When it comes to the Boston Terrier vs the French Bulldog, the two are very popular breeds, with both having a large following of fans.
But, which one makes for the better family pet?
In this article, we look into everything from temperament to health issues in these breeds, so you get a good understanding of how they compare.
Boston Terrier vs French Bulldog History
The Boston Terrier’s ancestors were originally bred to be fighting dogs.
However, a dog named Judge died at the hand of one of these cruel sports by an American man, who brought him back home to Boston.
Over generations, the breed was developed into the smaller and sweeter-tempered pet we see today.
As for the French Bulldog, they actually trace their history back to England rather than France.
Ancestors of the breed were originally the mascot of a city called Nottingham, but when the skilled lace makers of the town found their jobs threatened, they moved to France along with their dogs.
Here’s where the breed was fully developed and became known as the French Bulldog.
Boston Terrier vs French Bulldog Appearance
While both breeds share many physical traits, they are still distinctly different from one another.
Height and Weight
The Boston Terrier hits heights of between 15-17 inches and an average weight of twelve to twenty-five pounds.
French Bulldogs are smaller at an average height of eleven to thirteen inches, but distinctly more heavyset for their size. A healthy Frenchie will usually weigh in at 20-28 pounds.
When it comes to the appearance of the Boston Terrier vs the French Bulldog, they both share a flat face with large prominent eyes. Both possess large erect ears, with the Frenchie’s appearing more rounded than the Boston Terriers bat-like ears.
Frenchie’s tend to have more skin wrinkles than the Boston Terrier, especially on the face and back.
Both have a short tail that is set low and may be either straight or screwed.
Coats and Colors
As for their coats, the Boston Terrier and French Bulldog each have short and smooth fur. However, they do differ in coat colors and patterns.
The Boston Terrier’s coat may be:
Regardless of what color and pattern your Boston Terrier may have, they should also have white markings on the face, chest, and legs.
Frenchie’s may have a lot more variation in their coats. Common colors and patterns are below:
Combinations of the colors can also exist. White markings and/or a black facemask may also be present.
Boston Terrier vs French Bulldog Temperament
The Boston Terrier is a friendly, outgoing dog with an intelligent mind. They have quite a stubborn streak, requiring a patient owner with lots of time an energy to invest in training.
French Bulldogs are similarly tempered. Smart and funny, but with the potential to be even more stubborn than the Boston Terrier.
Both tend to be comfortable with kids and other pets provided that they have been socialized from a young age.
Boston Terrier vs French Bulldog Training
While both breeds are very intelligent and can easily pick up new commands and commit them to memory, as previously described, they can be quite stubborn.
To properly train a Frenchie or a Boston Terrier, your biggest hurdle is getting them interested in being trained in the first place!
Positive, reward-based training is a great way of keeping both breeds invested in training. Just be sure to not overdo it on the treats.
An important thing to keep in mind about both of these breeds is that while they pick up new commands quickly, they can be particularly slow to housebreak.
It may take a few months of potty training before you can be comfortably sure they won’t eliminate in your home.
Obedience and Socialization Training
Remember that obedience training and socialization is vital for any breed. It helps ensure they grow into controllable and polite dogs.
You must never skip training a dog. If you are struggling to train a Frenchie or a Boston Terrier, hire a professional.
If you need a helping hand with training, check out our guides below!
Boston Terrier vs French Bulldog Exercise
Boston Terriers are a little more energetic than the Frenchie in most cases. Therefore, they will have higher exercise requirements.
A Boston Terrier will require one to two walks a day with some extra play if they still have some energy to spare.
French Bulldogs can do well on just a single daily walk or play session.
It is important to never take these breeds out for exercise in hot weather.
Due to their flat faces, they struggle to breathe. Hot weather can exacerbate this, quickly leading to overheating.
In times of hot weather, it is recommended to exercise a French Bulldog or Boston Terrier indoors in a well air-conditioned home.
Strenuous exercise should also be avoided with these breeds, as their breathing will be unable to keep up.
Finally, the French Bulldog should never be unsupervised near deep water. They cannot swim due to their heavyset body and short legs and are at a high risk of drowning.
Boston Terrier vs French Bulldog Health
Unfortunately, both of these breeds suffer from serious health issues.
Structural Health Issues
One of these is a structural health problem that is present in both the Boston Terrier and French Bulldog.
This is the flat-face that both breeds are known for. While it’s seen as a cute trait to many, it brings a lot of health risks.
Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome is a serious condition brought on by this structural problem. It is where a short muzzle causes the compression of the nose, hampering the dog’s breathing ability.
This is why flat-face breeds are known to be noisy breathers. They are struggling to take proper breaths due to their compressed noses and leads to intolerances for both heat and strenuous exercise.
Along with this, it can lead to laryngeal collapse. This is where the dog’s ability to breathe quickly worsens. It can be fatal without prompt treatment.
Flat-faced breeds like the Boston Terrier and the French Bulldog also have to face:
- Eye disease
- The inability to give birth naturally
- Skin infections
- Dental problems
Other Health Problems
Additionally, the Boston Terrier is at risk of:
- Patellar Luxation
- Congenital Deafness
French Bulldogs contend with the following health conditions:
- Patellar Luxation
- Intervertebral Disc Disease
- Pulmonic Stenosis
- Congenital Deafness
- Retinal Dysplasia
The Boston Terrier has an expected lifespan of 11-13 years, while the Frenchie has a lifespan of 10-12 years. Check out the longest living breeds in this article.
Grooming and Feeding your Frenchie Bulldog
Looking at the Boston Terrier vs the French Bulldog as both breeds have a short sleek coat, their grooming requirements are low. A weekly brush is usually satisfactory for both.
However, the Boston Terrier does shed a little more than the Frenchie. The French Bulldog and the Boston Terrier do well on high-quality food.
Consult your vet to come up with a diet plan so you can ensure you are feeding them all the nutrients they need.
These two breeds may benefit from food specifically made for brachycephalic dogs. Such foods are easier to pick up with their short muzzles and easy to chew if they have dental issues.
Which Breed Makes a Better Pet?
Sadly, we can’t really recommend either breed as a family pet due to the health concerns they both share.
The risk for severe debilitating health conditions is just too high. So, consider a healthier breed instead of a Boston Terrier or French Bulldog.
If your heart is set on either breed, we would advise rescuing an adult over buying a puppy. This way, you can see exactly what you are getting beforehand.
Both breeds need well air-conditioned homes, with a caring and loving family who can keep them comfortable.
Which breed do you prefer? What do you think about the health issues of each one? Let us know below!
References and Resources
Monnet, E, ‘Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome’, World Small Animal Veterinary Association, 2015
Karabagli, M, ‘Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome in Dogs’, Istanbul University, 2012
Bright, RM, ‘Laryngeal Collapse in Dogs’, 2011
British Veterinary Association, ‘Health and welfare of brachycephalic dogs’
Hansen, HJ, ‘A Pathologic-Anatomical Interpretation of Disc Degeneration in Dogs’, Acta Orthopaedica Scandinavica, 1951
Strain, GM, ‘Aetiology, prevalence and diagnosis of deafness in dogs and cats’, The British Veterinary Journal, 1996
Maggs, DJ, et al, Slatter’s ‘Fundamentals of Veterinary Ophthalmology – Fourth Edition, Elsevier Health Sciences, 2007
Gough, A, et al, ‘Breed Predispositions to Disease in Dogs and Cats’, John Wiley & Sons, 2018
Bell, J, et al, ‘Veterinary Medical Guide to Dog and Cat Breeds’, CRC Press, 2012
Priester, WA, ‘Sex, Size, and Breed as Risk Factors in Canine Patellar Dislocation’, Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 1972