Boston Terriers have an active, playful, rambunctious nature and are usually friendly. They are commonly quite food motivated, which facilitates learning and training and furthers the dog's bonding to its family. Even though the Boston Terrier is a small breed, they are quite intelligent and can participate in dog sports such as agility, tracking, flyball, and obedience as sport, and have also been used as animal-assisted therapy dogs. Their small size and striking color make the Boston Terrier attractive to children; however, as with all dogs, extremely close supervision is needed to prevent accidental injury to the dog and its subsequently developing fear-based defensive aggression.
The Boston Terrier can trace its history back to 1865 in Boston, Massachusetts. Early in the breed's history, coachmen for the wealthy residents of Boston cross-bred many of their employers' dogs for pit fighting purposes. One of these well-known crosses was between an English Bulldog and an English White Terrier (today extinct), called Hooper's Judge. Additional cross breeding with the English Bull Terrier, the Boxer, the Pit Bull Terrier and the French Bulldog during the 1890's contributed to the development of the Boston Terrier's modern traits. Pit fighting, for the most part, became illegal in many states and the popularity of the "sport" dwindled.