Pug vs. French Bulldog: Which Breed is Right for You?

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pug vs french bulldog

Is there anything cuter than a beefy, compact pup with a smooshed snout and a spunky soul? Probably not. When it comes to comparing the French Bulldog to the Pug, you may have quite a bit of trouble deciding which is a better companion.

Both breeds have brought much entertainment and happiness to owners everywhere. With so many similarities, they are just different enough to tip the scales toward one side or another. You may know people who swear by one breed hand over fist, but which wins your award for the best? Let’s look at the good, the bad, and all that’s in-between, so you can decide for yourself.

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Visual Differences

These two breeds are very close in size and have many resemblances. They are both listed in the brachycephalic breed category. That means they have an ultra-short muzzle, which leads to breathing problems and potentially more severe health issues than dogs with standard nasal passages.

French Bulldogs weigh an average of 16-24 pounds while Pugs weigh between 14-18 pounds. Pugs stand 10-14 inches high while Frenchies are 11-12 inches. You will find that Frenchies are a bit more muscular than Pugs, which can account for the extra weight.

pug vs frenchie
Left: Pug, Right: French Bulldog

While they both have buggy eyes and a flat face, there is one noticeable difference. Pugs have rounded floppy ears. French Bulldogs have famous “bat ears” that stand naturally erect, and they are usually quite large in proportion to their heads.

Both breeds have wrinkly scruff with adorable rolls to squeeze. Pugs have dense coats from their faces down to a curly pig-like tail. French Bulldogs have sleeker coats and stubby docked nubs. A Pug’s undercoat continuously grows, causing constant shedding. Frenchies shed much less, only losing their undercoats twice a year.

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Then come color variations between them. Pugs are very recognizable with four coats to choose from: black, apricot, fawn, and silver fawn. Frenchies have a wider variety, having multiple patterns and colors. They vary between bridle, pied, cream, fawn, blue, chocolate, and black.

At a Glance

Let’s look at the key points of each breed. You can see the pros of owning each one so you can check compatibility.

Pug: Pros
  • Lovable
  • Loyal
  • Family-oriented
  • Apartment-compatible
  • Child- and animal-friendly
  • Friendly with strangers
  • Good watchdogs
  • Non-aggressive
French Bulldog: Pros
  • Spirited
  • Affectionate
  • Enthusiastic
  • Stranger-friendly
  • Apartment-compatible
pug eating
Pug, Image credit: Pug eating snack by SNGPhotography, Pixabay

Personality Comparison

Both breeds are brilliantly fun-loving and goofy in spirit. They are known far and wide for their human-like personalities and interactive animation. Even when they are at their craziest during play, they are manageable. Their size allows them to be a perfect candidate for apartment living.

Because they are smaller dogs, they can be a bit stubborn and difficult to train. On the upside, they are both eager to please and moderately intelligent. While they may take longer to learn, they will eventually catch on.

Both dogs are incredibly affectionate and loyal to their owners. However, the spunkiness of a French Bulldog can cause it to be less compatible with other pets or small children. This is not true for the Pug, which absolutely loves kids and gets along famously with other animals.

Both dogs are prone to snoring due to their flat faces. They will make you laugh as they snort with excitement or make funny sounds during sleep. They can also be vocal, talking back to you in dog language as if they’re partaking in a conversation.

French Bulldog
French Bulldog, Featured Image Credit: ElfinFox, Pixabay

Frenchies are more slightly more active than a Pug. Pugs may be up for romping around, but they love to follow up with frequent naps. Frenchies, on the other hand, can keep up with fun activities with fewer breaks.

Even though the Pug is enormously friendly, they make better watchdogs by a minor margin. They are quick to alert their families of any suspicious happenings, ready to act. Obviously, they aren’t very threatening due to their size and stature, but that won’t stop them.

Both make excellent family additions, being neither aloof nor disengaged. They will try to include themselves in all the activities you enjoy. Both are ecstatic to go on car rides, vacations, daytrips, and walks with you. They truly enjoy just being involved in as much of your day as you will allow. 

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Individual Wellbeing

French Bulldogs have a lifespan of 9 to 11 years, which is considered quite short for a smaller dog. Pug’s lifespan exceeds this, averaging 12-14 years.

Because they both fall in the brachycephalic category, this poses great health risks for them. They cannot be in even moderately high temperatures for extended periods. Due to their facial construction, they can’t pant properly. It can cause heatstroke and breathing difficulties, which can lead to death.

Pugs can suffer Pug Dog Encephalitis. It is a disease of the central nervous system, which is progressive and will ultimately cause their demise. It starts symptomatically as seizures, abnormal gait, and eventual blindness.

On top of respiratory-related diseases, both Pug’s and French Bulldogs can also suffer from a wide selection of genetic conditions. These include spinal disorders, eye issues, and joint conditions.

Frenchies tend to have allergy problems. They have a good chance of developing sensitivities to food and surrounding irritants. Be ready for special diets as well as protection from environmental allergens.

Pug
Pug, Image credit: Pug by SneakyElbow, Pixabay

Breeding & Pricing

There is no contest here—French Bulldogs are much more expensive to breed. That, in turn, makes them more costly to purchase. Frenchies require a breeder who has extreme knowledge, experience, and adequate resources.

French Bulldogs cannot get pregnant organically. The females must undergo artificial insemination, as they have too narrow of a gait to breed normally. Their slender hips prevent natural labor as well, do whelping isn’t an option. They must undergo a cesarean surgery, costing a pretty penny for breeders as well.

Because of the difficulty and intricacy of the entire process, they come with a hefty price tag. The average cost of a French Bulldog is $2,200. However, it can range anywhere from $1,500-$10,000. That will all depend on breeding quality, color rarity, and other expenses.

Pugs, thankfully, do not have the same difficulties. Mothers can have puppies with no issue. You can expect to pay within a general range of $600-$1,500 for a pet. If you would like to purchase with papers, expect to pay upwards of $6,000.

Also, keep in mind that each of these breeds could need regular medications, expensive specialty foods, or run pricy vet bills. You need to be sure you figure in the cost beforehand.

french bulldog
French Bulldog | Image Credit By: GLady, pixabay

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& The Winner Is…

Is it possible to pick? The winner will be completely dependent on personal preference and nothing more. You will want the pooch that will complement your living situation. They share so many terrific likenesses but differ enough to make your decision easier.

You may be on Team Frenchie if you are single and able to spoil them as the only pet. You can bring them on all your adventures, dress them up with cute accessories, and love them endlessly. If you have the proper financial means to care for them both upfront and in the long run, it may be no contest for you.

You may be on Team Pug if you have small children or other pets. They will equally be willing to accompany you anywhere you may go and socialize with your company. They aren’t quite as hard on the wallet initially, but health issues can require regular medication. So, be aware that there could be unforeseen expenses later.

No matter which breed you think is the victor here, they both have so many wet kisses to give. So, take your number one pick and start your companion search!