Pugs are some of the sweetest, funniest dogs a person could ever hope to meet, but they also have breed-specific health issues that a lot of people understandably want to avoid. This is part of why the idea of a pug mix has gotten so popular, and one mix in particular that preserves their cute squashed face is the English bulldog pug mix, also known as the bull pug.
Bull pugs are ideal family dogs, have low exercise requirements, and are even small enough for apartments. No breed–or crossbreed–is without its health problems, however. So here is a helpful guide for any aspiring owners of the pug and English bulldog mix who would rather know what they’re getting into before they dive headfirst into that particular pool.
What Does an English Bulldog Pug Mix Look Like?
To get a good idea of what a bull pug looks like, you need to look at its parents. It gets a longer muzzle, a taller frame, and a barrel chest from the bulldog side. It gets rounder eyes, a narrower face, and a small size from the pug side.
Meanwhile, both parents contribute to this designer breed’s squished, wrinkly face and overall stocky build.
They come in various colors–piebald, fawn, black, and even brindle–and have short, coarse coats that do need some grooming. So be prepared for this pup to shed a little, and don’t believe it when people say they’re hypoallergenic either!
What Kind of Temperament Does an English Bulldog Pug Mix Have?
Pugs are sweet, funny, friendly dogs that are good with kids, people, and even other animals. Bulldogs are gentle, affectionate, and reliable, making for excellent guard dogs and loyal companions. The resulting mix is a kind, loving dog that’s low-energy, people-friendly without being clingy, and perfect for family life while also being small enough for your apartment.
They don’t need a lot of exercise or have the kind of pent-up energy that some other breeds have, so if those have been your reasons to not get a dog up to this point then this may be worth looking into.
What Health Problems Should I Expect?
Like any designer breed, an English bulldog pug mix will have its share of health issues. Both English bulldogs and pugs are brachycephalic breeds, so the breathing problems you would expect to see in either one can be expected to carry over. Dermatitis, cherry eye, and poor eyesight are also common. The skin around the face should stay clean to prevent infections.
Hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, pug dog encephalitis, allergies, and even diabetes aren’t uncommon in bull pugs. So it’s also important to buy from a reputable breeder so that your dog starts out with the best possible chance of growing up healthy and reaching their lifespan of 9-13 years.
How Do I Take Care of an English Bulldog Pug Mix?
A bull pug needs about 800 calories of good quality dry food per day, split into two meals. Be sure to check the nutritional content of said food, too; they need a healthy balance of protein, carbs, and vitamins in their diet, as they’re not quite the hypercarnivores that cats are.
Certain cooked root vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes–along with cooked greens like asparagus and spinach– can make excellent supplements to their diet. Fruits with the pits removed too, such as apples and bananas, make for perfectly reasonable snacks. However, even though we can all agree that a fat dog is cute, it’s not necessarily healthy, so make sure to monitor your dog so they don’t end up overeating.
On top of that, there’s also regular grooming to consider. While a bull pug’s coat may be short, it still needs regular brushing with a soft brush for the sake of deshedding. You should also make sure to bathe your dog regularly, if only to keep the folds on its face clean and free of infection.
Thankfully, they don’t need much in terms of exercise. Thirty minutes of walkies per day plus playtime and general socialization is usually enough for this particular designer breed, which is probably a good thing given how stubborn they can be. Training them can be a challenge even at the best of times, so be patient and be sure to provide positive reinforcement as you go.
How Much Do English Bulldog Pug Puppies Cost?
There is no way to just walk into a shelter and pick up a bull pug from the kennels there. At the very minimum, getting an English bulldog pug mix costs about $500, and the more reputable the breeder, the more expensive it gets. A healthy puppy with a good pedigree can cost upwards of $2000, with other things like size also playing a part.
Don’t forget to factor in other essentials! Food, medical expenses, treats, leashes, a bed, toys, dog training, and even getting your pup fixed are important to consider throughout the dog’s lifetime as part of being a dog owner.
Conclusion: Is The Bulldog Pug Mix Right for Me?
Buying a dog is a commitment even when it isn’t a mix of two breeds known for their numerous health problems. Still, crossbreeding can be seen as a solution to the inbreeding that causes those problems if you’re getting the dog from a reputable breeder.
If you have an active lifestyle, want something that’ll keep up with you on your six mile hiking trip, or have a big house with many stairs, then an English bulldog pug mix probably isn’t the dog for you.
If you have room in your heart and home for a sweet, laid back dog with a heart of gold and a tendency to snore, an English bulldog pug mix might be right for you. The right owner has the patience and budget to properly care for their beloved bull pug.
About the author
Rachael is the co-founder and editor at Pug Facts. Owner of one elderly Pug, she’s dedicated to helping other Pug owners create healthy, happy, lives with their furry best friends.