Boston terrier vs French Bulldog vs Pug

The Boston Terrier, French Bulldog, and Pug breeds are all very similar breeds of dogs. While there are a few differences (which we will discuss), all three of them are brachycephalic breeds, which means they have a very flat muzzle. This means that they all have the same breed of ancestors, although they have all developed in their ways.

It is tough to compare Boston Terrier vs French Bulldog vs Pug. This is because each breed brings something different to the table. If you want a lazier dog, for instance, then you would opt for a Pug. If you want a dog full of life, then the Boston Terrier is for you. If you want a dog that can cope with colder temperatures, then you need to steer clear of the pug.

On this page, we will go through various elements that you will often need to consider when getting a dog. We hope that this will allow you to see a good comparison between the three breeds.

Boston terrier vs French Bulldog vs Pug

Activity Levels 

As these are brachycephalic breeds, neither of these three breeds are going to be high maintenance when it comes to activity levels. None of these breeds should be taken for long walks. Their breathing just isn’t up to it.

The pug is probably the laziest of the three breeds. It is going to enjoy hanging around the home a whole lot more than it is going to enjoy walking. Don’t get us wrong. It isn’t opposed to walking, but it is more going to be light exercise rather than something on the extreme side of things.

The Boston Terrier is the dog breed that you want if you are looking for a dog that you can walk with. It isn’t going to be able to put up with epic walks that last multiple hours, but an hour or two here is fine. It also isn’t going to be ideal for running around and catching balls as it can tire easily.

At home, the pug is probably going to be laying about the couch, while French Bulldogs and Boston Terriers will be bouncing about quite a bit.


All of these breeds will require regular interaction with their owners and other dogs. Boston Terriers can probably be left alone for a little bit longer than the other two breeds, but not by much.

Boston Terriers are less likely to be accepting of regular changes in schedules, though. They are very much dogs that like each of their day to be roughly the same. They hate encountering regular strangers or being moved about quite a bit.

Temperature Resilience

None of these dogs cope particularly well in the extreme hot and cold temperatures. They have their breathing to thank for that.

If you live in an area with a lot of snow or a place that gets incredibly hot during the summer months, then you will need to avoid the pug. It is the least adaptable of the dog breeds.


Friendliness is something that can be trained into dogs…to an extent.

Both the Boston Terrier and the Pug tend to be a bit more naturally friendly and both of these breeds will welcome regular strangers with open arms.

When it comes to the French Bulldog, they are a little bit warier. If they know somebody, then great! They will be bouncing around all excited that they are about to be petted. If a stranger walks into the home, then the French Bulldog is more prone to letting out a bark or two. They may also appear to be a bit shyer.

Do bear in mind that none of these breeds will make a good guard dog. They may bark a little bit when they see a stranger, but they are not going to be aggressive in any way. It just isn’t in their nature. 


With all three dog breeds, health issues will be apparent. This is what you get with brachycephalic breeds. This is why it is ever so important that you purchase your dog from a reputable breeder. It is the only way that you can keep those issues to a minimum. 

Because the pug is a breed that has the flattest face out of these breeds, it is often the breed that will need the most trips to the vet. If you own a pug, we are positive that your vet bills are going to be sky-high, as will insurance costs.

The Boston Terrier will have the fewest health issues. If you own a Boston Terrier, then you are much less likely to run into brachycephalic issues than with the other breeds. With the Boston Terrier, it is going to be more typical dog issues e.g. arthritis. However, the breathing issues will always be there.

Life Expectancy

The life expectancy of the dogs is as follows:

  • Pug: 12 to 15 years
  • Boston Terrier: 13 to 15 years
  • French Bulldog: 10 to 14 years

This means that you don’t have a huge amount of difference between the Pug and the Boston Terrier. If you opt for a French Bulldog, then it is going to be much shorter-lived. 


All of these dogs are short-furred. This means that you aren’t going to be dealing with regular trips to the groomer. You will probably never have to head to the groomer outside of getting their nails trimmed. 

Pugs are much more intense in their shedding, though. So, if you aren’t a fan of having fur all over the place, then you will probably want to avoid getting a pug. Remember, they love to laze about the place, and this means that fur is going to end up getting everywhere!

Intelligence (Trainability)

None of these are dogs that are particularly famed for their intelligence levels. They very much go with the flow.

Because of this, none of them are the easiest dogs to train. It can be very difficult to get your training commands stuck in their brain.

Generally speaking, the pug is going to be less reluctant to train than the other two breeds. Some class the pug as the most difficult of all dog breeds to train. You will eventually be able to teach it, but it is going to be an uphill struggle.

French Bulldogs are a little harder to train than the Boston Terrier, but not by much. 


None of these dogs bark all that much. The pug is a bit more of a barker, but it is often a bit too lazy to even do that.

The French Bulldog probably barks the least of all of these breeds. There are probably French Bulldogs out there that wouldn’t even dream of letting a bark out. It just isn’t in their nature. They wouldn’t be good as a guard dog, trust us.

Boston terrier vs French Bulldog vs Pug


All of these dogs are highly affectionate and enjoy a good cuddle. When trained properly, there isn’t a bad bone in their body. They are all going to be great with children, although typically you would want the child around the dog from early on in the dog’s life (i.e. as a puppy) to make it a bit easier to forge that bond.

The Boston Terrier is slightly more prone to biting somebody in the midst of being friendly, but very rarely in aggression. 

First Time Owner Compatability

All three dogs could be OK for a first-time owner. However, due to how stubborn a pug can be, we generally recommend that new dog owners don’t get one of those.


When it comes to Boston Terrier vs French Bulldog vs Pug, all of these breeds are fantastic breeds and in many ways, they are quite similar. The choice of which one to get will be based on your life. For example, a pug can be good for those that cannot walk for long amounts of time, while the other two breeds can cope with longer walks. For those that want a guard dog, the pug may be better than Boston Terrier. The only suggestion that we can make is that you avoid getting a Pug if you are a new owner. 

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Dan James

Dan James is the founder and editor of FrenchBulldogio, a canine enthusiast who writes about what he's learned on the way of being a French Bulldog owner and sharing his advice, tips, and research.

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