Boston Terrier Colors

AKC show boston terrier

Boston Terrier colors include a beautiful rainbow and variety. There are the colors that are included in the Boston Terrier Standard and there are Non-Standard colors as well. All of these can be AKC registered, but the non-standard colors cannot be shown in an AKC conformation show. They can be involved in other AKC sanctioned events however, and they can also be shown in IABCA conformation shows. 

There are quite a few colors and patterns in Boston Terriers and we at WCK view them all as equally valuable. Personal preference and your philosophy can determine which Boston Terrier colors you prefer. Let’s discuss some of them. (For more pictures of some Boston Terrier Puppies of various colors, CLICK HERE)


Our Brindle and White puppy Esme competing in an AKC Conformation Show

Standard Boston Terrier Colors

Black and White Bostons

The most recognizable Boston Terrier is the Black and white Boston, They have a cute little tuxedo, and a bi-lateral mask. Black and white Boston Terriers have black noses, and black/dark brown eyes. Having an even white collar, white front socks and a full white belly are desireable. Some have tiny black freckles that show up under their fur and darken as they get older. While visible ticking is not desireable on show dogs, there is nothing wrong with it. Many develop it, especially on the belly as they age. 

Black and White Boston Terrier

Brindle and White Bostons

Brindle is actually a pattern and not a color. Most Bostons have at least some brindling in their coats, it is rare to get a coat completely free from brindle anymore, but many use the terms Black and White, Brindle and White, and Black Brindle and White interchangeably.

Brindle Boston Terrier

Seal and White Bostons

Many Boston Terriers are mislabeled as Seal on their AKC paperwork. Some confuse Seal Bostons with Brown or Chocolate Boston Terriers. Seal Bostons have banded hairs. The base of the hair is black and the tips of the hairs are Mohogany. This means that the dog is Black in regular light, but shines red in the sun. A close look at the hairs will show the banding.

Non-Standard Boston Colors - Colored Boston Terriers

Brown Boston Terriers

Brown Boston Terriers, Liver Boston Terriers, Red Boston Terriers, Chocolate Boston Terriers, these are all words used to describe Bostons with brown genetics. The variety of shades are beautiful. If a breeder calls them any of the names above, don’t be confused, or think one is more valuable than another. They are all genetically the same color. Brown Bostons noses are brown and they usually have eyes of varied shades of brown and hazel.

Brown Boston Terrier Red Boston Terrier

Blue Boston Terriers - Gray Boston Terriers

In this breed, Gray Boston Terriers are called “Blue”. Blue Boston Terriers carry a dilute gene. This means that the normal Black pigment has been diluted to gray. Blue Boston Terriers have a gray nose, gray fur, and although they are born with blue eyes, their eyes at adulthood will likely be shades of hazel, grey or green.

Blue Boston Terrier Grey Boston Terrier

Lilac Boston Terriers (Champagne?)

Lilac Boston terriers also carry a dilute gene. They are Brown Bostons where the Brown has been diluted to tan color by this gene. This color includes a range of tan hues and can be confusing because in many other breeds, this color is called “Champagne” but in Bostons, the title “Champagne” has been given to a much more complicated color. If a breeder is selling a tan-colored Boston Terrier and using the term Champagne, they are using an old-school term that no longer applies to this color. But that’s ok! As long as you are aware of the difference. 

Lilac Boston Terrier

Fawn Boston Terrier

Fawn Boston Terriers are easiest described as having the coloring of a Fawn Boxer. Most people can call that image to mind. The body is a shade of yellow based red. Fawn Bostons have a black nose, black/dark brown eyes and black masking, as well as most have a dorsal stripe and black tipped ears. Just to make it more confusing, we are now seeing Blue Fawns and Red Fawns with the typically black parts of the fawn being blue or red. 

Cream Boston Terriers and True Champagne Boston Terriers

Cream Boston Terriers have very light yellow/cream in the places the black would be on the typical Boston tuxedo. Many creams are born looking solid white, but darken as they get older. Creams have Black noses and black/dark brown eyes.

True Champagne Boston Terriers are a diluted form of Cream. They can be even lighter than a cream and have blue noses and lighter brown/hazel or grey/green eyes. 

Bostons with excess white

While it is not desireable to have excess white on the face if you plan to show your Boston Terrier, it is normal and can be seen in all the colors. Some call them “clown-faced” Bostons. Many of these can have blue eyes on the side with more white, and they can have white ears. Previously it was thought that white ears and blue eyes could indicate deafness, although there have not been any conclusive studies showing this assumption to be true in our breed. The white hairs on the inner ear are proved to cause deafness. We recommend all Bostons receive Baer testing for deafness as this is the only real way to know for sure if a dog is deaf. For more info on BAER testing CLICK HERE.

There are also Bostons with excess white on the body and these are called Splash Boston Terriers. This can be seen in all colors so you could say “Blue Splash Boston” meaning a Blue and white Boston with excessive white on the body. They may even look cow-spotted. 

white faced boston terrier

Boston Terrier Colors - Our Philosophy

Many Standard color preservation breeders are not fond of the colors that cannot be shown in an AKC ring. They claim that these were not the intention of the original Boston Terrier Breeders. While we respect this opinion, we feel that at this point in the breed, there needs to be a push for genetic diversity. Canine Geneticists are even pushing for breeders not to throw dogs out of their breeding program if they carry serious diseases, as they can be bred to non-carriers. If the situation is so dire that we should not throw out even disease carrying Bostons for fear of limiting the genetic material in our breed, I believe that throwing out all Bostons of Color is just as damaging and limiting. The colors are here, they are beautiful and I have chosen to embrace them in my program. 

Some standard color preservation breeders also claim that Colored breeders do not health test and offer inferior puppies. My program proves that wrong. My health testing meets or exceeds the testing done by most Standard-color only breeders. (See the list of recommended Health Testing HERE) I also offer better curriculum, better training, and temperament testing, in addition to the increased genetic diversity. I am fully confident that my breeding program, with the inclusion of the full spectrum of Boston Terrier Colors available, is a well thought out and superior breeding program. Take a look for yourself!