Boston Terrier Lifespan: How Long Do Boston Terriers Live?

Written by Volia Schubiger
Published: February 24, 2022
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The Boston terrier was the first officially recognized dog breed in the United States. The American Kennel Club recognized this “American Gentleman” as a non-sporting breed in 1893.

Because of their tuxedo-like patterns, they’re known as the “American Gentleman.” Any Boston terrier owner will let you know that what makes this dog breed so great is how fun and full of life it is! 

The Boston terrier is a people-pleaser that loves being around its owners. This dog makes for the perfect companion for anyone at any stage of life. Boston terriers are soft and gentle with seniors and are also enthusiastic playmates for kids. Curious to find out more about this adorable and loyal dog breed? Want to know how long do Boston terriers live? Let’s learn all about that and how you can extend the life of your own little Boston terrier! 

How Long Do Boston Terriers Live?

boston terrier big ears dogs

On average, Boston terriers live for 11-13 years.


Boston terriers live an average of 13-15 years. This is a statistical average based on data from the American Kennel Club. However, there have been incidences of Boston terriers living up to 15 years old. The life expectancy of a Boston terrier will really depend on genetics, lifestyle, and diet. 

As a smaller dog breed, Boston terriers have a longer lifespan than many other dog breeds. Studies have attempted to understand why smaller dog breeds have a longer lifespan. 

One study published in The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medica Sciences attempted to determine whether life duration was related to body size in domestic dogs and whether biological life span was expressed in cellular proliferation capability. 

According to these findings, small dogs have longer life spans and a higher rate of cellular proliferation, while large dogs have shorter life spans, but only in breeds with large skeletal frames does this correspond to a lower rate of cellular proliferation.

Overall, when small, medium, and giant dogs were evaluated, life expectancy was found to be inversely related to body size.

Now that we know how long Boston terriers live, let’s explore their average life cycle.

The Average Boston Terrier Life Cycle

We now know how long Boston terriers live, so let’s get a better understanding of how they grow up! Boston terriers stay cute and tiny for a short while before they grow up and are filled with energy and love to play. So let’s learn what to expect as your Boston terrier grows. 


Like many other dog breeds, Boston terrier puppies are born with closed ear canals and closed eyes. It is only when they reach around two weeks old that they begin to hear and see. During this stage, the puppy is getting used to using its eyes and moving around. This is also when Boston terrier puppies begin to display social traits and begin to play with one another. 


Boston terriers will reach young adulthood at six to eighteen months of age. It’s at this stage that they begin to exhibit lots of energy and will be quite hyper. They may even begin to exhibit signs of aggression or disobedience. This is a great stage to begin training your Boston terrier. This will help them grow into calmer adults. 


A Boston terrier enters adulthood at around 18 months old. At this point, they should have reached their adult size and will stop growing. At their full size, they typically weigh around 10 to 25 pounds and stand about 16 inches tall. This is when you’ll see the Boston terrier’s personality really begin to shine. They’ll typically be quite outgoing and will make friends everywhere you take them. 


A Boston terrier becomes a senior at around 7-8 years old. As they become older, some Boston Terriers’ behavior alters. You’ll begin to notice that their energy levels will lessen and they may be slower to react. 

What Affects The Lifespan of a Boston Terrier

Boston terrier at vet

Meningitis is one factor that affects the lifespan of a Boston terrier.


There are many factors that will affect the lifespan of a Boston terrier. 

According to research undertaken by The Kennel Club on a small sample of Boston Terriers in the United Kingdom, the following are the most prevalent reasons for death:

  • Old age
  • Cardiovascular problems (heart attack, heart failure, and other heart problems)
  • Cancer (brain tumor)
  • Respiratory system issues (respiratory failure)
  • Neurological issues (Meningitis and seizures)

A number of factors influence the lifespan of your Boston terrier. Some of these are genetic and uncontrollable, while others are completely within your control, such as their diet and lifestyle. Detecting when your dog’s health declines as well as being proactive with its health are all critical to protecting your dog from many of the above issues. 

The most common signs to watch out for include pain and stiffness in their joints, memory loss or confusion, weight gain or loss, tooth decay, and incontinence. However, if you’re interested in learning about how you can extend the life of your Boston terrier, then let’s explore that in more detail. 

How To Extend The Life Of Your Boston Terrier 

Boston terrier at vet


As we mentioned, the average life expectancy for Boston terriers is anywhere between 11-13 years. So if you want to enjoy your pet for as many years as possible, there are many great ways that you can be proactive. 

Here are some of the best tips to help you extend the life of your Boston terrier: 

  • Feeding them a balanced diet: Avoid meals that include fillers (grains and carbs such as maize, wheat, rice, and soy) and chemicals since they create bloating in your dog. Instead, opt for high-quality animal proteins. Boston terriers are prone to gas, and feeding your dog a diet heavy in grains and low in protein creates gas build-up. A healthy diet will keep them at a healthy weight and allow them to get the nutrients they need.  
  • Keeping them active: According to The Kennel Club, they need up to an hour of exercise every day. However, like many other types of dogs, they are versatile and may enjoy longer outings with their owners. So be sure to incorporate playtime, cuddle time, and lots of other ways in which you can spend time together with your Boston terrier.  

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Lenka_N/

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About the Author

Volia Schubiger is a freelance copywriter and content editor with a passion and expertise in content creation, branding, and marketing. She has a background in Broadcast Journalism & Political Science from CUNY Brooklyn College. When she's not writing she loves traveling, perusing used book stores, and hanging out with her other half.

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