Boston Terriers are known for their distinctive tuxedo-like coat pattern, but did you know that they actually come in a many colors?
When it comes to Boston Terrier colors, it goes beyond the traditional black and white. While the black and white, brindle and white, and seal and white coat combinations are recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), Boston Terriers actually come in a variety of colors beyond these three.
In this article, we’ll explore the full spectrum of coat colors available for Boston Terriers, from the AKC recognized colors to the more unique and lesser-known variations.
Whether you’re thinking about adopting a Boston Terrier or simply curious about the breed, read on to discover the many Boston Terrier colors!
AKC Recognized Colors:
Other Boston Terrier Colors:
- Blue Boston Terrier
- Red Boston Terrier
- Merle Boston Terrier
- Lilac Boston Terrier
- Cream Boston Terrier
- Fawn Boston Terrier
AKC Recognized Colors
Black and White Boston Terrier
When it comes to visualizing a Boston Terrier, the image that most likely comes to mind is the iconic black and white coat.
This traditional tuxedo-like coloring is not just quintessential, but along with the breed’s friendly personality, is also what has earned Boston Terriers the endearing nickname of the “American Gentleman.”
The black and white Boston Terrier is undeniably the classic, most recognized color combination associated with this breed. Their glossy black coat, set off by contrasting white markings is what most people picture when they think of a Boston Terrier.
As specified in the American Kennel Club (AKC) breed standards, these white markings are not random. Instead, they follow a particular pattern. You can expect to see these markings adorning their chest and muzzle, wrapping around the neck like a band, extending halfway up the forelegs, and decorating their feet.
Beyond its visual appeal, the coat of a black and white Boston Terrier is also practical. It boasts a smooth, short, and fine texture that doesn’t require extensive grooming.
With its low maintenance nature, it’s not only a pleasure to look at but also to care for, making this classic Boston Terrier look a favorite among many dog lovers.
Brindle Boston Terrier
Brindle Boston Terriers are known for their distinctive coat pattern, not a specific color. This pattern features dark, irregular streaks or stripes against a lighter base color.
The brindle pattern can differ greatly from one dog to another. Some have a distinct and prominent brindle pattern, while others have a faint pattern.
While the American Kennel Club recognizes the brindle pattern, it only does so when it appears in black. If the brindle pattern appears in black, Brindle Boston Terriers can be registered with the AKC and are eligible to participate in AKC Conformation events.
While the brindle pattern occurs due to a specific genetic trait, the health of Brindle Boston Terriers don’t differ from black and white Boston Terriers.
Finally, the brindle pattern isn’t exclusive to Boston Terriers and can also be seen in other breeds, like Boxers and Bulldogs, and even other species.
Seal Boston Terrier
Seal Boston Terriers feature a dark brown coat often mistaken for black. However, in sunlight or bright light, the coat projects a reddish-brown tint, a result of the pigment eumelanin.
This coloring, prominent on the back, head, and tail, contrasts strikingly with the white chest, muzzle, and legs.
Despite their unique color, Seal Boston Terriers share the same friendly and sociable personality traits with the rest of the breed.
Seal Boston Terriers are one of three Boston Terrier coat colors officially recognized by the AKC, enabling them to be fully registered.
AKC registration allows Seal Boston Terriers to participate in a variety of AKC events, including Conformation events, commonly known as dog shows. These events evaluate dogs based on their adherence to the breed standard.
Other Boston Terrier Colors
Blue Boston Terrier
Blue Boston Terriers stand out with their unique coat hue, a dilution of the conventional black coat coloration. The blue hue can intensify with age, typically starting as a light or medium blue in puppies, then darkening to a medium or dark steel blue as the dog matures.
Blue Boston Terriers also exhibit unique features such as grey or light blue irises, which usually darken to hazel-brown as they age. Correspondingly, their noses, paw pads, and eye rims bear a similar dilute pigmentation, mirroring their blue coat.
Despite the striking appearance, this unique blue coloration also predisposes Blue Boston Terriers to a health condition known as Color Dilution Alopecia (CDA).
CDA is a genetic, recessive condition, characterized by patches of hair thinning or loss, and it can also cause flaky and/or itchy skin. It is particularly associated with individuals having “dilute” colors.
Nonetheless, their distinctive coloration, coupled with the Boston Terrier’s well-loved personality traits, makes Blue Boston Terriers an attractive variation of the breed.
Red Boston Terrier
Red Boston Terriers have a unique red coat color that ranges from light copper or brown to a rich, deep red. This coloration extends beyond their coats, encompassing their eyes, noses, and paws.
An intriguing aspect of Red Boston Terriers is their eye color at birth. Typically, these puppies are born with blue eyes, which darken over time, eventually becoming brown or hazel.
Like all Boston Terriers, the red variant shares the same friendly, affectionate, and adaptable characteristics that make the breed such a beloved pet.
Their distinctive coat and matching features contribute to their uniqueness, making them a wonderful part of the Boston Terrier family.
Merle Boston Terrier
Merle Boston Terriers, also known as harlequin or dapple, are a distinct variation of the breed with a faded skin pigment that sets them apart from their counterparts.
Probably the most unique of the Boston Terrier colors, the appearance is due to the presence of the Silv gene, which imparts the characteristic merle pattern on their coat.
The merle pattern is characterized by a mottled, irregular arrangement of color patches on a lighter background, creating a visually striking effect. The merle pattern’s varied expression means that no two Merle Boston Terriers are identical
However, their distinct coat pattern has certain health implications. Primarily, they’re more prone to eye and ear disorders due to the irregular pigment distribution influenced by the Silv gene.
Despite the potential health challenges, their individuality and distinctive looks make Merle Boston Terriers an interesting part of the Boston Terrier color spectrum.
Lilac Boston Terrier
Sometimes referred to as “champagne and white,” Lilac Boston Terriers are characterized by their unique coloration which ranges from bluish to dusty red hues.
A result of certain dilution genes impacting coat pigmentation, their coat color changes as they age, starting as a purple/blue or dusty red in newborns and gradually developing a more noticeable lilac hue as they mature.
This unique coloration extends to their eye rims, noses, and paw pads, often presenting a distinctive purple pigmentation.
Eye color also varies, starting as baby blue in puppyhood and darkening to light green, hazel, or gold as they grow into adulthood.
Lilac Boston Terriers may feature different coat patterns including lilac brindles, with a mixture of irregular colors, and splashes of large, irregular white patches.
Lilac Boston Terriers may be susceptible to a genetic condition known as Color Dilution Alopecia (CDA), which is commonly associated with “dilute” color genes. This condition can cause patches of hair thinning or loss and potentially flaky, itchy skin.
Despite potential health issues, the distinctive appearance and fun personalities, make Lilac Boston Terriers an appealing option for prospective dog owners.
Cream Boston Terrier
Cream Boston Terriers stand out among Boston Terrier colors with their unique cream-colored coats, varying from a soft, light cream to a deeper honey shade.
Oftentimes, the cream markings on these dogs are not readily apparent at birth when they may appear entirely white. As they mature, however, the cream coloration emerges more clearly.
The degree of cream pigmentation can vary per individual, some retain very light cream color markings while others’ markings may deepen to a light tan.
One distinguishing feature of Cream Boston Terriers is their noses, which often present an interesting pattern akin to ink splatter. While this unique pattern is not always present, it’s a common trait in cream-colored Boston Terriers, appearing as if pen ink has burst onto their noses.
Fawn Boston Terrier
Fawn Boston Terriers, also referred to as Sable Boston Terriers, are a notable color variant within the breed, recognized for their white and tan coat, peppered with black hairs.
The fawn coat is a unique blend of white, tan, and black hairs. Most of the hairs on a Fawn Boston Terrier are a tan, brown, or fawn color, interspersed with black hairs. Some hairs, known as banded hairs, are tan, brown, or fawn at the base, transitioning to black at the tip.
Fawn Boston Terriers may range in color from light brown to a deep, rich, reddish-brown. They often display a white chest that extends upwards, streaking through the muzzle and terminating between the eyes, granting them an almost deer-like appearance.
Many Fawn Boston Terriers also bear a black facial mask, a common trait in this color variant, and a dorsal stripe of darker hairs running down their back. The tips of their ears are usually black, and other key physical features include a black nose and black or dark brown eyes.
Can Colored Boston Terriers be Registered with the AKC?
Yes, Boston Terriers of varied coat colors can indeed be registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC). This includes Boston Terriers with non-standard coat colors, indicating that color does not prohibit these dogs from being recognized by the AKC.
However, it is important to note that there are certain restrictions associated with non-standard coat colors in relation to AKC activities.
Only Boston Terriers with standard coat colors, recognized as black, seal, and brindle, are eligible to compete in AKC Conformation events, also known as dog shows. These events primarily assess a dog’s adherence to the breed’s standard, which includes specific colorations.
Despite this restriction in Conformation events, Boston Terriers with non-standard coat colors still have opportunities to participate in a variety of AKC activities, including AKC Companion and Performance events.
These encompass a range of activities such as agility trials, obedience competitions, Earth Dog trials, and Scent Work competitions. These events allow Boston Terriers of all colors to showcase their intelligence, agility, and excellent companion traits, thus promoting the diversity within the breed.
When it comes to Boston Terriers with alternate colors, it’s essential to be aware of some health considerations. Some Boston Terrier colors naturally have a lower hair count per square inch compared to their dominantly colored, black and white counterparts.
This can result in their coat being more susceptible to skin issues or offering less protection against harsh weather conditions – including being more susceptible to getting a sunburn.
The importance of responsible breeding cannot be overstated when dealing with Boston Terrier color variations. Ensuring that your dog comes from a reputable breeder who prioritizes the health and well-being of their dogs is crucial.
Responsible breeders will be knowledgeable about potential genetic issues related to coat color and will take the necessary precautions to minimize health risks.
Which Boston Terrier Color is Right for You?
From the classic and widely recognized black and white Boston Terrier to the stunning and rare Lilac or Fawn variations, Boston Terriers are visually one of the most interesting dog breeds.
As easy as it is to get caught up in how amazing a Boston looks, it’s important to remember that a dog’s color should not be the sole factor in choosing a Boston Terrier as a companion.
By focusing on the dog’s personality, health, and compatibility with your lifestyle, you can ensure a long and rewarding life with your Boston Terrier, no matter the color.