Pug Vs Boston Terrier: Which Is Right For You?

boston terrier compared to pug

Pugs and Boston Terriers are two of the most popular dog breeds in the world owing to their cute looks and charming personalities.

If you have narrowed down your options to these two wonderful dog breeds, then you would want to know which one is a better option.

Pug vs Boston Terrier – which breed makes the best pet?

It is a difficult decision!

These two dogs with their wrinkled faces are just adorable! Both breeds have similarities in both looks and personality traits, making it even more difficult to differentiate them.

However, there are certain differences between the Boston Terrier and the Pug when it comes to origin, size, weight, temperament and health issues.

It is important to do your research before adding any of these dogs to your family to ensure it is the right breed for you.

So how do the Boston Terrier and the Pug compare?

In this article, we’ll explore the differences between these two cute dogs to help you choose the right pet for you and your family! So keep reading.

The History of Pugs and Boston Terriers

Let’s start with the history of the Pug:

Also known as the Dutch Bulldog, Dutch Mastiff and Chinese Pug Dog, the Pug is a very old dog breed that was created in China over 2000 years ago.

The rulers of ancient Chinese dynasties were fond of flat-faced dogs such as the Pug, Shih Tzu and the Pekingese. These toy dogs were all prized companions to the emperors, their families and other members of the royalty.

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As with other breeds preferred by Far Eastern Potentates of prehistoric times, Pugs were high treasured and outsiders could only acquire them as gifts.

The Pug’s foray into the rest of the world began sometimes in the 16th century when Dutch merchants brought them to Holland. When William and Mary of Orange went to Great Britain to take over the monarchy, they were accompanied by their Pugs.

The global fascination with this breed is evident by the number of names the dog has had in different places and eras. These names include Lo-sze (China), Mophonds (Holland), and Doguillo (Spain), to mention but a few.

There are many theories that try to explain the origin of the name Pug. According to one such theory, the name Pug is derived from the Latin term “Pugnus”, which means “fist”.

This is a fairly accurate description of this dog as his face tends to resemble a clenched fist.

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What about the Boston Terrier?

Some breeds of dogs are so ancient that their exact origins are lost in the midst of time, but the history of the Boston Terrier is well known.

It is widely known that in Boston, in the 1870’s, Robert Hooper acquired an English White Terrier/English Bulldog Mix dog named Judge.

Boston Terrier Training

Over time, crossbreeding with the Boxer, the French Bulldog, the Pit-Bull Terrier and the English Bull Terrier resulted in what is now known as the Boston Terrier.

Like their English Bulldog cousins, Boston Terriers were originally developed for pit fighting. As pit fighting (and dog fighting, in general) fell out of favor, the breed was refined into the small companion dogs we know today.

Pug Vs Boston Terrier: Appearance

Pugs have big, rounded heads with large, bulgy eyes. They also have many wrinkles on their faces.

The Chinese who bred Pugs cherished those wrinkles because they were thought to bring good fortune to them.

These dogs have short snouts and little moles on their cheeks. Pugs come in three solid colors: Black, grey and beige.

Boston Terriers, on the other hand, have white muzzles and tuxedo-like markings, which gave them the moniker “American Gentleman.”

They have a smooth coat that comes in three solid colors: black, white and brindle. With their large heads, square faces and protruding eyes, they look like Boxers, but their build resembles Terriers.

They also have small erect ears, which are either cropped or natural to match the shape of the head.

Both the Pug and the Boston Terrier have flatted faces, which implies that they are brachycephalic breeds. Their narrow tracheas, long palates and tiny nostrils can cause breathing problems.

We’ll take a look at the Boston Terrier vs Pug health issues later on in this article.

ALSO READ: Labradoodle Vs Goldendoodle – Which Poodle Mix Is the Right Fit for You?

Pug Vs Boston Terrier: Size, Height and Weight

As you can see, Pugs and Boston Terriers are quite similar in appearance, but Bostons are generally larger than more compact Pugs.

? Pugs weigh around ‎14 to 18 pounds and average 10 to 11 inches in height, whilst Boston Terriers weigh around 10 to 25 pounds and stand anywhere between 12 and 15 inches.


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Pug Vs Boston Terrier: Behavior & Temperament

Pugs are often described as the comedians of the canine world and amuse their owners with cuddles and constant entertainment.

These little cuddle bugs are known for their sense of humor and some are clowns and fun performers who will put a smile on your face every time. They are true lap dogs who crave constant love and attention. So don’t be surprised to see your Pug wanting to sleep next to you!

The Pug is an excellent family dog. They are also very friendly and get along well with kids. They are also gentle with other pets.

Not to be upstaged, Boston Terriers are very friendly dogs who love being close to their family members at all times. They get along with other dogs and you will find it easy introducing them to cats and strangers.

? Moreover, they are normally more kid-friendly than Pugs. Bostons also tend to howl and bark more than the Pug and they also tend to snort due to their short nose.

Both Boston Terriers and Pugs do not like being left alone for extended periods of time and can develop destructive behaviors if left alone frequently. These small companion dogs do best in homes where they can spend time with other family members.


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Older adults and growing families with older children can enjoy the companionship of either the Boston Terrier or a Chinese Pug.

Both dogs are fun and amusing and offer unconditional love to their masters. They are ideal for individuals who are looking for a laid back dog who can happily live in a small home or apartment.

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Pugs can be stubborn and strong-minded, which means they are not always easy to train. Housetraining can also be a problem.

When teaching a Pug puppy new tricks, you may be tempted to think that it is an impossible task but don’t worry. With some patience, consistency and lots of positive reinforcement in the form of rewards, treats and praises, you’ll be fine.

Additionally, be sure to be gentle when training your Pug since these dogs are sensitive to their master’s voices.

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It is also important to keep in mind that Pugs are intelligent dogs who can get bored quite easily if you are too repetitive when training them. Therefore, make sure to always keep each training session fun and avoid performing the same routine every day.

Training a Boston Terrier should be much easier. Generally, Boston Terriers are very intelligent dogs. Despite their stubbornness, they are still a delight to train provided you use lots of positive reinforcements. Additionally, you need to be patient and consistent in your training methods.

? As you can see, both dogs are stubborn, so start training them early. Short, interesting sessions along with consistency and patience work best for both breeds.

Boston Terrier Vs Pug: Exercises Requirements

The Pug is a very playful dog, but he doesn’t require strenuous activities, such as running.

However, this doesn’t mean that they don’t need exercises. They simply don’t do well with tiring activities due to their breathing problems.

Pugs and other brachycephalic breeds have a short nose and flat face, which can make breathing difficult at times. These dogs do need exercises, but at a suitable level.


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Boston Terriers require more exercises than Pugs. They are very playful dogs just like Pugs, but require more activity and exercise.

They enjoy running, daily walks and chasing after balls. They love their owners and enjoy playing with children and other canines.

They are prone to separation anxiety and require interactive dog toys to keep them busy and mentally stimulated in their owner’s absence. Otherwise, they will chew destructively and bark continuously.

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Boston Terrier vs Pug: Grooming

Other differences between the Pug and the Boston Terrier include shedding and grooming requirements.

Although both Boston Terriers and Pugs have a short coat, Boston Terriers are much easier to groom and maintain since they don’t shed as much as Pugs.

Pug owners sometimes complain about their shedding and the amount of pet hair left on the furniture, ground and other areas. With the right tools, however, you’ll be able to manage the shedding.


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Apart from brushing your dog, both Boston Terriers and Pugs need their faces to be wiped with a damp cloth each day to keep the wrinkles clean and healthy.

Their grooming routine should also include regular teeth brushing. Both Pugs and Boston Terriers require regular dental care to keep their teeth in a healthy condition. Only use doggie toothpaste since human toothpaste can be poisonous to dogs.

Eye care involves removing stains from the dog’s eyes. Nail clipping and occasional baths should also form part of your dog’s grooming routine.

Related: What Is The Best Brush For Shedding Dogs? (Top 15)

Feeding Information

Both Boston Terriers and Pugs are quite vulnerable to obesity so you need to monitor their food intake. However, Boston Terriers are not as vulnerable as Pugs are.

? Boston Terriers generally need to eat around 1 to 2 cups of food each day. On the other hand, Pugs should be fed about 1/2 of a cup around twice per day.


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Give your pup high quality dog food to ensure he meets his daily protein and fat requirements. Protein is vital for cell function while fat is essential for energy. Be sure to read the product label to ensure you meet his nutritional needs.

Moreover, it is strongly recommended to give your dog fish oil supplements to help keep his skin and coat healthy and to minimize shedding.

Pug vs Boston Terrier: Lifespan

The average lifespan of Pugs is 12 to 15 years. In comparison, Boston Terriers live from 10 to 14 years.

However, many factors can influence the lifespan of your pet. The overall health of your dog, diet, lifestyle, care and other factors can influence a pup’s longevity.

Boston Terrier Vs Pug: Health

Boston Terriers are generally healthy dogs, but they are still vulnerable to certain health issues, just like all dog breeds. These dogs are prone to knee cap luxations, hip dysplasia, cherry eye, cataracts, corneal ulcers, deafness and allergies.

Pugs are also vulnerable to various health problems, including brachycephalic syndrome (breathing problems), hip dysplasia, eye problems, epilepsy and various allergies.

As you can see, the overall health of Boston Terriers is normally better than that of Pugs.

Most of these health issues are genetic, so be sure to check the health records of both parent dogs when getting your puppy.

Pug vs Boston Terrier: Living conditions

If you live in a small house or apartment, Pugs are an excellent choice since they are certainly housedogs. Although these dogs adapt to apartment living quickly, they don’t tolerate being left alone.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that Pugs do not tolerate extreme weather, both cold and hot. Again, this is because of their breathing problems. That’s why they are a great choice for those who live in small homes or apartments.


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The Boston Terrier also has a wonderful adaptability. Like the Pug, the Boston Terrier is a great choice if you live in an apartment or small home. It is also a better choice if you tend to travel a lot, but he doesn’t exactly like it.

Bostons also tend to tolerate extreme weather better than Pugs. However, due to the fact they are a brachycephalic breed, they can suffer a lot in extreme weather conditions especially hot weather.

Boston Terrier vs Pug: Price

The price of a Pug puppy is around $1,000. Expect to pay around $800 or more for a Boston Terrier puppy, depending on various factors.

Different factors can influence the price of a Pug or Boston Terrier puppy. If you are interested in a show dog or a dog with a well recognized pedigree, be prepared to pay more.

Which Breed is Better Boston Terrier or Pug?

Now that you know the Boston Terrier compared to Pug a bit better, let’s recap and find out which breed is best for you!

Watchdog potential: both Pugs and Terriers will bark to alert of you of potential danger, but they are not likely to defend you.

With children: both breeds are good with children. However, it is important to introduce your puppy to kids from a young age.


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Training: Bostons are generally easier to train since they usually listen and obey. This might be an excellent choice if you are a first time dog owner.

On the other hand, Pugs are quite stubborn at times, and therefore, you should be patient and consistent when training them. However, this doesn’t mean that Bostons are entirely not stubborn – they also can be stubborn at times!

Exercise needs: both breeds require daily walks to keep them at a healthy weight. However, they don’t do well with strenuous activities. The Boston Terrier needs more exercises, but they still don’t require tiring activities.


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Shedding: Pugs shed more than Boston Terriers. However, Pugs aren’t exactly heavy shedders in comparison to some other dogs breeds like the German Shepherd.

Maintenance: both breeds should be easy to groom and maintain. Whichever breed you pick, you won’t need to spend a lot of time or money on grooming and maintenance.

Adaptability: Bostons adapt to new environments more easily than Pugs. Although both breeds do not tolerate extreme weather, Boston Terriers are better at coping.

For first-time dog owners: both breeds are great for first time dog owners.

Pug Vs Boston Terrier: Conclusion

As you can see, these two brachycephalic breeds are similar in certain aspects.

Both breeds adapt well to apartment living, do not tolerate extreme weather, and require light exercises. Moreover, they are both excellent companion dogs who enjoy spending quality time with their owners. However, although they are similar in various ways, there are some differences.


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For example, Pugs shed more than Boston Terrier. Boston Terriers are also easier to train. There are also a few health problems to consider since each breed is vulnerable to certain conditions. That’s why you need to choose a reputable breeder that will produce the health records of both parent dogs.

ALSO READ: A Complete Guide To The Boston Terrier Poodle Mix

Still can’t decide between the two?

Consider attending a Pug and Boston Terrier meet-ups or spending time with each dog. This will give you a good idea of temperament and personality traits that you can expect from your pup.

Still can’t decide? You can get the best of both worlds in the Boston Terrier Pug Mix, affectionately known as the Bugg!


Passionate lover of dogs and proud owner of a friendly, mischievous and energetic golden retriever named Beethoven! I’m incredibly excited to share my experiences on how best to care for your beloved pet. The more we know, the happier we and our canine friends will be!

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