Boston Terriers are easy enough to train. Although they can have a reputation of being stubborn at times, they are always eager to please their owners (this makes them attentive to you)!
So, how do you start training your pooch so he doesn’t become a trouble-maker or “problem child”?
Start with the basics: house-training AKA housebreaking.
Continue reading to get familiar with what’s called The 5 pillars of house-training and how to put them into practice.
Boston Terrier House-Training
Training and socialization are one of the Boston Terrier Care pillars for a healthy and happy dog. That’s why it’s important to start training your Boston as soon as possible, regardless if she’s a puppy or an adult dog.
So where do you start?
Housebreaking (or house-training) your dog is the first step of your Boston’s training. It will lay the foundation and also prepare your dog for a lifetime of good behaviour.
It consists of:
- Crate training.
- Potty training.
- Leash training.
- Obedience training (basic commands).
#1 – Boston Terrier Crate Training
It shows her the rules of her new home. It’s a method of training your Boston Terrier that serves multiple purposes like having a restricted space (or den) when your pooch is home alone.
Also, it establishes a dog safe zone where your pup can feel safe and can also go to when she feels like it.
A dog crate, which can also be used with a potty pad, is a tool that can especially be used to potty train and teach your dog bladder control since dogs don’t like to soil where they sleep.
Crate training also helps your dog get used to being OK when alone.
However, experts caution that dogs should not be kept in crates for prolonged periods. As long as you do it correctly, without jeopardising your dog’s mental and physical wellbeing, it can be a good training choice.
Read also: Boston Terrier Crate Training In 8 Steps blog post.
#2 – Boston Terrier Potty Training
Choosing your dog’s potty spot is very helpful to establish a potty routine. Plus, following a schedule and keeping to the timetable instructs her that there are times for everything: eat, play, walk, nap, and eliminate.
Especially when starting out with potty training, it is very important to reward your pet immediately after eliminating on the chosen spot. This way you are encouraging her to repeat good behaviour.
Also, it makes a difference if you keep an eye on your dog so that you can pick up on pre-potty signals.
By the way, something to remember is this:
Puppies, generally, can hold their bladder one hour for every month of life.
Read also: Boston Terrier Potty Training In 6 Steps for a step by step guide.
#3 – Boston Terrier Leash Training
Every dog should learn to walk on a leash. Using a harness and a leash appropriate to your Boston’s strength, size and age are very important as it makes a huge difference.
As well as wanting stress-free walks with your pooch, many places have leash laws. Also, there will be times when you will want to keep your dog on a leash for her own safety.
Read also: Boston Terrier Leash Training Without Pulling for a step by step guide.
#4 – Boston Terrier Obedience Training
It is important that your puppy learns to follow your command and demonstrate obedience. Whilst house-training your pooch, little by little start introducing basic commands.
You should begin basic training commands like:
- Leave it.
Just practise one command at a time, and build upon each one as your Boston learns.
Keep the training sessions short, because Bostons can get bored easily, loose focus and stop learning if they’re not fully engaged.
Repetition is a necessary part of the training since all dogs, no matter the breed, learn from repeated actions.
Read also: Boston Terrier Obedience Training for a basic command guide.
#5 – Boston Terrier Socialization
It involves training your puppy or adult dog to be comfortable around new people, animals, and various places by exposing her to these things.
This means your Boston Terrier puppy is comfortable around new people, pets and animals, and various places because you have exposed her to these experiences in a positive manner.
According to The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, a dog’s socialization period is the 14 to 16 weeks of your puppy’s life.
However, socialization is not just for puppies – you should continue the social exposure throughout a dog’s life.
Appropriate socialization will also prevent the development of fear related to new experiences.
Read also: Boston Terrier Socialization In 8 Steps guide for getting started (socialization checklist included).
Boston Terrier House-Training FAQ
- What's the best way to house train a Boston Terrier puppy?
House-training your Boston Terrier puppy is about consistency, repetition, patience, and positive reinforcement. Housebreaking your pup following a positive reinforcement training will encourage good behaviour repetition. The goal is to establish good habits and build a loving and trusting bond with your pooch.
- How long to house train a Boston Terrier puppy?
Usually, it takes 4-6 months for a puppy to be fully house trained, but some puppies may take up to a year (source).
If you are house-training a rescue dog, it could take longer since you are redirecting old habits into more desirable ones.
Either way, while you're training there will be setbacks. Don't worry about those. As long as you continue to be consistent with your dog's training and rewarding your pooch when doing something right, your Boston will overcome the challenges.
- When to begin house-training your Boston Terrier?
Your Boston Terrier's training starts the moment your dog walks into your home. Dogs are aware of our actions and are constantly learning; so you want to be showing your pooch how to do things from day 1!
Go to Boston Terrier Training Method, Session and Schedule for more tips.
Boston Terrier House-Training Essentials
Here are the props that I use for house-training:
- A harness: Dogs walk better on the lead (i.e. without pulling) if they wear a no-pull harness. Also, it gives you better control of your dog when walking her. Plus, you will avoid your Boston chocking when she pulls.
- A leash: A short fixed-length leash is ideal to train your dog to walk by your side. However, you might want to use a long leash to train your dog to fetch and come back to you.
- High-value and healthy treats: High-quality treats are a great way to reward your dog, especially when your Boston perceives them as a high-value reward! Check my favourite dog treats for healthy alternatives.
- A clicker: A dog clicker is a sound-emitting device that aims to signal your dog that she has done the right thing. This tool is optional. 🙂 If you decide to use it, be consistent and use it during all training sessions.
- A confinement solution: This can be a crate, a playpen or a baby gate (what works for me). The goal is to be able to confine your Boston Terrier in a comfortable and safe space for short periods of time.
What did you think of this beginner’s guide to Boston terrier house training?
As a dog parent, the 5 pillars are likely something you’re already aware of, and while training can be enjoyable, it can also be…. challenging.
There are 3 most common challenges you are likely to face with your Boston Terrier house training efforts:
- Potty training.
- Leash pulling.
If you are having some trouble, I may be able to help with that. Click here to visit our Dog Training Essentials, where you will get a 3-part mini audio series + the everyday resource used by a well-known dog trainer.
You can also get this using the button below. Happy training! 😉