is a member of the American Kennel Club and is also the
National Club which represents, protects, and furthers
the interests of the breed and its owners throughout the world.

Boston Terrier Spines

The Standard for Boston Terriers, call for a back that is just short enough to square the body. The topline is level and the rump curves slightly to the set-on of the tail. The body should appear short. The tail is set on low, short, fine and tapering, straight or screw and must not be carried above the horizontal. (Note: The preferred tail does not exceed in length more than one-quarter the distance from set-on to hock.)


Boston Terriers can be prone to "hemivertebrae".

Hemivertebrae are vertebrae that are shaped more like triangles than blocks. A more serious problem known as spina bifida involves deformities to the caudal aspect of the spinal column. The significance of these lesions can be from mild to severe.

" This defect is present at birth and genetically based, although the genetic structure appears to be a complex (multiple genes involved) interaction. Commonly referred to as "butterfly" vertebrae, hemivertebrae has its highest incidence in brachycephalic (short muzzled), screw-tailed dog breeds. In fact the screw-tail is actually an example of a hemivertebrae formation. This malformation may be pleasing when located in the tail but can have serious repercussions when located elsewhere in the spine. Hemivertebrae are the result of the left and right halves of a vertebrae failing to fully fuse during fetal development. The resulting vertebrae resembles a butterfly when viewed from above. Each half of the hemivertebral body often grow unequally, creating a wedge-shaped (viewed vertically) body. The presence of a wedge vertebrae can cause a dorsal curvature (kyphosis) or a lateral curvature (scoliosis). Deformations in the backbone can compress the spinal cord and/or its blood supply, with serious ramifications. Symptoms indicative of hemivertebrae will be dependent upon the number of malformed discs and the locations of these discs. The best way to be assured of proper spinal formation is through x-ray evaluation by a veterinarian familiar with "proper" spinal formation for your breed.
by George Jones


Ingrown or corkscrew tails can become a serious problem. The tail grows backwards and down creating a deep crevice that can become painful and infected. In severe cases the tails need amputated. Milder cases require attention to keeping the area clean and dry to maintain the pet's comfort.

The following is an article written about the French Bulldog for Frenchie breeders and fanciers, every word in this excellent article equally applies to Bostons.

Hemivertebrae (pdf)


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