Pug Vs. French Bulldog — Which Pup Is Right For Your Pack?
We’re doing a comparison of these two pup-ular breeds so you can find your perfect match!
Looking for a new pup? We’re here to share some helpful insight (and, of course, all the treats you could need!) into two popular breeds, French Bulldogs and Pugs.
We know that welcoming a new furry friend into your family is such an exciting time, and it can also come with far more questions than you anticipated.
- Which breed is best for me?
- Do I need to change my lifestyle to keep up with my new pup’s exercise needs?
- What kind of health problems should I be on the lookout for?
- Will their temperament and personality complement my lifestyle?
- Is the breed expensive?
- How much does it cost to keep up with vet visits, food, treats, and training?
- When should I start training, and what kind of training does my pup need?
We’ll cover all of these questions (and more!) as we dive into comparing these two beloved breeds — pugs vs. french bulldogs.
Pug pawty or Frenchie fun?
First order of business when looking for a pup: think about what kind of companion suits your needs and your lifestyle best. A comparison of different breeds is a good place to start so you can narrow your search for your fur-ever friend!
Whether you’re looking for a little buddy to tote around on your travels, or a perfect-sized pup for apartment living, both Pugs and Frenchies are considered small (some might even say compact) dogs. For ‘toting’ around a pup, though, you’ll need a little extra muscle with a Frenchie as they tend to weigh in closer to 20-30 pounds at full grown size, while pugs are generally 18 pounds or less.
This could get hairy…
When it comes to shedding, the battle of Frenchies vs. Pugs comes out as a tie; both breeds have similar short-haired coats, are not hypoallergenic, and shed year-round — though at certain times of the year, you can expect *slightly* less shedding (like winter time when they want to keep a little extra floof for warmth).
Speaking of coats — if you’re particular about color, it’s good to know that both Pugs and French Bulldogs run the gamut in terms of coat patterns and coloring! If you’re itching for an all-white pup, though, know that white Pugs and Frenchies are not only rare but *quite* expensive.
Tails, ears, and snouts, oh my!
While both breeds share a similar appearance in their short, “smushed,” snout and round bodies, there are still some telltale differences between them.
Want to see a wagging tail? You’ll want a Pug for that! Frenchies have a nearly non-existent, short tail.
Love big ears? Frenchies deliver! Their ears will stand up at attention as they grow, while pugs have smaller, soft, floppy ears.
Tall enough to ride? Both breeds are a little vertically challenged — Frenchies and Pugs have a stocky build with short legs. On average, French Bulldogs are 11-13 inches tall, while Pugs average 10-13 inches.
Netflix and chill or needs a thrill?
Knowing what your dog prefers to do is important — especially if you’d like to have the same hobbies and spend lots of quality time together! If you like more chill time than thrill time, you’re in luck; both French Bulldogs and Pugs are great companions for this type of lifestyle.
Both breeds are content to have moderate exercise in their day, especially when they’re feeling lively; think playtime on the floor, a little run around the yard, or a short walk in cool temperatures.
Keep in mind that both breeds, with their short noses, need to keep it pretty chill in the exercise department due to potential breathing issues and heat intolerance.
Sniffing out any health concerns
Because of their similar body structure, when it comes to health concerns and health problems in French Bulldogs vs. Pugs, you can find some crossover due to their short snouts. This nose structure can cause breathing problems and is a reason why both Frenchies and Pugs do not tolerate heat or humidity well.
Both are also susceptible to varying eye issues. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), “Frenchies occasionally have eye conditions such as cherry eye, juvenile cataracts, or entropion.” In contrast, Pugs’ “eye problems including corneal ulcers and dry eye have been known to occur.”
Something else important to note? While cooling down your pup in a pool may seem tempting, if you’ve got a Frenchie, the AKC shares that it is *extremely* important to know that “because of their front-heavy structure, Frenchies cannot swim and should never be left unattended near a tub, pool, or body of water.”
Most dog owners don’t want to think about the length of their fur baby’s life, but life expectancy is also an important factor. Frenchies are expected to live a long and happy 10-12 years, while Pugs have a slightly longer life expectancy with an average of 13-15 years.
If each breed had a high school superlative…
Pugs: Most likely to steal your lunch.
Frenchies: Everybody’s buddy.
Pugs are really into food — so much so that overeating and obesity could be a problem, so guard your sandwich and be mindful of the number of treats you offer daily! Pugs have a sweet disposition and a friendly, fun personality. They are also highly affectionate and tend to reliably be good with children and most dogs. They’re eager to please and pretty easy to train though they can have mischievousness!
Frenchies are really into affection — like, maybe stage-5-clinger status. This breed is susceptible to separation anxiety, so if you tend to be away from home for long stretches of the day, this is important to know! French Bulldogs generally have a great temperament, are sociable, and are friendly towards children and most dogs.
A bonus is that neither breed would win the most talkative superlative. Both are known to be on the quiet side, so you won’t have to worry much about excessive and unnecessary barking.
All that cuteness comes at a cost
It’s no secret that some breeds can cost a pretty penny, but Frenchies take the cake on this one in the breed showdown of French Bulldogs vs. Pugs. In an April 2022 article from Reader’s Digest, French Bulldogs came in at number 4 on a list of the 26 most expensive dog breeds worldwide with an average cost of $2,500-$4,000!
That’s not to say that Pugs are inexpensive — the average cost is $500-$1,500 — but comparably, they are more affordable than a Frenchie.
Here’s a fun fact: grooming costs aren’t so painful because both breeds have low-maintenance coats. A simple brushing at home regularly should suffice! Groomer visits may be necessary for regular nail clipping, if that’s not something you can (or want!) to do at home.
With a list of potential health and care concerns, vet bills could also add up, so it might benefit French Bulldog and Pug owners to consider pet insurance, which could cost up to $65/month or more.
Let’s not forget the Pug’s affinity for food — treats + dog food + a hearty appetite = a hearty expense!
Still, ask any pet owner, and you’ll likely hear the same adage, “They’re worth every penny.”
Well-behaved pups are paw-sible
Training goes beyond the basic sit, stay, paw. While those are all great tricks for a pup to have up their sleeve, leash training, social training, and reaction training are also incredibly important.
A little mischievous, Pugs are very smart and *very* food motivated, which helps them to be easier to train — just make sure they don’t outsmart you! They can be a little distracted, too, thanks to their curious nature, but keep those treats handy and stay steadfast in your training and you’ll have a well-mannered pup in no time!
On the other hand, Frenchies can be a bit stubborn, which can make training a *little* more challenging, but they are still categorized as an easy-to-train breed. They are eager to please their humans, attention-hungry, and super-affectionate, so positive reinforcement and praise can go a long way with this breed!
As with all breeds, it is highly recommended to start training as early as possible! Getting your puppy into training classes can help to ensure that good behavior, and productive disciplining, is integrated into your routine straight away.
If it was up to popularity alone, one might argue that French Bulldogs win by a landslide. The American Kennel Club’s 2021 list of most popular breeds ranked Frenchies at number two out of 197 and Pugs at 33.
So, French Bulldogs vs. Pugs, which to choose?
We can advocate a reason for either breed to become your fur-ever friend. With their sweet temperaments, fun-loving personalities, low-maintenance exercise needs, and love for their humans, there’s so much to love about Pugs and French Bulldogs. Ultimately, though, only you can decide which pup is meant for you!
…And if you still can’t decide between a French Bulldog or a Pug, you may be in luck. Apparently, a ‘Frug’ is a thing, and it’s a mixed breed of the two that might be just what you’re looking for!