What’s the Difference Between the French Bulldog and the Boston Terrier?

These two charming, compact canine companions, the French Bulldog (Frenchie) and the Boston Terrier, often turn heads with their bat ears and playful personalities. But despite their undeniable similarities, there are distinct differences between these popular breeds. Let’s delve into what sets them apart, helping you decide which furry friend might be the perfect fit for your lifestyle.

Origins and History

  • French Bulldog: As the name suggests, the Frenchie hails from France. Developed in the 19th century, these pint-sized bulldogs were bred from a mix of English Bulldogs and smaller ratters. They quickly gained popularity among Parisian socialites for their affectionate nature and adaptability to apartment living.
  • Boston Terrier: This “American Gentleman” originated in Boston, Massachusetts, during the mid-1800s. Bred by crossing English Bulldogs with terriers like the Bull Terrier, the Boston Terrier became a beloved companion dog known for its intelligence and athleticism.


  • French Bulldog: Frenchies are known for their stocky build, short legs, and signature “bat ears.” Their coats come in a variety of colors and patterns, including brindle, fawn, and pied. Notably, Frenchies have a flat face (brachycephalic) with large, expressive eyes.
  • Boston Terrier: The Boston Terrier has a sleek, tuxedo-like coat with a white blaze, black markings, and sometimes brindle patches. They have a slightly longer muzzle compared to Frenchies and more rounded heads. Their ears are erect and pointed, resembling those of a terrier.

Size and Weight

  • French Bulldog: These compact canines typically stand at 11-13 inches tall and weigh between 20-28 pounds. Their size makes them well-suited for apartment living.
  • Boston Terrier: Slightly taller than Frenchies, Boston Terriers stand at 16-17 inches tall and weigh 15-25 pounds. They are still considered a small breed but require slightly more space than their French counterparts.

Temperament and Activity Level

  • French Bulldog: French Bulldogs are known for their sweet, playful personalities. They are relatively low-maintenance in terms of exercise needs, content with indoor playtime and short walks. This, coupled with their smaller size, makes them ideal for city dwellers.
  • Boston Terrier: While playful and affectionate, Boston Terriers often have a bit more energy than Frenchies. They enjoy walks, playtime, and learning tricks. Their higher activity level might be a better fit for someone with a more active lifestyle.

Health Considerations

  • French Bulldog: Due to their flat faces, French Bulldogs can experience breathing difficulties, especially in hot weather. They also require assistance during childbirth due to their large heads and narrow hips.
  • Boston Terrier: Boston Terriers are generally healthy dogs, but they may be prone to certain eye conditions like cherry eye and luxating patella (slipping kneecaps).

Living Needs

  • French Bulldog: Frenchies are adaptable to various living situations, excelling in apartments due to their smaller size and lower exercise needs. However, they still require daily walks and mental stimulation.
  • Boston Terrier: While Boston Terriers can adjust to apartment life, they might benefit from a small yard to release some of their energy. Daily walks and playtime are crucial to keep them happy and healthy.

Choosing Between a Frenchie and a Boston

Both French Bulldogs and Boston Terriers can be fantastic companions. When making your decision, consider your lifestyle and preferences:

  • Apartment living: If space is limited, a Frenchie might be a better choice.
  • Activity level: If you lead an active life and enjoy walks and playtime, a Boston Terrier could be your perfect match.
  • Grooming: Both breeds require minimal grooming, although Frenchies with short, smooth coats are slightly easier to maintain.

Ultimately, the best way to choose is to spend time with both dog breeds and see which one resonates with you the most.

Remember, regardless of your choice, adopting a dog is a long-term commitment. Be prepared to provide your furry friend with love, proper training, quality food, and veterinary care.

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