Boston Terrier VS French Bulldog: what differences?


It can sometimes be complicated to distinguish the Boston Terrier from the French Bulldog, these two adorable breeds of dogs with flat noses. Beyond their super cute little face, they both share similarities as differences. Read our practical guide to never confuse them and choose your favorites (if possible! We are always undecided!)

The story of the Boston Terrier and the French Bulldog

The name of the Boston Terrier comes from, you guessed it, Boston! In Massachusetts. It was in the 1870s that the history of this American dog breed began, following a cross between an English Bulldog and an English White Terrier, a breed now extinct. Over the years, successive and refined crosses have been made with the English Bull Terrier, the Pit Bull and the French Bulldog, to give the breed known today as the Boston Terrier. Did you also know that the Boston Terrier was the first breed of dog considered as non-sporting to be born in the United States?

The French Bulldog and the Boston Terrier both share a common ancestor: The English Bulldog. The Frenchies, as they are affectionately known by their fans around the world, were actually born in England. Indeed, during the industrial revolution, English lace makers took their little Bulldogs with them, to come and work in Normandy. Thus, following crosses with French Terriers, the French Bulldog as we know it today came into being. The breed quickly became popular with Parisian women, in adoration in front of their little faces and their big ears. Later, at the end of the 19th century, the Americans created the first French Bulldog club.

Boston Terrier VS French Bulldog: appearance

It can be easy to physically confuse these two races. These two little mastiffs both have a flat nose, a small tail and round eyes. But let’s take a closer look at what really sets them apart.

The Boston Terriers and French Bulldogs are both small dogs. The former have longer legs, while the Frenchies are heavier and have larger muscles. Thus the Boston Terriers, which measure between 36 and 41 cm for a weight between 7 and 13 kg, exceed in size the French Bulldogs, which them measure between 30 to 33 cm high, for a weight which can go from 8 to 15 kg .

The colour

The Boston Terriers are real gentlemen in their black and white dress, reminiscent of the costume of a waiter. As for French Bulldogs, you can find different colors: cream, white, fawn, brindle.


Frenchies are known for their large, well-erected, rounded ears on their small square head. Boston Terriers have more pointed ears and a more rounded head.


Both have flat noses and large jaws. The Boston Terriers have a well defined black snout, with a line between the nostrils. Likewise, the muzzle of French Bulldogs is extremely short, with wider nostrils and a distinctive line between the two.

These two dog breeds are characterized as brachycephalic. Indeed, their tiny nostrils and narrow windpipe can cause many respiratory problems.


Both breeds require relatively little maintenance in terms of grooming. Thanks to their short hairs, these are dogs that do not have a strong odor (except when they start to make a contest of flatulence). For the same reason, these are dogs that can be sensitive to cold and that care must be taken to protect.


They both have a small stocky tail, straight or screwed on their rectum. In the latter case, it can be caused by a vertebral malformation, a fact that is more common in Bulldogs than in Boston Terriers.

Activity level

Both breeds have moderate exercise needs. Boston Terriers are generally more active than French Bulldogs and can be little energy balls. They like running, jumping, fetching the ball … They would be good running partners, but remember that they can quickly get short of breath due to their short snouts. Because of their respiratory problems, which are common to both breeds, it is best to watch them well on hot days and when they spend a lot.


They may be small, but the French Bulldogs and the Boston Terriers are far from having a small personality. The two dogs are very friendly, affectionate and make excellent four-legged companions.

The Boston Terriers live up to their Gentleman nickname. They can be lively, alert and intelligent, and can range from bursts of energy to wanting to curl up by your side for a hug.

The Frenchies, also nicknamed “the clown”, are renowned for making their owners laugh! They are also very affectionate and love to cuddle.

Are Boston Terriers and French Bulldogs good family dogs?

The two dogs are very loving breeds and make lovely pets. French Bulldogs can be protective around small children so it’s best to socialize your Frenchie with other dogs and humans from a young age.

Dog breeds that don’t bark … or very little

Good news here! Don’t let the stereotypes of small dogs fool you. They may be small, they are not known to be big barkers. The Boston Terrier may tend to bark a little more, but nothing too alarming compared to some breeds.

Character, education, what to expect?

Boston Terriers and French Bulldogs are easy to train and are perfect as a first dog. The Gentleman lives up to his nickname and quickly learns tricks and tips. He’s a good listener and an obedient dog.

French Bulldogs can be a bit stubborn, so it’s important as owners to express authority from the start. Remember to use positive reinforcement techniques such as praise and treats. The Frenchies may be small, but don’t mother them. They can become stubborn and, if improperly trained, aggressive towards other dogs.

Likewise, the Boston Terriers can get a little territorial, which is why early socialization with other dogs is key. If you have a puppy, take him to education classes and continue socializing your puppy with other dogs and humans as he grows. Having your favorite nanny babysit is also a good way to socialize.

Are these breeds that can live in apartments?

Yes, if you are looking for a dog that is comfortable with city life, then you have come to the right place. Both breeds are well suited for living in apartments or houses. Frenchies and Boston Terriers don’t need as much exercise as a Border Collie or Labrador, for example. Boston Terriers, who love to run outdoors, can control their energy indoors and will be just as happy to relax on the couch. Also, be aware that the two breeds adapt well to new life situations, so if you move, or if you leave them with a dog sitter during your absence, they will have no problem finding their place.

How much does a male or female cost?

The cost of a French Bulldog or Boston Terrier puppy depends on the breeder you select, but also on the sex, the color of the coat, compliance with the breed standard … Over the years, French Bulldogs have known a resurgence in popularity. They therefore tend to cost a little more than the Boston Terriers. The price of a French Bulldog can range from € 750 to € 3,200, while the price of a Boston Terrier can range from € 950 to € 2,100.

Health and Frequent Illnesses

The average lifespan of a French Bulldog is more than 10 years, while Boston Terriers generally live 12 to 14 years. Their short noses make them both prone to respiratory problems and are exposed to the risk of heat stroke in hot weather.

French Bulldogs can also suffer from obesity if they are overfed and under-exercised. They may also have problems with their eyes, heart and back. Boston Terriers are prone to cataracts and seizures, and can suffer from allergies and deafness.

While not necessarily a “health” issue, both breeds are known to be big snorers and Frenchies are notorious for being a little (or a lot!) Gaseous – you are warned!

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