1910-1920 Fawn Boston Terrier
History of Colors in the Boston Terrier
The Colored Boston Terrier has been around since the inception of the Boston Terrier in 1891. In that year the Boston Terrier Club of America set their first standard which read “Color: Any color, brindle, evenly marked with white, strongly preferred.” Bostons at that time came in Blue as called mouse color, Red/Chocolate also called liver color, Fawn/Buckskin, white with color patches, Cream, and all differing color patterns of brindle.
It wasn’t until 1910 when the standard was revised that blue (called mouse color due to nose pigment), red (called liver color due to nose pigment), as well as solid black and black and tan were disqualified colors for the breed. This was due to brindle being the preferred pattern and wanting to set a type for the breed. Breeders at the time considered Seal Brindle to be the preferred brindle, but what they found breeding seal brindle to seal brindle was the resulting puppies were getting darker producing black and white and black brindle and white puppies. Today most of the bostons you see in exhibition and advertising are still these darker colors with black nose pigment. The Boston Terrier Club of America only allows black, brindle, and seal (with appropriate white markings) to conformation show with the American Kennel Club. Seal is defined as black that appears to have a red cast when viewed in the sun. Colored breeders today who are uniformed may call their colored dogs’ seal, when they are in fact something else entirely.
The colors have always been present in the breed with these black and brindle bostons producing red, blue, cream, fawn, dilute brown (also called lilac/champagne) at different points throughout the last 100+ years. Bostons with color tracing back 7 or more generations with no colors being produced in those generations when bred to the right dog with similar lineage can produce color.
Colored Boston Terriers are very controversial with traditionalists saying they are mixed with another breed, that colors were never in the breed, and many blanket statements that are untruths. Any research into
Today there are those that are trying to preserve the future of the Colored Boston Terrier through selective breeding to traditional show stock then breeding back into colors to set type and increase genetic diversity. The ones determined to have the best breeding stock health test their bostons for Juvenile Hereditary Cataracts, BAER hearing testing, CERF eye testing, and Patellar Luxation testing in addition to other health tests if they are available. They also show their Colored Bostons through the Champion Canine Club, International Canine Kennel Club, and the United Canine Association to assess their dogs to the written standards for the breed and learn where to improve in their programs.
For more information on Colored Boston Terriers, please visit the sites below:
Here the original breed standard from 1891 and the second revised standard from 1910 from Edward Axtell's Book:
By Edward Axtell
The present AKC Boston terrier standard was adopted by the Boston Terrier Club on October 7, 1914, as a result of a revision recommended by a committee appointed by the Boston Terrier Club.
It was felt, in view of the fact that the dog had become established all over the continent among breeders and fanciers not as familiar with the ideal of the breed as were the original breeders and friends of the dog around Boston, that a more explicit, definite standard, one that could be more easily understood by the great body of the dog’s admirers of today, should be adopted.
It will be readily observed by a comparison of the old standard, which has practically been in existence since the formation of the club in 1891, that no vital point has been really changed.
|REVISED STANDARD 1910||OLD STANDARD. 1891|
|Point Values||Scale of Points.|
GENERAL APPEARANCE: The general appearance of the Boston terrier should be that of a lively, highly intelligent, smooth coated, short headed, compactly built, short tailed, well balanced dog of medium station, of brindle color and evenly marked with white. The head should indicate a high degree of intelligence and should be in proportion to the size of the dog; the body rather short and well knit, the limbs strong and neatly turned; tail short and no feature being so prominent that the dog appears badly proportioned. The dog should convey an impression of determination, strength and activity, with style of a high order; carriage easy and graceful. A proportionate combination of “Color” and “Ideal Markings” is a particularly distinctive feature of a representative specimen, and dogs with a preponderance of white on body, or without the proper proportion of brindle and white on head, should possess sufficient merit otherwise to counteract their deficiencies in these respects.
The ideal “Boston Terrier Expression” as indicating “a high degree of intelligence,” is also an important characteristic of the breed.
“Color and Markings” and “Expression” should be given particular consideration in determining the relative value of “General Appearance” to other points.
GENERAL APPEARANCE AND STYLE: 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.
SKULL: Square, flat on top, free from wrinkles; cheeks flat; brow abrupt, stop well defined.
SKULL: Broad and flat, without prominent cheeks, and forehead free from wrinkles.
STOP: Well defined, but indenture not too deep.
EYES: Wide apart, large and round, dark in color, expression alert, but kind and intelligent; the eyes should set square across brow and the outside corners should be on a line with the cheeks as viewed from the front.
EYES: Wide apart, large and round, neither sunken nor too prominent, and in color dark and soft. The outside corner should be on a line with the cheeks as viewed from the front.
MUZZLE: Short, square, wide and deep; free from wrinkles; shorter in length than in width and depth, and in proportion to skull; width and depth carried out well to end. Nose black and wide, with well defined line between nostrils. The jaws broad and square, with short regular teeth. The chops of good depth, but not pendulous, completely covering the teeth when mouth is closed. The muzzle should not exceed in approximate length one-third of length of skull.
MUZZLE: Short, square, wide and deep, without wrinkles. Nose black and wide, with a well defined straight line between nostrils. The jaws broad and square, with short, regular teeth. The chops wide and deep, not pendulous, completely covering the teeth when mouth is closed.
EARS: Small and thin, situated as near corners of skull as possible.
HEAD FAULTS: Skull “domed” or inclined; furrowed by a medial line; skull too long for breadth, or vice versa; stop too shallow; brow and skull too slanting. Eyes small or sunken; too prominent; light color; showing too much white or haw. Muzzle wedge shaped or lacking depth; down faced; too much cut out below the eyes; pinched nostrils; protruding teeth; weak lower jaw; showing “turn up.” Poorly carried ears or out of proportion.
EARS: Small and thin, situated as near corners of skull as possible.
NECK: Of fair length, slightly arched and carrying the head gracefully; setting neatly into shoulders.
NECK FAULTS: Ewe-necked; throatiness; short and thick.
NECK: Of fair length, without throatiness and slightly arched.
BODY: Deep with good width of chest; shoulders sloping; back short; ribs deep and well sprung, carried well back of loins; loins short and muscular; rump curving slightly to set-on of tail. Flank slightly cut up. The body should appear short, but not chunky.
BODY FAULTS: Flat sides; narrow chest; long or slack loins; roach back; sway back; too much cut up in flank.
BODY: Deep and broad of chest, well ribbed up. Back short, not roached. Loins and quarters strong.
ELBOWS: Standing neither in nor out.
ELBOWS: Standing neither in nor out.
FORELEGS: Set moderately wide apart and on a line with the points of the shoulders; straight in bone and well muscled; pasterns short and strong.
FORELEGS: Wide apart, straight and well muscled.
HINDLEGS: Set true; bent at stifles; short from hocks to feet; hocks turning neither in nor out; thighs strong and well muscled.
HINDLEGS: Straight, quite long from stifle to hock (which should turn neither in nor out), short and straight from hock to pasterns. Thighs well muscled. Hocks not too prominent.
FEET: Round, small and compact, and turned neither in nor out; toes well arched.
LEG AND FEET FAULTS: Loose shoulders or elbows; hind legs too straight at stifles; hocks too prominent; long or weak pasterns; splay feet.
FEET: Small, nearly round, and turned neither in nor out. Toes compact and arched.
TAIL: Set-on low; short, fine and tapering; straight or screw; devoid of fringe or coarse hair, and not carried above horizontal.
TAIL FAULTS: A long or gaily carried tail; extremely gnarled or curled against body.
(Note: The preferred tail should not exceed in length approximately half the distance from set-on to hock.)
TAIL: Set-on low, short, fine and tapering, devoid of fringe or coarse hair, and not carried above the horizontal.
COLOR: Brindle with white markings.
COLOR: Any color, brindle, evenly marked with white, strongly preferred.
IDEAL MARKINGS: White muzzle, even white blaze over head, collar, breast, part or whole of forelegs and hindlegs below hocks.
COLOR AND MARKINGS FAULTS: All white; absence of white markings; preponderance of white on body; without the proper proportion of brindle and white on head; or any variations detracting from the general appearance.
MARKINGS: White muzzle, blaze on face, collar, chest and feet.
COAT: Short, smooth, bright and fine in texture.
COAT FAULTS: Long or coarse; lacking lustre.
COAT: Fine in texture, short, bright and not too hard.
WEIGHTS: Not exceeding 27 pounds, divided as follows:
WEIGHT: Lightweight class, 12 and not to exceed 17 pounds; middleweight class, 17 and not to exceed 22 pounds; heavyweight class, 22 and not to exceed 28 pounds.
DISQUALIFICATIONS: Solid black, black and tan, liver and mouse colors. Docked tail and any artificial means used to deceive the judge.
DISQUALIFICATIONS: Docked tail and any artificial means used to deceive the judge.
Please see the full book here:
Chapter IX is particularly interesting talking about HOW TO get the different colors of brindle. There are a lot of great pictures of early bostons too.
Please see the sites below for more pictures on how the Boston Terrier originally looked, many colors were acceptable.
Colored Boston Terriers can be Born in any Litter, even in Long Lines of Show Dogs as the Colors have been in the Boston Terrier since the conception of the Breed
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