Is a Boston Terrier a Pitbull?

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Is a Boston Terrier a pitbull, or do they just look the same? Do these facial resemblances extend to their personality and needs? To set the record straight, we’re going to see the similarities between a Boston Terrier and a pitbull, along with what makes them different and rather special. 

Is a Boston Terrier a Pitbull?

A Boston Terrier isn’t a Pitbull, although the breed’s bloodline came from the English Bulldog and the extinct White English Terriers. In America, the term pitbull refers to these four distinct pedigree breeds: American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bully, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and the American Pit Bull Terrier.

Some people get confused about Pitbulls and Terriers since they tend to look alike. To help you distinguish the two, let’s break down what their connections might be and the things that make them completely different. 

Boston terrier biting a stuffed toy

Similarities Between the Boston Terrier and Pitbull

Although a Boston Terrier isn’t a pitbull, these are the features and factors that can make us think the two breeds are the same. 

  • Faces: The similarity in the faces is one of the main reasons why people tend to interchange the two breeds. They have snubbed noses that cause them to have some respiratory health issues. Depending on the owner, both dogs can have cropped ears. 
  • Body structure: Both the Boston Terrier and pitbull have compact, muscular bodies. They also have straight, short, and single coats. Depending on the breeding, you can distinguish them through their varying fur colors.   
  • Grooming: Both breeds have low grooming maintenance needs. Since they don’t shed as much as double-coated dogs, they don’t need daily brushing or weekly baths. 
  • Affection toward people: Pitbulls have a reputation for being aggressive dogs, mainly because of their history as fighting dogs. Unfortunately, this notion causes pitbulls to spend 3 times longer in shelters than other breeds. In reality, they can be as charming and softhearted as Boston Terriers, given the right training and care.
  • Trainability: Pitbulls and Boston Terriers are highly intelligent dogs. Although training requires patience and consistency, you can train them easily since they are commonly eager to learn and please people. However, both breeds can be strong-willed at times, so you still need to be cautious. 
  • Playfulness: Both dogs have fun, high-spirited personalities. They love to play and goof around with their owners. 

Differences Between the Boston Terrier and a Pitbull

To better understand the two dogs, let’s dive into the things that make a Boston Terrier different from a Pitbull. 

Weight and Height

Despite having both muscular bodies, among the major distinctions of the two breeds are their height and weight.  

Boston TerrierPitbull
Boston Terriers typically weigh anywhere between 10 to 25 pounds. Their short legs cause them to stand at only 15 to 17 inches.Pitbulls have bigger bodies that can weigh from 30 to 90 pounds. They also stand taller at 14 to 24 inches. 

Energy and Strength 

While both dogs have working dogs as ancestors, modern-day Pitbulls and Boston Terriers differ in energy levels. 

Boston TerrierPitbull
Boston Terriers have high energy levels, although their strength isn’t as great as Pitbulls. Their maximum running speed is only 15 mph.Pitbulls boast high energy and excellent strength, enabling them to run at 30 mph. 

Food Consumption

Diet usually depends on a dog’s needs, current health condition, and history. About 54% of dogs in America are either overweight or obese, so it’s important that you follow the appropriate food intake. 

Boston TerrierPitbull
0.5 to 1.5 cups of high-quality dry food per day, which you can divide into two meals. 1.5 to 2.5 cups of high-quality dry food daily, divided within the day. 


When in heat, female Boston Terriers and Pitbulls can mate with their male counterparts and experience a pregnancy period of 60 to 64 days

Boston TerrierPitbull
Boston Terrier’s litter size is typically 3 to 5 puppies.Pitbulls can give birth to 5 to 8 puppies.

Health and Lifespan 

Both dogs have genetic health conditions, although they differ in what normally affects them. 

Boston TerrierPitbull
Boston Terriers can enjoy 13 to 15 years of life as long as they don’t suffer from these diseases:
Cushing’s Disease
Multiple Eye Problems 

Hearing Issues
Bone and Joint Problems
Urinary Tract Infections
Pitbulls can live up to 14 years if they remain protected against these issues:
Food-Based Allergies
Skin Issues
Hip Dysplasia

Thyroid Disease
Gastric Dilation-Volvulus
Heart Disease
Pitbull in the forest

Boston Pit: The Boston Terrier-Pitbull Mix 

We can consider a Boston Terrier as a pitbull if it comes from the mixed breeding of Boston Terrier and pitbull. In general, the Boston Pit is a loving, loyal, and cheerful dog that you can add to your household.

Depending on the dominant parent, a Boston Pit may get a Boston Terrier’s perky ears and nub-like tails or a pitbull’s floppy ears and long tails. Either way, the offspring would usually have the same stocky, compact body.

A Boston Pit’s temperament can combine the personalities of both parents. Hence, it can be brilliant yet stubborn. However, this also means a Boston Pit may get congenital health problems. 

Now that we’ve seen the distinctions and similarities between the two dogs, let’s learn more about the Boston Terrier. 

Are Boston Terriers Good Family Dogs? 

Boston Terriers are excellent dogs for families, particularly if you want a small, loving, and clever dog. While Boston Terriers have health conditions due to their short noses, they are relatively easy to feed, care for, and train. 

Should I Get a Female or Male Boston Terrier?

Whether you get a female or male Boston Terrier, you would receive the same amount of affection and energy from them. The only difference is that a female Boston can give you a litter of puppies. A male one can be more territorial, although they conventionally have the same behavior.


A Boston Terrier isn’t a pitbull, although it hails from a lineage of bulldogs and terriers that have similarities with pitbulls. It can be part pitbull if one of the parents is a distinct pitbull breed. What’s essential is that you care for your Boston Terrier regardless of its ancestry.