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 other
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 pounds.
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:
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
The back is just short enough to square the body. The 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
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
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
possess sufficient 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.