10 Ways to Tell if Your Boston Terrier is Happy

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You love your Boston Terrier. You buy the best food for him that you can afford and bags and bags of treats.

He has the softest bed in the house and all the toys he can play with.

You take him for walks and rides in the car. You make sure he’s warm in the winter and comfortably cool in the summer.

You take him for regular veterinary care and make sure he’s up to date on any necessary medications.

You do all of this because you love him and want him to be happy, but how do you know if he really is happy?

Luckily, Bostons are very expressive little dogs and will communicate how they feel. You just need to pay attention.

Here are 10 ways to tell that your Boston Terrier is happy:

1. Tail-wagging

Okay, so Bostons won’t knock you down with their little stubby tails, but they can wiggle them if they really try.

Some Bosties will wiggle their back half or their whole body if they can’t express enough with their tail movement.

2. Jumping

Bostons don’t actually jump, they bounce and leap and spin. This is how I am greeted by Oona every day.

There is never a doubt about how happy she is to see me or other people she loves.

They just can’t contain their excitement or happiness and bounce all over the place to everyone they can to show it.

3. Snuggling

Woman snuggling with her Boston Terrier

It becomes very obvious that Bostons were bred to be companion pets when you see how much they like to snuggle with you.

If your little buddy puts his back to you, he’s demonstrating how much he trusts you while also being in a position to protect you from the very dangerous doorbell.

This trust and security is just another way to show how happy they are to be in your life.

4. Eye Contact

Have you ever been told not to look a dog or other animal in its eyes because they understand it as a sign of aggression?

Bostons love and trust their families, so they actually enjoy eye contact. Ruby would just stare into my eyes, and we called it “the look of love.”

Oona likes some conversation with her eye contact, so we talk about our days and how cute she is.

5. Playing

Boston Terrier playing with woman in a park

Does your favorite little girl bring you toys to play with? She will if she’s happy and wants to engage with you.

I could always tell when Ruby wasn’t feeling well because she just watched me throw her toy, with no interest to go after it.

When your pup is happy, they want you to participate in this feeling and have fun with them.

6. Happy Barks

Some dogs are more vocal than others and will “talk” to you to tell you how happy they are.

They may do this to greet you when you come home, or they might get excited and bark while playing to tell you how much fun it is.

Oona likes to growl when we’re having a good game of tug and it’s a much different growl from the one she gives when she’s mad at the doorbell.

7. Good Behavior

Has your dog been exceptionally well-behaved lately? That’s a sign that they’re happy, content, and getting their needs met.

Bored dogs will often chew things they shouldn’t or act out by re-decorating with what they find in the garbage can.

Other forms of acting out may be an effort to get your attention because they feel neglected or lonely.

Happy dogs don’t need to act out because they know they can trust you to take care of them.

8. Good Appetite

Most Bostons don’t have a problem with meals and enjoy them to their fullest.

If you notice that your best friend is eating less or refusing food and treats, it’s time to take them to the vet and make sure they’re not sick.

9. Smiles

Happy Boston Terrier smiling

One of my favorite things to see on a dog is a smile. Oona smiles the most when she gets to go for a ride, but she also does it when we’re just sitting on the back patio hanging out.

Smiling almost always comes with a pant, so just make sure your pup’s eyes are as bright and alert as normal.

10. Recall

The world is an exciting place with lots of new smells and sights to explore. If your Bostie comes back to you when you call her, that means she’s happier with you than anything else around that she might be attracted to.

She’ll also wait for you to catch up if she gets too far ahead, because she wants to share the experience with you, her favorite person.

Understanding Your Boston’s Happiness

Boston Terriers have many ways of expressing when they are happy, from subtle tail wags to exuberant jumping and spinning.

Their desire to snuggle, play, make eye contact, and follow commands shows the depth of their bond with you.

Understanding your dog’s unique expressions of joy will let you provide the loving home every Boston deserves.

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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