Frenchie Pug

Linda Simon
Dr Linda Simon (MVB MRCVS, University College Dublin)
Photo of adult Frenchie Pug
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Two popular small breeds, the French Bulldog and Pug have been crossed to create the adorable and sought-after Frenchie Pug. This dog is stocky and small with a curled-up tail and big, adorable ears. Their short fur can be a variety of colours and requires hardly any grooming.

While the Frenchie Pug is vivacious, they are not very active and so are suited to living with older people or those with hectic lifestyles. Social butterflies, this breed will never turn down the chance to make a new friend, whether they be four-legged or two-legged!

About & History

The Frenchie Pug is often called the Frug by those in the know, and this lovable little rascal is, of course, a mix between the French Bulldog and the popular Pug. Though there is plenty of information available on the history of both the Frenchie and the Pug, it is hard to know when the very first Frenchie Pug was created and in which country. In fact, it is quite possible that breed fanciers were creating this mix independently from each other all over the world for the last 50 years or so. Now that they have been recognised as a ‘designer dog’ in their own right, we have recently begun to learn a lot more about the Frenchie Pug.

The French Bulldog is, as its name suggests a French dog that originated in the 1800s and was kept as a companion animal. They were developed by mixing the larger English Bulldog with several small terriers when the English Bulldog fell out of fashion with the outlawing of blood sports, such as bull-baiting and dog fighting. The French Bulldog has been in high demand for the last few years and is seen as a highly desirable pet.

The Pug hails from China and has likely been in existence for close to 2,000 years. Their larger than life personalities and ‘funny’ cute appearance has ensured their place on the top 10 most popular breed lists in several countries, including the UK. Recently, however, they have undergone a large amount of criticism, with some feeling that there has been too much emphasis placed on their appearance by their breeders and not enough attention paid to their overall health.


An undeniably cute cross, the Frenchie Pug looks like a robust Frenchie with upright ears that can point to the sides like ‘bat ears’. Their eyes are a dark brown colour and often carry a soulful expression. They are a brachycephalic breed, meaning their skull is shortened and wide. Their skin often forms wrinkles around their face. Their bodies are compact and well muscled, ending in solid legs and neat, compact feet. Most individuals inherit the longer pug tail that curls over the back.

With short and straight fur, the coat of the Frenchie Pug is glossy and low maintenance. Fur can be black, cream, fawn or brindle and white patches are a common feature. A darker facial ‘mask’ of fur may be present. Some breeders will sell dogs of certain fur colours for more money, depending on what is in ‘fashion’, with trends varying over time and from country to country.

Once fully mature, most breed members will weigh from 6.5kg to 10.4kg. At the withers, Frenchie Pugs reach heights of between 25cm and 30cm.

Character & Temperament

Sparky and full of life, the Frenchie Pug is an entertaining and big-hearted animal to have around. Laid-back and positive, these dogs tackle life head-on, always keen to play with adults and children alike. They are warm and affectionate with those they love and thrive when shown consistent attention.

Alert and curious, Frenchie Pugs like to be part of your life and are often found following their owner around. They enjoy being part of what’s going on and do not cope well with being left alone for prolonged periods.

Sociable little chaps, this breed thoroughly enjoys company, whether it be in animal or human form and gets on well with household guests. Not particularly territorial or defensive, the Frenchie Pug makes a poor guard dog.


This can be a challenging breed to train as they are known to be stubborn and do not pick up on new tasks quickly. Despite this, they are eager to please so consistent training will be rewarded down the line.

Owners of Frenchie Pugs will say that they take longer than most to toilet train, however, once they learn they should not continue to have accidents within the home. Positive reinforcement training works best and any toileting outside should be rewarded when they are puppies.


Sadly, neither the Pug nor the French Bulldog are known for their good health and there are a large number of significant health conditions that each is prone to. While creating hybrid dogs has the potential to reduce the incidence of disease within the population, the Frenchie Pug can inherit many conditions from their parents. Responsible breeding will be the key to ensuring the success of this relatively new breed and screening tests will assist breeders in knowing which of their dogs to breed.


Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome is seen in the Frenchie Pug. Affected dogs may have elongated soft palates, stenotic nares (thin nostrils), everted laryngeal saccules and laryngeal collapse. By breeding for dogs that are less brachycephalic in their appearance, we can improve the ability of future generations to breathe properly. Before breeding, vets should assess the parent dogs for BOAS and not allow dogs that are badly affected to be bred from.

Atopic Dermatitis

Chronically itchy skin as a result of allergies is a huge cause of frustration for owners, vets and pets alike. Dogs may constantly lick at their paws, rub their face on the floor and scratch all over. Their dermatitis may flare up seasonally or at times when the dog is exposed to certain allergens, such as mites or food types.

Allergy screens can help to determine what the dog is reacting to in order to better manage the condition. While atopic dermatitis cannot be cured, it can certainly be managed. A combination of allergy avoidance, immunotherapy, diet alterations, anti-itch medications, medical baths and skin supplements are used to help control this chronic disease.


A very uncomfortable condition of the eye whereby the eyelid is rolled inwards, causing the eyelashes to rub off the corneal surface resulting in irritation and even ulceration. Puppies may grow out of mild entropion though many dogs require a corrective surgery to fix the defect.

Dry Eye

Failure of the tear glands to produce enough tears can result in an eye that is chronically dry and diseased. Dogs may show their discomfort by squinting or rubbing their face on the floor. A tear test performed in the vet’s office can diagnose the condition. A positive diagnosis will mean that lifelong medication is needed. Tear replacement and immune-suppressant drops are typically used in conjunction with each other.

Cherry Eye

Cherry eye is a descriptive term for the condition that occurs when the third eyelid gland pops out. Brachycephalic breeds are at higher risk of this condition. A prolapse is often associated with infection and irritation and should be surgically corrected.

Patellar Luxation

If a dog’s knee cap does not sit in place, it is said to be ‘luxating’. As dogs are affected to varying degrees, symptoms can vary. While some dogs do not show any signs at all of being affected, other may develop a crippling lameness that worsens over time.

Vets can assess the degree of luxation by performing an orthopaedic test and through the use of X-rays. Orthopaedic surgery may be beneficial in some cases. Weight loss is crucial in over-weight animals, as excess fat puts extra pressure on the knee joints worsening the condition.

Exercise and Activity Levels

These small dogs are well-suited to life in a small apartment or home and do not need large gardens. They are not particularly energetic and only require a 30-minute walk each day. Given their conformation and potential for exhibiting brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS), owners should be mindful of walking these dogs in hot weather as they will not cope well. During the summer, walking at dawn and dusk when the weather is cooler is advised.


As the short fur of the Frenchie Pug only needs brushing every week or so to prevent dryness and spread their natural oils, this is quite a low maintenance breed when it comes to grooming. However, this does not mean that the Frenchie Pug is hypoallergenic and, in fact, this breed tends to shed excessively within the home.

The skin of the Frenchie Pug requires more intervention than their fur and owners must clean in between skin folds to prevent infection. Many owners will use specific pet wipes to carry out this task on a daily basis.

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