What Is Boston Terrier a Mix of?

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The American Gentleman or the Boston Terrier looks like a sweeter and smaller version of the Bulldog. It is such a darling with large brown eyes and seemingly attentive ears that complement its compact body. These similarities, however, have a lot of people asking: what is Boston Terrier a mix of?

What Is Boston Terrier a Mix of? 

The Boston Terrier is the offspring of a mix between an English Bulldog and White Terrier crossbred named Judge and a small, white female dog of an unknown origin named Gyp. However, the first generations of the Boston Terrier were of uneven type. Different mixes with other dog breeds helped establish the traits of the Boston Terrier that you know today. 

Graphic image of a black and white Boston Terrier with a text explaining what breeds make up a Boston Terrier

Decades of selective breeding helped reduce the size and improve the temperament of the Boston Terrier. The English Terrier, the White English Terrier, the Bull Terrier, Manchester, the Bulldog, and the French Bulldog were all of importance during the formative years of the Boston Terrier.

The Genealogy of the Boston Terrier

When bull-baiting activities became illegal in the UK in 1835, there was no more use for the Bulldogs for many people. Since then, many of the breed were sold to other countries, including the US. Since the Bulldog was a large, aggressive breed, fanciers attempted to breed for smaller versions and produce dogs for companionship.

The Original Sire and Dam

In 1870, a man from Boston named Robert Hooper bought a dog from a friend, William O’Brien. This dog—a direct descendant of a bulldog and a white terrier—was imported from England. Hooper named the 32-pound dog Judge.

Boston Terrier looking at the camera

Hooper’s Judge was bred with a small, female dog owned by William Burnett from Southboro. The female dog was of unknown origin and weighed only about 20 pounds. Judge and Gyp became the sire and dam of Well’s Eph, the first Round Head in the US.

The First Generation of Round Heads

In 1877, Well’s Eph was bred with Tobin’s Kate, another small dog with a short head and golden brindle coat. Out of the puppies they had, Bernard’s Tom and Atkinson’s Toby had a huge contribution to the origin of the present-day Boston Terrier. 

Bernard’s Tom and Kelly’s Nell mated and had Mike. Mike was a notable descendant in the Boston Terrier history for having a short crew tail admired by the breeders. Mike was also the first Round Head that was registered with the American Kennel Club under the name Punch.

In 1893, the AKC (American Kennel Club) officially recognized the Boston Terrier breed and it was the 48th generation. It was classified as non-sporting and became one of the most popular dogs in the US for 25 years.

What Dog Breeds Formed the Modern Boston Terriers?

More than a century ago, fanciers bred only bully type females to the Bull and Terrier, while a highly terrier type female to the Bulldog. This is to improve the uneven type in the dog breeds. Despite this approach, the deformities were not eliminated even after the descendants were mixed with other breeds, such as the story of Well’s Eph.

Different types of dogs on a playdate

To completely establish the uneven type, the Boston Terrier was bred with other dog breeds. Boston Terriers were originally bred to be fighting dogs, but that has not lasted over time.

While their appearance has changed over the last century, the dog breeds behind the established traits of Boston Terriers as they are today include the following:

  • English Terrier: The Old English Terriers were purebred, medium-sized dogs that weighed up to 80 pounds for males and 70 pounds for females at that time. They originated in the UK and had a black coat color.
  • English White Terrier: This breed that originated in England was the result of a cross between an English Terrier and another breed. It was smaller than the Old English Terrier and had a white coat. The White Terrier is now an extinct breed.
  • Bulldog: The bulldog was a ferocious-looking dog that weighed around 100 pounds at that time. It had a muscular body saggy, wrinkled face, and short muzzle.
  • Bull Terrier: Known as the Gladiator of the Canine Race, the Bull Terrier was a good-looking dog that had a slim and well-proportioned body. 
  • French Bulldog: This is the miniature of the bulldog and was the dog breed used to reduce the size of the early generations of the Boston Terrier.
  • Manchester: The manchester is a purebred known as the Gentleman’s Terrier. The physical traits of the Manchester dog breed make it look like a bigger version of the Miniature Pinscher or a smaller Doberman Pinscher.

What Are Some Boston Terrier Mixes?

Bostons are undeniably cute, not to mention friendly and smart. It’s no surprise why dog breeders are fascinated in cross-breeding Boston Terriers with other dog breeds now that they already have established traits. This is despite them being sensitive at giving birth.

Here are some popular Boston Terrier mixes:

French Bulldog

Popular Boston Terrier Mixes

Breed NameCommon Name
Bichon Frise Boston Terrier Bostchon
Brussels Griffon Boston Terrier Brusston
Bulldog Boston Terrier Boston Bulldog
Cairn Terrier Boston Terrier Cairoston
Chihuahua Boston Terrier Chibon
Chinese Shar Pei Boston Terrier Sharbo
Pekingese Boston Terrier Bostinese
Pomeranian Boston Terrier Pomston
French Bulldog Boston Terrier Frenchton
Labrador Retriever Boston Terrier Boston Lab
Miniature Pinscher Minpin

Crossbreeding a pure Boston Terrier with another pure dog breed produces pets that have a mix of any of the traits of the sire and dam. Crosses may also produce dogs that are healthier than purebred Bostons. 

Where Did the Boston Terrier Breed Come From?

The Boston Terrier Breed came from the United States. The original sire of the Boston Terrier was a mix of an English White Terrier and English Bulldog, while the dam was of unknown origin. The first Boston Terrier was bred in Boston, Massachusetts during the 1870’s.

What Size Breed Is a Boston Terrier?

The size breed of the Boston Terrier is considered a small dog breed. The largest size of Boston Terriers registered with the American Kennel Club does not weigh more than 25 pounds. On average, the height of male Boston Terriers is 17 inches at withers, while the females are 16 inches tall.

Is a Boston Terrier a True Terrier?

the Boston Terrier is not a true terrier. The American Kennel Club does not recognize them as Terriers and instead has its own group.



The Boston Terrier dog breed originally came from the US. Given the sire of the first Boston Terrier was a mix of an English Bulldog and an English White Terrier, the first generation of The American Gentleman was bred in the US. It was officially recognized by the AKC in 1893.

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