Dogs That Look Like Pugs: 12 Striking Similar Breeds

Pugs are adorable, quirky dogs that are full of mischief and confidence. Their size doesn’t prohibit them from entering various dog shows and earning a lot of coveted trophies and ribbons. 

The breed is considered brachycephalic, aka flat-faced. Interestingly, their short muzzles and bulging eyes are seen to be appealing hence why they’re 28th out of 204 dog breeds ranked by popularity in the United States.

Oddly enough, there are 12 other dog breeds that look close to a Pug. Check out the list of Pug-faced dogs you might fancy and find out their different personalities.

1. French Bulldog

On top of the list is the French Bulldog breed who’s getting more popular than ever. He comes the closest to the Pug when it comes to appearance and size, only that his ears look perky in comparison to the folded ones of the other.

He’s also brachycephalic, hence the shorter snout. Undeniably, this feature remains adorable. A few wrinkles are present on the face and the rounded eyes may bulge, but not to the extreme.

To rightly determine whether you’re dealing with a Pug or a Frenchie, you just have to look at the dog’s coat. Pugs only feature a black and fawn coat while the other may come in cream, fawn, white, and brindle. 

2. Brussels Griffon

Second on the list is the Brussels Griffon Breed who may have a rough, wiry coat or a smooth one. The likeness in appearance largely depends on what variety you go for. If you want an Ewok-looking four-legged pal, you have to go for the long-haired one. Meanwhile, he’s more like a Pug’s twin if he features a shorter coat.

The Brussels Griffon is perfect for those who are looking to have a compact pooch. He’s small and weighs only around 8 to 10 pounds. He’s known for his distinct face and muzzle structure with the same rounded eyes and floppy tiny ears as the Pug. 

The size doesn’t really predetermine the personality of any dog such as the Brussels Griffon. He’s got one dominant personality and you may have to deal with it from time to time. To keep it from getting worse, teach him the house rules early on. 

3. Bullmastiff

Mastiffs are known for their huge, incredible size. One breed that comes from the lineage of the great Roman war dogs is no other than the Bullmastiff. This may come off as surprising to you, but Pugs are Mastiffs too. With that being said, both breeds are related to each other.

The Bullmastiff got his appearance from one of his parents, the Bulldog and the size was mainly inherited from the ginormous Mastiff. Most of the time, this dog would feature the same coat color as the Pug– the black and fawn shades.

What makes each of them distinct from the other is the obvious size difference. Taking care of a Bullmastiff requires hard work and patience. Help him lower his guard instincts so he won’t react unnecessarily to anything or anyone.

4. English Bulldog

The right breed that would be perfectly deemed as the Pug’s doppelgänger in a much chubbier body would be the English Bulldog. In food, he would be most likely associated with what we love, meatballs!

Bulldogs share several features with the adorable Pug breed namely the stocky body shape, flat face, as well as a few prominent wrinkles on the face. Thankfully, since English Bulldogs are one of the familiar faces in the dog world, it’s fairly easy to distinguish them from the Pug.

Although it’s almost stereotypical for a Bulldog to have an intimidating and cool persona, the real temperament of the breed roots in being sweet and gentle. He can become too velcro and follow his favorite person anywhere inside the house.

5. Japanese Chin

One main thing that makes both Pugs and Japanese Chins alike is the fact that they’re excellent lap dogs. They also have the same size category that falls under small, albeit, the Chin pooch is considerably lesser in proportions.

It’s absolutely worth noticing that the Japanese Chin has the same black eyes, short yet broad snout, and an overall playful look on his face. Don’t let these qualities fool you though. The Japanese Chin exhibits a big dog personality too.

He’s wary of strangers and barking is an automatic response to alert his family. Moreover, he acts more like a cat rather than a dog, making him relate more to your feline pet than any other pooches in your household. He would mostly not do well with other dogs unless they were of the same Chin breed.

6. Pekingese

Fun fact, the Pug and the Pekingese share the same origin and this dates back to the Chinese era where royalties, like the Emperors, bred lap dogs. In other words, it is certainly special if you have a Pug or a Pekingese as your pet as he was mainly exclusive for those who were in power back in time.

This toy dog breed has short legs, enlarged eyes, and an adorably short muzzle. It can be quite a silly sight seeing him brave the high stairs but don’t forget to aid him in this endeavor to avoid undesirable accidents.

At times, the Pekingese can be independent and would tend to show a bit of his quirkiness whenever he feels like it. When he’s well-bonded with his family, this pooch won’t hesitate to bring out his friendly side.

7. Boston Terriers

As an old dog breed, it’s not shocking to know that he maintains an impressive popularity ranking in the American Kennel Club’s breed popularity list. Before, he was commonly called the “Roundhead” dog until James Watson came and granted him a fancier name, the Boston Terrier. 

His muzzle is wide and it gets even broader if he lets out his tongue to pant. He’s brachycephalic too and that would mean a higher risk of breathing issues. A few wrinkles around his cheeks can be seen but they shouldn’t look too much.

He may look quite sizable, but in reality, his proportions aren’t as ridiculous as the Mastiff. Yet, in the past, he was bred as a fighting dog.

8. Chihuahua

If you want to go after a Pug-looking breed that has a longer coat, the long-haired Chihuahua would be your best option. Of course, the other variety would be the smooth-haired one.

Chihuahuas don’t exhibit the same Pug-type snout but rather a much pointier muzzle, protruding eyes, and erect ears. Unlike the Pug, this small Chi dog comes in virtually any color with a few markings to choose from.

He’s feisty yet alert and free-spirited, silly, and entertaining. Some Chis act like lap dogs while others need to warm up with their owners first. They are aware of their size too, so at times, they can act highly disagreeable toward other bigger pooches.

9.  Tibetan Spaniel

Both Pugs and Tibetan Spaniels belong to the companion group. The size difference isn’t a lot and the same can be said when it comes to appearance. The coat of the Tibetan Spaniel does make him more distinct than the Pug, however, but yet again, the facial features remain uncanny.

Generally, this cute dog has a smaller head than body size, oval-shaped eyes, and a wrinkle-free face. He may also come in a fawn coat with a black shade surrounding his muzzle. 

Personality-wise, this companion dog requires frequent human interactions, socialization with other dogs and pets, as well as physical and mental stimulations.

10. Dogue de Bordeaux

The Dogue de Bordeaux is a French Mastiff that shares the same ancestry as the Pug too. He’s a good choice if you want a dog buddy that’s over a hundred pounds in weight. The French Mastiff can be observed to have a peculiar muzzle, a few wrinkles in the face, a gentle pair of eyes, and floppy ears.

The build is robust and muscular. That should tell you that he needs to be fit at all times so as to avoid obesity. Large dogs tend to be overweight and the same may happen to your French Mastiff.

Getting this dog should mean you’re ready for a challenging task. He has to be handled firmly to balance out his aggression and protective instincts. With the right training and socialization, he’ll grow up loving, caring, and far from causing mischief and harm to others in any unreasonable causes.

11. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

This medium-sized breed, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, has the same facial structure as the Pug. He comes in various different colors though and that gives you more options unlike the very limited natural shades of the Pug breed. 

Also, his appearance can sometimes draw negative remarks from people who don’t know the breed well. We aren’t new to news that reports several incidents of dogs turning to their owners.

The real problem lies in how these dogs are brought up, not what a dog’s breed is. Staffordshires are loving, sweet, enthusiastic, cheerful, and excellent at bonding with their family. 

12. Pomeranian

The same fun look can be seen in the vibrant appearance of a Pomeranian. He’s got two large eyes and a double coat that’s long and fluffy. In all regard, he could be a long-coated version of a Pug.

Pomeranians tend to like when things and routines are kept. If there are changes, they need some time to adjust. Their daily moods often include being cheerful to their family, energetic, bold, and inquisitive.

As a small dog just like the Pug, this breed needs its behavior kept in check at all times. Training and other forms of drills have to be included in his regular daily activities to avoid him from developing unwanted behaviors. After all, cute pooches may sometimes be demanding and have the urge to be treated like spoiled pets.