French Bulldog Facts

French Bulldog vs Pug: 16 Similarities and Differences

French bulldogs and pugs are two of the most popular small dog breeds, but they tend to get mushed together on a daily basis. That’s because they look very similar.

However, these two dog breeds vary in a number of ways, and I’m here to explain how they are different and how they are similar so you can find the best fit for you.

Is the French Bull Dog the Same as a Pug?

Not at all! Each of these breeds is unique and precious in their own way! The French bulldog and pug originate from different countries, vary in their activity levels, weigh differently, and much more.

(Fun fact: Mini French Bulldogs are actually part pugs!)

Read on to see their similarities and differences so you can understand how these two dog breeds are special and how they are most definitely not the same pup!

16 Similarities and Differences


1. Color

French bulldogs and pugs have similar fur colors ranging from tan to dark brown. They tend to share the same dark-colored ears and snouts paired with lighter tan bodies. French bulldogs can, at times, have white or black fur, but the ones commonly mistaken for pugs share the tan and dark color ranges of that breed.

2. Size

Both the French bulldog and the pug are classified as small-breed dogs. They don’t get much bigger than your typical lap dog. This makes them great apartment dogs and small-house dogs.

3. Head

The French bulldog and the pug are both considered brachycephalic. This simply means that their heads are typically broad and that they have shorter skulls than other dog breeds.

4. Skin

Pugs and French bulldogs both have that adorable, floppy, loose skin we all love! It wrinkles their faces and bodies when they sit down and wobbles around when they walk.

5. Affection

Both the French bulldog and pug breeds are very affectionate in nature, and will lovingly give sloppy wet puppy dog kisses!

6. Friendliness

French bulldogs and pugs both love people and are incredible family dogs.

7. Good for new dog owners

The French bulldog and pug breeds are both great first dogs for a new owner. They are friendly, fairly easy to maintain, and will be loving, life-long companions for you and your whole family.

8. Health

Both of these dog breeds are prone to similar health issues. This includes hip dysplasia, brachycephalic syndrome, and eye problems. If you own either of these breeds, make sure to walk them often to keep their weight down and take them to regular veterinarian appointments.


1. Ears

Pugs tend to have ears that flop down against their heads, and French bulldogs have ears that stand up.

2. Face

Pugs are quite identifiable by their smushed-in little faces. French bulldogs, on the other hand, have a more pronounced face with a snout that stands out a bit more.

3. Origins

The French bulldog’s ancestors come from Europe. They were cross-bred over the years with larger bulldog species and terriers. Pugs, however, originated in China! They were prized as lapdogs of royalty, then later became popular worldwide.

4. Fur

Pugs have thick, coarse fur, and French bulldogs have smooth, shorter fur. Because of this, pugs often are groomed more regularly and shed more frequently. French bulldogs do not shed nearly as much and don’t have to be groomed as often.

5. Tail

Pugs have a curly tail that resembles that of a fuzzy pig, while French bulldogs have a small, straight tail.

6. Weight

While these two dog breeds are similar in size, their weight is very different. French bulldogs are stockier and can weigh up to twenty-six pounds. Pugs, on the other hand, normally only grow to about seventeen pounds in weight.

7. Builds

Pugs are chubbier and rounder than French bulldogs, which have a more muscular appearance.

8. Activity level

Pugs are prone to breathing problems and are not able to endure long periods of physical activity. French bulldogs are more athletic and love to run and play.

Choosing the Right Breed for You

It all comes down to personal preference. Both of these dog breeds are relatively small, affectionate, and playful, but there are a few ways to help you decide the best breed for you.

If you want a little cuddle-bug, the pug may be the dog for you. Pugs are less athletic and serve as a good lapdog due to their ability to tire easily.

French bulldogs are more athletic and may enjoy running around and playing outside more often. Additionally, pugs are great family dogs with hours of humor and love to give. French bulldogs tend to be very friendly as well but do better with more active pet owners and kids.

Furthermore, if shedding is an issue, you may want to go with the French bulldog. Pugs tend to shed more than French bulldogs, and the latter is a bit easier to groom. French bulldogs are also much easier to teach and potty train. You will have to be a little more patient with pugs.

If you need a good guard dog, it may surprise you to know that pugs are more protective of their homes than bulldogs!

Pugs tend to have watchdog-tendencies because they are alerted more easily by disturbing noises. They won’t necessarily stand as a good defense because of their small stature, but they will definitely serve as a good alarm!

My last bit of advice to help you make your choice is noise level. French bulldogs like to be vocal and tend to bark and howl more than pugs. If noise is a determining factor for you, you may want to go with a pug.

In Conclusion

I hope this article has shed some clarity on the similarities and differences between pugs and French bulldogs, and that it has helped you choose the perfect breed for you.

Go with your heart, and take home the dog that truly speaks to you and fits your activity levels. I’m sure you’ll find the perfect pup for you!

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