What is the Downside of a Boston Terrier? [2024]

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Have you ever wondered what the downside of owning a Boston Terrier is? While these adorable little dogs are known for their charming personalities and unique appearance, there are a few drawbacks that potential owners should be aware of. In this article, we’ll delve into the downsides of owning a Boston Terrier, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of what to expect. So, let’s dive in and explore the not-so-glamorous side of owning a Boston Terrier.

Quick Answer

✅ Boston Terriers are known for their individualistic temperament, with some being high-spirited and clownish, while others are calm and dignified. They are typically polite with everyone, including other pets, and love to play games and chase balls. However, they may suffer from health issues due to their unnaturally short face, including breathing problems, eye diseases, epilepsy, cancer, joint diseases, and heart disease. They are also prone to snorting, snuffling, wheezing, snoring, and potential gassiness (flatulence). Boston Terriers can be slow to housebreak and may exhibit stubbornness, requiring consistent training and leadership from their owners.

Quick Tips and Facts

  • Boston Terriers have a lifespan of around 11 to 13 years.
  • They are small-sized dogs, weighing between 10 to 25 pounds.
  • Boston Terriers are known for their tuxedo-like coat pattern, with a short, smooth coat that requires minimal grooming.
  • These dogs are highly adaptable and can thrive in both apartments and houses.
  • Boston Terriers are generally good with children and other pets, making them a great choice for families.
  • They are intelligent and eager to please, which makes training relatively easy.
  • Boston Terriers are prone to obesity, so it’s important to monitor their diet and provide regular exercise.

Background: The Boston Terrier’s History

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Before we delve into the downsides of owning a Boston Terrier, let’s take a moment to appreciate the breed’s history. The Boston Terrier, also known as the “American Gentleman,” originated in the late 19th century in Boston, Massachusetts. They were bred by crossing English Bulldogs with English Terriers, resulting in a small, muscular dog with a friendly and sociable disposition.

Boston Terriers quickly gained popularity and became one of the most beloved breeds in the United States. They were recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1893 and have since remained a favorite among dog lovers.

1. Health Issues

Video: What are the 10 Most Common Boston Terrier Health Problems.

One of the main downsides of owning a Boston Terrier is their susceptibility to various health issues. These adorable dogs have a unique appearance with a short, flat face, which can lead to a range of health problems. Here are some of the common health issues associated with Boston Terriers:

Breathing Problems

✅ Boston Terriers are brachycephalic dogs, meaning they have a short, pushed-in face. While this gives them their distinctive look, it can also cause breathing difficulties. Their shortened airways can lead to snorting, snuffling, wheezing, and snoring. This can be particularly problematic in hot weather or during exercise when they may struggle to cool themselves down efficiently.

Eye Diseases

✅ Boston Terriers are prone to various eye diseases, including cataracts, corneal ulcers, and cherry eye. Cataracts can cause vision impairment or even blindness, while corneal ulcers can be painful and require medical intervention. Cherry eye is a condition where the gland in the eye protrudes, leading to irritation and potential complications.


✅ Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that can affect Boston Terriers. Dogs with epilepsy may experience seizures, which can range from mild to severe. While medication can help manage the condition, it’s important to be aware of the potential challenges associated with epilepsy.


✅ Like many dog breeds, Boston Terriers are susceptible to various types of cancer. Some of the common types include mast cell tumors, lymphoma, and hemangiosarcoma. Regular veterinary check-ups and early detection are crucial for managing and treating cancer in Boston Terriers.

Joint Diseases

✅ Boston Terriers are prone to joint diseases such as hip dysplasia and patellar luxation. These conditions can cause pain, lameness, and mobility issues. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and weight management can help reduce the risk of joint diseases in Boston Terriers.

Heart Disease

✅ Boston Terriers are also predisposed to certain heart conditions, including mitral valve disease and patent ductus arteriosus. These conditions can affect the heart’s ability to function properly and may require medical intervention.

While not every Boston Terrier will experience all of these health issues, it’s important to be aware of the breed’s predispositions and take proactive measures to ensure their well-being. Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, and appropriate exercise can go a long way in maintaining your Boston Terrier’s health.

2. Snorting, Snuffling, Wheezing, and Snoring

Video: Reverse Sneeze In Dogs: What it looks like and What to do!

Another downside of owning a Boston Terrier is their tendency to snort, snuffle, wheeze, and snore. Due to their brachycephalic features, Boston Terriers may have difficulty breathing, especially during exercise or in hot weather. This can result in noisy breathing, which some owners may find bothersome.

While these sounds may be endearing to some, they can be a cause for concern, especially if they are accompanied by signs of distress or difficulty breathing. If you notice any severe breathing difficulties or persistent snorting, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.

3. Gassiness (Flatulence)

Video: Do Boston Terriers Fart? Why And What You Can Do About It.

✅ Boston Terriers are notorious for their gassiness. While it may seem amusing at first, the constant flatulence can become a downside for some owners. The breed’s sensitive digestive system and tendency to gulp air while eating or drinking can contribute to excessive gas production.

To minimize gassiness, it’s important to feed your Boston Terrier a high-quality diet that suits their digestive needs. Avoid feeding them table scraps or foods that are known to cause gas, such as beans or certain vegetables. Additionally, feeding smaller, more frequent meals can help reduce the likelihood of excessive gas.

4. Housebreaking Challenges

Video: How To Potty Train A Boston Terrier – 5 Steps To Housebreak Your Dog.

✅ Boston Terriers can be slow to housebreak, which can be frustrating for some owners. These dogs may take longer to grasp the concept of potty training and may have accidents indoors, even as adults. Consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement are key when it comes to housebreaking a Boston Terrier.

Establish a regular schedule for bathroom breaks and reward your dog for successful elimination outside. Crate training can also be helpful in preventing accidents indoors and teaching your Boston Terrier to hold their bladder for longer periods.

5. Stubbornness

Video: 5 Real Reasons NOT To Get A Boston Terrier.

✅ Boston Terriers, like many other breeds, can exhibit stubbornness. While they are generally eager to please their owners, they may have moments of defiance or independence. This can make training a bit more challenging, requiring consistent and patient efforts from the owner.

Positive reinforcement training methods, such as treats and praise, work well with Boston Terriers. Keep training sessions short and engaging to hold their attention. Consistency and clear communication are key to overcoming their stubborn streak.


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Are Boston Terriers good dogs for older people?

✅ Yes, Boston Terriers can make excellent companions for older people. They are generally low-maintenance dogs that adapt well to apartment living. Their small size and friendly nature make them great for seniors who may have limited mobility or prefer a smaller dog.

What kind of person owns a Boston Terrier?

✅ Boston Terriers are a versatile breed that can fit well with a variety of owners. They are suitable for families, singles, seniors, and individuals living in both urban and rural environments. However, they do require attention, exercise, and mental stimulation to thrive.

Read more about “Boston Terrier Pros and Cons …”


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In conclusion, while Boston Terriers are undeniably adorable and make wonderful companions, there are a few downsides to consider. These include their susceptibility to health issues, such as breathing problems, eye diseases, epilepsy, cancer, joint diseases, and heart disease. Additionally, their tendency to snort, snuffle, wheeze, snore, and produce excessive gas can be a drawback for some owners. Housebreaking challenges and occasional stubbornness are also aspects to be aware of when considering a Boston Terrier as a pet.

Despite these downsides, Boston Terriers bring joy, love, and companionship to countless households. With proper care, attention, and regular veterinary check-ups, you can help mitigate the potential downsides and provide your Boston Terrier with a happy and healthy life.

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