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How Much Exercise Does a Boston Terrier Need? Vet-Reviewed Facts

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 9, 2024 by Dogster Team

boston terrier running on grass

How Much Exercise Does a Boston Terrier Need? Vet-Reviewed Facts


Dr. Luqman Javed Photo


Dr. Luqman Javed

Veterinarian, DVM

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Playful and ready to rumble, the Boston Terrier is a lively doggo with an upbeat personality. They’re quick to adapt to new environments and can be happy within apartment walls as long as they get enough activity per day. And you won’t have to play with them for hours. While each dog is different, on average, Bostons need at least 45–60 minutes of daily exercise.

Fetch, tug-of-war, and puzzle toys are some of the games that Boston Terriers like to play. Or you can go for a walk/run. So, how do you exercise with this lovely dog? We have all the answers right here!

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Brachycephalic Dogs & Breeding Warning

Though the Boston Terrier is a popular breed, they unfortunately suffer from a plethora of health issues as a result of generations of selective breeding and therefore unfortunately have a lower quality of life when compared to other dog breeds. These dogs are known as brachycephalics. Veterinarians around the world are urging pet owners to not adopt the breed as their genetic shortcomings cannot be overcome by proper care and management alone. If you wish to adopt a brachycephalic breed, please be mindful that they will most likely need extensive medical assistance throughout their life, which may include necessary reconstructive surgery.

Other examples of brachycephalic breeds include Pugs, Shih Tzus, Bulldogs, and the Boxer.

Boston Terriers: The American Gentlemen

It’s impossible not to fall in love with the Boston Terriers! These dogs are gentle, friendly, and hard-wired to please their owners. They are inquisitive, too, and ever-ready to join you on a walk or jog. A well-trained Boston has perfect manners and takes its morning strolls with a rhythmic step. Add the trademark short, sleek, and luxurious coat, and you’ll see why this breed is often called the American Gentleman.

Sweethearts by nature, Boston Terriers have big, loving eyes, a short muzzle, and a short tail. They’re not that big, by the way: the average Boston weighs 12–25 pounds (5.4 – 11.3 kg) and stands 15–17 inches tall. More importantly, these dogs are equally affectionate toward adults, children, and fellow pets. So, if you’re looking for a compact, open-hearted doggo, do consider adopting a Boston Terrier!

Boston Terrier on the green background
Image Credit: Lenka N, Shutterstock

An Hour or 30 Minutes: How Much Exercise Is Enough?

Bostons have a curious, cheerful nature and love outdoor activities, but they don’t need to be outside 24/7. You won’t have to play or exercise with them for 4–5 hours, either. These dogs can stay happy and fit with only an hour of daily activity. For some pooches, even 30–40 minutes of exercise will be enough. Yes, it depends on the dog, but the older the pet gets, the more dedicated exercise they’re going to need.

Senior canines tend to have various medical conditions. The same goes for puppies; be very careful not to put too much pressure on the dog’s muscles and joints. Starting off, even ten minutes of activity might be a bit too much. The vets recommend going slow and adding extra five minutes each month, allowing the pet to develop properly. Also, consistency is imperative: Bostons need exercise every day!

The Best Exercises for a Boston Terrier

What kinds of exercises do these dogs like? Should you take them on your daily walks or play intelligent games like fetch or tug-of-war? Well, why not try all of them? By doing different things, you’ll be able to keep the doggo excited for tomorrow’s “trials”. And that’s exactly how you create a strong bond with your Boston.

Here’s a quick look at the best ways to keep your pet fit:
  • Take the Boston for a stroll. What could be better than enjoying the evening breeze on a walk with your favorite pet? Walking is a simple, yet effective exercise for Boston Terriers.
  • Invite it to join you on a jog. This is another great exercise for Boston Terriers. You don’t have to participate in a marathon, though. Take it slow: once you find the perfect pace for the jog, it might just turn into the dog’s favorite activity. This is important: Bostons have short back legs. To avoid injuries, keep the running distances nice and short.
  • All-time classic: Tug-of-war. Witty dogs like to play tug-of-war: it tests their physical abilities and wits. Plus, the game gives them a chance to spend time with you. Tug-of-war can be played both outdoors and indoors, as long as there’s enough space. Pick the right toy (small knotted rope) and let the dog win—that’s the key to success!
  • Fetch and puzzle toys. By nature, Boston Terriers are eager to please their owners, and fetch is a great game for creating a trusting relationship with your pet. And you can mix it up with sprinkler running. As for the toys, they motivate dogs to put their intelligence to good use to figure out how the puzzle works.
boston terrier chewing ball
Image Credit: Tasha Karidis, Shutterstock

The Biggest Benefits of Exercises for Boston Terriers

Just like any other dog, Boston Terriers rely heavily on daily activity to stay healthy, fit, and mentally stimulated. If they turn into couch potatoes and spend all day watching TV and snacking on treats, it will negatively impact their well-being.

Here are the most significant pros of exercising these dogs:
  • Good health, lower chance of obesity
  • Lower risk of some types of cancer and heart diseases
  • Stronger muscles and improved stamina
  • Lots of mental stimulation
  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • No destructive behaviors
  • A chance to bond with the owner
  • Socializing with other dogs

Tips For Keeping the Dog Safe During Exercise

Boston Terriers are prone to overheating. That’s why you shouldn’t expose them to direct sunlight and you shouldn’t walk them on hot days or peak temperature hours. If you’re going for a walk or a jog, do it in the second half of the day, when the sun is setting. More than that, because Boston Terriers have brachycephalic syndrome, they will run out of breath fairly quickly. So, give your dog plenty of breaks! Another reason for that is their short legs: they’re not built for long runs.

Next, while you should reward the dog with treats, remember that Bostons are at high risk for obesity. Letting it gain extra pounds may result in inflamed joints (arthritis), diabetes, heart conditions, and even cancer. To keep your dog in proper shape, talk to your veterinarian. They’ll tell you what kind of premium-quality food and treats to buy for your Boston Terrier to keep them at a healthy weight and will help you formulate a diet plan if they’re overweight or obese.

boston terrier dog running on water
Image Credit: Avi’s Colors, Pixabay



In Conclusion

Despite their inquisitive nature, Boston Terriers are considered low-maintenance dogs. Now, they do require their fair share of exercise per day. But the American gentlemen also like to chill on the couch, especially after some high-activity games. So, it all comes down to finding the right balance between playing with this dog and letting it rest.

Even if you only have 40–50 minutes per day to jog with your four-legged bud, in most cases, that will be enough to keep it fit, healthy, and happy. Use the tips from our guide to pick the best exercises for your dog , be there to reward them with treats, and you’ll quickly turn into the dog’s biggest hero!

Featured Image Credit: Zero Degrees Photography, Shutterstock

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