Boston Terrier vs French Bulldog: Differences and Similarities

Known for being small and cute, Boston Terriers and French Bulldogs are some of the most popular small dog breeds in the United States. Don’t you believe us? According to that American Kennel Club‘s annual list of popular dog breedsthe Boston Terrier ranks 23rd, while the French bulldog comes second. And it’s easy to see why! Their size makes them perfect for apartment or condo living, while their affectionate nature makes them outstanding Dog for first owner. Although they may almost seem like the same breed, these puppies are not at all identical.

Here are the differences between a Boston Terrier and a French Bulldog. Understanding the breeds will help you decide which ones to take home!

Origins of Races

Corresponding dog time, The first Boston Terrier, known as the Judge, was a cross between an English Bulldog and the now-extinct English White Terrier. As the name suggests, Boston Terriers were bred by breeders in Boston, Massachusetts. But the pup wasn’t always well known in his hometown. Boston Terriers were formerly known as Rounds Heads, Bullet Heads, and Bull Terriers. They were also called the American Gentleman, which has stuck as a nickname.

Surprisingly, although popular in France, the French Bulldog is not native to France. The French Bulldog or Frenchie was bred in England and shares its ancestry with the Boston Terrier through the English Bulldog. The little dogs became popular with lace makers, who eventually brought them to France when looking for work.

According to that American Kennel Club, They were often seen in the working-class neighborhood of Pairs called Montmartre, where there were many, many brothels. One of the favorite accessories of the French ladies of the night were these cute, short-haired dogs. The association became so strong that in the late 1800s and early 1800s, the dogs even began gracing postcards with their daring counterparts. Soon after, the French found favor with kings, including the Grand Duchess Tatiana Romanov.

Over time, Americans visiting Europe fell in love with the breed and brought them to the United States. This is the French Bulldog Club became established and set the standard for Frenchies everywhere.

Boston Terrier vs French Bulldog

young cute boston terrier relaxing on a hammock

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The Boston Terrier is known for its tuxedo-like coat—white fur on the chest and front legs, black throughout. The pup can also be recognized by its pointy ears, large eyes, and flat face. According to that American Kennel Club, Boston Terriers are about 15 inches tall and can weigh anywhere from 10 to 25 pounds, although most fall between 13 and 16 pounds. Their coat doesn’t shed much, which makes cleaning easier.

Similar to the Boston Terrier, French bulldogs have straight bat ears and a flat face. But while Boston Terriers have a universal coat, French Bulldogs come in a variety of colors, including brindle, white, and fawn. These short-haired dogs are muscular but compact. Frenchies stand between 11 and 13 inches tall and weigh around 28 pounds or less. French bulldogs don’t shed much but do need a weekly brushing to encourage new hair growth and distribute their natural oils.

Boston Terrier and French Bulldog Traits, Lifespan and Health Issues

Dog at the vet, young french bulldog sitting on the examination table in the vet clinic

Boston Terriers are protective but playful puppies who love being around new people. They have relatively high energy levels, which makes playing them a must.

French bulldogs, on the other hand. They have moderate energy levels which means they don’t require a lot of exercise, but they do mental stimulation and a nice walk to be happy. The French are good at agility, rallying and obedience – but not when it’s wet or hot. You should also avoid water sports as they are chest heavy dogs. Like the Boston Terrier, Frenchies are known for their affectionate nature but have a more even-tempered disposition. Both breeds do well with early socialization and positive reinforcement during training.

Unfortunately, when it comes to health issues, the French Bulldog has many. As a brachycephalic breed, they have short snouts and flat faces. This makes it difficult to breathe, especially when they are hot, overworked or stressed – the latter is likely to be made worse separation anxiety, which is common in French bulldogs. Frenchies are also at higher risk for spinal issues, allergies, and autoimmune diseases. They are also prone to eye diseases such as juvenile cataracts, cherry eye and entropion. Despite the numerous health issues, Frenchies can live relatively long lives: the average life expectancy of a healthy French bulldog is between 10 and 12 years.

The Boston Terrier has similar health issues, including breathing difficulties, eye disorders, and separation anxiety. Boston Terriers are also at high risk for deafness, which a responsible breeder will look out for, as well as corneal ulcers and glaucoma. The average lifespan of a Boston Terrier is 11 to 13 years.

Do you have a Frenchie or a Boston Terrier? Tell us on our Wide Open Pets Facebook page.

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