Boston Terrier Pitbull Mix Guide: 25 Things to Know Before Getting One

The Boston Terrier Pitbull is temperamentally a mix made in heaven. An even-tempered, happy, affectionate animal with a wicked sense of humor and absolute loyalty. It is an adaptable mix, but can have extensive health issues and you will need to check legislation regarding Pitbull breeds in your area.


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This mix will vary in size dramatically because the Terrier parent is small, and the Pitbull parent is somewhat large. Many of the Boston Terrier Pitbull mixes end up resembling neither parent, but it will likely have smooth, short coat and triangular ears and a powerful and graceful gait.

Weight & Height
The mix is a medium-sized dog when fully grown. Informed estimation puts the weight between 35 to 60 pounds (14 kg to 27 kg). The adult usually measures 15 to 20 inches (38 cms to 51 cms). If the Pitbull genes are dominant, you may have a slightly larger dog.

Coat Color
This mix will provide any color you desire except the rare merle. There is usually some white with brown, black, red, blue or grey. A brindle is common. You will not have the precise “tuxedo jacket” marking particular to the Boston Terrier parent. The nose should match the coat color.


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Coat Length & Thickness
Both parents have short, smooth coats, so this mix will too. Usually, it will be a single coat and easy to care for. It could be either thick or on the thin side, but it will probably have a shine. The texture will vary from fine to quite stiff.


A companion or a family dog, it will hike all day and snuggle down to TV — happy to be with you. It is alert, energetic, and friendly with humans, even their children. But, as with all mixes, undesirable traits from either parent can surface. In this mix: aggression and stubbornness.


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Does Not Like Being Alone
Your dog is not known for territorialism. It is, however, very sensitive and needs its family. It definitely suffers when left entirely alone. If you are regularly away (4-6 hours a day), you must crate train it and provide a walker to come in 2 or 3 times a week.

Has an Unpredictable Personality
Consider the ancestry of the Pit Bull in your mix. They were created for bull and bear-baiting, declared illegal in 1835. Then they were used for dog fighting. This may come through as aggression or unpredictability in a mix. Investigate the breeder carefully and discuss this with him.

Aggressive if Not Properly Trained & Raised
If the Pit Bull parent has been abused or isolated for fighting, or the strong prey instinct and tendency for aggression has been encouraged in the Terrier parent, it is likely to be evident quite soon in the mixed pups. But there are seldom reports of aggression in this mix.

House Dog & Preferred Climate Is Warm Weather
Boston Terrier Pitbulls have short, and sometimes, thin coats. The type is known to be sensitive to both hot and cold weather. It should have a well-insulated, special place of its own at home. Keep it well hydrated during exercise and protect paws on ice or in snow.

Companion or Suitability Factor

This type was created in the 1990’s — perhaps even a “designer dog.” Its most attractive trait is adaptability. It adores being part of a family but will do well as a companion animal. It needs exercise enough to satisfy its high energy level. It is affectionate, amusing, and sometimes mysterious.


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Is Kid-Friendly with Caution
Both parents are known to respond positively to children; this is the “nanny” in their backgrounds as they evolved into farm dogs. Children must be taught how to interact, but they must never be left unattended. Keep in mind that much depends on the Pitbull parent having been even-tempered.

Can Be Apartment Friendly
Your dog will adapt to living in an apartment under two conditions: it receives energetic, outdoors, daily exercise, and it is not left entirely alone for long stretches (6 hours maximum). Make sure to leave the radio or TV on, many educational toys and a good chew toy.

Is a Good Watchdog
The parents of this mix are both very people-oriented, friendly, and intensely loyal to their “family.” Much depends on which of its parental genes come through strongly. The mix should have a reasonably strong guarding instinct, which you can improve in training to make it a good guard dog.

Is Senior Citizen Friendly
Your puppy will likely be boisterous. You must be fit enough to provide a minimum of 45 minutes of daily exercise. A senior person should consider adopting or rescuing a dog older than six years if he/she must have this mix. The adult dog is temperamentally better for older owners.

Is a Good Service Dog
This type is potentially a good Therapy and Emotional Support Dog. They train easily for service work, including Search and Rescue. Its Terrier genes are friendly, and its Pitbull genes are averse to other dogs, so depending on the dominant parental traits, it could be good on a service team.

Might Get Along with Other Pets
As with any dog, one must carefully watch interaction with other pets. The Boston Terrier side of your dog is comfortable with other pets, but not the Pit Bull and Pitbulls tend to be particularly aggressive with dogs of the same sex. This mix should wear life jackets near water.

Training & Intelligence

Your puppy must go to socialization classes and then adult training. Both parents tend to be stubborn, and you must learn consistency and firmness to ensure the best behavior. If you are not confident enough, consider joining a professional training group. This mix is also extremely sensitive: firm but gentle.


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Are Trainable with Patience
Your dog will be trainable, but not easy to train. It might be uncooperative, wanting to assume the pack leadership. Your proper efforts should be rewarded because both parents are intelligent and want to please their owners. Use short training sessions with rewards and loving praise. No harsh punishments.

Average Intelligence
The Boston Pitbull Terrier is going to be of average working and obedience intelligence. Based on Stanley Coren’s rankings for its parents, your mix will likely understand new commands after 25 to 40 repetitions and obey you on the first command only 50% of the time.

Physical Needs

You will require strong, high fencing. The Pitbull parent has a wanderlust gene and, despite its compact, muscular look, your dog is very athletic, agile and it jumps well. It requires a high-quality diet, and both parents tend to obesity. You must avoid this at all costs.

Eats about Two Cups of Food a Day
A 50-pound dog would generally eat about two cups of food per day, broken down into two meals. Rely on guidance from your vet on the amount, and not from food manufacturers. Supplement with raw pork and chicken, and possibly supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin to help its joint health.

Needs at Least 30 Minutes of Exercise per Day
It requires a very minimum of 30 minutes of free-running per day to keep it healthy and control its weight. As a “cool down,” it should play games or train. Consider joining your local dog club for activities like agility, fly ball, and jumping. Average lifespan: 10 – 12 years.


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Shedding & Bathing
Your dog will shed moderately or not at all. It will need brushing with a firm brush 2 to 3 times a week. The eyes and ears should be cleaned gently with a soft cloth. Teach it to have its teeth brushed twice a week. Bathe when it is dirty.

Background & Pricing for a Puppy

The range of colors and sizes for this mix is no surprise considering the size variance of the parents, and also that several kinds of Pitbulls have been used in its creation. The four types of “American Pitbull Terrier” are the American Pit Bull Terrier (UKC), the American Staffordshire Terrier (AKC), the Staffordshire Bullterrier (AKC AND UKC) and the American Bully (ABKC). Some experts claim the “American Pit Bull Terrier” is the only true “pit bull.” It is also the type of pit bull that is most commonly used out of the four to breed this mix.

The history of this mix is largely unknown, but the parents are well-documented. Both the American Pit Bull Terrier and Boston Terrier originated in England, were imported into America in the late 1800s, and were historically used in bloodsports, with the pitbull particularly used in dog fighting.

Price for a Puppy
You will struggle to find a reputable breeder because this mix is unusual, partly because of the various health issues. This means pricing will likely be quite high. Consider adopting an older dog from a rescue or pet shelter. Your dog will be screened, checked, and his temperament professionally assessed.


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Health Issues

The Boston Terrier is “brachycephalic” because of its flat muzzle shape, and thus prone to several health issues. If your mix has this muzzle, it will have many of these issues. Both parental genes make this mix prone to obesity. Though Pitbulls are healthier, be prepared for expensive vet bills.


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Some of the major health issues your mix is likely to suffer include the following:

Hereditary Diseases
Your Boston Terrier Pitbull is susceptible to several hereditary diseases, including aortic stenosis (malformation of a heart valve) and “cherry eye” (a prolapsed gland in the third eyelid). Cherry Eye is often caused by another hereditary problem, which is a negative reaction to allergens. Hypothyroidism also occurs.

The Boston Terrier parent in your mix will have brachycephalic syndrome caused by having a short nose or flat face. This can include severe respiratory distress, heat intolerance, reverse sneezing, hemivertebrae (screw-tail), and snoring. Deafness also occurs. You must insist that the parents have been cleared for breeding purposes.

Eye Problems
The prominent eyes in the Boston Terrier parent can come through strongly and will complicate corneal ulcers and injuries, cataracts and glaucoma. The Pitbull genes may make your mix prone to cataracts. Be sure to clean its eyes gently with a soft, damp cloth during grooming.

An ethical breeder will have checked the puppies’ eyes with a certified animal ophthalmologist and must provide you with printed results, for example, a CERF (The Companion Animal Eye Registry) certificate or a BVA/KC report. Watch for watery eyes, redness, or a bluish tinge in the cornea or itchiness.

Hip Dysplasia
Dysplasia is a hereditary disease and often only manifests in later years. It is especially prevalent in animals that grow too quickly and obese animals. Both parents in this mix are prone to be overweight. Ask your vet’s advice on food and supplements that will mitigate against dysplasia.

An ethical breeder will screen before breeding. He/She should give you the parent’s hip scores so you can make informed decisions on food and exercise. Feed nutritional food and allow appropriate exercise, especially if it is growing quickly. Take your dog for hip x-rays when he/she is two years old.

Elbow Dysplasia
Elbow Dysplasia is a hereditary disease and can manifest by 10 months. The elbow joint consists of three bones, which can be affected, and dysplasia is exacerbated by obesity and the pup growing too quickly. Ask your vet’s advice on the food and supplements that will mitigate against dysplasia.

An ethical breeder will screen both parents before breeding. The scoring is different from that of hip dysplasia, but it is as precise. Dogs with an ED score of 2 or 3 should never be used for breeding. You can expect the breeder to share the parent’s scores with you.

Patella luxation
Often called “trick knee,” it is caused by the kneecap slipping out of place. It appears in smaller dogs like the Boston Terrier. You will notice that your dog does a little skip on one leg while running. If this happens frequently, you should investigate.

You should have your dog evaluated by an orthopedic veterinarian, so you know how to proceed. Adjusting your feeding and exercise regime can result in it remaining a mild problem and prevent pain, severe lameness, or a disability requiring surgery.

About the Author
Brandon Miller has a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a seasoned writer who has written over one hundred articles, which have been read by over 500,000 people. If you have any comments or concerns about this blog post, then please contact the Green Garage team here.