Although not colored red, white and blue, Boston Terriers are the all-American dog. They were developed in the city of Boston, as their name suggests, and then spread out across the nation and the world. They are very much like the American owners who developed them. The Boston Terrier was not in America when the colonists arrived. They were developed from dogs brought over and imported from Europe.
Dogs were already well established in North America by the time the very first European settlers arrived. However, anything having to do with the Native Americans was seen as shocking, savage and unfamiliar. So the Native American dogs, along with their owners, were ostracized from new America. Boston was one of the biggest shipping towns in New America, and still had close ties to Europe. Therefore, the Boston Terrier came from predominately European bulldog lines.
The founding sire of the Boston Terrier breed is thought to have been a jaunty little dog called Hooper's Judge, owned by Robert C. Hooper of Boston, who bought him in 1870. This pivotal dog was imported from England and made a big impression on not just the female dogs of Boston, but their owners as well. He was thirty-two pounds, which is a lot heavier than the Boston Terriers of today. He also is described in old America Kennel Club records as having a well built, high-stationed body, being a dark brindle with a white blaze down the nose.
Bulldogs, although developed for fighting bulls and other dogs, are incredibly friendly with people. This is probably because they turned to people as their pack members instead of other dogs. This is a trait in many Bulldog varieties, including the French Bulldog and English Bulldog, which were used in the Boston Terrier's creation. One of the old names of the Boston Terrier was the Boston Bull. Recently, bull in a breed name has gotten a bad reputation so the Bull part has been replaced by Terrier.
Eventually, the determined Boston breeders got the dog they wanted. This Boston Bull Terrier or Boston Bull was about fifteen to twenty five pounds, had a naturally short tail and had an evenly proportioned amount of white with the colors black, seal or brindle.
Various name permutations have included the Bull Terrier (which ticked off the emerging breed of the same name), the Boston Bull and the Boston Bull Terrier.
The future of the Boston Terrier looks very good, because there has been just as much attention to breeding a good temperament as there has been to breeding cute looks. There have been attempts to make a teacup sized Boston Terrier, but they are frowned on because of health concerns.
The current Boston Terrier is small enough for apartment life, but resilient enough for roughhousing. There have been popular designer dog breeds based on crossing with Bostons, such as the Boston Spaniel (a cross with a Cocker Spaniel).