All dog breeds have their own exercise needs and there are suitable activities that can fulfil those needs and natural instincts.
So, what are the best activities for Boston Terriers? They do good on low-intensity exercise likes walks and also in mental stimulation games. Since adult Bostons are active dogs, they are able to go for high-intensity exercise like agility.
Let’s peek into some of the activity examples for your Boston Bull Terrier!
From the Boston Terrier Exercise guide, I mention that aside from their playful nature, Boston Terriers have high energy levels and have short outbursts of energy.
Following those premises, there are three main types of exercise that Boston Terriers enjoy and can excel at:
However, these recommendations are for a healthy adult Boston Terrier. In fact, adults require an hour of daily exercise, although some are happy to go longer.
The exercise needs of a puppy are different due to the fact that their bodies and bones are growing. On the other hand, senior Bostons need less amount of exercise. However, daily exercise is still crucial to keep their muscles and joints supple and to manage weight.
Look through How Much Exercise Do Boston Terriers Need for more information on BT puppies and seniors.
Without further ado, let’s look into the types of activities that are suitable for your Boston Terrier.
Low-intensity activities are easy, mostly leisurely/casual and don’t require much effort from your dog.
And there’s one such exercise that all healthy dogs, including the American Gentleman, benefit from: Daily walks. 😉
A daily walk is the most simple way for your Boston to release some pent-up energy.
This low-intensity activity allows your pooch not only to be physically active but also to stimulate his mind with the sights, sounds and smells he comes across.
The length of the walk will depend on your dog’s age and energy levels. An adult Boston can walk a minimum of 30 minutes a day.
Insider Tip: Dogs thrive on routine, so try to schedule the walk at the same time each day.
On the other side of low-intensity activities, high-intensity are those that get your dog bouncing and highly engaged in the activity.
They require effort and burn energy in a short period of time.
But instead of thinking of low- and high-intensity exercises separately, they should be scheduled in addition to each other. So as well as the daily walk, your pooch would also engage in some daily vigorous activity.
Boston Terriers are playful, nimble and surprisingly agile. Here are some high-intensity exercise ideas that take those qualities into account:
Playing fetch can be highly rewarding for your pooch. Since Bostons are quick learners, it shouldn’t be too hard to teach him to retrieve a ball.
If your Boston Terrier has good recall and comes on command, you can play this game outdoors and off-leash.
Items needed: a squeaky rubber ball (Bostons seem to love them) or a rubber frisbee. Look in my favourite dog toys for a selection of dog-safe toys to play fetch and other games with your Boston Terrier.
Environment: indoors and outdoors.
Playing tug doesn’t take up a lot of room, however, it uses up a lot of your Boston’s physical energy!
Also, it’s a great game where you get to practice commands during the game. Use the Boston Terrier training guide to aid you in training your pooch.
Items needed: A resistant rope tug toy. Another option is a Spring Pole that allows your Boston Terrier to play tug by himself. Also found in my favourite dog toys is a selection of dog-safe toys to play tug.
Environment: indoors and outdoors.
This game is a great alternative for very hot or cold days.
Boston Terriers don’t do well with extreme temperatures. Apart from getting cold easily, due to being a brachycephalic (flat-faced) breed, they are prone to overheating. So, avoid exercising him during hot weather or for long sessions.
Hiding treats around is a great way to challenge your pooch and also to mentally stimulate him. Start easy, hiding the treats in obvious places. Once your dog knows the game, spice it up and increase the level of difficulty!
After some time, your pooch will learn to rely on his sense of smell to find the treats, rather than relying on your guidance.
Items needed: Some healthy treats. You’ll find some ideas in our High-Value Dog Treats guide.
Environment: indoors and outdoors.
Boston Terriers are known to be excellent swimmers too!
If you are trying to get your Boston Terrier to swim, I recommend taking him to classes first or teach with how to swim yourself with the aid of a dog life jacket (Amazon link).
To make it more exciting and help with the initial hesitation of getting into the water, you can bring a floating toy along (Amazon link).
Like I mentioned before, Boston Bull Terriers are agile and can be very good at dog sports like agility.
You can easily set up a foldable agility set (Amazon link), i.e., an obstacle course, in your hallway or backyard. You can include tasks such as:
If you don’t have space, you can take your pooch to a local indoor dog park to practice agility.
Alternatively, you can enrol your dog at a local club, where you can enter your pooch as a serious competitor or simply for fun!
Finally, your Boston Terrier can also get daily mental stimulation from a training session and free play.
Teaching your pooch new commands and tricks is also another way to provide mental enrichment.
Here are some toys to challenge your dog, which are also suitable to leave around when your pooch is home alone:
I cover all these in my favourite dog toys guide, where you’ll find safe and fun toys that your Boston Terrier will love!
Here are two activities that I wouldn’t recommend for Boston Terriers:
In general, I am not a fan of dog parks unless you have a highly social breed like a Labrador or Golden Retriever.
Although dogs need to be socialized, they don’t need other dogs to have fun.
When your dog is a puppy, socializing him is essential so he can learn those social skills that are so valuable to interact with other dogs. Every time you walk your dog, your Boston has the chance to greet other dogs, whilst on the leash.
However, when your pooch is in a park and off-leash, his attention will transfer from you to the other dogs.
Depending on his personality and how well he responds to recall, you might find yourself in a tricky and uncomfortable situation.
When a dog owner keeps being the centre of attention and the source of all-that-is-good for his Boston, your pooch won’t need any other dog to play with or keep him company.
Even if Boston Terriers are high energy dogs, they are not the best breed to have as a long-distance running companion.
Although they can run well for a short while, due to their brachycephalic face, they have breathing problems which can aggravate with running.
“Dogs love to run, but they don’t necessarily sign up for a three-mile run. When you take your pooch out for a long-distance run, you are asking the dog to do something that’s unusual for a dog to do.
Dogs are sprinters, not long-distance creatures. They aren’t built for endurance sports. Running long distances with a dog can put a strain on the animal’s tendons and joints.”Gary Weitzman, veterinarian and former chief executive of the Washington Animal Rescue League and co-host of NPR’s “Animal House.” (Source)
You can let your Boston terrier run whilst playing. But I wouldn’t recommend taking him for a run, especially if your pooch is not used to it. This can cause an injury and you risk over-exercising your dog.
You can play fetch with a rubber ball and have a tug game with a rope toy. Then you can venture to scent games to increase their mental challenge and use interactive toys to keep them entertained.
Although they tend to do so whilst playing, they are not built for long-distance running. Due to their breathing problems and being prone to overheat, running is not the best activity for them.
Boston Terriers are playful, nimble and surprisingly agile. Apart from the daily walk, a fetch game is an excellent way to keep them mentally and physically stimulated.
Contrary to some assumptions, Boston terriers can be great swimmers. But before letting your pooch into the water, introduce him to swimming lessons and use a dog life jacket for his safety.