends of the dog around Boston, that a more explicit, definite standard, one that could be more easily understood by the great body of the dog’s admirers of today, should be adopted.
It will be readily observed by a comparison of the old standard, which has practically been in existence since the formation of the club in 1891, that no vital point has been really changed.
|REVISED STANDARD 1910||OLD STANDARD. 1891|
|Point Values||Scale of Points.|
GENERAL APPEARANCE: The general appearance of the Boston terrier should be that of a lively, highly intelligent, smooth coated, short headed, compactly built, short tailed, well balanced dog of medium station, of brindle color and evenly marked with white. The head should indicate a high degree of intelligence and should be in proportion to the size of the dog; the body rather short and well knit, the limbs strong and neatly turned; tail short and no feature being so prominent that the dog appears badly proportioned. The dog should convey an impression of determination, strength and activity, with style of a high order; carriage easy and graceful. A proportionate combination of “Color” and “Ideal Markings” is a particularly distinctive feature of a representative specimen, and dogs with a preponderance of white on body, or without the proper proportion of brindle and white on head, should possess sufficient merit otherwise to counteract their deficiencies in these respects.
The ideal “Boston Terrier Expression” as indicating “a high degree of intelligence,” is also an important characteristic of the breed.
“Color and Markings” and “Expression” should be given particular consideration in determining the relative value of “General Appearance” to other points.
GENERAL APPEARANCE AND STYLE: The general appearance of the Boston Terrier is that of a smooth, short-coated, compactly-built dog of medium station. The head should indicate a high degree of intelligence and should be in proportion to the dog’s size; the body rather short and well-knit, the limbs strong and finely turned, no feature being so prominent that the dog appears badly proportioned. The dog conveys an impression of determination, strength and activity. Style of a high order, and carriage easy and graceful.
SKULL: Square, flat on top, free from wrinkles; cheeks flat; brow abrupt, stop well defined.
SKULL: Broad and flat, without prominent cheeks, and forehead free from wrinkles.
STOP: Well defined, but indenture not too deep.
EYES: Wide apart, large and round, dark in color, expression alert, but kind and intelligent; the eyes should set square across brow and the outside corners should be on a line with the cheeks as viewed from the front.
EYES: Wide apart, large and round, neither sunken nor too prominent, and in color dark and soft. The outside corner should be on a line with the cheeks as viewed from the front.
MUZZLE: Short, square, wide and deep; free from wrinkles; shorter in length than in width and depth, and in proportion to skull; width and depth carried out well to end. Nose black and wide, with well defined line between nostrils. The jaws broad and square, with short regular teeth. The chops of good depth, but not pendulous, completely covering the teeth when mouth is closed. The muzzle should not exceed in approximate length one-third of length of skull.
MUZZLE: Short, square, wide and deep, without wrinkles. Nose black and wide, with a well defined straight line between nostrils. The jaws broad and square, with short, regular teeth. The chops wide and deep, not pendulous, completely covering the teeth when mouth is closed.
EARS: Small and thin, situated as near corners of skull as possible.
HEAD FAULTS: Skull “domed” or inclined; furrowed by a medial line; skull too long for breadth, or vice versa; stop too shallow; brow and skull too slanting. Eyes small or sunken; too prominent; light color; showing too much white or haw. Muzzle wedge shaped or lacking depth; down faced; too much cut out below the eyes; pinched nostrils; protruding teeth; weak lower jaw; showing “turn up.” Poorly carried ears or out of proportion.
EARS: Small and thin, situated as near corners of skull as possible.
NECK: Of fair length, slightly arched and carrying the head gracefully; setting neatly into shoulders.
NECK FAULTS: Ewe-necked; throatiness; short and thick.
NECK: Of fair length, without throatiness and slightly arched.
BODY: Deep with good width of chest; shoulders sloping; back short; ribs deep and well sprung, carried well back of loins; loins short and muscular; rump curving slightly to set-on of tail. Flank slightly cut up. The body should appear short, but not chunky.
BODY FAULTS: Flat sides; narrow chest; long or slack loins; roach back; sway back; too much cut up in flank.
BODY: Deep and broad of chest, well ribbed up. Back short, not roached. Loins and quarters strong.
ELBOWS: Standing neither in nor out.
ELBOWS: Standing neither in nor out.
FORELEGS: Set moderately wide apart and on a line with the points of the shoulders; straight in bone and well muscled; pasterns short and strong.
FORELEGS: Wide apart, straight and well muscled.
HINDLEGS: Set true; bent at stifles; short from hocks to feet; hocks turning neither in nor out; thighs strong and well muscled.
HINDLEGS: Straight, quite long from stifle to hock (which should turn neither in nor out), short and straight from hock to pasterns. Thighs well muscled. Hocks not too prominent.
FEET: Round, small and compact, and turned neither in nor out; toes well arched.
LEG AND FEET FAULTS: Loose shoulders or elbows; hind legs too straight at stifles; hocks too prominent; long or weak pasterns; splay feet.
FEET: Small, nearly round, and turned neither in nor out. Toes compact and arched.
TAIL: Set-on low; short, fine and tapering; straight or screw; devoid of fringe or coarse hair, and not carried above horizontal.
TAIL FAULTS: A long or gaily carried tail; extremely gnarled or curled against body.
(Note: The preferred tail should not exceed in length approximately half the distance from set-on to hock.)
TAIL: Set-on low, short, fine and tapering, devoid of fringe or coarse hair, and not carried above the horizontal.
COLOR: Brindle with white markings.
COLOR: Any color, brindle, evenly marked with white, strongly preferred.
IDEAL MARKINGS: White muzzle, even white blaze over head, collar, breast, part or whole of forelegs and hindlegs below hocks.
COLOR AND MARKINGS FAULTS: All white; absence of white markings; preponderance of white on body; without the proper proportion of brindle and white on head; or any variations detracting from the general appearance.
MARKINGS: White muzzle, blaze on face, collar, chest and feet.
COAT: Short, smooth, bright and fine in texture.
COAT FAULTS: Long or coarse; lacking lustre.
COAT: Fine in texture, short, bright and not too hard.
WEIGHTS: Not exceeding 27 pounds, divided as follows:
WEIGHT: Lightweight class, 12 and not to exceed 17 pounds; middleweight class, 17 and not to exceed 22 pounds; heavyweight class, 22 and not to exceed 28 pounds.
DISQUALIFICATIONS: Solid black, black and tan, liver and mouse colors. Docked tail and any artificial means used to deceive the judge.
DISQUALIFICATIONS: Docked tail and any artificial means used to deceive the judge.
Please see the full book here:
Chapter IX is particularly interesting talking about HOW TO get the different colors of brindle. There are a lot of great pictures of early bostons too.
Please see the sites below for more pictures on how the Boston Terrier originally looked, many colors were acceptable.
Colored Boston Terriers can be Born in any Litter, even in Long Lines of Show Dogs as the Colors have been in the Boston Terrier since the conception of the Breed
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