Do Boston Terriers Bark a Lot? [Tips to Reduce Barking]

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If you are in the market for a new pup and you’re wondering if a Boston Terrier is right for you, then you might be factoring in how much your new friend will bark.

Incessant barking by dogs can be either mildly annoying or extremely distracting. It can definitely affect your relationship with your pet.

All dogs bark, but some breeds are more prone to excessive barking than others. Terriers in general are known to be barky dogs, but do Boston Terriers bark a lot?

The short answer is Boston Terriers do not bark a lot.

Let’s break it down.

Breed Traits

Boston Terriers were bred as companions in the non-sporting group and are normally quiet dogs.

Let’s first take a look at the genetics of the Boston Terrier breed since this can determine a lot in how a dog will behave. Most terriers bark a lot – like the West Highland Terrier. They were bred to be working dogs, rooting out small animals and alerting their owners to the location of prey.

When they don’t have an outlet for this energy, they tend to bark. However, Boston Terriers were bred as companions in the non-sporting group and therefore have more in common with their bulldog ancestors than a typical terrier.

Like bulldogs, Boston Terriers are normally quiet dogs who would rather spend their time cuddling with you than barking. They make great apartment dogs for this reason, if you don’t mind their snoring.

Reasons for Barking

Just because Boston Terriers don’t have a natural propensity to bark doesn’t mean they never bark. Here are some reasons why your furry family member might bark.

  1. They’re happy to see you. Were you gone all day? Did you just take the garbage out? You came back and they want to tell you how happy that makes them.
  2. Your friend is protecting you. Boston Terriers are naturally protective of their territory and their families. Whether it is the mail man or another dog walking by, almost all dogs will be tempted to bark.
  3. It’s play time. Boston Terriers are very expressive and this comes through in their barking during play. They may growl or yip to communicate how much fun they are having.
  4. They got scared. Sudden noises can startle a dog and get them barking. Doorbells, a car backfiring, and fireworks are all confusing and therefore frightening to a small dog.
  5. Something is hurting them. If your Boston is whining or yelping, make sure they don’t have some type of injury. Possible causes are a thorn in their paw, an insect bite, or a mouth injury. If you don’t see an immediate cause for discomfort, make an appointment with your vet.

My Boston Barks Too Much

Some Bostons go against type and just bark. A lot. If your little buddy is barking more than you like, there are steps you can take.

Some Bostons go against type and just bark. A lot.
  1. Ignore them. If you are sure there is no danger or underlying cause for the barking, ignore it. If they just want attention, then you want to communicate that barking is not the way to get it. Reward and treat them when they are quiet.
  2. Is your dog just bored? Have they been inside for a while with little activity? If they have been without stimulation for a while, take them for a walk. Sometimes all they need is a little exercise to work out some excess energy. If you don’t have the time, consider giving them a puzzle toy to keep them busy and mentally stimulated.
  3. Teach your buddy not to bark. Put him in a situation that normally makes him bark. When he quiets down, tell him “Quiet” and immediately reward him with a treat. He will learn to associate the behavior with the reward.

Boston Terriers are typically quiet dogs and well suited to smaller housing arrangements, including apartments. If you end up with one who does bark, following the guidelines above should help you find a solution for a happy co-existence.

Katherine Alexander

Katherine is an experienced terrier owner, having owned 3 Boston Terriers over the last 18 years. She currently lives at home in Tennessee with her best friend, a 3 year old Bosty named Oona.

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