Not Just Show Standard, but Breed Standard
By Jessica Freni

The Boston Terrier, like the French Bulldog, has been woefully plagued by an ever growing demand for “rare” fad colors. The Boston Terrier standard permits only three colors, “brindle, seal or black in color and evenly marked with white…A proportionate combination of “Color and White Markings” is a particularly distinctive feature of a representative specimen” (AKC standard).”

A decade or so ago the only “rare” color really seen (and infrequently) was “red” (liver). Red/liver being a DQ color in Boston Terriers would very rarely accidentally pop up in well-bred lines and were placed in strictly pet homes. AKC standard placing a DQ on “any color not described in the standard”. Occasionally, these dogs came into the conformation ring and were sometimes accidental (i.e. the dog was misregisted as “seal” when in fact was “red”) exhibited and sometimes shown purposely and not always appropriately disqualified. Most regretfully, a “blue” Boston Terrier was not only not disqualified, but pointed in AKC conformation.

The French Bulldog Club of America has done a very good job incorporating education on their website with accessible info graphics, they have also done a great job addressing disqualified colors in the breed standard revised in 2018 “All other colors, markings or patterns are a disqualification. Disqualifying colors and patterns include, but are not limited to, solid black, black and tan, black and white, white with black, blue, blue fawn, liver, and merle. Black means black without a trace of brindle.”

Today, the pet demand for disqualified, fad color dogs marketed as “rare” has expanded and evolved to include a wide spectrum of colors (“blue”, fawn, red/liver, merle, “lilac” or “champagne”) of varying (lacking) type and questionable origins. Public education is important as they’re not show standard, but BREED standard for preservation of type, health and quality. Simply excluding, disqualification of these gimmicky colors is not enough, breeders, exhibitors and enthusiasts must increase public education to reduce the demand for unscrupulous breeders exploiting the breed.