Boston Terrier vs French Bulldog – What Are The Differences Between These Adorable Breeds?

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boston terrier vs french bulldog

Both Boston Terriers and French Bulldogs have amazing qualities and make great companion pups. But you only have to look at the picture above to know these dogs are very similar – at least when it comes to appearance. So what are the similarities and differences when it comes to the Boston Terrier vs French Bulldog?

Are either more energetic? Healthier? Better suited to families with children? And what are some tell tale signs for you to differentiate them in the dog park? Here’s everything you need to know about these wonderful dogs.

The History Of Each Breed

History Of The Boston Terrier

First bred in the USA during the late 19th century, the Boston Terrier is a cross between the English Bulldog and the white English Terrier. They were originally bred to appeal to the elite society of Boston, Massachusetts, and had a relatively aggressive temperament – making them valuable candidates for dog fighting and the first non-sporting breed. They are commonly associated with Boston University, where they are the institution’s infamous mascot.

History Of The French Bulldog

Contrary to popular belief, the French Bulldog was first bred in Nottingham, England by lacemakers in the early 19th century. This was the result of an attempt to breed a ‘miniature’ version of the English Bulldog. It was only when the lacemaker owners of these dogs moved to France (estimated to be in the 1860s) that the breed was given the name of ‘the French Bulldog’. These were smaller, less aggressive counterparts to the Bulldog. Nowadays, they’re considered beautiful French dogs.

Boston Terrier vs French Bulldog Temperament

How Could You Describe The Temperament Of A Boston Terrier?

Boston Terriers tend to be a popular choice for families, due to their lively, playful characteristics. They are known to be affectionate, sociable dogs that get along with children, strangers, and other family pets.

How Could You Describe The Temperament Of A French Bulldog?

French Bulldogs are also an affectionate breed who are fiercely loyal to their owners. They are typically playful and sociable, although they are also known to be stubborn and territorial towards their owners, mostly in the presence of other dogs.

Boston terrier
Boston Terrier

Appearance Of Each Breed

How Much Does A Boston Terrier Weigh?

The Boston Terrier can weigh anywhere between 10 – 25 pounds and are typically between 15 – 17 inches tall when standing.

How Much Does A French Bulldog Weigh?

The French Bulldog tends to be slightly heavier than the Boston Terrier, usually weighing anywhere between 16 – 28 pounds. However, they are usually shorter than the Boston Terrier, standing between approximately 12 – 16 inches.

According to the French Bulldog Club, a pup weighing over 28 pounds will be disqualified.


How Would You Describe A Boston Terrier’s Coat?

Boston Terriers have a short/medium solid coat made up of coarse hair which is smooth to touch. Their coat will shed, although due to the nature of their single layer of hair, the shedding will be minimal and can be maintained via frequent brushing.

How Would You Describe A French Bulldog’s Coat?

French Bulldogs also have a short, smooth coat that is silky to touch. They most commonly have a single coat, although this varies as a result of their breeding and coat color, meaning they will become cold during the winter due to their thin layer of fur. Similarly to the Boston Terrier, French Bulldogs will shed, although only to a minimal amount.


What Color Is A Boston Terrier?

Traditionally, the Boston Terrier is white, brindle, and black/brown in color. Dubbed as the ‘American Gentleman, the Boston Terrier is most commonly black with white markings on their chests, emulating a ‘tuxedo coat’. They’re certainly one of the most famous black and white dogs around!

They also have a white splash between their eyes and across the ‘muzzle’ area of their square head and typically have brown eyes. Boston Terriers can also come in a variety of other colors or variations, although these are discredited by the American Kennel Club, including: red, blue, brown, lilac, cream, and champagne.

What Color Is A French Bulldog?

French Bulldogs come in many different colors and can have coats of one predominant shade or can have a combination of a few colors. There are also variations of eye color and nose pigmentations, which commonly increase the price of French Bulldog puppies. A key aspect of a French Bulldog’s appearance is their bat-like ears, or pointed ears – a feature that is also visible in Boston Terriers.

The ‘recognized’ colors of French Bulldogs are brindle, fawn, and pied (according to the American Kennel Club), although there are 16 recorded colors noted worldwide, including blue and chocolate, and blue merle and lilac French Bulldogs are typically more expensive.

French Bulldog

Do Boston Terriers or French Bulldogs Come With Any Health Issues?

Most Common Health Concerns For Boston Terriers

Due to the short noses of Boston Terriers, they can commonly be diagnosed with Brachycephalic Syndrome, caused by obstruction to their airflow. It is also noted that many Boston Terriers suffer from Patellar Luxation: a slipped kneecap, which will impact your dog’s walking. This is usually an inherited issue, which is why it’s so important to buy your Boston Terrier puppy from a reputable breeder. They are also susceptible to eye infections, cataracts, and deafness.

Most Common Health Concerns For French Bulldogs

French Bulldogs, like Boston Terriers, are brachycephalic dogs. They can therefore suffer from health problems such as Brachycephalic Syndrome due to their short noses and narrow nostrils. When considering French Bulldogs’ health, it is important to note that they also suffer from spinal problems and their wrinkly skin means they can be affected by allergies.

Boston Terrier vs French Bulldog Grooming

Do I Need To Groom A Boston Terrier?

Due to the short nature of a Boston Terrier’s coat, they do not need to have their hair cut at a groomer’s. For maintenance and hygiene, owners should bathe and brush their Boston Terriers regularly.

Do I Need To Groom A French Bulldog?

The fine qualities of a French Bulldog’s coat means that they do not need to have their hair cut by a groomer. The coat they have helps to regulate their body temperature so should not be interfered with. Owners of French Bulldogs should ensure they regularly bathe their puppy or dog to ensure it is clean and in good condition.

Boston Terrier Puppies
Boston Terrier Puppies

Boston Terrier vs French Bulldog Exercise Needs

How Much Exercise Do Boston Terriers Require?

Due to the high energy levels of Boston Terriers, they require on average 1 hour of exercise per day. Boston Terrier puppies will need 5 minutes of exercise for each month old they are (for instance, if your puppy is 5 months old, they will need 20 minutes of exercise).

How Much Exercise Do French Bulldogs Require?

Both French Bulldogs and Boston Terriers also require an average of 1 hour of exercise per day. Due to their flat noses, low-intensity walks in short intervals are recommended for French Bulldogs. Frenchie puppies don’t require too much exercise – again, similarly to Boston Terrier puppies, 5 minutes of walking is recommended, multiplied by the number of months old they are. French Bulldogs can swim, but there are certain precautions you need to take first.

Which Breed Is Easier To Train: A Boston Terrier Or A French Bulldog?

How Easy Is It To Train A Boston Terrier?

Boston Terriers are a breed that enjoy mental stimulation and therefore are easy to train. They are also an intelligent dog breed and work well with positive reinforcement and treats due to their desire to please their owners. Training is also a good way to control the high energy levels of Boston Terrier puppies.

How Easy Is It To Train A French Bulldog?

French Bulldogs tend to be more difficult to train than Boston Terriers due to their stubborn nature and their tendency to become easily distracted. Like the Boston Terrier, it is beneficial to use positive reinforcement when training French Bulldog puppies by using healthy treats such as watermelon or cucumber as a means of motivation.

French Bulldog
French Bulldog

Boston Terriers vs French Bulldogs: Which Breed Is The Best Family Dog?

Are Boston Terriers A Good Breed For A Family Dog?

Due to their combination of affection and energy, Boston Terriers are the perfect choice for a family dog. Their playful nature makes them a great companion for children and the trainability of Boston Terrier puppies means that they are a safe option for young families.

Are Frenchies Good Family Dogs?

Due to their distinctive personalities and playful energy, a French Bulldog is a popular choice when it comes to choosing a family dog. They are an affectionate breed that is the perfect size for a home with children.

Which Breed Has The Highest Lifespan: Boston Terrier Or French Bulldog?

What Is The Life Expectancy Of A Boston Terrier?

The average life expectancy of a Boston Terrier is 11-13 years. This can vary depending on their health and size.

What Is The Life Expectancy Of A French Bulldog?

The average life expectancy of a French Bulldog is 10-12 years. Again, this can vary depending on their health and lifestyle.

Boston Terrier vs French Bulldog: Which Is The Best Choice For First-Time Owners?

Is A Boston Terrier Puppy A Good Choice For First-Time Dog Owners?

A Boston Terrier is a great choice for first-time owners due to their intelligent and affectionate nature. They are also a sociable breed that gets along with most people and other pets, making them a great addition to any household.

Is A French Bulldog Puppy A Good Choice For First-Time Dog Owners?

Like Boston Terriers, a French Bulldog is a great breed for first-time owners, due to their adaptability to most living environments and their loving nature. However, Frenchie puppies are typically difficult to train due to their stubbornness and therefore could prove challenging to those who haven’t had a dog before.

Boston Terrier dog
Boston Terrier

Do Either Of These Two Breeds Have Separation Anxiety?

Do Boston Terriers Have Anxiety Problems?

Boston Terriers are known to have separation anxiety when apart from their owner due to their high levels of attachment to whoever they are living with. When training a Boston Terrier puppy, it is a good idea to leave them by themselves for small periods of time so they can become used to being alone.

Do French Bulldogs Have Anxiety Problems?

French Bulldogs tend to suffer from separation anxiety due to their desire for companionship and interaction. A French Bulldog is bred selectively to be dependent on their owners, therefore justifying their clingy tendencies.


When considering the pros and cons of a French Bulldog vs a Boston Terrier, it can be said that both breeds are great family dogs with affectionate and energetic qualities. Whilst both dogs are known for having health problems, especially due to the fact that both breeds are brachycephalic dogs, if you use a reputable breeder, you will be sure to choose the perfect furry friend for you and your family. The Boston Terrier is an easier option for dog training, although both breeds prove to be great family dogs. They’re small dogs and the perfect furry friends for children.