French Bulldog vs Pug: What’s The Difference?

French Bulldog vs Pug

Table of Contents

They say good things come in small packages, and today’s article is an awesome example. Below is a thorough comparison of French Bulldogs vs Pugs. So if you’re looking to own one of these oddly adorable dogs, keep reading for more information to help you decide.

French Bulldog vs Pug – History & Origins

French Bulldogs

The first toy-Bulldogs came about sometime in the mid-1800s in English cities including Nottingham. then a center for lace making. The toy Bulldog became a mascot for Nottingham’s lace makers, so when people in the lace industry moved to northern France, they naturally took their toy Bulldogs along. They became very popular in the French countryside and were crossed with other breeds (perhaps terriers and Pugs) over the years where they developed their now-famous bat ears. Paris eventually discovered the fascinating new breed, and by the end of the 19th century, countries across Europe and  America had joined the club.


Pugs are an ancient breed that dates about 2,000 years back into the era of Chinese emperors who liked flat-faced toy dogs. They were bred as pets of the emperor, his family, and members of the imperial court, treated like a national treasure that outsiders could only get as a gift. When Dutch traders returned to Europe with Pugs in the 1500s, the spark of the breed’s popularity started to fly. Pugs became the mascot of Holland’s royal House of Orange, then when William and Mary of Orange arrived in England to rule, they brought their Pugs with them and began a craze for the breed.

French Bulldog vs Pug – Appearance

French Bulldogs

The French Bulldog looks a lot like a miniature Bulldog, but the breed’s trademark feature is none other than the large, erect bat ears. Frenchies have big and squared heads with deep wrinkles rolled above a very short nose. Beneath their smooth coats, French Bulldogs have compact and muscular bodies. Oddly beautiful, French Bulldogs have a truly unique appeal when compared to other more glamorous and showy breeds. However, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and what many people find lovely in the French Bulldog are the traits that make this breed one of the best companion dogs in the modern world.


The Pug is known for its adorably comical flat round face, adorned with heavy wrinkles that surround big, dark eyes. Many believe that the Pug’s name comes from the Latin word for “fist” because his face looks like a human fist. Moreover, legend has it that the Chinese treasured these wrinkles because they resembled the symbols for good luck in their language. Pugs with wrinkles that seemed to form the letters for the word “prince” in Chinese were especially prized. Pugs’ cheeks have moles that are referred to as “beauty spots.” Their muzzle is usually black with a clearly defined “thumb mark” on the forehead and a black trace down the center of the back. Unlike Frenchies, the Pug’s ears are black, velvety, and folded down. This breed has a characteristic undershot jaw and a tightly curled tail. French Bulldog vs Pug 2

French Bulldog vs Pug – Size

French Bulldogs

Generally speaking, French Bulldogs stand at about 11 to 13 inches tall. Males weigh around 20 to 28 pounds, whereas females fall somewhere between 16 and 24 pounds.


Both male and female Pugs weigh about 14 to 18 pounds. They stand approximately between 10 and 14 inches tall in general.

French Bulldog vs Pug – Coats & Grooming

French Bulldogs

French Bulldogs have smooth and shiny coats with short, fine hair. Their skin is loose, soft, and deeply wrinkled, especially at the head and shoulders. French Bulldogs come in many different colors including cream, fawn, various shades of brindle (a coat with patterns of specks and streaks of light and dark markings) such as black brindle and the stunning tiger brindle, as well as brindle and white – known as brindle pied. Typically French Bulldogs can be any color except solid black, mouse (light steely grey)  liver (solid reddish-brown with brown pigmentation on the lips and nose), and black with white or tan. Don’t trust any breeder who tells you that these particular colors are rare and worth more money. Grooming your Frenchie is a fairly easy task as you only need to brush them occasionally to maintain a healthy coat. French Bulldogs are average shedders.


Pugs are a double-coated breed, but their coats are short. Typically, they’re either black or fawn-colored, but the fawn color can have different shades such as silver or apricot. All Pugs come with a short, flat, black muzzle. Pugs have short and smooth coats, which gives the impression of a low-shedding breed. Don’t fall for it though, Pugs shed like crazy particularly in summer. A smart move on your part would be to adjusts your wardrobe accordingly and maybe wear light-colored clothes to better hide hair. Pugs require regular brushing and bathing to keep their coats in healthy condition and minimize shedding. A monthly bath is good enough, but some owners do it more frequently. Luckily. the small size of Pugs comes in handy since you can just drop the dog right in the bathroom sink for a bath. You’ll need to pay special attention to the Pug’s facial wrinkles because these deep folds are common sites for infections if you let it become damp or dirty. Dry the wrinkles thoroughly after every bath, and wipe them out regularly in-between baths. You can use simple dry cotton balls or try commercial baby wipes to get the job done. Also, watch out for the Pug’s bulging eyes. Since they protrude, the eyes are prone to injury and irritation from soaps and chemicals.

French Bulldog vs Pug – Personality

French Bulldogs

The French Bulldog is a smart, loving dog with a bright and super affectionate personality. These dogs don’t just love spending a lot of time with their humans, they actually need it to thrive. A fun-oriented freethinker, the French Bulldog does well when it comes to training as long as it’s done in a positive manner with plenty of food rewards, praise, and play involved. Frenchies are natural charmers, yet they’re dogs of few words. French Bulldogs don’t bark much, so they’re great for apartment life. However, they’re highly alert, which makes them excellent watchdogs. These dogs will happily adapt to life with singles, couples, or families, and they don’t need to go out too often for exercise. Frenchies get on rather well with other animals and enjoy making new human friends.


Pugs were bred to offer companionship, so don’t expect that your Pug will hunt, guard, or retrieve. These dogs are phenomenal companions, so you’ll be hitting jackpot if you’re looking for a friend. Pugs crave affection and love curling up in your lap. They become extremely unhappy if their devotion isn’t reciprocated. Pugs tend to be inactive dogs, content to sit in your lap as you read a book or watch a movie. This doesn’t mean these dogs are a stick-in-the-mud, on the contrary! They’re playful, fun-loving, and comical dogs that like to “live it up”, spreading delight with silly antics.

French Bulldog vs Pug – Training

French Bulldogs

Early socialization and puppy training sessions are recommended for the French Bulldog. To help him grow into a well-adjusted adult, you need to expose the puppy to a wide variety of people, places, and situations. Puppy training classes can double as part of the early socialization process. Such classes also help encourage good behavior and even teaches the owner how to recognize and correct bad habits. Frenchies have big, bright personalities, so they require a fair amount of training to make them well-behaved civilized companions. They do have a stubborn bone, but they’re people pleasers deep down and easy to train accordingly. Proper motivation (such as treats) and approaching the process as a fun game will ensure their cooperation


As we mentioned above, Pugs have been bred to be companions and they bring delight to their owners. They generally possess an even and stable temperament and a great charm, with a loving and outgoing tendency. Pugs live to please their people, which makes them very easy to train. However, their feelings are easily hurt so you must avoid using harsh training methods. A Pug needs to be with his family and will be sad if you regularly leave him alone for long periods of time. Once again, early socialization and puppy training classes are key to develop well-behaved adult Pugs.

French Bulldog vs Pug – Life Span

French Bulldogs

The lifespan of a French Bulldog is about 10 to 14 years.


The lifespan of a Pug is around 12 to 15 years.

French Bulldog vs Pug – Health Issues

As adorable and affectionate as French bulldogs and pugs can be, they do come with their fair share of health issues. Because of several physical aspects, such as compressed tissues, compressed facial bones, and the difference in size between the head and hip at birth, practically all French bulldogs and pugs suffer from genetic health problems and birth defects. If you’re looking to provide your dog with the necessary care from early on, you need to be aware of the common health issues you may have to deal with in these breeds.

French Bulldogs

Here are a few health problems that are common among French bulldogs:

Brachycephalic Syndrome

There’s no doubt that your French bulldog’s face is cute. Unfortunately, this face shape actually causes constriction in the dog’s airways to the point that they struggle to breathe. In many cases, the Frenchie may require an operation. You may need to take your French bulldog to the vet if you notice signs of excessive snorting and snoring.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is another genetic condition that your Frenchie may be suffering from. In this case, the femur bone doesn’t fit properly into the pelvic socket of the joint of the hip. This displacement can lead to lameness or pain on either rear legs. In older Frenchies, arthritis is likely to develop.

Hemi Vertebrate

Hemi Vertebrae is a malformation of the spine, causing it to grow out of normal shape into a triangle or wedge instead. Such an abnormal shape exerts too much pressure onto the spinal cord, which may lead to weakness, pain, or even paralysis. Not to mention, it feels awfully painful for the dog. Sadly, Hemi Vertebrae has no definite treatment yet, so you should ask your breeder for the health records of both parents before buying a puppy.

Patellar Luxation

Patellar Luxation is a condition where the Patellar (the joining of the thigh bone, kneecap, and tibia) is misaligned, which puts too much strain on the bones as they slip in and out. It’s a common health issue in most of the smaller dog breeds out there. In most cases, Patellar Luxation can often be detected at birth, but sometimes the symptoms don’t appear until the Frenchie is older.

Cleft Palate

A cleft palate is diagnosed when the roof of the mouth is split, resulting in the joining of the nasal and oral cavities. This can cause major difficulty in breathing. While it’s true that any dog can develop a condition of cleft palate, the distinctive shape of the French bulldog’s head makes them more likely to suffer from this problem.


The most common way you can recognize a case of allergies in French bulldogs is by spotting skin rashes. The site, severity, and type of these skin rashes depend on the cause of the allergy. The dog may have ingested certain foods, touched certain materials, or breathed in certain irritants.


Similarly, here are a few health problems that are common among Pugs:

Pug Dog Encephalitis

Exclusive to Pugs only, PDE is a fatal inflammatory brain disease with no way to test for it or treat it. Medical researchers still don’t know why Pugs develop this condition. Unfortunately, diagnosing PDE is only possible by testing the brain tissue of the dog after it dies. PDE usually strikes young Pugs, causing them to seizure, circle, go blind, then fall into a coma and die. This can happen in a span of a few days or weeks. Since PDE seems to be affected by genetic factors, the Pug Dog Club of America along with the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation is sponsoring research plans to try to unravel the mystery of this destructive disease.


In addition to PDE, there’s another disease that can cause Pugs to seizure. It’s a condition known as idiopathic epilepsy; seizures that happen for no identified reason. If your Pug suffers from seizures, pay an urgent visit to your vet to determine the cause and the appropriate treatment.

Nerve Degeneration

Nerve degeneration is most common in older Pugs. Affected dogs will often drag their rear, stagger, have difficulty jumping up or down, or become incontinent. Pugs suffering from nerve degeneration don’t seem to be in pain, and the condition usually progresses slowly. Researchers don’t have a definite explanation as to why it occurs. Since the Pug’s front legs typically stay strong and functioning, some owners buy carts with wheels to help their Pugs move around. Your vet might also be able to prescribe medication to help ease symptoms.

Corneal Ulcers

Because they’re so large and protruding, Pugs’ eyes are highly prone to injuries or developing ulcers on the cornea (the white part of the eye). If your Pug squints a lot or if his eyes look red and are tearing excessively, get in touch with your vet immediately. Corneal ulcers generally respond well to medication. But it can cause blindness or ruptures in the eye if left untreated.

Dry Eye

Keratoconjunctivitis sicca and pigmentary keratitis are two diseases observed in Pugs. They can happen independently or at the same time. Dry eye occurs when the eyes don’t produce enough tears to maintain moistness, whereas pigmentary keratitis is a condition that causes black spots on the cornea, especially in the corner near the nose. If the pigment covers the eye, it can lead to blindness. Your vet can prescribe medication that’ll help keep the eyes hydrated and dissolve the pigment. Such eye conditions usually require life-long care.

French Bulldog vs Pug – Popularity

French Bulldogs

According to the AKC list of the most popular breeds, French Bulldogs rank 4th out of 196 breeds.


According to the AKC list of the most popular breeds, Pugs rank 28th out of 196 breeds.

French Bulldog vs Pug – Price

French Bulldogs

According to NextDayPets, the current average price for all French Bulldogs sold is $2,300. Prices for top-quality dogs with superior breed lines can range from $5,900 up to $10,000


According to NextDayPets, the current average price for all French Bulldogs sold is $800. Prices for top-quality dogs with an excellent breed line can range from $2,300 up to $10,000

Wrap Up

French Bulldogs and Pugs may be small in size, but they’re two of the breeds with the biggest hearts! We hope our French Bulldog vs Pug comparison helped you better understand these dogs so you can make a well informed decision. Protection Status