Boston Terrier Exercise Guide

Whether you’re contemplating bringing home a Boston Terrier or you notice your dog’s formerly slim waistline starting to expand, you might be wondering—how much exercise do Boston Terriers need?

Give your Boston Terrier exercise is crucial for all stages of their life. However, the amount varies according to their age and health conditions. I’ll help you understand how much exercise you should give your pooch to keep them healthy. 

Boston Terrier exercise guide
Boston Terrier Exercise Guide

How Much Exercise to Give Your Boston Terrier?

The amount of exercise your Boston Terrier needs depends on their age. If you have a puppy, they should get about five minutes of exercise per month of age.

Once your Boston Terrier reaches adulthood, you should ensure they receive 30 – 60 minutes of exercise per day

However, many factors influence how long and the exercise intensity. For example, if you have a Boston Terrier with brachycephalic syndrome, which is a common condition when they have a scrunched nose, they need less exercise and less intense exercise compared to a Boston Terrier of the same age without it.

Furthermore, as your Boston Terrier moves into their golden years, arthritis and other health conditions can make it challenging to keep up with their usual exercise routine. Therefore, you should reduce the amount and intensity of exercise according to your dog’s abilities as they get older.

a boston terrier leans against a wall
A Boston Terrier leans against a wall.

The Importance of Exercise

Exercise is crucial to your Boston Terrier’s well-being for several reasons, including:

  • Controls their weight
  • Reduces boredom
  • Helps them exert energy
  • Offers socialization opportunities

Just like humans, Boston Terriers need exercise to help them stay physically and mentally healthy. Should you have an overweight Boston Terrier and want to help them lose weight via exercise, the American Kennel Club recommends starting slow. 

Then, as your Boston Terrier’s fitness level improves, you can gradually increase the length and intensity of their exercise. 

Ensuring your Boston Terrier receives enough exercise is also crucial to prevent them from tearing up your sofa cushions and chewing on non-dog toys in the house from boredom or having bottled-up energy.

Can I Take My Boston Terrier on a Run?

It’s safe to take healthy, adult Boston Terriers on short runs. However, if you plan on running more than two or three miles, you’ll have to watch them for signs of exhaustion

That’s because Boston Terriers don’t manage long-distance runs well. Part of this is because of their short legs. The other part is that many have brachycephalic syndrome, which makes it hard for them to breathe when exerting energy. 

Other factors that impact your Boston Terrier’s ability to run long distances include:

  • Age
  • Weather
  • Coat thickness
  • Current fitness level

Keep in mind that many veterinarians recommend waiting to take Boston Terrier puppies outside for exercise until they’re fully vaccinated. So, if you have a puppy that’s still in the vaccination phase, it’s best to offer them a place where they can run small distances around your house.

Boston Terrier running on a leash
A Boston Terrier on a leash running with her owner.

Signs That Your Boston Terrier Has Had Too Much Exercise

Although it can be hard to believe if you have an energetic Boston Terrier who’s always ready for a walk, it’s possible for them to get too much exercise. Such a situation is dangerous for your dog’s health.

So, if you notice any of the following signs, you should remove your dog from the exercise environment immediately.

  • Whining 
  • Lagging behind
  • Eyes glazed over
  • Excessive panting
  • Making noises while breathing

Furthermore, you might not know that your Boston Terrier had too much exercise until after the fact. For example, are they stiff when they get up after playing in the yard? Or, do they balk at you wanting to take them on a third walk of the day?

If you notice either of these, they might be experiencing pain while exercising. That’s most often the case with Boston Terriers as they age, so it’s important to listen to your dog and back off on how much exercise you give them.

a boston terrier outdoors with its large tongue hanging out
A Boston Terrier outdoors with its large tongue hanging out.

The Best Way to Give Your Boston Terrier Exercise

You already know that no matter how in shape your Boston Terrier is, it’s unlikely that you can take them with you as you train for a full marathon. However, you can do many excellent exercise activities with your dog instead, and I’ll share some of the best ones with you here.

a fully grown boston terrier walking on grass
A fully grown Boston Terrier walking on grass.


Playtime is essential both for your Boston Terrier’s physical and emotional health. Throwing a ball in the yard with them or playing tug-of-war are excellent activities that can help grow the bond between you and your dog.

Furthermore, consider bringing your Boston Terrier to a dog park. That way, they can socialize and play with other dogs. Ideally, you should keep your Boston Terrier in a dog park suited for smaller dogs, as they might become intimidated or accidentally get hurt playing with larger breeds.


One of the most popular forms of Boston Terrier exercise is walking. You should take your Boston Terrier for a walk a minimum of one time per day, although the more you’re able to, the better.

Unlike running and other intensive exercise activities on this list, many Boston Terriers have excellent endurance for walking. So, as long as the temperature is comfortable for them and they don’t have brachycephalic syndrome, you can easily walk your Boston Terrier for one hour or longer at a time. 

Agility Courses

Letting your Boston Terrier exercise by means of an agility course is an excellent way to exercise their mind and body. Boston Terriers are inquisitive dogs that love learning and challenges.

Therefore, running up ramps, jumping over Boston Terrier-sized hurdles, and flying through tunnels create a fun environment for your dog to get exercise. Best of all, you don’t need fancy equipment to set up an agility course in your backyard—you’ll likely be able to put many items in your garage to good use.


There are a near-endless number of games you can play with your Boston Terrier to make exercise fun and engaging for them. Although cats love lasers, they’re often just as fun for dogs to play with. Alternatively, if they enjoy the water, you can have them fetch sticks in a pond or turn on a sprinkler for them to run through.

Furthermore, you can give them puzzle toys, which will stimulate their mind. Although these toys won’t cause your Boston Terrier to burn tons of calories, they’re effective at giving your dog a little bit of exercise while occupying their mind.


It might not seem like it, but teaching your Boston Terrier commands like “sit” and “stay” are forms of exercise. Furthermore, training your dog forces them to think, exercising their mind so that they return home both physically and mentally tired.

An excellent training technique to use if you want to help give your Boston Terrier an extra dose of energy are the “stay” and “come” commands, with one person standing on one side of the yard and another person on the other. That way, your Boston Terrier will have to run between the two of you.

To increase their heart rate more, consider throwing in an object they have to jump over to get to you.

The Bottom Line

Exercise is crucial to keep your Boston Terrier healthy and mentally stimulated. However, your Boston Terrier needs different amounts of exercise according to the phase of life they’re in. Increase the lifespan of your Boston Terrier by keeping them healthy.

A healthy Boston Terrier will positively glow, have soft fur, and shed less (well most of the time).

Therefore, it’s important to observe how your Boston Terrier reacts to different types and intensities of exercise and cater to their needs accordingly.