French Bulldog vs Pug: Which Should You Choose?

When you’ve got two adorable and delightful dogs to choose from as a furever family member, it can be a tough decision to make. One may argue that it’s a great decision to have to make.

The French Bulldog vs Pug has several similarities and differences when it comes to their traits, their health, properly caring for them, the best living space, their lifespan, and their cost.

Knowing what these comparisons are can help you decide which pup is the right fit for you and your family.

French Bulldog vs Pug Origin

Believe it or not, even though French Bulldogs appeared in France many years ago, they originally came from England in the 1800s when they were bred to be a toy-size version of the Bulldog.

The pug is believed to have been a companion for the wealthy in China dating back to 400 B.C.

French Bulldog vs Pug Physical Traits

It’s no secret that both of these breeds have quite a charming appearance. While they share some physical traits, they’re also easy to distinguish between given some unique features.


Both the French Bulldog vs. Pug are considered a small breed. The French Bulldog has an average weight of 18 to 28 pounds, while a pug is usually a little smaller at 14 to 18 pounds. Of course, weight varies depending on several factors including diet and exercise. Male dogs also tend to way a little more.

Coat and Skin

The loose wrinkly skin that we love is a feature of both the French Bulldog and Pug. The difference is in their coat. The French Bulldog’s coat is fine, short, and smooth. The Pug’s coat is thicker and more coarse.

*Special Tip: To avoid skin problems, such as Skin Fold Dermatitis, where the skin becomes inflamed from rubbing together, keep wrinkles clean and dry by using a pet grooming wipe.

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There are quite a few common French Bulldog colors:

  • Fawn
  • Fawn & White
  • Fawn Brindle
  • White & Fawn
  • Fawn Brindle & White
  • White
  • Brindle
  • Brindle & White
  • White & Brindle
  • Cream
  • Cream & White
  • Blue
  • Lilac
  • Blue and Tan
  • Chocolate and Tan
  • Blue Merle

Pugs usually have one of the following coat colors:

  • Fawn
  • Black
  • Silver
  • Apricot

Pugs that aren’t black have black masks and ears.


French Bulldog tails are short and stubby. Many people think their tail is docked, but this actually isn’t the case. Once upon a time, the Frenchie had a long tail that would often be injured during fighting. Because of this, they started being bred to have shorter tails. Sometimes the French Bulldog tail is twisted because of a deformed vertebra.

Pug tails are just a bit longer and curled. The reason their tails are curled is because of a spinal deviation. This disparity has become a strong point when it comes to the look of a Pug as it is quite cute. There are times when a pug’s tail droops or becomes straight. This can happen for various reasons, but a vet can provide a proper diagnosis.

Pug vs French Bulldog Personality Traits

When it comes to the personality of these two breeds, there’s quite the competition. Both pups are social, affectionate, and loyal making them the best family pets and an even better snuggler. They both have so much love to give!

Some differences of the French Bulldog vs. Pug personality is that the Frenchie is more laid-back and may show alertness when need be, but a Pug is more active and alert. Because a Pug has a little more energy and awareness, it may bark more than the usually quiet Frenchie.

French Bulldog vs Pug Health

When making the decision to get a new fur baby, it should be considered that both the French Bulldog and Pug are prone to several medical problems.

Concerns for Both Breeds

Since the French Bulldog and Pug are similar in many ways, they share many common concerns.

  • Brachycephalic Syndrome (BOS) – Many of the health obstacles that both of these breeds face are due to their flat faces. Dogs with a short muzzle are referred to as having Brachycephalic Syndrome, which means that they likely have narrow nostrils, a soft palate, and/or an underdeveloped windpipe. Because of this, breathing can be difficult. BOS is diagnosed and treated by a vet. Because of these breathing difficulties, ‘short-faced’ dogs should exercise in moderation and stick to short walks.
  • Skin Fold Dermatitis – As mentioned above, both dogs may suffer from Skin Fold Dermatitis, or Intertrigo. This when their wrinkles rub together and inflammation occurs and can be prevented by keeping them clean and dry.
  • Luxating Patella – Luxating Patella occurs when the kneecap, or patella, is out of place. When this happens, a dog may have trouble leaning on this specific leg. Depending on the severity, surgery may be needed for relief.
  • Epilepsy – When the function of the brain cells is disturbed, a seizure can occur. Epilepsy is when seizures occur regularly. If you suspect your dog is having a seizure, clear the space and allow your dog to handle it on its own, then contact your vet.

Check out more on common French Bulldog Health Issues.

Caring for Each Breed

One of the greatest things about these two breeds is that they’re laid back and fairly simple to care for. French Bulldog vs. Pug care also has some differences.


As we now know, both the Frenchie and Pug need their skin folds cleaned regularly to prevent infection. 

When it comes to brushing, this should also be done often. A Pug sheds a bit more than a French Bulldog so more hair brushing sessions may be needed.

Since neither dog needs a whole lot of exercise and they enjoy relaxing indoors, they don’t get as dirty as some other breeds. Because of this, about four baths a year is plenty. Of course, if more is needed, that’s okay. Keep in mind that too many baths can result in dry skin.

For the full scoop on bathtime, check out this complete guide.


Because of the breathing issues that both breeds encounter, extensive exercise isn’t needed. They’re also both very calm dogs and don’t have a lot of energy to burn. A short walk or two a day is enough to maintain their health and weight.

Indoor playtime is the way to go for the French Bulldog and Pug especially with so many toy options.


When it comes to training a French Bulldog or a Pug, treats and patience are vital. Both dogs want to please their owner but can be stubborn. Many will say a French Bulldog is easier to train because a Pug is known to be more mischievous.

Living Space

Being so small in size, whatever living space you have will more than likely work for either breed. As long as there’s room for a small bed and a few toys, you and your new pup are good to go.

When it comes to outdoor space, neither the French Bulldog nor the Pug needs a lot of it. However, it is important to note that both dogs prefer mild weather. A climate that is too hot doesn’t go well with the breathing issues both pups may experience and a climate that is too cold may make it difficult for these short-haired dogs to stay warm.

French Bulldog vs Pug Lifespan

The average lifespan of a French Bulldog is 10 to 14 years and 12 to 15 years for a Pug. With that said, this can always vary depending on specific circumstances. Either way, both breeds are top-notch pets for as long as they are around.

Tips for a Long, Happy Life for Your Pup

  • Provide safety and security – When a dog feels relaxed, it experiences less stress. In turn, they will have a longer and happier life.
  • Visit your vet regularly – Stay on top of your dog’s health by visiting your vet about every 6 months. The sooner you address any possible health issues, the better.
  • Participate in regular exercise – No, neither of these dogs should go on long walks or runs, but movement is always beneficial. Foster physical and mental health by playing and taking short walks with your pup.
  • Give appropriate foodA balanced diet is one that consists of fat, fiber, protein, and water. The better the food quality, the better quality of life.
  • Show love – French Bulldogs and Pugs love love! They’re known for being affectionate and thrive off of human interaction.

French Bulldog vs Pug Cost

As if the decision on a French Bulldog vs. Pug wasn’t hard enough, they have similar price tags. Both breeds can cost you up to about $2,500. Of course, you can find your new furry family member at a cheaper price but probably not for much less if it’s been bred responsibly.

If you choose to adopt, the cost is usually cheaper since spay, neuter, and vaccine costs are oftentimes covered. More on that here.

Once you bring your pup home, there will be extra costs including vet visits, food, beds, toys, and other basic needs.

*Special Tip: One sure way to relieve some financial responsibilities of having a pet is getting pet insurance to aid in medical expenses.

Picking Your Perfect Pet

Now that you have a complete comparison of the French Bulldog vs Pug and are probably thinking they’d both make an exceptional pet, it’s time to make a decision.

Let’s summarize their similarities and differences:

  • Both breeds have been popular companions for many, many years.
  • They are both small in size, with the Pug being slightly smaller.
  • They both have adorable wrinkles that need to be cared for.
  • While they both have short hair and shed minimally, the Pug’s is more thick and coarse than a Frenchie’s.
  • They both come in various colors, but there are more French Bulldog color options.
  • A French Bulldog has a short, stubby tail and a Pug has a short, curled tail.
  • Both breeds are loving and ready to socialize, but a Pug has a bit more energy.
  • Both breeds are prone to several health issues.
  • When it comes to grooming, this is quite simple for both dogs. They don’t need baths too often and regular hair brushing isn’t too big of a chore given their small size and short hair.
  • While both breeds love walks, they don’t require much exercise and one to two short walks a day is adequate.
  • Training a French Bulldog may be a bit easier as Pugs tend to be more stubborn.
  • Both breeds have the same needs when it comes to living spaces: small is okay and moderate weather is best.
  • The lifespan of a Pug may be a bit longer at 12 to 15 years, while a Frenchie’s average lifespan is 10 to 14 years.
  • Both breeds come with a high price and can cost up to $2,500.

The bottom line is that both of these enchanting pups are known to be excellent pets for most people and you can’t go wrong with either choice!