Boston Terrier vs Pug

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If you are considering getting a Boston Terrier vs Pug, this guide should help you decide what dog breed is right for you. Comparing them can be a bit difficult because they both seem to have similar characteristics. However, with a closer look at finer details, you may establish which is the better one for your needs.

Boston Terrier vs Pug: General Overview 

The Boston Terrier and Pug dog breeds have a long and rich history between them. Their domestication dated decades ago, and since then, they continue to be humans’ best friends. Below is a neck to neck comparison and general overview of the two.

Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers are usually small dogs with short snouts. Boston Terriers are generally healthy and muscular and have a shiny, straight coat. Although they are friendly and great family companions, males often don’t get along with other pets invading their territory.

Pug sitting outside with a funny expression

The dog has distinctive ears that are a bit large and stand straight. Their eyes are large and set apart. Boston Terrier’s coats usually have a crisp white marking that forms a tuxedo-like pattern.

Boston Terriers are among the most intelligent dog breeds. Their weight is between 15 to 24 pounds, and their height is usually 17 inches tall in male adults and 16 inches for female adults. Boston Terriers are the 21st most popular dog breeds according to the AKC. 


Pugs originated from China about 2000 years ago and lived with Chinese royalty. They had their own guarded palaces. They have short, strong legs, a big head, and a broad chest. They also have tiny folded ears and have bulging eyes.

An outstanding feature is their wrinkled forehead and the black patch on the face that resembles a facemask. Pugs come in different colors. However, most of them are black and light brown. These dogs have strong ankles, short feet, well split-up toes, and black-colored nails.

Pugs are generally friendly, not aggressive, and can play with children. Their intuitive nature allows them to sense your mood, and they usually work to please the owner. They typically stand at around 10 to 14 inches and are 13 to 20 pounds in weight.

Similarities Between Boston Terrier and Pug

Below are some similarities between Boston Terriers and Pugs:

Both Exhibit Similar Temperament

Both breeds are friendly, sociable, and affectionate. They both like engaging in an activity and interacting with their owners. Although both like being the center of attention, they enjoy the company of owners who don’t engage with them in vigorous exercise.

Because they are brachycephalic, they frequently experience breathing problems. They, therefore, require relatively low levels of exercise during the day. You can walk them around the block or have a little practice with them while indoors to keep them happy.

During hot weather, they both need an air-conditioned or cool space. The two friendly breeds can stay with families with children and are comfortable living in an apartment.

Boston Terrier puppy sitting in the grass

Both Have Same Similar Health Issues

The two are brachycephalic breeds who experience similar respiratory conditions. This is due to their shortened muzzles and flat faces. Since they both have bulging eyes, they both face the risk of eye infections.

Both breeds have tails that fold upwards towards the hip. It makes them prone to develop hemivertebrae (a condition where half of a vertebra in the spine does not form.) They may also experience skin issues because of the folds on their skin. They may have luxating patella, a condition common in small dogs where the knee moves from its socket.

Both are Good With Kids

Both dogs are suitable for families with kids. The dogs are pleasant and friendly and are playful with children. However, you should limit the amount of time they play with children.

As discussed in their health issues, both breeds might experience breathing difficulties, especially on hot days. Therefore they can’t run all day with children. A few indoor exercises are enough for the dogs.

Differences Between Boston Terriers and Pugs

While they share traits, these breeds also have some differences as shown below: 


Although both dog breeds have short hair, Pugs tend to shed a lot of hair. Grooming of Boston Terriers is easy, as they don’t shed a lot. Pug owners often complain about the amount of pet hair left on seats, floors, and surfaces.

The right grooming tools should be enough to help you manage this issue, though. It would help if you wiped the faces of both Boston Terriers and Pugs daily using a damp cloth. Both breeds have wrinkles on their faces, and the wiping keeps them clean.

You also need to regularly brush their teeth to keep them in a healthy condition. Human toothpaste can be harmful to dogs, and you should, therefore, always use canine toothpaste. You also have to carry out eye care, which involves removing any stain from the dog’s eyes.


Pugs can be challenging to train because of their stubborn nature and intelligence. It may not be easy also to carry out housetraining. Teaching a Pug puppy may seem like an impossible task. However, it would help if you were patient, consistent, and reward them with treats and praises.

The dogs are sensitive to the owner’s voice, and you should be careful during training. They also get bored, and you should frequently change the training routine. In comparison, training a Boston Terrier is much easier.

Woman cradling a Pug

Main Distinguishing Factor 

The main distinguishing factor lies in their physical appearance. A Pug has a patch on the face that resembles a face mask and has floppy ears. A Boston Terrier, on the contrary, has standing ears.

When to Get a Boston Terrier

Here some instances in which a Boston Terrier will be better than a Pug. 

When You Want an Intelligent and Easy to Train Dog

Boston Terriers are some of the most intelligent breeds you can ever come across. They understand command quickly and seldom forget whatever you teach them. They are some of the best dogs you can have when you have strangers around because they will always know what to do once you train them.

When You Want a Dog that is Easy to Groom

Boston Terriers don’t shed a lot of hair and grooming them is easy. You only need a few grooming tools and tips to get your dog presentable. For easy grooming, you might need to buy the following:

When to Get a Pug

Keeping a Pug dog over a Boston Terrier dog comes down to the following reason. 

When You Want a Playful and Funny Dog

When you want a dog that is playful and amusing, the Pug is your option. Pugs are usually known as the comedians among dogs because they love amusing their owner. They will keep you entertained the whole day with their endless energy and theatrics.


Final Verdict

The two dogs have a lot of traits and challenges that are similar. I would recommend the Boston Terrier, though, since it is more accommodative to other pets and more comfortable to train.

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