The Boston Terrier, also often called the American Gentleman, is a small charming dog that’s even-tempered and loves active play. Both male and female Boston Terriers make great pets for first-time owners as they are genuine and highly empathetic, and intelligent.
However, there are striking differences between the two. Knowing these differences will help you decide which one is the best for you.
Although both males and females are both affectionate to their owners, there are various differences in their personalities.
Should I get a male or female Boston Terrier? If you want a playful, clingy, and easily housebroken Boston Terrier, then you may want to get a male. But if you want a cautious, bossy, more independent and more intelligent Boston Terrier, then you may want to get a female.
In this article, I will address the differences between male and female Boston Terriers for those who are considering having one in their family.
Although it looks simpler than it seems, this article will provide an extensive guide for aspiring pet-owners. Let’s get into the details and learn why and how males and females behave differently.
Male Boston Terriers
Height: 15 – 17 inches (38 – 43 cm)
Weight: 10 – 25 lbs (4.5 – 11.5 kg)
Puppy Price: $1,500 – $2,000
Lifespan: 13 – 15 Years
Build: Bulkier with more muscle mass.
- Friendly, bright, and amusing.
- Takes time to learn.
- Loves to please his owner.
- Slightly more food motivated.
- Likes being babied.
- More playful and energetic throughout life.
- Reaches physical maturity quicker.
- Reaches mental maturity slower
- Excels at protecting the whole territory or whole family.
- More attention seeking.
- Clingy most of the time.
- Easily get distracted and harder to train.
- Harder to train him to walk off leash and stay close to you.
- Gets along well with female dogs.
- Less suspicious of strangers.
- More likely to bond with all family members.
- Tends to be a bit messier.
- Clumsy around kids.
- Easier to socialize with people.
- More maintenance required.
- More aggressive.
- Less likely to get along with other dogs or animals.
Female Boston Terriers
Height: 9 – 15 inches (23 – 38 cm)
Weight: 9 – 20 lbs (4 – 9 kg)
Puppy Price: $1,200 – $1,800
Lifespan: 13 – 15 Years
Build: Leaner with less muscle mass.
- Friendly, bright, and amusing.
- Fast learners.
- Slightly less desire to please her owner.
- Slightly less food motivated (except when pregnant).
- More independent.
- Tends to be less playful all the time.
- Reaches physical maturity slower.
- Reaches mental maturity quicker.
- Excels at protecting one person (her owner) in the territory.
- Less attention seeking.
- Respects your time alone.
- More focused and easier to train.
- Easier to train her to walk off leash and stay close to you.
- Gets along well with male dogs.
- More suspicious of strangers.
- Tends to bond with one person in the family.
- Tends to be cleaner.
- More cautious around kids.
- A bit harder to socialize with people.
- Less maintenance required.
- Less aggressive.
- More likely to get along with other dogs or animals.
Just like other dog breeds, males are barely taller than females by about two inches. Because of their naturally small structure, an adult male Boston Terrier can grow about 17 inches on average.
Their weight is also slightly heavier than their female counterparts as adult males typically weigh between 10 and 25 pounds. This could be because they gain more muscles as they are more active and can play all day.
Females are smaller and lighter than male Boston Terriers. They can grow up to 9 to 15 inches on average.
An adult female Boston Terrier typically weighs between 9 to 20 pounds. In terms of weight, female Boston Terriers’ eating habits are something that needs important attention as they are more prone to being overweight.
When a female Boston Terrier becomes overweight or weighs over 20 pounds, it can pose very serious health risks during their pregnancy and birth-giving given its small pelvis structure.
Although they are very playful and friendly, Boston Terriers also have little differences in terms of their temperament.
Boston Terriers are known to be quiet and they rarely bark; they are also very friendly around other pets. But they can also be loud snorters, sniffers, and wheezers. They can also be very rowdy around children and leave drools all over the house.
Let us get to know more about their temperament in this part:
Male Boston Terriers are said to be more friendly, playful, and affectionate toward their owners. They are also generally well-tempered compared to females. This may mean that they can be great companions and playmates to children.
They are also easier to housebreak since they can learn to lift their legs at an early age. Although this may come as a challenge because male Boston Terriers tend to be silly when training them, starting early on in life is the key to successfully housebreaking your male dog.
According to most dog owners who have both male and female Boston Terriers, male Boston Terriers are also easier to maintain as well in terms of pet care and grooming.
In terms of intelligence, males are slower to pick-up a command and are more likely to learn slower than females. They also tend to lose focus on what they are doing, so more patience is required when trying to train them. This may be attributed to their innate playfulness and slow maturity rate.
Males also prefer watching over their counterparts than taking the lead in playing or exercising. They are calmer and easygoing than females.
Female Boston Terriers are said to be less active and affectionate to their owners. They spend a lot of time being cautious with other people other than their owners. They can also be great playmates to children as they are very alert and attentive.
They are also said to be more dominant than their male counterparts. This is because they mature quickly and often take the ‘alpha dog’ spot if there are several dogs in the house. Although they may be less sweet and affectionate, they are more intelligent and easily pick up commands. This might be the reason why they become bossy around other dogs.
However, females tend to be messier than males in terms of housetraining as they are more difficult to housetrain, so expect puppy litters in your house for a longer period if you prefer having a female Boston Terrier. However, this can be avoided with early training.
Females also prefer leading the pack as they are very focused on what they do.
Boston Terriers are not just adorable and good playmates around children, they also love to learn new things. Both males and females are naturally curious and intelligent, but what sets them apart is how fast they learn.
Male Boston Terriers are usually spunkier than females, but because of this and their more playful attitude, they are also slower to learn than females.
Males also have greater enthusiasm than females; hence, they are easily bored. This explains why they get easily distracted and requires more hours of training. They also tend to be silly while being trained and often go off-course in firm environments.
This is where mental stimulation plays an important role. Mental stimulation involves motivating them by giving positive affirmations and gestures. They love being constantly praised and given high-fives when learning to keep them stimulated.
Female Boston Terriers are usually more serious and less active than their male counterparts; hence, they are generally quicker to adapt and learn techniques. This is because they mature quicker than males.
They are also more focused, reserved, and attentive to their owner. They want to please and impress their owner, so they often learn quickly and eventually outperform males during training.
Because of this, females also develop a can-do attitude and tend to be more domineering than males. Although they also crave mental stimulation like praises and high-fives, they easily get ‘bored’ of repetitive actions and are likely to brush off these things.
Because of their flat face like other Terrier breeds, Boston Terriers face various health challenges including brachycephaly syndromes or respiratory problems. Due to their narrow nostrils, they breathe through their mouth more often than through their nose, this results in limited airflow that will eventually lead to overheating.
Generally, Boston Terriers face health challenges because of their body structure. In this section, I will further dissect some of the most common health differences between males and females and some of the most common issues attributed to them.
Because of their active and playful nature, male Boston Terriers are more prone to hip and bone injuries as they grow older.
Some of the common injuries they can develop are back problems or herniated discs, patellar luxation or slipping of their kneecaps out of place, and hip dysplasia or improper placement of hips that can lead to arthritis.
If they are left unneutered, they can also develop testicular and prostate cancer later on in life. However, timing plays a very important role in neutering male dogs. Waiting until maturity to be neutered may mean that male dogs will have fewer orthopedic issues and will less likely to develop certain types of cancer.
Female Boston Terriers, because of their small pelvis and broad-shaped heads, generally face a larger health risk in the reproduction of their breed than their male counterparts.
During their birthing process, their pelvis is too small to pass on puppies. Because of this, a C-section is often required to protect the health of both the mother and the puppies.
This makes breeding difficult because it requires special medical attention and poses health risks to the female Boston Terrier.
However, it is important to remember that both male and female Boston Terriers are prone to various health risks by their genetics such as Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, cherry eyes, cataracts, spinal deformities, Cushing’s Disease and Respiratory Distress Syndrome.
With the proper amount of care, love, and immediate action in times of illness, any Boston Terrier can be happy and healthy.
Boston Terrier’s high levels of energy make them an ideal playmate to children. Their size is not too small to be delicate around kids and not too big to easily knock them off. They are also non-aggressive, but they can be rambunctious to match the energy of children.
Since males are generally more playful, clingy and affectionate than females, they often become very active towards children and other family members.
This may cause stress and fear in children, but with early socialization, proper training and exercise, this should not cause any worry.
Just remember not to leave small children playing with your Boston Terrier unsupervised, as it could result in accidents or injuries.
Females, although also generally playful, aren’t as active as the males, and are more ‘loyal’ to a specific person in the house.
They develop an attachment to someone in the family and would prefer playing and clinging to that same person, rather than play with all the people in the house.
They also seem to know their limits and prefer hanging around the house than playing all day long.
Boston Terriers are generally sociable dogs with children of all ages. Just remember to keep an eye on both child and dog to avoid accidental injuries when you have younger kids.
Teaching older children how to take good care of a dog to avoid accidentally hurting them is also important.
No matter the age of your child, or the sex of your Boston Terrier, a period of acclimation is recommended. Acclimation is the process of being accustomed to a new climate or to new conditions.
Knowing how to do this properly will let everyone get familiar with each other before living together and ensure a safe environment for both the child and the dog.
With Other Dogs
Bringing in another dog in the family may be a challenge if you’ve had your first dog for quite some time. Your first dog may feel threatened and can become territorial. This could be the case with Boston Terriers, who crave affection and attention from people around.
Males, when left unneutered, can be territorial against other dogs. They will leave marks in various parts of the house to assert dominance to other dogs and are more likely to develop same-sex aggressions.
However, when neutered, and with proper training and early socialization, male Boston Terriers get along very well with other dogs.
Their constant need for long, brisk walks as an exercise is an opportunity to teach them socialization with other dogs at an early age.
Females, although cautious and reserved at first, are also friendly and playful with other dogs. They also do not have same-sex aggressions like male dogs and are usually tidier because they don’t dig that much.
However, when they are left unspayed, expect them to be ‘in heat’ twice a year and leave bloodstains on the floor, or get pregnant by other males.
And although they may have been adequately trained or socialized early on, because of their intelligence, female Boston Terriers still have the dominating tendency and the urge to become the top dog among other dogs in the house.
With Cats and Other Pets
This is a tricky question to answer since there are limited resources on the difference between male and female Boston Terriers with cats and other pets, but generally speaking, Boston Terriers make a good companion for other pets in the household.
Because of their non-aggressive nature and almost the same size as cats, they don’t tend to bark at their feline companions.
In a Twitter survey conducted by the Boston Terrier Society, the majority of the respondents answered that their Boston Terriers are GREAT with cats.
This is because the breed has a kind and loving temperament, and although they can get stubborn at times, they are smart and go along with other pets in the house.
This means that Boston Terriers generally get along with cats and other animals, especially if they are introduced properly from the start.
Boston Terriers are also known to be a friendlier breed compared to other terrier breeds that possess hunting traits, making them a great family pet when there are several animals in the same house.
Which Is Better for a Family?
This is another difficult question to answer, as both male and female Boston Terriers make great additions to any family.
The choice really depends on your lifestyle and the kind of children that you have. The male Boston Terrier may be a great choice for smaller children with high energy levels that have the ‘play all day’ attitude.
Older children who want a loyal companion may prefer to have a female Boston Terrier.
Deciding whether to get a male or a female Boston Terrier can both be exciting and perplexing, that’s why I have also listed the potential advantages each dog can have in a family environment to help you decide.
Advantages of Male Boston Terrier in a Family Environment:
- Can play “all day” with children.
- Easier to be housebroken.
- They get along with other dogs in the house easily.
- They love active fun.
- They are more patient.
Advantages of Female Boston Terrier in a Family Environment:
- More mindful.
- Easier to train.
- Less hyper.
- They get along well with male dogs.
- They love being the best.
Remember, Boston Terriers generally interact well with children. And although sometimes, they can be too energetic for smaller children, with proper training and exercise, they can behave well even with toddlers and infants.
What also makes Boston Terriers great pet dogs is their low-shedding, since most pet allergies are triggered by dead flakes of skin shed by animals. They do not shed that much dander, so they cannot trigger allergic reactions to children.
Which Is a Better Guard Dog?
Boston Terriers make great guard dogs for three main reasons. First, they are generally aggressive and protective of their owners. Second, they rarely bark, and when they bark, they feel that something is utterly wrong or not normal.
Third, because they were originally bred to hunt and kill vermin and rats, they have an excellent sense of hearing and a very keen sense of their surroundings.
However, more than the sex, one should also consider the temperament, environment, amount of training that the dog has, and more importantly, the kind of guard work that they are expected to do.
To help you decide which is better for you, I have dissected the following advantages of having a male or female Boston Terrier guard dog:
Advantages of Male Boston Terrier Guard Dogs:
- Larger and more muscular.
- Stronger bite.
- Quicker and more agile.
- Better at protecting an entire territory, home, or property.
Advantages of Female Boston Terrier Guard Dogs:
- They can be trained at a young age.
- Better at protecting a specific person.
- More cautious and suspicious to strangers.
- Better at protecting a small territory.
If you wanted to protect your entire home and sleep peacefully at night, a male Boston Terrier would make an excellent guard dog as they have a sense of urgency and they are more inclined to protect all members of the family.
However, if you would want to protect a specific person in the family, then a female Boston Terrier would be a great guard dog. If you have chores to do and you need someone to watch over your toddler, the perfect choice would be a female Boston Terrier.
Males are perfect for the overall protection of the house and its members, while females are considered to be perfect for personal protection, or protection to a specific person.
Just remember the key to having an attentive and skilled guard dog is socialization at an early age and adequate training.
Boston Terriers are generally lovely and charming and are devoted and sensitive to their owner’s wishes and moods. Although they are somewhat stubborn, they can also be clever and they learn readily.
In this article, I have discussed the subtle differences between male and female Boston Terriers. Although most of these differences sometimes go unnoticed, they have an impact on your preferences and influence how you decide.
But whether you decide to get a male or a female, remember that other than their sex, there are far more critical factors that affect their behavior like early socialization, temperament, and how you treat them as their owner.