How Much Exercise Do Boston Terriers Need?

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by Lily Ferreras


The Boston Terrier’s breed characteristics show that they have high energy levels and are very playful, with age and health contributing to how much exercise they can do with.

Healthy adult Boston Terriers need one hour of daily exercise, given their high energy levels. Puppies need 5 minutes of exercise per month of age (up to twice a day). Senior Bostons require less exercise than adults.

The key differences are how healthy your furry friend is, and the age. It’s not uncommon to see a 10yr old Boston being as active and energetic as a 5yr old.

Continue reading to learn how you can determine your Boston Terrier’s exercise needs, and then what activities are best.

However, before getting started with exercising your pooch, there are a few things you should know about to ensure the safety of your Boston Terrier at all times.

Boston Terrier’s Exercise Needs and Safety

Boston Terriers are a brachycephalic (flat-faced) breed. Because of their physical features, there are a few things to consider:


#1 – Temperature Affects Your Boston Terrier

The main concern when exercising Boston Terriers is to be careful not to overheat them.

Since they struggle to regulate their body heat, you shouldn’t exercise your pooch during hot weather or for long sessions.

To avoid overheating your dog, check out Boston Terrier Care in Summer – 8 Tips to Prevent Overheating blog post.

Bostons don’t do well with extreme temperatures. Apart from being prone to overheating, they also get cold easily.

Check Tips for Winter Walks with your Boston Terrier blog post to exercise your pooch accordingly.

Also, go to Boston Terrier Care in Winter – 8 Tips to Prevent Frostbite for more safety tips during those cold months.

Check my favourite bottle of water here.

#2 – Over-Exercising Has Fatal Consequences

Due to their respiratory problems, avoid pulling on your dog’s collar. What I recommend is using a harness (Amazon link) instead of a collar when exercising your Boston to prevent any injuries.

Some Boston Terriers suffer from other physical conditions such as luxating patellas and kneecaps that move in and out of place. If your pooch suffers from any of these conditions, avoid running when exercising.

In general, avoid over-exercising your Boston Terrier. This can cause severe consequences such as:

  • Muscle, tendon and joint injury.
  • Overheating and heatstroke.
  • And even collapse.

Follow our age-appropriate exercise guide for a safe exercise session with your Boston Terrier!


How Much Exercise Do Boston Terriers Need?

It’s important to understand Boston Terrier’s exercise requirements.

Boston Terriers generally follow this exercise profile:

  • Energy level: High.
  • Intensity levels: Very high. They have short outbursts of energy (some will say spurts of hyperactivity) and they are vigorous.
  • Playfulness levels: Very playful.

In line with these characteristics, adult dogs require an hour of daily activity, but the amount of time and type of exercises depend on your Boston’s age.

Let’s see how much exercise these active dogs need depending on their age!


How Much Exercise Does a Boston Terrier Puppy Need?

The exercise needs of a puppy are quite different from those of an adult dog.

Boston Terrier puppies need 5 minutes of exercise per month of age (up to twice a day) until your puppy is full-grown (source).

This means 15 minutes of exercise up to twice a day when your pup is three months old, for example.

Since puppies bones, muscle, and joints are still growing, you want to avoid high-impact activities that could possibly cause harm to their joints.

And although they have a lot of energy, they have less stamina than an adult dog. Because of this, Boston Terrier puppies need more breaks when exercising.

Insider Tip: Monitor your Boston Terrier puppy for any signs of tiredness such as lagging behind, lying down or panting. There’s no need to finish the walk if your pooch is tired. Either return home at a much slower pace or carry your pup back.

When exercising your pup, go for short exercise sessions.

To keep your puppy mentally and physically stimulated, you can alternate between:

  • Training.
  • Walking on the leash.
  • Socializing.
  • Playing (i.e. playtime with your pup).

However, some vets are against taking your pup outside if they are not fully vaccinated. So check with your vet and decide when it’s alright to venture outdoors with your puppy.


How Much Exercise Do Adult Boston Terriers Need?

As you know by now, Boston Terriers have high energy levels and are very playful doggies.

As adults, Boston Terriers require an hour of daily exercise, although some are happy to go longer!

An ideal daily exercise routine should include:

  • A daily walk of 30 minutes.
  • A high-intensity activity like a game of fetch or tug.
  • A mentally stimulating game with an interactive toy.
  • A short training session.

These activities will keep your Boston Terrier mentally and physically healthy, whilst preventing boredom, anxiety and destructive behaviours.

P.S. Use my favourite dog toys guide for safe and fun toys that your Boston Terrier will love.


Usually, these playful dogs will tell you when they are bored by running around the house like maniacs!

Want to put their energy to good use? Use the button below to get ideas on the best activities for Boston Terriers:

Due to their temperament, Boston Terriers will always be up for a game or a snuggle. They love channelling all that energy into spending time with their owners!

Insider Tip: Since they like playing so much, when you are unable to go for a walk (weather related or not 😉 ) you can easily burn their energy with games and toys. These are also great for an energy outlet when the weather isn’t ideal for the outdoors!


How Much Exercise Do Senior Boston Terriers Need?

Just because your American Gentleman is reaching his senior years doesn’t mean that he doesn’t need exercise. It’s just that his daily exercise needs are changing.

As your Boston Terrier gets older, he becomes less active and has lower energy levels. So, senior Boston Terriers require less exercise than adults.

However, he should remain reasonably active to keep his joints and muscles mobile. Also, exercise will help him to maintain a healthy weight.

While walks should still be an important part of a senior Boston’s life, these should shorten in length and be taken at a slower pace. You want to avoid your pooch getting sore joints.

Many dogs, including Boston Terriers, develop arthritis as they age.

Swimming could be another exercise alternative since it can be good for your dog’s joints.

Leave a Reply
  1. Very good article. I have a 10.5 year old 24 pound Boston terrier in amazing shape. He lives to play fetch so much so he still looks like he is 5 years old a side from his greying face. Im trying to stop his very vigorous running but it would break his heart to stop chasing that bouncy ball. I just don’t want him to injure himself so that he can’t walk in the next few years. Do I play it safe and stop this vigourous running?

    1. Hey Rob!
      Glad you found and enjoyed the article.

      He’s certainly in amazing shape; you’re doing a great job – well done! I do understand your concerns though. Even with his high enthusiasm and energy at playing fetch, you no doubt want to protect him (sometimes from himself), especially as he ages.

      What you can start doing is “redirecting” his energy to other less injury-prone activities or games – you can find some ideas in the What Are The Best Activities for Boston Terriers? article. By introducing other games and activities, he’ll ultimately still get the mental stimulation and exercise he seeks, and you can (in your own time) reduce playing fetch and feel more assured that he isn’t exposing himself to getting injured.

      Hope this helps?

  2. I have a female BT, she turned 7 in October. She is overweight and lazy does not want to walk like she used to. We used to walk/run twice a day and now she is just ready to retire. I feel like she retired and doesn’t want to do anything anymore. Has anyone else experienced this?

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