Are Boston’s Good Dogs For First Time Dog Owners? 9 Reasons


Boston Terrier playing with a ball.
Bella playing with a ball.

Boston Terriers are clearly adorable dogs and are known for their spunky, playful personality, but are they the right choice for a first-time dog owner? 

Yes, they are! 

Bella was mine and Emily’s first dog as a newly married couple back in 2010. Side note, I’ve been saying 2009 in all my articles, and Emily, one year later, said no it was 2010, oh no!

See what other Boston Terrier owners say about life with a Boston, 50 Boston Terrier Owner Interviewed.

Are Boston Terriers Good Dogs For First Time Dog Owners? 

Boston Terriers are actually rated number nine on Vetstreet’s list of the best dog breeds for new owners. 

This list was created based on answers from 218 veterinary professionals and information from the American Kennel Club, which just goes to show you this breed has it going on! 

There are many things to consider when picking your first dog out. 

The dog breed you choose is critical as this affects how much exercise your dog will need, the grooming they need, their size, and much of their temperament. 

The good news is that Boston Terriers can make excellent dogs for first-time dog owners! 

Let’s break down the many reasons they can be your dream dog…

Boston Terrier making a funny face.
Bella being cute.

#1 Versatile Dogs For Urban Life

With many of us living in cities, apartments, or tighter spaces, a dog that is made for urban life is undoubtedly appealing. 

The Boston Terrier breed originated in the 1860s, and they were specifically bred to thrive in urban areas.

Being nicknamed after the city they were bred in, Boston Terriers are small in size and compact. With the average size of a Boston being between 10 to 25 lbs.

This makes them great dogs to live in an apartment or smaller space. 

They also don’t need a backyard, just your attention, and a bit of daily exercise!

The compact size is helpful for travel!

If you frequently travel, having a small dog is a huge plus too! 

Just beware that brachycephalic, or flat-nosed, breeds like Boston’s do not fly very well. At certain times of the year, notably hot summers, they may be restricted from flying completely.

Otherwise, their compact size makes them very portable, great lap dogs, and excellent road trip sidekicks.

#2 Low Maintenance Coat And Care 

First-time dog owners may not realize how much grooming many dog breeds need from daily brushings, dog hair everywhere, and pricey trips to the groomer. 

We have great news for you! Boston Terriers are rated by the American Kennel Club as infrequent shedders, and they only require occasional grooming. Bella is okay with getting one bath a month.

Unless your Boston Terrier gets into something messy, they rarely need a bath, and weekly brushings are usually sufficient to care for their coat. 

Otherwise, they will need their nails occasionally clipped after Bella’s bath is when we cut her nails. 

They also have prominent eyes and sometimes require additional attention and care to keep the eye area clean. 

#3 Minimal Activity

Boston Terriers are energetic and playful dogs, but they don’t require extensive exercise. They require some daily exercise like a brisk walk or ball time but don’t need strenuous exercise daily.

The appropriate amount of exercise for a Boston would be 30 minutes to one hour of exercise daily.

Boston Terrier working out with some weights.
Bella watching us as we work out, Bella isn’t interested.

What types of exercise can you do with a Boston?

  • Walks
  • Frisbee
  • Fetch
  • Swimming
  • Agility course

They are also thrilled to be a couch potato with you as you watch your favorite show. 

This is especially wonderful for first-time dog owners. They may not realize the extent of the exercise that many dog breeds need.

#4 Highly Social Dogs

Boston Terriers are highly social creatures that will suffer without plenty of attention. 

As a first-time dog owner, this means realizing that a Boston Terrier may not be best for you if you work very long hours, resulting in them being alone all day. 

This can be overcome by hiring a dog walker or dog sitter to break up long days when you are away. Check out our article on, Should I hire a dog walker?

On the other hand, you’ll never be lonely when you are home. 

Boston Terriers happily follow their owners around and will likely be glued to your side constantly as they give you lots of love.

Boston Terrier waiting for food to fall off the table.
Bella hoping some food will fall off the table.

#5 Smart And Trainable

If you’ve never trained a dog before, fret not! Boston Terriers are usually very receptive to training and are fast learners. 

Boston Terriers don’t need strong corrections, as they are usually on the sensitive side. A loving and gentle correction is likely all you’ll ever need. 

Start early with their training and make it as fun as possible for both of you! Being a very playful breed, Boston Terriers respond great to games and attention from you. 

Emily and I had to retrain Bella at the age of eight years old, and she picked up the training quickly. I know not everyone agrees with Cesar Milan’s training method, but we used it, and it worked great. Here is an explanation of the book we used, Cesar’s Way Book Recommendation.

#6 Boston Terriers And Family Life

Your family lifestyle is fundamental to consider when choosing your first dog. 

Boston Terriers tend to be fantastic with children. They are sensitive and playful, which makes them sweet enough to be around little ones.

Since they are a very social breed, having several people under one roof is excellent for them! Once they’ve worn you out, they can move on to your spouse, partner, or child gleefully.

See what other Boston Terrier owners say about life with a Boston, Boston Terrier Owner Interviews.

Boston Terrier with boys. Boston Terrier with a baby. Boston Terrier with a family.
Bella, Donnie, and Samuel

#7 A Big Heart For Such A Small Body

Boston Terriers are immensely caring and sweet dogs. Not only will they fit in with your family and friends, but they are usually great with other pets, even cats, too!

If you or others in your life need a delicate touch, this energetic and empathetic breed will sense this and tone down their playful antics. 

They can become incredibly gentle with anyone physically compromised or when they’re playing with a small child who could be easily hurt. 

Boston Terriers are kind by nature and will pick up on other people’s needs, making them adaptable with many people. 

#8 Minimal Barking 

If you’ve ever visited a friend whose dog would not stop barking and cringed at the thought of this happening to you, don’t worry! 

Boston Terriers are generally minimal barkers.

I personally love this characteristic of the breed because when you are going on a walk, you can rest assured your Boston is not going to “that dog” who barks at everyone passing by.

When do Boston Terriers bark?

Boston’s will bark for only a handful of reasons. 

  • If someone is coming to your door, plan on them barking.
  • If your Boston wants attention, they will bark at you.
  • If they need anything food, let outside, or to open a door, they will bark at you.

Overall, Boston Terriers are not loud dogs, which makes them excellent for your ears and your neighbor’s ears. 

Boston Terrier guard dog. Boston Terrier watching.
Bella being a guard dog.

#9 A Friend To Everyone (But Still A Guard Dog)

Though Boston Terriers are minimal barkers, they will absolutely alert you if someone is approaching your home. 

They are very protective of their loved ones, especially children, and will give you peace of mind when you sleep.

While they will alert you to your family driving up, they are typically very friendly to everyone, even strangers. 

If you are calm around someone and welcome them inside, they are HIGHLY unlikely to bark at them or show any aggression.

If anything, they’ll be excited about the opportunity to socialize with someone new!

Final Thoughts

Boston Terriers are genuinely great dogs for first-time owners! 

We may be a bit biased.

However, with their top-notch rating with VetStreet and the American Kennel Club, their low maintenance grooming, and social nature, these are fantastic dogs for many first-time dog owners!

Join The Boston Terrier Community!

Join thousands of Boston Terrier Owners in the Boston Terrier Society Facebook Group. 

In the group, we share photos, thoughts, and stories. As well as have contests with prizes and more!

boston terrier community

This is a fun and friendly group. Feel free to pose any question you have about your Boston Terrier.

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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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