Do Boston Terriers make Good Family Pets?

The simple answer is, “Yes!” Boston Terriers are fun-loving dogs commonly described as “charming.” Bostons tend to be confident and friendly with strangers, making it easy and enjoyable to bring them out and about. Also, Bostons are good with other household pets, especially other dogs or pets they have grown up with.

Boston Terriers usually interact well with children. They may be a bit too energetic with toddlers, but with proper training and exercise, Bostons can behave superbly with even the smallest of children. Because of their outgoing, friendly disposition, most parents have nothing to be concerned about when their kids have friends over.

Do Boston Terriers make Good Family Pets? Boston Terrier Society.
Bella kissing Sofia my two-year-old daughter.

Now, with my daughter Sofia turning two I’m more concerned for my Boston, Bella, rather than worried about Sofia. Sofia will play a little too rough with Bella, who is ten years old. As a ten-year-old dog, Bella is the equivalent human age of 60 years old.

Do Boston Terriers Make Good Family Pets?

Boston Terriers are great family dogs. They are affectionate and friendly. Boston’s readily welcome both friends and family into their home, making it easy to invite people over. Your Boston may alert you with a bark when they see people or dogs, but they are not known for being aggressive. The lack of aggressive tendencies is one reason Boston’s make an excellent family dog.

Why Boston Terriers Are Good Family Pets

Even though they come with their potential share of possible health issues, they also come with a long lifespan. If you are searching for a dog that can grow up with your family, this is a wonderful breed. Plus…

  • Their low maintenance coat and grooming needs are a perfect match for a busy family.
  • Boston’s have a pleasant disposition.
  • They love spending time with the family.
  • Boston’s are wonderful traveling companions.
  • Perfect size for young kids.
  • They make great apartment dogs.

Whether you are looking for a companion for a single person or a family dog, the versatility of a Boston Terrier can meet almost any dog lover’s needs.

Are Boston Terriers Good With Kids?

Do Boston Terriers make Good Family Pets? Boston Terrier Society.
Bella with Sofia, when Sofia was a little baby.

Boston Terriers have a playful fun personality and usually get along well with children. Because of the cheerful, friendly disposition, they can be counted on being a safe canine companion around small children. Boston Terriers LOVE to play fetch, making them an excellent match for older children looking to enjoy interactive playtime with their dog.

Because Boston’s have a sensitive temperament if children treat them poorly, they will lose the trust of this canine friend. However, when proper care is given, a child can find a loyal and loving four-legged playmate.

Bella has been great around Sofia for the last two years. Surprisingly great! There have been several times where I had to pry Sofia’s hands from Bella’s face because Sofia was squeezing her too hard. And Bella did nothing, she sat there waiting patiently as a pried Sofia’s hands from her face.

Are Boston Terriers Good with Seniors?

Boston Terriers are great companions for seniors. One would imagine with their energetic personality, they would not be the best match. However, because of Boston’s compassionate nature and love for companionship, they make an excellent choice for seniors.

Because most Bostons would prefer a long walk over a run, they are great motivators to help keep their human active. On less desirable walk days, Bostons are content with a friendly indoor game of fetch and of course, long naps.

Also, because of their compact size, Boston Terriers are small enough to meet pet restrictions in apartments and townhouse communities.

How Big Do Boston Terriers Get?

Male Boston Terriers usually weigh between 15-25 pounds and females weigh between 10-20 pounds. Bostons are generally about 15-17 inches tall to their withers. They are small compact, muscular dogs.

This small stature makes Boston’s perfect family dogs for people who live in apartments. Or if you are a family who enjoys smaller breeds. 

When Emily and I were looking for a dog, the size of the puppy was essential to us because at the time we lived in a 585 square foot apartment.

Are Boston Terriers Smart And Easy Train?

Boston Terriers are extremely intelligent but can have a stubborn streak. Like all breeds, early socialization and training are recommended. 

Boston’s are easily trained with treats and praise. However, because of their sensitive nature using a punishment base training will be counterproductive. Even with their stubborn streak, the pure heart of a Boston Terrier is one that is eager to please.

Because of their impulsive nature, it is essential to keep training on a calm level. Also, their exuberance for seeing people can result in the bad habit of greeting people by jumping up. 

Though they are on the smaller size, it is still good practice to train them to greet people more appropriately.

How Much Grooming Does A Boston Terrier Need?

One of the many benefits of Boston Terriers is the lack of grooming they need. Their coats are naturally short and sleek, they do not require haircuts.

However, Bostons still require minimal maintenance. They still need to get bathed from time to time and have their nails clipped regularly.

Check out my article on grooming a Boston Terrier:

Do Boston Terriers Require A Lot Of Exercise?

All dogs large and small need exercise and Boston Terriers are no exception. Even though they are compact bundles of love, they do have energy that needs to be burned off. Plus, giving your dog the exercise they need will make them better pets.

The best ways to exercise a Boston Terrier is going on a walk. Some of the more energetic Bostons can make great short distance running partners. But a 30-minute to 60-minute walk every day is enough to keep these guys content. Nonetheless, the perfect addition to their walks would be an exciting game of fetch in the backyard. 

Also, because of the Boston’s intelligence and energy, they are great candidates for interactive activities. Boston’s often enjoy participating in sports like flyball, agility, and rally. Participating in interactive games with your Boston is not only great for physical and mental stimulation, but it is also one of the best ways to bond with your Boston.

Are Boston Terriers Prone To Any Specific Health Issues?

Unfortunately, the most undesirable characteristic of Boston Terriers is their health issues. You know that adorable smooshed in face? Well, it isn’t a natural or a healthy physical trait. 

Their shortened snout is desirable to meet breed standards but unfortunately causes health issues for our Boston buddies. These health issues related to shortened noses include everything from excess gas to breathing issues. 

Excess Gas

The shortened muzzle also causes excessive flatulence, which can literally clear a room. Due to their short noses when Boston Terriers eat they tend to take in excess air resulting in unwanted flatulence. 

Breathing Problems

A Boston’s shortened snout can cause breathing issues, especially in hot and humid conditions. 

The more severe condition relating to their shortened snouts is Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome. Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome affects the upper respiratory system. It refers to abnormalities found in the airway causing breathing issues in short-snouted dogs and cats.

Eye Problems

In addition to Boston’s snubbed nose, their prominent round cheerful eyes can also cause health issues. Because their eyes tend to protrude a bit more, they have an increased chance of suffering from irritation, injury if they bump into things, and scratches from foreign bodies. 

Additionally, Bostons are more prone to eye problems such as corneal ulcers, cataracts, and glaucoma.

Other Problems

Moreover, they are also at a higher risk for food allergies, cancer, and epilepsy.

It looks like a scary list, but any all dog breeds have a list of possible health issues that are commonly associated with their breed. Even with this list, the average lifespan for a Boston Terrier is 10-13 years old.

To date, and knock on wood, Emily, and I have had no major health issues with Bella over the last 10 years of having her. If you want a list of the ten most common health problems of Boston’s check out the article I wrote, 10 Common Health Problems In Boston Terriers.


How Long do Boston Terriers Live? Most Boston Terrier live between 10-15 years old.

What Color are Boston Terriers? Boston Terriers come in three different color combinations black and white, brindle and white, and brown and white.

How Much do Boston Terriers Cost? The average cost for a Boston Terrier is $1,299.68. However, they can be as expensive as $3,299.

Do Boston Terriers Bark A lot? All dogs are different, but the Boston Terrier breed is not known to be yappy dogs.

Final thoughts…

Because Boston Terriers are affectionate and loving, they make great family dogs. After owning Bella for 8 years, we were easily able to introduce Sofia to her once we had a child. And over the last two years, Bella and Sofia have done great around one another. If you are a couple who plan to have children in the future, a Boston can easily meet the size of your ever-growing family.

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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