French Bulldog vs. the Boston Terrier: What’s the Difference?

Boston Terrier by Water

To the untrained eye, French Bulldogs and Boston Terriers could be the same breed, but for fanciers they are worlds apart.

Both breeds have a similar appearance with their brachycephalic (smooshed) faces, short sturdy bodies, and perky ears, but their coat colors are usually different.

Boston’s are white with  black, brindle, or seal markings that are usually reminiscent of a tuxedo. While Frenchies come in a larger variety of colors such as fawn, brindle, tan, or white with brindle patches. Frenchies, however, should not be black and white or blue.

French Bulldog with Tennis Ball

Many French Bulldog lovers believe that the blue coat color is linked to a form of alopecia (hair loss) called blue dog alopecia. This hasn’t been proven, but to err on the side of caution, they removed the color from the standard and breeders began to avoid the color.

Like Bostons, Frenchies have short, smooth, low maintenance coats that only need to be brushed every few weeks.

The French Bulldog was developed in France by lace workers who moved to Normandy from England. Miniature English Bulldogs were a popular trend in England at the time and they accompanied the lace workers on their journey.

The miniature bulldogs became incredibly popular in France, and English breeders began exporting them at an astounding rate. Over time and with a little genetic help from the Pug, the French Bulldog was born.

French Bulldog Puppy by the Sea

The Boston Terrier is one of very few breeds who originated in America. The founding father of the breed was a dog by the name of Hooper’s Judge. A mixture of English Bulldog and Terrier, Judge was bred with French Bulldogs and the Boston Terrier was born. Today, almost all Bostons can trace their lineage back to Judge.

Boston Terrier on White Porch

Both of these breeds are very in tune with their owners and would do anything to please them. Most do well with other dogs as well as other types of pets if socialized properly from a young age.

These dogs also make amazing friends for children.

One great example of this is a Frenchie named Bruce whose best friend is a small child. His owners’ Jack and Lisa Osbourne, welcomed home a baby girl, Pearl. Bruce welcomed Pearl with open paws and the two have been sharing adventures ever since!

Recently, Bruce received another fur-less friend, the his family’s new daughter, Andy. You can see pictures of Bruce with his favorite girls on Lisa Osbourne’s public facebook page.

Their love for humans also makes them naturals at being therapy dogs, and they are many that fill their days visiting hospitals and assisted living facilities.

Boston Terrier on Wood Floors

A surprising fact many may not know about these two breeds is that 90% of all French Bulldog and Boston Terrier puppies are born via cesarian section.

The puppies’ large heads, coupled with the mother’s narrow birth canals make a natural birth almost impossible, and a breached puppy could cause loss of both the mom and the puppies.

While this is pretty weird on it’s own, most Frenchie breeders also artificially inseminate their dogs, as the male Frenchie’s narrow hips cause natural breeding to be impossible.

Sleeping Black French Bulldog

As with most brachycephalic breeds both French Bulldogs and Boston Terriers are prone to overheating, so be sure to take the proper precautions when it is warm outside or during activities.

When it is cool outside Boston Terriers and French Bulldogs excel at sports such as nosework, flyball, agility, rally obedience, dock diving, weight pulling, barn hunting, and a variety of other dog sports. Be sure to use positive reinforcement when training your dog for these competitions.

Keeping training fun and exciting is the best way to form a strong bond with your dog, especially if you have yummy treats to help.

Boston Terrier Playing Fetch in Backyard

Whether you already have a French Bulldog or a Boston Terrier, or you are trying to decide between the two breeds, there is really no going wrong.

Both breeds love people and children and excel at playtime and doggie sports.

Be sure to socialize your dog to lots of different situations, people, and other animals so he is even-tempered and friendly to everyone.

Bonus: For the best French Bulldog breeders, check here.

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