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David Dalton

Breed Standards

Boston Terriers

General Appearance
Smooth-coated, short-headed, compactly built, short-tailed, well balanced dog of medium size, brindle in colour, evenly marked with white. Body rather short and well knit; limbs strong and neatly turned; tail short and no feature so prominent that the dog appears badly proportioned. Dog must convey an impression of determination, strength and activity, with style of a high order; carriage easy and graceful.

Lively and intelligent.

Determined and strong willed.

Head and Skull
Skull square, flat on top, free from wrinkles; cheeks flat; brow abrupt, stop well defined. Muzzle short, square, wide and deep with no tendency to taper and in proportion to skull; free from wrinkles; shorter in length than in width and depth, approximately one-third of length of skull; width and depth carried out well to end; muzzle from stop to end of nose on a line parallel to top of skull; nose black, wide with well defined line between nostrils. Jaws broad and square. Flews of good depth, not pendulous, completely covering teeth when mouth closed. Head in proportion to size of dog.

Wide apart, large and round, dark in colour; expression alert, kind and intelligent. Eyes set square in skull, outside corners on a line with cheeks when viewed from front.

Carried erect; small, thin, situated as near corner of skull as possible.

Teeth short and regular, bite even, or sufficiently undershot to square muzzle.

Of fair length, slightly arched, carrying head gracefully; neatly set into shoulders.

Shoulders sloping, legs set moderately wide apart on line with point of shoulders; straight in bone and well muscled; pasterns short and strong. Elbows turning neither in nor out.

Deep with good width of chest; back short; ribs deep and well sprung, carried well back to loins; loins short and muscular; rump curving slightly to set-on of tail; flank very slightly cut up; body appears short but not chunky.

Legs set true, good turn of stifle, hocks well let down; turning neither in nor out; thighs strong and well muscled.

Round, small, compact, turning neither in nor out; toes well arched.

Set on low; short, fine, tapering, straight or screw; devoid of fringes or coarse hair, never carried above horizontal.


Easy and graceful. Sure-footed straight-gaited, forelegs and hindlegs moving straight ahead with perfect rhythm. Each step indicating grace and power.

Short, smooth, lustrous and fine in texture.

Brindle with white markings; brindle must show throughout body distinctly; black with white markings but brindles with white markings preferred. Ideal markings: white muzzle, even white blaze over head, collar, breast, part of whole of forelegs, and hindlegs below hocks.

Weight not exceeding 11.5 kgs (25 lbs) divided by classes as follows: Lightweight: under 6.8 kgs (15 lbs); Middleweight: 6.8 kgs (15 lbs) and under 9.1 kgs (20 lbs); Heavyweight: 9.1 kgs (20 lbs) and under 11.4 kgs (25 lbs).


Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

Last Updated - September 2000

Breed standard courtesy of The Kennel Club

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