I was at the hairdresser the other day. The salon is dog-friendly, and my hairdresser’s two Boston terriers are often there while she creates wonderful hairpieces for the customers. While waiting for my appointment, I noticed that several customers mistook the puppies for French bulldogs. After all, the two breeds are very similar. But if you look at them closely, there are many differences! Of course, one needs to know what to look for when comparing Boston Terrier vs. French Bulldog.
As there are many similarities between the two breeds at first glance, it can be a difficult decision for prospective owners to choose. This article will help to make that decision easier by outlining the common history of the two breeds, comparing their appearance, personality, temperament and health characteristics, and looking at their current prices. I promise, I’ll try to remain unbiased in this article!
The shared history of the french bulldog and boston terrier
Since it is easy for the uninitiated eye to confuse the Boston terrier and the French bulldog, it is perhaps not surprising that the two breeds share a common ancestor. If you do genealogy research, you don’t have to go back very far, just to the late 1800s, to see that the common ancestor of the Boston Terrier and the French Bulldog is the English Bulldog.
By crossing the English Bulldog with a now extinct breed, the White English Terrier, and by later crossing other breeds (such as the English Bull Terrier, the Boxer, the Pit Bull Terrier and French bulldog), the modern Boston terrier was created. Its name indicates that it is a truly American dog breed.
During the industrial revolution, many lacemakers emigrated to France, taking their small English Bulldogs with them. The small, bat-eared variety quickly became popular among the Parisian women, giving rise to the French bulldog breed we know today. You can read the detailed, fascinating history of French Bulldogs here!
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Appearance, Color and Size
How can you tell the difference between a French Bulldog and a Boston Terrier at first glance? Well, the French Bulldog is stockier, while the Boston Terrier is slimmer and longer-legged. But if that’s not enough, let’s take a closer look at the differences in appearance!
An adult Boston Terrier is on average 1.4 feet tall and weighs 15-25 pounds. In contrast, the French Bulldog is only 1 foot tall, but can weigh 17-33 pounds, which explains the stockier appearance.
Both dogs have smooshy faces, large bug-eyes, and erect ears, but while the ears of the Boston Terrier are pointed and the shape of the head is more rounded, the ears of the French Bulldog are moderate-sized “bat-like” ears that stand erect on their square-shaped head.
Boston Terriers are also called American Gentlemen because of their distinctive coat color, which is like a tuxedo. This is typical of all Boston Terriers, so if you meet any other color, it is probably a different breed. French Bulldogs, on the other hand, come in a wide range of colors, such as black, red, fawn, beige, cream, blue and lilac. For more information on the color variations of French Bulldogs, read this article.
Personality and Temperament
Basically, both breeds were originally bred to keep their owners company. Both dogs love to be near their owners and feel a constant urge to touch. They love to cuddle and snuggle up to their owners.
Both breeds can be trained to respond to commands through positive feedback, i.e. praise and treats. However, while the Boston Terrier is a quicker learner, the French Bulldog is a more stubborn kind. French bulldogs are truly free spirits: they often do whatever they feel like. In their case, the owner will need more patience during the learning process.
Both dogs are comfortable in both urban and rural environments, but the Boston Terrier is more vocal. For this reason, if you keep your dog indoors, be sure to check beforehand how much the barking can be heard by the neighbors. If you live in an urban environment, a French Bulldog may be a more ideal choice for you, and in this article we’ll explain why!
Due to their small size, neither breed has a high exercise requirement. In the case of French Bulldogs, we recommend 2-3 walks and 15 minutes of play twice a day. That’s plenty to burn off excess energy. However, while French Bulldogs are happy to do any kind of activity together, the Boston terrier likes to have his mind worn out. That’s why it’s a good idea to play thought-provoking puzzle games with your Boston Terrier, such as a treasure hunt.
As both breeds have brachycephalic (flat) faces, they are equally at risk of respiratory disease. Due to their short noses, both the Boston Terrier and the French Bulldog breathe loudly, which can be heard even when they are at rest. And when excited, it can be downright frightening for anyone who doesn’t know that this is a breed-specific behavior!
Also due to their smooshy faces, both dogs swallow a lot of air when eating, which leads to production of gas. And we know that sooner or later the gasses will leave the body. So if you’re wondering which breed smells more pleasant, you’ll be disappointed: both are prone to farting.
Basically, all purebred dogs can carry genetically inherited diseases that can then shorten the life of the puppy by years and shorten the owner’s wallet by thousands of dollars. That’s why it’s so important to always choose a puppy from a reliable, ethical breeder! Unfortunately, we hear many horror stories of dog breeders regularly mating genetically defective parents.
Responsible, ethical dog breeders such as ourselves test puppies for various genetic abnormalities up to six times from birth to adoption. If there is even a suspicion of a positive result, the puppy is not sold and definitely not used for breeding.
Price can also be a deciding factor when choosing a breed. Some dog breeds, such as a Labrador, can be bought for as little as $500, while other breeds can cost several times more. What’s more, the price within a breed can vary depending on the sex, colour and age! For example, a rare, long-haired fluffy French Bulldog is more expensive than a more common black-colored Frenchie.
Dog prices can also vary from kennel to kennel, as different breeders take on different services with the dog. Here at TomKings Kennels, the final price of a dog includes over 10 extra services! For example, genetic tests, the price of three compulsory vaccinations, deworming, shipping costs, and lifetime support plus vet assistance for the owners.
It can also adjust the final price of a dog if the new owner not only wants to keep the puppy as a pet, but also for breeding purposes. A breeding pet will always cost more than a hobby pet. This is true for all animals, whether they are horses, cats or parrots.
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So it is not worth making a decision based on price, as there can be many hidden problems and costs later on, which can make life miserable for both the dog and its owner. If you see a dog offered at well below market price, always be suspicious.
A Boston Terrier can cost a few hundred to a few thousand dollars less than a French Bulldog. The reasons for this are difficult to pinpoint, but in all likelihood the price difference is due to the increasing popularity of French bulldogs. If you are interested in what is included in our prices, read this article!
Boston Terrier vs. French Bulldog: which one is the best for you?
And we got to the main question: which one is the best for you, a Boston Terrier or a French bulldog? It’s not an easy question to answer. The main difference between them is their personality. Boston Terriers are more active, and require more activities. French bulldogs, on the other hand, are a bit more couch potatoes. You should consider your current lifestyle, and choose the proper breed accordingly.
Which has less health issues, boston terrier or the french bulldog?
There is no difference in health risk between the breeds. Health risks can occur if you choose a dog from an untrusted, unethical breeder.
Boston terrier vs french bulldog: which is better?
It’s really up to you and your lifestyle! Boston Terriers are more active, and require more activities. French bulldogs, on the other hand, are a bit more couch potatoes.
Which has the higher price, the French Bulldog or the Boston Terrier?
A Boston Terrier can cost a few hundred to a few thousand dollars less than a French Bulldog.
You might be interested in our blog about Pug vs French Bulldog as well.
The article is based on the expert knowledge of the TomKings Puppies team who have been breeding French Bulldogs for 10 years on their farm. Check their available French Bulldog puppies, or if you have any questions or comments let us know below the article.