Are Boston Terriers Hard to House Train, Owners Answer

As owners of two Boston Terriers, we were concerned about the question, “Are Boston Terriers hard to house train?”  The answer to this question is not as simple as yes or no.  If started at a young age potty training a Boston Terrier can be accomplished fairly easily; however, it takes patience and consistency on the owner’s part. 

In the majority of cases, a Boston Terriers will follow the average timeframe most puppies have for house training. This general rule is between 4 to 6 months for full potty training. There are a few things that will extend or shorten this timeframe. Consistency and schedule the most important things to work on when housebreaking a dog.

House Training a Boston Terrier Puppy

  • Start early even though puppies can’t control their bladder until about six months.
  • Take the puppies to the same spot each time you walk them.
  • Puppies will recognize their spot by its scent. 
  • As soon as the puppy uses the designated potty spot it should be rewarded.
  • Puppies should go out as soon as they wake up in the morning.
  • Puppies should also go out after eating or drinking water and after exercising.
  • A routine along with rewards of praise and treats will help the process.  

If you would like a more detailed explanation of the signs your Boston Terrier puppy will give to show they need to go out, please continue reading.  If you are curious about whether Boston Terrier puppies are a good choice for new pet owners, continue reading.  

Boston Terriers and The Potty Training Adventure

Boston Terriers are a small, adorable dog breed that is also very intelligent and, in general, wants to please its owners.  These traits can make the process of house training a Boston Terrier puppy go smoothly if it is started at an early age and is consistent. 

Puppies do not gain full control of their bladders until they are between four and six months old.  A general rule is that puppies can hold urine for the number of months they are old.  For example, a two-month-old puppy can hold their urine for about two hours.  This does depend on their eating habits and overall health as well. 

Consistency in potty training begins with a regular schedule.  The schedule should include going out first thing in the morning, after each meal, after naps and exercise, as well as before bedtime. 

Our two boston terriers sitting on my wife lap

Owners need to choose a spot outside where they want their puppy to go to the restroom.  This could be a specific part of the outdoor space where the puppy is usually walked.  Leading the puppy to this spot while walking them on a leash is the ideal way to begin training. 

Once a puppy uses the designated spot they will recognize it by the smell the next time they are led there.  Immediately after your Boston Terrier puppy goes to the potty in the designated spot it is important to reward them with praise and treats. 

If the puppy fails to make it to the designated spot it is important for the owner not to react in anger.  Always keep in mind that training is a process and puppies do not have full bladder control until around six months of age.  Training can be exhausting for an owner, but with patience and consistency, it will become easier.  

As a breed, Boston Terriers are affectionate, friendly, enthusiastic, and outgoing.  They originated in the nineteenth century and appeared first in Boston in the United States, which is where the name comes from. 

They are a cross between an English Bulldog and an English Terrier and originally were a much larger breed.  They typically live twelve to fifteen years.  Like all terrier breeds, they are a high-energy breed and need at least an hour of exercise a day, which can be broken into two sessions a day. 

They tend to have a high metabolism, which can result in needing more potty breaks.  They will also need to eat and growing puppies may need three or four small meals a day as opposed to two larger meals.  This will also contribute to the creation of the potty schedule.  Training may begin at a fairly young age, even before they gain bladder control around six months old. 

Signs To Look For When Potty Training Your Boston Terrier

Even when you, as owners, set a consistent schedule in potty training your Boston Terrier puppy, they will still give signals when they need to go out between scheduled breaks.  If the puppy is restless or pacing or even running in circles, it could signal a need to go out. 

Ruby the Boston Terrier Queen

Owners will want to pay attention if their puppy begins sniffing at a particular spot in the house.  Once a puppy urinates in a certain spot, it can easily make it a habit. Dogs recognize their spots to urinate by smell after only going there one time.  

Owners will want to discourage the puppy from using the spot inside and instead take their Boston Terrier to the designated spot outside.   If this is your first experience with a Boston Terrier or any puppy, then you need to be prepared for accidents. 

Experienced owners know are prepared for the frustration that can accompany potty training a puppy.  Even with a very consistent schedule, there will still be accidents.  It is important for owners to contain their frustration and not react in anger. 

Puppies will most likely not associate urinating in the wrong space with yelling.  Instead, try to focus on positive reinforcement when the puppy is in the right spot.  For example, immediately saying, “Good Job! You’re such a good puppy.” or any variation of those phrases would work. 

The verbal praise should be paired with positive physical touch like petting and affection as well as their favorite treats. It can be frustrating and exhausting for first-time owners, but the efforts will eventually pay off when the Boston Terrier puppy grows up to be a consistently house-trained adult dog.   

Boston Terrier owners who do not have the option to consistently take their dog outside can choose to potty train their puppies to go on training pads or even in a litter box located somewhere in their home.  There are some drawbacks to potty training inside the house. 

Puppies will recognize their special potty spot by its smell.  When you remove the pee pad, each time there is no smell left behind for the puppy to recognize.  It could take a little extra time, patience, and praise to train using pee pads in the house as opposed to outside, but for those with limited or no outdoor options, it can be done. 

Training a Boston Terrier puppy to go potty in the correct spot is not the only type of training that owners have to accomplish.  They will also need to watch their puppy for signs of separation anxiety.  Continue reading to learn more about this important part of a puppy’s training.  

Separation Anxiety in Boston Terrier Puppies

While puppies will whine and scratch at the door to indicate a need to go outside to urinate or defecate this is not the only reason they might whine or bark.  Some Boston Terrier puppies, or any breed of dog, will sometimes whine and scratch when they are feeling anxious or stressed. 

Ruby the Boston not happy about her crate

These could be signs that your dog is having separation anxiety.  Boston Terriers as a breed are usually cuddly and love spending time with their humans.  If puppies spend time with other humans and even other animals at a very young age it could prevent some separation anxiety as the puppy grows up. 

Dogs should also be exposed to noises that will be a part of their everyday lives so that they will become accustomed to them.  

Separation anxiety can occur the first time a puppy is left alone.  Before you leave your puppy alone at home for the first time you should make sure there is a space in the horse where the puppy feels safe.  Typically, this would be their crate or spot in the house you have designated as the puppy’s own space.

This will be a spot where they go even if their humans are home, just because they feel safe and comfortable.  Owners can give their puppy chew toys or treats in this particular spot so that they associate the crate with positivity.  

 Begin getting a puppy ready to be left alone by taking it to its crate or designated spot and try leaving it there while you continue to accomplish everyday tasks.  Try this for a few minutes as you continue with chores and other activities.  Increase the time the puppy is alone in their spot for thirty minutes. 

At this point, owners should be able to actually leave the house with the puppy in their crate or assigned area.  Long-lasting treats can help keep a puppy busy.  When designating a spot in the house, try to block it off with a safety gate and not by closing a door.  This allows the puppy to see what is going on and to know you are still there.

Owners may not know their dog is suffering from separation anxiety until they get back home from being gone for a while.  A dog dealing with separation anxiety may chew furniture, destroy pillows, or even go to the potty inside and not in a designated spot.  When you arrive back home, the dog could be overly excited to see you and follow you around more than usual. 

Just like it is important for owners to not react in anger when a puppy goes to the potty accidentally in the house, it is equally important not to yell at a puppy who may be suffering from separation anxiety.  This will only confuse the puppy and possibly make the anxiety worse.  

If separation anxiety symptoms continue to be a problem, then you may want to contact your vet for help from a behavioralist. There could be other reasons why your dog is suffering from separation anxiety.  These reasons could include a change in the environment like a move to a new home.  They could also be bored from lack of mental stimulation. 

This is where routine in other areas such as exercise is important. These experts use desensitization and counter-conditioning, which are designed to teach the dog that being left alone is not a scary situation.  They may also recommend stress-relieving products. There are medications that can be prescribed to help with anxiety along with training techniques.  

Boston Terriers Need Routines But Are Not Hard to House Train  

Boston Terrier puppies need routines in order to be potty trained and to avoid separation anxiety.  Puppies should be taken to their designated potty spot on a set schedule starting first thing in the morning.  As the day progresses, puppies should go out after they eat, or drink water. 

After playtime or exercise inside the house, the puppies will need to go out as well.  Make sure you pick a designated spot that you are comfortable with because it only takes a puppy one time to urinate in a spot and they will recognize that spot each time they go out.  Even with a regular schedule, the puppy may have to go outside between those breaks. 

If your puppy starts walking or running in circles or sniffing in a certain spot in the house, then they probably need to go outside pretty quickly.  With time and patience, a Boston Terrier puppy can be house trained.

Reward puppies immediately after they go to the potty in the right spot.  Rewards can be positive words, “Good puppy!” or “Good job!” along with positive touch in the form of petting.  You should do this to let your puppy associate the positive experience with the rewards and positive physical reinforcement.

Our Boston Terrier Sneaking a snack

Remember that Boston Terrier puppies do not gain complete control of their bladder until between four and six months old. 

Puppy training also requires owners to prepare their puppies to be left alone and prevent separation anxiety from developing. Avoid showing anger and frustration when your puppy either goes to the potty in the wrong spot or chews up a pillow out of anxiety. 

Boston Terriers are an intelligent, attentive breed that generally wants to please its owners.  This can make potty training and prevent separation anxiety go a little bit smoother.  Each puppy has their own personality which can play into how well they take to potty training. 

Owners should take into account eating habits, exercise habits, overall health, and lifestyle habits when going through the training process with their puppy.  

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