Boston Terrier/Pitbull Mix: Our Guide with Fun Facts and Pictures

pitbull boston terrier mix

If you like an all-American dog, a Boston Terrier/Pitbull mix might be just what you’re looking for. Both of these breeds have been enormously popular in the United States at various times. Combined, the Boston Terrier and the Pitbull can produce a fun, sweet hybrid dog that could be just right for you.

It can be hard to predict how dogs will turn out when dealing with hybrids or designer dogs since breeders are mixing two distinct breeds. With the Boston Terrier and the Pitbull, the result is usually a small to medium-sized adult dog. With good socialization (always important!), this should be a dog that’s good for a family.

You can probably expect a Boston Terrier/Pitbull mix to have moderate exercise requirements. He should be intelligent but he could be somewhat challenging to train. Many of the terrier breeds tend to have a mind of their own. This dog could have a strong prey drive so if you have a cat or other small pets, you will need to train your puppy/dog from a young age to leave them alone. And we did mention that socialization is important. Lots of socialization.

If you’re interested in a Boston Terrier/Pitbull mix, there are some things you should know before you make the decision to get one.

Here you will find what we think is the best guide to the Boston Terrier/Pitbull mix around. We’ll look at the background of these dogs, answer some common questions, and provide you with six facts you should know before you even think about getting one of these mixes.

Let’s get started.

Introduction To The Boston Terrier/Pitbull Mix

How can the Boston Terrier and the Pitbull possibly be related? If you go back in history to England a few hundred years ago, you will find that some of our ancestors enjoyed dog fighting and bull and bear baiting. These are not “nice” sports but they did lead people to breed certain kinds of dogs that could do this work. They found that if they crossed tough bulldogs (used for fighting bulls) with courageous British terriers they would get a muscular, agile, tenacious dog that would never let go in a fight. These dogs were known as “Bull-and-Terrier” crosses. They were enormously successful as fighting dogs not just in England but also in America.

Eventually some of these dogs became the American Staffordshire Terrier, the American Pitbull Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and other breeds that are associated with the term “pitbull” today.

However, some of these “Bull-and-Terrier” dogs took a very different route. Around 1870 in Boston, a dog named Judge, of Bull-and-Terrier lineage, became the ancestor of virtually all modern Boston Terriers. They were bred down a little in size over the years (Boston Terriers originally weighed up to 44 pounds). Breeders carefully selected dogs for their gentle temperament. And Boston Terriers were soon enormously popular. Between 1905 and 1935, the Boston Terrier was either the first or second most popular breed in the United States.

Pitbulls such as the American Pitbull Terrier were also popular in the U.S. in the early 20th century. When Pete the Pup co-starred in the Our Gang series, the breed was already known for being good with children.

Boston Terriers remain popular today though not quite as popular as they once were. They currently rank as the 21st most popular breed in the United States.

Pitbulls, on the other hand, are fighting a stigma. Many people associate these dogs with dog fighting. Even dogs that have never been used for dog fighting are often looked upon with suspicion and people fear them. There are lots of pitbulls in the United States. They are often found in animal shelters. For breeding purposes, breeders may be using one of the registered breeds often labeled a “pitbull” such as the American Staffordshire Terrier, the American Pitbull Terrier, or the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. There are many fine dogs of these breeds that make wonderful companions and they have nothing to do with dog fighting.

Dog fighting does still exist in the United States (it’s illegal in all 50 states) but unless you seek out a fighting dog (of course, we hope you won’t), most pitbull-type dogs have very nice temperaments unless they have been mistreated in some way. Many people want to know are pitbulls aggressive. The answer often depends on how the dogs have been raised and treated.

If you are interested in a Boston Terrier/Pitbull mix, talk to the breeder and find out about the history of their puppies and dogs. Ask about their temperament. Try to meet some of their adult dogs, if possible. This is especially important if you have children that will be around the dog. There’s every reason to believe that a Boston Terrier/Pitbull mix will have the sweet, gentle temperament of the Boston Terrier which breeders worked for generations to produce but you never want to take any chances when kids are involved. Try to make sure the breeder has considered good temperament when choosing the parents of the puppies. The more you know about the history of the dogs and puppies, the better, in every way. This is always true for any breed you are considering.

What’s it like owning a Boston Terrier/Pitbull Mix?

According to people who have Boston Terrier/Pitbull mixes, these dogs tend to be sweet, even-tempered dogs. They often have the gentle personality of the Boston Terrier parent. With a hybrid dog there can always be variations so some dogs may be more Pitbull-like than others.

These dogs have enough background in common that you can reasonably expect their offspring to be alert and friendly. They should be loyal, happy at home, and dutiful. Boston Terriers are particularly known for being neat, clean dogs – almost cat-like – so some Boston Terrier/Pitbull mix dogs may tend to be rather neat and tidy. At the other extreme, you may find some of these dogs that love mud puddles and rolling in things that smell!

You can probably expect a Boston Terrier/Pitbull mix to make a good watchdog. These dogs should bark without being aggressive. Today’s Boston Terrier doesn’t have an aggressive bone in his body which should mellow out the Pitbull considerably. However, you should be careful if you have cats or other small pets. It’s still possible that one of these dogs could have a strong prey drive. If you are able to raise a Boston Terrier/Pitbull mix puppy from a very young age with your cat you probably won’t have any problem. But your dog may not realize that ALL cats are friends.

Do make sure you keep your Boston Terrier/Pitbull mix in a fenced yard or even indoors if you live in an urban area. Many places today have breed specific laws that are anti-pitbull. If a pitbull in your neighborhood is suspected of doing something wrong, you don’t want your dog to be accused.

All dogs need good early socialization so they develop confidence and learn how to behave around other dogs and people. This is always important for any dog with pitbull ancestry. These dogs should be quite intelligent. Training is not always easy with terrier breeds but it’s important for your dog to learn basic obedience so he will listen to you, especially when you’re out in public. You can work on obedience lessons at home or find a good training class at a local pet store or shelter.

With a sweet temperament and willingness to please, a Boston Terrier/Pitbull mix will usually be affectionate and want to spend time with you. They can be very devoted dogs.

Boston Terrier/Pitbull Mix Pictures

You might not immediately think that Boston Terriers, the “American Gentleman,” as he’s known, and a pitbull have much in common, but in many old photos it can be hard to tell these dogs apart. Boston Terrier/Pitbull mixes today are very good-looking dogs. See for yourself.

Basic Boston Terrier/Pitbull Information

In this section, we will provide some basic answers to the common questions people ask (or should ask) about Boston Terrier/Pitbull mixes.

Do Boston Terrier/Pitbull Mixes Shed?

Boston Terriers and pitbulls both tend to be moderate shedders. You can probably expect a mix to shed moderately, too. A good vacuum cleaner would be a good idea.

Grooming one of these dogs should be very easy. They should have a short, smooth coat that only requires regular brushing a couple of times per week to remove any dead hair.

Bathe you Boston Terrier/Pitbull mix as necessary. Since these dogs are half Boston Terrier, many of them will probably prefer to stay clean but an occasional bath is still a good idea. Don’t bathe too often or you will remove the natural skin oils that protect your dog’s skin.

How Big Do Boston Terrier/Pitbull Mixes Get?

The size of the Boston Terrier/Pitbull mix will mostly depend on the size of the pitbull parent. Boston Terriers stand about 15-17 inches tall and weigh 12-25 pounds. The American Staffordshire Terrier stands 17-19 inches tall and can weigh between 40-70 pounds. By comparison, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is much smaller, standing 14-16 inches and weighing 24-38 pounds. The American Pitbull Terrier stands between 17-21 inches at the withers and weighs between 30 and 60 pounds. So there’s quite a range on the pitbull side.

Depending on the size of the pitbull parent, you can probably expect a Boston Terrier/Pitbull mix to be 17-19 inches tall. For Boston Terrier/Pitbull weight, expect at least 35-40 pounds. Some dogs may be bigger.

How Easy Are Boston Terrier/Pitbull Mixes To Train?

According to the book The Intelligence of Dogs, which ranks dog breeds by how fast they learn new commands and how often they obey on the first command, the American Staffordshire Terrier is rated #48 on the list (“Above Average Working Dogs”). The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is rated #94 (“Average Working/Obedience Intelligence”). The Boston Terrier is rated #103 (“Average Working/Obedience Intelligence”). To be fair, the Boston Terrier probably isn’t the first dog people think of when they are looking for a dog for obedience work.

This doesn’t mean that these dogs (or any of the dogs at the lower end of the rankings) are not intelligent. It means that they may not be interested in obeying commands all the time. Not the same thing. Many of the dogs lower in the rankings are terriers and hounds which, by the nature of the work they were bred to do, had to make decisions for themselves without checking with a human. These dogs often tend to be a little more independent than some other breeds. All of this means that it can be harder to train these dogs. You may need extra patience when training your Boston Terrier/Pitbull mix.

We do recommend that you use positive reinforcement such as giving lots of praise and rewards for good behavior and obeying you. You do need to be firm and in charge but avoid getting into a stand-off with these dogs because they have generations of stubbornness behind them when you push them. Remember that they were originally bred to be tenacious. They won’t give in if you start trying to push them around. You’ll get much better results if you try to make training like a fun game with you as the leader.

Things that Boston Terrier/Pitbull mix puppies need to learn at home include:

  • House training
  • Bite inhibition
  • Rules of the home/manners (What is and is not allowed in your home such as not jumping on people, whether they can get on furniture, not chasing the cat, etc.)
  • Basic obedience including walking on a leash, coming when called, etc.
  • Grooming

These are all important things for a puppy to learn. House training is especially important. Soiling in the house is one of the biggest reasons why dogs are dumped at shelters. This is the very most basic thing that a dog needs to learn if he wants to stay in his home.

Most dogs will master these basics. If you have any problems, we suggest contacting a good local trainer or canine behaviorist. You can also get training help from places like your local pet store or shelter. Many pet stores and shelters offer puppy preschool and puppy kindergarten classes, too. These classes are a good way to socialize your puppy and let him meet and play with other puppies. They also let him meet friendly people. Some classes also teach some easy obedience lessons.

Puppies should also learn about grooming while they are young. If you wait until your puppy is 10 months old to give him his first bath, you can expect a terrible fight. Start brushing your puppy from the day you bring him home. Give him a bath when he’s still small so you can easily manage him and it’s not traumatic. Don’t forget to trim his nails, using care. If you just trim a small amount from his nails each time, you shouldn’t run any risk of cutting too much or hurting your puppy. If you use a nail grinder, let your puppy get used to it early. It won’t hurt your puppy but the noise is often scary to puppies.

Don’t forget to clean your puppy’s ears or at least check them regularly.

Do Boston Terrier/Pitbull Mixes Suffer From Any Common Health Issues?

Any dog can have health problems whether purebred or mixed breed. According to the information we found about Boston Terrier/Pitbull mixes, they can be prone to allergies, hip dysplasia, and eye problems, among other things.

Do talk to the breeder about the parents and other relatives of any puppy you are considering. Ask about any health testing they do before breeding. You should also ask about the health guarantee the provide with their puppies. No breeder can guarantee that a puppy will never get sick. That’s not realistic. But a breeder should be able to provide a guarantee about some issues. In return, some breeders may ask that you feed the puppy/dog a certain diet, have the puppy tested for a health issue at a certain age, and so on. Contracts are a two-way street.

What Is The Boston Terrier/Pitbull Mix’s Temperament Like?

It’s always hard to say with certainty what a hybrid dog’s temperament will be like. Most sources say that a Boston Terrier/Pitbull mix’s temperament is sweet, even-tempered, alert, and friendly. They are good watchdogs but not as aggressive as many pitbulls. Talk to the puppy/dog’s breeder to find out what the parents are like in terms of temperament. That’s usually your best guide.

How Expensive Are Boston Terrier/Pitbull Mixes?

We found Boston Terrier/Pitbull mix puppies for sale online for between $750 and $900. Remember that these are hybrid or designer dogs so they are not registered.

How Long Does A Boston Terrier/Pitbull Mix Live For?

Boston Terriers and the bully breeds we checked all tend to be long-lived. You can usually expect a Boston Terrier/Pitbull mix to live between 12-16 years.

6 Facts You Should Know Before Getting A Boston Terrier/Pitbull Mix Puppy

  1. Helen Keller had several dogs that appear in photos to be either very large Boston Terriers or Boston Terrier/Pitbull mixes. She was very fond of bully breed dogs.
  2. The AKC registers the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier but not the American Pitbull Terrier. The UKC registers the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the American Pit Bull Terrier.
  3. The Boston Terrier has the nickname the “American Gentleman” because of his dignified air, his markings which give him the look of wearing a tuxedo, and his neat, tidy ways.
  4. Boston Terrier/Pitbull mixes are often found in black and brindle with white markings. These are the primary colors of the Boston Terrier. Other colors are found in the pitbull breeds such as red, fawn, and blue but they may be recessive to black.
  5. The Boston Terrier is one of the few dog breeds that originated in the United States.
  6. Bostons have a very short tail that can be in the shape of a corkscrew, a curl, or they can be straight. The pitbull breeds have long tails. The short tail is recessive so it shouldn’t show up in a Boston Terrier/Pitbull mix unless the breeder is breeding multiple generations of hybrids.

Conclusion

Sweet-natured and affectionate, the Boston Terrier/Pitbull mix will probably want to be with you all the time. These are moderately active dogs so they do require an outlet for their energy but they can be content to lie next to you indoors the rest of the time. The Boston Terrier does much to bring gentleness to this mix but they can still be stubborn and serious at times. Socialization is crucial from an early age. We think Boston Terrier/Pitbull mixes will make a good family dog if they come from even-tempered parents and they are well-socialized.

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