Bichon Frise vs. Boston Terrier: Which Breed to Get?

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Bichon Frise vs. Boston TerrierWhen choosing the right companion for your family, doing your research is the first step to make sure you choose the best pet that can adapt to your lifestyle. If you want to know the main differences and similarities between a bichon frise and Boston terrier, you are in the right place.

Below, we’ll cover everything you need to know, ranging from their history to temperament and grooming needs.

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Boston terrier, also known as the American gentleman, is a cross between the English terrier and the British bulldog. Initially, this breed was created to be a fighting dog but, since then, specific traits have been bred out, so the Boston terrier is a lovable, family-friendly pet, very happy to live indoors.

The puffy bichon frise is believed to have emerged in the Mediterranean region, but the exact origin is not known. It is related to the poodle, which is believed to have been mixed with the Barbet to create the intelligent lap dog. It is one of the few different bichon-type breeds.


Boston terriers are sporty and sturdy. With a short tail and a recognizable coat-like pattern, the dog is usually white with a black pattern. The head is square-shaped and it has a short muzzle – one of the main reasons why it is not a good pet for very hot and humid weather, as it may have trouble breathing. Also, the short nose means that it may snore.

On the other hand, bichons frises have longer, white coats with curly hair that requires high maintenance. With dark, round eyes and a dark nose, bichons are less sturdy and muscular and can reach up to 9.5-11.5 inches and 12-18 pounds. The Boston terrier is a medium-sized breed, grows up to 15-17 inches tall, and may reach a similar weight, ranging from 12 to 25 pounds.

Aging Profile

Bichons frises and Boston terriers have a similar lifespan, up to 15 years old. Boston terriers reach maturity at 12-14 months old, while bichons mostly develop until 6 months old, but are considered mature at 1 year old. In general, smaller breeds like bichons and Boston terriers tend to mature quicker than other larger breeds.


Boston terriers are nicknamed “American gentlemen” for a very good reason. It is a gentle, energetic pup, and is a great choice if you have children or other pets. Boston terriers are not only adaptable to larger families – but they can also live happily in a busy city or peaceful village. Some males may show their terrier genes, especially if they feel like their territory is threatened, but overall they are even-tempered and nothing akin to a fighting dog.

Although the bichon frise is a smaller dog, it comes with a huge personality. It loves to be around its owner and family, so you may want to make sure you have enough free time to spend with your pup. If you leave them alone for a long time, they can suffer from separation anxiety. However, bichons are very adaptable and are suitable for many lifestyles, as long as you can make the necessary plans to keep them company.

Daily walks and playtime are a must for this pup, and so is early training. Generally, bichons frises are friendly towards new people, pets, and kids, but it may also be your trustworthy watchdog that alerts you every time a new person is at the door.


Boston terriers are known to be very intelligent pups. They can be trained with ease, but the high energy level may lead to quick spurts of hyperactivity – which also happens with bichons frises. However, unlike bichons which may be happy with about 30 mins per day of activity, Boston terriers need more exercise.

Just like the smart bichon frise, a Boston terrier may be stubborn when it comes to training, so it’s important to be consistent. Both breeds are very sensitive, so the training method and tone of voice should be motivational, not tough. They love treats, praise, and lots of affection, but you also need to be firm and persistent.

Other Factors

Both breeds are loyal, affectionate, and social. However, there are a few more notable differences between these breeds that may help you make a well-informed decision, as discussed below.


The right pet for your home should be able to adapt easily to your household. Boston terriers are known to be quite sensitive. They love strict daily routines and predictability, and too many guest visits or too much noise in your household can stress them.

Bichons frises are more adaptable to different lifestyles, and they make for good pets for the elderly, families with kids, and single-person households, as long as they are not left alone for a long time.


Grooming needs are very important to consider before choosing your pet. Some people may be happy with brushing and caring for their pet daily, others may prefer a pet with minimal grooming needs.

Bichons frises have a curly, double-coat, considered hypoallergenic as the falling hairs get trapped in the coat. Because of this, bichon owners must brush them very often, preferably daily, to avoid painful mats and tangled hair.

On the other hand, if you want a lower-maintenance pup, a Boston terrier is definitely suitable for your needs. The short hair doesn’t need as much maintenance as a bichon, but they are moderate shedders. Thus, you may want to consider this carefully if you are allergic to pet hair.

Bichon Frise vs. Boston Terrier: Which Should You Get as a Pet?

Depending on your situation, one breed may be more suitable for you than the other.

For instance, if you have small kids, a Boston terrier pup may be the right choice as they are kid-friendly. On the other hand, if you often have guests, a bichon frise may be better as it is more stranger-friendly than a Boston terrier, which tends to be defensive sometimes.

Both breeds are recommended for elderly people and good for first-time owners. However, training is still recommended for any pup you decide to introduce to your lifestyle to make sure they grow into well-mannered dogs.

Bichons frises and Boston terriers can adapt to different living conditions. Thanks to their small size, they can be happy in any type of dwelling, but they both need regular activity to stay healthy. Boston terriers may be suitable for slightly more active people since they have an average exercise need. Meanwhile, bichons frises don’t mind being a puffy lap dog that sleeps a lot and cuddles with you whenever it has this opportunity.

If you suffer from allergies, a bichon frise may be the best because it is considered a hypoallergenic dog. Boston terriers tend to shed moderately.

Lastly, if you can’t decide between the two, you should also consider getting the Bostchon, a bichon frise and Boston terrier hybrid.


All in all, if you want to find out which breed is better, you need to thoroughly consider your needs, availability, and preferences.

Although the Boston terrier was meant to be a combat dog, these traits have been bred out since then, so Boston terrier pups are now perfect for families or single households. Bichons, with their smart black eyes and high playfulness, are not only recommended as therapy dogs, but can liven up any household, learn tricks, and become the most adorable member of your family.

Whichever you choose, you need to consider the importance of a responsible breeder and, if possible, meet the pup’s parents, so you have a better idea of how they’ll look at maturity.

Considering Other Breeds Too?

See how bichon frise compares with: Beagle | Bolognese | Brussels Griffon | Cavachon | Cavalier King Charles Spaniel | Cavapoo | Chihuahua | Cockapoo | Coton de Tulear | French Bulldog | German Shepherd | Golden Retriever | Goldendoodle | Havanese | Labrador Retriever | Lhasa Apso | Maltese | Maltipoo | Papillon | Pomeranian | Poochon | Poodle | Pug | Samoyed | Schnauzer | Scottish Terrier | Shetland Sheepdog | Shichon | Shih Tzu | West Highland Terrier | Yorkshire Terrier

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