Pug vs Pitbull Everything You Need To Know About The Breeds

Thinking about getting a dog, but you can’t decide between a Pug or Pitbull. Both dogs are loving, nurturing and adorable, but which one is right for you? Today, we’re going to do a comparison of the Pug vs Pitbull to help you understand both breeds.

Pitbull vs Pug The Biggest Difference

The biggest differences in these breeds are the size, temperament, food costs, and health issues.

Pugs are a brachycephalic breed, which means they have a smashed-in face, which makes it difficult for them to breathe, especially in hot temperatures.

pug vs pitbull

Pitbull Or Pug for First Time Dog Owners?

Both breeds are nurturing and affectionate towards people. However, Pugs tend to be better for first-time dog owners. Pugs are considered velcro dogs live to please their owners, and are great with kids, and other animals.

Pugs are NOT aggressive and you won’t have to worry about them biting anyone or anything. (well you might have to deal with chewing problems)

Read this article to find out why Pugs make great pets for first-time pet owners.

While Pitbulls love being around their human companions, the American Pitbull Terrier may not be the best choice if you’ve never grown up around dogs.

The American Pitbull Terrier has a tenacity that is hard to break. When they get something stuck in their head, they see it as a task they must complete and it can be difficult to redirect their behavior.

Unfortunately, that task can be attacking another dog or another pet. This breed may not do well with kids, especially, since kids love playing, tugging and pulling.

This may be fine for a dog that has already been socialized, but you can never really tell how a Pitbull will react in that type of environment.

Some Pitbulls will have more aggressive tendencies than others, so they will require training and socializing on a regular basis.

Origins Of Both Breeds

The Pug is known for their smooshed adorable face and their wrinkles. They were originated in China dating back to the Han Dynasty. I’ve written an article that will share some Pug facts you should know about.

Origin of Pitbull

This breed was originally bred for a cruel sport known as “bull baiting” and the breed originated in England. The bull-baiting matches were held for entertainment for the lower class.

In 1835 the bullbaiting sport became outlawed and considered inhumane. At that time rat-baiting and dogfighting became popular because it was easier to hide from the police.

Bulldogs were crossed with Terriers then they were put in “pits” where they would chase rats and even enter dog fights.

In the early stages of America, immigrants migrated with their Pitbulls and used them for various jobs such as farming, watching the children, and companionship.

As the breed started becoming known as a trustworthy dog, their popularity continued to grow.

Pug vs Pitbull

Now we’ll take a look at each dog individually to help you see what to expect when you adopt or buy one of these canines.




A full-grown Pug will weigh about 22 pounds. However, this breed is known to gain weight quickly, so it’s important to feed them the best dog food that will help them maintain the proper weight.

This dog can be found in several different colors and tends to shed quite a bit. Read this in-depth guide on the Pug.


These canines are known to be the clowns of the canine because they have a great sense of humor. They have a strong-willed temperament and can be stubborn.

However, once they gain your trust, you’ll have a sidekick for life. Your four-legged friend will follow you around everywhere and become your shadow.


This is a brachycephalic dog breed, which means that they have been bred to have short muzzles and noses. Unfortunately, this makes them intolerable to heat. They are also prone to several health issues.

I lived with a Pug for 16 years and she lived a relatively healthy life. We didn’t notice any health issues until she reached her senior years.

The most important thing to remember when owning a Pug is you provide them with daily exercise and the right nutrition. I’d highly recommend investing in pet insurance, to avoid any unexpected vet bills.


Pugs are prone to allergies and will do best with high-quality food. Opt for foods that are both balanced and filling to stop them from overeating.

This breed is prone to obesity, so you’ll want to avoid leaving food on the floor and implement a regular feeding schedule.


Do you know those adorable wrinkles on their face? Well, they are responsible for the bad body odor you’ll face as a Pug owner. Without proper and regular hygiene, this dog can smell pretty bad.

This dog will require some daily upkeep, such as cleaning their eyes, wrinkles, and regular bathing. You’ll also need a good grooming brush to keep their coat healthy and shiny.

The Pug isn’t an extremely high maintenance dog, but they do require regular grooming.


This can make it challenging for them to train. However, their goal is to please their humans and they can be trained with consistent training. Pugs do best with positive reinforcement, which means you’ll need a lot of treats, and consistent praise.

If this dog doesn’t want to do something, it will be extremely hard to get them to do it. You’ll need to have a lot of patience when training your Pug.

Living Conditions

These small dogs are great for people who live in apartments, condos, tiny homes or a big house with a fenced-in yard. They don’t require a lot of space. All you need is a small space for their bed, food, and water bowl.

This breed doesn’t do well outside in extreme hot or cold temperatures, so don’t expect them to live outside chained up. These dogs will want to spend most of their time sitting on your lap.

Exercise and Physical Activity Level

Pugs are known as lazy dogs, but these little dogs can be trained to be active. Mindy my black Pug used to go for 2-3 mile walks with me every morning.

However, they will be just as happy being a couch potato if that’s how you choose to raise them.

Pugs don’t require a lot of daily exercise, but you should exercise them at least 30 minutes every day. They’ll do fine with a walk around the block or a romp out in the backyard.

Always use a harness with a Pug and NEVER a collar, as this can trigger breathing problems for this brachycephalic breed.


Pugs are becoming more and more popular and you can expect to pay between $600 – $1400 for a Pug with papers but won’t be of show quality or breeding rights. A Pug with superior lineage can cost between $1900 – $6000 depending on the pedigree.

Pit Bull

American Pitbull

The appearance of The Pitbull

The standard size of the American Pit Bull Terrier varies from medium to large. The biggest difference between males and females is the size.

  • Males: Grow to be between 15 – 20 inches in height and can weigh between 35 – 70 pounds.
  • Females: Generally grow between 14 – 19 inches in height and can weigh between 30 – 60 pounds.

Both males and females have a sporty, strong physique. Their body consists of more length than height.

Coat Colors

Their coat is short, firm and shiny that doesn’t shed as much as the Pug. Like the Pug, this dog can be found in several colors such as; brindle, bluish, deep brown, white, and black.

Some Pitbulls may have coats that have two or three different colors.

Face and Head

The American Pitbull Terriers have massive heads with a slightly rectangular form. Unlike the Pug, they have a very pronounced nose, circular eyes, broad nostrils, and sizeable noses.

They have a wide chest with substantial necks, which contributes to their rugged meaty exterior and strength.


This canine is a strong, powerful, energetic and agile dog. They are known for their “determination,” which is their most notable traits.

Pitbulls will need to be socialized at an early age. Many people fear this dog because, without the proper socialization, they are likely to attack their own people.

However, with the proper training, they will have a playful temperament and overall friendly nature.


This breed is generally healthy, however, all dog breeds are prone to certain health conditions. While most dogs will be healthy, it’s important to know that Pit Bulls are prone to the following health problems:

  • Cataracts
  • Heart Disease
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Allergies
  • Hip Dysplasia (HD)

Not every dog will suffer from these ailments, but it’s important to know what some of the Pitbull health issues you may face.

Every dog parent should invest in some type of pet insurance to help offset the unnecessary costs of vet bills.

Nutrition Requirements of The American Pitbull Terrier

nutritional requirements of a pitbull
The Pitbull requires a high quality dog food.

The Pit Bull is a muscular dog with a high activity level. These dogs love to eat and they have a big appetite.

Your new Pittie is going to require a high quality, high protein dog food that has essential vitamins and nutrients their bodies require.

They’ll thrive on foods that contain chicken, turkey, and beef as the meat sources. Avoid foods that have fillers and additives, in the form of animal-by products, soy, wheat, and corn.

These dogs love to beg, so avoid giving them table scraps and other human foods to deter unwanted behavior. Implementing the right diet from the start will help prevent the onset of hip dysplasia and help promote overall health.


Unlike the Pug, the Pitbull will require very little grooming. These dogs tend to shed, so be prepared to get some dog hair on your clothes and in your home, but they don’t shed year-round like the Pug.

Opt for a firm bristle brush to help keep their fur shiny and healthy. This dog will need to be brushed at least 2-3 times per week, more during the early spring and late fall when they shed the most.

Unlike the Pug, this breed is not prone to skin problems, so you can bathe them as needed. Once a month will usually be plenty for this dog unless they spend a lot of time outdoors.

Between their regular grooming sessions, you can opt for dry leave-in conditioners to help keep their coat shiny and healthy.

Socializing A Pitbull

Start socializing your Pitbull puppy as soon as possible. It’s important to expose them to children, women, men, and other animals at a very early age. This will help your puppy get used to being handled, noises, and other environments they may not be familiar with.

Training A Pitbull

The American Pitbull Terrier is a muscular dog, so you’ll want to invest in a good leash to correct improper behavior. This dog will do best with positive reinforcement training and you should avoid using punishment as a method of training.

You will do best with reward-based training or clicker training techniques. Pitbulls are smart dogs and are eager learners. Like the Pug, they will be happy to learn, especially, if they know they are getting a reward.

Living Conditions

You’ll do best with this dog if have a home with a strong fence. This breed can adapt to apartment living, but most apartments will not allow these types of dogs, due to their aggressive behavior.

Apartment complexes tend to be filled with other dogs and this can lead to dog fights and other problems.

Exercise and Physical Activity Level

These dogs require vigorous exercise every day. They do best with 45 – 60 minutes of purposeful activities to help stimulate their mind.

If not exercised properly, their pent up energy will lead to destructive and in some cases aggressive behavior.


Like the Pug, the cost will vary depending on the pedigree and gender you choose. Females tend to cost more than males because females can give birth to puppies if you choose to breed them.

With proper research, you can find a good breeding dog either male or female to cost you around $800 – $2000,

Some breeders charge more for these dogs based on size, color, and eye color!

Similarities Of Both Breeds

Pitbull vs Pug Similarities
A look at the similarities of the Pitbull and Pug.

As you can see, these dogs are very different. The only similarity I found with these breeds is they are both affectionate with their human families. When trained and socialized properly, both breeds can make great family pets.

As I mentioned above, the American Pitbull Terrier is not recommended for first-time dog owners.

Pug and Pitbull Popularity

According to the American Kennel Club, Most Popular Dog Breeds, Pugs are more popular than the American Pit Bull Terrier Dogs.

Maybe it’s due to the fact that many people see them as the American Bully. However, when socialized and trained, these dogs can be a great addition to the family.

Final Word About The Pug and Pitbull

As you can see there are a lot of differences between the two breeds. If you love both breeds and can’t decide which one is right for your family, you may want to consider the Pug Pitbull Mix.

Whichever dog you decide to bring into your home, I have no doubt you’ll have a friend for life.

References and Further Reading

The Nest – Naomi Millburn – What Does An American Pitbull Terrier Look Like?

The Spruce Pets – Amy Bender – How to Train your Pit Bull Dog to Be A Good Family Pet

Black Pug Site