Boston terriers are amazing, funny, and intelligent dogs, and they are commonly referred to as the “American Gentlemen” because of their tuxedo marking. They were the first official breed created in the United States of America and they are the state dog for Massachusetts since 1979.
They are extremely smart, gentle, affectionate, energetic, and could be stubborn. Due to their potentially stubborn nature, Boston terriers, like other dogs, do require proper exercise and training.
So how much exercise do Boston terriers need? Exercise, at least one 30 minute walk daily, will keep your dog happy and healthy. If you give them the proper mental and physical exercise on a consistent basis, then you will have a loving companion for the next 12 to 15 years.
The general rule of thumb for walking a puppy is around 5 minutes for every month of age.
Dogs, like humans, learn from a young age what is right or wrong. A Boston terrier puppy certainly has more energy than an 8 year old Boston terrier. However, regardless of their age, exercise is important every day of their life.
Senior dogs, although their energy levels will be decreased, still need to be exercised daily to help keep their muscles and joints mobile and to keep their weight down, but too much exercise can cause joint damage.
Can Boston Terriers Run Long Distance?
Many long-distance runners love a canine companion. However, there are some breeds of dogs that are not made for long-distance runs because of their short noses and short legs, including your Boston terrier.
If you decide to take your dog for a run (longer than 2 -3 mile) – remember to keep a close eye on them. Anything further would depend on the individual dog’s fitness level. Also, the dog’s age, body density, size, coat thickness, weather, and temperament may affect how far your dog can safely run.
Over Exercised Symptoms
Is their tongue hanging out? Are they lagging behind? Are their eyes glazed over? Do they look overall stressed? If your dog sleeps excessively after exercising, it may indicate that they are over-exercised and this could lead to physical injury or heat exhaustion.
Boston terriers do not handle excessive hot weather because they are unable to get much cool air into their lungs due to the short-nose or extreme cold weather because of their short coat, so please keep this in mind when exercising your dog outside.
Overall, dogs need to stay more hydrated than humans as they do not have the ability to sweat like humans. Dehydration can set in very quickly and the signs include dry mouth and gums and their skin will lose elasticity. If not treated quickly, dehydration can lead to a medical emergency.
If your dog shows signs of heat exhaustion which include tremors, vomiting, drooling, difficulty breathing, or shows signs of weakness after strenuous exercise – get them to your vet as soon as possible.
Are Boston Terriers Fast?
Boston terriers can move very fast and should never be let outside unless they are in a secure, fenced-in yard or on a leash.
Some Recommended Exercise Ideas for Your Boston Terrier
Exercise is vital for dogs’ mental and physical well being and there are three (3) major types of exercise that should be focused on when training a Boston terrier.
1. Daily Walks
Boston terriers can walk all day long – so these daily walks are limited only by your time and energy – not the dogs. It is ideal to aim for 45 to 60 minutes walks daily. This time can be broken down into two sessions, but don’t wait until the weekend to go for a nice long walk.
2. Free Play/High Intense and Quick Activities
Your Boston terrier is agile and surprisingly quick. In conjunction with daily walks, purposeful activities that engage the dogs’ agility skills and also will burn some pent up energy in quick spurts are advised. Some great high-intense exercises and/or games that your dog may enjoy include:
Tug of War
If you are involved, it can also be a tool in learning control as you can teach your pup to only release upon your verbal command. On a physical level, a game of Tug of War builds muscle tone and overall body strength. For your pup to play by themselves, simply attach a spring pole to a piece of strong rope that hangs from a beam or tree branch – attach a tempting toy at the end.
A good olé game of fetch is a great way to burn energy; however, your arm may begin to get tired long before your pup does. If this is the case, an automatic ball launcher maybe a great alternative. Another alternative is Flirt Pole. A Flirt pole has a long handle with a bungy type rope with a lure or toy attached to the end. You simply move the lure along the ground around in circles or in different directions as your dog chases it.
A mentioned before, Boston terriers are very agile and they are also eager to learn. These combined skills make an agility course a pure pleasure for your pup because they are encouraged to run a top speeds, scale ramps, jump over hurdles, weave through a line of poles, and burst through wide tunnels like a bullet. You can buy a pre-made agility course for your backyard, or you can make it yourself with large tubes and sturdy boxes. The ideas are limited only by your imagination – a quick internet search will give you some ideas to get you started.
A sprinkler is a great way to cool off during the hotter months and your Boston terrier will have so much fun trying to catching the water. Keep a close watch on your pup as they could easily get overheated even during this fun exercise.
A laser pen light of a toy often used for cats, but your Boston will love to try to catch the dot that appears and suddenly disappears.
3. Mental Stimulation
Dogs are living, feelings, breathing, and thinking creatures – just like you and me, and it is for this reason that their minds need to be exercised as much as their physical body. You will find out very quickly if your pup is bored because it often manifests into destructive behavior – like chewing shoes, excessive howling/baking, or some other bad behavior. It is important to remember that a bored dog is an unhappy dog.
Any type of training is a form of mental exercise and it is also an awesome bonding experience between you and your dogs. Dogs can learn hundreds of words, so there is a LOT of commands to learn and master.
Another easy mental stimulation for your pup is to change your daily walking route or play in a new park at different times of the day, as this will allow your dog to experience new sights, sounds, and smells.
- Puzzle toys and long-lasting chew toys are great alternatives to keep your dog busy when your Boston terrier is alone for long hours or when they need to be pre-occupied during a dinner party. In addition, long-lasting chew toys are good for dental health and the chewing motion releases endorphins in the brain which encourages your dog to feel relaxed and calm.
- Snuffle Rug/Mat is a great investment for your Boston terrier because it not only provided mental stimulation, but also relieves boredom and provides for your dog’s natural digging instinct. These types of mats are usually made of fleece and you can hide treats or dry dog food for your dog to find. If you are a crafty type of person, you can make a “Snuggle Mat” yourself.
- Hide and Seek is a game that is great to play inside or outside and it stimulates the dogs’ mental resources to find you. Also, it is a reinforcement training tool as you say “STAY” as you go into another room and hide and then say “COME” only once and wait for the dog to find you – don’t say their name or give another command – give them a chance to work out this puzzle and find you by their amazing sense of smell. After each find, reward your pup with a small treat.
Dogs love to work and they love to please, so teach your dog to fetch you the newspapers, bring the mail into the house, and help with bringing out the garbage outside. You will be pleasantly surprised as to the ability and wiliness that these little dogs have to accomplish tasks put before them.
Don’t let bad weather restrict mental stimulation and physical activity because your Boston terrier is more than willing to help you with laundry – if you teach them to carry socks and small towels to the laundry basket.
Once a task is learned and mastered, make sure to increase the challenge to keep your dog’s mind active and engaging.
Boston terriers need regular exercise and physical activity, but the level of activity varies from individual to individual. For the Boston terriers, a few walks a day or moderate ball play is a better choice than long, hard runs. Boston terriers are cheerful, sociable, active dogs, always ready to play.
In case they are alone for too long, Bosties can become frustrated and develop some undesirable behaviors. Ensure that they always have a variety of physical and mental stimulation toys at their disposal to keep them occupied while they are alone.