Pugs are unique dogs with character traits that make them appealing pets.
That’s why so many people have their heart set on getting a Pug when they want a new pet.
But what if you can’t find a Pug or don’t have the money to invest in a purebred?
Then, get a Pug substitute!
There are oodles of dogs out there that resemble Pugs – not only in appearance, but in disposition and personality.
If a Pug substitute is an option for you, this list of Pug “look alikes” can help you find the Pug substitute of your dreams!
The Affenpinscher is one of many dog breeds that resemble the Pug, sans its fawn color.
Like the Pug, this breed has a flat face and is small in stature, standing about 12 inches in height and weighing around 10 pounds.
It also shares many of the Pug’s attributes, specifically its affectionate, playful, mischievous nature.
The Affenpinscher is a high-spirited dog, making it a challenge to handle.
However, they’re very friendly, once you get to know them, and make excellent companions.
As the dog’s fur type, texture and color resemble that of a monkey, this breed is often nicknamed the “monkey dog” or “ape terrier.”
2. Boston Terrier
The Boston Terrier shares size, facial features and body type with the Pug, making it a suitable Pug substitute for those looking for one.
He sports a cute, stubby nose and large, beseeching eyes like a Pug to match his petite, smooth body.
Boston Terriers are playful, easy to train and good with children, making them good family dogs.
They’re more independent than Pugs and much more exuberant, with enough energy to accompany you on outdoor adventures.
Boston Terriers are also minimal shedders, ideal for people who suffer from allergies.
3. Shih Tzu
Standing around 11 inches tall and weighing less than 20 pounds, the long-haired Shih Tzu could be another stand-in for a Pug, if you so desire.
This pup’s facial fur gives him the impression of sporting a beard under his button-nose and huge, bug eyes.
Like the Pug, the Shih Tzu is an extremely friendly, affectionate pup, getting along well with all members of the family.
There’s nothing a Shih Tzu enjoys more than being coddled and loved and giving love in return.
4. French Bulldog
The French Bulldog is by far one of the most popular dog breeds on the market today.
Of English and French descent, these adorable pups were bred to be loving companions.
They’re cute, friendly, mild-mannered and loving – no wonder they’re such a hit with pet owners across the country!
Frenchies have similar facial features and body type as Pugs, only they come in a variety of colors.
Their bat ears and love for adventure make them a favorite among children and adults alike.
5. Miniature Shar-pei
If the thought of a “wrinkly Pug” appeals to you, the Miniature Shar-pei is just what you need!
This one-of-a-kind breed mimics the shape and color of a Pug’s body, with less chubbiness.
A mature Mini Shar-pei can grow up to 17 inches tall and weigh as much as 40 pounds.
A distinct difference is that the Shar-pei is COVERED in wrinkles from head to curly-Q tail.
It is, by nature, confident, alert, playful and affectionate.
It’s loyal to family but may be more cautious around strangers.
6. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Just as there’s a “wrinkly” version of the Pug, there’s also an “outdoorsy” one – the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
This cute, even-tempered pup has a great devotion to family and is adored by royalty and commoners alike.
Like Pugs, Cavaliers have a sweet and gentle disposition, making them a hit with kids, adults and other pets.
Their floppy ears, large, brown eyes give them such a heart-warming look, it’s hard not to fall in love.
Originally bred as sports dogs, the Cavalier’s athletic nature and trainability make it a favorite in canine sports competitions.
They also make exceptional therapy dogs.
By mixing purebred Pugs with other breeds, breeders can produce “designer bred” dogs that share the looks and attributes of Pugs.
Here are just a few:
Pug-Zus are a cross between a Pug and a Shih Tzu.
Although this combination can produce a dog with similar characteristics as a Pug, mixing breeds also creates opportunities for uniqueness.
The Pug-Zu may vary from the Pug in facial features, size or coat color, texture and length.
However, there’s one aspect they’ll certainly have in common and that’s their warm, friendly, lovable disposition – just what you want in a substitute Pug pup.
Pug-Zus are outgoing dogs that enjoy the company of their human family.
They don’t do well when left on their own.
At times, they may seem demanding.
The time and attention given to a Pug-Zu, however, is returned a hundred-fold, making it a worthy investment.
Crossing a Pug with a Japanese Chin produces the hybrid Japug.
This breed shares many of the same physical characteristics as the Pug, such as a squished face and short, stubby body.
It tends to be smaller than the Pug, due to the Japanese Chin’s petite nature.
Like the Pug, Japugs are sweet, easy-going dogs.
Unlike the Pug, they tend to be lazy, preferring to curl up in your lap or sleep rather than play.
They don’t like noise or excitement, which is probably why they’re not partial to children.
They’d make a good pet for seniors who live a quiet, peaceful life.
The Puggle is a crossbreed between a male Pug and a female Beagle and shares traits from both of these popular dog breeds.
The Puggle sports Pug-like facial features, with the exception of a longer snout, which makes it easier for it to breathe.
Puggles also have a taller, heavier body.
Coat colors may range from fawn to tan to black.
Puggles have an even-tempered disposition and fun-loving personality, although at times they can be stubborn, just like their Pug father.
If you’re looking for a Pug substitute, you can’t go wrong by adding a Puggle to your household.