Designer dogs have turned ideology about purebreds on its heel. The notion of selecting the greatest features from two beloved breeds and creating a marvel that embodies the best of both worlds has widespread appeal.
Hybrid dogs bred for specific outcomes is fairly new. Most of the crosses are intuitive like the Doodles. We mix a poodle with any dog because we want the hypoallergenic hair.
What about the French Bulldog Boston Terrier mix?
It turns out people are wired to find large heads, prominent eyes, and dwarf legs irresistibly cute. What if they could have that in the French Bulldog but have him breathe and walk better?
We cover an extensive analysis of where the Frenchton came from, what you can expect from owning one, and how to ensure the best chance of you getting a healthy dog.
Where do the Frenchton's traits come from?
A French Bulldog and Boston Terrier mix will have a variable mix of the characteristics of his parents.
What characteristics come from the French Bulldog?
All Bulldog standards call for a compact muscular dog. French Bulldogs can be medium or small, typically much shorter and lighter than the English Bulldog. A large, square head with a characteristic shortened but broad and deep muzzle is also required.
Except when accompanying some of the rare color variations, a French Bulldog's eyes should be as dark brown as possible. They are set off by classic bat ears.
The compact body is set off by wide shoulders that taper markedly to the hindquarters which should still exhibit power. Frenchies are built downhill, the hind legs longer than the front.
French Bulldogs can be white, cream, fawn, brindle, or piebald. Coveted rare colors disqualified by the French Bulldog registries include black with no traces of brindle, blue, black and white, chocolate or liver, merle, black and tan, and lilac.
French Bulldogs present a laid-back and charming demeanor. They make ideal companion dogs with strong bonds to their families. Their activity level is moderate and exercises requirements low to moderate.
The French Bulldog is only about a foot tall, according to Dogtime. Males are 25 to 28 pounds, up to 15 to 20% heavier than females.
Frenchies are alert, intelligent, and playful. Training can be somewhat challenging.
French Bulldogs generally do not bark excessively and often have a characteristic gurgling yap. They do not do well when left alone for extended periods.
French Bulldogs are friendly with older childer, commonly reported as having a low tolerance for toddlers.
Frenchies have a short coat that is easy to groom. However, some are plagued by allergies and other skin conditions. They need extra attention to cleaning their faces and any skin folds.
French Bulldogs are susceptible to respiratory problems because of conformation. This can lead to frequent infections or respiratory distress. They are sensitive to heat and vulnerable to heatstroke. Frenchies are also relatively exercise-intolerant.
Their dwarf gene also leaves them vulnerable to slipped discs and other back problems.
Frenchies have a high prevalence of ear and skin infections. This is believed to correlate with their propensity to develop allergies.
Frenchies enjoy an average lifespan of 8 to 10 years.
What do Boston Terriers bring to the gene pool?
When you look at a Boston terrier, you should be impressed by a sense of balance. Its body should be compact with a level back. The legs are of equal length.
The three size classes are under 15 pounds, between 15 and 20 pounds, and from 20 to 25 pounds.
A Boston's eyes should be brown and its head should be square with a flat top and wide cheeks. The muzzle is short and square. A slightly undershot jaw is acceptable if it complements the jawline.
A Boston's shoulders have a wider stance than the hindlimbs, but not exaggerated like a Bulldog's. Boston Terriers have sloping shoulders that give them a distinctive spring and grace to their stride.
Where a French Bulldog ambles and rolls when she moves, a Boston Terrier should have a straight hackney-type gait.
A Boston's tail is short, covering no more than a quarter of the distance to the hocks at most. Bostons can have straight or screw tails.
Unlike with French Bulldogs, Boston Terrier should only exhibit subtle differences between the genders. Females may be slightly refined.
One of the striking characteristics of the Boston Terrier is her tuxedo color pattern. Acceptable colors are brindle, black, or seal, with a balanced distribution of white markings.
All other colors are unacceptable as is the absence of white markings. Bostons are required at minimum to have white between the eyes, on the chest, and around the muzzle.
The Boston Terrier is a lively dog sometimes prone to antics. They make good companion dogs for the entire family, although they may tend to bond more closely with one individual.
Bostons are good with other animals and gentle around children. They are intelligent and alert and can be particularly sensitive to your moods. They have both a jealous and stubborn streak, making training vital and potentially challenging.
Boston Terriers are generally considered more amenable to training than French Bulldogs.
Like the French Bulldog, the Boston Terrier has a short smooth coat. She is easy to wash and brush. They are easier because they do not possess the Bulldog's folds. However, you do need to focus on Boston's face.
Boston Terriers can suffer from Brachycephalic Syndrome, a collection of anatomical defects and respiratory problems associated with their shortened faces. Their eyes are also quite prominent and vulnerable. They can suffer commonly from corneal ulcers and cataracts.
The practice of breeding for screw tails has led to hemivertebrae appearing higher up in the spines of these dogs, causing paralysis.
Boston Terriers are also susceptible to luxating patellas, or floating kneecaps, which sometimes require surgery. Although small-breed dogs, Boston Terriers can also suffer from hip dysplasia. Furthermore, they are prone to seizures and obesity.
Boston Terriers can live from 12 to 15 years.
Why would you want a Frenchie-Boston Terrier mix?
In the 1990s, breeders originally considered outbreeding the French Bulldog to decrease the severity of her major health problems and thereby lengthen her lifespan.
They chose a breed similar in appearance and temperament because everyone loves French Bulldogs the way they are. After all, Frenchies are No. 6 on the list of most popular AKC dogs. At No. 23, Boston Terriers are in high demand as well.
Frenchton advocates hoped to lessen some of the exaggerated features in purebred French Bulldogs like squashed faces and shortened legs on disproportionately-muscled frames.
Ideally, the hybrid offspring of Frenchies and Boston Terriers would be an improvement on both breeds. Proponents hoped to bulk up the Boston Terrier a little and add athleticism to the French Bulldog.
How do you define a French Bo or Frencton?
How do generations factor in?
A French Bo can be 50:50 French Bulldog and Boston Terrier, but the more desired ratio is 75:25 French Bulldog: Boston Terrier. This is known as an F1a generation puppy.
Here is a simple breakdown:
- F1 is the first breeding => purebred French Bulldog(a) x purebred Boston terrier(b) = F1 dog
- F1 x F1 = F2 dog; here you are starting to get into multigenerational Frenchtons. This breeding rarely pursued.
- F2 x F2 = f3 dog and if you were to continue you would eventually see characteristics become much more predictable or breed true. F5 dogs and beyond are when breeders can think about applying for new breed status.
- F1 x purebred dog = F1b or backcross dog. Usually, Frenchtons are bred back to a pure French Bulldog. The stocky flat-face appearance remains in high demand. According to several breeders' sites, F1b Frenchtons are what flood the market.
Puppies can variably inherit characteristics from either parent. Unfortunately, most puppies do not exhibit a perfect mix of the good traits from each side. Nevertheless, you can generally observe distinctive variations from both parents.
Were innovative breeders successful in producing breed improvement?
What is different from the French Bulldog?
- Longer legs
- Greater exercise tolerance
- Slightly longer muzzles
Here you can see characteristics of the French Bulldog. Note in the following video how closely the Frenchton resembles the Frenchie.
What are variations from the Boston Terrier?
- Heavier frame
- Larger ears
- Introduction of cream and fawn colors
Here, a video of a Boston Terrier highlights how the Frenchton contrasts it in mass and color.
What is the reality about Frenchtons?
Frenchtons are hybrids. That simply means you cannot predict the appearance of characteristics or problems in litters or individual puppies.
Most designer dogs never qualify for pure-bred status because the second breeding of Frenchton to Frenchton or Goldendoodle to Goldendoodle, for example, produces such unpredictable results.
Selection for the specific traits you want is time-intensive. It requires combing many litters for desirable puppies to breed. Many modern breeds are the result of more than four generations of careful selection after repeated back breeding and outcrossing.
The good news is hybrid or designer dogs have registries of their own. Each registry has its own name for the French Bulldog-Boston Terrier mix.
Other names for a French Bulldog Boston Terrier mix are the Frenchbo, Faux Frenchbo Bulldog, Boston Frenchie, and Faux French Bulldog.
Registries and clubs that recognize this hybrid include the Designer Dogs Kennel Club, International Designer Canine Registry, and American Canine Hybrid Club.
What is the Frenchton breed standard?
If you are a designer dog, you have standards you should attain, even if you are just a mixed breed.
The head is round with shortened muzzle and large erect ears. A Frenchton's eyes should be dark and less prominent or bulging than the Boston Terrier's.
Frenchtons usually have straight legs, although some puppies will inherit short bowed forelegs from the Frenchie. The mixed pups generally have straight short tails.
A Frenchton's body is compact, usually noticeably more solid than a Boston's. They can be brindle, black, cream, or golden, with varying degrees of white markings. Some have white in tuxedo patterns like a Boston Terrier while others are piebald.
Frenchtons stand from 14 to 16 inches at the shoulders and weigh 15 to 25 pounds. The two genders are very similar in size.
Temperaments are extremely similar between Boston Terriers and French Bulldogs, so their pups are usually in the middle of a narrow range of extremes. Frenchtons are loyal, eager to please, and energetic. They are clownish and intelligent.
They tend to be more family-oriented than Bostons and more kid-friendly than French Bulldogs. Their trainability depends on what personality type they inherit.
Frenchton exercise requirements depend on their conformation, but most do fine with moderate levels. A brisk walk of 25 to 40 minutes a day will suffice. When in doubt about respiratory problems, be conservative on your routine.
Like both parents, Frenchtons are sensitive to heat and vulnerable to heat exhaustion and heatstroke. They cannot tolerate extremes in either hot or cold weather.
Frenchtons have a smooth fine coat that requires minimal brushing. Most do not have the wrinkles of the Bulldog. They need a special focus on their faces. You can use a specially-purposed sanitary wipe. Frenchtons experience little shedding.
Unfortunately, Frenchtons do not represent an improvement on health concerns of the two parent breeds.
What is brachycephalic airway syndrome?
Brachycephaly is the short or flat-face standard in many breeds such as Pugs, Boxers, Pekingese, and all Bulldogs. According to PreventiveVet, Brachycephalic airway syndrome is a complex of structural abnormalities that is much more extreme than outward appearances.
- Stenotic nares – the nostrils are extremely small and impede breathing
- Elongated soft palate – the roof of the mouth extends way past where it should and obstructs the entrance to the windpipe
- Hypoplastic trachea – the windpipe is underdeveloped, too narrow for the dog's size
- Laryngeal collapse – potentially fatal if the voicebox completely; caused by the stress of ineffectual breathing
- Nasopharyngeal turbinates – structures that humidify the air and should only be in the nose. When they extend into the pharynx they block airflow.
- Everted laryngeal saccules – strenuous breathing can cause them to obstruct the airway.
Brachycephalic dogs do not necessarily have all of these abnormalities.
Attempting to correct the extreme facial shortening of the French Bulldog with a marginally less brachycephalic Boston Terrier has predictable results.
Frenchtons are brachycephalic dogs with a high potential for respiratory problems like snorting, snuffling, whistling, distress, persistent hypoxia, heat sensitivity, and infection.
What are the nonrespiratory health issues of Frenchtons?
A Frenchbo is an easy keeper, and his caloric intake must be monitored to prevent obesity. Frenchtons can inherit a predisposition for IVDD or slipped disc and hemivertebrae.
Being overweight will exacerbate any spinal issues and hip dysplasia as well as respiratory difficulties.
Like their parents, Frenchtons are susceptible to several heritable disorders like epilepsy, hip dysplasia, IVDD, luxating patellas, cataracts, allergies, and cardiac issues. They also struggle with allergies.
As you would for any purebred dog, you should only consider purchasing a Frenchton from a reputable breeder. This will be someone concerned about the future well-being of the puppies and the welfare of the breed.
Good breeding practices will only use puppies with the best features as potential Frenchton parents.
Pups with severe brachycephalic airway syndrome, evidence of eye issues, and orthopedic problems should be neutered, effectively removing them from the gene pool.
Ideally, breeders would perform the same certification tests on their Frenchtons as reputable ones do on their Boston Terriers and French Bulldogs.
The AKC recommends registered French Bulldogs and Boston Terriers undergo specific health certifications. Those in compliance belong to a special part of the registry easily recognizable to those looking for puppies.
The guidelines give you an idea of what problems pose risks to your Frenchton.
The French Bulldog
- OFA certification of hips and knees
- Cardiac exam
- Ophthalmologist exam
- OFA certification of knees
- Ophthalmologist exam
- BAER testing
Many Boston Terrier breeders will also evaluate their dogs' hips. Boston Terriers also commonly undergo CERF testing whereby their eyes are not only evaluated by a specialist but also certified by the OFA.
As a quick note, the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, or OFA, has expanded into other heritable diseases besides bone diseases.
If you are considering being a Frenchton owner, the breeder should readily disclose information about the parents. Ideally, you should be able to see one or both of the parents just as you would for a purebred dog.
How much will a Frenchton cost you?
The purchase price of a Frenchton falls right in line between the prices of its parents. Boston Terriers range from $500 to $1500 and French Bulldogs between $1500 to $3000. Frenchtons are $700 to $3000.
The price tag of a pup is affected by the conformation of the parents. Breed structural issues like exceedingly narrow hips on the male that prevent natural breeding will drive the price up.
Exceedingly large heads on the pups come from both parents. Frenchtons, like both parent breeds, often require C-sections.
Another factor not to be overlooked in your search for a Frenchton is the high popularity of the cross. Since some breeders are looking to capitalize on a trend, you have yet another reason to do your due diligence concerning the source of your pup.
What are the maintenance costs?
Expect to spend about $75 per month for food and treats, $1000 annually on veterinarian preventative health, $75 monthly on training, and $600 per year on insurance. This does not account for toys, bedding, doghouses, leashes, and fencing.
The major health concerns that face your Frenchton and that may require surgical correction are brachycephalic airway syndrome, intervertebral disc disease or a slipped disc, and orthopedic problems like the elbow or hip dysplasia.
Surgery to repair eyelid abnormalities, the simplest you will face next to neutering, may run $500 to $1200. Orthopedic specialists and back surgeons, however, could cost anywhere from $2500 to $10,000, according to WhatsMyDogsName.
Allergies are common in Frenchtons from the Bulldog side. Skin and ear conditions can also take a toll on your pocketbook. Medications, allergy testing, ear drops, culture, and baths can run a few hundred dollars a month.
Is hybrid vigor a thing?
Hybrid vigor exists, just not in the way people commonly believe. It is most effective when a line suffers from the depressive effects of inbreeding.
When an individual from that line is outbred or crossbred with a distinctly unrelated party, the infusion of variable genes decreases stillborns and improves fertility, strength, and vitality. It commonly increases lifespan.
According to Dr. Carol Beuchat of the Institute of Canine Biology, hybrid vigor does not mean inherited conditions like epilepsy or hip dysplasia will disappear.
Frenchtons likely experience hybrid vigor, but in light of their heritable problems and conformational abnormalities, it does not have much relevance.
They still face many fertility and reproductive difficulties. It does detract from their appeal as delightful companions.
As a freelance pet writer and blogger, Shannon is passionate about crafting knowledge-based, science-supported articles that foster healthy bonds of love and respect between people and animals. But her first and very most important job is as a dog auntie and cockatiel, tortoise, and box turtle mama.