published 29 January 2020
This month’s breed - The Boston Terrier
The Boston Terrier is a compact, sturdy, people-oriented dog with a lively disposition. The first native American breed to be recognised by the Australian National Kennel Club and is immediately recognisable for its “tuxedo” coats (earning it the nickname “The American Gentleman”) and expressive eyes. These well-dressed dogs haven’t just earned their popularity with their fashion sense: they are intelligence-filled, always-alert natural comedians that tend to bring smiles to their owners’ faces.
Boston Terriers are compact, well-balanced dogs with smooth, “tuxedo” coats, and short heads and tails. Their trademark eyes are expressive and prominent, and their head tilt when investigating something new is as well-loved as their happy, sure-footed gait.
Boston Terriers originated in Boston in the late 1800s by crossing English Bulldogs and white English Terriers. They are often referred to as the national dog of the United States being one of the few truly all-American breeds.
Boston Terriers have been known by a variety of names such as Boston Bulls and American Bull Terriers, but Bulldog and Bull Terrier owners object so, in 1891, they officially become known as the Boston Terrier.
Other nickmaes through the years have been roundheads, bostons and, due to their lovely nature, the "American gentlemen" of dogs.
Boston Terriers were a common dog breed prior to the 1960s and then their popularity seemed to decline. Recently, due to their use in several television commercials, there has been renewed interest in the breed.
Boston Terriers possess loving, friendly personalities that easily wins hearts. Their very stable temperaments are excellent for first-time dog owners and seasoned veterans alike, as well as families with children. Highly sociable, intelligent, and entertaining, Boston Terriers are very trainable – especially early in life.
While Boston Terriers shed infrequently, they do benefit from weekly brushings to remove hair from their sleek, fine coats. Occasional baths are recommended as well as regular nail trimmings to prevent movement issues and pain.
Boston Terriers typically have a stable temperament that enables them to get along well with both animals and humans. While they are not a breed that Bark Busters® receive a lot of calls for help with, one common issue seems to present itself: separation anxiety.
To understand separation anxiety, we must first understand how dogs think. Dogs are hardwired with a pack mentality. The corresponding hierarchy is determined using subtle, passive methods. We sometimes forget or are unaware of it, but we humans are included in the pack! The pack member who has greatest influence on the behaviour of others is the leader, and Boston Terriers can become leaders of their human pack quite easily – their likeability and silly antics mean they are often given leeway by their owners that they interpret as an acknowledgement of their leadership.
Dogs display what they believe to be leadership behaviour – often perceived as annoying or frustrating by humans – when they have determined they are in charge. This behaviour can be situational and might include barking at people or dogs passing outside, rushing the door when someone comes to visit, and even becoming destructive when humans are away. Separation anxiety is an outgrowth of leadership – dogs get upset when the subordinates in their pack leave because, in their mind, they are responsible for “taking care” of them. Bostons become worried; that worry can be expressed by barking, destructive behaviour, or toileting accidents.
Toby was one such Boston Terrier. He lives with his owner, Becky, in an apartment with thin walls. Toby would bark until exhausted as soon as Becky left for work each day – any noise he heard would set him off again, and the behaviour would continue throughout the day. Constant barking meant plenty of neighbour complaints, so Becky called Bark Busters® – after all, it’s our name!
Our trainer quickly observed the dynamics of the relationship and coached Becky on how to reassert her dominance as leader of the pack. Progress came quickly, and regular corrections meant it wasn’t very long before Toby was able to relax and nap until Becky got home.
If you have a Boston Terrier and need assistance resolving behavioural issues, call your local Bark Busters® trainer. The sooner you get help, the sooner you and your dog can enjoy a happy, relaxed relationship built on loyalty, love, and respect – not worry or stress.
We are always available to help you develop a consistent, compassionate approach to good behaviour for your Boston Terrier. Learn more about our services and schedule an appointment with one of our trainers today!
If you have ever lost your dog, you know that heart-pounding adrenaline of panic. The WaggTagg™ pet identification tag is unique in that it works from a QR code. Free to all Bark Busters® clients. The pet parent enters important dog information plus a picture. Whoever finds the dog can simply scan the tag using a mobile phone and the owner gets a text message to say someone has found your dog. This service is available 24/7. No waiting to get to the vet office to scan a microchip and no renewal fees or any extra charges!
Microchips are important and you should always have your dog microchipped as that is a great tool to identify legal owners etc.
The WaggTagg™ is an extra piece of security for your dog and provides peace of mind, that if your dog goes missing, you can get reunited quickly.
WaggTagg™ is a free service for all dog owners when you become a Bark Busters® client.
The GameChanger® provides much needed exercise for a dog's mind and body and owners say that it satisfies and tires their dog faster than most other toys they have tried. It will provide your Boston Terrier with endless hours of fun, while assisting with their behavioral issues especially with separation anxiety, destructive behavior, overeating and boredom.
The GameChanger® is designed for safety and is incredibly durable and is made from a high quality, non-toxic polyurethane material that has been proven safe for dogs to chew. This unique material also makes it quiet, so you are not listening to the toy banging on your hardwood floors. Your Boston Terrier will have great fun with this toy. To read more information or purchase one visit: globaldogcompany.com.au/products/gamechanger