Colored Boston Terriers :  Outrage and Debate

Origins of Non-standard Boston Terrier Colors
There is intense, heated controversy over non-standard colored Boston Terriers. Emotions
run high, judgements and generalizations abound. This is natural and to be expected when
people go against the tide.    
The Boston Terrier
, "The American Gentleman",  is an American breed created here in the
USA in the mid 1800's by combining  
English Bulldog,  French Bulldog, and English White Toy
Terrier (extinct). We can certainly see Bulldog influence, especially the French, in many
present day Bostons. Bulldogs come in many colors so obviously those genes were in the
original Boston "pool".  Some of the earliest  reputable breed information speaks of
cream and
white, or
fawn and white, and also of a prominent blue and white Scottish import; individual
dogs that featured significantly in founding the breed.  Some people have actually
denied the
of this color heritage and origin in spite of the early photos and writings that document
{for more info click here}
It may come as a surprise, but at one time, black and white was the most undesirable color
("black" as well as "white" aren't technically a
color), just as the reds, chocolates, blues and
fawns are now. Times changed and the standard was  eventually written to include black with
changes disqualifying the
"colored" Bostons.  Breeders then gradually tried to eliminate all but
the present three
recognized colors. Now black and white is "normal" and colors that were
acceptable prior to 1934 are now unacceptable.
Evolution of Modern Day Breed Standards/Breed Type
Over time, we see that this tends to be the way the purebred dog fancy evolves, just as our
society does. Fashion trends, customers needs, advertising, doggy politics, the top winners in
each breed, awareness of health problems, and multiple other influences, cause breeds that
were originally created structurally for a historically specific, often archaic, purpose, to
gradually morph, as breeders emphasize and exaggerate different features, intentionally or
unintentionally.  Creative flourish, competition for show wins, puppy buyers demands,
breeders' rank and reputation, all influence and alter purebreds over time. Show breeders
tend to be the ones setting breed appearance and style from top of the pyramid downward.
Eventually we see the effects filter down to the pet, "backyard" and commercial breeders. An
example  most of us "over 30" folks can relate to is the transformation of the American Cocker
Spaniel, the modernized version of which bears little resemblance to the original hunting dog
Cocker. German Shepherds and Irish Setters are hardly recognizable as the breeds they
once were, captivated as we are by the pursuit of glamour, "presence" and flash.  As a trend
becomes more stable and set over years, eventually the breed standard may be modified
accordingly. The world of purebreds and show breeding is never static, especially in America,
even though many wish otherwise. Standards, however vital to the existence and preservation
of a breed,  were not written on Moses' tablets. It is  not unusual for breed standard
s to be
tweaked and modified over the years when preferences change
Color Breeding: Against the AKC Boston Terrier Standard
People who prefer the non-standard colors and hope to see them flourish and maybe even be
incorporated into the AKC standard some day, are saddened by the outraged dismay among
most show breeders towards the idea of reviving these
colors.  Fans of colored Bostons, see
no harm in raising or promoting them, provided they aren't just raised in the service of greed
and are not misrepresented as accepted by the parent club and the Boston standard for AKC
shows, (although many fanciers hope someday they will be). Standards for any breed that
exclude colors, rarely cause all breeders to stop breeding them. If they have color appeal, are
pleasing to look at, someone will breed them, sometimes for bad reasons, sometimes for
simply love of the colors!
"Ag'iners" There oughtta be a law against...."
There are unified groups against absolutely everything, and many of them are aggressively
promoting their agenda. Some are against raising pet quality dogs, only show dogs should be
bred. Some are against raising cross bred dogs but pet quality purebreds are Ok. There are
people against raising purebreds of any kind, viewing them as weak and inferior.  Many are
campaigning (for or against), breed specific bans, aimed at Pits, Dobies, Rotties and the like.  
There are also those against raising dogs at all..There are even people against raising or
having any kind of animal, period.This must be incredibly confusing to the person wanting
simply to buy a healthy,
happy pet puppy. See:
The "No dogs but show dogs" viewpoint, is appearing now in purebred dog magazines and
books. 'Buy your
pet only from a show breeder, and one with Champions as well as breed club
membership', There is growing belief that only respectable show breeders have worthy dogs,
California is even on the verge of legislating this!  This opinion is right alongside the equally
popular and contradictory belief that "designer dogs" (crossbreds) are healthier than "inbred
purebreds" and one should never buy a purebred. The so called, "designer dog" fad has
been promoted by the media and even many veterinarians support cross breeds as healthier
than purebreds.
Top show, wannabe show, no show (pun intended), pet, commercial, and "backyard" breeders
are the various groups raising dogs.  People in each group tend to look with scorn on other
groups as unworthy, often with highly persuasive arguments to support their view.  
We may wish it weren't so, but there are no absolute white hats and black hats to tell us who
the bad guys really are, there are people of good character to be found everywhere and vice
versa. Even commercial breeders and pet shops aren't 100%  
all "bad". General cautions of
"don't buy from pet shops" or "never deal with commercial breeders" steer buyers in a wise
direction, but that doesn't mean hobby/show breeders will necessarily be pleasant or honest.
Customers are Kings
Sometimes the very thing we so dislike, "commercialism", (the bottom of the dog breeder
pyramid) implies the focus is on pleasing and catering to the buyer,
giving the buyer what they
Whereas show breeders/ethical breeders so often snobbishly proclaim, "we breed only
for ourselves!" which establishes them as the "ethical ideal" by the prevailing "good breeder"
standard. This is the top of the pyramid. Show breeders (speaking from experiencing both
sides of the fence) more often than not, treat potential customers with disdain and
intimidation, grilling them to a greater degree sometimes than if they were adopting a child. .
Much of this stems from contrasting beliefs of the "educated, informed" culture of the world of
dog shows vs. all that is "ignorant" and non-show. Most people care nothing about standards
as long as the dog is clearly recognizable as its breed.
Some of these viewpoints are born from good intentions, some from ignorance (show people
can occasionally be ignorant too, ignorant of the value of respect, courtesy and kindness),
others are simply from a need to feel superior and righteous.  "Better" really is both subjective
and relative, not written in stone. Being well informed, with clear breeding purpose, with
courtesy toward others,  being responsive towards clients' wishes and priorities, offering
gentle education,and caring and respect for human and animal beings; that seems like a
"better" worth pursuing.
For the moment, we are still free to keep and raise
dogs, and even do things not approved of
by the
breed standard. People should be able to make choices, with or without approval, even
with or without good judgement.
That is freedom.  Factual information, (without emotional
hype) representing various viewpoints,and opinions presented as just that, opinions, should
all be readily available preferably at no cost* and in one place to help buyers be informed
Then they can make an educated (if they choose!) choice, their own choice.
My Position
Over my 40 plus years "in dogs", I have changed my position in several areas.  Whenever I
encounter conflicting viewpoints, I learn about the opposing view, not just reject it. After all, it's
always possible "the opposition" has knowledge I don't!  I try to get out of my set position,  my
bias, separating facts from opinions, and be as objective as possible.
So, with colored Bostons, with an understanding of the various opposing views, with conviction
that I am doing the right thing, I choose to enjoy loving and raising my
"colorful" Bostons
without apology, until laws, not individuals, say we can no longer do so.
[Okay, okay,
now I'll put my soapbox away!].

*(yes, this is being done to an extent but still slanted greatly to promote one viewpoint).
Contact me! Personal
info gladly given after
initial contact.
*No More Pets!*
small &