Medically Reviewed

Pug VS French Bulldog VS Boston Terrier

Written by: Milica Brzakovic
Margarita Boyd
Reviewed by: Dr. Margarita Boyd, BVSc MRCVS
You've narrowed down your choice to one of these three breeds, but can't seem to make up your mind? This article will help you make a decision!

Pugs, bulldogs and Boston terriers are all very interesting breeds and it can be difficult to choose between them.

These three breeds are all brachycephalic breeds, but they are still different in many ways.

So, if you as a future dog owner have narrowed down your choice to one of these three breeds, read on and see which one is for you.

You’ve decided that you want to get a (new) dog? Before you do that, there are a lot of things to think about – your living situation, lifestyle and what kind of dog breed would fit in. Should your dog be active or more of a couch potato? Should it be able to be home alone or will that not be necessary? What size do you prefer your dog to be – big or small?

These questions, and many more, are some important things to consider before you get a dog. But if you’ve narrowed down your choice to the following three breeds and can’t seem to make up your mind, read on and discover which of the three will suit you best.

The Pug

Small, cute and sturdy are three adjectives that describe this breed well. The pug was originally bred to be a lap dog, so it comes as no surprise that it loves human companionship and makes a great family dog. In addition, pugs are known for their sense of humor and many are fun performers and clowns that will make the entire family laugh. Let’s get into more detail!

Friendliness And Activity Level

As mentioned before, pugs are very friendly and are usually great around children. They’re also friendly toward other dogs and strangers. This is a very playful breed, but it doesn’t require exhausting workouts, such as running.

It’s not that they don’t require exercise, its just that they don’t do well with very tiring activities because of their breathing problems. Brachycephalic breeds have a flat face and short nose, which can make respiration really difficult at times. This can be a problem with swimming as well. Pugs do require exercise, but at a level which is appropriate for them.


The Pug is a friendly, playful dog that won’t require too much exercise.

Adaptability And Health

If you live in an apartment, pugs are a great choice as they are definitely housedogs. But while they adapt to apartment living easily, they usually hate being left alone. Therefore, if you’re gone a lot, you should maybe reconsider getting a pug.

Another important thing to know about pugs is that they’re not the best at tolerating extreme weather, hot or cold. Once again, this has to do with their breathing problems. This is why pugs are great for apartments, but they’re not the best companions for long outdoor activities in hot or cold weather.

Unfortunately, pugs are also prone to many health problems, which is why you have to choose a responsible breeder when you’re getting a pug. The most common health problems pugs deal with are brachycephalic syndrome (problems breathing), hip dysplasia, epilepsy, various allergies and eye problems. Many of these problems are genetic, so make sure the breeder has completed health clearances for your dog’s parents. That way, you’ll know what you can expect and if it’s something you’re prepared to deal with.


Pugs are prone to certain health issues. Some of them include: brachycephalic syndrome, hip dysplasia, epilepsy, allergies and eye problems.

Grooming And Trainability

Pugs shed a lot, but they’re really easy to groom. Another good thing is that they don’t drool a lot either. However, you should be aware that pugs gain weight easily, so you have to limit their food intake.

When it comes to training you pug, it can be difficult in some cases as pugs can be really stubborn and refuse to collaborate. Housebreaking can also be a problem in the beginning, but you just have to be patient and everything will be fine. They learn in their own time!

To sum it up, a pug is for you who:

  • Live in an apartment.
  • Are not away a lot and want a playful companion.
  • Are not that active, or if you are, don’t have to bring your dog with you.


Pugs shed a lot, but are easy to groom. Training a pug can sometimes be difficult because they can be really stubborn.

The French Bulldog

pug french bulldog boston terrier

The next brachycephalic breed we’re taking a closer look at is the French bulldog. It was originally bred in England and was then brought to France where it became famous as a great companion and got its name. That hasn’t changed to this day. However, The French Bulldog is a rather rare breed nowadays, so it’s not the easiest breed to get. Let’s find out more!

Friendliness And Activity Level

Just like the pug, this is a really friendly dog who loves spending time with its family – adults and children. It’s also usually friendly toward strangers and other dogs.

And just like the pug, it’s a very playful breed, but not one that will do well with exhausting exercise. While “Frenchies” do require regular walks to stay healthy and not become overweight, they are not suitable for a lot of running or other tiring activities.


Frenchies make amazing family companions and are very friendly toward strangers and other dogs. Due to their physical traits, they don’t enjoy excessive workouts.

Adaptability And Health

As mentioned, French Bulldogs are usually good housedogs. They shouldn’t be left outside for long periods of time as they don’t do well in cold or hot weather. While this breed is good for first-time dog owners, it’s not a breed that likes to be left home alone.

When it comes to their health, it’s a bit better than the health problems pugs are dealing with, but it’s still not that great in general. Common health problems are hip dysplasia, brachycephalic syndrome, intervertebral disc disease, eye problems, elongated soft palate etc. Just like with pugs, it’s really important to find a good breeder that will show you health clearances for the parents.


French Bulldogs don’t do well in cold or hot weather, which is why they make great housedogs. When it comes to health, this breed is prone to health issues such as: hip dysplasia, brachycephalic syndrome, intervertebral disc disease, eye problems, etc.

Grooming And Trainability

French bulldogs are not heavy coat shedders and are easy to groom. You could say that they shed a normal amount and that they don’t drool a lot either. Like Pugs, French Bulldogs gain weight easily, so you have to monitor their food intake and treats, and ensure they take regular walks.

A difference between pugs and French bulldogs is that the latter breed is usually much easier to train and housebreak, even though they also can be stubborn. They also bark and howl more than pugs, but they’re not excessive barkers. While the barking can be annoying at times, it makes them good watchdogs.


French Bulldogs shed less than Pugs and are also easy to groom. Also, Frenchies are easier to train than Pugs, but can be more vocal than them.

The Boston Terrier

pug french bulldog boston terrier

The last brachycephalic breed that we’re taking a look at in this article is the Boston Terrier. Even though they were originally bred to be fighting dogs, they’re a very popular companion dog today. Besides being loving and affectionate, this is a very intelligent breed. Scroll down for more info!

Friendliness And Activity Level

This is an extremely friendly dog that loves spending time with its family and children especially. It’s usually even more kid friendly than pugs and French bulldogs. They’re also usually really dog friendly and you probably won’t have any problems introducing it to strangers.

When it comes to the activity level of Boston Terriers, it’s probably the breed which requires the most exercise out of the three. It’s really playful, just like the previous two breeds, but it requires more exercise and activity. It’s still not a dog for really tiring activities due to it’s brachycephalic breathing, but it’s far from a couch potato. You just need to find a suitable activity level to keep it fit and well exercised.


The Boston Terrier is the most kid-friendly of all three breeds. Also, they require more activities than the other two breeds.

Adaptability And Health

The Boston Terrier has an overall great adaptability. Just like Pugs and French Bulldogs, it’s a great dog if you’re living in an apartment. It’s also better at staying home alone than the two other breeds, even though it doesn’t exactly love it. Boston terriers also tolerate extreme weather a little bit better. However, as they are a brachycephalic breed they can still struggle a lot in hot weather especially.

The general health of Boston Terriers is good, even though they’re also prone to certain medical conditions, just like all dog breeds. This breed is especially prone to the following conditions: hip dysplasia, knee cap luxations, corneal ulcers, cataracts, cherry eye, deafness and various allergies. Once again, it is important to choose a breeder that can show you health checks and the medical history of both parents.


The Boston Terrier is a perfect dog for people that live in apartments. Their overall health is usually better than one of a Pug or a Frenchie, but sometimes they can be more susceptible to these issues: bone problems, eye problems and various allergies.

Grooming And Trainability

Boston terriers are among those dogs that don’t shed a lot and they’re really easy to groom. They don’t drool much either. They’re also quite prone to gain weight, but not as prone as pugs and French bulldogs are.

When it comes to training your Boston terrier, it should be quite straightforward. Generally, they are known for being an intelligent breed. However, because of their intelligence, they can be quite stubborn at times and refuse to cooperate when they don’t want to do something. This is why you have to be very patient and persistent with positive training methods.

This breed also tends to bark and howl more than the previous two and it also tends to snort because of its short nose. Finally, its wanderlust is much bigger.


A Boston Terrier won’t shed a lot and will be easy to groom. Training a Boston Terrier shouldn’t be a hard task to do, as they are an intelligent breed. However, they can be stubborn at times.

Pug VS French Bulldog VS Boston Terrier

Now, you know all three breeds a bit better. Let’s compare them and see which one is best for you!

Maintenance: All three breeds will be easy to maintain and groom. Whichever breed you choose, you won’t have to spend a lot of time or money on maintenance.

Shedding: Pugs shed the most, while the other two breeds shed minimally. However, Pugs aren’t heavy shedders compared to some dog breeds, for example the German Shepherd, but they do shed a bit more than these two breeds.

Training: Boston terriers are the easiest to train, as they usually obey and listen. This could be a great breed if you’re a first-time dog owner. Pugs and French bulldogs can be quite stubborn when it comes to training, so you will have to arm yourself with patience and perseverance. However, that doesn’t mean that Boston terriers can’t be stubborn – they really can!

Watchdog potential: Boston terriers and pugs are a bit better watchdogs than French bulldogs. Pugs and Boston Terriers will likely bark as a warning alarm, but it’s not likely that they will defend their owners.

Boston Terriers and French Bulldogs are better at adapting themselves to the environment than Pugs. Even though they all have problems with extreme weather, especially hot weather, Pugs tend to be the worst at coping.

Exercise needs:
All three breeds need daily walks in order to prevent weight gain and keep them healthy and mentally stimulated. However, they won’t do well with tiring activities, such as running. Among the three, the Boston Terrier is the one that needs most exercise, but it’s still a breed that doesn’t require too much. However, all are very playful and love to entertain their owners.

For new owners: All of these breeds are great for new owners.

With children: All three have the potential to be great with kids. But it is best that dogs are slowly introduced to children from when they are puppy age.

Finally, watch the helpful video below on things you need to have in mind before getting a dog – no matter the breed!


As you can see, these three brachycephalic breeds are quite similar in some aspects. All three of them are great if you live in an apartment, they are not that good when it comes to extreme weather and they don’t require exhaustive exercise. They are all great companion dogs that love spending time with their family and they have the potential to be great with children. However, even though they are so similar in many ways, there are still some slight differences.

For instance, Pugs tend to shed a bit more, Boston Terriers are usually the easiest breed to train, while French Bulldogs are among the best companion dogs you can have.

There are also the health issues to consider, as every breed is prone to certain diseases, Pugs and French Bulldogs especially. This is why you have to choose a reputable breeder for these breeds, that will show you medical histories of both parents and potential disease clearances.

In the end, you can’t go wrong with whatever breed you choose from these three– as long as you think things through beforehand! Read this article one more time, consider all the aspects and do what feels right for you!