Should You Get A Boston Terrier? What You Need To Know!

Are you thinking about getting a Boston Terrier? I want to help you make the right decision for you and your family. It is essential to choose the right dog for yourself because no matter the breed you are looking at, this decision will lead to a decade long commitment at a minimum.

I promise to give you an unbiased report of owning a Boston Terrier. I have personally owned Bella for over a decade. And growing up, my mom had several dogs we had as pets, and a few she bred. We grew up with Rottweilers, Rat Terriers, Bullmastiff, Dalmatian, just to name a few.

Should You Get A Boston Terrier? What You Need To Know

Here is what you can expect from owning a Boston Terrier…

Should You Get A Boston Terrier?

It depends on what you want in a dog. There is no one dog breed for everyone. You must decide your reasons for wanting a dog and write them down. Next, find the breed that matches those needs you wrote down. 

This article will help you find answers to the following questions…

Who Should Not Own A Boston Terrier
What Is A Boston Terriers Temperament & Personality
How Are Boston Terriers Around Kids?
How Do Boston Terriers Do Around Strangers?
How Much Exercise Do Boston Terriers Need?
Can Boston Terriers Be Left Home Alone?
How Big Will A Boston Terrier Become?
What Are A Boston’s Grooming Needs?
How Much Will A Boston Cost Me?
How Much Will A Boston Terrier Cost Me Per Year?
Do Boston Terrier Get Along With Cats
Are Boston Terriers Hypoallergenic?

If these questions do not help, feel free to take a quiz, I developed to help you come to a decision; Should I Get A Boston Terrier Quiz.

Looking for a Boston Terrier puppy but want to avoid scams? Learn how to find a reputable Boston Terrier breeder at the right price, and learn about the health issues to watch for in my new course! Click here to learn more about the course that can save you grief and money when finding your first Boston puppy…

Who Should Not Get A Boston Terrier

Here is a list of people who should think twice about getting a Boston Terrier. Not saying if you fit the mold of one of these descriptions, you shouldn’t get a Boston. But I would like for you to think of the reason for getting a Boston. 

People Who Travel For Work Often
People Who Leave Their Dogs Outside
People Who Do Not Want A Dog Who Must Be Next To Their Owner, Constantly

If you are someone who is away from home often, no worries. You can still get a Boston Terrier, just know that you will need to have arrangements to give your Boston some human interaction throughout the day. And this is only necessary if you are leaving your Boston home alone more than 12 hours at a time.

If you are leaving your Boston for 12 hours or more per day, there is one solution. You can simply hire a company to walk your Boston while you are away or talk to a family member to get them to walk your dog. Read more about leaving your Boston Terrier home alone here, Leaving Your Boston Terrier Home Alone For The First Time.

Boston Terriers: Separation Anxiety; Guide To Understanding
Me (Donnie) and Bella

A Boston Terriers Temperament & Personality

Boston’s are known for being an American Gentleman. They are a breed that loves their owner’s attention, as well as being dogs who are smart, affectionate, their low key when it comes to energy, and kind.

Be prepared for a dog who will stand by your side every evening. If you are not rubbing your new little Boston, be prepared for some little whimpers, maybe even some barking. But no worries this amount of barking and whimpering is typical, and you won’t have more barking than that.

I love Bella for her lack of barking. We can be running in the park, while other dogs are going crazy around her; she simply looks at them with no emotion.

Also, be prepared for a stubborn dog. If your Boston wants something, chances are they are not going to stop until they get it, or you work your hardest to convince them otherwise.

How Are Boston Terriers Around Kids?

Boston’s are great with kids. Emily and I lived with Bella by ourselves for eight years before we had our first child. We were nervous at first with Bella around the baby, but things couldn’t have gone better.

When Sofia was basically 0-13 months old, Bella pretty much stayed away from Sofia. It wasn’t until Sofia was able to walk is when Bella and her became close. 

Boston Terrier Owners Review
Samuel, Sofia, and Bella


There was only one time Bella had nipped at Sofia’s forehead. This happened because Sofia had grabbed Bella’s skin. And once Sofia got a hold of Bella, she didn’t let go and kept squeezing. Be sure to keep an eye on your Boston when your kids begin to grab and pull at things. 

We did do some self-training with Bella using Cesar Millan’s methods. We used Cesar’s Book; Cesar’s is my review of the book, it helped a lot. 

Boston Terrier Study

Don’t take my word for how Boston’s interact with children. Here is the response from 50 Boston Terrier owners. The owners answered this question, “Is your Boston good with kids?”

This question was asked in a Boston Terrier Survey I conducted in August of 2019. 50 Boston owners participated in the survey, answered questions from the cost of their Boston to the type of food their dog eats. You can get the full results of this study here, the Boston Terrier Owner Survey.

How Do Boston Terriers Do Around Strangers?

Bella, like other Boston’s, does great around new people. As I mentioned before, Boston Terriers do not bark as much as other dogs. As long as you are the one introducing your dog to someone new, your Boston will be able to handle this new introduction just fine. 

The only time your Boston will not be able to handle a stranger is when they come up to your doorstep unannounced. Bella goes crazy when someone walks up to our door. It is ok if someone walks beside our house, we have a sidewalk right next to our home. However, as soon as someone starts walking up the doorsteps, she will start barking.

Luckily, with the barking, this is the only time your Boston will act this way around strangers. So as long as this new person shows your Boston a little attention, your dog will treat this new person like he is one of the family.

How Much Exercise Do Boston Terriers Need?

Boston’s are a lively little dog, and their exercise needs will change as they age. A small puppy is going to be more turbulent than an adult, and additional exercise will help calm the young dog. 

However, as your Boston ages, all the exercise that is needed is a walk of 30 to 60 minutes every day.

If you are someone who enjoys walks, a Boston Terrier is the perfect pet. Emily and I are big-time walkers. We would rather go for nightly walks then sit around watching television, and Bella loves exploring when she goes on walks. 

If you want a more in-depth article on Boston Terriers and their exercise needs, check out this article I wrote. It answers this specific question, “Do Boston Terriers need a lot of exercise?”

Can Boston Terriers Be Left Home Alone?

Yes, Boston’s can be left alone, but I would not recommend leaving them home alone for more than 12 hours, maximum. When Emily and I were both working full-time, Bella would be left alone for 12 hours at a time, three days a week.

How Big Will A Boston Terrier Become?

Another reason Emily and I chose a Bella, our Boston, is because of her size. A purebred Boston should be no larger than 25 lbs. There are technically three sizes of Boston’s, according to the American Kennel Club. 

  • Under 15 lbs
  • 15 – 20 lbs
  • 20 lbs – 25 lbs

The height of a Boston should be no more than 15 to 17 inches at their shoulders. 

This, to me, makes Boston’s the perfect “small” dog. Bella is small enough to be a lap dog. But she is large enough not to get injured by a child. 

Emily wanted a small dog while I wanted a larger dog I could run with. This is why we settled on a Boston. However, I would not recommend a Boston for long-distance running companion. If you are running 3 miles at a time, a Boston would be ok to have as a sidekick, but no more miles than that.

3 Steps To Stop Your Boston Terrier From Shedding
Sofia giving Bella a bath.

What Are A Boston’s Grooming Needs?

If you are looking for a dog who is low maintenance, a Boston is for you. Because of a Boston’s short coat and being an inside dog, you can easily get away with giving your Boston a bath once a month as well as clipping their nails once a month.

How Much Will A Boston Cost Me?

I recently did two studies to find the cost of a Boston Terrier. The first one was a review of breeders I could find online. And the other study was a survey I conducted on my site with Boston Terrier owners.

Breeders Found Online

If you are looking online for a breeder from sites like American Kennel Club, Puppy Spot, or Greenfield Puppies, expect to pay more than finding a local breeder. These sites usually have Boston’s at a price well over $1,000 per puppy. The average cost on Puppy Spot for Boston Terriers is $2,462. Check out my article for the complete study here, How Much Do Boston Terriers Cost Online.

Emily and I were able to find a local breeder for Bella. Bella was a purebred Boston, and we bought her for $350. Once again, I’m not saying you have to obtain a purebred Boston. Emily and I thought we might breed Bella. This is why we made sure she was registered.

Boston Terrier Rescues

A more affordable way to get a Boston Terrier is by buying one through a Boston Terrier Rescue. There are many Boston Rescues throughout North America; check out a complete list here (Boston Terrier Rescues In The U.S. & Canada)

I have interviewed Jennifer with the MidAmerica Boston Terrier Rescue, and her rescue allows people to adopt her Boston’s for as little as $50 to $400 depending on age. These Boston’s are not registered with AKC, but once again, this doesn’t matter.

For the full interview with Jennifer about Boston Terrier Rescues, check out the video below.

How Much Will A Boston Terrier Cost Me Per Year?

I believe the annual cost of any dog is entirely overlooked by most dog owners. No matter the breed, you need to make sure you can actually afford a dog once you bring them into your home. Here are some everyday items you will now be spending money on once you have a dog.

  • Food
  • Veterinarian Visits
  • Puppy Pads
  • Higher Rents (if you are a renter)
  • Toys
  • Medications (i.e. flea & tick)
  • Vaccinations
  • Grooming Materials (dog shampoo, brushes, etc.)

Based on my personal experience of owning Bella as well as conducting a study of 50 Boston Terrier owners, you should expect to spend at a minimum $600 per year on your Boston for needed veterinarian visits, food, and other dog items. 

In the study, Boston owners spent an average of $1,017.22 per year or $84.76 per month on their Boston. For complete details about the annual cost and this study, visit this page, Annual Cost Of Boston Terrier Study.

Do Boston Terrier Get Along With Cats?

If you are a cat person, this is very important to you. Boston Terriers do well with cats. First, surveying Boston Terrier owners a majority of them report that their dog does get along with cats, for the full survey responses, check out this comprehensive article, Do Boston’s Get Along With Cats?

Bella’s Experience With Cats

Anecdotally, Bella has always got along with cats even though Emily and I have never owned one. Emily’s parents own several cats, and when we take Bella over to the in-laws, the most Bella does is give the cats a sniff then goes about her business.

What To Do If You Have A Cat

While Boston’s do well with cats, I always recommend having a safe place for your kitty. This means having an area of the home only your cat can access. As long as your cat can run away from your Boston, you will never have a situation where your cat feels threatened by being trapped.

Are Boston Terriers Hypoallergenic?

The short answer is No. Boston Terriers are not hypoallergenic dogs. While they do shed less than other dog breeds, they can still cause issues to someone who has allergies to dog dander. 

However, here are some steps you can take to make your home more friendly to people who suffer from dog allergies if you do get a Boston Terrier. These are the steps Emily and I take if our brother in law comes over, he has a terrible allergy to dog dander. 

Steps To Help With Your Boston’s Dander

Step I

Wash your Boston weekly. This will help get the dead skin off their body and lessen the amount of dander spread around the home. 

Step II

Buy a Roomba or other robot vacuum. These work great because you can have them vacuum every day or multiple times a day, sucking up pet dander throughout the house. Check out my video covering mine and Emily’s robot vacuum.

Step III

Keep your Boston off the couch! Or buy them a sofa only your Boston can get on. This way, when the person who suffers from dog allergies comes into your home, there will be relatively little to no pet dander on the place they will sit.

Step IV

Wipe down everything in your house. Merely dusting and wiping off your surfaces will help remove pet dander that has settled on the surface after flying through the air.

Following the above steps will not eliminate the allergen in your house completely. However, it can help provide a somewhat comfortable environment for someone who suffers from an allergy to dogs.

Should You Get A Boston Terrier? What You Need To Know
What did you decide? Are you going to get a Boston Terrier?

Final Thoughts…

All in all, Boston Terriers are great dogs if you are looking for a pet who will be by your side daily and only needs to walk for their daily exercise. Boston’s are also great for a family of one to a family of six. These sturdy little dogs are small enough to be great cuddlers but durable enough not to be injured by little kids running around.

However, if you are looking for a dog to go on runs with or one that can stay outside a Boston Terrier is not for you. I hope this article has helped you make the right decision.

Want To Learn More?

If you want to learn more about Boston Terriers, I recommend you read this article that I wrote. This article covers everything about Boston Terriers from their origins to personality to much more; The Boston Terrier Complete Breed Profile.

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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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