Male vs Female Pug – The Pros And Cons Of Each

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So you’ve decided to make a pug the newest member of your family. You’ve done all your research and know that this breed will fit perfectly with your lifestyle. Now it’s time to bring that new pup home, but one decision remains: should you get a male or female pug? Is there a real difference between the two? 

Whichever one you choose, both male and female pugs make wonderful pets. However, some differences may sway you in one direction or the other. But what are they? 

Today, we’re going to take a look at male vs female pugs. Keep reading to learn more.  

Male Pug vs Female Pug

In general, the pug breed is known to have plenty of character, an adaptable personality, and the ability to thrive just about anywhere. Their owners love that the breed is playful and energetic, and pugs make an excellent family dog. 

However, we can observe plenty of differences between a male pug puppy and a female pug puppy. Let’s dive right in and take a look at how the sexes stack up. 

male vs female pug

Physical Differences

Of all the differences between the two, physical differences between male and female pugs are the least remarkable. They’re nearly identical in appearance, and a casual glance often isn’t enough to tell you the sex. If you look closely, you may notice that male pugs are a bit taller and heavier, although this fact is true of most breeds. 

What you can expect in male pugs is height ranging from 10 to 13 inches, whereas female pugs are around 10 to 12 inches tall. Males are usually bulkier, though some females can look a bit stocky, too.  


When it comes to temperament, we can see greater differences between males and females. 

Male pugs are more active, slower to mature, and perhaps a bit more social. They’re more laid back than females, and they may be more likely to play with kids and people in the house. But because of their social nature, male pugs can be more attention-seeking and clingy. If you want a dog who will cuddle with you, a male pug is indeed up to the task. 

Female pugs take a bit longer to warm up. Once they do, they are very loyal and affectionate, though it’s not unusual for female pugs to be a bit more aloof. They’re also less social than males, both with humans and other dogs, but they are very protective of their owners. If you prefer a less clingy pet, you may want to go for a female pug. 

Having said all this, it’s impossible to predict a dog’s personality based on its sex alone. Some females are more affectionate, while some males may be more aloof. For this reason, it’s critical to get to know the dog and assess its temperament before making a commitment. 

Health & Lifespan

Both sexes are equally prone to typical health issues for this breed, which includes:

Because males are more social, they are more likely to play with other dogs, which may put them at greater risk for infections or illnesses. And because they have higher energy levels than females, male pugs may be at greater risk for joint-related issues (most commonly hip dysplasia).  

Lifespan is about the same for both males and females. Female life expectancy is about 13.2 years, while males’ comes in at 12.8, so this difference shouldn’t sway you one way or another. What affects lifespan the most is not sex but rather the type of lifestyle your dog has and how well you care for it.

Training & Intelligence

Female pugs are widely thought to be more intelligent than males, which is part of what makes training females easier. They mature quickly, get less distracted, and are more receptive to training. Female pugs are highly motivated to please their humans, though they do have a stubborn streak you will probably see at some point during her training. 

You may have more challenges training a male pug, as they take longer to mature and get more distracted (all part of their silly nature!). Their attention spans appear to be shorter, so you may find your male pug wandering off and looking for a new activity after just a short session. 

However, a little bit of patience goes a long way with male pugs. They’re highly motivated to please their humans, so some positive reinforcement can be very effective. You’ll also want to keep sessions quick to prevent burnout. 

male vs female pug

Spaying & Neutering

Unless you plan to breed your dog, spaying and neutering are recommended. Neutering is a bit easier for males, as they receive a smaller incision that heals faster. But there’s not much difference between the sexes if you plan to spay/neuter. 

However, if you decide to leave your pug intact, this factor may influence whether you choose a male or a female. Dealing with unspayed female pugs is decidedly more challenging as they go into heat twice per year. Because she is fertile during this time, a female dog may be more irritable or aggressive. She’ll also bleed, which you’ll have to deal with by putting special doggy diapers on her. 

Additionally, you’ll have to keep her apart from other dogs to prevent unwanted breeding. Ideally, you should isolate your female pug at home for about two or three weeks. This aspect of having an unspayed female dog is something serious to consider, as it will impact your lifestyle.  

Male vs Female Pug: Which Is Right for You?

Now that you have more information about male vs female pugs, you probably have a clearer idea of which sex is right for you. There are pros and cons to each one, so ultimately the decision rests on your preferences. But one thing is clear: whether you choose a male or female, you’ll have a devoted, playful dog by your side for many years to come.

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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.