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The Boston Terrier








Who and what is this little dog that has forced his way by leaps and
bounds from Boston town to the uttermost parts of this grand country, from
the broad Atlantic to the Golden Gate, and from the Canadian border to the
Gulf of Mexico? Nay, not content with this, but has overrun the imaginary
borders north and south until he is fast becoming as great a favorite on
the other side as here, and who promises in the near future, unless all
signs fail, to cross all oceans, and extend his conquests wherever man is
found that can appreciate beauty and fidelity in man's best friend. What
passports does he present that he should be entitled to the recognition
that he has everywhere accorded him? A dog that has in 35 years or less so
thoroughly established himself in the affections of the great body of the
American people, so that his friends offer no apology whatever in calling
him the American dog, must possess peculiar qualities that endear him to
all classes and conditions of men, and I firmly believe that when all the
fads for which his native city is so well known have died a natural death,
he will be in the early bloom of youth. Yea, in the illimitable future,
when the historian McCauley's New Zealander is lamenting over the ruins of
that marvelous city of London, he will be accompanied by a Boston terrier,
who will doubtless be intelligent enough to share his grief. In reply to
the query as to who and what he is, it will be readily recalled that on
the birth of possibly the greatest poet the world has ever seen it was
stated:

The force of nature could no further go,
To make a third, she joined the other two.

And this applies with equal force to the production of the Boston terrier.
The two old standard breeds of world-wide reputation, the English bulldog
and the bull terrier, had to be joined to make a third which we believe to
be the peer of either, and the superior of both. The dog thus evolved
possesses a type and individuality strictly his own, inherited from both
sides of the house, and is a happy medium between these two grand breeds,
possessing the best qualities of each. To some the name terrier would
suggest the formation of the dog on approximate terrier lines, but this is
as completely erroneous as to imagine that the dog should approach in like
proportion to the bull type. When the dog was in its infancy it was
frequently called the Boston bull, and then again the round-headed bull
and terrier, and later, when the Boston Terrier Club was taken under the
wings of the great A.K.C. in 1893, it became officially known as the
Boston terrier.

There are several features that are characteristic of the dog that tend to
its universal popularity--its attractive shape, style and size, its
winning disposition, and its beautiful color and markings. From the
bulldog he inherits a sweet, charming personality, quiet, restful
demeanor, and an intense love of his master and home. He does not possess
the restless, roving disposition which characterizes so many members of
the terrier tribe, nor will he be found quarreling with other dogs. From
the bull terrier side he inherits a lively mood, the quality of taking
care of himself if attacked by another dog, and of his owner, too, if
necessary, the propensity to be a great destroyer of all kinds of vermin
if properly trained, and an ideal watch dog at night. No wonder he is
popular, he deserves to be. The standard describes him as follows:

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.

The men composing the Boston Terrier Club, who framed this standard in
1900, were as thoughtful a body as could possibly be gotten together, and
they carefully considered and deliberated over every point at issue, and
in my estimation this standard is as near perfect as any can be. I was an
interested participant in the discussion of the same, having in my mind's
eye as models those two noted dogs owned by that wonderful judge of the
breed, Mr. Alex. Goode, Champion Monte, and his illustrious sire, Buster.
If one takes the pains to analyze the standard he will be impressed by the
perfect co-relation of harmony of all parts of the dog, from the tip of
his broad, even muzzle, to the end of his short screw tail. Nothing
incongruous in its makeup presents itself, but a graceful, symmetrical
style characterizes the dog, and I firmly believe that any change whatever
would be a detriment.


It seems to be hardly necessary at this late date to give a history of the
dog, but perhaps for that large number of people who are intensely
interested in him but have not had the chance to have been made acquainted
with his origin, a brief survey may be of service. Although Boston rightly
claims the honor of being the birthplace of the Boston terrier, still I
think the original start of the dog was in England, for the first dog that
was destined to be the ancestor of the modern Boston terrier was a dog
named Judge, a cross between an English bull and bull terrier, imported
from the other side and owned by Mr. R. C. Hooper, and known as Hooper's
Judge.

On my last visit to England I found that quite a number of dogs have been
bred in this way, viz., a first cross between the bull and terrier,
especially in the neighborhood of Birmingham in the middle of England; but
these dogs are no more like the Boston terrier than an ass is like a
thoroughbred horse. Judge was a dark brindle, with a white stripe in face,
nearly even mouthed, weighing about thirty-two pounds, and approximating
more to the bull than the terrier side. He was mated to a white, stocky
built, three-quarter tail, low stationed bitch, named Gyp (or Kate), owned
by Mr. Edward Burnett of Southboro. Like Judge, she possessed a good,
short, blocky head. It may not be out of place to state here that some few
years ago, on paying a visit to Mr. Burnett at Deerfoot Farm, Southboro,
he told me that in the early days he possessed thirteen white Boston
terrier dogs that used to accompany him in his walks about the farm, and
woe to any kind of vermin or vagrant curs that showed themselves. From
Judge and Gyp descended Well's Eph, a low-stationed, dark brindle dog with
even white markings, weighing twenty-eight pounds. Eph was mated to a
golden brindle, short-headed, twenty pound bitch, having a three-quarter
tail, named Tobin's Kate. From this union came a red brindle dog with a
white blaze on one side of his face, white collar, white chest, and white
feet, weighing twenty-two pounds, and possessing the first screw tail,
named Barnard's Tom. I shall never forget the first visit I made to
Barnard's stable to see him. To my mind he possessed a certain type, style
and quality such as I had never seen before, but which stamped him as the
first real Boston terrier, as the dog is today understood. I was never
tired of going to see him and his brother, Atkinson's Toby. Tom was mated
to a dark brindle bitch, evenly marked, weighing twenty pounds. She had a
good, short, blocky head, and a three-quarter tail, and known as Kelley's
Nell. The result of this mating was a dog destined to make Boston terrier
history, and to my mind the most famous Boston terrier born, judged by
results. He was known as Mike, commonly called Barnard's Mike. He was
a rather light brindle and white, even mouthed, short tailed dog, weighing
about twenty-five pounds, very typical, but what impressed me was his
large, full eye, the first I had ever seen, and which we see so often
occurring in his descendants. I owned a grandson of his named Gus,
48136, who was almost a reproduction of him, with eyes fully as large.
Unfortunately he jumped out of a third-story window in my kennels and
permanently ended his usefulness. Chief among the direct descendants from
Hooper's Judge were the noted stud dogs, Ben Butler, Hall's Max, O'Brien's
Ross, Hook's Punch, Trimount King, McMullen's Boxer, and Ben, Goode's Ned,
and Bixby's Tony Boy. The two dogs that impressed me the most in that
group were Max, a fairly good sized, beautiful dispositioned dog that
could almost talk, belonging to Dr. Hall, then a house doctor at the Eye
and Ear Infirmary, Charles street. He was used, I am told, a great deal in
the stud, and sired a great many more puppies than the doctor ever knew
of. Bixby's Tony Boy was the other. I had a very handsome bitch by him out
of a Torrey's Ned bitch, and liked her so much that I offered Mr. Bixby, I
believe, $700 for Tony, only to be told that a colored gentleman (who
evidently knew a good thing when he saw it) had offered him $200 more.

Of the line of early bitches of the same breeding may briefly be mentioned
Reynold's Famous, dam of Gilbert's Fun; Kelley's Nell, dam of Ross and
Trimount King; Saunder's Kate, dam of Ben Butler; Nolan's Mollie, dam of
Doctor, Evadne and Nancy.

Quite a number of other small dogs were subsequently introduced into the
breed, which had now been somewhat inbred. These were largely imported
from the other side, and were similar in type to Hooper's Judge. One of
the most noted was the Jack Reede dog. He was an evenly marked, reddish
brindle and white, rather rough in coat, three-quarter tail, weighing
fourteen pounds. Another very small dog was the Perry dog, imported from
Scotland, bluish and white in color, with a three-quarter straight tail,
and weighing but six pounds. I have always felt very sorry not to have
seen him, as he must have been a curiosity. Still another outside dog,
also imported, and very quarrelsome, white in color, weighing eighteen
pounds, with a good, large skull, and an eye as full as Barnard's Mike,
but straight tail, was Kelley's Brick. Another outside dog (I do not know
where he came from), was O'Brien's Ben. He was a short, cobby, white and
tan brindle color, three-quarter tail, with a short head and even mouth.
It will be observed that practically all these outside dogs were small
sized, and were selected largely on that account. By the continued
inbreeding of the most typical of the sons and daughters of Tom, the
present type of the dog was made permanent.


Perhaps this somewhat restricted review of the breed, going back over
thirty-six or seven years and showing the somewhat mixed ancestry of our
present blue-blooded Boston terrier of today, may afford some explanation
of the diversity of type frequently presented in one litter. I have seen
numbers of litters where the utmost attention has been paid to every
detail with the expectancy of getting crackerjacks, to find that one will
have to wait for the next time, as the litter in question showed the
bull type, and the terrier also, and very little Boston; but fortunately,
with the mating intelligently attended to, and the putting aside of all
dogs that do not comport to the standard as non-breeders, a type of a dog
will be bred true to our highest ideals. My advice to all breeders is, do
not get discouraged, try, yes, try again, and Boston terriers, that
gladden the eye and fill the pocketbook, will be yours.





Next: The Boston Terrier Club




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