Are Boston Terrier Good Family Dogs? What You Should Know

Boston Terriers As A Family Dog.

The Boston Terrier, nicknamed the “American Gentleman”, is a calm, pleasant breed that makes them ideal for most households, even those with seniors and very young children. 

Originally bred to be a fighting dog in the early 19th century, the Boston Terrier evolved from its sad origins into one of the most popular companion dog breeds. A descendant of the English Bulldog, the Boston Terrier is smaller, with a shorter snout and flatter face. 

With their trademark tuxedo markings that give them their nickname, Boston Terriers are excellent family dogs that don’t take up a lot of space. They have loads of energy so they can keep up with the young ones, and they are smart and trainable, easily learning tricks and commands.

Are Boston Terriers Good With Kids?

Patient, loving, and playful, Boston Terriers make wonderful companions for children. While they are little, they are stocky and compact, sturdy enough to keep up with a child’s active play. 

As with all dogs, Boston Terriers should be thoroughly socialized and trained. While Boston Terriers are typically placid, patient dogs, all dogs can exhibit defensive behavior if they feel threatened or if they are accidentally hurt with boisterous play.

Infants, on the other hand, are a whole different ball game. You’ll want to carefully introduce an infant to your Boston Terrier and limit unsupervised access to the nursery area.

Not Prone To Aggression

Boston Terriers are lovable, amicable dogs that aren’t typically prone to aggression. However, like all animals, they can snap when they feel fearful or threatened. It isn’t recommended to leave any dog unattended with infants or very young children, even a gentle breed like the Boston Terrier. 

Sturdy And Strong Enough For Rough Play 

Don’t let their diminutive size fool you. Boston Terriers are hardy, tough little dogs that can handle rough play remarkably well.

They are unlikely to harm a youngster knowingly, but they, like many other Terriers, are known to be nippy and like engaging in play-biting. 

Small dogs are also more aware of their vulnerability and might be more defensive, especially if unintentionally hurt, so you might want to teach your young’uns how to safely and respectfully interact with your dog.

For example, some things you can teach kids include: 

  • How to turn around and ignore your dog if it jumps on you
  • Avoiding hitting, pinching, or hugging your dog too suddenly
  • Avoid surprising your dog by sneaking up on it or chasing after it
  • Don’t pull on the tail, ears, or any other part of the dog
  • Never sit on the dog
  • Leave toys, meals, and treats alone when your dog is enjoying it 
  • Don’t yell or make loud noises, especially if your dog is a nervous one

Boston Terrier Personalities 

The Boston Terrier is the canine equivalent of its namesake, the “American Gentleman”. They didn’t obtain that moniker by accident either. Despite being dubbed “terriers,” they are among the gentlest and sweetest-natured canines.

Boston Terriers are exceptional at handling little children if they are socialized early on. They’re not likely to jump or force children over. Rather, they are aware of the children’s limitations and are known to play cautiously.

Yes, their forefathers were bred to battle. Those instincts, on the other hand, have been bred out of them for quite some time now. Almost all the Boston Terriers are now bred solely for companionship. 

Also Read: Boston Terrier Temperament: What You Need To Know

Fiercely Loyal And Protective Towards Their Pack

Boston Terriers make good security dogs, and despite their small size, their guarding tendencies are strong, especially with children. Few Boston Terriers will back down from threats to their family, even if they themselves are in danger.

Boston Terriers are attentive canines who use their large, perky ears to their advantage. They don’t bark much, but when they do, it’s to alert you to a problem.

Playful And Fun-Loving Dogs

The unending amount of amusement provided by Boston Terriers is one of the things that makes them so appealing. Once you will bond closely, you’ll see that they’re just a bunch of goofy little dogs with big personalities.

Boston Terriers are clowns at heart that love making you laugh. With a lively attitude and cheery disposition, they’re happiest when you’re happy, making children and Boston Terriers a match made in heaven. 

Boston Terriers have a high adaptive IQ, which means they can read human emotions quite well and are adept at detecting the moods of their humans to tailor their behavior accordingly. 

Good With Seniors 

Boston Terriers are calm, cheerful dogs with modest exercise needs. While they are prone to bursts of happy energy, their stamina won’t last as long as athletic breeds like the Australian Shepherd or Husky. 

Boston Terriers make great companions for seniors for a number of reasons. First, they are small dogs, so they don’t require a lot of space. Second, they are relatively low-maintenance dogs that don’t need a lot of exercise. They are more prone to a casual walk than a long run and tend to take long naps during the day. 

Third, they are known for being very affectionate and loving dogs. Seniors who live alone often appreciate having a Boston Terrier around to provide them with companionship and unconditional love. 

In addition, Boston Terriers are typically very good with other animals, so they can make a good addition to a home that already has pets. Seniors who are looking for a small, low-maintenance, and affectionate dog will find that a Boston Terrier is the perfect pet.

Calm And Patient Dogs 

Despite their playful personalities, Boston Terriers are remarkably calm and collected, especially when well-socialized. 

Being one of the most adaptable, friendly, and versatile breeds, Boston Terriers make excellent therapy and emotional support dogs. People-loving and intuitive, they can quickly sense and learn what someone needs and how to provide it. 

They have a special way of making everyone feel loved, special, and important, which is what gives them their immense popularity. 

Are Boston Terriers Easy To Train 

Boston Terriers are extremely smart and intelligent, which makes training them a breeze. They might be tough to housebreak, but patient and consistent training will help with any stubbornness or unwillingness to follow instructions.

Early socialization can help avoid friction with other dogs, cats, and animals. Because Boston Terriers are sensitive dogs, use only positive reinforcement methods and steer clear of harsh corrections or punishment. 

Socializing A Boston Terrier

All dogs will benefit from extensive socialization, and Boston Terriers are no different. A properly socialized dog is a happy dog, and a happy dog makes for a happy owner. Socialization is important for puppies, as it helps them to learn how to interact with other dogs and people in a positive way. 

Dogs who are not properly socialized can often become fearful or aggressive, which can lead to dangerous situations for both the dog and those around him. Proper socialization also helps to ensure that your dog will be well-behaved when he is around other people and animals. 

It is never too late to socialize your dog, but the sooner you start, the better. 

The following are some excellent socialization opportunities for your Boston Terrier.

  • House of a neighbor or a friend
  • Obedience training classes with other people and dogs
  • Head to the dog park to meet other humans and dogs
  • Go to a dog-friendly beach for some off-leash fun in the water
  • Go to dog cafes or pet stores to acclimatize your dog to meeting and accepting affection from strangers

How Big Do Boston Terriers Get

The Boston Terrier is a small to medium-sized dog breed that stands between 15 and 17 inches tall at the shoulder. They’ll also weigh 12 to 25 pounds, mostly of sturdy, compact muscle that they need to keep up with small children. 

Are Boston Terriers Hypoallergenic?

Three out of ten dog owners are allergic to their canines, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). Furthermore, if both parents have pet allergies, they anticipate that seven out of ten children will have allergies. And just because neither parent develops allergies to their furry pals doesn’t guarantee their kids won’t. 

Good news! Boston Terriers are a low-shedding dog breed, even though they aren’t strictly hypoallergenic. Not only would grooming be easier, but family members or youngsters who are allergic to dogs may not have an allergic reaction. 

Boston Terriers are single-coated dogs with a thin, short coat that is relatively easy to maintain. 

Grooming Needs Of A Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers have modest exercise needs and need minimal maintenance. Their short, fine fur requires regular brushing to remove dead hair and dander, and while they are typically clean dogs, a bath every month or so wouldn’t hurt.

They are prone to eye problems and need their eyes and ears cleaned every week or so to keep infections away and bacteria at bay.

Like all dogs, they would benefit from frequent teeth brushing with a canine toothbrush and meat-flavored toothpaste. 

Finally, their nails need to be cut, unless they are extremely active and run long distances over rough surfaces that will naturally file their nails down. 

While this may sound like a lot of work, the grooming needs of a Boston Terrier are actually fairly straightforward. With a little time and effort, you can keep your Boston Terrier looking his best.

Potential Health Problems In Boston Terriers 

Boston terriers are prone to a number of health problems. Some of these problems are hereditary, while others can develop over time. 

Here are some of the common problems with Boston Terriers.


One of the most common health problems in Boston Terriers is allergies. 

Environmental Allergies

Environmental allergies in dogs are quite common, caused by a variety of things, including dust mites, pollen, and mold. Symptoms of environmental allergies in dogs include itchiness, excessive licking, hair loss, and red, inflamed skin.

If your dog is showing any of these signs, it’s important to take them to the vet for a diagnosis. Treatment for environmental allergies in dogs typically involves a combination of antihistamines, steroids, and immunotherapy. 

Food Allergies

Food allergies develop when a dog’s immune system becomes sensitized to certain proteins in their diet. These proteins are found in common dog food ingredients such as chicken, beef, or dairy. 

The most common symptoms include itching, redness, and hair loss. Unfortunately, there is no cure for food allergies, and the only way to manage them is to carefully control what your dog eats. If you suspect that your dog has a food allergy, it’s important to work with a veterinarian to create a tailored diet plan. 

Respiratory Problems

Boston Terriers are brachycephalic dogs, which means they have short muzzles and flat faces just like Pugs and Boxers. 

Their shorter airways often give rise to respiratory problems such as excessive panting, open-mouth breathing, lethargy, and blue or purple gums. 

In addition, Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS) is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors, and it can lead to a number of serious health problems, including respiratory distress, exercise intolerance, and heat stroke. 

BOAS is a progressive condition, and it can be fatal if left untreated. Early diagnosis and treatment is essential for the best possible outcome. There are a number of surgical options available to treat BOAS, and most dogs who undergo surgery experience significant improvement in their quality of life.

Orthopedic Problems

Boston Terriers are prone to a number of orthopedic problems, including hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, and elbow dysplasia. 

Hip dysplasia and elbow is a condition where the joint does not fit properly in the socket, causing pain and potentially lameness.. 

These problems can be serious and debilitating, so it’s important to make sure your Boston Terrier is getting regular checkups with a veterinarian. 

Eye Problems

Boston Terriers are especially prone to eye problems like cherry eye and entropion. If you notice any changes in your dog’s eyes, it’s important to contact your veterinarian right away. With prompt treatment, many eye problems can be successfully resolved.

Final Thoughts 

Boston terriers make great family dogs. They are loving and affectionate, and they enjoy being around people. They are also relatively low-maintenance, which makes them a good choice for busy families. 

If you are thinking of adding a canine member to the family, a Boston Terrier is an excellent choice. Good luck and happy searching! 

Recent Posts