Pug Vs Boston Terrier: General Details and Behavior Comparison

pug vs boston terrier

Pug vs. Boston Terrier – which should you rather get? So, you’ve decided you want a small dog and have narrowed it down to two choices, namely, the Pug and the Boston Terrier.

Pugs Vs Boston Terriers: Behavior and General Details

How do you go about picking from the two? The Pug and Boston Terrier are bred to be small companion dogs suitable for families.

Both breeds have certain similarities they share and some differences that set them apart about the same size.

Let’s deep dive into the comparison now and help you make your mind up about whether you should bring home a Pug or Boston Terrier. Below we will assess the similarities and differences between the two dog breeds by using certain markers:

  • Height – A fully grown male Pug’s height is generally between 12-14 inches, and that of a grown male Boston Terrier’s is 15-17 inches. Pugs appear stockier and a couple of inches shorter than the Boston Terrier. Boston Terriers have their ears upright, unlike Pugs who have their ears down; this makes the Terrier appear even taller.
  • Weight – A grown male Pug will weigh between 15-20 lb, and the weight for a Boston Terrier for the same will be 20-25 lb.
  • Origin Country – The Pug is among the oldest breed dogs dating before 400 BC. He is originated from China and was bred to be companion dogs to royalty. The Boston Terrier originated around 1870 in the United States and is a cross between a white English Terrier and an English bulldog.
  • Temperament – The Pug is one of the friendliest dog breeds you can find. At the same time, both Boston Terriers and Pugs are pet-friendly, stranger-friendly, kid-friendly, and family-friendly – the Pug scores just a little high in comparison.
  • Personality – Pugs and Boston Terriers have an affectionate, pleasant, and friendly temperament. They enjoy being the center of attention. They can also be quite jealous and stubborn.
  • Living Environment – Since both breeds happen to have breathing issues, they require minimal exercise and fit perfectly into the lifestyle of a less active owner. They make for good apartment dogs and enjoy immense popularity among city-dwellers for this reason. Pugs and Boston Terriers cannot live outdoors for long periods as they cannot withstand extreme weather. Their short coat makes it difficult for them to bear very cold weather, and shortened muzzle prevents them from being comfortable in extremely hot weather.
  • Grooming Needs – Boston Terriers shed less than Pugs and are easier to groom, as a result. Shedding can become problematic for Pug owners, but it can be managed with the right tools. Both breed dogs need to have their face wiped with a clean wet cloth every day to keep the area around their wrinkles clean. Daily brushing with canine toothpaste will take care of their dental needs. Human toothpaste can be toxic for dogs. Use dog eye area cleaner to remove the reddish stains that may develop around your dog’s eyes.

Boston Terrier Vs. Pug: Health Comparison

Next, we compare the health of Pugs and Boston Terriers:

  • Lifespan – Pugs have a longer lifespan than Boston Terriers. Their average lifespan stretches from 12-15 years. The Boston Terrier enjoys an average lifespan of 10-14 years.
  • Common Health Issues – Common health concerns that commonly plague a Boston Terrier are – allergies, cataracts, brain tumors, deafness, cherry eye, heart murmurs, megaesophagus, reverse sneezing, and patellar luxation.

Pugs generally are predisposed to some health complaints. A few of these are – nerve degeneration, hemivertebrae, yeast infection, vaccination sensitivity, staph infection, proptosis, pug dog encephalitis, progressive retinal atrophy, leg-Perthes disease, hip dysplasia, epilepsy, corneal ulcers, and entropion.

Pugs Vs. Boston Terrier: Appearance Comparison

Pugs are short-legged dogs with deep chests. Their coats can come in various colors, most commonly fawn and black. 

Pugs have a wrinkled face, and their tail is curled tightly over the hip. They have black nails, and their ears are folded with the front edge against the side of the head. Also, Pugs have a double coat.

On the other hand, Boston Terriers are muscled, long-legged, small-boned, and athletic. They have a single coat of fur. They have flat cheeks, an unwrinkled face, and upright ears pointed at the tips.

Pugs And Boston Terriers: Exercise Needs And General Care

The exercise and general care needs of Pugs and Boston Terriers are described below:

  • Energy Level – Both Pugs and Boston Terriers are energetic and playful dogs. They love following their owners around the house and making themselves the center of attention. However, they are also perfect companion dogs who’d want nothing more than to cuddle with you on the couch when you’re not feeling up to playing with them.
  • Exercise Needs – Pugs and Boston Terriers are Brachycephalic breeds who cannot walk for very long or exercise during hot weather. Respiratory issues associated with short-snouted dogs such as the Terrier/Pug prevent them from being very active. The owner’s responsibility is to keep a watch over their small dog and ensure that they are not overexercising them, especially in hot weather. All they need in terms of exercise is a couple of short walks spaced throughout the day. If you’re planning on going on a long walk with them, consider carrying them instead. They’ll prefer that to walk long distances.
  • Strength – The Boston Terrier scores slightly higher than the Pug in strength and athleticism. It’s also because of their body structure. They are more muscular and long-legged than Pugs. The short-legged Pug is easier to drag around than the heavier Boston Terrier. Sure, they’re both relatively small in size but don’t undermine their strength because of this quality. When put to the test, you would be surprised by the strength these furballs can exert. Both breeds, however, are peaceable, if a little stubborn, so you shouldn’t have to come face to face with their strength.

Pug and Terrier Mix: Commonly Known as Bugg Dog

bugg dog

What is a Bugg Dog?

Bugg Dog is a mixed breed between the Boston Terrier and the Pug. The mixed-breed started to appear in the US around the 1990s. A Bugg dog combines the friendliness and intelligence of a Boston Terrier with the charm, mischief, and cuteness of a Pug.

The Bugg is the first-generation mix. As a Bugg is a mixed breed, it reduces breeding weaknesses and inherent illnesses. A Bugg’s appearance can be quite unpredictable. It can either lean more towards the Boston Terrier or the Pug.

Size, Height, and Weight of a Boston Terrier Pug Mix

A Pug is smaller than a Boston Terrier, weighing 14-18 pounds and measuring 10-13 inches. A Boston Terrier is 12-25 pounds of weight, standing between 15-17 inches in height. There is no telling which parent a Bugg dog will take after.

So, a Bugg can range between 10-17 inches in height and weigh as much as 25 pounds. Both Pugs and Boston Terriers tend to overeat, leading to obesity when combined in the mixed breed. Owners should be careful in regulating their food intake.

Life Expectancy and Health Problems

Sure, a mixed breed sometimes evens out inherent health complaints of some dog breeds, but it isn’t always so. Pugs and Boston Terriers happen to be brachycephalic breeds. Their physical structure predisposes them to breathing problems. The dark and protruding eyes of these breeds are appealing and put them at increased risk of eye diseases. Buggs have a life expectancy of 10-13 years.

Should I Own A Bugg Dog?

A Bugg dog with its cheerful and loveable temperament is a great addition to any family. They are companionable, good with kids, and require little to no exercise. There’s no better breed choice for you if you live in an apartment, apart from their parent breeds.

So, if you want a small dog and can’t choose between a Boston Terrier and a Pug – go with the Bugg! However, the Bugg does come with its share of health concerns which could be difficult to deal with.

Their quality of life will be poor, and you will be notching up vet bills. If you are okay with this, there is no reason you should get yourself a Bugg dog. However, it would be wise to go for rescue than have one bred for you.


Are Pugs and Boston terriers related?

The Pugs and Boston terriers are two breed dogs bred to be little pet friends for children and families. They have similar dimensions and other similarities, but they are not related.

Do Pugs bark a lot?

Some say that pugs do not bark. Others will say that they bark, though not much. The writer lives with two pugs; one barks very often, the other a little less. Generally, they are very quiet dogs, but it also depends on their character.

Do Boston Terriers shed?

Boston Terriers have a short-haired coat, and they shed very little. Furthermore, if you brush your dog a couple of times a week, the shedding will be almost nothing. 

Why do Pugs shed a lot of hair?

Unlike the BT, the Pug sheds a lot, and you will need to brush it often. This is because it has a double fur and the lower one, being in constant growth, pushes the hairs of the upper mantle. Moreover, unlike other dogs whose shedding is seasonal, the Pug sheds constantly.

black pug

Do black Pugs shed less?

Although Pugs shed a lot, black Pugs do not have double fur and therefore shed less. Thus, unlike the Fawn Pug, they do not have the underlayer that pushes the hair of the upper mantle.

Are male or female Pugs easier to train?

Generally, the male Pug is a bit more lazy and stubborn than the female, which could be easier to train. However, they can be trained easily because both males and females of Pug love very please their human companions.

Do Boston terriers like to cuddle?

Yes, the Boston Terriers love cuddling. Boston Terriers are known to be very friendly because they love being in the company of people. Furthermore, the Boston Terrier is very playful and good with children.

How popular is Pug?

According to AKC registration statistics, the Pug is 28th among the most common breeds in the world. The three most popular dog breeds are the Labrador, the German Shepherd, and the Poodle.

How popular is the Boston terrier?

The Boston Terrier is a breed that has only recently become famous compared to the Pug. However, according to AKC, being in twenty-first place is more popular!


Pugs and Boston Terriers both enjoy immense popularity.

If we are to go by the American Kennel Club’s rankings, the Boston Terrier is more popular.

However, as a whole, it seems that the Pug is the more well-known breed due to its media and pop-culture depictions. You will often find the Pug on TV shows, movies, cartoons, and comics.

The Boston Terrier, although visible, does not enjoy the same kind of popularity in media. Pugs with their glum face, playful nature, and small stature are considered the epitome of adorableness.

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