Bulldog vs Pug – Which Is Best for You?

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Bulldogs and pugs are popular breeds because of their cute, wrinkly faces and affectionate personalities. If you are considering buying a dog, you may wonder whether purchasing a bulldog vs pug makes a difference. 

Although they are similar in many ways, key differences will help you determine which breed is best for you. 

bulldog vs pug

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Bulldogs and pugs are well-known for their wrinkles and short snouts. Nonetheless, there are some differences in the appearances of pugs vs bulldogs.


The major difference between bulldogs and pugs is that bulldogs are more muscular. Their shoulders are wide, and their faces are squared. Most adult male bulldogs weigh about 50 pounds, and adult females weigh about 40 pounds. 

Bulldogs’ tails are short and stubby. They have short, flat coats that may be red, white, brindle, fawn, or piebald. 


Pugs belong to the Toy Group of dogs, so they are much lighter than bulldogs. Most healthy pugs weigh between 14 and 18 pounds. The most common coat colors are black, fawn, silver fawn, or apricot fawn. 

Pugs’ heads are large but not square. Their tails are curly and often described as looking like a cinnamon roll. They are much longer than bulldogs’ tails. 


When you consider buying a bulldog vs pug, temperament should influence your decision. Both dogs demand much attention, so be prepared to have your dog at your side constantly. However, there are a few differences between the breeds.


Bulldogs were initially bred to bait bulls for sport, leading to a history of aggression. Today, the aggressive trait has mostly disappeared but can resurface from time to time. 

For the most part, bulldogs are gentle and affectionate. They are also courageous, despite their small stature. Although they can be destructive, it is rarely an issue unless they are bored or lonely.


Pugs were bred solely as companions for people, so they do not have the same aggressive tendencies as bulldogs. They are popular because of their silly nature and big personalities. 

Like bulldogs, pugs are affectionate and friendly. Although they tire easily, they are very playful in small spurts. 

Energy Level

Because of their short snouts, bulldogs and pugs are prone to brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome. Too much exercise can endanger them, so their owners must watch for signs of overexertion. 

Most bulldogs and pugs need only two 15-minute walks daily. Playing with children or other dogs can substitute, as well. Thus, both breeds are ideal for those living in apartments or with small backyards.


Bulldogs are known for being lazy. They are more than happy to cuddle on the couch with their owners all day.

If you adopt a bulldog, you may enjoy engaging your pup in these activities to keep him healthy:

  • Walking
  • Fetch
  • Wrestling 
  • Tug of war


Pugs love to play and can become energetic, but they tire quickly. They can also be pretty stubborn! They will become playful for short periods in between naps, but the average pug can sleep happily for most of the day.

You may notice your pug adapts to the energy level of his environment. Thus, families with energetic children may notice their pug is more playful than most.

Pug owners can look forward to activities such as:

  • Walking
  • Fetch
  • Trips to the dog park
  • Hide and seek
  • Swimming 


Despite all of their wonderful traits, bulldogs and pugs can be stubborn. Consider these aspects of training pugs vs bulldogs.


Bulldogs can be difficult to train because they are not the most intelligent breed. It can take time for them to comprehend demands, and they are not obedient by nature. 

Nonetheless, bulldogs can be trained and are easier to train and housebreak than pugs.


Pugs can be easily distracted, which makes training a long and tedious process. They tend to act out to receive attention, which lengthens the process. Like most dogs, they love to chew when they are young.

However, pugs like to please their owners. If you praise your pug’s good behavior frequently, he will act out less. 

If you choose to adopt a pug, prepare to give consistent praise and treats throughout the training process. 


Grooming a bulldog vs pug may seem similar because both breeds have wrinkles. These folds can trap dust, food, and other objects, making your dog uncomfortable and smelly. 

Although both breeds require special care around the wrinkles, the grooming routine is quite different.


Bulldogs are fairly low-maintenance when it comes to grooming. They shed only moderately, so bulldog owners tend to vacuum less than pug owners. Bulldogs can be groomed once a week and bathed once a month. 

Bulldog owners should prepare for drool to cover their furniture and floors, however. 


Pug owners must maintain a stricter grooming schedule than bulldog owners. We’re not going to lie – pugs shed like crazy! This breed should be groomed three times a week (if not more) and they will need more frequent baths. 

Additionally, fawn pugs have a double coat, so they shed more heavily. Expect to vacuum regularly!


All dogs must be socialized with other animals and people to reduce the risk of aggression with strangers. Pugs and bulldogs are no different. Luckily, both breeds are generally friendly toward small children and other animals.


Many people write off bulldogs when they have young children. Although these dogs may appear strong and aggressive, they are quite patient with small children. Even if the children begin to roughhouse with their bulldog, he will not play too rough. 

Male bulldogs may become aggressive toward other male dogs, but proper socialization lowers this risk significantly.

All bulldog owners should know that bulldogs are very possessive of their food. You will likely only see his aggressive side while eating, so it is best to keep kids and pets away during meals.


Pugs are very predictable and gentle, which makes them excellent playmates for children. They understand that children are more delicate than adults, and they adjust their style of play accordingly. 

Known as one of the most friendly and sociable dog breeds, pugs love having other animals in their homes. At times, they become jealous of the attention another dog receives and act out. However, giving them plenty of attention throughout the day lowers this risk. 


Due to their short snouts, both bulldogs and pugs are prone to respiratory issues. Neither can adapt well to extreme heat or cold, and they need to live in homes with AC.


Bulldogs are prone to fewer health problems than pugs. However, they are prone to:

  • Eye problems
  • Elbow and hip dysplasia
  • Bone cancer


Pugs are prone to common health conditions such as:

  • Dental problems
  • Infections
  • Parasites
  • Obesity
  • Eye problems
  • Allergies 
  • Itchy skin


The price of your dog will depend on whether you purchased him from a breeder or adopted him from a shelter. The pedigree of the dog will also factor into the cost.

When choosing between a bulldog vs pug, you will notice that pugs are much less expensive.


Breeders will typically sell bulldogs for between $1,000 and $3,500.


If you purchase a pug from a breeder, you can expect to pay between $800 and $1,500. Some pugs can even fetch as much as $3,000.

Additional Considerations

There are many traits to consider when you choose between a bulldog vs pug. Some additional advantages of each breed are mentioned below.


Bulldogs are more effective guard dogs because they look intimidating and can cover short distances quickly. They are fiercely loyal and protective of family members, but they are suspicious of strangers.

Bulldogs also bark less than pugs.


Pugs have longer lifespans on average. They live 13 to 15 years, while bulldogs live 10 to 12 years. 

Pugs’ jaws are uniquely shaped, making it nearly impossible for them to bite people or other animals.

If You Travel Frequently

You may recall that pugs and bulldogs are affectionate and can be needy. If you are away from home for long periods, your dog can become upset and destructive. 

In these cases, consider a house-sitting service such as Trusted House Sitters, Mind My Home, House Carers, or Pawshake.


Bulldogs and pugs are great pets for many reasons. When you consider adopting pugs vs bulldogs, there are a few factors to which you should pay special attention. 

Many people choose a bulldog if:

  • They like bigger dogs.
  • They prefer cuddly dogs over playful dogs.
  • They want a simpler training process.
  • They do not want to groom their dog frequently.
  • They have children who play rough with animals.
  • They are worried about time and money for veterinary visits.
  • They have plenty of money for the initial purchase of their dog. 
  • They want their dog to protect their home.
  • They worry neighbors may complain if their dog barks too much.

On the other hand, pugs are best for people who:

  • Like small, quirky dogs
  • Want to play with their dog more often
  • Accept the challenge of training an especially stubborn dog
  • Have enough time to groom their pug frequently
  • Want a dog bred for companionship rather than a dog with a history of aggression
  • Can handle more frequent visits to the vet
  • Have a smaller budget for purchasing their dog
  • Want a dog that lives longer
  • Do not want to worry about their dog biting 

Whichever dog you choose, you can look forward to years of cuddles, affection, and companionship.

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PugFacts is a small team of devoted PUG owners – so we understand what it’s like to be obsessed with your pup! We consult with veterinarians and dog behavior experts to bring you the best advice for your furry companions.

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Expert tips, advice, and inspiration to keep your PUG healthy and happy

PugFactsGuide is a small team of devoted Pug owners – so we understand what it’s like to be obsessed with your Pug! We consult with veterinarians and dog behavior experts to bring you the best advice for your furry companions.