AKC Group: Non-sporting
In 1870 a man named Robert C. Hooper purchased a dog that was a cross between an English Bulldog and an English Terrier. This dog known as a Hooper’s Judge was bred with a smaller female. The resulting offspring was bred with French Bulldogs. These dogs were the basis of the Boston Terrier breed.
The Boston Terrier was the first American breed to be recognized by the American Kennel Club. Boston Terriers are not true terriers at all.
Size: 15 to 17 inches, 10 to 25 pounds
Color: Black and white, brown & white, brindle & white, rarely seen in red & white.
Life span: 13 to 15 years
Health problems: Luxating patella, epilepsy, heart problems, deafness, allergies, thyroid problems, seizures, skin or eye infections, sensitivity to certain chemicals or medications. His short coat makes him susceptible to sunstroke. His short muzzle leaves him vulnerable to respiratory problems if he’s over-exercised.
Boston Terriers are small, athletically built dogs that have short muzzles, erect ears and dark eyes. Their wallowing eyes give them a “worried” expression. Deep down, though, they’re happy and loyal dogs. Boston Terriers have sleek, short coats.
Gentle, affectionate and sociable, if human, a Boston Terrier would be the perfect gentleman. These traits have allowed the Boston Terrier to become one of the most popular dog breeds in the U.S. He is eager, ready to please and an extremely loyal pet. He craves your attention and the more you give, the more you’ll get back from him. This dog is definitely a lover, not a fighter.
Your Boston Terrier will get along with all your children and all other household companion pets. A completely trusting breed, Boston Terriers even like strangers. This may not always be a good thing; he may go off with a stranger! At times, a Boston Terrier can be stubborn, spirited (the bad kind) and independent (code for extra-stubborn). Males can be territorial if they aren’t socialized properly in puppyhood.
Training should be a breeze. They love to learn and catch on quickly. Just be careful that you don’t speak harshly, Boston Terriers are sensitive to tones. Treating and praise should be all you need, they love both! Be sure that you give him enough attention at all times because this is a breed that craves human contact. If they aren’t getting enough, they suffer. Most importantly, have fun when training. Keep your sessions short or he’ll get bored. An occasional brushing with a bristle brush will remove dead hair. Washing with a damp cloth will keep his coat glossy. Check the eyes and skin regularly for signs of infections and trim the nails as needed. Bathing should be done only when necessary.
AKC Group: Terrier
Originally known as the “Rothbury” or “Rodbery Terrier” from a female that settled in with a family from Rothbury. These terriers hunted rodents underground and worked alongside Foxhounds. Bedlingtons were used to develop the Kerry Blue Terrier.
Size: 15 to 17 inches; 17 to 23 pounds.
Color: Blue, sandy or liver; may have tan points or not. Bedlington puppies are born dark and lighten to their adult color by their first birthday.
Life span: 12 to 17 years.
Health problems: Liver problems, specifically copper toxicosis or copper storage disease. These are genetic diseases that allow copper to build up in the liver to cause cirrhosis or death. Responsible breeders are careful to breed lines without the disease, but, if you take on a Bedlington, have him checked by your vet as an early warning sign.
Bedlington Terrier look like lambs. They have a pear-shaped head that is narrow, but deep and rounded. The muzzle is strong. The almond-shaped eyes are small. Low-set ears are triangular with rounded tips. Chests are deep with an arched back. The back legs are longer than the front. Tails are low set and taper to a point. Their dewclaws are usually removed. They have thick double coats with their long hairs and short hairs mingling all over their bodies.
Bedlingtons are graceful, lithe dogs with a mild and gentle disposition. When aroused, Bedlingtons are extremely alert and full of energy. They can gallop at great speeds. Bedlingtons are known for being one of the calmest of terriers. Smart and attentive, they are one of the most reliable terriers. They are adept at problem-solving and make a loyal companion for families.
Bedlingtons are incredibly affectionate and deeply devoted dogs. Cheerful, playful and lively, a Bedlington can get along with cats or other dogs (no domineering or threatening companion dogs please). They tolerate strangers well. They even make adequate watchdogs. When challenged, a Bedlington is a frightening dog to behold.
Your Bedlington requires specialized clipping every six weeks. If you can’t afford that much on a groomer, you’d better learn how to groom him yourself. His coat needs to be thinned and clipped lose to his head and body. Shave the ears close. The legs can be left slightly longer. Regular brushing is essential as is regular ear cleaning. An occasional bath will keep your Bedlington’s coat from becoming lank. Bedlingtons are considered good for allergy sufferers.