French Bulldog Vs. Pug: An In-Depth Comparison

French Bulldog Vs. Pug: An In-Depth Comparison

Both the Frenchie and Pug are two of the most well-known and hugely popular dog breeds worldwide. But many would-be owners consistently wonder French Bulldog vs. Pug, which one to choose? I have to agree the choice is an incredibly difficult one. The best solution would be to get one of each; sadly, that’s not practical for most people, or I think it might be their first choice.

The French Bulldog and the Pug are very similar in many respects; they are roughly the same size, with similar looks and personalities. They both have massive appeal to vast numbers of dog owners of all nationalities. Pugs might have the edge on activity level and personal attention, but honestly, there’s not much to choose between the Pug and French Bulldog. Whichever of these two you finally decide to choose, you’re certainly not going to be disappointed. The only sadness you’ll feel is that you chose only one and not both.

Let’s take a close look at both and check out the history, personalities, appearance, and exercise needs (that will be a short section) of the French Bulldog vs. Pug.

Everything You Need To Know About The French Bulldog And Pug:

1. French Bulldog Vs. Pug History

Pug History

The Chinese are credited with developing the Pug and two other short-nosed dogs, the Pekingese and the Lion Dog. Pugs were revered in Ancient China, and only emperors were allowed to keep the little dogs, often guarded by soldiers to prevent them from being stolen.

Pug history

Pugs were brought back to Europe by traders in the 1600s, making their way to England. It’s said that Queen Victoria was passionate about her Pugs and owned a number of them. Pugs were officially recognized by the AKC in 1885 and are now the 28th most popular dog in the USA.

French Bulldog History

The French Bulldog’s origins began in England around 150 years ago with the bulldog of those times. This bulldog was a much larger dog used in bull and bear-baiting in those days. During this time, bulldog breeders began experimenting with the breed; one experiment was to reduce the size to a toy bulldog weighing less than 25 pounds. They became pretty popular in the midland area of England.

French Bulldog history

During the Industrial Revolution, lace workers from those areas of England took their art over to Normandy and took the little bulldogs. The dog became exceptionally popular throughout France, and the french began to call them Bouledogues Français. The English didn’t want much to do with these particular bulldogs, continued developing the breed. These Frenchies still didn’t look like the Frenchie we know and love today, some had rose ears, and others had bat-type ears.

At this point, the Frenchie’s development took another turn, and the dog was taken over to America. Americans much preferred the bat-ears and began to develop them further. The French Bulldog is now the 4th most popular dog in the USA.

2. Pug And French Bulldog Comparison



  • Affectionate, attentive, loving, calm, mischievous, clever, playful, stubborn, pleasant, and quiet
Pug personality

Life Expectancy:

  • 13 to 15 years
Pug size and look

Size & Weight:

  • Weight: 14 to 18 pounds (m+f)
  • Size: 10 to 13 inches tall (m+f)


  • Low to moderate exercise
Pug exercising


  • Low maintenance
Pug grooming

AKC Group:

  • Toy group
Pug puppies

AKC Popularity:

  • Rank 28 of 197

French Bulldog


  • Playful, lively, affectionate, bright, alert, keen, patient, friendly, and easygoing
French Bulldog personality

Life Expectancy:

  • 10 to 12 years

Size & Weight:

  • Weight: under 28 pounds (m+f)
  • Size: 11 to 13 inches tall (m+f)
French Bulldog


  • Calm nature


  • Low maintenance
French Bulldog grooming

AKC Group:

  • Non-sporting group

AKC Popularity:

  • Rank 4 of 197

3. French Bulldog Vs. Pug Appearance

The French Bulldog and the Pug are roughly the same size, with the Frenchie being slightly taller at 11 to 13 inches, whereas the Pug is 10 to 12 inches tall. There is a difference in weight, with the Frenchie having a more muscular build than a Pug. Frenchies can weigh up to 28 pounds, while Pugs weigh up to 18 pounds.

Both are toy dogs, even though they are in different group classifications; Pugs are in the Toy group, and Frenchies are in the Non-sporting group. You cannot mistake the Pug for a Frenchie; they don’t look alike in any way, except for their size. For example, Pugs have small floppy ears, whereas the Frenchie has those famous large bat-type ears.

French Bulldog size and look

Both dogs are “brachycephalic” breeds meaning they have short heads. Brachycephalic Syndrome has the effect of giving both dogs a flat face. Of the two dogs, the Pug has a very flat face with a heavily wrinkled muzzle. Frenchies have a flat face with wrinkles, but not as flat or as wrinkled as the Pug.

There are other standout differences in their appearance, such as the Pug’s curly tail and the Frenchies little nub of a tail. Typically Pugs have two coat colors, fawn and black, whereas Frenchies have eleven coat colors, but only nine come under the breed standard. Frenchies have very short, sleek coats, but Pugs have a thicker, more dense coat that looks like it doesn’t quite fit as it should, with all the wrinkles around his shoulder and back.

4. French Bulldog Vs. Pug Temperament

French Bulldogs and Pugs are both incredibly affectionate, loving, and friendly dogs. They are thrilled to be with family, but they are both attention seekers, so any friends or strangers visiting you will all get the welcome mat. They are both little show-offs, especially the Pug, who enjoys clowning about. As you would expect, dogs like these just love kids; they are tremendously gentle and patient with kids of all ages.

There is a significant drawback to all this love and affection, and that’s separation anxiety. Both Pugs and Frenchies hate to be left alone for too long. If you are gone for what the dog sees as a long time, not you, by the way, prepare yourself for some destruction around the house when you return.

French Bulldog temperament

It’s so tempting to adopt either of these two breeds because you can’t find more loving and friendly dogs anywhere, but you have to consider their needs. If your family is out of the house most of the day, this isn’t the breed for you, even if you love the idea.

Both Frenchies and Pugs are pretty active when they’re puppies; they have lots of energy and enjoy a brisk walk and a good run around. As mentioned, the Pug is more of a clown and acts silly more than a Frenchie, who probably thinks he’s a little too dignified for all that tomfoolery. Pugs seem to retain their silliness into adulthood, but the Frenchie is far too laid back as he gets older to clown around.

Pug temperament

Frenchies and Pugs are notorious sniffers, grunters, and snorters, especially the Pug. Most owners find this very endearing, but it can be irritating to other people. If these noises really get on your nerves, you should avoid the breeds; it’s all part and parcel of owning either dog.

Another thing we should bring up at this point is – flatulence. Yes, it’s crucial to mention this. Both dogs are exceedingly flatulent. It doesn’t matter what you feed them; it’s just something you have to expect and understand with these dogs. If unpleasant smells make you feel nauseous, then once again, think about another breed of dog.

5. French Bulldog Vs. Pug Exercise

We’ve briefly touched on exercise for the Frenchie and Pug, but just to complete the picture, here’s what you need to know for both dogs. Pugs are a little misleading because they don’t appear to need much exercise, but appearances can be deceptive, and Pugs need a moderate amount every day.

French Bulldog exercising

It’s pretty surprising how a chunky little Pug can be pretty sprightly on his feet. Pugs enjoy galloping around a bit and will need about 40 minutes of good quality exercise every day. Pugs are also up for learning tricks, and if you try engaging his brain, you’ll be pleasantly rewarded with a willing learner.

Frenchies are different; when they’re puppies, they love to hare around a bit, and they love to be off-leash for a run. As they get older, they become much more sedate. It’s not as though a switch goes off and they suddenly change, the process is gradual, but you will begin to see it pretty clearly, that running around doesn’t appeal anymore.

6. French Bulldog Vs. Pug Training

Frenchies and Pugs are intelligent dogs; not in the same league as the Border Collie or Poodle, but they’re no slouches in the brain department. So they do pick up commands and learn them; it might take several times of trying before they get them correct, but they will get there. Both dogs can be stubborn if they’re not in the mood, but you have one thing in your favor, and that’s their favorite treats; they both love a good snack.

French Bulldog training

Providing you’re consistent and firm because you can’t afford to let them get away with anything, and you give them bags of praise and a few deserved treats, you’ll get them behaving as you want.

Final Thoughts – French Bulldog Vs. Pug

Frenchies and Pugs both will steal your heart, and nothing written in this article will convince you to choose one over the other because they are both fantastic little dogs. They do have a few health concerns, but they come with owning brachycephalic dogs, whatever the breed.