Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Are Boston Terriers Good with Kids? Everything You Want to Know!

Melissa Gunter

By Melissa Gunter

girl playing with boston terrier dog on the sandy river bank outdoors

It isn’t uncommon for families to struggle over the decision of which dog breed to choose. When you have children in the home, this decision becomes even more important. One dog breed that is cute, cuddly, and full of energy is the Boston Terrier. This small dog breed is often at the top of the list when it comes to dog breeds to adopt, but are Boston Terriers good with kids? Luckily, for those who are considering these dogs as the next members of the family, Boston Terriers do great with children and often get very attached to their family members.

In this article, we’ll learn a bit about the Boston Terrier, its history, and what it’s like to have one as a member of the family. This will help you determine whether this is the dog breed you feel is right for not only you but also your children.

Divider 3

Boston Terrier History

Before bringing a particular dog breed into the home, it’s best to know a bit about its history. While the Boston Terrier is an American native, to understand their background you must start in England during the 19th century. During this time dog fighting was all the rage. Often, bull-breed dogs and terriers would be mixed to create dog breeds that would excel in this area.

A mix of an English Terrier and a Bulldog in the 1860s gave a tough dog by the name of Judge. Judge found himself being sold to an American in Boston by the name of William O’Brien and then on to another named Robert C. Hooper. It was while with Hooper that Judge, then known as Hooper’s Judge, was bred with a smaller white female by the name of Burnett’s Gyp. From this pairing, the Boston native dog breed was born.

While Judge, the patriarch of the Boston Terrier line, was bulky and bred for fighting, selective breeding soon led to a change in the breed. They became smaller, sweeter, and more like the companion dogs we know today. Many even called them Round Heads due to their appearance. To honor the city of their origin, the breed was given the name Boston Terrier. The first Boston Terrier Club of America was formed in 1891, with the AKC officially recognizing the breed two years later in 1893. Now, the “American Gentleman,” as they are often referred to, is the official mascot of Boston University and is even the official dog of Massachusetts.

boston terrier on grass
Image Credit: Lenka N, Shutterstock

Are Boston Terriers Good with Kids?

As we’ve mentioned, the Boston Terrier proudly carries the nickname, “American Gentleman.” You may instantly think this is due to their appearance, but that’s not the only reason. These dogs are known to be some of the best-behaved out there. While the Boston Terrier can display a lot of energy, their size, and gentle nature makes them ideal in any family situation.

These little dogs are affectionate, compassionate, and friendly with their families. You’ll even find that they understand to be gentle when playing with the smaller humans in the house. The breed is not known for knocking kids over or even being nippy. This is especially true when they are socialized young and the children are taught to respect the dog’s boundaries.

The Boston Terrier is one of the unique dog breeds out there that will love your children no matter their age. Their calm disposition keeps them from getting anxious or nervous when babies cry. They are gentle, and small enough not to knock over toddlers or hurt small kids. Once your children are older, Boston Terriers make great after-school companions to run off energy with. By the time your kids make it to their teenage years, Boston Terriers will easily be their best friends and companions while they do homework or watch Tik Tok.

Having Dogs in the Home with Kids

Yes, the Boston Terrier is an excellent dog to have around children, but that doesn’t mean that this breed doesn’t need proper training and socialization or that your kids should be allowed to do whatever they choose with the dog.

Like with any dog breed out there, young children should never be left alone with a Boston Terrier unattended. While the breed itself isn’t aggressive, things can happen where children play too rough or hurt these small dogs. This can lead to the dog lashing out and nipping or biting. This is why both the dog and the children in the home should be taught how to properly socialize early on in the relationship.

You’ll also find that Boston Terriers are known for becoming very attached to their families. While this is great for everyone involved, your pup may suffer from separation anxiety when the family can’t be home. In an attempt to avoid this issue, make sure to provide your Boston Terrier with a bit of alone time now and then. If you start this young, the anxiety they feel when the family is away may not be severe. Your veterinarian can help if this tip doesn’t do the job and you feel your Boston Terrier’s anxiety requires attention.

boy holding and hugging a boston terrier dog
Image Credit: Zakharova Elena, Shutterstock

Divider 3

Final Thoughts on Boston Terriers and Children

As an American original, the Boston Terrier is here to stay. These well-mannered little dogs can be the light of any home, big or small. If you have kids and are looking for a dog breed you can feel comfortable about having around them, this breed is an excellent choice. Their calm demeanors, affectionate dispositions, and high energy work well with kids of all ages. So, if you’re on the fence, what are you waiting for? Get out there and find a Boston Terrier you and your kids can fall in love with and make part of the family.

Featured Image Credit: bubutu, Shutterstock

Melissa Gunter

Authored by

Melissa was born and raised in the mountains of East Tennessee where she spent her time writing in an old notebook and playing outside with her pets. As an avid animal lover, she has brought many into her home over the years. Currently, she is the mom of 5 fur babies. Her 2 cats, Princess and Pepper are total opposites who demand attention. Her dogs Jazzy, Whitey, and Demon are full of spunk and keep the entire family on ...Read more

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database