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Despite the word “terrier” in their name, the Boston Terrier is actually in the Non-Sporting Group and is known for being a world-class companion breed. With their large, round eyes, intelligent expression, and unique “tuxedo” coat, the Boston Terrier makes people fall in love with them at first sight. Here’s what to know about this adorable breed.

1. The Breed Became Popular in Boston

Although the Boston Terrier first emerged in Southborough, Massachusetts, the breed became very popular in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood in the 19th century. The coachmen who worked for wealthy Bostonians took care of the dogs, and the breed eventually blossomed.

Boston Terrier walking in the grass.
©cynoclub -

2. They Were Once Nicknamed “Roundheads”

Bred to be have a curved skull and big eyes, Bostons were intended to be companion dogs for ladies at one point. That skull shape led to Bostons receiving the nickname of “Roundheads.”

3. They’re Are Also Known as the “American Gentleman”

With their dapper looks and gentle, mannerly disposition, and because they were bred in the U.S., the breed earned this apt nickname.

4. The AKC Recognized Boston Terriers in 1893

The AKC officially recognized the breed in 1893. They fall in between the Borzoi (in 1891) and Field Spaniel (1894) in order of breeds recognized by year.

5. They’re Petite Dogs

The official AKC breed standard for Boston Terriers calls for three weight classes. The first weight class is for dogs under 15 pounds. The second weight class calls for dogs between 15 and 20 pounds. The third weight class is for dogs between 20 and 25 pounds.

Boston Terrier at the 2016 AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin.
©American Kennel Club

6. Helen Keller Owned a Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers have been pets belonging to many important figures throughout history. For example, Helen Keller, the famed blind and deaf educator, activist, and author, owned a Boston Terrier named Sir Thomas (also known as “Phiz”). The dog reportedly joined Keller while she was attending lectures at Radcliffe College.

7. They Compete in a Variety of Dog Sports

Known for their intelligence, Bostons can excel at dog sports. They participate in a wide range of events, from Conformation to Fast CAT.

Related article: Boston Terrier History: The Birthplace of the Roundhead
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