Boston Terrier vs French Bulldog – What Are The Differences Between The Two?

The first time I saw a Boston Terrier, I thought I was looking at a skinny French Bulldog. After getting our French Bulldog Augie and having the chance to meet a few dogs of each breed, I’m starting to be able to tell the difference between them at first glance.

Although they might look the same, Boston Terriers and French Bulldogs are definitely different breeds. These pups have their own personalities and need unique kinds of attention from their owners, which is why it’s so important to be able to tell them apart.  So let’s dive into Boston Terrier vs. French Bulldog and their major differences.  

French Bulldog vs Boston Terrier: Visual Traits

French Bulldogs and Boston Terriers look incredibly similar. They’re roughly the same size, have similar builds, and even come in a similar range of colors. However, once you know the differences between the two, you’ll be able to tell whether you’re looking at a Boston Terrier or French Bulldog within a matter of moments.


Although these two dog breeds are almost exactly the same size, Boston Terriers tend to be about 3-6 pounds lighter than French Bulldogs. The average weight for a Boston Terrier is between 10-25 pounds, while the average weight for a French Bulldog is about 20-28 pounds.

Even though they weigh less, Boston Terriers tend to stand taller than their French Bulldog friends. A Boston Terrier will probably be about 14 inches tall, while a French Bulldog will probably be only 12 inches tall.

This difference in height is likely caused by the Boston Terrier’s long legs and lanky stature. This breed is athletic and energetic, so you can expect most healthy Boston Terriers to be trim and lightweight.

In contrast, French Bulldogs tend to be stockier and heavier-set. Most of the extra weight on a French Bulldog is pure muscle. Although Frenchies tend to relax more than Boston Terriers, the average French Bulldog will still maintain an active lifestyle and a muscular physique.


When comparing French Bulldog vs Boston Terrier faces, it’s easy to get confused. Both of these little dogs have smushy faces with strong jaws, black noses, and big, sweet eyes. However, there are a few key differences that can help you identify the two.

French Bulldogs have square heads and strong features. The ears of a French Bulldog stick out and are typically rounded on the top. You can also expect most French Bulldogs to have wrinkles of skin underneath their eyes and over their cheeks.

Boston Terriers tend to have smaller, rounded heads with slightly more delicate features. A Boston Terrier’s ears are pointed and tilted slightly away from their head. Boston Terriers are slightly less wrinkly than French Bulldogs, although this does vary between individual pups.


Boston Terriers almost universally have a “tuxedo” coat pattern. Most Boston Terriers look like white dogs wearing a black or brown outfit; this has given rise to the nickname of “little gentlemen” for the breed. Of course, some Boston Terriers only have small patches of color on their coats, while others have a dark coat that’s decorated with a few white markings.

French Bulldogs actually come in a wide range of coat colors and markings. Expect most French Bulldogs to be one solid color, although they may have splashes of gray or white on their chests or around their feet. French Bulldogs can also have the same brindle patterns that are common on other bully dogs. On very rare occasions, they can come in a black-and-white pattern that’s hard to distinguish from Boston Terriers.

Both of these dogs have short, smooth coats that require minimal grooming. The tails also look quite similar, although a French Bulldog’s tail might be slightly fluffier than a Boston Terrier’s.

Boston Terrier vs French Bulldog: Personality Traits

All physical differences aside, Boston Terriers and French Bulldogs actually have very different personalities. If you’ve ever met one of these dogs before, you’ll probably be able to tell which kind of dog you’re holding after just a few minutes of interaction.  French Bulldogs have a wonderful temperament.


Both Boston Terriers and French Bulldogs are incredibly affectionate and interactive. These dogs love to cuddle, play, and follow their owners around the house.

French Bulldogs thrive on attention and like to do whatever their human is doing. Expect your Frenchie to want to watch your television shows, help you cook dinner, and comment on your daily interactions.

Boston Terriers are inquisitive dogs that like to find sources of entertainment. Your Boston Terrier will love playing with you, going for walks, and receiving direct attention. However, there’s a chance that your dog will wander off and play with a toy when you decide to watch TV.

Activity Level

Boston Terriers are far more energetic than French Bulldogs. Although both breeds like exercise, Boston Terriers can go for a lot longer; expect your terrier to want to keep playing fetch long after your arm is tired.

In contrast, French Bulldogs get tired easily and like to conserve their energy. It’s very common to find a French Bulldog lounging on the couch and watching television while the other dogs in the house run and play. The owners of old French Bulldogs may need to take extra steps to make sure their dog gets enough exercise.

Luckily, both breeds of dogs fit in the category of moderate activity and are well-suited for life inside of an apartment. As long as you take your dog for daily walks and spend some time playing with them, you should have no problem managing their activity levels.

Territorial Instincts

Neither the French Bulldog nor the Boston Terrier is known for being a particularly aggressive breed. However, because Boston Terriers are more playful while French Bulldogs are warier, you can generally expect French Bulldogs to have a higher territorial instinct. A Frenchie is less likely to trust strangers and may become upset if forced into a new situation without their parents.

Boston Terriers tend to get very excited, and this can manifest as barking at new people or situations. French Bulldogs can also exhibit this kind of behavior, although they are usually easier to calm down. Both types of dogs are prone to separation anxiety if they are not raised with care.

Boston Terrier or French Bulldog: Which One Should You Get?

When it comes to the Boston Terrier vs French Bulldog decision, there’s no easy answer. Both of these dogs are sweet and loving, making them an excellent choice as household pets.

The best way to choose any dog is to meet them in person. No matter how much you read about French Bulldogs and Boston Terriers, you won’t actually know which one is right for you until you get to hold one, see them play, and understand their personality.

Reasons to Get a Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers are a good choice if you want a small, active, and loving dog. These little pups are always excited about new activities, new foods, and new people.

Because they have long legs for their size, Boston Terriers love to run and play. There’s nothing better than taking your Boston Terrier out to play fetch on a grassy lawn; once they start running, they won’t stop until they’re exhausted.

Due to a difference in media popularity, Boston Terriers tend to be cheaper than French Bulldogs. They don’t come in as wide a range of colors or patterns, but they do have consistent personalities and incredibly charming dispositions. If you decide to bring home a Boston Terrier, you’ll have a fun and inquisitive friend for the rest of your life.

Reasons to Get a French Bulldog

French bulldog laying in bed

French Bulldogs are stately, intelligent, and playful dogs that are deeply attached to their owners. French Bulldogs have a wide range of personalities, but they generally tend to have more relaxed dispositions than Boston Terriers.

French Bulldogs prefer laid-back lifestyles. They almost universally enjoy watching television with their owners and are often seen as a “couch-potato” dog. However, Frenchies can also be incredibly active, and every French Bulldog needs plenty of playtime as part of their daily routine.

Get a French Bulldog if you want a pet who is glued to your side throughout the day. These loving dogs will get sad if they don’t get enough attention; luckily, they’re usually satisfied by being included in your daily affairs.

Summary – Boston Terrier vs French Bulldog

French Bulldogs and Boston Terriers are both small dogs with big heads, squished faces, and short coats of fur. These breeds look uncannily similar, especially if you haven’t interacted heavily with either kind of dog before. There is actually a cross breed of French Bulldogs and Boston Terriers called a Frenchton.  I wrote an article about that you can read here.  

But once you look a little closer, you’ll notice that Boston Terriers are small and agile, while French Bulldogs are stocky and muscular. Boston Terriers have charming waistcoats and are constantly excited. French Bulldogs come in a wide range of colors and have complicated but relaxed personalities.

Really, the best way to tell the difference between these two dogs is to meet one of each breed. Once you’ve interacted with both a French Bulldog and a Boston Terrier, you’ll have an easy time deciding which pup will be happier living in your home.

To learn more about the awesome French Bulldog visit

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