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Blue Boston Terrier: Facts, Origin & History (With Pictures)

Written by: Elizabeth Gray

Last Updated on May 18, 2024 by Dogster Team

Blue Boston Terrier

Blue Boston Terrier: Facts, Origin & History (With Pictures)

Boston Terriers were descended from Bulldogs and Terriers used for fighting and couldn’t be more different from their ancestors. They are fun-loving, energetic family dogs who want to be best friends with everyone they meet. Blue Boston Terriers have a rare color variation caused by a genetic mutation. Keep reading to learn more about the Blue Boston Terrier, including fun facts and the breed’s history.

Breed Overview


15-17 inches


12-25 pounds


11-13 years


Gray, silver, or blue with white markings

Suitable for:

Families, seniors, and individuals looking for a social, playful pet


Smart, friendly, active, entertaining, good with kids and other pets

Blue Boston Terriers are technically not allowed by breed standards. The only official colors are black, brindle, and seal (brown) with white. The Blue Boston Terrier is caused by a mutation of the color gene, resulting in a diluted black coat. Aside from their unusual color, the Blue Boston Terrier is typically the same as any other color in personality and size.

Blue Boston Terrier Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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The Earliest Records of Blue Boston Terriers in History

All modern Boston Terriers trace their ancestry back to a dog named Judge, who was bred in England in the 1860s. Judge was a mix between a Bulldog and a (now extinct) English Terrier. He was sold to an American, and Judge crossed the Atlantic to the United States.

This new American owner used Judge as the founder of a separate breed. American breeders selectively bred the new dog smaller and sweeter than Judge, intending them as pets instead of fighting dogs. The new Terrier was named after the city where it was developed, and Boston Terriers soon became beloved pets.

While we don’t know when the first Blue Boston Terrier was born, it could have been anytime in the breed’s history. We know that the original breeders didn’t selectively choose the color as standard for the Boston Terrier, and Blue Boston Terriers have likely never been common.

Small Blue Boston terrier puppy looking up from concrete porch steps
Image by: Sharon Feragotti,Shutterstock

How Blue Boston Terriers Gained Popularity

Boston Terriers of all colors have always been intended as companion dogs. Despite their name, they have little in common with other Terriers, most of whom were bred to hunt rodents or fight. Boston Terriers, with their round heads and sweet faces, quickly became known as the “ladies’ pet” as opposed to the tougher Bull Terriers and Bulldogs associated with “manly” pursuits like dog fighting.

It took until the early 20th century for the modern look of the Boston Terrier to emerge from breeders. Again, Blue Boston Terriers were not included as standard colors for these early dogs, so we don’t know how many or how popular they were at the time. However, the homegrown Boston Terrier was the most popular dog in America by the 1910s.

Formal Recognition of Blue Boston Terriers

The Boston Terrier was originally called the American Bull Terrier, with the first breed club formed in 1891. However, Bull Terrier breeders objected to the name because the new breed had so little in common with their breed or Bulldogs. When the AKC recognized the new breed in 1893, the name had changed to Boston Terrier.

The American Kennel Club does not formally recognize Blue Boston Terriers. That means they can’t be registered or compete in dog shows. However, if a Blue Boston Terrier is born to registered parents, you may be able to register them, but showing them is still not allowed.

Blue Boston terrier puppy
Image by: JStaley401, Shutterstock

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Top 3 Unique Facts About Blue Boston Terriers

1. Blue Boston Terriers Are Celebrities in Their Home State

The state of Massachusetts is very proud to be known as the original home of Boston Terriers of all colors. In 1979, the Boston Terrier was named the official state dog. They have also been the mascot of Boston University for close to 100 years.

2. One of Their First Nicknames Was “Roundheads”

Boston Terriers of all colors were originally nicknamed “Roundheads” during the early years of their development. Early breeders deliberately selected dogs with different face shapes than Bulldogs and Bull Terriers. They believed the rounded head of the Boston Terrier gave them a friendlier, sweeter appearance.

3. Blue Boston Terriers Are Considered Brindle

If a Blue Boston Terrier is allowed to register with the American Kennel Club officially, they will do so as a “brindle and white” dog since they don’t have their own color category.

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Does the Blue Boston Terrier Make a Good Pet?

Blue Boston Terriers make wonderful pets for nearly any owner and living situation. They are social dogs who enjoy making friends with humans and other pets. Although they have a lot of energy, their small size makes it easy for them to exercise even if they live in small spaces or city environments.

They generally love kids, but you should always supervise younger children who may not know how to be gentle yet. They are smart and respond well to gentle, positive training. Blue Boston Terriers usually only need a quick weekly brushing to keep their coat healthy, and they are not heavy shedders.

The biggest concern for Blue Boston Terrier owners is the breed’s health. Boston Terriers are a short-nosed, flat-faced breed prone to breathing issues. They are also extra sensitive to hot temperatures.

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Blue Boston Terriers may not be an officially recognized color variety, but they are still as charming and entertaining as any other Boston Terrier. You might have difficulty finding a Blue Boston Terrier for sale because they’re rare. However, because the breed is prone to some inherited health issues, it’s essential to research the breeders you find carefully. Make sure you get the healthiest Blue Boston Terrier possible, and ask your veterinarian about any precautions you should take to keep them that way.

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Featured Image Credit: Rob Blaze, Shutterstock

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