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Pug vs French Bulldog – Which is the Best Companion Dog

Pug vs French Bulldog
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Pugs and French bulldogs are small and companion dog breeds. They are your perfect lap dog. They do not need a lot of exercise, they love cuddling, and will spend most of the day sleeping. But which is the better companion dog?

Truth be told, there is no clear answer. It all depends on what you need and what suits you. With that in mind, let’s break down the Pug vs French Bulldog similarities and differences.

General differences

Both of these dogs are small companion dogs that are perfect for apartment living. When you look at them, their build strikes you as the first difference. The Frenchie, for example, is a stockier dog, while the Pug is the larger dog breed.

Speaking of their appearance, both these dogs have a short snout. They are known as “brachycephalic dog breeds”. What does this mean? They cannot adjust to air temperature, heat, and temperature fluctuations easily. That is why these breeds are banned in many airlines.

Both breeds can work in a family setting, with an older owner, or with single owners. They do not need to spend a lot of time outside and require just minimal exercise.

One of the main differences between these two is the noise they make. Generally speaking, the Frenchie is a quitter dog, while the Pug can be noisier during the day. Pugs are considered the clowns of the canine world. They love playing, fooling, and goofing around the house. But they also produce a lot of noise due to their difficulty to breathe. You can even say they growl.

Grooming needs

While both dogs have a short coat, their grooming needs are slightly different. For example, both need regular brushing, but Pugs shed more than the French Bulldog. That means you have to pay more attention and brush more frequently so that you remove dead hair from your dog’s coat.

Another thing you need to pay attention is their wrinkles. Both Pugs and Frenchies need to have their wrinkles cleaned daily. This removes dirt and prevents facial infection. If you leave the wrinkles unattended, your dog might get skin irritation, skin infection, and other issues that cause discomfort.

All brachycephalic breeds require attention to their facial folds, but Pugs have the most of them. Frenchies are a close second.


Now let’s talk about any potential health issues. Both Pugs and Frenchies are brachycephalic dog breeds. That means they suffer from a range of breathing problems.

Pug dog encephalitis is a serious health problem, causing inflammation of the brain. It can result in pain and seizures. Symptoms of this condition can be alleviated with medications, but it will reduce the lifespan of your Pug dog. Pugs are also prone to skin allergies, eye diseases, and ear infections.

The biggest health issue risk with French Bulldogs is elongated soft palate. It is part of the brachycephalic airway syndrome. You should take your Frenchi to regular vet visits and checkups, and solve the problem when you notice. If left untreated, elongated soft palate can cause developmental problems and respiratory issues.

Lifespan and longevity

Small breeds generally live longer than larger breeds. However, when it comes to Pug vs French Bulldog, you have to take into account their health issues. As brachycephalic breeds, they have breathing issues, and that can shorten their lifespan.

Generally speaking, Pugs live longer and have a longer life expectancy. They can live between 12 and 15 years on average. On the other hand, Frenchie has an average life expectancy between 10 and 12 years.

While the breed is a factor, other factors like diet, health care, exercise, lifestyle, and more can contribute to lifespan.

Does size matter?

If the size is one of your factors when considering a companion dog, the Frenchie is the bigger dog. Now, size matters when you consider a lap dog. After all, you do not want too much weight in your lap. With that in mind, Pugs weigh up to 20 pounds, while the French Bulldog can weigh up to 28 pounds.

We take into account male dogs, and you have to remember that females are generally smaller in weight and size.

In terms of size and height, the Pug can grow up to 14 inches, while the Frenchie grows up to 12 inches.


We touched on this briefly above, but let’s talk more about shedding. There are very few dog breeds that do not shed. They are called hypoallergenic. And the Frenchie and the Pug do not fall into that category. They shed. But the Pug sheds more. You have to use a de-shedding brush, or a furminator brush on your dog to take care of his dead hair.

Pugs shed more, and you can see a cloud of dead hair around the dog as you are brushing him. We recommend brushing your dog outside, as it is easier than inside. And while the Pug requires once in a two-day brushing, the Frenchie is fine with just one or two brushes per week.

Temperament and personality traits

We said before that the Pug is considered the clown in the canine world. When it comes to choosing between Pug vs French Bulldog companion dog, the temperament is mostly the deciding factor. Frenchies are more laid back, and they like to lay back and enjoy the couch. Both breeds spend most of the day sleeping, as they can sleep between 20 and 22 hours in the day.

With that in mind, Pugs tend to be more energetic and lively. These breeds are affectionate towards owners, but also towards strangers. They are easily sociable.

One thing to take into consideration, both breeds can be stubborn and difficult to train. They require a patient owner that will spend time and effort to train them. Positive reinforcement training works best with these breeds.

Both breeds love food and enjoy eating, so treats work perfectly. Just be careful, because they have low exercise needs, too much food can lead to obesity.

Exercise needs

When you own a brachycephalic breed, you have to be careful with exercise and heating. These two are medium-energy dogs. Of the two, Pugs need a bit more exercise, up to 40 minutes per day.

Frenchies, on the other hand, are lower-energy dogs compared to their Pug puppy counterpart. They need up to 30 minutes of day and they will be happy.

Both dogs are have average intelligence, meaning they need a bit of mental stimulation as well. Because of their flat face and any health issue problems that might arise from that, they do not cope well in heat or humidity. Make sure to provide exercise in ideal conditions.

Family and companion dogs

These dogs make great family or companion dog. They are wonderful with children, and because they are not as small as say, a Maltese, you can leave them around small children as well. Just remember, you have to teach your children how to behave around the dog. For example, they should not bully your dog, or approach him while he is eating.

As for companion dogs, it depends on your character. If you prefer a more mischievous and active dog, go for the Pug. And if you want a more laid back and relax approach, go with the Frenchie. Single people, elder people, retired people, they all make great and ideal owners for these companion dogs.

How do they react around other dogs?

Both these breeds are good with other dogs. They do not have a dominant and alpha gene. That makes them sociable and playful. However, they do not have a lot of energy, so be careful not to burn out your dog with playtime.

If you invest time and effort, you can make these dogs easily comfortable around other dogs.

Intelligence and trainability

As companion dogs, the Pug and the Frenchie are quite intelligent. They are fully capable of learning basic, and some more advanced commands. It all comes down to proper motivation. For these breeds, food works best in training. They can be stubborn, but with short and positive training sessions, you can get far.

Are they related?

When you look at these two, you might think they are related. Yes, breed comparison suggests they are similar breeds. After all, both have a flat face, wrinkles, and small build. But there is no genetic condition.

And the American Kennel Club recognizes both breeds. So, that means they are different breeds with own set of breeding history. For example, the Pug puppy shares origins with the Pekingese. On the other hand, Frenchies share history with the English Bulldog.


Let’s talk about the final factor in deciding Pug vs French Bulldog companion dog. And that is the price. At the end of the day, it comes down to how deep your pocket is. Generally speaking, the French Bulldog is a more expensive breed because of their higher popularity.

You also have to take into consideration their popularity. According to the American Kennel Club, the French Bulldog is in the top 10 most popular dog breeds. The Pug is way lower.

Another reason why Frenchies are more expensive is their breeding and mating. They cannot reproduce without the help of a veterinarian. As such, the Frenchie gives birth to no more than 3 dogs per litter.

As for prices, the price of a good French Bulldog goes up to $1,400, while you can get a Pug for $1,000.

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