Dog Breeds That Look Like Pugs

Are you a fan of the adorable Pug but interested in exploring other breeds with a similar charm?

Look no further! We’ve compiled a list of 12 dog breeds each with their unique traits and characteristics so you can find the best dog breed that looks like a Pug.

Continue reading to discover which of these endearing breeds could be your next perfect companion.

1. French Bulldog

Intelligent French Bulldog breed

French Bulldogs share similarities with Pugs in terms of body shape and facial features, but they have unique bat ears and a charming personality. These intelligent dogs have compact, muscular bodies with short coats. I feel that their sweet personality makes them great family pets.

Friendly, sociable, and loving, French Bulldogs have the following characteristics:

  • They form strong bonds with their human companions
  • They are known to be playful and affectionate
  • They are adaptable and can fit well in both individual and large family settings

French Bulldogs truly make great pets for individuals or large families alike. Plus, let’s face it, they’re just super cute!

2. Boston Terrier

Adorable Boston Terrier breed

Boston Terriers resemble Pugs with their short snouts and big eyes, but they are more energetic and suitable for families with an active lifestyle. Known for their distinctive “tuxedo” markings, Boston Terriers are one of the oldest dog breeds originating from the United States.

However, these flat faced dogs are quite energetic and need plenty of exercise to thrive. They make a great fit for anyone who loves to go on adventures or get involved in canine sports.

3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breed

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have a similar size and affectionate nature as Pugs but with longer coats and a more regal appearance. These small pups, usually weighing between 13 to 18 pounds, have soft, silky fur and come in four different colors – Blenheim (red and white), tricolor (black, white, and tan), ruby (solid red), and black and tan. My personal favorite is the tricolor, but they’re all gorgeous.

Their sweet, gentle, and loving disposition, combined with their loyalty and adaptability, makes them wonderful family pets. Just keep in mind that their long, silky coat requires regular brushing and combing to keep it looking great.

4. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terriers have a Pug-like face and a muscular build, making them great companions for outdoor activities and families. With a broad, flat skull and short muzzle, they share similar facial features with Pugs. Although, they’re much larger than our little Pug friends.

These intelligent dogs, often serving as guard dogs, are known for their:

  • loyalty and affection towards their family and other dogs
  • suspicion of strangers
  • muscular build
  • love for outdoor activities

These qualities make them excellent companion dogs for families or people living alone.

5. Tibetan Spaniel

Tibetan Spaniel

Tibetan Spaniels share a similar face shape and charm to Pugs, but have a longer, silky coat, making them great apartment dogs that enjoy lounging around the house. Weighing between 8-15 pounds and standing at 10-12 inches tall, these adorable dogs have a long, silky coat that adds to their charm.

Tibetan Spaniels are great family dogs, known for their friendly and affectionate nature, but can be a bit shy around strangers. If you live in an apartment like me, they’re an ideal breed as they only require daily exercise in the form of short walks or playtime in the yard.

6. Chinese Shar-Pei

Chinese Shar-Pei breed with wrinkled skin

Chinese Shar-Pei dogs have the following characteristics:

  • Wrinkled skin
  • Similar appearance to Pugs, but larger
  • Originally bred as watchdogs for royalty
  • Distinctive look with wrinkled head and short coat
  • Intelligent and independent nature
  • Fiercely loyal to their family and territory
  • Often calm and gentle, but protective

However, potential health issues such as skin infections, hip dysplasia, entropion, and patellar luxation should be taken into consideration when choosing this breed.

7. English Bulldog

English Bulldog breed with flat face

English Bulldogs have a similar appearance to Pugs with their big head, small body, and short snout, but are larger and require more maintenance. Known for their wide, muscular bodies, short muzzles, and large heads, this is a very popular breed.

English Bulldogs are super friendly and curious, making them great companions for both children and adults. However, their larger size and unique physical characteristics mean they require regular grooming, exercise, and veterinary care.

8. Affenpinscher

Affenpinscher breed with wiry coat

Affenpinschers have a monkey-like face that resembles Pugs, with their flat, black nose, dark eyes, and short muzzle. They’re intelligent, sturdy, and low-maintenance apartment dogs. This small toy dog breed comes from Germany and has short to medium length fur and a medium frame.

Affenpinschers are known for their playful and affectionate nature, making them a great family pet.

9. Japanese Chin

Japanese Chin breed with silky coat

Japanese Chins have a similar face to Pugs, but a different body shape. These lively dogs are known for their playful and lovable nature. They have a compact and square body, with a long, silky coat that comes in a variety of colors.

Japanese Chins are fun-loving and affectionate, always eager to please their owners. Their charming and lovable nature makes them a great addition to any family.

10. Pekingese

Pekingese breed with facial features

Pekingese dogs are one of those dogs that look like Pugs in terms of size and facial features but have a longer coat and a more independent personality. These toy dog breeds have short legs and faces, with long hair and a bit of a stubborn streak.

Their unique appearance and independent nature set them apart from other breeds, making them an interesting choice for those seeking a more self-reliant companion.

11. Miniature Shar-Pei

Miniature Shar-Pei breed

Miniature Shar-Peis resemble Pugs in color and size, but have more wrinkles and a muscular build, making them unique pets. These purebred Shar-Peis have been bred to be smaller in size and have more wrinkles, thanks to a recessive gene in their DNA.

With their loyalty and intelligence, miniature Shar-Peis make great family pets and are sure to captivate the hearts of their owners. However, I would say that it’s important to take potential health problems into consideration.

12. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu breed with friendly personality

Shih Tzus can look similar to Pugs with their big eyes and short snout, but they have a longer coat that requires regular grooming and maintenance. These small, sturdy, and active pups have a long coat that comes in different colors, including:

  • White
  • Black
  • Brown
  • Gold
  • Gray

Their affectionate nature makes them the perfect dog for both children and adults, but their long coat requires regular grooming to keep it looking its best.

13. Pug Crosses

Pug Crossbreed

We’ve all seen crossbreeds – they’re becoming increasingly popular and I see them all over the place! Pug crosses, such as Pug-Zu and Pugalier, combine the best traits of Pugs with other breeds, resulting in unique and adorable pets. Designer dog breeds like the Bugg and Muggin crate breeds with a variety of appearances and temperaments. Buggs, a cross between a Boston Terrier and a Pug, are super friendly and energetic pups who love to play, while Muggins are a mix of a Pug and a Miniature Pinscher.

These mixed breeds have the same physical features as Pugs, like a short muzzle, big eyes, and a curly tail, but can also inherit traits from the other parent breed, like size, coat color, and temperament.

The variety of mixed breed Pug crosses available offers endless possibilities for those seeking a unique and lovable companion.

Brachycephalic Breeds

Brachycephalic Breeds

Brachycephalic breeds, like Pugs and Bulldogs, have short snouts and may require special care due to potential respiratory issues. These flat faced dogs can sometimes experience trachea issues, which can cause breathing difficulties.

If you’re considering a brachycephalic breed, it’s important to be aware of these potential health concerns, as well as other issues such as joint problems and skin fold infections.

Rare and Lesser-Known Breeds

An image of a rare and lesser-known dog breed that looks like a pug, with a short snout and wrinkled face.

Rare and lesser-known breeds, such as Small Brabant, offer unique alternatives to Pugs for those seeking a distinctive pet. The Small Brabant is an uncommon breed of dog that can easily be confused with a Pug. They are similar in size, have the same nose, and have large, round eyes.

Choosing the Right Breed for You

I know choosing a breed from all of these adorable dogs can be challenging, but I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to choose the right breed for you. You also want to ensure you can give any dog you bring home everything they need to thrive.

Choosing the right breed involves considering factors like temperament, size, and activity level to ensure a good fit for your lifestyle and home. Each breed on this list offers its own unique traits and characteristics, so it’s important to think about what you’re looking for in a companion.

By carefully considering your options, you can find the perfect breed that will bring joy and companionship to your life.

Health Considerations

Pug at the vet

Health considerations for Pug-like breeds include potential respiratory issues, joint problems, and skin fold infections. It’s important to be aware of these potential health issues and take the necessary steps to ensure your pet stays healthy and happy.

Regular veterinary check-ups, proper grooming, and a balanced diet can help you maintain your pet’s health and well-being, regardless of the breed.

Grooming and Maintenance

Pug at groomers.

Grooming and maintenance requirements vary among Pug-like breeds, with some needing regular brushing and bathing, while others require minimal care. Regular care is essential for all breeds, as it helps maintain their appearance and overall health.

Researching the grooming and maintenance needs of each breed you’re considering can help you determine which breed is the best fit for your lifestyle and preferences.

Training and Socialization

Pug being trained.

Training and socialization are essential for any dog, ensuring well-behaved and well-adjusted pets. Proper training and socialization from a young age help dogs become confident, obedient, and adaptable to new situations.

Regardless of the breed you choose, investing time and effort into proper training and socialization will result in a loving and well-mannered companion that fits seamlessly into your family.

Exercise and Activity Levels

Dog exercising.

Exercise and activity levels differ among Pug-like breeds, with some being more energetic and active than others. Understanding the exercise needs of each breed can help you select the right companion for your lifestyle, whether you’re seeking an active partner for outdoor adventures or a more relaxed companion for apartment living.

By matching your preferred activity level with that of your chosen breed, you’ll ensure a happy and harmonious relationship with your new pet.

Living Spaces

Living spaces should be considered when choosing a breed, as some dogs are better suited for apartments, while others need more space to roam. Taking into account the size and energy levels of each breed can help you determine the ideal living situation for your new pet.

Whether you have a spacious backyard or a cozy apartment, there’s a Pug-like breed that will thrive in your home.

Lifespan and Aging

Aging Pug

I know it’s hard to think about your dog’s lifespan – they’re our furbabies and as dog owners, we don’t want to think about losing them. But lifespan and aging factors should be taken into account when selecting a breed, as some dogs have longer lifespans than others. Understanding the typical lifespan and aging considerations of each breed can help you make a more informed decision and prepare for the various stages of your pet’s life.

Adoption and Rescue Options

Adoption and rescue options provide an alternative to purchasing from a breeder, offering a chance to give a loving home to a dog in need. You can provide a second chance to a deserving dog and potentially save a life. Rescuing dogs is one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life – I highly recommend it!

Additionally, adopting or rescuing a dog is often more cost-effective than purchasing from a breeder, making it a financially responsible option.

Breeder Selection

If you do decide to buy a dog, do plenty of research. Breeder selection is crucial when purchasing any dog, ensuring responsible breeding practices and healthy, well-cared-for puppies. When looking for a breeder, it’s important to find one with a good reputation and who is a member of a reliable Kennel Club or Breed Association.

A responsible breeder will prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs, providing you with a healthy and well-adjusted puppy to join your family.


In conclusion, there are a variety of Pug-like breeds to choose from, each with its unique traits, appearances, and personalities. By considering factors such as temperament, size, activity level, living space, and health considerations, you can find the perfect breed to suit your lifestyle and preferences.

Whether you choose a rare and lesser-known breed, a designer dog, or adopt from a rescue, you’re sure to find a loving and adorable companion that brings joy and happiness into your life.

Frequently Asked Questions

What breed of dog looks like a Pug?

The French Bulldog is often mistaken for a Pug due to their similarity in appearance. They are intelligent, stubborn, and have an incredibly cute and entertaining nature – just like Pugs!

A French Bulldog is a great companion for any family. They are loyal, affectionate and make great watchdogs.

What dog is the same size as a Pug?

The Boston Terrier is almost the exact same size and weight as a Pug, perfect for living in small spaces. These dogs have a similar stubby nose to Pugs.

What Belgian dog looks like a Pug?

The Brussels Griffon is a toy dog originating from Brussels, Belgium, and looks like a Pug. This breed has an inquisitive, intelligent, and sensitive nature making it a great companion. It belongs to the Griffon group of dogs which were originally bred for hunting.

What are the different types of Pugs?

You’ll typically see Pugs in four colors: fawn, black, apricot, and silver. Fawn Pugs are the most popular with a black face mask.

Additionally, they come in two ear shapes: button and rose, which can be distinguished based on how the ears impact their face shape.

What factors should I consider when choosing a Pug-like breed?

When choosing a Pug-like breed, take into account its temperament, size, activity level, grooming needs, and living space requirements.

Consider the breed’s personality and how it will fit into your lifestyle. Think about how much space you have available and whether the breed needs a lot of exercise. Also, consider the amount of grooming required and whether you already have a dog.