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Boston Terrier Pros & Cons

The lovable Boston Terrier is sure to be the perfect addition to almost any family…

But is a Boston Terrier right for you?!

In this article, we’re going to cover the pros & cons of Boston Terriers… by the end, you should know whether or not a Boston Terrier is the right breed for you.

Boston Terrier Quick Facts

Average Price$1,200
Size15-17 inches
Weight12-25lb (5.4-11.3kg)
Lifespan11-13 years
Exercise NeedsModerate
TrainabilityEasy to Train
TemperamentFriendly, Affectionate, Intelligent
Health IssuesModerate
Grooming NeedsLow
Barking TendencyLow–Moderate

Compact little athletes

The Boston Terrier is an athletic, compact and muscular dog.

Weighing in at 12–25lbs and 15–17 inches in height, the Boston Terrier is considered a medium-sized dog, though they have a slender & athletic build.

Boston Terriers love to make new friends

One of the defining characteristics of Boston Terriers is their friendly and outgoing nature.

They are super friendly & playful — everybody is their best friend! Their goofy shenanigans will keep you entertained for hours.

Big entertainers

They’ll keep you laughing for hours with their quirky & goofy personalities — there’s never a dull moment with a Boston Terrier… even if they’re just playing fetch, performing tricks, or lounging around.

Slowly rising in popularity

Recognized by the AKC in 1893, the Boston Terrier has slowly been rising in popularity over the past few years and now sits as rank #24 on the AKC’s Most Popular Dog Breed Ranking List as of 2022.

Is a Boston Terrier right for me?

There are many reasons to want a Boston Terrier — how can you resist their cuteness?!

A Boston Terrier is right for you if…

  • You want a low-maintenance dog
  • You want a dog that is friendly to strangers
  • You want a dog that is good around children & seniors
  • You want a goofy, quirky dog that’ll keep you entertained

A Boston Terrier might not be right for you if…

  • You don’t want a noisy dog — Boston Terriers make all sorts of snorting, snoring, and snarling sounds… and best of all, they’re known for being stinky little farters
  • You don’t want a high-energy dog — Boston Terriers have tons of energy… if you want more of a couch potato, you might prefer a Frenchie
  • You aren’t willing to deal with possible health issues — vet bills can get really expensive… pet insurance is highly recommended for Boston Terriers
A Boston Terrier Laying Down next to his destroyed ball
A Boston Terrier


While there is an almost endless list of reasons why

  1. Extremely social — everybody they meet is instantly their best friend!
  2. Athletic & lively — while they have flat faces, they’re much more athletic than other flat-faced dogs like the Frenchie & English Bulldog
  3. Relatively low maintenance — their short coats require minimal grooming & they don’t shed a ton!
  4. Not big barkers — they tend to only bark when something is very important to them
  5. Long lifespan — Boston Terriers have a slightly above average lifespan of 11-13 years.
  6. Compact size — they’re the perfect size; small enough to travel anywhere with, but big enough to do almost anything they want (like hiking outdoors)
  7. Good with children — Boston Terriers are super friendly, gentle, and sweet; they’re the perfect addition to any family, especially ones with little ones

1. Extremely social

Boston Terriers have absolutely no issues making friends! They’re super friendly & playful to other pets and people!

Good around children & seniors

Not only are they great around strangers, but they’re also great around children and seniors.

They are rugged & playful enough to take any roughhousing from kids and are always ready to sit on the couch with you and watch some TV with the family…

2. Athletic & lively

For a flat-faced breed, Boston Terriers are remarkably athletic and energetic…

Compared to the Frenchie or other bulldogs, the Boston Terrier has much more energy, and capacity to exercise.

With this being said, Boston Terriers are still prone to exercise intolerance — you need to be careful when spending lots of time out in the heat.

3. Low maintenance

Boston Terriers are a relatively low-maintenance breed — they have fewer health issues than the Frenchie and minimal shedding year-round.

Check out this video on Boston Terrier Grooming by the Fenrir Boston Terrier Show

4. Not big barkers

Thankfully, Boston Terriers are not a yappy barking breed… they tend to only bark when something is important to them (e.g. they want your attention, want to go outside, or are playing with you).

5. Long lifespan

Boston Terriers are known to have a relatively long lifespan when compared to other dogs.

They have a lifespan of 11–13 years, which is slightly more than the average dog which has a lifespan of 10–13 years.

With this being said, this is just the average lifespan, and some Boston Terriers may live longer or shorter lives than this range… many factors impact lifespan, including:

Lifespan factors

  • Genetics: Boston Terriers are prone to certain health issues that can affect their longevity, such as brachycephalic airway syndrome, which can cause breathing difficulties.
  • Veterinary Care: Regular veterinary care, including routine check-ups and preventative care, can help detect and treat any health issues early on and promote their overall health.
  • Exercise: While Boston Terriers don’t require a lot of exercise, they do need regular physical activity to maintain their health and prevent obesity. Short walks and playtime can help keep them active and healthy.
  • Diet: Boston Terriers have a tendency to gain weight, which can contribute to health issues that can shorten their lifespan. Feeding your Boston Terrier a high-quality, balanced diet that is appropriate for their age and activity level can help keep them at a healthy weight and promote their overall health.

6. Compact size

Boston Terriers are the perfect size — small enough to travel with, but big & tough enough to handle anything that comes their way.

This makes a Boston Terriers a great choice for people who live in small spaces or want to travel with their dog.

Easy to travel with

Most Boston Terriers should be small enough to travel on a plane — and they certainly are small enough to travel by car, train, bus, boat, or any other method of transportation you can think of.

The perfect road trip companion.

Great apartment dogs

Living in a small place like an apartment definitely limits the breeds that you can own.

Sure, it’s possible to have a German Shepherd in your NYC high-rise apartment, I don’t know if your dog would be that happy with you… Dogs like this need big yards and open space to run around & exercise.

But Boston Terriers?

They’ll do just fine in your tiny apartment. As long as they have some room to run around and play with toys, they’ll be happy as could be.

7. Good with children

Boston Terriers are super friendly, gentle, and sweet; they’re the perfect addition to any family, especially ones with little ones.

What makes Boston Terriers good with children

  • They are goofy & entertaining
  • They are super friendly & playful
  • They’re rugged enough to handle any roughhousing from kids


While Boston Terriers are one of the best breeds in the world (maybe I’m a bit biased), they certainly aren’t flawless

  1. Prone to health issues — their flat faces predispose them to breathing issues… they’re also highly prone to joint issues and skin issues
  2. Can be expensive — the average Boston Terrier puppy is $1,200
  3. Have sensitive stomachs — prone to food intolerances & allergies
  4. A few behavior issues — known to be stubborn and hard to housebreak

1. Boston Terriers are prone to health issues

While every dog breed is prone to its own health issues, unfortunately, Boston Terriers experience more health issues than your average dog.

Their flat faces predispose them to all kinds of breathing issues — but their snouts are not as flat as some breeds like the Frenchie. Boston Terriers typically have better breathing than Frenchies & other bulldogs.

Common Boston Terrier health issues include…

  1. Breathing Issues
  2. Heart Problems
  3. Joint Problems
  4. Eye Problems
  5. Skin Problems
  6. Allergies
  7. Periodontal Disease
  8. Cushing’s Disease
  9. Epilepsy

2. Boston Terriers can be expensive

Not only are Boston Terrier puppies expensive, but they’re also prone to lots of health issues that could unexpectedly cost you a fortune…

The average cost of a purebred Boston Terrier puppy is ~$1,200… but prices range anywhere from $600 to $3,000+.

Boston Terriers are so expensive because…

  1. Their health issues — yes, Boston Terrier puppies sure are expensive, but their vet bills might be even more expensive
  2. Difficulty to breed them — their slim hips require that they have birth with a C-section
  3. They’re a popular breed — ranked #23 out of 284 dogs; they’re not as popular as the Frenchie, but they’re up there!

3. They have super sensitive stomachs

Boston Terriers are notorious for having sensitive stomachs — food intolerances and allergies are quite common… and some are just fussy eaters! Some may also have digestion issues, vomiting, diarrhea, and gas.

What you can do

  • Consider a raw diet — A raw diet of uncooked, organic meat, vegetables, and fruits may be easier for your dog to digest, but consult your vet first.
  • Feed your Boston Terrier a high-quality diet — Choose dog foods with whole meat sources as the first ingredient, and avoid soy, corn, and grain that can be difficult for dogs to digest.
  • Stay away from soy, corn, and grain (check the ingredients of their treats!) — Check food and treat labels for soy, corn, and grain, as well as artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives that may contribute to digestive issues and other health problems.
  • If all else fails, ask your veterinarian — If your dog’s digestive issues persist, consult your vet who can identify the problem and recommend a specialized diet or medication.

4. They’re not free of behavior issues

No breed is free of behavior issues — but each breed is prone to its own list of behavior problems.

Boston Terriers are known to…

  • Beg for food — Boston Terriers have a tendency to beg for food, which can be difficult to manage if you’re trying to stick to a strict feeding schedule.
  • Be hard to house break — They can be challenging to housebreak, so patience and consistency are key when it comes to training them in this area.
  • Chew on things around the house — Boston Terriers have a natural urge to chew on things around the house, which means that you’ll need to provide them with plenty of appropriate chew toys to keep them occupied.
  • Jump up on people (how impolite!) — Boston Terriers can be quite excitable and may jump up on people, which can be seen as impolite or even dangerous in some situations.

However, with proper training and socialization, these behavior issues can be addressed and managed effectively.


Boston Terriers are one of America’s favorite dog breeds — I doubt anybody would regret them joining their family.

If you’re thinking about getting one, just make sure you’re well versed on their possible health issues so that nothing unexpected comes up!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Boston Terriers good dogs?

Yes, Boston Terriers are known for being affectional, loyal, and intelligent. They are great family dogs — good with children, the elderly, and strangers.

Are Boston Terriers good with children?

Yes, Boston Terriers are known for their gentle nature & being friendly with everybody — this makes them a good choice for families with children.

Are Boston Terriers good apartment dogs?

Yes, a Boston Terrier is a great choice if you want an apartment dog — their small size & low exercise needs makes them suitable for small places. e

Do Boston Terriers have a lot of health issues?

Boston Terriers have a moderate amount of health issues — certainly less than a French Bulldog, but a bit higher than your average dog.