Do boston terriers bite (snip), and are they good with children?

by Heather
(Longisland,NY)

Question:

I read that bostons are good with children. And I also read that they shouldn't be around them. I have a 2 yr old daughter, and I am thinking about getting a boston pup next month, when he is ready to go. I want to find out for sure if you think it will bite/snip at my daughter..? I don't want that to happen. Also, are they food aggressive? Let me know what you think, please. Thanks.

Answer:

Hi Heather, I think it's great that you're taking time to make sure that you get the right pet for your family. Our Bostons are great with our kids (5 and 7 yrs. old). We raised the Bostons from puppies starting at 8 weeks old, so they've always been around the kids. We have had a lot of discussion with our kids about how fragile puppies are and didn't leave them alone with the dogs while they were small.

No matter what kind of dog you decide to get, you'll need to be very careful about having a puppy and a small child together. A small child may not understand how fragile a new puppy is and may accidentally drop or hurt it if they're left unattended together. {For example, my mom has a pomeranian who was dropped by my nephew and it's leg was broken.} Also, the child may not mean to hurt the dog, but could end up being bitten or snapped at if they do hurt it.

As far as food aggression, our Bostons eat from the same bowl and don't fight over it at all. We have always told our kids to stay away from the dogs (any dogs for that matter) while they're eating just as a precaution. The only time we've had the dogs growl at the kids is when the two dogs were fighting over a chew toy and the kids tried to get in the middle of it (which they shouldn't have).

Our personal experience is that Bostons are fine with children, but dogs, like people, are all different. I would use extreme caution with ANY dog and a very small child, and would not leave them unattended together.

Comments for Do boston terriers bite (snip), and are they good with children?

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May 10, 2013
Bostons are Wonder Dogs
by: Anonymous

My Boston, Brurus, was the most wonderful dog and companion I have ever had. In the 13 years that he lived with us he NEVER bit anyone. During his last year he was around my 2 grand children both under a year old. He sniffed them and after he had his curiosity satisfied never attempted to harm them. This is a 13 year old dog unknowing to us until too late suffering from terminal prostrate cancer so he must have been in intolerable pain yet showed nothing but love towards humans. He was a clown and demanded human attention. As long as you were watching him he would play all day and make you laugh with his antics. When he couldn't be with you or you had to kennel him his heart was broken. All he wanted to do was please.

May 05, 2013
5 year old Boston
by: Anonymous

Hi, my wife and I just returned from the hospital with our 18 month old daughter after being bitten in the face by our 5 year old Boston. We adopted him as a 3 month old pup and he has never been aggressive with "other" children. Since my daughter was born he became shy and nervous around her and possibly jealous. We had warning signs over the last few months such as snarls directed at her and an air snap also directed at her, each time was unprovoked she was simply walking past him. Today was very alarming as we were all playing outside, the dog was lying down and my daughter stepped back onto him on him back legs it was at this time that she fell and he lunged for her face biting her and breaking the skin on her cheek and lip. We took her to hospital and fortunately no major damage. The dog now must go, my brother has agreed to take him for the time being but he cannot be around my child after this incident. In hindsight I should have paid more attention to the warning signs that this could happen. If you see your dog exhibiting the same don't hesitate to remove him from your home, it's just not worth the risk. As a child myself we always had dogs and never an incident, watch the signs each dog is different.

Jan 03, 2013
Girl scarred for life!
by: Anonymous

THE DOG BIT SOMEONE IN THE FACE!
You didn't put it down? What are you waiting for? Until it bites you in the face! That is what people like you deserve. Why do other people have to suffer because of your indifferent arrogance? I hope that girl & her family sue you to the fullest extent of the law. Even so, there will be nothing to fix the scar on HER FACE for the REST OF HER LIFE.

Jan 01, 2013
Help, he is biting!
by: Stacey

Our Boston is a true part of our family and has been for 5 years although he nipped at our little ones which worried me. The other day he bit the mail lady AFTER she went back to her car! She had already been to the house & talked to me! Then he bit 2 different kid visitors in our house in one night! The one was loving on him, the other was sitting on the couch and he jumped up on her lap, she was petting him & he turned and bit her in the face too! We are freaking out !!! Feel we have no choice!

Dec 11, 2012
With proper training any dog is good with children
by: Anonymous

I have a 3 1/2 year old Boston who has spent his entire life by my side. I took him tree planting and we lived in a tent in a bush camp with about 100 other people and 5 other dogs. There was never any aggression, no fighting, normal playing with people and dogs, he traveled with us to the job site on a beat up bus and roamed around the bush till it was time to go back home, no issue with local wildlife, no issue with him straying too far. The camp became a very large pack for him. I ran a day camp for kids ranging from 4-11 and they would pick him up, play with his loose skin, take his beef bone away and throw it and he didn't even flinch. He came in the canoe with us and just enjoyed the scenery. My stepbrother has 2 kids, 2 years and 7 years. When the youngest was born my Boston was still young and all he wanted to do was lick him and sit next to him and watch what everyone else was doing. I took him to a park and had at least 15 kids of all ages and adults approach him and he just enjoyed the attention, didn't get too excited, didn't jump, just let them pet him and pick him up and do whatever. A little girl about 4-5 years old asked her mom if she could pet him. I told the mom he was fine. The little girl crouched down, got right in his face, grabbed his face by the loose skin and planted a big kiss on his nose. My dog sat there and licked her back as she giggled. I have also rescued a couple kittens who like to eat dog food, they push their little faces in his bowl as he is eating and they either share or he will back off and let the kittens finish. I use my face to nudge him away from his food bowl, I use my face to nudge him away from his beef bones. We play rough but he never actually closes his mouth when we play rough, he kinda puts my hand in his mouth but never bites down. My dog was looked after by a friend with a 4 year old while I was in the hospital. So even without my presence he exhibited the same gentle behaviour so its not only about his respect for me, it is an acknowledgement of what is appropriate and what is not. He was gentle with my friends son, not overly protective or focused on him. He would play when his son wanted to and lay down when his son didn't want to play. I cannot imagine a better dog around children. As for food aggression, I have never seen anything close to it. As far as I can see, his food bowl is open to anyone, as are his toys. I do my best to put my dog in as many types of environments as I can with as many people and pets as i can so he is comfortable anywhere I bring him. My neighbours put their hamsters on his back and he just sniffs them when they fall off. It's all in the training and the more experiences you can give your dog the better. He will learn to adapt in any situation.

Sep 08, 2012
Bostons and biting
by: Anonymous

I was bitten by a 2 year old Boston this week. I was walking and the owner had him on a retractible leash. The dog ran up to me, jumped, and bit me on the upper thigh. It drew blood and is a bruised mess. I said nothing to this dog and was not that close to him either. We bred these dogs when I was growing up and my Grandmother bred them also. I will think twice before I get another Boston.

Aug 29, 2012
Dogs are only as good as the owners!
by: Anonymous

Bostons by far are considered to be one of the best kid dogs out there,however if not raised well they can have behavior problems just like any other breed of dog. ALL puppies nip until they are taught better. You can't base judgement on an entire breed based on a bad experience with one dog. Most dogs of most breeds are good with children if raised properly and not abused (by children or adults). I personally can say I have never met a Boston I didn't like.

Aug 25, 2012
not a family dog.
by: Anonymous

My sister has a boston and the boston just bit my 15 month old son on his eye he almost lost his eye. a year ago he bit my brothers little girl 10 year old in the mouth. He has also bit my father in the back of the leg taking a chunk out and my mother and two other people. The kids had is the worst in the faces. I want the dog gone but my sister will not give him away. So now the grandkids will not be allowed at their house.
Not a good dog.


May 23, 2012
Amazing Breed
by: Anonymous

I have two Boston Terriers and they are amazing members of our family. I just had a baby and the dogs were very easy to teach boundaries around the baby. They are interested in the baby but know not to be on her play mat or blanket on the ground with her. I also have six-year-old stepson that plays pretty rough with the dogs (like boys do). The dogs love it and will play right back. I have never had an issue with either of them even playing too rough. This is a great breed of dog to have with kids! One recommendation I have is getting a puppy when kids are young so the puppy grows up around little kids. Older dogs may have a harder time adjusting to the new rambunctious, and sometimes unintentionally rough, addition to the family regardless of breed.

May 13, 2012
great dogs, family dogs
by: Anonymous

Our Boston peanut is 4 years. We had a premi baby. These dogs are pretty smart. 1.5 years later they still do fine never a growl however he will lick. The baby as you can imagine treats him pretty rough sometimes but he just looks over it and moves if he needs to. Best breed of dog ever in my opinion once you get the hypernance out of them. Also we have a 12 year old son.

May 06, 2012
boston terrier bit my little girl
by: Anonymous

My parents took in a four or five month old boston that nips at them. The kids are four and two. My two year old daughter took a bite to the cheek. Poor dog!

May 03, 2012
BEST DOGS EVER
by: Doreen

I do not believe the comment above that a Boston attacked a 7 year old. Sorry, the 7 year old did something to the dog for it to bite her. I have had my Boston 3 years, and have 5 children. He is very gentle and sweet to all the children. But you touch one of his human babys and he will snap at you! He is very protective. I would get another Boston. They are truly an awesome breed. But with any breed of dog, you should not leave a small child unattended. You need to be intelligent about any breed of dog and not just assume. It all makes sense. Bostons are truly the best! I am hoping that the Boston that "attacked" the 7 year old was not destroyed because the lack of responsibility on the owners part. Poor dog!

Apr 20, 2012
A Good family Dog...no bites
by: A. Jones-Wright

Our Boston Terrier, Bella, will celebrate her first birthday soon. We also have a 7 year old daughter with whom Bella loves to play . They are inseparable! We have taught safety rules to our daughter and have not had any problems...no bites from Bella. Not even a little nip, but loads of "I-love-you licks. Bella is an energetic, muscular puppy but gentle and people friendly.

Apr 12, 2012
Great Dogs!
by: Julie

My Boston was 8 years old when I had my daughter 2 years ago. From the time I brought her home she sniffed our daughter and licked her. She defiantly loves her and had no issues with her. We are getting an 8 week old Boston this weekend. I read somewhere that a Boston Terrier is the better dog to have with children. Sorry, I don't remember where I read that as it was 2 years ago.

Mar 23, 2012
we luv our Boston!!!
by: Anonymous

My daughter was bite by a mixed breed dog, after that she was sooo afraid of dogs. Me being the dog lover that I am I have always had bostons. So we decided to get her a 10 week old puppy. He has shown her so much and they are best friends. We had taught her how to teach him to not be food aggressive and we showed her how to teach him not to snip(he has never intentionally snipped at her, only during play and he was still learning). We love our dog and I am a firm believer its how a dog is raised!

Nov 29, 2011
Be kind and speak softly
by: Anonymous

our Boston is the most gentle dog! My niece has a one yr old baby (Dec ) and there has been no problems at all. Some words of advise..In feeding your dog when very young, let him see you take the food away, place it back, take out a little food, etc... Always speak gently to your dog and simply be kind even when they "Get into a little trouble". The Boston's REALLY want to please you ! I believe that if you treat your dog with kindness and be gentle, you will be rewarded and will love this dog.

Nov 25, 2011
Dont risk it.
by: Anonymous

My girlfriend has a 1 yr old Boston who attacked my 7 year old twice.

She got rid of it and will never own the breed again.

Sep 10, 2011
Kato the gentleman
by: Anonymous

My Boston Kato is a such a gentlemen. I recently had a baby (a year ago) and he is her protector he is always by her side. She plays extremely ruff with him but he is always extra gentle with her.

Feb 09, 2011
our boston jayda
by: shauna

we got here at 7 weeks old my children now are 6,12,14 but my little one was only 3 when we got our boston but she has never biten or been mean and she has been awesome wouldnt trade her for the world we love our boston jayda bug to death !!!!
i would truly agree that the boston is great with kids and family !!!!

shauna

Dec 19, 2010
Bostons and Kids
by: Anonymous

We have a Boston, and she is great around kids. Our friends bring their kids (age range from 2 - 16), and when they tell her to do something (i.e. sit), she does as she's told. We are expecting our first baby and can't wait for the two to meet! Good luck!

Nov 25, 2008
Not Biters
by: Anonymous

They are not known to be biters as a rule. Many other small dog breeds have higher bite percentages. Bostons are, in fact, reputed to be very good with children. They are cheerful and lively companions.

All dogs may potentially bite if children are allowed to be rough with them (pulling ears, etc.. .), as you probably know.

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