Boston Terrier vs. French Bulldog: Personalities, Prices, and More

To the uninitiated, the Boston Terrier and the French Bulldog could pass for the same breed of dog.

In many cases, the two look borderline identical at a passing glance. Their stout appearance, combined with a squashed nose and intimidating gait makes them go-to dogs for people who want a confident, home-friendly dog.

However, the two dogs differ greatly in personality, general maintenance, and a myriad of other factors. While either would make for a lovely indoor pet, there are several things you need to consider pertaining to the unique personality of these two unique breeds.

Of course, there is the issue of superiority—and it is true that the Boston Terrier may not be the best dog for everyone. And vice versa. Depending upon your home, desires in a dog, and work schedule, there’s going to be one clear victor in this lineup.

That’s why we’re pitting the Boston Terrier and the French Bulldog together in a head-to-head comparison. We’ll be breaking down what’s good, what’s bad, and what’s ugly about each breed. By the end, we’ll explain the type of person that’s the best owner for each of these magnificent creatures.

The Basics

boston terrier sticking tongue out

There are lots of little traits that need to be covered that will initially set both the Boston Terrier as well as the French Bulldog apart from each other as well as from other breeds like them.

Taking a closer look at both dogs, you may find that one seems to be just a touch bigger than the other. According to the American Kennel Club (which we’ll be referring to more than once), the French Bulldog typically hovers at about one foot in height. This comes in contrast to the Boston Terrier, which can grow up to a height of 17 inches or taller.

French Bulldog laying down

The weight of both dogs can also range, with the Boston Terrier keeping just a few pounds leaner than the French Bulldog. While both dogs can confidently be described as stout in many cases, its worth noting that the Boston Terrier is leaner overall.

Life spans remove average to just below-average for dogs of this size. The issue of the squashed snout has been widely reported, and it is true that this aspect has been known to cause many breathing issues in pets.

However, perhaps due to the smaller size and thicker build, the French Bulldog rarely lives past 12 years, while the Boston Terrier can approach 15. The French Bulldog also has a smaller snout which can play into this factor, but more on this a little later on.


boston terriers

Of course, reading statistics on dogs won’t tell you the most important aspect of any pet—their personalities.

The personality of your pet is going to need to match your needs and expectations as closely as possible. Any mismatching here is going to cause undue stress and other problems for both yourself as well as the dog you purchase. For your well-being as well as the animals, consider the personality of a breed carefully before making a purchase.

That being said, we’ll start with the French Bulldog.

The classic and famous French Bulldog is known for a somewhat-abrasive personality. In many ways, this dog will act as it looks—being especially prone to lethargy and a sedentary lifestyle.

Yes, this is what is so often loved about the Bulldog. As a more introverted breed, French Bulldogs can make for some excellent companions. They won’t require a great deal of exercise, as their larger build makes them more prone to resting than running.

Bulldogs are also known to crave attention and make themselves known through a host of different noises. Due to the nature of their snout, French Bulldogs will often snort, grunt, snore. They are also known for flatulence, which can also take some serious getting-used-to.

While you may not see your French Bulldog jumping for joy, you may come to love its independent and generally laid-back nature. This makes the breed popular for those who live in smaller quarts, who may not be able to exercise a dog as much as they would like.

This all comes in sharp contrast to the Boston Terrier, which can be much more jubilant in its approach to day-to-day activities.

Boston Terrier looking up

The Boston Terrier, much like the French Bulldog, is an individualistic creature that enjoys its own company just as much (if not more so) than its owners. However, they are known to be a fair bit more loyal in their approach to their human homeowners than the French Bulldog.

You can expect a Boston Terrier to keep by your side—but perhaps not in your lap. Boston Terriers make great pets for single people and those who don’t have lots of family members. They tend to latch on to a few distinct people and remain distant but cordial to all others.

The Boston Terrier also enjoys being outside a good amount. Chasing balls and fetching frisbees are both tasks that you can enjoy with your Boston Terrier. While they still work for smaller homes, you may need to head to the park a little bit more often than you do currently to make sure your Boston Terrier remains healthy and strong.

Health Issues

Boston Terrier puppy
French Bulldog puppy

While this isn’t everybody’s favorite section, it does need to be talked about.

While the French Bulldog is more prone to incidents and health risks than the Boston Terrier, both tend to have more health issues on average than other breeds. This comes from the smaller head and squashed snout especially.

For the Boston Terrier, these issues include difficulty breathing and a myriad of eye problems. These tend to reveal themselves with age, as airways continue to be clogged with soft tissue growth and the larger eyes tend to suffer from cataracts and similar conditions.

However, these problems are par for the course and are not quite as severe as the types of problems you’ll find with the French Bulldog.

You may have already heard of the myriad of health issues associated with the French Bulldog, and unfortunately, we have to corroborate those claims. These come from the softer palate, domed head, larger eyes, and predisposition to obesity.

Most French Bulldogs, unfortunately, die from these symptoms. If we’re doing an apples-to-apples comparison of the Boston Terrier vs French Bulldog when it comes to health, the Boston Terrier becomes the clear victor.

Final Thoughts

So, after all of that, which dog is right for you?

When considering the Boston Terrier vs French Bulldog, considering the way each looks is not going to give you a complete picture of what you are asking for. To make the right call, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How often can I exercise this dog?
  • Can I ensure the dog’s health?
  • How often can I be home for the dog?
  • Do I have small children or other pets?

Asking these questions will highlight the stark differences between the Boston Terrier and the French Bulldog. However, we can generally describe the two types of owners that would be perfect for each type of dog:

French Bulldog in the woods

If you live in an apartment and won’t be able to go to the park very often, the French Bulldog may be right for you. While initially aloof, French Bulldog will grow to enjoy your company and will often want to remain in the same room as you at all times. Ideal French Bulldog owners after don’t have many children or other pets.

boston terrier pup

Ideal Boston Terrier owners are a little different. These owners may be a little more prone to activity, or otherwise are looking for a pet with a fewer health issues than the French Bulldog. These owners are ideally single, but having a smaller family around won’t be much of a problem. You can expect the Boston Terrier to be a loyal compatriot for life.

In either case, there is no winning and losing breed in the Boston Terrier vs. French Bulldog fight. In either case, you'll own one of two of the most popular American dog breeds that you can rely on for companionship, loyalty, and fraternity.

There is a reason both dogs constantly make the top of several breed lists, and if either of these dogs sounds interesting to you, we encourage you to take the time to find those who sell either dog at a reasonable price.

You can pick up a Boston Terrier for around 600-800 dollars, while the French Bulldog is a little more expensive at $1,500 or more. In either case, you can expect your pet to prove to be well worth the investment.

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