Boston Terrier vs Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Although they may have different traits, both the Boston Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier are popular among dog owners. If you’re considering between the two breeds and are unsure which is the best fit for you, this guide on Boston Terrier vs Staffordshire Bull Terrier should help you out.

Boston Terrier vs Staffordshire Bull Terrier: General Overview

In this guide, we look at a quick overview of both breeds, then check out their similarities and differences. Also, you will get to know the major distinguishing factor between them. Finally, we will tell you when you should get each.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Boston Terrier

The Boston Terrier is also known as the American Gentleman or Boxwood. This super friendly breed originated from the US back in 1870 AD. While initially, it was a fighting dog, the Boston Terrier has evolved to be one of the most popular family dogs, being number 21 in the popularity rank by the American Kennel Club.

This dog is a small-sized breed with impeccable energy, in comparison to others. On the other hand, the Fédération Cynologique Internationale takes it for a companion and toy dog in the Small Molossian type section.

The Boston Terrier is either seal, brindle, or black with white markings that imitate the silhouette of a tuxedo, hence the name American Gentleman. It has a life expectancy of 13 to 15 years. The purebred companion dog is hypoallergenic, weighs about 10 to 25 pounds, and has a height of 13 to 15 inches.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier 

This breed is also called Staff, Staffy Bull, or SBT. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier originated from England, in 1935 AD. Just like the Boston Terrier, the Brits fashioned it to be a swift fighting dog. Over the years, it has evolved to become a reliable hunting dog.

In terms of popularity, Staffies are number 82. The low rank is due to some countries having restrictions on their ownership as others ban them. Though the AKC acknowledges Staff as a Terrier breed, its Bulldog ancestry makes people automatically fear them for the assumed aggressive nature.

The medium-sized pup is also recognized by the FCI group as a Terrier in the Bull type Terriers section. It has a lifespan of 12 to 14 years, weighs 24 to 38 pounds, and stands at around 13 to 16 inches. It is also purebred, highly intelligent, and hypoallergenic. 


It is clear that these two dog breeds are fairly different especially in terms of temperament. However, they share a few features as discussed below. 

Boston Terrier on a walk
  • Both are Purebred: Both dogs are breeds from known strains. The Boston is a result of an English Bulldog and an English Terrier, so is the Staffy.
  • The American Kennel Club Recognizes Both Breeds: The AKC and FCI groups recognize both breeds. AKC has acknowledged Boston Terriers since 1893, and SBT since 1974.
  • Both are Social Dogs: These two breeds love to feel like a part of the family. As a result, you can’t leave them on their own for long. They also do not thrive so well if they live outside.
  • Both are Apartment-friendly: Are you wondering if either of them will adapt to your little apartment? Yes, both the Boston Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier can comfortably live in an apartment.
  • Both Can’t Tolerate Hot Temperature: Due to the short nose of the Boxwood and the broad, flat face of the Staffordshire, they can’t cope with hot weather. You should ensure they can easily access shade and clean drinking water during such times. Both breeds can, however, tolerate warm to cold weather.
  • Both are Easy to Train: Since they are highly intelligent, training them is not very demanding. They are relatively obedient though playful. However, a novice dog parent might find it challenging.
  • Both are Easy to Groom: Both dogs don’t require a lot of work to keep them neat. They are not notorious droolers. Besides, a Staff sheds none or minimal while a Boston Terrier sheds moderately.


Here are some of the notable differences between the Boston Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier

  • Coat: Boston Terrier has a single coat with the colors: white, black, seal, or brindle. Stafford has a smooth coat in the colors: red, white, brindle, fawn, black or blue.
  • Friendliness: While both are friendly with kids and strangers, it is not the same case with cats, pets, and other dogs for the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. It has the breed mentality of an Alpha, we advise you to have it on a leash each time you take them on walks.
  • Body size: The American Gentleman is a tiny Terrier while the SBT is a medium Terrier.
  • Origin: Boston Terriers originate from the US while the Staffies are from England.
  • Sensitivity: Boston Terriers are very sensitive in comparison to Staffordshire Bull Terriers. They dislike when guests come over often, too much noise, and an irregular daily routine.
Smiling Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Major Distinguishing Factor

Since both have the same ancestral strain and are companion dogs, the main feature you can use to differentiate the two is the coat. A Boston Terrier has the famous tuxedo coat. It can either be black, seal or brindle, with white markings.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier, on the other hand, has a smooth coat that can have two or three color combinations consisting of black, blue, brindle, fawn, or white.

When to Get a Boston Terrier

Get a Boston Terrier if:

  • You want them to accompany an elderly person
  • You change living environments from time to time
  • You have a cat, another dog, or other pets
  • You live in an apartment

When to Get a Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Go for a Staffordshire Bull Terrier if:

  • You have kids
  • You love canine cuddles
  • You have a fenced yard
  • You have the time and energy to make it exercise

Final Verdict

Looking at these two breeds, confusion might arise due to their numerous similarities. However, definite factors like the presence of other pets and living space incline you towards getting a Boston Terrier. We do not advocate either breed if you have never owned a dog before.

Boston Terrier vs Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer lying on the floor

The decision to choose between Boston Terrier vs Miniature Schnauzer can be tricky since the two breeds share a lot of features and traits. However, with a bit of knowledge and a clear understanding of what you want, you should be able to choose between the two without too much hassle.

Boston Terrier vs Miniature Schnauzer: General Overview 

Before looking at the similarities and differences between the two dog breeds, let’s quickly go over each breed. 

Miniature Schnauzer lying on the floor

Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzers are medium-sized wire-haired-Pinscher-type dogs. Their first existence dates back to the 15 century in Bavaria.  While they were mainly rattling dogs, they could perform other general farm work when needed. The breed is a product of crossing Standard Schnauzer with Affenpinscher and other small dog breeds.

Miniature Schnauzers are small, sturdy breeds with muscular structures. You can always distinguish them from other dog breeds by their alert outlook and unique eyebrows, mustaches, and long hair.

Adult males grow up to 14 inches tall and weigh up to 17 pounds, while females grow to 12 inches and only weigh a maximum of 15 pounds. Their color complexions vary from salt and pepper, solid black, black with silvery marking, and white. However, purely white Miniature Schnauzers are very difficult to come by.

Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers are small dogs with short square muzzles and standing ears. They are also strong, muscular with large round eyes that are wide apart. Their initial keepers used them as fighting dogs. Then later they became the marvelous family companions that they are today.

The short-coated breed comes in various colors. The most common complexions you will come across are bridle and white or black Terriers with white markings. Boston Terriers are a crossbreed between the English bulldog and an English white terrier and other small breeds.

Also known as the American Gentleman, this breed weighs between 15 pounds to 24 pounds. Adult males usually grow to 17 inches tall while females grow to 16 inches tall.

Similarities Between Boston Terriers and Miniature Schnauzers

You’ll find that both Boston Terriers and Miniature Schnauzers are similar in terms of: 

  • Energy levels 
  • Trainability
  • Friendliness to family members 

Both Have High Energy Levels

Boston Terrier and Miniature Schnauzers are both high energy dogs. They both need above-average exercise. We recommend that you spare a part of your schedule to have them engaged in physical activities. It will help them contain their agility and hyperactivity.

Their high energy levels also mean that they don’t spend much time sleeping.

Boston Terrier

Both are Easy to Train

The two breeds exhibit high levels of intelligence in dogs and are easy to train. Although they might be active and stubborn, they are obedient when communicated to and submissive to commands.

They are also both perfect social breeds with genuinely loyal, gentle, and loving temperament.

Boston Terrier and Miniature Schnauzers are highly adaptable to environments and lifestyles. With that, you can always train them on new things and tricks.

Both are Great Family Dogs

These dog breeds both do well in family set-up and are friendly to people of all ages, from kids to adults. They also get along with strangers, so you don’t need to worry about caging them for fear of hostility.

Their biting potential is also below average, meaning that they are unlikely to pose any threat or danger. These dogs do best when a family member or two are at home or if the environment is dog friendly.

Differences Between Boston Terrier and Miniature Schnauzers

While these dogs share a lot in common, you are likely to notice some differences among them. These include: 

  • Friendliness to Other Pets
  • Maintenance and Grooming

Friendliness to Other Pets

While both dogs are loving and adaptable, Miniature Schnauzers might sometimes be aggressive and territorial. Before learning how to co-exist, they will be rebellious and unwelcoming as they get used to the new mates.

Boston Terriers, on the other hand, are average defenders of their territories. They are friendlier and go well with any animal you have in your homestead.

Maintenance and Grooming

Miniature Schnauzers are heavy shedders because of their long coats. That, together with their playfulness, means that they require a lot of grooming to keep them tidy and healthy.

Miniature Schnauzer playing outdoors

Boston Terriers, on the other hand, are not heavy shedders and need low maintenance when it comes to grooming.  You only need to brush their coat twice or thrice a week to minimize plaque build-up.

Main Distinguishing Factor

The main distinguishing factor between the two lies in their physical appearances. Miniature Schnauzers have rectangular-shaped heads with bushy eyebrows and alert slanted eyes. 

They also have noticeable beards hence their name Schnauzer, meaning muzzle.  The dogs have cropped ears that are half-erect and half-floppy.

Boston Terriers, on the other hand, have square heads, short muzzles with big, large, and fully erect ears. They have shorter noses and large and round eyes, which are wide apart.

When to Get Miniature Schnauzers

The following are some of the instances when you might prefer Miniature Schnauzers over Boston Terriers:

  • When you don’t want to have other pets at home: While Miniature Schnauzers are friendly and lovable, they don’t do well around other pets, especially cats and other dogs. They tend to be more jealous and overprotective of their territories. Because of this, they would be a great addition to your homestead if you do not intend to mix them with other pets.
  • When you need a dog with great hunting instincts: Miniature Schnauzers have a better prey drive than Boston Terriers. They previously served as rattling dogs. Therefore, they are in a better position to drive away rodents and other small unwanted animals in the homestead.

When to Get Boston Terriers

These are instances when Boston Terriers are better than Miniature Schnauzers: 

  • When you need a dog that is easy to groom: Boston Terriers are less furry, and their coats need little attention. All you need to do is keep plaque away by brushing the coat weekly using a thin bristle brush. They also have a low drooling tendency meaning that you have little to worry about cleaning wet messes in your house.
  • When you need a dog that will live longer: The standard life expectancy of Boston Terriers is longer than that of Miniature Schnauzers. Miniature Schnauzers live for 9-11 years while Boston Terriers live for 11-13 years. 

Final Verdict

We prefer Boston Terriers over Miniature Schnauzers. They are more accommodative, require less grooming, and live longer. While they might have several differences, these three make Boston Terriers a better choice for most people.

Boston Terrier vs Beagle

Beagle sitting in a grass

Are you stuck between Boston Terriers and Beagle dogs? The two can be confusing since both are small breeds with almost the same height and weight. Therefore, it takes a little experience to tell them apart. This guide on Boston Terrier vs. Beagle will help you know the difference between these two dogs.

Boston Terrier Vs Beagle: General Overview 

Below is a quick overview of both Boston Terriers and Beagles. 

Boston Terriers

Boston Terriers have evolved to become gentle, affectionate companion dogs. They even earned the nickname the American Gentleman from their modest behavior. 

Beagle sitting in a grass

These purebred dogs are very affectionate and get along with anyone in the family. However, they need a lot of love and physical activity to have a perfect and healthy lifestyle.

Boston Terriers are some of the most intelligent dogs you will ever come across. However, they exhibit hyperactivity that sometimes makes them troublesome and frustrating. If you are an experienced dog keeper, you should not worry about this. They will calm down as soon as they realize that their behavior is making you uneasy.

Beagle Dog Breed

Beagles are small, compact, and hardy dogs that are perfect active companions for both kids and adults. They are merry and easy to fall in love with. However, being hounds, they require patience and creative training.

These dogs were initially scent hounds that hunters used to track small games such as hares. In fact, their smelling ability enables them to detect cancer in humans

While they still serve the same purpose in some countries, they are quickly turning to companion dogs in most families. This is mostly because they are a jovial, outgoing, and loving dog breed.

Beagles are not yappy dogs, and you don’t need to worry about the dog disturbing your peace when you want a quiet relaxing time. They have three different vocals, barks/growls, baying howls, and half baying howls.

The half baying howl is a combination of frantic bark and bay. They reserve it for two occasions: 

  • When they see a threat
  • At 6 am when they wake up

Similarities Between Boston Terriers and Beagles

Boston Terriers and Beagles dogs are not the same breed and may look different on sight. However, they have a few similarities in behavior and body structure.


The two breeds show similarities in their temperaments as they score high in overall friendliness. They are welcoming to all people in the family as well as kids and strangers. They are loving and love a lot of attention. Therefore, you can always count on their companionship at any time of the day.

Both dogs are also peaceful, gentle, and accommodative to other dog breeds, so you can always cohabit with them in your home. However, they both lose focus quickly and show significant levels of impatience.

Boston Terrier being cuddled to sleep

Health Issues

Both breeds are healthy, having few health issues. However, they can suffer from a few conditions when you fail to take good care of them. For these reasons, you must put them on a balanced nutritious diet and take them for regular veterinarian check-ups.

Energy Level

Both dogs have high energy levels and need regular exercise to contain. They also need proper specialized training to help keep their hyperactivity in check. 

Failure to contain their energy could make them stubborn and a nuisance in the homestead. The training is also a way to help them reduce or maintain their calorie accumulations.

Their hyperactivity also means that they do not spend much time sleeping.

Differences Between Boston Terriers and Beagle

While both are pure breeds and were previously used for hunting, these dogs show some apparent differences in terms of: 

  • Origin
  • Physical features 


Beagles originated in the 500AD in Greece. They served as scent dogs that hunters used to track small games in the wild. Boston Terriers, on the other hand, originated from the United States in 1870AD. They served as hunting dogs because of their strengths and agility.

Physical Features

Boston Terriers are bridle with white markings, brown and white or black and white in color. They are short and smooth dogs that weigh between 5 to 11 kg. On average, they grow between 36cm to 43 cm high.

On the other hand, beagles are orange, white, tricolor, lemon, and white or white and tan dogs that weigh between 9 kg to 10 kg. They can grow up to an average of 33 to 41 cm high when fully grown.

Main Distinguishing Factor

The main distinguishing factor between Boston Terriers and Beagles comes in their hunting abilities. Boston Terriers are rattle dogs that trust their pure instinct to locate prey. 

On the other hand, Beagles are hound dogs that use their power to recognize scent to find their game. This trait alone makes them a more superior hunter than Terriers. 

Beagle puppy

When to Get a Beagle

The following are conditions in which you might prefer Beagles over Boston Terriers

When You Want an All-Weather Dog Breed

Beagles are all-weather dogs that thrive in both warm and cold weather. They score better in this aspect than their Boston Terrier counterparts, which only thrive in warm conditions.

When You Want a Top Speed Hunting Dogs

Hunting dogs should be fast with better scent detection; in both aspects, Beagles reign supreme. They can reach top speed at 28 mph, while Boston Terriers can only go for 15 mph. They also have better scent detections, which means they are better positioned to detect prey than Boston Terriers.

When to Get a Boston Terrier

The following are instances when it’s best to have Boston Terriers

When You Need a Dog with Average Weight Gain Issues

Boston Terriers are less likely to become overweight than Beagles. They are generally easy to take care of when you want to watch their weight. A simple feeding plan with a little exercise routine is enough to have them maintain a perfect weight

Beagles, on the other hand, need more training and extensive exercise routines, so if you do not have that time, you can go with Boston Terriers.

When You Need a Yappy Agile Dog

While Boston Terriers can show some levels of calmness, they are generally supply and aggressive. Male Terriers are sometimes scrappy around other dogs. 

On the other hand, Beagles are calm and only use their three vocals when needed. They show below-average levels of aggression and are less likely to engage other dogs in fights.


While both breeds are intelligent and friendly, we find Beagles to be all-round. Like Boston Terriers, they possess great family values although they are better at hunting when you need hunting dogs. However, the dog you pick depends on your unique situation and personal preferences. 

Is Boston Terrier a Bulldog?


A great number of people often ask “Is Boston Terrier a Bulldog?” because of their resemblance in appearance. Although the Bulldog is bigger, they both have a compact body and a square face. Let’s answer this question, go over their differences, and the reason why they look so similar.

Is Boston Terrier a Bulldog?

The Boston Terrier is not a Bulldog based on dog breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club. However, the Boston Terrier did originate from crosses involving the Bulldog and other dog breeds. The original sire of the first Boston Terrier was born from a mix of an English Bulldog and an English White Terrier.

Bulldog in a field

A long time ago, Bulldogs were bigger — weighing around 100 pounds — and were nearing extinction. To preserve the breed, fanciers worked on crosses with other dog breeds to produce smaller, less aggressive dogs. One of these crosses resulted in the birth of the Boston Terrier.

Why Does The Boston Terrier Look Like A Bulldog?

The Boston Terrier looks like a bulldog because it carries its genes. In 1870, a man from Boston named Robert Hooper purchased a dog from William O’Brien, a friend from the same city. It was a Bull and Terrier from England.

Hooper named the dog Judge. Judge weighed around 32 pounds and was bred to a small, white female dog named Gyp. Edward Burnett’s Gyp was around 20 pounds and was of unknown origin.

Well’s Eph was the name of the only offspring of Hooper’s Judge and Burnett’s Gyp. Well’s Eph acquired the traits of the Bulldog more, which had a square head, big eyes, short nose, and erect ears.

What’s The History Behind The Old Bulldog?

During the 1800s, Bulldogs were used for bull-baiting and were a popular breed at the time. Bull-baiting is a type of cruel sports between a bull and a bulldog. To survive, the dog must attack the bull’s nose and pin its head down to the ground. In most unfortunate cases, the bull would attack the dog first by the horns and seriously injure or kill it.

That being said, bull-baiting was the origin of the breed name Bulldog. Bulldogs during those times were bred for that particular purpose. Therefore, they were selectively breeding them to produce huge, ferocious, yet easy to train dogs.

However, bull-baiting was discontinued when the law implemented the Cruelty to Animals Act in 1835. Now considered useless, some bulldogs were imported to Germany and the US. In Germany, crosses created the boxer, and eventually, the Boston Terrier was bred in the US.

Boston Terrier looking like a Bulldog

How Did Boston Terriers Evolve Into Companion Dogs?

The first generations of the Boston Terriers were bulky, ferocious-looking dogs. Influenced by the Bulldog ancestry, they also had an aggressive temperament, although they were undeniably intelligent.

The first Boston Terrier in the US was Well’s Eph. Eph was considerably bigger than modern Boston Terriers yet a lot smaller than the Bulldog ancestors. Eph was bred to Toby’s Kate and produced many puppies. This started the crosses between the first Boston Terriers and other dog breeds, producing less-aggressive and smaller dogs.

The American Kennel Club Recognizes the Boston Terrier

The Boston Terrier instantly became popular. Its first attempt to register with the American Kennel Club in 1891 was denied, though. The breed was not sufficiently established, according to the organization.

Giving up was not an option. In 1893, the AKC officially recognized the Boston Terrier and became the number one dog breed in the US for many years. Now, it holds the 21st rank based on popularity at present.

Also, the AKC has set standards for Boston Terriers according to color and weight. To be able to register with the AKC, your pet should be an offspring of a purebred dam and sire, do not exceed 25 pounds, and have a coat color of either:

  • black with white markings
  • seal with white markings
  • brindle with white markings

The Boston Terrier Today

The selective breeding approaches led to the creation of non-sporting Boston Terriers. Because of their cheerful personality, Bosties earned the nickname The American Gentleman. These dogs with a short, tuxedo-like coat have a wonderful personality that loves people, especially kids.

Person cradling a puppy

Boston Terrier vs French Bulldog

Often, many people compare the Boston Terrier with the French Bulldog because of their similarities in appearance. Both dogs are small and have erect ears, a short nose, and a muscular body. These two dog breeds also originated from the English Bulldog.

In terms of personality, both dogs are smart, friendly, and affectionate. They both need a lot of social interaction, although the French Bulldog is more playful than the Boston Terrier. As both dogs have short noses, they could experience breathing problems later in life.

While they look almost the same, the French Bulldog is more expensive than the Bostie. While Bosties cost $600 to $800, the price of a French Bulldog ranges from $2000 to $4000 depending on the quality of the breed.

Are Boston Terriers a Good Dog?

Boston Terriers are a good dog in so many ways. If you are looking for a companion dog, then this is a good choice. Here are some great things to love about Boston Terriers:

  • playful and energetic
  • easy to train
  • goes along with people easily
  • loyal
  • do not shed a lot
  • not big barkers

However, as with any dog breed, some things don’t make the Boston Terrier breed a suitable option for some people. Here are the common issues with Boston Terriers:

  • health problems (heart disease, breathing difficulties, cataracts, deafness)
  • loud snorers
  • slightly stubborn
  • at risk of flatulence
  • may slobber when they drink or pant
Little boy snuggling a Boston Terrier

Where to Get a Boston Terrier

Get a Boston Terrier from a reputable breeder for a healthy breed. Still, remember that the health and traits of Bosties may vary as they come from different mixes. Some may be too energetic while others may be calm and obedient. Make sure to research for a good breed before you get a pup.

Alternatively, some home shelters offer Boston Terriers for adoption. If this is going to be your approach, try to avoid puppies. Instead, choose adult Bostons because they are already fully developed. It would be easier to detect defects when they are already matured.

Related Questions

Before we finish this article, let’s answer a couple of questions related to Boston Terriers and Bulldogs.

What Is the Difference Between a Boston Terrier and a Boston Bulldog?

The main differences between a Boston Terrier and a Boston Bulldog are their origin and appearance. The Boston Terrier came from mixes between the English Bulldog, the English White Terrier, and other breeds. The Boston Bulldog is the result of a cross between the Boston Terrier and the English Bulldog.

What’s Bad About Boston Terriers?

One bad thing about Boston Terriers is they are at high risk of health problems involving the eyes, ears, and heart. They have a short nose which naturally contributes to breathing problems. Many cases of breathing difficulties were reported to exist in their later life. 


The Boston Terrier and the Bulldog are different dog breeds. Thankfully though, the Bulldog has a huge contribution to why the Boston Terrier Breed exists today. This is also the reason why these two dogs have some similarities in their traits.

What Does a Boston Terrier Look Like?

Boston Terrier look like he's about to cry

Boston Terriers are friendly, energetic dogs known for their tuxedo-like coat. Based on popularity, they rank 21st on the list by the American Kennel Club. Yet, not many people know what they look like and tend to confuse them with other dog breeds. So, what does a Boston Terrier look like?

What Does a Boston Terrier Look Like?

A Boston Terrier looks like a bulldog yet with a sweeter face and white markings on the face, chest, and muzzle. It’s a muscular, short-tailed dog with square jaws, large eyes, and upright ears. While it generally has a short snout, a purebred Boston Terrier should have a black nose and brown eyes. 

Boston Terriers have an amazing personality and a short, shiny coat that looks like a tuxedo. This gave them the nickname The American Gentleman. However, at present, the American Kennel Club only recognizes three standard colors for Bostons: black, seal, or brindle with white markings.

Boston Terrier looking like he's about to cry

The Origin of Boston Terriers

Ever wondered why the Boston Terrier has some resemblance to the bulldog?

In 1870, Robert Hooper from Boston bought William O’Brien’s imported dog and named it Judge. Hooper’s Judge was a cross between two English dogs, a bulldog and a white terrier. Judge was a muscular dog at around 32 pounds. 

Hooper had a friend named Edward Burnett, who owned a white female dog named Gyp. Gyp’s origin was unknown and she was a small dog at only about 20 pounds, according to The Boston Terrier Club of America. Hooper’s Judge was bred to Burnett’s Gyp, thus became the sire and dam of all pure Boston Terriers known up to present.

As years went by and with the ongoing selective breeding methods, some of the characteristics of the Boston Terrier changed, including the size and temperament. Modern Boston Terriers do not weigh more than 25 pounds and they look more-friendly. The Boston Terrier’s fighting temperament was also replaced with a happy, playful personality — the reason they are now classified as non-sporting/companion dogs. 

Important Facts About Boston Terriers

Boston Terriers are one of the most popular dog breeds in the AKC 2019 list. They were once known as pit-fighting dogs. However, because of their friendly personality and happy temperament, they were later considered great companion dogs. 

Although they are stubborn sometimes, Boston Terriers are intelligent dogs that are easy to train.

What Is the Average Lifespan of a Boston Terrier?

The average lifespan of the Boston Terrier is 10 years. However, some can live for up to 15 years. Some health conditions common to Boston Terriers that could cause early death are cancer, infectious diseases, and heart disease.

Bostons have a short snout. Short-nosed dogs could suffer from breathing problems at some point in their lives. They are likely to overheat and may snore during sleep. 

How Big Does a Boston Terrier Get?

How big a Boston Terrier gets depends on several factors like its gender and genes. First, you should know that they are classified according to their weight.

There are three classifications for Boston Terriers according to weight. While they differ in size, their physical appearance looks the same except for the coat color. 

Close up of a Boston Terrier

An adult Boston Terrier can fall anywhere under these three weight categories:

  • 15 pounds and below
  • more than 15 pounds but less than 20
  • 20 to 25 pounds

It is normal for female Bostons to be smaller than their male counterparts. There is not much difference between their weights, though. Male Boston Terriers are usually taller, too. Their average height is 17 inches, while the females at 16 inches.

When Do Boston Terriers Stop Growing?

Boston Terriers stop growing once they reach full maturity. However, the amount of time the dog meets full maturity depends on its size. A bigger dog will need more time for its bones and joints to fully develop.

On average, it takes 14 months for a Boston Terrier to reach full development. Still, remember that the time it takes depends on other factors as well, including diet and genetics. Females also reach maturity faster than males. 

What Colors Do Boston Terriers Come In?

Boston Terriers only come in three colors, according to the American Kennel Club. These include the following colors:

  • black and white
  • seal and white
  • brindle and white

The black or seal and white colors are the most common coat colors of Bostons. However, a lot of people mistake black for seal. They look almost the same until a seal coat reveals a red or brown color when exposed to a light source.

On the other hand, a brindle and white Boston Terrier is often confused with a Boxer. Brindle is the term for tiger-striping patterns around the coat of a Boston Terrier. Looking at it closely, a brindle coat is a combination of brown base color with strands of black hair. 

Colors Not Recognized by the AKC

Boston Terriers that are solid black, solid brindle, or solid seal are not recognized by the AKC. The white markings on the face, chest, neck, and legs are an important indicator of pure breed Boston Terriers.

Boston Terrier being taken for a walk outdoors

Moving on, a lot of other colors are being introduced by dog breeders and label them as rare. Examples are the rare blue Boston Terrier and champagne. While it is tempting to have one in a unique color, know that these are not recognized by the AKC. 

Also, there is no chance that you could register a Boston Terrier with a color other than their set standards. You might also want to get a puppy from a reliable breeder to avoid fake, unhealthy Boston Terriers. 

Related Questions

Now, that we know what a Boston Terrier looks like, let’s answer a couple more questions about them.

Are Boston Terriers Good Dogs?

Boston Terriers are good dogs because they are friendly, sweet, and intelligent. They are playful and energetic which makes them a great choice if you want to have a cheerful companion around. They are easy to train and would go along well with people and even other pets.

What Are Boston Terriers Known for? 

Boston Terriers are known for their happy temperament and smart personality. Despite their ferocious appearance, Bostons love to play and cuddle. They can be extremely energetic that they should not be left alone outside.


Boston Terriers have the bulldog bloodline that explains their fierce, masculine appearance. However, with all the selective measures done in breeding, Bostons today are smaller and cuter, better matching their friendly and happy personality. 

How Big Are Boston Terriers?

Boston Terrier big for his age

Boston Terriers appear perpetually short and small, which may leave you wondering: how big are Boston Terriers in their puppy, adolescent, and adult stages? If you are still discovering all there is to know about Boston Terriers, let’s start by understanding how age, sex, health, and care impact their growth.

How Big Are Boston Terriers?

When Boston Terriers stop growing at around 12 to 14 months of age, they should have compact, squarely-proportioned bodies that weigh approximately 10 to 25 pounds. Additionally, they are likely to stand between 16 to 17 inches tall. Male Terriers tend to grow bigger by five pounds compared to their female counterparts. 

Size Differences in Adult Boston Terriers

The American Kennel Club classifies a Boston Terrier’s weight into three categories: 15 pounds or less, 15 pounds and under 20 pounds, and 20 to 25 pounds. 

After the adolescence phase, which ends at around 18 months of age, Boston Terriers enter adulthood. There is little weight difference between both genders. At this point, the weight may depend on factors such as food intake, exercise, and health status. 

Boston Terrier puppy

The smallest Terriers can be anywhere from eight to 12 inches long, while the biggest ones may be 22 to 28 inches long. If you want to determine your Terrier’s actual measurements, you need to measure your pet’s weight, neck, length, and chest circumference.

Growth of Boston Terrier Puppies  

One day, Boston Terriers are small enough to fit into your hand. The next moment, they are growing bigger and zooming around the house. Keep in mind that the size depends on the growing stage.  

Stages of Boston Terrier Puppyhood

PhaseDurationApproximate Weight 
Neonatal PeriodBirth to around two weeks of age 0.48 pounds
Transitional Period2 to 3 weeks of age2.53 pounds
Socialization Period3 to 12 weeks of age 3 to 7 pounds 
Juvenile Period12 weeks until adolescence 7 to 15 pounds 
Adolescence 6 to 8 months 15 to 19 pounds 

By understanding these phases, we get a better idea of how big Terriers can become. 

  • Neonatal period: You may not witness this unless you’re also taking care of the mother Terrier. During this stage, the puppy’s size results in limited movements. Food and warmth from the mother are crucial to encourage growth. 
  • Transitional and socialization periods: The puppy Terrier starts to open the eyes, move slowly, and make soft noises. The ears also begin to open, so that the puppy may respond to auditory stimuli. Socialization with the parents and siblings will be beneficial for this phase. 
  • Juvenile period: For Boston Terriers, this stage means growing their final set of adult teeth. Once they hit six months, their size lets them obtain close to the same motor skills as adult Terriers would have. They would be hitting sexual maturity, so monitor how your male Terrier plays with female ones. 
  • Adolescence: Some may show disinterest in socializing, while others would have tons of energy to mingle with people and other pets. They would feel the desire to be dominant and mark territories. Terriers are unlikely to be aggressive, although some adolescent ones may exhibit stubbornness.

How a Boston Terrier’s Size Affects Its Way of Living 

The average puppy weighs 12% less than it did a decade ago, making a Boston Terrier’s size the ideal lap dog. Experts believe that more compact homes lead to owners selecting miniature breeds. Terriers don’t require large living spaces to survive, allowing them to adapt quickly to living with families in small living conditions. 

Dog sitting patiently

Moreover, smaller dogs are easier to control. Whether it’s for grooming or daily activities, you have the physical upper hand to make your pet obey. This is favorable if you need to bring your dogs on travels, as you can easily get them in leashes or crates. 

The size also helps a Boston Terrier withstand fun, agility games. Even with a stout body, this breed has strong legs that are great for catching balls and frisbees.

Maintaining Boston Terrier Size 

Puppies have dietary recommendations that aid them in developing a robust and healthy body during various growth stages. Avoid sweetened foods that can cause them to lose appetite and suffer from upset tummies. In addition, make sure that the treats don’t take up 10% of your puppy’s daily food intake.

As they stop drinking milk from the parent Terrier, you would need to introduce them to puppy food formulas gradually. You know you’re doing proper feeding if your dog has normal stools, appropriate energy levels, and a healthy coat.  

In general, the energy density and calorie levels affect your Boston Terrier’s size. This is why it’s essential to provide food that includes high protein content to support the muscles. You can also incorporate moderate fat and fiber to help your pet feel fuller even with small eating portions. 

Aside from that, exercise routines can influence how big your Terrier can grow. It is ideal to dedicate at least 60 minutes of exercise per day to strengthen bones, build up muscle, and lower the blood pressure. 

Boston Terrier big for his age

Related Questions

Before we wrap up, let’s answer more FAQs regarding a Boston Terrier’s growth. 

Are Boston Terriers Small or Medium Dogs? 

The American Kennel Club considers Boston Terriers as small, non-sporting dogs. Dogs from the small category tend to be lap dogs or small versions of working and hunting dogs.

How Will I Know If My Boston Terrier Is Still Growing?

Boston Terriers complete the last stage of puppyhood and adolescence at around 12 to 14 months of age. If you can feel the knobbly plates from your Terrier’s rib cage, then it’s still most likely developing and growing the body. 

Does Paw Size Indicate My Boston’s Full Size?

While a dog’s paw size isn’t an entirely accurate way to estimate your Terrier’s size, it can be an indication of how big your pet will be. Smaller breeds have fairly large paws to support their bulky built. A Boston Terrier’s paw size at three months is usually proportionate to their adult size.  


Small in stature, yet Boston Terriers are mighty creatures full of love, kindness, and joy. If you are looking for a little furry companion, the size of Boston Terriers may be suitable for you. As you join them in their growth journey, you will also see how their personality evolves. 

Dogs That Look Like Boston Terriers

Boxer dog, a Boston Terrier look alike

Boston Terriers are popular for their stout bodies, short tails, and perky ears. You may notice other breeds also have such physical traits, which can cause confusion at times. For this article, we’re going to meet several dogs that look like Boston Terriers, and see what makes them similar and also different.

21 Dogs That Look Like Boston Terriers

Some breeds resemble Boston Terriers at first glance mainly because of their brachycephalic features that make them have flat faces. Size, height, and tail lengths also make them look the same. These are 21 dogs that share some physical aspects with a Boston Terrier. 

Boxer dog, a Boston Terrier look alike

Border Terrier

Border Terriers may sometimes look like Boston Terriers because they both have short coats. Still, Boston Terriers tend to have fine coats, while Border Terriers usually have rough fur. 

Border Terriers have thicker and more loose skin because this trait protected them from bites during their fox-hunting days. While Border Terriers can have black and white fur, it’s more common for them to have pale yellow, wheat, or grizzle and tan colors. 


When Boxer dogs are sitting, some people may confuse them with Boston Terriers because of their distinctly squared heads. Likewise, both breeds have stocky, muscular bodies.

Size is the primary difference between these two breeds. Boxers can weigh up to 70 pounds, whereas the largest Boston Terriers may weigh 25 pounds. Additionally, Boxers stand up to 25 inches, while Boston Terriers can only reach up to 17 inches.

Brussels Griffon

If you think Boston Terriers have the most telling face, wait until you see the Brussels Griffon, which commonly has an almost human-like expression. While both breeds have flat faces, the Brussels Griffon has a more prominent chin and a larger set of eyes. 

The Brussels Griffon has a smaller body frame compared to Boston Terriers. Instead of a fine coat, it also has rough fur that doesn’t shed much.


Bulldogs have medium-sized bodies with thick, low-slung bodies that make them look like Boston Terriers. They also share the trait of having thick, sturdy limbs to support their muscular bodies.

Both breeds also have massive, short-muzzled heads with faces that have wrinkles or folds. A study of 154 brachycephalic dogs shows that dogs with short muzzles, like these two breeds, have higher risks of Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome, which comprises air movement through the upper airways.

Cairn Terrier

Cairn Terrier is a small, short-legged dog like a Boston Terrier. Unlike a Boston, which has a fine coat, a Cairn Terrier has medium-length, weather-resistant fur. 

While they both have ears that stand up most of the time, a Cairn Terrier has a more fox-like appearance because of the shorter ears. It is also smaller in terms of weight and height. 



Chihuahuas are little dogs that typically do not exceed six pounds. They have off-square bodies that may have straight or silky coat texture, unlike Terriers that generally come with straight fur. 

The American Kennel Club considers a Boston Terrier as a small, non-sporting breed, while Chihuahuas classify as toy dogs. Even the tallest Chihuahuas at 10 inches won’t reach the height of the smallest Terriers.

Dogue de Bordeaux

The Dogue de Bordeaux is a Mastiff-type dog that has undershot jaws and expressive eyes just like a Boston Terrier. As an ancient French breed, it retains the typical brachycephalic features that were common in fighting dogs. 

Despite the size difference, it looks like a Boston Terrier because of the buff body with a sleek outline. They both also have fine coats, although Dogue de Bordeaux typically grows brown fur. 

Norwich Terrier

Boston Terriers may grow seven inches taller than Norwich Terriers. While both have compact facial features, the main identifier between the two is that Norwich Terriers have longer tails. 

Both breeds have perky ears, although Norwich Terriers have a slightly foxy expression. In addition, they tend to have double coats, unlike Boston Terriers, that have single coats. 

French Bulldog

French Bulldogs and Boston Terriers are both small dogs, particularly due to their shared ancestral genes from English Bulldogs. Moreover, both dogs are among the 24 primary breeds that have brachycephalic characteristics. This condition causes them to have shorter noses. 

However, Terriers have longer legs that make them taller. Meanwhile, Frenchies have a muscular build with a larger bone structure. 

Jack Russell Terrier

Boston Terriers and Jack Russell Terriers are among the breeds with short, smooth coats, causing them to appear related at some point. Likewise, the fur makes both breeds easier to groom. 

While Jack Russells almost have the same height as Boston Terriers, they weigh smaller at 13 to 17 pounds. Jack Russells also have longer tails compared to Bostons.


Japanese Chin

Similar to Boston Terriers, Japanese Chins feature large heads with wide sets of eyes. They also have short muzzles and chins that appear high on their faces.

While they share some facial features, a closer look at the dogs shows that Boston Terriers have calm yet alert expressions, while Japanese Chins exhibit astonished looks.

Manchester Terrier

Manchester Terriers and Boston Terriers both have long, perky ears that make them appear always alert. Some Bostons can have a full-black coat similar to Manchester’s fur. 

However, Manchesters have sleeker bodies and longer legs. Despite the height differences, Manchester Terriers can weigh between 12 to 22 pounds, which is relatively close to the average weight of Boston Terriers. 


While there’s a big size difference, a Mastiff may look like a Boston Terrier’s close uncle because of the face. Both breeds also have a calm stance that emanates dignity and grandeur. 

Even with its massive body, a Mastiff is a charming, affectionate, and good-natured dog, much like a Boston Terrier. However, it usually has a denser fur in contrast to a Terrier’s fine coat.

Miniature Bull Terrier

Miniature Bull Terriers look like Boston Terriers because they both have weird-looking, almost goofy faces. They also have small, muscular bodies, although Miniature Bull Terriers tend to be heavier. 

Similar to Bostons, Miniature Bull Terriers have fine, glossy coats that grow very close to the skin. On the other hand, Miniature Bull Terriers have egg-shaped heads in contrast to the rounded heads of Bostons. 

Miniature Pinscher

Hailing from Germany, Miniature Pinschers sort of resemble Chihuahuas and Manchester Terriers in terms of coat color. However, their perky ears and docked tails make them look like Boston Terriers. 

Still, Min Pins share the same well-proportioned and compact bodies that Bostons have. Aside from that, both breeds feature smooth, short-haired coats.


Pomeranians may look like cotton candies brought to life, so why do they bear a resemblance to Boston Terriers? This is because they are small breeds that have flat facial features. While Bostons weigh heavier, both dogs are ideal lap dogs. 


If a Pomeranian is a half-breed, it may lose its fluffy coat, and bear more resemblance to Bostons due to shorter snouts and alert, prick ears.


Pugs and Boston Terriers look alike because of wrinkle patterns on the face. As brachycephalic breeds, they both have narrow or small nostrils, which may restrict the airflow when these dogs breathe through their noses. 

Despite similarities in stature, the American Kennel Club classifies the Pug as a toy dog. Besides, Terriers normally have erect ears, whereas Pugs have folded-over ears.

Rat Terrier

Rat Terriers may have a longer snout, yet their black-and-white face mask and perky ears make them resemble Boston Terriers. If you see Rat Terriers with docked tails, this will make them appear even more like Bostons. 

To differentiate the two, know that Rat Terriers may weigh anywhere between 12 to 35 pounds, while Bostons may range from 10 to 25 pounds. Aside from that, the tallest Bostons may be around the height of the shortest Rat Terriers. 

Scottish Terrier

Like Boston Terriers, Scottish Terriers are compact and sturdy-built dogs with short legs. Both breeds have heads proportionate to their sizes. As with most kinds of Terriers, these two have prominent upright ears. 

While they don’t differ much in weight and height, Scottish Terriers grow thick, wiry hair, causing them to have more grooming needs than Boston Terriers.

Silky Terrier

Like Bostons, Silky Terriers feature V-shaped ears that are set high on the head. They also have flat skulls that result in short muzzles. 

While both considered as small dogs, Silky Terriers are smaller than Boston Terriers in relation to height and weight. As an offspring of Australian and Yorkshire Terriers, Silky Terriers have fine, luscious locks that may either grow short or long.

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terriers sport the same compact and well-proportioned bodies that we commonly see in Boston Terriers. They also have short muzzles and pointy ears, as most Terriers tend to inherit. 

Unlike Bostons, it’s common for Yorkshires to get docked tails at a young age. It may not be obvious as Yorkshire Terriers generally have floor-length, silky coats.


There are several dogs that look like Boston Terriers in terms of the face, body, and tail. Still, there are unique features that can help you differentiate them. At the end of the day, what’s essential is that we provide the necessary time, attention, and care for them. 

Are Boston Terriers Hyper?

Hyper Boston Terrier playing in the snow

Are Boston Terriers hyper, or is that their way of expressing joy? If you’re considering bringing a Boston Terrier home, you need to consider whether their energy levels fit your lifestyle. For this reason, let’s look into how Boston Terriers release energy and how we can help calm them down.

Are Boston Terriers Hyper?

Boston Terriers are not hyper, although they can be energetic, especially young ones. They manifest their playfulness and sociability through short outbursts of energy. Breed characteristics, lack of mental and physical stimulation, and conditioned behavior can turn pent-up energy into hyper activities. 

Reasons Why Boston Terriers Have So Much Energy 

By definition, hyper refers to an increased state of activity, whereas energetic means possessing or exerting energy. Understanding what Boston Terrier dogs are like allows us to see a bigger picture of why the breed acts in an energetic or hyper way.

Hyper Boston Terrier playing in the snow
  • Innate Curiosity: Weeks after birth, Boston Terriers won’t have the strength to move around yet. Once they develop hearing, bone mass, and muscles, that’s when they begin to be curious. The puppyhood stage causes them to become explorers, which may spark their tendency to try things and interact. 
  • Bursts of Energy: As Boston Terriers grow, they will have bursts of energy that they can use for running or playing. The breed’s stubbornness may also show at adolescence and adult stages, so they may not heed to your commands to stay put and be calm right away.
  • Higher Intelligence: Furthermore, Boston Terriers are intelligent, energetic little dogs that may display hyper levels of activity by showing off tricks they know. They may also be eager to draw your attention in ways they know you wouldn’t resist.

How Boston Terriers Release Energy

Boston Terriers have many different ways of showing their energy. We may typically see it in the form of chasing other animals, running in circles, spinning fast, jumping at guests, doing zoomies, and being goofy around us. 

Frenetic Random Activity Periods, also known as zoomies, are random bursts of energies. As a common canine behavior, FRAPs usually last a few minutes or less and may stop even without human intervention. While zooming appears as a happy outburst of energy, this may also indicate that your Boston Terrier is anxious or stressed.

On the other hand, Boston Terriers may feel bored due to a lack of physical activities or mental stimulation. In effect, they turn that suppressed energy into actions such as barking, biting, nipping, digging, escaping, and even destructive behaviors. 

Hyperactivity in Dogs as a Behavioral Issue 

A rare condition called hyperactivity or hyperkinesis can also happen in dogs. This ADHD-like disorder causes dogs to exhibit symptoms like:

Dog playing outdoors
  • Increased resting heart and respiratory rates
  • Inability to adjust to stimuli like household activities and noise 
  • Impulsiveness
  • Consistent agitation 
  • Reactivity 
  • Being overly attention-seeking 
  • Prolonged emotional arousal and incapacity to settle down
  • Failure to respond to amphetamines 

Unless your Boston Terrier displays most of these symptoms, it’s more likely that what you see as hyper is merely your pet’s way of using its energy. 

Ways to Calm a Boston Terrier 

Boston Terriers with unused energy would manifest a fervent desire to exert it in various ways. Your first reaction may be to talk down or even yell at your pet. However, yelling or using a high-pitched voice may only cause your Boston Terrier to feel shame or think that you’re also excited.

For such reasons, we can do these things instead to avoid exacerbating the situation.

  • Schedule exercise: Adult Boston Terriers need at least 60 minutes of daily exercise to burn calories and extra energy. You can try playing at dog ramps or even swimming. If your pet gets enough exercise, it will settle down to rest its muscles and recover energy. 
  • Lengthen daily walks: Taking a 45-minute walk is one of the easiest ways to calm a Boston Terrier’s nerves. You can also bond and be active together through morning and afternoon jogs. 
  • Conduct mental stimulation games: Boston Terriers are clever dogs, and they enjoy challenges that make them think. The best toys for Boston Terriers include puzzles, dispensers, and chewing toys. They also like toys they can fetch, such as squeaky balls or rubber frisbees. 
  • Practice obedience training: If games and exercise don’t work, training may be a better option. This is a good opportunity to do leash training, potty training, and basic commands. 
  • Reward calming attitudes: Praise or give treats whenever your Boston Terrier behaves calmly. In this way, your pet will learn how to pacify itself. 
  • Play soothing music: Dogs have an exceptional sense of hearing, and the world’s noise can trigger stress and anxiety. You can counter that by making your Boston Terrier listen to soothing songs with 50-60 beats per minute, like classical, reggae, and soft rock music. Likewise, white noise sounds can help alleviate tension. 
  • Do gentle petting: Massaging your Boston Terrier while speaking softly teaches your pet about tender physical contacts. You can also gently stroke your dog’s forehead and the bridge between the eyes. Rub the outside edges of the ears to release endorphins that give dogs a feel-good calming effect.
Excited Boston Terrier

Related Questions

Before we wrap up, let’s address other related inquiries. 

At What Age Do Boston Terriers Calm Down? 

As Boston Terriers reach adulthood between 12 to 14 months of age, they will settle with a more grown-up temperament and personality. They will calm down with age, especially if they get enough physical activities and mental stimulation to burn energy. However, you can expect bursts of energy depending on the environment. 

Can Senior Boston Terriers Still Become Hyper? 

Elderly dogs may remain active and energetic, although they would be more laid back and calm. As Boston Terriers grow old, some may slow down, prefer to sleep more, and show disinterest in physical activities. 


We may mistake a Boston Terrier’s eagerness to please and play as hyperactivity. However, these are just some of the ways the breed lets off its energy. Dedicate time for walking, mental stimulation games, petting, and relaxing activities to help manage your Boston Terrier’s energy, emotions, and behavior.

Cushing’s Disease in Boston Terriers

Boston Terrier with Cushing's disease

Is your Boston Terrier drinking and peeing excessively? Are they slowing down because of their old age, or is this what we call Cushing’s disease? In this article, we’re going to discuss what’s Cushing’s disease in Boston Terriers, along with its symptoms, effects, treatment, and prevention. 

Cushing’s Disease in Boston Terriers

Cushing’s disease comes from a tumor that causes a dog’s body to produce too much of the cortisol hormone. Cortisol is a steroid hormone that helps a Boston Terrier respond to stress and pain, monitor sugar levels, fight infections, and control weight. 

Excessive cortisol production means your Boston Terrier has a hormonal imbalance, which affects its body’s ability to function properly. As a result, your pet may experience neurological or behavioral issues.

Causes of Cushing’s Disease

Also known as hyperadrenocorticism, this excessive secretion of cortisol will cause production problems of crucial hormones that regulate a Boston Terrier’s body functions. These are three reasons why a Boston Terrier may get Cushing’s disease.

Boston Terrier with Cushing's disease

A Tumor On The Pituitary Gland

About 80 to 90% of dogs with Cushing’s disease have a tumor on the pituitary gland at the brain’s base or what we call pituitary-dependent hyperadrenocorticism (PDH). The tumor, often benign and small, affects the brain and surrounding structures.

Smaller breeds, such as Boston Terriers, are more susceptible to getting tumors in the brain or hyperplasia, which is an increase in cell number in the pituitary gland. 

A Tumor on the Adrenal Gland 

While tumors on the adrenal glands are more common with large dog breeds, it’s equally important to know that a tumor can cause the gland to secrete too much cortisol. Adrenal-dependent hyperadrenocorticism impacts 15 to 50% of dogs, forming either non-cancerous or malignant tumors on top of the kidneys. 

An Overuse of Steroid Medications

Iatrogenic Cushing’s syndrome happens if a Boston Terrier has taken steroids or excessive amounts of glucocorticoids for a long time. Oral and injectable forms of steroid-containing medication may trigger this problem. Thus, such medications require a prescription and approval from a veterinarian. 

Symptoms of Cushing Syndrome in Boston Terriers 

When the hormones become out of balance, the most evident symptoms of Cushing’s disease are concurrent drinking of large amounts of water and excessive urination. As the disease progresses, Boston Terriers may suffer muscle and joint problems, causing them to feel weak. 

Furthermore, these warning signs may not be noticeable at first, as you think a Boston Terrier is just manifesting the actions of an old dog.

  • Hair loss
  • Recurring skin infections
  • Enlargement of the belly or pot-bellied appearance 
  • Increased hunger 
  • Excessive panting 
  • Lethargy 

Effects of Cushing’s Disease

While not entirely painful, Cushing’s disease in Boston Terriers may trigger other health problems.

  • High blood pressure: Remember that the syndrome uses cortisol, which affects a dog’s response to mood. With excessive cortisol, your Boston Terrier may easily experience irritability, anxiety, and hypertension. 
  • Kidney infections and bladder stones: As the disease elevates blood pressure, it also suppresses a Boston Terrier’s immune system, resulting in kidney and bladder infections.
  • Diabetes: Hyperadrenocorticism produces too many steroids, which cause insulin resistance. 

Life Expectancy of Boston Terriers With Cushing’s Disease 

Two years is the average survival time for a dog with Cushing’s disease, although some may live beyond that. However, this doesn’t automatically mean that a dog will die because of the syndrome. Since the disease usually occurs in senior dogs, most would die of causes related to aging. 

Diagnosing Cushing’s Disease in Dogs 

Cushing’s disease can be quite complex to diagnose because it has the same symptoms as other conditions. This is why it’s essential that you inform the veterinarian of all the things that seem different about your Boston Terrier. 

Dog lying on the floor

Nevertheless, these are various tests veterinarians can use to determine if your Boston Terrier has the syndrome or not.

Urine Cortisol Creatinine Ratio 

The Urine Cortisol Creatine Ratio plays a key role in diagnosing because a Boston Terrier with a normal UCCR is free of Cushing’s disease. Meanwhile, a Boston Terrier with abnormal UCCR needs further testing to confirm the diagnosis.

Low-Dose Dexamethasone Suppression Test 

The Low-Dose Dexamethasone Suppression test is a relatively sensitive yet specific screening that helps determine whether a Boston Terrier has pituitary-dependent or adrenal-dependent Cushing’s disease. It looks at blood samples of how a Boston Terrier’s body works with dexamethasone, a man-made version of cortisol. 

A healthy dog’s cortisol level should go down over the next few hours after getting a dexamethasone injection. If it fails to drop, it may indicate a tumor is not responding to the medication.

Adrenocorticotropic Stimulation Test 

The Adrenocorticotropic Stimulation Test is another screening method, although it won’t know if the disease is pituitary-dependent or adrenal-dependent. Instead, it measures how well the adrenal glands work in response to a hormone called ACTH, which prompts the glands to produce cortisol. 

A Boston Terrier with the normal adrenal response should only have a slight increase in cortisol level. If the blood samples from the ACTH Stim show high numbers, this confirms Cushing’s disease.

Treatment for Cushing’s Disease in Dogs 

Treating Cushing’s disease in Boston Terriers mainly depends on the underlying cause. Treatment options include: 


Surgery is less likely to happen for the pituitary-dependent CD because the gland is a pea-sized body attached to the brain. It is a highly sensitive part that controls the growth, development, and function of other glands. 

Meanwhile, adrenal-based SD commonly uses surgery to remove the tumor in an adrenal gland since this part is next to the kidneys, and therefore, easier to reach. However, surgery may become more complicated in malignant tumors that grow aggressively or metastasize to other parts of a Boston Terrier’s body. 

On the other hand, if the surgery is successful, a Boston Terrier’s appetite and water consumption should return to normal in a few weeks. Normal growth of fur should follow in the coming months. 

Oral Medication

While Medication does not completely treat Cushing’s disease, it can make your Boston Terrier’s life more comfortable by getting the symptoms under control. It is the usual treatment plan for Boston Terriers with pituitary-dependent Cushing’s. This is also an option for an adrenal-dependent Cushing’s Disease where surgery can’t remove the tumor. 

Boston Terrier

A Boston Terrier can still live a normal life with medication, although your pet will need it for the rest of its life. Depending on the prognosis, a veterinarian may use trilostane as medication for two to 2.5 years to help normalize or lower cortisol concentrations. 

Suppose a veterinarian decides to pursue some form of chemotherapy. In that case, a Boston Terrier may survive up to one year with the help of mitotane, an oral chemotherapeutic agent that reduces a tumor’s growth.


While radiation may help shrink the size of a pituitary tumor, this treatment is only effective on small tumors to reduce the effects of Cushing’s disease. Definitive radiation therapy in dogs with pituitary masses shows an 87% survival rate for two years

Discontinuation of Steroid Dosage 

If a Boston Terrier has an iatrogenic Cushing’s syndrome, you should gradually decrease steroid dosage until you can stop it eventually. It would be best to consult a veterinarian as this may cause a relapse in the primary disease the steroid was initially used to treat. 

Routine Check-Ups

You will need to schedule regular check-ups and blood tests to determine if the treatment is working. Careful monitoring is vital when your Boston Terrier is taking oral medication to make sure the drugs don’t destroy the adrenal cortex completely and only help the cortisol stay normal.

You still need to keep a close watch on your Boston Terrier as the veterinarian will most likely ask you about behavioral changes. Call the clinic right away if you notice a return of common symptoms such as abnormally frequent urination, lethargy, troubled breathing, and decreased appetite. 


Cushing’s disease is a condition that requires long-term treatment and management after diagnosis. If medication isn’t improving your Boston Terrier and only causes constant pain and neurological health impacts, it might be time to make the tough decision of euthanizing your pet. 

You know your Boston Terrier the most, and letting your pet go may be an option if you think the syndrome is causing adverse effects on its quality of life. Euthanization is an extremely difficult decision to make, so take your time when considering this option. 

Ways to Prevent Cushing’s Disease

While there is no straightforward way to prevent your Boston Terrier from getting Cushing’s disease, a proper diet can help manage the signs of the syndrome. 

Feed your Boston Terrier with low-carbohydrate, high-protein dog food. The pathway of glucocorticoids or steroids impacts the inflammatory process in the adipose tissue, which stores energy in the form of fats. High carbohydrate foods can exacerbate that inflammatory process. 

Cushing’s syndrome and diabetes have overlapping symptoms. As a precaution, both conditions may benefit from reduced sugar intake. 


Cushing’s disease may come from steroid medication, as well as a tumor on a Boston Terrier’s pituitary or adrenal glands. Surgery, medication, radiation, and checkups are treatment options. A change in lifestyle, diet, and exercise may not totally prevent the disease, although these measures can help keep your Boston Terrier healthy. 

Are Boston Terriers Easy to House Train?

Sleeping Boston Terrier

While most dogs can fend for themselves, we still need to potty train them, so we don’t end up cleaning after our pets around the house. Are Boston Terriers easy to house train? Let’s discuss things that can help us house train Boston Terriers in a simple way.

Are Boston Terriers Easy to House Train?

Being an intelligent breed, Boston Terriers are easy to house train and they respond quickly to it, as long as you do it properly in their early years. Likewise, their desire to please owners makes it more convenient for you to train them. However, Boston Terriers are also stubborn, so you need patience and consistency. 

Things to Consider When Potty Training a Boston Terrier 

Boston Terriers are easy to train because of their smart and attentive nature, putting them among 67% of small yet house-trained dogs. Their high energy levels also make them have a better metabolism, which results in excreting waste faster. 

Boston Terrier being house trained

Young dogs can hold their bladders for approximately their age in months plus one hour. For example, a two-month-old puppy can hold its bladder for about 3 hours. 

While this factor still depends on your pet’s eating patterns and health, this table shows the average frequency Boston Terriers need a potty break on average. 

Dog’s Age Potty Break Every 
8 to 10 weeks30 to 60 minutes 
2 to 3 months2 hours
4 months4 hours
18 months 6 hours 
Adult healthy dogs 7 to 8 hours 

Training is a two-way system. You can’t expect your pet to do all the work. Similar to teaching kids, Boston Terriers need your support and patience until they can go potty by themselves.

Best Time to House Train a Boston Terrier  

The American Kennel Club states that puppies won’t have bladder and bowel control until four months of age. However, this is an excellent opportunity to start training your pet. While this can be tiring in the first few months, remember that they are still developing their body functions.

Most dogs have a habit or routine that can serve as your signal. Keep an eye on your Boston Terrier and watch out for these signs that can help determine if it’s time for your pet to go potty.

  • Fidgeting and restless pacing
  • Running in circles 
  • Intent sniffing in a specific spot
  • Whimpering or whining to get your attention  
  • Tail raising
  • Chafing of doors or walls 
  • Sudden disinterest in their favorite dog toys

Simple Ways to House Train a Boston Terrier 

The key to making it easy for Boston Terriers to learn potty time is by creating a system. Follow these potty training steps to prevent your dog from relieving itself in various parts of your home.

Smiling dog
  • Find a location: Decide where you want your Boston Terrier to urinate and defecate. Should it be in a crate in your garden, a potty pad in the hallway, or a litter box in your room? Establishing a permanent location makes it easier for dogs to remember where to go when it’s time to relieve themselves. 
  • Talk to your pet: Dogs learn up to 165 words and signals even at a young age. Repeat statements such as, “go potty” or “potty time”. Like other commands, verbal cues make it easier for dogs to pick up what it needs to do. 
  • Supervise: When house training a Boston Terrier, it’s important you ensure that your pet is actually going to the designated spot. During the first few tries, you may need to put your dog on a leash for better guidance. 
  • Repeat: If your Boston Terrier fails to potty, even if you know it needs to, take your pet back to the same spot after 15 minutes and try again. 
  • Give treats and praises: Rewarding a Boston Terrier gives a sense of positive reinforcement. Your pet will learn that doing potty correctly may result in gentle rubs and tasty treats. 
  • Be consistent: Make sure every household member understands where your dog needs to potty and why it’s essential to maintain a routine. For Boston Terriers to become good family pets, they also need guidance and motivation from everyone. 
  • Set a regular feeding schedule: What a dog digests on a particular period also goes out on a schedule. Feed your Boston Terrier with the right amount of dog food at the same time per day. In this way, you can anticipate when your pet needs to go potty. 

Things to Avoid When House Training a Boston Terrier 

One of the best ways to potty train a Boston Terrier is to avoid doing things that can make them feel afraid of relieving themselves. 

For instance, do not punish dogs for accidentally peeing in the wrong location. You would only teach them to fear you, discouraging them from trying to understand and obey you. If you catch Boston Terriers in the act, clap loudly, and they will be more inclined to stop. After that, guide them to the right location and wait for them to finish.

Sleeping Boston Terrier

Don’t yell or react angrily if you found evidence even without seeing the act. Some dogs may not be able to connect your anger to what they did.

Related Questions

Do you want more tips for house training a Boston Terrier? Let’s learn more about them.

How Long Do I Need to Potty Train a Boston Terrier? 

The duration depends on how fast your Boston Terrier makes potty part of its daily activities. Some dogs get familiar in under a week, while others need up to a month. Consistency is the key, so make sure not to disrupt the routine, or else it would take longer. 

Do I Need Some Items for House Training? 

It would be helpful to set up pads or a crate on your designated potty place. A pooper scooper and cleaning spray are handy in removing the scent in spots where your pet accidentally pee. A bell also works if you can teach your pet to use it in notifying you that it wants to potty.


House training a Boston Terrier can be time-consuming and frustrating at first. Establishing rules and being consistent should help make it easy to potty train a Boston Terrier. Remember, hard work and communication will benefit you in the long run.