Are Boston Terriers Good Apartment Dogs? Your Guide.


Are Boston Terriers Good Apartment Dogs? Your Guide. Boston Terrier Society
Bella in our old apartment with her Kong and stuffed monkey.

Wondering if a Boston Terrier is the right choice of a dog because you live in an apartment?

My Boston Terrier, Bella, lived in an apartment for five years before we bought a home. I felt like she was the perfect dog to live in an apartment compared to the dogs my friends had because of her size and demeanor.

Here is everything you need to know about your Boston Terrier living in an apartment.

Are Boston Terriers Good Apartment Dogs?

Yes, Boston’s are great dogs for apartments due to their size, demeanor, and exercise needs. Boston’s are a small breed typically weighing between 10-25 lbs.

Boston’s also have an attitude of playfulness and going with the flow, they are not overly energetic all day long.

Moreover, these dogs require less exercise than larger breeds because your Boston will be doing a lot of running around in the apartment on its own.

Getting a Boston Terrier for the first time? Check out the FREE Boston Terrier Society Puppy Academy. This course will help you in your search as well as prepare you for the first year of living with your Boston, Boston Terrier Puppy Academy.

Boston Terrier Apartment Living – 11 Things To Know

In this YouTube video I explain the eleven things you can expect when living with a Boston Terrier in an apartment.

Donnie explains what to expect when living in an apartment with a Boston Terrier.

Personal Story Of Bella Living In An Apartment For 5 Years

My wife, Emily, and I bought Bella about five months after we got married.

When searching for a dog, we wanted one that would be kid-friendly, could run, and would be great in apartments.

While I wouldn’t say, Boston’s are great long-distance runners of more than three miles they are great with kids and living in apartments.

Bella living it up in the sun!

My Experience Of Living With A Boston Terrier In An Apartment

We lived in our apartment for five years before we bought a home.

Bella did great in the 595+ square foot apartment. She would exercise on her own around 9:00 pm every night. I called it her witching hour.

It was around this time she would sprint from the living room to the bedroom. Bella would race back and forth 20 plus times. It was a funny sight to see because it was nothing we taught her or prompted her to do.

Why do Boston Terriers have this burst of energy? This burst of energy is called a Zoomie! To learn more about Zoomies, why they occur, and videos of Boston’s doing zoomies check out this article, Boston Terrier Zoomies All You Need To Know.

I think the biggest key to success for Bella living in the apartment was we let her run around the apartment all day not being locked in a cage, for reasons explained below.

We did have a cloth crate that we used when we traveled, and it was used as a bed at night for Bella to sleep in.

During the day when we left the apartment, we simply shut all the doors allowing Bella free range around the living room, dining room, and kitchen.

Do you need a crate for your Boston Terrier? Here is the crate we use today that I highly recommend. You can see it here on Amazon for pricing and reviews, Sport Pet Designs Plastic Kennel.

Boston Terrier sleeping in her bed
Bella sleeping in her bed.

Items You’ll Want To Have To Keep Your Boston Busy At Home

You will need to buy some toys to keep your Boston active while you are away.

Bella loved stuffed animals as well as Kongs.

1. Stuffed Animals? I Would Opt For A Chew Bone

Now, the stuffed animal will lose all its stuffing after your dog rips it out, so be prepared to have stuff less toys around the house.

Bella has owned her “stuff less” monkey since we bought her in 2010, we have now owned this toy for over a decade.

While stuffed toys are great if you are getting a Boston Terrier for the first time you’ll want to buy a chew toy for them. I recommend getting a Benebone. You can find the bone on Amazon to check pricing, reviews, and to purchase it here, Benebone.

2. Kongs Are A Must Have!

The next toy to keep your dog busy is a Kong mentioned above. We used a Kong nearly daily for a few months when Bella was younger.

We would fill the Kong with peanut butter. Then Bella would spend hours trying to lick all the peanut butter from the Kong.

I highly recommend having a Kong for your Boston Terrier to play with. You can find them on Amazon here, Kongs, to purchase, see reviews, and pricing.

Not sure what you need to get for your new Boston Terrier puppy? Read this article I put together, 9 Items Every First-Time Boston Owner Will Need.

Boston Terrier Girl Names
Bella eating watermelon, her favorite!

What Issues You Will Come Across

There are a few issues you will come across when living in an apartment with a Boston Terrier.

Some problems are going to happen no matter the breed, but these five items are things you’ll want to look out for.

1. Peeing

My wife and I discovered Bella would pee right after we would leave our apartment, even if we just let her outside to go to the bathroom. We thought this was a way for her to show us how she was upset because we were leaving.

The only way to combat this problem is to take your dog out to go to the bathroom right before you leave. Be sure to do this every time you leave.

Next, you will want to buy puppy pads. Keep the puppy pad in the area your dog likes to pee. At first, I kept the pads in the kitchen where I wanted her to pee.

However, my wife decided to move the puppy pads to the spot Bella liked to pee. I thought this only encouraged her to pee there. But it did work. Yes, Bella did pee in her favorite place, but it was now caught with a puppy pad.

The best option instead of moving the puppy pads around would be to do some proper potty training. Which took a while for Emily and I to discover.

Want to learn how to potty train your Boston Terrier? Now that we have made enough mistakes we know what to do, Potty Train Your Boston In 5 Simple Steps.

Here Is A Video On How To Potty Train A Boston Terrier

It took me and Emily a while to fix Bella’s bad habits but primarily it was our fault not Bella’s. Here is a video of what we did to help eliminate the potty issue in our home.

Donnie explaining how to potty train a Boston Terrier.

2. Licking

Be prepared for your Boston to lick, lick, lick, did I mention lick?

Bella used to lick our couch to the point where we would come home, and it would be soaked in a couple of spots where she would just sit and lick for hours.

This was a phase she finally grew out of, but to help eliminate this issue the Kong really helped. Leave a Kong filled with peanut butter out for your dog to lick, and this will distract her from licking your couch.

Need to know how to stop a Boston Terrier from licking? Check out this article on Boston Terrier Society on, How To Stop Your Dog From Licking Everything!

3. Separation Anxiety

Boston’s do have separation anxiety. Even when you allow your Boston to run free, they will be anxious when you leave them alone in the home. Boston’s love constant companionship.

There was a time we gave her Benadryl to help her with her anxiety, but that only lasted a few months before we stopped giving it to her. And drugging your dog isn’t really a good long term strategy.

Here Is What We Do Now To Help With The Separation Anxiety:

  • We do not use a kennel, we place her in our bathroom. The bathroom is now her happy place.
  • Turn the T.V. on so she can hear people talking.
  • Take her outside before we leave, this helps establish a familiar pattern.
  • Make sure she is getting exercise during the day to release some energy.

Or if you want more details on how to help your Boston with separation anxiety check out this complete article on the Boston Terrier Society. In this article, Separation Anxiety In Boston Terriers, you’ll learn:

  • What separation anxiety looks like in Boston Terriers.
  • What other Boston Terrier owners say about separation anxiety in their dog.
  • What to do.
  • And when to seek professional helps.

5 Tips To Avod Separation Anxiety In Boston Terriers

In this YouTube video, I talk with professional dog trainer and author of several dog books about tips on how to avoid separation anxiety in Boston Terriers.

Exclusive interview.

4. Trash And Human Food

Your Boston will get into your trash as well as eat any human food left within reach.

When Emily and I were allowing Bella to run around the house before we started leaving her in the bathroom this is what we had to do. Before Emily and I left to go anywhere, we placed the trash can on the counter and picked up all food Bella could get into.

Otherwise, when we get home, the trash can would be tipped over with all food eaten.

Coming Home To A Mess

Here is what happend one day when Sofia and I arrived home. This does not happen anymore becuase we have established out bathroom as Bella’s safe place when we leave.

Establishing a safe place in the house has been great in eliminating her separation anxiety. In her safe place is water, her bed, toys, and a blanket.

Sofia ends up picking up Bella’s poop in the end!

5. Dog Crates

I just want to give a word of caution about dog crates. First, we bought a cloth crate in the beginning which worked great until Bella chewed through it.

Next, we bought her a metal crate. We ended up getting rid of the metal crate because she ended up losing some teeth when she had some really bad separation anxiety.

The crate we use now is plastic. We only use it for traveling in the car or if Bella wants to lay in it on her own accord.

If you want to see the crate we use now, check out reviews, pricing, or make a purchase here it is on Amazon, Sport Pet Designs Plastic Kennel.

I don’t really recommend crates unless you plan to do proper crate training. Just because you could end up in a situation like us. This is why we have opted to have Bella in the bathroom when we leave for the day.

Donnie and Bella hanging out on the couch.

What Other Dog Breeds Are Good Apartment Dogs

Pretty much any type of small dog is an excellent dog for an apartment. According to the website Dog Time here are five dogs made for apartment living:

  1. Basenji
  2. Bichon Frise
  3. Boston Terrier
  4. Brussels Griffon
  5. Bull Dog

To get a list of 29 apartment friendly dogs check out the article by Dog Time, 29 Best Apartment Dogs.

Final Thoughts…

Boston Terriers are excellent dogs for apartment living. They are a small breed who love being right next to their owners, so a tiny apartment works just fine for them.

Also, Boston’s will run around the apartment exercising on their own.

Emily and I lived in an apartment for five years with Bella with no significant problems.

Truly the only issue was peeing and that was our fault in the beginning but after learning how to properly potty train everything is fine. And the peeing must not have been that bad because we were able to get our deposit back from the apartment complex.

What other questions do you have about Boston’s living in an apartment? Do you have a tip for dogs living in apartments? Please leave a comment below.

Other Article You Should Read Here On Boston Terrier Society

Are Boston Terriers Good Apartment Dogs? Your Guide. Boston Terrier Society

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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