14 Dogs That Look Like Pugs But Aren’t

Perhaps you love Pugs but want a dog that possesses different traits; there exist other dogs that look like Pugs you can consider.

Dogs are one of the most adorable human companions and they come in different physical appearances, temperaments, and even sizes.

One of these breeds is the Pug, known to be an appropriate family pet, friendly and playful around kids.

This breed enjoys making its owner happy, hence, allowing its mood to be influenced by its owner’s. Here is a little information about the pug breed.

This wrinkled face, curled tail, and shiny coat dog have some distinct features, which it shares with a list of other dogs.

In this article, 14 of these breeds of dogs that look like Pugs but aren’t would be enlisted alongside their pictures and features.

For some of these dogs similar to pugs, they have a physical resemblance, while some match in personality.

Adorable Dogs That Look like Pugs But Aren’t

1. Chihuahua

Long-Haired Chihuahua Standing on Grass
A long-haired Chihuahua
  • Lifespan: 12 to 20 years
  • Weight: 4 to 6 pounds
  • Height: 6 to 10 inches
  • County of Origin: Mexico

Do you want the cute and small version of a pug? The Chihuahua is a dog that looks like a pug with long hair you can consider.

This breed named after the Mexican city where it originates from has been in existence even before the 20th century.

It has become a very popular breed loved by the affluent and was formally recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1904.

The Chihuahua is a smart and easy-to-train dog breed that is overly conscious of the changes that go on in their environment.

Although a pretty small size breed, they can be useful as good companions and watchdogs with their constant barking signals.

They record as one of the smallest breeds in the world

2. English Bulldog

English Bulldog walking on field
  • Lifespan: 3 to 12 years
  • Weight: 40 to 55 pounds
  • Height: 11 to 24 inches
  • Country of Origin: England

The English Bulldog is among the dog breeds that look like pugs in a more chubby and muscular version.

Recognized by the American Kennel Club is this weighty dog with a wrinkled face, folded skin layers, dark eyes, and broadheads.

The origin of this canine dates back to 1631 or 1632 where it was originally used in the bull-baiting entertainment sport.

The English bulldog is friendly, tolerant but can sometimes be really aggressive and stubborn to handle.

They are a reliable breed that does well as a family companion. They connect well with kids showing off courage and are easily trainable.

The English Bulldog requires a moderate amount of exercise on a daily basis and is suitable to be used as a watchdog.

3. Pekingese

A Pekingese Pup on the Field
  • Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
  • Weight: 7 to 14 pounds
  • Height: 6 to 9 inches
  • Country of Origin: China

The Pekingese is a toy dog breed known to be one of the oldest dog breeds in history with the same boldness as the pug.

Their face is flat with enlarged eyes, long hair, and short legs that make climbing stairs difficult.

For centuries, these dogs have been bred and loved by their owners as they make great family companions.

Just like the chihuahua, this breed has been adopted and loved by lots of prominent citizens of China.

They are characterized by a friendly nature as show-dogs that are welcoming to everyone they come across and to those they live with.

Pekingese are prone to heart failure and may require proper medical attention to live healthily.

4. Small Brabant

Small Brabant Lying on White Background
  • Lifespan: 12 to 14 years
  • Weight: 6 to 11 pounds
  • Height: Approx 8 inches
  • Country of Origin: Belgium

This rare small-sized dog breed has an almost striking resemblance to the pug with its upward-looking face but fewer wrinkles.

It is known to be a very wise and watchful breed hence may require that you communicate daily with it.

A regular 30 minutes stroll daily can help to keep Small Brabant healthy.

Grooming may require regular brushing of its coat, nails and paws cleaning, teeth brushing, etc.

They are quite prone to shoulder dislocation, skin lesions, eye disease, and arthritis, so they may require a proper medical checkup often.

This pup is not known to possess an aggressive or “lack of courage” behavior and they can withstand extreme temperatures.

5. Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier Standing on Leash on Field
  • Lifespan: 11 to 13 years
  • Weight: 10 to 25 pounds
  • Height: 9 to 15 inches
  • Country of Origin: United States

 This pup whose existence was recorded to be since 1875 was graded among the 21st century’s most popular dog breeds in the year 2019 by the American Kennel Club.

It was known as “Roundhead” until a man named James Watson changed it to Boston terrier.

Squared-looking Boston bull as nicknamed was registered into the AKC as the first United States dog breed in 1893.

Although do not possess a wrinkled face, they are similar to pugs in terms of size and weight.

Who would believe that this size of pup was originally bred for fighting?

However, they have become good companion dogs with fewer grooming requirements and less shedding tendency.

6. Tibetan Spaniel

Tibetan Spaniel Dog Lying on Grass
  • Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
  • Weight: 9 to 15 pounds
  • Height: 10 inches
  • Country of Origin: Tibet

The Tibetan Spaniel is among the small dogs that look like pugs with long hair but it excels better at outdoor activities than a pug.

This small dog breed has certain differences from other spaniel dogs known to be gun dogs.

It possesses a size of head smaller than the size fit for its body and is free of wrinkles, has a dark nose, and medium-sized oval-shaped eyes.

The Tibetan Spaniel is a breed that loves to socialize and may require frequent communication with humans.

It is characterized as a good companion pup that can be quite active. They love to please their owners so they get very loyal and protective of their families.

7. Japanese Chin

Japanese Chin Dog Sitting on Furry Surface outdoor
  • Lifespan: 12 to 14 years
  • Weight: 8 to 11 pounds
  • Height: 8 to 11 inches
  • Country of Origin: China

Japanese Chin makes a good lap dog and also a companion dog.

They are a toy dog breed with a unique history and their Chinese origin has remained a questionable topic.

Chin possesses a similar head structure as the pug, black eyes, short but broad muzzle, and some properly distributed marking on the face.

It’s more similar to that of a cat in behaviors compared to any other dog breed.

This breed is calm and not so welcoming at the first sight of strangers, making them bark much as a signal to its human family.

They have a tendency to develop low blood sugar at a tender age, hence, they should be fed, exercised, and taken for checkups regularly.

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8. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Standing on Grass Looking
  • Lifespan: 9 to 14 years
  • Weight: 13 to 18 pounds
  • Height: 12 to 13 inches
  • Country of Origin: United Kingdom

This small-sized hairy dog breed falls under the toy group category in the American Kennel Club.

It has gained prominence among wealthy citizens of the United States since the year 2000 and was ranked at the top 20 most popular breeds in America.

Cavalier is a calm and lovely breed that makes a good companion to their human family. They are good with other dogs, and pets.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have a well-toned temper and loves to make their owners happy by being committed and reliable. They make great outdoor pets as well.

9. Pomeranian

Pomeranian Dog Lying on the Bridge Facing Camera
  • Lifespan: 12 to 16 years
  • Weight: 3 to 7 pounds
  • Height: 7 to 12 inches
  • Country of Origin: Pomerania

Pomeranians with their doubled coat are such a fluffy long-haird dog breed to behold.

While grooming may not be so tough owing to how hairy they are, it is advised that regular brushing be done to keep them properly maintained.

They are cheerful, energetic, and always cautious of the changes that go on in their territory.

However, they can show off their aggressive nature to other dogs and humans.

Hence, Pomeranians require early training with a firm hand to keep their behavior in check.

These territorial pups can bark unduly at changes and noises heard in the area.

They are intelligent pets that loves to be noticed and watched anywhere they go.

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10. French Bulldog

French Bulldog Standing on Field Looking Up
  • Lifespan: 11 to 12 years
  • Weight: 17 to 30 pounds
  • Height: 9 to 14 inches
  • Country of Origin: France

French Bulldog as of the year 2020 made it to the second position on the most popular registered breed in the American Kennel Club and the United Kingdom. 

Just like lots of other pet pups, they crave to always have the attention of their human companion and may develop anxiety issues if left alone for too long.

French Bulldogs are easily trainable but can prove to be stubborn sometimes.

They have a very obvious resemblance to a pug from their face down to the shape of their bodies and the various colors of coat they possess.

Interestingly, they are not even related to pugs and do not have a similar heritage.

11. Affenpinscher

Affenpinscher Dog Standing on Road Beside Grass
  • Lifespan: 11 to 14 years
  • Weight: 7 to 13 pounds
  • Height: 9 to 12 inches
  • Country of Origin: Germany

Also referred to as the Monkey Terrier, the Affenpinscher is a member of the toy breed group that has been in existence since the 17th century.

It was originally bred to prey on rodents and other rodents like animals just like most other terrier breeds.

It is characterized by a hairy monkey-like nature, upright ears, a dark coat that can come in various colors,  brief tail with a facial expression that depicts that of a monkey.

They are family-oriented, possess a high prey drive to hunt for small animals like rats, are very energetic, and are very cautious of the environment they live in.

These features qualifies the Affenpinscher as a good watchdog.

12. Bullmastiff

Adult Bullmastiff Dog Standing in Open Park
  • Lifespan: 8 to 12 years
  • Weight: 90 to 130 pounds
  • Height: 24 to 27 inches
  • Country of Origin: England

Bullmastiff can be termed a “giant pug look alike” due to its resemblance to the pug but in a bigger-sized body.

They possess a flat face, a multi-coat color of which only the red, beige, and lined dark brown is recognized by the American Kennel Club.

They were bred originally for protection due to their muscular size and speed.

This large working dog breed is known to be aggressive, protective of their family and territory, and are ready for a fight once danger seems nearby.

Their strong and intelligent nature makes them suitable as guard dogs with little or no training.

They are prone to certain health challenges which include hip and elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, cancer, and bloat.

However, with regular checkups and proper care, they can healthily live out their expected lifespan.

13. Miniature Shar-Pei

Miniature Shar-Pei Pup Sitting on White Background Looking Forward
  • Lifespan: 9 to 11 years
  • Weight: 25 to 40 pounds
  • Height: Approx 17 inches
  • Country of Origin: China

The Miniature Shar-Pei is a pug look alike but in a more unusually wrinkled way.

They show affection and adapt easily to apartment living, showing extreme cautiousness for their territory.

This breed possesses a calm nature, which includes infrequent barking and are very social.

They may adapt well to an apartment setting but would require lots of exercise to maintain their energy level.

This wrinkly fellow gets sensitive to hot weather, hence the need to be given enough water to keep it hydrated.

It is a relatively healthy breed that requires regular grooming due to its folded body.

The Miniature Shar-Pei makes a great and intelligent company not just to humans but to other dogs and pets.

14. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Dog Standing Outdoor Smiling
  • Lifespan: 12 to 14 years
  • Weight: 24 to 37 pounds
  • Height: 14 to 16 inches
  • Country of Origin: United Kingdom

This short coat medium-sized breed has a similar face structure as that of a pug and also comes in a variety of colors.

Some of their variety comes with a smaller nose just like pugs.

They have been such great companions to humans in the past and even presently.

This Bull variety is known to be enthusiastic, cheerful and a good family dog.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier’s active nature is backed up by its history of being bred originally as a fighting dog and this hindered their recognition as a British Kennel Club member until 1935.


What are the dogs that look like big pugs?

These dogs possess similar appearances as the pug but have bigger sizes.

Some of them include the English bulldog, the French bulldog, the bullmastiff, miniature share-pei, etc.

What are the different types of pugs?

Pugs are distinguished according to their coat color.

The three recognized coat colors are black, beige or fawn, and the brindle which is better explained as brown-streaked.

What dog has a smushed face?

Among few others, bulldogs are known to have a smushed face. They are often referred to as “flat-faced dogs”.

What is a teacup pug?

A teacup pug is quite distinct from the main pug breed. They are a very small-natured pug breed that usually gets crossed with a chihuahua to get an awesome pup known as the Chug.

Final Thoughts

It’s amazing how different dog breeds can have striking resemblances without having similar origins. 

The truth is that most of the enlisted dog breeds that look like pugs are beautiful and eye-catchy with different amazing and unexpected personalities.

One would be amazed at how these little cuties can turn out to indeed protect their family companion from unwanted strangers and other smaller animals disturbing the home like rodents.

However, some would require training, grooming, and various health care efforts to keep them bubbling enough to be very much useful to their homes.

Hopefully, you’ll consider some of these breeds if you’re interested in dogs that look like pugs, but with a different personality trait or size.

Authored By

Ben Pierce

Ben Pierce is a canine behavioral and nutritional specialist, professional dog trainer, and the CEO of Puplore. A former military working dog handler, Ben founded Puplore to provide owners with breed-specific information and to act as a go-to guide to health, nutrition, care, and to help them find the confidence they need to step up to the plate and become the best pup parents they can possibly be. A firm believer in treating all animals with kindness and compassion, and that positive discipline is paramount in achieving a harmonious canine-human relationship, Ben’s former and present careers have enabled him to become a leading light in his chosen profession and business.

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