Are Boston Terriers Aggressive? What 50 Boston Owners Say

Are you thinking about getting a Boston Terrier? Or do you have one already have one but curious about Boston’s and aggression? After seeing this question pop up several times in online forums, I wanted to answer this aggression question definitively. 

Here is what I found out…

Are Boston Terriers Aggressive? What 50 Boston Owners Say. Boston Terrier Society.
Bella next to Sofia when Sofia was only a couple weeks old.

Are Boston Terriers Aggressive?

Boston Terriers, in general, are not an aggressive dog breed. Boston’s are a calm loving breed. If a Boston does show aggression, it is usually directed toward other dogs.

Survey Results From 50 Boston Terrier Owners

After conducting a 50 Boston Owner survey, I can say with confidence that in general Boston’s are non-aggressive. Yes, there are of course random cases where Boston’s are aggressive, and further down in this article I have some videos of aggressive Boston’s. However, in general, the breed is docile. 

I picked out three questions related to aggression from the survey.

Is your Boston Aggressive Towards Humans?

In response to this question, only 1 Boston out of 50 reported being aggressive toward humans. From personal experience with Bella, my Boston, she has never been aggressive toward humans. When we go on walks or when other people enter our home, she is always loving towards them.

The only time she sounds aggressive is when anyone first knocks on our door or rings the doorbell. Bella will freak out and start barking up a storm. However, once the door is open, she comes running out, wanting to love on whoever is on the other side. 

Here is some more proof Boston’s are loving non-aggressive animals

Bella’s bark versus bite has become noticeable over the last two weeks. We have gone through a cleaning spree and have sold some items online. We have the people who purchase random items from us come to our house to pick them up. 

Every time they come to pick up an item, Bella will bark like crazy when they knock on the door. However, once the door opens, she runs out to sniff them and solicit pets. Keep in mind these are complete strangers, and she is non-aggressive.

Further Readings: Three Reasons Why Boston Terrier Make Great Watchdogs.

Is your Boston Aggressive Towards Other Dogs?

In response to this question, 31 (62%) Boston’s reported being non-aggressive toward other dogs. Another 18 (36%) said yes to their Boston being aggressive toward other dogs. And 1 (2%) Boston has never been in a situation to know. 

In my personal experience, Bella can be aggressive toward other dogs she does not know. Aggression toward other dogs is especially true when she is on the leash. Bella does not like other dogs near her if she does not know them.

The Leash

I think the reason Bella gets more aggressive on the leash toward other dogs is my fault. If you are a follower of Cesar Milan, he has some techniques on how to properly walk a dog on the leash. 

One of the things Cesar mentions is to not pull on the leash when another person or dog approaches. This pulling motion signals to the dog there is a threat. I do this to Bella, and this immediately puts her into defensive mode. I think if I can stop this pulling motion, Bella would be less aggressive toward other dogs.

Check out my article on why I recommend Cesar’s Way to every new and old dog owner. This book can literally change your life as it did for Emily and me, Book Recommendation.

Does Your Boston Get Along With Cats?

The results of this question were pretty mixed. 16 (32%) said their Boston gets along with cats while 11 (22%) said no. Another 23 (46%) don’t know if there Boston is good with cats. 

From personal experience with Bella, Boston’s are great with cats. My in-laws have a couple of cats, they even had a few kittens a while back ago, and Bella was great. Honestly, Bella doesn’t even pay attention to the cats. She is more concerned about playing with familiar dogs or chickens rather than looking at a cat while it is just laying there. 

Are Boston Terriers Aggressive? What 50 Boston Owners Say. Boston Terrier Society.
Me, Emily, Sofia, and Bella

Is Your Boston Good With Kids?

The responses are pretty conclusive; Boston’s are good with kids. 45 (90%) of respondents said their Boston was good with kids. While 4 (8%) said, no and 1 (2%) did not know if there Boston was good with kids. 

From experience, Boston’s are good with kids. However, Bella would rather not be around ones who grab at her. For example, kids around the age of 9 months to 2 years old. Bella is just now at the point where she likes to roll around with Sofia. Before this time, Sofia was too aggressive with her hands, and she would pull on Bella’s face. 

As long as the child is old enough to know to be kind to the Boston, Boston’s will love to be around them. 

Here Is Why These Answers All Add Up To Non-Aggressive Boston Terriers

Based on these four questions…

  • Is your Boston Aggressive Towards Humans?
  • Is your Boston Aggressive Towards Other Dogs?
  • Does Your Boston Get Along With Cats?
  • Is Your Boston Good With Kids?

You can see how Boston’s, in general, are non-aggressive dogs. They are not aggressive towards humans. In general, they are not aggressive towards other dogs. Yes, Boston’s do get along with cats. And yes, the “American Gentlemen” is good with kids. These are all non-aggressive traits. 

Because of the four responses above, I’m personally saying Boston Terriers are NOT aggressive.

YouTube Videos Related To Boston Terrier Aggression

However, like anything in life, there are contradictions. Of course, there will be some outliers to these findings and some Boston’s will be aggressive. I have put together some YouTube videos of Boston’s.

One thing I am curious about is whether or not a purebred Boston would be less aggressive than a mixed breed…

Final thoughts…

Boston Terriers are a loving, gentle breed who in general are non-aggressive. If you are looking for a great family dog, a Boston Terrier would be the perfect addition, especially if you have children. 

Thinking about getting a Boston? Here are two places you can find a Boston.

Donnie Gardner

Donnie Gardner is the owner of the Boston Terrier Society. He has been raising Bella the Boston since 2010. He resides in Kansas with his wife, daughter, and Bella. His favorite activities are hanging out with family, traveling, running (but has bad knees), and reading non-fiction books.

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