Is A Boston Terrier Right For You?


Should you get a Boston Terrier
Me, Emily, Sofia, and Bella

Ok, I know there are a number of you who are struggling with making a decision on whether or not to get a Boston Terrier. I get it, it is a big decision and a decades-long commitment at a minimum. 

If you can answer yes to all these questions, then a Boston Terrier is likely the dog for you. However, if you do not answer yes but still want a Boston, that is ok. But you will want to assess whether or not you can live with whatever you are answering no to.

Answer Yes To These 13 Questions, And Chances Are A Boston Terrier Is Right For You…

  • Do you want a dog who will cuddle with you daily?
  • Do you want a dog who is low maintenance when it comes to grooming?
  • Do you need a dog with minimal shedding?
  • Do you need a dog who loves to go on walks?
  • Do you need a dog who will become no larger than 25 lbs?
  • Do you need a dog who will not bark while on walks?
  • Do you need a dog who barks when someone knocks on the door?
  • Do you need a dog who is good with children?
  • Are you ok with a dog who will drool when they want your food?
  • Are you ok with a dog who must live indoors?
  • Are you ok with buying a dog who is not hypoallergenic?
  • Are you ok with a dog who may have allergies?
  • Are you ok with a dog who licks, a lot?

Should You Get A Boston Terrier?

The video below is me explaining what it is like owning a Boston Terrier. I apologize…I think the video is a little rough, but it will give you a better idea about the breed.

Also, if you want to learn more from other Boston Terrier owners, check out this survey I conducted with 50 Boston Owners. In the study, I ask questions about cost, personality, behavior, anxiety, and more; Boston Terrier Owners Survey.


Do You Want A Dog Who Will Cuddle With You Daily?

Be prepared for a dog who will literally want to be by your side every time you sit down on the couch. Bella, my Boston, will immediately run up to me when I sit down and begin to beg to sit on the couch next to me. 

If you are not a fan of this kind of behavior, lucky for you, Boston’s are easy to train. And you can teach them to go to their own area when you sit down on the couch.

Do You Want A Dog Who Is Low Maintenance When It Comes To Grooming?

Because of a Boston’s short coat, the grooming you must do on this breed is minimal. I recommend you give your Boston a bath once every 4 to 6 weeks at a minimum. You can read more about their grooming needs here, How Often Should I Give A Boston Terrier A Bath.

Do You Need A Dog With Minimal Shedding?

Boston’s do shed, but as long as you are bathing them monthly, the hair you will find around the house is minimal. If I were to put a number on it, from my personal experience with Bella, expect a palm-full of hair if you were to wipe down and vacuum your whole house over a week.

One thing Emily and I have done to help get rid of any signs of dog hair is to purchase a Goovi Robot Vacuum. This Vacuum has helped eliminate Bella’s smell in the house and seeing any signs of hair on the carpet and hardwood floors. 

What I like most about the robotic vacuum is its ability to go under the tables to get dust and Bella’s dander that we would typically not get from our stand up vacuum. Check out the article I wrote about our Goovi and a video of us using it, Goovi Article.

Do You Need A Dog Who Loves To Go On Walks?

After talking with other Boston owners and from experience with Bella, Boston’s love to go on walks. This is the time Bella gets to explore the world. However, do not expect to go on a lot of walks in the winter or during the extreme heat of the summer. Boston Terriers do not do well in extreme temperatures. 

This means you need to go on lots of walks in the spring and fall time frame or the early morning & evening times of the hot summer. I personally can tell a difference in Bella’s mood if we have not been on a long walk in a while. I define a long walk as anything over 30 minutes.

Interested in learning more about a Boston Terriers exercise needs? Check out this article I wrote, How much Exercise Does A Boston Terrier Need?

Do You Need A Dog Who Will Become No Larger Than 25 Lbs?

The breed standard for Boston Terriers is governed by the American Kennel Club, otherwise known as AKC. This group handles the registration of purebred dogs in America. According to their standard, Boston’s can come in three sizes.

  1. Under 15 lbs
  2. 15 lbs to 20 lbs
  3. 20 to 25 lbs

Does this mean you will never get a Boston who grows larger than 25 pounds? No, you can still get a Boston over the 25-pound weight class, especially if they are not a pure breed, and you do not know who or what the parents were.

My Boston, Bella, once tipped the scales at 28 lbs before we started giving her more exercise and started measuring out her food daily. And Bella is a purebred. So it is possible to have a “pure breed” and have a larger than normal Boston.

Random Donnie Thought

I say “pure breed” above with quotations because I’m not a purebred snob. If you find a mixed Boston Terrier and you love it, get it. You need to find the best dog for you and your family. The reason Emily and I chose a purebred Boston Terrier is because we thought we might breed Bella. Yet, we never did breed her. And honestly, the registered status of AKC is only important if you plan on breeding.

Do You Need A Dog Who Will Not Bark While On Walks?

Boston Terriers are not known to be barkers. It is nice when walking through the park, and Bella simply looks at the other dogs on leashes who are barking at her. Those dogs are usually losing their minds. As soon as the barking dog and bewildered owner passes, I make sure to give some extra love to Bella for being so great. No one likes a barking dog.

I have also been in situations where Bella has come across other random Boston’s on walks, and the non-barking stereotype holds true.

How To Help Your Boston Terrier With Separation Anxiety
Bella standing guard

Do You Need A Dog Who Barks When Someone Knocks On The Door?

Although Boston’s are not known to bark, they will bark in particular situations. The one time Bella will absolutely bark is when anyone knocks on our front door. Bella will start barking as soon as they start walking on our steps. 

However, Bella does not bark at people who are walking by our house. This is great because she only alerts us when someone is actually trying to come into our home.

The other time you can expect your Boston to bark is when they want to play. As well as when they want the food you are eating.

Do You Need A Dog Who Is Good With Children?

Boston’s are great dogs for families with children. They are known to be an affectionate breed as well as loyal to their owners. In a study done here on this site, 50 Boston Terrier owners were asked, Is your Boston Terrier good with kids? Here are the results…

I also want to mention my personal experience. We had Bella for 8 years before we had our first child. Bella was able to go from a two-person to three-person and now a four-person family with nearly no hiccups. To get the full story of Boston’s being good with kids, check out this article I wrote, Are Boston Terriers Good With Kids?

Are You Ok With A Dog Who Will Drool When They Want Your Food?

Boston Terriers are not droolers. However, they will drool a lot when they want your food. Or if they are waiting patiently for their food. Check out the video below that shows just how much your Boston will drool if your child takes too long to feed your dog. This is Sofia, my daughter, and Bella, my Boston.

Note: Boston’s are not droolers…they only drool when teased when food and this is not an everyday type thing. To get more on the drooling of Boston Terriers as well as what other owners say, check out this article I wrote, Do Boston Terriers Drool? Complete Guide.

Are You Ok With A Dog Who Must Live Indoors?

Boston Terriers are indoor dogs. If you plan on having a dog who will stay outside a Boston is not right for you. This American Gentleman does not do well in extreme temperatures, both cold or hot.

Are You Ok With Buying A Dog Who Is Not Hypoallergenic?

While Boston’s do shed less than most dogs. And they do not drool very much. Boston Terriers are not a hypoallergenic dog. You will find hair around your house, which will exacerbate the allergic response that some individuals have toward dogs.

If you want to learn how you can help reduce allergies in your house from your dog, check out this article I wrote laying out the step by step plan to reduce Boston Terrier hair in your home, Steps To Reducing Pet Dander

Are You Ok With A Dog Who May Have Allergies?

Not all, but most Boston Terrier owners I speak with say their Boston has some sort of allergy. Bella, my Boston, suffers from a wheat allergy, and we have to feed her a grain-free diet. As well as ensure any dog treats, bones, or food we give her is also grain-free.

While this is not a really big issue, are you ok with special nutritional needs for your dog? 

Are you ok with a dog who licks, a lot?

This is the one thing that drives me crazy, licking. If you get a Boston, you will be getting licked. When Bella was younger, she would literally sit by the couch and lick it for hours (at least it felt like hours). There would be big wet spots on the sides of our furniture.

Once again, even though I personally do not like this, it is something I can live with since I enjoy the personality of the Boston Terrier breed. 

Bella will also try to lick me after every workout. I think she likes the salty taste of sweat…it grosses me out. If licking grosses you out, but you love the breed and still want to get one check out this article, I wrote; How To Get Your Dog To Stop Licking.

Sofia, Samuel, and Bella

Final thoughts…

Boston Terriers are indeed a unique, witty, and fun natured breed. This is why Emily and I chose to get Bella our Boston. However, this dog breed isn’t for everyone. You need to take time and think about the dog breed that would work perfectly for your family needs and then go out and find the dog that fits those needs. 

If you want to learn more about Boston Terriers, check out these articles I have written below. Or visit my YouTube Channel (The Boston Terrier Society’s YouTube Channel) for more great information about The American Gentleman.

Other Articles You May Like To Read

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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