Everything You Need to Know About Boston Terrier Anxiety

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Boston Terriers experience many emotions just like humans do. Unfortunately, anxiety is one thing that I share. There are different reasons and types of anxiety in Boston Terriers. In this article, I will talk about everything you need to know about Boston Terrier anxiety. 

Everything You Need To Know About Boston Terrier Anxiety

Boston Terrier Anxiety is mainly associated with fear and sudden behavior change. Anxiety can be induced by many different reasons, such as their environment, people, other animals. These reasons cause different types of anxiety as well.

Graphic image of a Boston Terrier with a text that explains the types of anxiety for Boston Terriers

Types of Boston Terrier Anxiety

Anxiety Type Triggers Signs
Noise Fireworks, thunderstorms, loud vehicles, yellingHiding, shaking, pacing
Separation Being left alone, routine changesBarking, chewing, defecating
Rescue/shelter Sudden movements, new people, intimidationAggression, urinating, hard time adjusting

Noise Anxiety in Boston Terriers

Although Boston Terriers have small ears, but they are very sensitive to loud noises. You may know where these noises or sudden loud sounds are coming from, but your dog doesn’t. To them, it is an inescapable kind of danger.

What Triggers Loud Noise Anxiety in Boston Terriers?

  • Fireworks
  • Thunderstorms
  • Loud vehicles, such as ambulance, fire trucks, and police cars
  • Lawnmowers
  • Vacuum
  • Yelling or loud talkers
  • Car alarm
  • Warning sirens, such as flood or tornado sirens
  • Loud gatherings

Signs of Noise Anxiety

  • Hiding under the bed, table, corners, or small spaces
  • Whining
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Wide eyes
  • Pacing
  • Potty accidents
  • Trying to escape from home or the situation

How to Reduce Noise Anxiety in Boston Terriers

  • If you’re away from home, get back as soon as possible: It is important to be with your dog when they are feeling anxious. If you can stop where the noise is coming from, better. If not, at least your Boston Terrier has someone to comfort him/her.
  • Avoid forcing your dog into their crate or a confined space: If they are experiencing anxiety, forcing them to get inside the crate may seem like a punishment. You may incorporate some treats as you slowly and carefully put them in a safer and quieter place.
  • Play calming music or other sounds to distract your Boston Terrier: Filling their surroundings with calming music can divert their attention and lessen their anxiousness. Seeing you calm may help to calm your Terrier as well.

Fun fact: According to a Physiology & Behavior study, the most calming music for dogs is soft rock and reggae. So get that Elton John album ready for the next thunderstorm!

Woman hugging boston terrier at the beach

Separation Anxiety in Boston Terriers

Separation Anxiety is triggered when your Boston Terrier is upset by being separated from you, especially if you’ve been around for a while. 

What Triggers Separation Anxiety in Boston Terriers?

  • Being left alone for the first time
  • Being left alone when they are used to constant human contact
  • Suffering a traumatic event
  • Change in routine
  • Loss of a family member or pet

Symptoms of Separation Anxiety in Boston Terriers

Signs of separation anxiety may vary, but here are some of the most notable:

  • Barking or howling
  • Digging
  • Pacing
  • Escaping their enclosure
  • Chewing, especially around “exit points” like doors and windows
  • Urinating and/or defecating

If your Boston Terrier is suffering from separation anxiety, it may react like it’s been years since they saw you when you come home. If you noticed that your dog keeps pacing, standing or sitting by the door, or barking, it could be a warning sign that they feel extremely anxious while you’re gone.

How to Reduce Separation Anxiety in Boston Terriers

  • Teach your Boston to associate being alone with something they enjoy: Give your dog something to keep them busy, yet enjoyable. You may give them food or treats. This sends a message that they should not fear being left at home. This may also seem that you are rewarding them for staying at home and having good behavior.
    If you have given them a Kong, for example, make sure to take it back once you’re home. It is important to make an association between giving this kind of treat and leaving home.
  • Leave your Boston Terrier with recently worn clothes that smell like you: Leaving a familiar scent to them makes them feel less anxious. Dogs are fond of sniffing. If they feel safe when you’re around, your smell may help them feel that you’re there and that they are safe, too.
  • Don’t make a big deal out of arrival and departure: Make sure not to make your Boston feel that you are leaving for a long time. Just a quick pet before going out would be enough. Don’t stay long with them when you’re about to leave. When you arrive home, wait for a few minutes for them to calm down before petting them. It trains them not to be too excited.

Severe separation anxiety is complex and may require the help of an animal behaviorist. If your Boston Terrier is suffering from severe separation anxiety with constant and uncontrollable symptoms, it is important to consult with your esteemed veterinarian for the appropriate next steps.

Rescue/Shelter Anxiety in Boston Terriers

Rescuing a Boston Terrier takes a good heart, a lot of courage, patience, and a special kind of commitment. Many rescue and shelter dogs have experienced abandonment and emotional or physical trauma. These experiences may translate to anxiety that they take to their new family.

What Triggers Rescue/Shelter Anxiety in Boston Terriers?

  • Sudden movements
  • Loud noises
  • Meeting new people
  • Feeling intimidated by other dogs

Common Signs of Rescue/Shelter Anxiety in Boston Terrier

  • Hard time adjusting
  • Food aggression, such as biting during mealtime, growling, snarling
  • Guarding their resources
  • Urinating to mark their territory

How to Reduce Rescue/Shelter Anxiety in Boston Terriers

  • Make sure your Boston has many sources of comfort: When your rescued Boston Terrier gets home for the first time, make sure that they know where to go. Prepare a warm bed and toys for them to make them feel happy and safe and comfortable. It will build trust between the two of you.
  • Offer petting or a hug: While it is normal for a rescued dog to walk around and inspect their new environment, meeting new people or pets for the first time can be stressful. It may seem like a danger to them. So gently offer some petting when you feel it’s safe to do so.
  • Be patient when dealing with them: Most rescue/shelter dogs have an awful experience. They can be untrusting and that’s normal. Give them space and time alone. Allow them to adjust to their new surroundings by giving them the freedom to roam around.
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Other Causes of Anxiety in Boston Terriers

Anxiety in Boston Terriers can also be caused by an illness and aging.  Aging declines their ability to learn. Hence, creating confusion and anxiety.

Going to the veterinarian can also cause Boston Terriers anxiety. It is best to give them a short walk or playtime before actually going to the clinic.

Other Signs of Anxiety in Boston Terriers

  • Non-stop barking or howling
  • Chewing everything in sight
  • Exhaling sharply (chuffing)
  • Yawning constantly
  • Scratching

How to Calm Your Boston Terrier

  • Routine: Having daily activities and routine help your Boston Terrier become at ease. It will know what to do, and where to go. Establishing a routine helps them cope better in their surroundings, especially if it is a new one.
  • Dog-Safe Zone: Creating a safe zone for your Boston Terrier helps reduce or prevent anxiety. You can choose the quietest spot in your house. You can give them a warm blanket or a special toy. A dog-safe zone is a place where they can play and rest.
  • Exercise: Boston Terriers need to have a healthy body and mind. Most Boston Terriers need 30-60 minutes of exercise every day. It can be as simple as a walk outside or running in the park.
side view shot of a boston terrier

How to Prevent Anxiety in Boston Terriers

Learn to read your Boston Terrier’s body language. Knowing when they are uncomfortable, uneasy, or scared can help you avoid negative experiences. If your dog already has a history of anxiety, you can avoid or prevent them from encountering the triggers. Avoidance, or taking them out of the situation can lessen their stress. 

If the situation or the trigger is unavoidable, just make sure that your dog has someplace to calm himself. Your presence is also important to make him at ease.

Obedience training is essential when preventing and managing dog anxiety. It establishes a healthy relationship and trust. Obedience classes are also a great place to meet other dogs in a controlled environment.

Meeting new people and other animals, facing new experiences, and going to different places can help prevent your dog from developing anxiety. Socialization can help your dog to be well-adjusted in its environment and different situations.

When To Seek Medication

Anxiety in some dogs can be severe and medical attention is needed. Here’s how to tell if your dog needs veterinary care:

  • Sudden unexplained aggression
  • Extreme and unexplained fear
  • Constant barking, growling, or whining
  • Obsessive behavior, such as licking even when they don’t have wound or fleas, or shaking even when they are not wet
  • Excessive panting, drooling, or pacing
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Related Questions

Are Boston Terriers Prone to Anxiety?

Boston Terriers are prone to anxiety because they are affectionate dogs. Once they lack cuddling or some form of human interaction, it can cause some triggers that lead to anxiety.

What Do Boston Terriers Fear?

Boston Terriers commonly fear loud noises, strangers, and changes in routine. A Boston Terrier’s fear can be related to anxiety triggers.

What Causes Fear in a Boston Terrier?

Causes of fear among Boston Terriers may include genetics, lack of socialization, or a fearful response. In some cases, a Terrier may associate something to fear, like pain from getting sick or playing.


Many dogs will experience different kinds of anxiety in one part of their life. It can be triggered by different situations. It can be caused by the place where they came, the people they are with, and the way they are raised.

Anxiety can be mild to severe. Fortunately, with some effort, patience, and sensitivity to your pet’s needs, you can help prevent, avoid, or relieve their anxiety.