Boston Terrier vs French Bulldog. What’s the difference?

The difference between a Boston Terrier vs. French Bulldog is primarily in their body. Boston Terriers weigh 15-25 lbs and have longer legs, a slimmer frame, a round head, pointy tipped ears. French Bulldogs weigh 20-28 lbs and have shorter legs, a more muscular body, a square head, and ears that are rounded at the tip. Boston Terriers have a life expectancy of 13-15 years while French Bulldogs live an expected 10-12 years. 

Honestly, when we got our first Boston Terrier, I didn’t know much about the differences in the breeds. After researching this topic a bit, some of the differences and similarities were pretty fascinating. You might be surprised by the health differences.

Comparison of Boston Terriers and French Bulldogs

While these similar-looking breeds are both equally lovable, the differences between them are numerous. Here a quick table to make it easy

Boston TerrierFrench Bulldog
Head ShapeRoundSquare
Body ShapeAverageBulky
EarsPoint TipsRounded Tips
MuscularAverageVery Muscular
Weight15-25 lbs20-28 lbs
TemperamentGood with other animals and childrenNot great with other animals / poss. children
HealthAverage HealthyAverage Healthy
Life Expectancy13-15 years10-12 years

Temperament Differences

When it comes to temperament and needs, Boston Terriers and French Bulldogs are significantly different. Both breeds have a relatively low prey drive, although our Bostons might be a bit higher than average. 😉

Boston Terriers are super affectionate and tend to love people and other animals equally. Heck, ours “play” with a domestic tortoise but are not aggressive with it. (We supervise the interaction wholly)

We know firsthand that Boston Terriers enjoy playing with small furry animals, but you probably want to only do that with supervision. Bridgette and Ryder have been known to bring us small rodents and birds they caught, once in a while.

French Bulldogs, on the other hand, can be super affectionate with their owners, but not so much with cats and other animals, or even small children. They can be quite protective.

The key is to ensure French Bulldogs are very well socialized from puppy through adulthood. We know Frenchies that are just as adorable and super friendly.

Beware, Bostons have a high impulse to wander. They enjoy exploring. French Bulldogs are happy to stay in one place and don’t care as much about exploring your neighborhood on their own.

French Bulldogs are often considered great in an office environment, while Boston Terriers, not so much.

Size Differences

When looking at how big Boston Terriers get and how much they weigh vs French Bulldogs, there is a size difference.

Boston Terriers are taller but smaller framed than French Bulldogs. The average weight of a Boston Terrier is 15-25 pounds while a French Bulldog weighs between 20-28 pounds. 

French Bulldogs are a bit shorter than Boston Terriers. With more stout legs, French Bulldogs typically stand 13-16 inches tall, averaging 14.5 inches. Boston Terriers are a bit taller at 15-17 inches and averaging 16 inches. 

Color Differences

There are marked differences in the available colors of both breeds. While this should not be the deciding factor for choosing a breed, knowing the possibilities may help you in finding the best pup once you made your choice between a Boston Terrier and a French Bulldog.

Boston Terriers typically hold a Tuxedo pattern of white with the following colors in combination:

  • White / Brindle
  • Black / Brindle
  • Seal (a sort of dark brown)

French Bulldogs come in the following typical colorings:

  • Brindle
  • Brindle and white
  • Cream
  • Fawn
  • Fawn brindle
  • Fawn and white
  • White
  • White and brindle
  • White and fawn
Ryder brings back his ball as snow starts to fall

What about the differences in exercise needs?

Boston Terriers have a higher energy level than the average dog breed. Bostons do need to be active for at least an hour per day. French Bulldogs have an average energy level and are considered to be semi-active. 

Typically, Boston Terriers sleep less than the average dog breed as they are quite energetic. French Bulldogs tend to sleep more than the average dog breed, enjoying a bit more of a sedentary life. 

Boston’s love to please their owners and chase things. We’ve found the good old ball throw and retrieve to be a great way to get the excess energy out of our Bostons. They also enjoy tug of war type toys.

As an aside, we experience the joy of having two Boston Terriers. Their exercise themselves often by chasing and wrestling with each other, and then falling asleep on the same dog bed. 

Which is better for an apartment?

Is a Boston Terrier or a French Bulldog better for an apartment? Great question! 

Bostons can be fine in an apartment provided you exercise them at least 1 hour per day. They need to get their energy out. Bostons have a lower probability of barking than the average dog breed. However, they tend to like routine without a lot of guests and changes. 

French Bulldogs need less exercise and sleep a bit more than Bostons and are more sociable. However, French Bulldogs are known to have a greater possibility of having separation anxiety, so be sure you establish security with them young.  

Boston Terrier – Ryder chillin’

Boston Terrier vs French Bulldog Health Issues

Boston Terriers and French Bulldogs are similar in their typical health concerns. While both are regularly healthy, there are some breed-specific concerns to be aware of. 

French Bulldogs are more susceptible to skin allergies and infections. Boston Terriers may experience deafness as a result of ear infections more often. 

Both breeds may find themselves facing any of these more common maladies:

  • Heatstroke
  • Trachea and breathing problems
  • Spine and vertebrae issues
  • Patellar luxation
  • Eye problems

Related Questions

Are Boston Terriers better than French bulldogs?

No, Boston Terriers and French Bulldogs both can make great family pets. Just be aware of the differences in their temperaments and needs. Don’t worry about what your friends, neighbors, or family have. Remember, you’re making a commitment to your new dog.

Are Boston Terriers expensive?

That depends on what expensive means to you. Across the United States, reputable breeders charge upwards of $1,200 – $2,700. But don’t forget about shelters and rescues where the costs may be more in the $100 – $700 dollar range. Some of my best puppers were rescues and were the best!

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