Colored Boston Terriers

So, just what are "Colored Boston Terriers"? A Colored Boston is one whose color is anything other than the AKC breed standard of black & white, brindle & white, or seal & white.

The non-standard colors include:

Colored Boston Terriers may be AKC registered. Although AKC accepts registration of non-standard colors, Colored Boston Terriers may not be shown at AKC conformation events since they do not meet the AKC breed standard for color. The "Colored Boston Terrier" is recognized by the United Canine Association (UCA) as an entirely separate breed from the "Boston Terrier".

Colored Boston Terriers & Registration with AKC:

Following is an email conversation clarifying how Colored Boston Terriers are registered through AKC. The only editing done was to remove personal information in accordance with our privacy policy, and to remove discussion of a non-color related topic.

Message Submitted to via Contact Form
Date: Wed Aug 26 00:13:54 2009

I came across your site tonight. I understand your site is to provide information only; however, I feel by providing info on "colored" BTs, you are really providing a disservice .... The BT Club of America and the AKC DOES NOT RECOGNIZE Red and White or any other color except Breed Standard. If you are going to provide this info, I believe you need a disclaimer when doing so, because people are purchasing these dogs and they are really not getting a BT. If we are to keep this fantastic breed true to its heritage, we need to preseve the Breed Standard. Thank you.

My response:
Wednesday, August 26, 2009, 12:04 PM

Hello, xxxxx-
Thank you for such a well thought out and pleasant email. In several places on the site, I state that colored bostons are not recognized by the AKC as standard, specifically on the breed standard page, as well as the boston-terrier-colors page. As a result of your email, I will, in fact, expand that to be included as a footnote on EACH of the color pages in a future update. Although AKC does not RECOGNIZE colored bostons AS STANDARD, they do REGISTER several non-standard colors, which I think contributes to the confusion, since you can have an AKC REGISTERED colored boston, even though it doesn't meet the breed standard for color.

Kind regards,

Message received:

Thanks Kathleen...

As far as a "colored Boston" being AKC, we have found that the "breeders" are checking an inappropriate box on the registration form. There are only 3 choices. So those that are breeding "colored Bostons", are getting away with registering them as brindle. My guess is that this box is checked because they know they can't register the REDS/BROWNS and it is there way around it. Then they go ahead and sell them as RARE BT AND ARE CHARGING BIG BUCKS and fooling the public. They are not rare and they are not Boston Terriers by Breed Standard definition from AKC and BTCA.

My Response:
Date: 28 Aug 2009, 11:14:33 AM

Hi xxxxxxxx -

Actually, there are 5 boxes on the paper registration forms:

  • black and white
  • black brindle and white
  • brindle and white
  • seal and white
  • seal brindle and white
and 3 additional options for online registration:
  • white and black
  • white and brindle
  • white and seal

The other colors not on a check box, but registerable with AKC given appropriate documentation are:

  • red and white
  • liver and white
  • fawn and white
  • blue and white

I also wanted to share some information I received from a breeder about how they register their colors:

" To be able to have your puppy properly color registered, you need to send the puppy application with two photos, standing side shot and standing face shot, with a letter requesting proper color registration to the AKC Special Services Department. You can also have adult dogs that have long been registered incorrectly as 'seal and white' re-registered. You have to resend in the certificate, with a letter to requesting change, the photos, and you do have to send in the money again to have it changed, $20."

Most people register them (colored bostons) as SEAL, not brindle, as AKC normally suggests they lump them all in the category so you can look at the registered name to suggest color. Before people began learning that they could mail the paperwork in with photos, they would register the dog with a color name like:
VRs Fudge Delite (chocolate)
VRs Fire Moonball (red)
the list goes on...

I can not register my cream as a cream, as it is not a designated color, so I did fawn and white and registered her as Cypress' Shakhari is a Cream and White Boston (can not get anymore direct that that!) I do not allow the word RARE in my vocabulary in regards to the colored Bostons nor anywhere on my site."

Since I'm not a breeder, I'll step out of the conversation on the registration of Colored Bostons. Just wanted to make you aware that AKC is very knowingly registering Colored Bostons, being provided with all the documentation (names and photos) to clearly define that they are not traditionally colored. If you have any other questions about colored bostons and/or their registration, feel free to contact xxxxxxx at

Thank you for the thoughtful conversation on the subject of color in Bostons.

Kind regards,

I received no further response.

Some people feel very passionately about the issue of Colored Boston Terriers. See what one person had to say about my providing information about Colored Boston Terriers at all on this site.