Pug vs French Bulldog
French Bulldogs and Pugs share many similar characteristics and are often mistaken for one another due to their small size, unique features, and friendly nature.
These dogs are a brachycephalic breed, which means they belong to a group of dog breeds that require extra attention due to having shortened noses and an elongated soft palate, which may cause difficulty with their airways.
With proper veterinarian care, both Pugs and French Bulldogs thrive in a healthy environment. While they share many of the same traits, there are distinct differences between these two popular breeds.
The History of the French Bulldog and Pug
Pugs are one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. They originated from China and were bred almost exclusively as companion dogs for emperors and soldiers and luxury pets for the wealthy. While they first appeared during the Han Dynasty, they weren’t imported to Europe until the late 1500s, when Dutch traders discovered pugs, and they quickly became a popular pet across Europe.
French Bulldog history varies considerably from Pugs, as they became popular during the Industrial Revolution and often accompanied workers to buildings and factories as companions and skilled vermin hunters.
They were a unique dog breed that quickly gained favor in France, and throughout Europe, for their bat ears, flat face, and friendly personality. This small dog breed was also bred as French Terriers and later became the French Bulldog, popular with many dog owners today.
The French Bulldog and Pug are often crossbred to design new breeds, such as the Frenchie Pug (or French Pug), which is a crossbreed between both dogs, and often referred to as a Frug. A Puggle is a cross between a Pug and a Beagle. Many other designer dog breeds combine a pug mix or other dogs with distinct characteristics and traits.
Physical Characteristics of the Pug and French Bulldog
The Pug dog and French Bulldog are similar in size, though the French Bulldog is heavier in stature, with a more robust, muscular body. Pugs have a round shape, and both male and female pugs tend to weigh about the same, roughly between thirteen to seventeen pounds, and stand about ten to fourteen inches in height. French Bulldogs tend to weigh a bit more, reaching up to thirty pounds and twelve inches in height, which gives this purebred dog its stockier build.
French Bulldogs tend to have small tails, large eyes, and short snouts. A distinct part of their appearance is their wide nostrils and a line between them. Pug dogs have similarly large eyes, though they have lots of wrinkles on their face. Pugs also have small moles or beauty marks on their cheeks, with a thumbprint impression on their forehead and a short nose.
Since both of these small dogs are brachycephalic breeds, due to their little nostrils, narrow tracheas, and long palates, they are more prone to breathing problems than other breeds. Your veterinarian can advise how to best support your French Bulldog or Pug to minimize breathing issues and help them live a healthy, enjoyable life.
Coat Colors and Other Features
Pugs and French Bulldogs come in a variety of coat colors. French Bulldogs have many coat colors and patterns, including cream, fawn, white, and brindle. Pugs are generally available in two coat colors, fawn or black. While their fur looks similar at first glance, each of these small dog breeds has a different coat texture and thickness.
French Bulldogs have a coat of fine, short hair that doesn’t shed much and doesn’t produce much odor. Pugs, on the other hand, tend to shed often, due to their double-coated fur, especially during the warmer seasons.
Since both dog breeds are small, they are more susceptible to extreme temperatures and weather changes. They can quickly overheat during the summer, which makes frequent hydration and provides a climate-controlled environment. Pugs have small, curly tails, and French Bulldogs have corkscrews.
Personality and Temperament
Pugs are natural comedians and love to entertain. They enjoy human companionship and love to perform for amusement and affection. Pugs are drawn to situations where they can socialize and make excellent lap dogs. Due to their size and short snout, pugs don’t need much exercise and should be monitored if they go outside. Pugs are ideal for small living spaces, with sufficient room to play with human companions.
French Bulldogs are similarly friendly and affectionate, much like pugs. They tend to be less agile or active than other dog breeds, so they don’t run, jump, or play. They require a bit of exercise to keep them in good shape, and moderate levels of exercise, such as walking or hiking, are ideal.
Are Pugs and French Bulldogs Easy to Train?
Both of these small dogs are stubborn but intelligent. The key to successful training is starting when they are young and maintaining consistency for the best results. Pugs are naturally passive and may not always follow commands, and they make excellent pets for people who are home most of the time.
When you train a French Bulldog, you’ll need to express commands in a firm, authoritative manner due to their stubborn nature. They can be a bit more challenging to work with than Pugs, though, with enough discipline, they can be well-trained and responsive. While both Pug puppies and French Bulldog puppies present challenges during the early part of obedience training, they make lovely family pets.
Health and Lifespan
Pugs and French Bulldogs are generally easy to live with and take care of, though there are some common health conditions they may develop.
French Bulldogs are more prone to developing medical conditions concerning their heart, eyes, and back, and Pugs may similarly experience eye issues due to their large size and bulging features. While both breeds tend to be at a higher risk for breathing problems, if you notice loud snores or excessive gas when they sleep, this is normal and not a sign of an illness.
While French Bulldogs are susceptible to certain conditions, Pugs generally have more health risks due to overheating in hot or humid environments. It’s essential to monitor their weight and activity, as overeating can lead to obesity, contributing to breathing problems. Pugs tend to live longer, on average, than French Bulldogs, between twelve and fifteen years, while French Bulldogs live up to ten years.
Which Breed Is the Better Choice?
When you make a breed comparison, you’ll find that the Pug and French Bulldog have many of the same features that make them ideal as family pets. While there are some challenges to French Bulldog training, you’ll find both small dog breeds make excellent companions for various households.
Since these dog breeds have a higher risk of developing breathing issues and related health conditions, visiting your vet regularly and purchasing your pet through a reputable breeder is essential. French Bulldogs and Pugs make wonderful furry companions for all ages.
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