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Pug vs French Bulldog: What’s the Difference?

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Pugs and French Bulldogs both make excellent pets, but when you’re trying to choose one, there are a few important factors to consider. In the case of the Pug vs French Bulldog, let’s explore their similarities as well as differences.

It’s hard to imagine how you can go wrong with either choice. But nonetheless, there are certain differences you’ll need to consider if you want to make the right choice for your household as well as your new four-legged friend.

Pug vs French Bulldog
Pug vs French Bulldog

Pug vs French Bulldog

To fully understand how the two breeds compare, we’ll review their appearance, temperament, training and grooming needs, and overall health.

This will give you a full picture of the Pug vs French Bulldog.


The Pug and French Bulldog are fairly similar in height. The Pug comes in between 10-14 inches, while the French Bulldog can grow to between 11-14 inches.

The weight difference, however, is significant. On average, the Pug weighs between 14-18 pounds. The French Bulldog, on the other hand, has a more muscular build and can weigh between 20-30 pounds.

Both dogs have flat faces. The Pug has a large, round head, bulging eyes and deep wrinkles.

In comparison, the French Bulldog also has face wrinkles – albeit much lighter than that of the Pug. Its top lip overhangs the bottom one creating an adorable pout.

The French Bulldog has large ears that stand erect while the Pug’s ears tend to be floppy.

Pugs come in black and fawn colors while the French Bulldogs can be brindle, cream, fawn or white. The French Bulldog’s short coat is usually fine and smooth, and the Pug’s coat is thick and coarse.

Pug vs French Bulldog
Pug vs French Bulldog


Both the French Bulldog and Pug breeds are known for being affectionate and friendly.

When it comes to the Pug vs French Bulldog, both are social animals and get along well with children and strangers. They’re usually extra doting on their owners and provide affection freely.

The Pug has a mischievous side and is known to be quite the clown. Although a little more low key, the French Bulldog is a playful charmer in its own way.

Neither dog likes being left alone for too long, though, so spending time with them is vital to avoid behavioral issues.

Like most breeds, they need mental stimulation to be on their best behavior. Going on short walks, playing games together and providing them with dog toys will help.

Interestingly, both these dogs do have a stubborn streak. They’re not aggressive or mean spirited – just strong willed at times.

While neither dog needs much exercise, the Pug is the more active breed and tends to bark more than the French Bulldog.

Small and adaptable, both breeds will be happy anywhere they go, whether it’s a small apartment in the city or a big house with a large yard.


As mentioned in the previous section, both of these little dogs can be stubborn, and the Pug is known to be the more hardheaded of the two. This can lead to some difficulties when you need to train them.

While stubborn, they are eager to please and highly intelligent. With the right tactics, you can have your French Bulldog or Pug well trained in no time.

To get the most out of your training, it’s recommended that you use short training sessions that implement positive reinforcement.

As long as you’re consistent and firm, they’ll catch on and become well-behaved canines.

Dogs running
Pug vs French Bulldog


Continuing the Pug vs French Bulldog comparison, both breeds have short coats and require regular grooming.

With the Pug, you can expect to brush their coats daily as they shed much more than the French Bulldog. It’s recommended that you brush your Pug’s coat outside as it will make the clean-up much easier.

With French Bulldogs, you can brush their coat a few times per week. They don’t shed as much so there usually aren’t any issues with grooming them indoors.

On top of brushing their coats, you’ll need to clean both dog’s wrinkles carefully and daily. This is important as you have to remove dirt and oily build-up that can lead to skin irritation or infection. Here’s how to do it.

As with all dogs, they require regular baths and nail trims.

Pug vs French Bulldog
Pug vs French Bulldog


The first thing to note is that Pugs and French Bulldogs are known as brachycephalic dog breeds. This means they have short, flat noses which make it difficult for them to tolerate heat or fluctuations in air temperature.

Because of this condition, it’s important to keep them cool at all times for their health and safety.

Brachycephalic breeds also have breathing problems so you can expect to hear them snoring when they’re sleeping at night or taking a daytime nap.

If you’re taking them to the vet, it’s essential to find one that has experience with handling brachycephalic dogs. This is especially important since these breeds are sensitive to anesthesia.

As far as other illnesses are concerned, Pugs are prone to eye diseases, epilepsy, hip dysplasia, luxating patella, encephalitis and obesity.

Common health issues for the French Bulldog include conjunctivitis, skin problems and breathing challenges. They can also have back issues from Intervertebral Disc Disease so avoid any exercises or games that would put their backs under strain.

With the right diet, exercise and care, however, you can enjoy either dog’s company for years to come.

On average, the French Bulldog’s lifespan ranges from 10-12 years. Pugs can live for a little longer with an average lifespan of 12-15 years.

Conclusion: Pug vs French Bulldog

From the information above, you can see that there are a lot of elements to consider when evaluating the Pug vs French Bulldog.

At the end of the day, the dog breed you choose depends on what works for your home, habits and lifestyle. So take all the information in and do your research.

In the Pug vs French Bulldog debate, you’re the only one with the right answer!

Dogs playing
A French Bulldog and a Pug

Pug vs French Bulldog Bonus Tip: How to Pick the Right Dog

When you’re looking for a dog but don’t know what breed to get, these nine easy questions can help quickly narrow down your search and find a four-legged friend who perfectly fits your lifestyle.

This guide will help you compare the Pug vs French Bulldog debate and give you a clearer idea of which one is for you.

1. Why Do You Want a Dog?

First things first, let’s talk about why you want a dog. This will guide you more than you realize!

For example, do you love cuddling up on the couch and want a furball to curl up in your lap and keep you company? Or do you want an energetic and enthusiastic dog who fits your active lifestyle?

Stop for a minute, close your eyes and think about it.

2. What Type of Dog Did You Have Growing up?

Believe it or not, the dog (or dogs) you grew up with often have an impact on what type of dog you want when you’re older.

That’s certainly not to say you couldn’t pick a different type of dog by any means. It’s just that people often have a comfort level with the type of canine they were conditioned to growing up.

3. Do You Have Any Allergies?

Dogs can be awful for allergies. But fortunately, there are many hypoallergenic dog breeds that make it easier for allergies sufferers.

Always learn more about the breed before bringing it into your home.

4. Who’s in Your Household?

Another important thing to think about is who is in your household.

Is it just you? Or do you have a partner? Roommates? Children?

This is incredibly important to consider. Especially if you have little ones in the household.

Fortunately, in the Pug vs French Bulldog debate, both are excellent companions.

5. Where Do You Live?

As you think about which dog breed is right for you, where you live is incredibly important.

It goes without saying that certain breeds just aren’t cut out for small spaces. For example, a Great Dane in a tiny apartment would be a disaster!

In the Pug vs French Bulldog comparison, both may have challenges in warmer climates since they’re brachycephalic breeds.

6. How Much Time and Energy Do You Have?

Dogs are A LOT of work. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. But some dogs require much more effort than others.

Potential pup parents should always make sure they have the time, energy and resources to care for a dog, no matter what the breed. But that level of care can increase depending on the dog.

Before making a decision regarding the Pug vs French Bulldog, make sure you understand their instincts and how much mental and physical stimulation they’ll each require.

7. What is the Dog’s Temperament?

Just like appearance, a pup’s temperament can vary greatly by breed. And it’s absolutely critical to find out how a dog will act based on their breed instincts.

Both the Pug and French Bulldog have fun, friendly personalities. The Pug is a bit more mischievous and silly, while the French Bulldog is a little charmer.

8. How Much Does the Breed Cost?

Owning a dog isn’t cheap, but some breeds are more expensive than others. Especially for some of the rarer canines.

Cost is a consideration, and it’s always a good idea to understand the full picture before making a commitment.

Things to consider include the initial expense, vet bills, food, grooming and other expenses like daycare or boarding.

9. Breed Finder

And finally, try out our online breed selector and get a list of the best breeds for you and your lifestyle.

It allows you to enter details like where you live, who’s in your house, your climate, what size of dog you’re looking for and more. You’ll receive a list of breeds that will work for you.

This could settle the Pug vs French Bulldog debate once and for all.

Check out more articles about: Dog Breeds

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