Boston Terrier Club of America

Official National Breed Club of "The American Gentleman"

The Versatile Boston Terrier

Adapted from an article by Ellen Dresselhuis
For the Boston Terrier Club of America

Versatility awards

Boston Terriers are a fixture on the dog show circuit. Their good looks and formal appearance have earned them the title of “The American Gentleman.” Well-bred Bostons excel in the show ring, but they are capable of much more. In fact, they are standout performers in the myriad dog sports offered by the American Kennel Club.

Bostons participate in many sports.  You will find them in the obedience ring, rally trials, agility trials, flyball, Fast CAT, Disc dog, dock diving, barn hunt, and even tracking events.  A healthy, sound Boston is an athlete who can hold her head up among the best of them. A Boston can sail over the jumps and race around the ring, exuding joy at every turn.

The Boston Terrier Club of America supports Bostons in the companion events by holding obedience, rally, and agility trials at its annual specialty.  The club also recognizes the achievements of our breed at its annual awards banquet, awarding certificates to the dogs in the top ten in agility MACH competition and the top 5 in agility PACH competition.  

Our annual Parade of Title Holders recognizes Bostons who have earned agility, rally, and obedience titles in addition to those with conformation titles. In addition, the Club offers three levels of Versatility awards to dogs who earn conformation Championships and titles in Companion, Performance, and Title Recognition Program events.

AKC Titles Earned by Boston Terriers

During the month of February 2024, Boston Terriers earned 90 AKC titles!

The breakdown of these is as follows:

  • 15 Conformation Championships
    • 9 Champion
    • 1 Grand Champion
    • 1 Grand Champion Bronze
    • 4 Grand Champion Silver
  • 5 Rally Titles
  • 2 Farm Dog Certifications
  • 19 Agility Titles including 2 Championships
  • 13 FAST CAT /Coursing Titles
  • 13 Scentwork Titles
  • 8 Canine Good Citizen Titles
  • 10 Trick Dog Titles
  • 3 Temperament Tests
  • 1 Fetch Dog
  • 1 Therapy Dog

Congratulations to all of the great dogs, owners and breeders!!!

Below is a detailed list of the February winners.


Agility is a sport where the Boston Terrier’s natural athletic ability, prey drive, and desire to work their people shine. They love to jump, climb, and just run fast, so this is a sport in which they excel, dispelling the myth that the breed has breathing issues. An ever-growing number of Boston Terriers compete in the sport, many at a National level. People watching have expressed surprise more than once when they see the small black-and-white speed demon race off the start line!

Agility is a terrifically fun sport in which Bostons excel. It is an ideal venue in which to show off Boston’s speed, jumping ability, and natural athleticism.  Boston Terriers earned a whopping 377 agility titles in the most recent AKC reporting period. The breed is also well-represented at the AKC Agility Invitational and the AKC National Agility Championships.

Boston Terrier in Agility competition
A Boston flying over an obstacle at the AKC Agility Championship

Fast CAT

Boston Terrier FastCat
Boston at top speed closing in on the Fast CAT lure

The Boston Terrier’s speed is displayed in the fast-growing sport of Fast CAT, a speed test in which our dogs run a timed 100-yard dash chasing a plastic “bunny” lure. 

Bostons routinely exceed 22 – 24 MPH speeds, with the current leader clocking in at 26.96 MPH! This is faster than World Record Holder Usain Bolt’s 23.2 MPH. 

133 Fast CAT titles were awarded to Boston Terriers in the most recent AKC reporting period.


Scent Work

The sport of Scent Work is similar to the nose work performed by drug and bomb detection dogs. Cotton swabs saturated with essential oils are hidden out of sight in the search area. When the scent is detected, the dog must alert the handler who calls out the find to the judge.

Some might think Boston Terriers, with their short noses, would be at a disadvantage in this game, but Bostons earned 104 AKC Scent Work titles in the most recent reporting period.

Boston Terrier Scent Work
This Boston Terrier detected the scent and is alerting her handler

Obedience / Rally

Boston Terrier at Rally
A smiling Boston competing in AKC Rally

Obedience tests our dog’s ability to perform certain specific exercises on command without verbal communication or additional cues.

Rally tests a dog’s ability to navigate a designated exercise course with verbal communication and encouragement from the handler.

Bostons earned 32 AKC obedience titles and 48 AKC rally titles.

Family Dog Program

The AKC also offers titles in its Family Dog Program.

These include the Canine Good Citizen test, which examines a dog’s good manners and ability to cope in social situations.

The Trick Dog tests a dog’s ability to perform fun activities in five different ability levels.

Ninety-six Boston Terriers earned the Canine Good Citizen title (CGC), and sixty-eight Trick Dog Titles were earned.

service dog and boy
Bostons are wonderful Service Dogs


Boston Terrier during Flyball
Eyes on the finish, an athletic Boston heading for home
in a Flyball competition

Bostons compete in the team sport of Flyball, another fast-moving sport.  It is a four-dog team sport that requires the dog to speed through a set of jumps to catch a ball from a triggered box and return to the start line before the next dog enters the course.

Other Title Recognition Programs

Boston Terriers have also earned AKC Farm Dog, Barn Hunt, Dock Diving, and Disc Dog titles.

All of these activities require a physically and temperamentally sound Boston, the kind you should expect from a responsible Boston Terrier breeder.

Boston Terrier dock diving
A Boston Terrier is in mid-air at a dock diving competition

Some European countries discriminate against the brachycephalic breeds, saying they cannot live long, useful lives because they cannot breathe properly. The Boston Terrier Club of America rejects any such notion. Dogs bred to our standard excel in all of the dog sports. We offer a consistent record of excellence and achievement as evidence of the soundness and good health of a well-bred Boston Terrier.

For more information, visit the AKC website.