What Is the Difference between a Boston Terrier and a Scottish Terrier?

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What is the difference between a Boston Terrier and a Scottish Terrier? If you are deciding which one to take home, this article might help you know their similarities and differences. Well, for starters, they are both cute little doggies and there are still a lot of things that you should know about them. So, let’s dig in! 

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

Boston Terrier and Scottish Terrier may share the second breed name. However, they have several differences. Boston Terrier is a better choice than a Scottish Terrier if you are a first-time owner. A Boston terrier has fewer grooming needs compared to a Scottish Terrier. A Scottish Terrier is more family-friendly than a Boston Terrier. 

They have different places of origin. A Scottish Terrier is originally bred in the United Kingdom, while Boston Terriers are bred in the United States. Scottish Terriers are bred years before the Boston Terriers. There are still a lot more differences and similarities when it comes to personality, health issues, and taking care of them that we will discuss further.

Selective focus of a Boston terrier in a garden
  • Temperament and Personality

Boston Terriers and Scottish Terriers are both good family dogs. Both of them are affectionate with small kids. A Boston Terrier is better with bigger kids compared to Scottish Terriers though. Boston Terriers are also sweeter to the elderly than Scottish Terriers. 

They are equally good when it comes to other people as long as they are properly socialized. Boston Terriers are generally friendlier to other animals and other dogs than a Scottish Terrier. A Scottie has more tendency to bark. The snoring, drooling, and farting level of Boston Terrier is extremely high because they have smaller muzzles compared to Scottish Terrier.

  • Health Problems

When it comes to health, it is obvious that Boston Terrier needs more careful attention because of its brachycephalic face. Both of them can have some serious illness related to their breed – some have cures and some don’t have. Proper diet and exercise can help both of them to lessen the possibility of some diseases.

A Boston Terrier is more prone to overeating, yet both of them should not be overweight or obese because their small legs won’t be able to carry their heavy bodies. It may cause bone and joint problems eventually.

  • Caring and Needs

Since Scottish Terriers’ coat is thicker and longer than Bostons, they tend to shed more and require more grooming. If you groom your Boston Terrier once or twice a week, you should double it for a Scottie. Boston Terriers seldom need stripping of coats.

A Scottish Terrier also needs more ear and nail care than Boston Terriers. However, when it comes to eyes, Boston Terriers need more care. Their eyes seem to be bulging and protruding, hence, they are more prone to eye problems and infection. 

To minimize that, make sure that their eyes are always clean and their nails are kept short to avoid scratching. 

  • Diet and Exercise

Boston Terriers and Scottish Terriers are both active dogs, though you cannot expect to win a race with a Scottie. They are both balls of energy waiting to be released. Though Boston Terrier is faster, a Scottish Terrier has more endurance and agility. They both enjoy walking.

When it comes to their food, they both need high-quality, nutrient-rich food to ensure good health and proper body development. You can give them raw food from time to time. It’s important to remember to feed your dog according to his size, age, and body weight. You may talk to your vet for proper diet recommendations.

Don’t forget the clean, fresh, water!

A black Scottish terrier with head facing to the side
  • Training and Intelligence

Both of them are stubborn, yet a Scottie is more stubborn. A Boston Terrier is easier to train compared to the two of them. It’s easy to get to the mind of your Boston with the right amount of treats. Boston Terriers are also more eager to please you than a Scottie. 

During potty training or housebreaking, a Boston Terrier has more tendency to have accidents. A Boston Terrier is more playful than a Scottish Terrier, especially with a ball. When it comes to intelligence, we can say that both of them are on average levels.

  • Working and Hunting Ability

A Scottish Terrier is more likely to dig and break into the fence than a Boston Terrier. Scotties are more likely to hunt down squirrels, cats, or any moving thing that comes into your yard, so make sure that they can’t easily go outside. Their defense and fight drive is also higher than that of a Boston Terrier.

Both of them are good watchdogs, yet a Scottish Terrier is a better guard dog because it barks more often. Historically, Scottish Terriers are bred to be farmworkers, hunters of crop-eating animals. The reason why they are more work-driven than a nap and cuddle-driven Boston Terrier. That’s why a Boston Terrier has an edge when it comes to relieving stress in humans.

Related Questions

How Can You Identify a Standard Boston Terrier?

A standard Boston Terrier is either black, seal, or brindle in coat color. Their head is small and square-shaped. Their ears are sticking out. They have a short muzzle and large expressive eyes. Their body is compact and squared and they can weigh up to 25 pounds. 

What Are the Features of a Standard Scottish Terrier?

The standard features of a Scottish Terrier are its compact and sturdy body. It has short, steady legs that are mostly hidden by fur. Its head is long covered with a beard-looking fur. It has a long coat and a soft undercoat which makes them tolerant to different kinds of weather.

Boston Terrier dog breed. All breed characteristics and facts about Boston Terrier dogs


Boston Terriers and Scottish Terriers both have positive and negative traits and abilities. They are similar and different at the same time. They may be both terriers, yet they are so unique. If you are planning to get either of them, this article will help you in getting to know them well.