Choosing between a Pug or a French Bulldog (or Frenchy as they are commonly referred to) can be like taking the Pepsi challenge.
The rivalry between Coca-Cola and Pepsi is an ongoing struggle in some circles that will never end. The same can be said for the Pug and Frenchy. Both are great companion dogs that have their pros and cons.
The Prince of The Far East Pug or The People's Favorite Frenchy can be great companion dogs. These indoor breeds are great for families and are similar in temperament. They crave human companionship, adapt to any living condition, and have minor differences.
Determining which breed will fit your family the best can require some research. To begin your search, we recommend watching Animal Planet's Dogs 101 on The French Bulldog and The Pug.
Their experts highlight introductory details on many topics to consider. Moreover, who would not want to watch 3 ½ minutes of puppies and dogs running around. Tell your boss or spouse it's for research purposes.
History Of The Breeds
The People's Dog Becomes Western Nobility
The Bouledogues Français (Bulldog of France) or French Bulldog's makeup is surprising in two respects. First, the breed was created in England, not France.
English breeders at the time were creating variations of the bulldog to fight other animals like bulls, boar, and other aggressive animals in a bloodsport game that was the predecessor of our current dog fighting pits.
The smaller variations became attractive to early industrial revolution factories as ratters and companion dogs to the workers.
The second surprising aspect of the Frenchy reminds us of the Billy Joel song Uptown Girl. The French Bulldog is a combination of the English Bulldog and The Terrier, which were breeds common among average working-class people of England.
The third breed, or the "Uptown Girl," was The Pug, which was mostly the companion dog of royalty and the noble class.
According to The French Bulldog Club Of America, when many of the Industrial Revolution shops closed down and moved to France, especially the lace-makers, they brought their Frenchies with them.
The French Bulldog quickly became the most popular dog across Normandy and Paris among the people to become known as the "Bulldog Of France."
Soon after, French nobility and royalty began to take notice of the cute companion dog. At this point, the breed had two ear versions: The erect bat-like ears we know today, and floppy ears.
Towards the end of the 1800s, The Frenchy made its way to the United States by way of Wealthy Americans bringing The Pug home with them from their visit to France. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1898.
The bat ear standard would not become the standard until the 1950s due to a breeder from Detroit who popularized the ears and the fawn color. (Again, another French influence. Detroit was originally a French colony).
The Prince Of The Far East
According to Columbia University's Timeline Of Chinese Inventions, China brought silk, porcelain, and gunpowder to western civilization once trade began in the Renaissance Era.
One of the by-products of this trade was a 14-18 pound little companion dog being introduced to Western Europe.
Since the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. to 200 B.C.E.) in China, The Pug was the companion dog to the Emperor of China. These dogs were so prized, sometimes, they would have their own guard unit for protection.
According to Dog Time, some historians believe that their ancestory comes from the Tibetan Mastiff. The wrinkles at the top of their forehead are believed to resemble the Chinese characters that mean "prince."
Due to their value among the Chinese, European Royalty was allowed to receive these dogs. The Dutch were the first to receive these prized dogs and The House Of Orange would be forever grateful.
In 1572, William III, who was The Prince Of Orange, was saved by his Pug because the little one warned the prince of a Spanish intruder coming to kill him.
After that event, the Pug became the official dog of The House (and we can speculate a certain dog got a steak dinner that night).
As the centuries continued, many of the royal families of Europe came to love this breed of dog. Breeding lines were created, and occasionally, a Chinese Pug was brought in to further strengthen the line.
Pugs were brought to the United States after the Civil War. Wealthy Americans fell in love with these little dogs and started bringing some home with them. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized The Pug in 1885.
Lifestyle Of The Breeds
Okay, I'm Here, Now You May Continue
You cannot go wrong with either of these dogs when it comes to your family. These breeds love their people and in a lot of ways exist to love you.
Both of these breeds love to play with your children but have their limits. Toddlers and young children need to be taught how to play with them for different reasons.
Frenchies do not have much tolerance for ear or tail pulling. They can also favor one person in the family over another.
Positive socialization can show your dog what they are missing out on if they do not spend more time with other family members. No dog wants to miss cuddle opportunities if they focus on someone who is folding laundry.
Pugs' have short eye sockets. If they are squeezed too hard around the neck, their eyes can dislodge from their skull.
This does not occur often, but it can happen. It is always recommended that you supervise young children when they are playing with their four-legged siblings.
Another difference is, due to their self- centered nature, French Bulldogs can become territorial around strangers or non-pack members. Even your friends that visit.
This is another reason Dog Breed Experts recommends early socialization training. For all of you parents out there with older kids, this could be handy during the teenage dating years.
Similarly, Pugs are reluctant toward strangers as well. According to Pet Pug Dog, if you have a stranger that comes over often, your dog will warm up to them, as long as your Pug is included. Remember, like the Frenchy, they are self-centered and need to be the center of your Universe.
Why Is This Exam Room Named After Me? Did I Pay For It?
Both of these breeds are Brachycephalic (Brak-E-So-Fal-ic) types of dogs. This means that they have larger heads in relation to their body and short snouts.
This muzzle configuration can cause sinus problems that may result in surgery. You will hear both of them snore, snort, and have other loud breathing sounds.
You may also want to stay away from their back end as well. Inhaled air does not always come out of their nose. This is one of the many reasons a good dog food is recommended. These little ones can clear a room.
Keep the wrinkles clean on their faces. Bacteria and other contaminants can create skin conditions in their folds. Hip, joint, and stomach conditions may also develop during their lifetimes as well.
As mentioned earlier, due to the Pug's short eye sockets, if their neck is squeezed too hard, or a choke collar is used, their eyes can be dislodged from their sockets.
They do have thick necks, so it does make a real effort for this to happen. Pet Pug Dog recommends using a harness instead of a collar when taking them on a walk for about 20 minutes a day.
There are a few things you can do to minimize health risks.
- Speak to a veterinarian, visit the AKC Marketplace website, or use other resources to find a reputable breeder in your area.
- Once you find your new best friend, take him or her to your veterinarian to have your dog checked out for their first annual appointment.
- Educate yourself on warning signs to look out for, proper nutrition, and other preventative measures you can take to keep your four-legged best friend in the best shape possible
According to The Humane Society Of The United States, an occasional human food treat is not going to kill them (as long as you know which foods are not poisonous), but a healthy dog is a happy dog.
You Play The Stay Game And I Will Go
While both of these breeds love their humans and are eager to please, there is that streak of stubbornness that can test your patience.
If you are going to try to bend them to your will, Her Royal Majesty Pug has many centuries of royal stubbornness in there from the east and west.
The Frenchy comes from ancestors that fought animals that were almost five times her size and dealt with nastier things than you. Our point is, negative, will-breaking will not work.
The best way to train your dog is positive reinforcement that starts early, that is consistent, and has game-like creativity to it.
The Frenchy is a playful creature and the Pug can be mischievous. Use that as an advantage. For training techniques and advice, seek the assistance of a certified trainer in your area like the AKC's Good Citizen Training Program.
Any Couch Will Do
Overall, The French Bulldog and The Pug have similar traits. They both love their people, their families, and can be trained with positive reinforcement. Keep an eye on their health and supervise them around young children.
You can expect both The Frenchy and the Pug to be laying next to you or in your lap on your couch. It does not matter if your couch is located in the living room, condo, apartment, RV, yacht, or assisted living facility. As long as they have their person or people, they will be content.
As a freelance pet writer and blogger, Shannon is passionate about crafting knowledge-based, science-supported articles that foster healthy bonds of love and respect between people and animals. But her first and very most important job is as a dog auntie and cockatiel, tortoise, and box turtle mama.