The Boston terrier skull is a beautiful sight to behold. Its streamlined shape, pointed ears and deep-set round eyes are all elements that make the breed distinct.
But what’s more impressive is the changes that occurred over the last century and a half of selective breeding. Through careful selection of pups with desirable traits, breeders have been able to create a breed that is recognizable and beloved by many.
In this guide, you’ll learn more about the anatomy of the Boston terrier skull, its unique features, and how it helps the breed survive.
Boston Terriers And Their Skull
Key Takeaways –
- Boston Terriers have a specific skull structure that is unlike most other breeds of dogs.
- The skull structure of a Boston terrier can vary slightly depending on the individual dog.
- With their distinct facial shape and small size, these dogs are sure to make remarkable companions for any family.
Boston Terrier: Then and Now
Before we dive into the skull anatomy of this breed, let’s explore its PAST. The Boston terrier ancestors originated in England in the late 19th century. His ancestor was a Bulldog and a White English Terrier, both of which had DISTINCT physical features.
Mr. Robert C. Hooper of Boston, MA (hence the breed’s name) acquired one of these pups named Judge and, through SELECTIVE breeding, gradually refined the features that make up the Boston Terrier today.
The end result was a small-sized dog with black markings around his eyes, nose, and muzzle. An almost square head shape with a well-defined stop and ears set low but still erect.
These FEATURES have been preserved in the breed for over a century now and make it easy to spot a Boston Terrier. But let’s take a closer look at what they look like today.
Want to learn more about the Boston’s characteristics, traits, and facts? Check out this article – Boston Terrier Breed Facts, Features, and Traits!
Boston Terriers Today
When looking at the Boston terrier today, its skull is a defining feature. It’s flat on the top and narrows towards the muzzle, giving the breed an almost SQUARE head shape when viewed from the front or side.
The stop (the point where the forehead meets the bridge of the nose) is well-defined, and the eyes are deep-set and round. The ears are set low and slightly rounded at the tips to give the breed an ALERT look.
The teeth form a level bite, meaning the upper incisors fit snugly against the lower incisors when the mouth is closed. This feature helps them to MAINTAIN a healthy jawline and proper teeth alignment.
The skull is relatively LARGE compared to the rest of the body, making them appear larger than they are.
Boston Terrier Skull
So, what does a Boston terrier skull look like? Here you go:
The bone structure of the Boston terrier skull is quite INTERESTING. Much like other breeds with a square head shape, the skull is wide and flat on top.
However, unlike some other breeds with a similar shape, it also has a well-defined stop. This feature runs along the bridge of the nose and helps the breed look more alert.
The eyes are deep-set, round, and wide-set on the skull to give them an almost owl-like APPEARANCE. So now, let’s take a look at the difference between the Boston Terrier skill and a normal dog skull.
Note: the bone that comes to a bit of a point on top of the Boston’s head is called the occiput see more about this down below.
Boston Terrier Skull vs Normal Dog Skull
The Boston terrier skull is DIFFERENT from the average dog’s skull in a few key ways. For one, its size is proportionally larger than most other breeds of the same size and weight, although still relatively smaller than the average dog skull .
The eyes are also set DEEPER and wider than average, giving the breed a unique look.
Finally, the shape of their muzzle is slightly different, with a slight UPWARD curve at the end instead of an even point. This helps the breed have better vision and adds to its unique appearance.
Pro Tip: The Boston terrier skull is wider than a normal-sized dog’s. This helps the breed maintain its appearance, balance, and agility when jumping.
What types of dog skulls are there?
There are three main types of dog skulls: brachycephalic, mesaticephalic, and dolichocephalic.
- Brachycephalic skulls are found in dogs like the Bulldog or Boston Terrier, whose flat faces characterize them.
- Mesaticephalic skulls, or medium-skulled dogs, tend to have an average skull shape and can be seen in breeds like the Boxer or Australian Shepherd.
- Dolichocephalic skulls refer to dogs such as the Greyhound with longer noses and a more elongated skull shape.
Boston Terrier Skull-Related Health Issues
Like every other breed, Boston Terriers have some HEALTH issues due to their skull. The most common of these are:
Do dogs have thicker skulls than humans?
Dogs do in fact have thicker skulls than humans!
According to VetMED Emergency & Specialty Veterinary Hospital, while dogs have thicker skulls they can still have head traumas.
Why is there a point or bump at the top of a dog’s head?
This is called the occiput, pronounced ok-sip-i-tuh. The occiput is a very important anatomical structure that can be found on our dogs as well as ourselves but it is shaped a bit differently.
The occiput has many nerve endings and the ridge it creates is more prominent in some breeds than others.
Here are five breeds that have a prominent occiput:
- Golden Retrievers
- English Setters
- Blood Hounds
- German Shepherds
It’s clear that the Boston terrier skull is quite UNIQUE compared to other breeds. Its flat shape and well-defined stop give it an alert look, while its large eyes and wide-set muzzle provide an almost owl-like appearance.
Overall, the Boston Terrier is a LOYAL companion that makes for a great addition to any family! So if you’re looking for a pup that will always have your back, then the Boston Terrier might just be the perfect fit.
- Schoenebeck JJ, Ostrander EA. The Genetics of Canine Skull Shape Variation. Genetics. 2013;193(2):317-325. doi:10.1534/genetics.112.145284