We get it, bulldogs and pugs look similar. Both these dog breeds have short noses, wrinkly faces, short coats, and a generally small and stubby appearance. However, this where the similarities pretty much end. Pugs and bulldogs have different temperaments and training requirements and they are suited for different types of families and homes.

In this post, we take a look at all the way pugs and bulldogs are different from each other. This direct comparison between the two dog breeds will help you make an informed decision if you are looking to bring home a wrinkly-faced puppy.


Origin Story

Pugs were originally bred in China back in the Han dynasty. If you are not a history buff, that’s around 206 BC to 200 AD. They were bred to be lap dogs for the Chinese royalty and they often lived luxurious lives. When China started trading with Europe, pugs made their way to the west. Even Queen Victoria reportedly had pugs in the royal palace.

Bulldogs have a much more brutal origin story. They were originally bred in the UK for a sport called bull baiting. This barbaric medieval sport involved bulldogs fighting full sized bulls by latching on to the bull’s snout. Once the sport was outlawed in England they were exported to America where farmers used them for herding and protection.



Pugs are generally much smaller than bulldogs. Unless they are overweight, pugs usually weigh around 14 to 18 pounds.

Male bulldogs, on the other hand, are much heavier and they usually weigh around 50 pounds.

Bulldogs are also larger in size. Male bulldogs can be as tall as 40cm while an adult male pug usually stands 35cm off the ground.

Thanks to their different sizes bulldogs have pugs need different dosages of pet medications. Beds, crates and other pet supplies for bulldogs also need to be larger than ones meant for pugs.



Pugs tend to shed more than bulldogs. However, both dogs have minimal grooming requirements and are pretty easy to maintain.



Bulldogs generally have a laid back demeanor. They are usually pretty energetic when they are young, but as they grow older, they seem to favor downtimes. While they love a comfortable spot to laze around all day long, they are extremely protective when they need to be. These dogs are also generally quiet and they rarely bark for no reason.

Pugs are known for their mischievous attitudes. While they love their naps, they are not as sleep loving as bulldogs. Pugs show their energetic side when they are taken to the park. Unlike bulldogs, pugs can develop a habit of barking unnecessarily. They are also more territorial than most average bulldogs.


Coat Color

According to the AKC, pugs have three standard colors, fawn, silver, and all black. The face of a pug is always black.

Bulldogs come in all colors ranging from white to red. They often have two or more colors mosaiced together, which is considered as standard by most kennel clubs.