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Adult boston terrier brindle
Undesirable/Disallowed Boston Terrier Colors
Below are some examples of off-colored Boston Terriers. These COLORS are highly undesirable and are bred by unscrupulous backyard breeders who offer them as "rare" at inflated prices. Even if it weren't for the fact that these are disallowed by our standard, if you have one of these dogs, few will even know it is a Boston Terrier! They are so unlike what the breed was originally developed to look like, since there is no sharp contrasting "tuxedo effect" unless you have a correctly colored dog. This is the hallmark of a true Boston Terrier and without it, the dog is not as it was intended by the forefather of our breed who wrote the standard.
PLEASE do not buy off-colored Boston Terriers from a non-show breeder or a breeder who is purposely trying to produce the off-colors. A responsible show breeder COULD possibly get a red in their litters BY MISTAKE (extremely rare!), but they would never purposely breed this dog to produce more of them. Please do not seek out red Bostons as with each one that is bought, a hole is created to encourage the breeder to make more of them! NOTE: If you do run across one and you MUST have it for some reason, make sure you only deal with a breeder who provides it with a spay/neuter contract or better yet, get it from someone who has already had the dog altered. To do otherwise means you are buying from an irresponsible breeder who did NOT produce the dog by way of a mistake and who does not care about the future of the breed. The integrity of the Boston Terrier breed is very important to responsible breeders. Make sure any breeder you buy from indeed has the best interest of the breed in mind and are not simply out to line their own pockets by selling odd colored puppies to unsuspecting buyers. And do not write me saying "you are calling my wonderful red Boston undesirable, how heartless! And you are probably putting to sleep any red puppies you get!" No, I nor any breeder I know of would NEVER under any circumstances put an off-colored puppy to sleep. As long as spayed/neutered, it would make a wonderful pet. But I do not ever get red puppies because I do not breed for them purposely. I am a show breeder. We do things differently than backyard pet breeders. I am also saying that the COLOR is undesirable and if you buy a dog of any color other than what the standard states, you may be getting a dog that is not purebred or at the very least you are doing nothing to respect and promote the standard which the forefathers of the breed (not I) wrote to define what the breed should look like. Again, buying from someone who touts the color as "rare" is a red flag for someone trying to make extra money and who is giving you nothing more for your money. Can that breeder show you histories of OFA, CERF eye, BAER hearing, Patella, Heart, Spine and thyroid tests on the parents and grandparents? Can they supply a current LIMITED registration (non-breeding), a clear CERF eye and BAER hearing test and preliminary patella check on all the puppies they sell? Ask your breeder if they have those things, and if they do, then at least you are getting some assuranace that your puppy will be healthy even if it does not truly represent the breed as it was intended.
A Boston Terrier is either black and white, seal and white (NOTE! Seal is NOT red - Seal appears black but has a reddish cast in bright sunlight, see example at the bottom of this page) or brindle and white - and ALL COLORS MUST HAVE BLACK NOSES and very dark brown eyes, no other colors are acceptable.
Examples of red:
Example of brown/liver:
Examples of Fawn (note the Boxer-like mask)
Here we have gray aka "blue" and pale red aka "champagne" Boston Terriers:
OTHER: Double dilute - the body color is red that has been diluted twice (genetically speaking). Note the blue eyes and pink nose.
Example of a White Body - NOTE: White bodies and splashes occasionally happen to responsible breeders who breed correctly marked dogs together because it is a throwback to the earliest Bostons before the markings were stabilized. Again, it is undesirable and should never be bred, however it is a natural "oops" which is more common amongst breeders than getting off-colored Bostons. Here it is a matter of pattern, not color. They should NOT be sold as rare or for a higher dollar amount:
Examples of a splash:
Example of seal:
This is an accepted and desirable color in the Boston Terrier. Seal is defined in the standard as "Seal appears black except it has a red cast when viewed in the sun or bright light". Note the two pictures below of the same dog - on the left when not in bright sun, she appears nearly black. On the right, see how the sun brings out the rich red cast when it shines on the coat. This is a true seal - NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH RED. Note her black nose.