Boston Terrier History & Origin

We have Bostonian Robert C. Hooper to thank for the Boston Terrier. In 1865, he purchased Judge from Mr. William O’Brien who had imported the dog from England. Judge was a cross between an English Bulldog and the now extinct White English Terrier. Hooper’s Judge, as he has come to be known, weighed thirty-two pounds and was a stocky, dark brindle dog with white on his face. This dog was bred with Burnett’s Gyp, a female white Bulldog owned by Mr. Edward Burnett of Southboro, Massachusetts. Gyp weighed in at twenty pounds and was short stationed, while Judge was high stationed. The offspring to these dogs was Well’s Eph, a twenty-eight pound stud who was low stationed like his mother and dark brindle with more evenly distributed white markings than his father. Eph was mated with Tobin’s Kate, a substantially smaller bitch weighing only twenty pounds. The result of this breeding was Bernard’s Tom and Atkinson’s Toby in 1877.

By 1891, these pioneer breeders used their notes to apply to the American Kennel Club to register this unique breed of dog known as Roundheads. The name was then changed to Boston Terrier after the birthplace of it’s breeding. The first standard of the breed was presented on April 7th, 1891, and the breeders created a Stud Register including 75 dogs that could be traced back three generations. These dogs proved to be the foundation stock of today’s Boston Terriers.

Bernard’s Tom was bred to Kelley’s Nell, a dark brindle of even markings, weighing approximately twenty pounds. From this breeding came Bernard’s Mike, who had the large, round eyes that became signature to the breed. He was a light brindle color with white markings and weighed approximately twenty-five pounds. He sired the first Boston to be registered by the American Kennel Club, who was named Hooker’s Punch.