Is it a French Bulldog or a Boston Terrier?

Like Labradors that are often confused with Golden Retrievers, the Boston Terrier is often mistaken for a French Bulldog and vice versa.

It is true that the resemblance between the two breeds is striking, and confusion quickly sets in, making it difficult to tell the difference between a French Bulldog or a Boston Terrier.

The Boston Terrier being less popular, it isn’t uncommon for the owners of these dogs to have to explain their dog’s breed. Without turning it into a competition between these two brave breeds of dog, we will, in this article, list the differences and the similarities between the French Bulldog and the Boston Terrier and thus give the happy owners of these two unique breeds of dogs some clues as to how to respond to questions.


There is a physical resemblance between the two breeds that we will explain later on in the article, but there are also other similarities between the French Bulldog and the Boston Terrier:

  • They both come from a cross of Bulldog with other breeds.

  • The two breeds are not very sporty.

  • They have very similar character traits, they are happy and very protective.

  • They are perfectly adapted to life in an apartment and make very good dog companions.

  • They are dogs with short noses so can have breathing difficulties.

  • It is very difficult for an inexperienced eye to distinguish between Boston and Frenchie puppies.



  • Their origin

Although their names seems to clearly indicate their origin, the French Bulldog is of British origin, while the Boston Terrier is (as the name indicates) of American origin.

The exact origins of the Boston Terrier and French Bulldog are relatively mysterious. Additionally, we know that the two breeds are the result of different crosses with the Bulldog. This genetic background is easily identifiable as their resemblance is sometimes baffling, however, the Boston Terrier has origins linked to that of the Bull Terrier.

The French Bulldog and the Boston Terrier haven’t always been “house dogs”. The Frenchie was created to kills rats, whereas the Boston Terrier was created for its combative qualities.


  • Physical differences

If the French Bulldog and the Boston Terrier are confused, it is largely due to their round head and short nose. Also, as you can see in the above photo, the Boston Terrier’s head (the two dogs on the right) is smaller, less solid and lighter than the Frenchie’s (on the left).

You can also see a difference in the shape of their ears. The ends of a French Bulldog’s ears are round, while a Boston Terrier’s ears are pointed.

The top of the skull is generally a good clue to differentiate between the two breeds because that of the French Bulldog is usually wrinkled while that of the Boston Terrier is smooth. If the French Bulldog sometimes seems to have an excess of skin, the Boston Terrier’s “costume” seems very tight on him.

The hair on the two dogs is short. It is brown, red, white or black for the French Bulldog, but it can only be black or white on the Boston Terrier.

The general posture of the two dogs is also very different. The Boston Terrier is lighter, less stocky and slimmer, not as heavy as the French Bulldog. Their paws are longer, their chest is higher and their appearance is less clumsy than the French Bulldog.

  • Behaviour

These two dogs are very protective of their masters. They have a very pleasant nature but they have a few character traits in particular that distinguish them from each other. The French Bulldog can often be a bit more aggressive with other dogs (this isn’t necessarily a rule that applies to all individuals) and less sociable than the Boston Terrier who for a long time was nicknamed “American Gentleman”.

The Boston Terrier is more alert, lively, active but also less stubborn than the French Bulldog. As for the Frenchie, he is calmer and more independent than his Boston Terrier cousin. Although the two breeds aren’t particularly renowned for their sporting talents, the Boston Terrier needs more energy to exert himself than the Frenchie. The Boston Terrier is a little less playful than the French Bulldog, but is partial to intelligence games.


One is not better than the other, nor is any dog better than another.

Everything is a question of taste, but above all of capabilities, because the choice of bringing a dog into the family must be made taking into account the routine of the house and the needs of the dog, concerning their species but also their breed.

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