3 WORST Mistakes I Made Raising My Boston Terrier


None of us want to feel as if we’ve made a mistake raising our Boston Terrier, but hindsight truly is 20/20, and there will inevitably be some things that we regret about how we raised our Boston Terrier. 

Whether this is how you fed them, exercised them, or the toys you gave them, you’re not alone in having a few regrets.

Stairing at a Boston Terrier worst mistake

Today, I’m sharing my top 3 worst mistakes when raising my Boston Terrier, Bella, followed by submissions from other Boston Terrier parents about their regrets about how they raised their Boston. 

Three Mistakes You Can Make Raising A Boston Terrier

If you are new to owning a Boston Terrier, I hope this will give you some better ideas for raising your Boston Terrier. 

If you already have an adult Boston, these are still tips that I would recommend working into your pup’s life, no matter how old they may be! 

3) Lack of Exercise

One of my biggest mistakes with raising my Boston Terrier, Bella, was not consistently providing her with the chance to exercise or exercise enough every day. Now, this can be challenging based on your personal situation. 

We live in a colder climate that makes it unpleasant to go outside and run around with Bella for a good portion of the year, making it challenging to spend time running around with her. 

However, indoor games of fetch, hide and seek, tug-of-war, and agility games are all ways that your dog can enjoy exercise inside when it’s too hot or cold to comfortably or safely exercise outdoors. 

Need some exercise ideas? Here is a list of exercises you can do with your Boston here on the Boston Terrier Society. I have broken these exercises down based on the time of year.

How Much Exercise Does My Boston Terrier Puppy Need?

Boston Terriers need at least 30-60 minutes of exercise a day. This means every day!

When you skip days, your Boston Terrier may be more prone to behavioral problems, such as chewing and whining, or they may have unpleasant emotional responses, such as separation anxiety or agitation. 

Exercise is a crucial step in keeping your Boston healthy, happy, and well-behaved. 

How to Consistently Exercise Your Boston Terrier

The biggest tip I have for consistently providing your Boston Terrier with enough exercise is to start an exercise routine. Routines are an essential step in making anything a consistent habit, especially exercise. 

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Here Are A Few Of My Top Tips For Creating An Exercise Routine For Your Boston: 

  • Pick a time of day that you always take your Boston Terrier on a walk. For example, you could pick 6:30 am and 6:00 pm as two times of day that you will consistently take them for a 15-minute walk around the block. Your Boston Terrier may get so used to this time of day being for walks that they’ll remind you if you put it off! 
  • Use a technique called habit-stacking. Habit stacking is the act of adding a new habit, such as playing with your Boston Terrier for 10 minutes, to an existing, well-established habit. For example, when you brush your teeth in the morning and night, you could immediately follow this with a 10 minute game of fetch with your dog. Since you already have a well-established habit of brushing your teeth, this will make the new habit, playing fetch consistently, easier to start and keep.
  • Put a big check mark or sticker on your calendar for every day that you reach your exercise goal, such as 40 minutes of playtime with your Boston Terrier. Once you see a bunch of check marks in a row, you won’t want to break the chain! 

Read12 Real Reasons NOT To Get A Boston Terrier

2) Not Properly Socializing My Boston Terrier

One of my biggest mistakes with raising my Boston Terrier, Bella, was not socializing her properly from a young age. 

When we’re walking around now and see dogs, she will sometimes feel nervous around other dogs. This makes me feel nervous, which she picks up on, which can make the situation even more uncomfortable for us both. 

If I were to go back, I would definitely have taken more time to socialize her with other dogs from an early age so that she would be more at ease around them. 

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A Few Tips For Socializing Your Boston Terrier Puppy From A Young Age: 

  • Start early! You can begin as early as 7 to 8 weeks in many cases. 
  • Get your Boston Terrier used to different situations, such as riding in the car, carrying her through a store that allows dogs, and taking them on a walk through a park with other dogs and humans. 
  • Allow other friendly humans to pet your Boston Terrier. If they show any sign of aggression or display behaviors you don’t want to encourage, such as jumping on people, immediately tell them “No!” firmly to begin correcting this behavior. 

For more helpful information on socializing your Boston Terrier (both puppies and adults!), click here to read our Ultimate Guide to Socializing Your Boston Terrier here

1) Not Finding An All-Encompassing Training Course

When we got Bella, we did not have an all-encompassing training course that included training for socialization, potty training, basic commands, etc. If we had found a course like this, I believe we might have prevented some of the behavioral issues we’ve had to correct since then. 

I don’t have a personal recommendation for a specific training course yet, but this is something to keep in mind when you are raising your Boston Terrier. You can check out this course by Adrienne Farricelli, a professional CPDT-KA certified dog trainer. Her course is designed to help eliminate bad behavior. Check out Adrienne’s course here, Brain Training For Dogs.

An all-encompassing course with consistent advice on all aspects of your pup’s life and training can save you a lot of stress down the line! 

Needs some training help? Check out these training articles here on the Boston Terrier Society, Boston Training Articles.

What Other Boston Terrier Parents Said About Their Regrets

I asked other Boston Terrier parents on our Boston Terrier Society Facebook page about their biggest mistakes raising their Bostons and here are some of their responses.

These were some of the most common responses: 

  • Not having my Boston Terrier trained as a puppy.
  • Training my Boston Terrier to not jump on other people.
  • Wishing I had socialized my Boston Terrier more.
  • Not being consistent with training – Boston Terriers can be incredibly stubborn, and consistency is essential!
  • Not setting proper boundaries, such as keeping your Boston Terrier away from the table to prevent whining while you’re eating. 

Overall, the majority of responses fell into two categories: 

  1. Proper training at the very beginning
  2. Proper socialization

Video – Worst Mistakes I Made Raising Bella

Check out this YouTube video where I talk about the three worst mistakes I made raising Bella over the last 11 years. See the video here, Boston Terrier Mistakes.

Video – Mistakes I Made With Bella

Final Thoughts…

I hope this article gave you some ideas to minimize behavioral issues in your Boston Terrier puppy or ways that you can continue working with your Boston Terrier now. 

It’s never too late to continue training! 

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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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