Boston Terrier vs French Bulldog: How to Tell the Difference

Boston Terrier vs French Bulldog Feature

French bulldogs and Boston terriers are both small dogs with similar short snouts and broad, square jaws. The Boston terrier is taller and leaner than the French bulldog. French bulldogs are about 4 inches shorter than Boston terriers and have stockier bodies. This article will compare both dog breeds and highlight their key differences in appearance, temperament, cost, and health.

French Bulldog vs Boston Terrier Comparison Chart

Boston Terrier vs French Bulldog comparison

This chart displays facts about Boston terriers versus French bulldogs.

Boston TerrierFrench Bulldog
Common Names:Boston terrier, Boston bull terrier, American gentlemanFrench bulldog, Frenchie
TemperamentFriendly, lively, intelligent, gentle, stubbornPlayful, affectionate, sociable, mischievous, easygoing
SizeMales: 17 inches
Females: 16 inches
Males: 13 inches
Females: 12 inches
WeightMales: 15–25 pounds
Females: 9–20 pounds
Males: 20–28 pounds
Females: 17–24 pounds
Lifespan13–15 years10–14 years
OriginBoston, USABoston, USA
PurposeOriginally bred for pit fighting, now companion dogsOriginally used as farm dogs to chase away rats, now companion dogs
Coat typeShort, smooth, single coatShort, smooth, single coat
Common colorsWhite, brindle, black, brown, or a combination of colorsWhite, brindle, black, brown, cream, fawn, lilac, or a combination of colors
Barking TendencyLow barking tendency Low barking tendency
SheddingLight sheddersLight shedders

The biggest differences between the two breeds are their heights and weights. French bulldogs are larger and heavier than Boston terriers. French bulldogs are also more expensive than Boston terriers.

Differences in Appearance & Size

Boston Terrier vs French Bulldog difference

Follow these steps to tell the difference between the Boston Terrier and the French bulldog:

  1. Check the dog’s ears. Boston terriers have bigger, pointier ears than French bulldogs (which have smaller, rounder ears)
  2. Look at the dog’s size. Boston terriers are leaner and lighter than French bulldogs
  3. Examine the dog’s face. French bulldogs have a more jowly face than Boston terriers


The Boston terrier’s common colors are black, white, brindle, black, and brown. These dogs are usually bicolored, with an even distribution of white and chocolate or liver. Boston terriers normally have a white stripe between their eyes.

French bulldogs, too, are found in black, white, brindle, and brown, but they’re also found in lilac, cream, or fawn. These dogs are likely to have black markings on their faces, a solid coat, or an alternate color patch on their chests.

Head and Face Shape

The Boston terrier has a smaller, rounder face with less loose skin around the mouth compared to the French bulldog. Boston terriers have square faces and well-defined noses with a line between their nostrils.

French bulldogs have broader nostrils than Boston terriers, with a more distinct line between them. French bulldogs have bat-like ears, while Boston terriers have pointed ears.

Body Shape

Boston terriers have longer, leaner legs and slimmer bodies than French bulldogs. French bulldogs are squatter and more muscular than Boston terriers. Both dogs have short, stumpy tails, but French bulldogs typically have thicker, shorter tails than Boston terriers.

Differences in Temperament

Boston Terrier vs French Bulldog temperament

French bulldogs and Boston terriers are both friendly, energetic, loving dogs. Boston terriers have sillier, more humorous personalities than French bulldogs. Meanwhile, French bulldogs are bolder than Boston terriers.

Boston Terrier Personality

Boston terriers are fun-loving, intelligent dogs that thrive on mental stimulation. The dogs love prancing around and being the center of attention. They’re easy to train and respond well to positive reinforcement, but they do have a stubborn streak.

The Boston terrier’s lively, affectionate nature makes it an ideal companion dog or family pet.

French Bulldog Personality

French bulldogs are confident, mischievous dogs that have a free-thinking attitude. The dogs also respond well to positive reinforcement, but they’re easily distracted and more difficult to train than Boston terriers.

The French bulldog’s loving personality and alert behavior make it a good watchdog for families with children.

Boston Terrier vs. French Bulldog Price & Costs

Getting Boston Terrier or French Bulldog cost

Boston terriers are moderately priced dogs, while French bulldogs cost more. Compared to Boston terriers, French bulldogs are more popular — and more expensive.

French Bulldog Cost

The initial cost of a French bulldog is $1,800–$4,500. The quality of the puppy and the reputation of the breeder affect the overall cost. Adopting a French bulldog is much cheaper than buying, and costs about $200. However, due to their high popularity, French bulldogs are rarely up for adoption.

The estimated monthly cost of caring for a French bulldog is $90 after the initial purchase and setup, including the cost of food, new toys, medical bills, training costs, and grooming supplies. French bulldogs are bigger and need more food than Boston terriers, so their monthly cost of food is higher than the Boston terrier’s food cost.

Boston Terrier Cost

The initial cost of a Boston terrier is $600–$2,500. Purebred puppies from experienced, reputable breeders are more expensive than puppies with no documentation of family history sold by unknown breeders. Adopting a Boston terrier incurs a fee of about $200. Boston terriers are more commonly found in shelters than French bulldogs.

The average monthly cost of owning a Boston terrier is $80, including the cost of food, grooming, professional training, medical bills, and new toys.

Boston Terrier Puppies vs French Bulldog Puppies

Boston Terrier vs French Bulldog puppies

Boston terriers are ranked as the 23rd-most-popular dog breed by the American Kennel Club, and French bulldogs are the 2nd-most-popular dogs. Both breeds are widely available to buy, and Boston terriers are more commonly available for adoption than French bulldogs.

Reputable breeders selling Boston terriers or French bulldog puppies are:

When buying a Boston terrier or French bulldog puppy, ask the breeder if you can see the parent dogs, and request a copy of health clearances for the parents. Look for signs of good health in the puppy, including bright, clear eyes, a clear nose, and a shiny, clean coat.


Boston Terrier vs French Bulldog health

Boston terriers and French bulldogs are both brachycephalic (or short-nosed) dog breeds, which means they’re both prone to respiratory issues due to narrow, constricted, or collapsed airways.

French bulldogs are prone to obesity if they’re overfed and under-exercised, and are known to have problems with their eyes and hearts. Boston terriers are prone to seizures, allergies, cataracts, and deafness.

Boston terriers are more active and energetic than French bulldogs, so they’re the fittest, healthiest breed and live the longest.

Which Dog is Better?

Getting Boston Terrier or French Bulldog

Boston terriers and French bulldogs are two similar-looking dog breeds with similar personalities.

Both dogs are good companions for families with children, but Boston terriers are more affordable and widely available than French bulldogs, so Boston terriers are better pets for people with small budgets. Boston Terriers also are less prone to obesity and live longer than French bulldogs, making the Boston Terrier a good choice for people who want a better chance of raising a healthy dog.

French bulldogs are best suited to people with big budgets who have the time and patience to train an easily-distracted dog.

Ultimately, both Boston terriers and French bulldogs are lively, loving, friendly dogs that are suitable for most households, but both breeds are prone to respiratory issues due to having short noses.

About John Woods 299 Articles
John Woods is the founder of All Things Dogs, member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, graduate in Animal Behavior & Welfare and recognized author by the Dog Writers Association of America.

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