Standing side by side, it’s not difficult to spot the difference between the French Bulldog and the Boston Terrier. But for anyone not overly familiar with the two breeds, this can become tricky when the dogs are apart. There are several differences between the two, not least their temperaments and history, which are pretty different. So, Boston Terrier vs. French Bulldog, which one would you choose? How do you know which of these two fantastic dogs will make the best addition to your family?
The two dogs aren’t dissimilar in some ways, their bat-like ears for one thing, but they have different personalities and other physical characteristics that set them apart. Both dog breeds are companion dogs, but their history in getting to this point is not the same.
Let’s look into the differences between the two dog breeds and discuss the Boston Terrier vs. French Bulldog.
Boston Terrier vs. French Bulldog
1. Boston Terrier Vs. French Bulldog History
The French Bulldog and Boston Terrier look like they could be cousins, but other than both dogs having Bulldog in their bloodlines, that’s where their history and heritage diverge. As you would expect from their names, breeders developed the dogs thousands of miles apart. One is a product of English, and French heritage, whereas the other, is a genuinely American dog.
Boston Terrier History
The dog credited with the beginnings of the Boston Terrier breed was an imported English dog, a crossbreed of an English Bulldog, and a white English Terrier. The dog’s name was Judge, and a Bostonian, Robert C. Cooper, bought him. Cooper changed the dog’s name to Hooper’s Judge and mated him with a female called Burnett’s Gyp. Historians suggest that a couple of generations later, the owners mated those offspring with a French Bulldog, and so began the Boston Terrier Breed.
No one thought to name the dog a Boston Terrier, and breeders called him by several names, Boston Bulldogs, Bullet Heads, Round Heads, and American terriers. Thankfully they did get round to calling the dog the Boston Terrier recognizing the dog’s birthplace; it’s just as well because calling the dog Round Head would have seriously hampered his popularity.
The American Kennel Club registered the dog in 1893, and his popularity began to grow. However, initially, there was no specific breed standard, but eventually, the black and white Boston Terrier became the ideal standard. By 1915 the Boston Terrier was the most popular dog in the USA and, in 1979, became the state dog of Massachusetts. Boston Terriers are still incredibly popular dogs and rank at number twenty-nine.
French Bulldog History
The French Bulldog had his origins in England, not France. Breeders wanted a more miniature-sized bulldog, so they crossed the bulldog with smaller dogs. Having such a loving disposition, the dog soon became a favorite companion dog. At the onset of the industrial revolution, small businesses and shops went out of work; one area badly hit was lace-making. Many English lacemakers took their skills across the channel to Northern France, and of course, they took their dogs with them.
The dog became popular in France, and while the English weren’t particularly enamored with a small bulldog-like breed of dog, the French took him to heart. The Frenchie’s current appearance has a lot more to do with the efforts at crossbreeding by the French than the English. The French bred Frenchies with terriers and pugs creating more or less the Frenchie we see today.
The Americans also took to the Frenchie and imported him into America. However, the Americans much preferred the Bat-style ears that we see today. Of course, the bat ears have become synonymous with the Frenchie and are part of the breed standard. There has been a massive shift in the popularity of Frenchies; the Frenchie is now the fourth most popular dog in the USA. French Bulldogs are also one of the most popular worldwide.
2. Boston Terrier Vs. French Bulldog Breed Features
The Frenchie and Boston Terrier are distant cousins, but they are distinct breeds with some similarities. Glancing at either breed, you might have to take a long hard look to determine whether you’re looking at the Frenchie or Boston.
Boston Terriers are leaner and not as muscular looking as the Frenchie. Their heads look somewhat different; the Frenchie has a chunkier head than the Boston and has face wrinkles where the Boston doesn’t.
Boston Terrier’s Features
Boston Terriers are not big dogs, but they are solid and compact. They are typically weighing between 10 to 25 pounds and roughly 16 inches tall. Their coats are short, sleek, and white with black or seal and brindle. Brindle always looks as though it’s a browny color with a combination of other colors.
- Short, broad muzzle with white fur around the mouth and a band of white running up onto and over the head.
- White chest.
- Erect ears, going to a point at the top.
- Short tail; can be straight or curled tightly.
- Large eyes that bulge slightly.
French Bulldog Features
French Bulldogs are short, stocky dogs, muscular and powerful looking with a deep chest and narrow hips. Female Frenchies can have a difficult time with births because of the slim hips; many owners opt for a C-section (cesarian) rather than risk the health of their female dog. They tend to be under 28 pounds when healthy and not overweight and grow to between 11 and 13 inches, but typically most are around 12 inches tall.
French Bulldogs have a solid-looking head, almost chunky with a very short muzzle. Frenchies carry their ears on top of the head; they are upright, large, and rounded at the tips. Their eyes are large and bulge slightly. Their faces are always wrinkled, and they have a perpetually frowning expression.
3. Boston Terrier Vs. French Bulldog Temperament
It’s not just genetics that shapes a dog’s personality; it’s their home environment as well. There are traits typical to a particular dog breed that we can identify. Still, there are so many other factors, such as their breeding, parents’ personalities being socialized from a few weeks old; there’s a lot that goes into a dog’s temperament.
French Bulldog Personality
French Bulldogs are incredibly popular; they fit in apartments, so they’re excellent for city living; dogs don’t come much cuter than a Frenchie. They love their family and forge exceptional close ties; they don’t require much exercise; a walk around the city block once or twice a day is enough, and they don’t bark that much, unlike many other small dogs.
But while they suit apartment and city living perfectly, they have bags of energy and love to run when they are puppies. This enthusiasm for exercise will disappear as the Frenchie gets older, but you’re going to have a very lively puppy for a few months. The typical French Bulldog is very friendly to strangers, loves to give and receive plenty of affection, and tries to get on your lap at every turn.
They are also colossal attention seekers. As with all dog breeds, you need to socialize your Frenchie from a young age to get him used to everyday life, strange dogs, people, sights, and sounds. Frenchies suffer a great deal from separation anxiety, so you need to think carefully if this is the best dog for you if you’re not at home most of the day.
Boston Terrier Personality
The Boston Terrier always wants to be around his family chase after balls or play games are his two favorite pastimes. Boston Terriers tend to bond with one person, they love the whole family, but one of the family will be that particular person. Bostons are a happy-go-lucky, friendly little dog.
Boston Terriers get on very well with other household pets and are very rarely aggressive. They do have a little bit of stubbornness in them, so patience and consistency are necessary when you train your Boston. If you want your Boston to be calm and well-mannered, it’s best to give him early socialization to help him.
4. Boston Terrier Vs. French Bulldog Activity Levels
Of the two breeds, the Boston Terrier is the more active. Other than when a Frenchie is a young pup, they don’t do exercise. They enjoy a stroll around the neighborhood at their own pace, but they would rather curl up on your lap and sleep. On the other hand, Boston Terriers love to run, chasing and fetching balls, and generally playing games. This aversion to exercise the Frenchie has is why they tend to suffer from weight issues in their middle years; you have to force them out of their favorite armchair and get them moving.
Final Thoughts – Boston Terrier Vs. French Bulldog
Frenchies and Boston Terriers are small dogs packed with personality; both have rather squishy faces, the Frenchie more so, short sleek coats and bat-ears. To say they aren’t close relatives, they do look quite similar. Breeders are now crossbreeding the Boston Terrier with the French Bulldog and calling the designer dog a Frenchton.
Closer inspection of the two dogs shows that the Boston is lighter, less muscular, and happy running around, whereas the Frenchie is stockier, with a bigger chest, and ambles everywhere he goes.