When will my French Bulldog’s head grow?


Perhaps a surprising question from new owners of a French Bulldog, or maybe not – since it’s so common. Some people think that there might be something wrong with their dog as her body continues to grow it appears that her head stays the same size so you end up with a big body and a small head. Should you be concerned about this and is there anything you can do?

When will my French Bulldog’s head grow? The head of a French Bulldog will stop growing after about a year. From this point, the skull will not increase in size. However, it may bulk out a little during the next 12 months due to muscular changes and some fat build-up.

Some French Bulldog Basics

The Frenchie is a small to medium sized dog that’s been around for a couple of hundred years since a cross occurred between ancestors from England and France. They are a very popular breed in both the UK and the US and are actually becoming more popular with families in recent years. 

They have a lovely personality that demands close attention from humans and they despise being left alone. This particular breed can suffer from severe separation anxiety if left for too long by itself, which is why they’re most commonly found with families and children. They don’t need a lot of exercise although they will take any opportunity to play with you.

They are a brachycephalic breed, which means they have a broad, short skull and are known to suffer from some health problems. There are even some airlines that have banned them due to the amount that has died whilst in the air. This is due to their difficulty in breathing when hot (they have trouble regulating their temperature) or when stressed. 

Does Her Head Continue To Grow?

The size of your French Bulldog (I am referring to size here, not mass) will not change much after about a year. The skull of your dog will not continue growing after this point. So, no – the head doesn’t continue to grow – however you may well see it bulk out a bit. The size may appear to increase due to muscular toning and fat but the appearance will be plumper, rather than ‘larger’ as such.

Is This a Problem and Can I Do Anything About It?

You cannot defy nature. That sounded a bit condescending, it wasn’t meant to be but no – in the same way you can’t change how tall your son will grow, you have no control over the size of your Frenchie’s head. I think some people just like the look of some French Bulldog’s when they have a relatively small body and a big head. But relatively speaking, it’s big anyway. You will know this if you have one. When you pick them up, they’re very much front-heavy and you have to be quite careful otherwise they could topple forward out of your hold quite easily. Their head is the size it is for good reason. Anyway, it’s not about the looks is it, it’s what’s inside that counts. Crikey, if anyone has seen a picture of me they’ll know exactly what I’m talking about – I must have a great personality! 🙂

What’s your role in her size?

Your role, as an owner is an important one but secondary to the role their mother plays in the first few weeks of their life. A high percentage of her final size will be down to genetics and those first few weeks. Did their mother take care of her and was she able to feed properly and get enough attention from her mother before she was weaned?

Undoubtedly though, you do have a part to play and that part is in essence, two-fold. Firstly, she needs to be provided with enough variety in her diet to ensure she is healthy and continues to develop. This diet must include fats, proteins and carbs to ensure she is given the best possible chance.  Secondly, you need to ensure she doesn’t eat too much, become fatter than she should (which causes other problems) and you also need to ensure they get enough exercise. 

Of course, you don’t need me to tell you that apart from the above, you will need to provide her with as much love and attention as she so rightly deserves!

How big will she become?

A lot of people aren’t quite sure when their French Bulldog has actually stopped growing. Because they’re (obviously) quite small to begin with and end up still quite small, a lot of the time you don’t notice them getting bigger as it’s so gradual. It’s the same as having a child. You live with them all day, not noticing they’re creeping up ever closer to your height. You take them around their Grand Parents and they comment as to how much they’ve grown. Which of course they have. Anyway, I digress – you know what I’m saying. Let me make things clearer with a chart.

Age (weeks)Weight (lbs)
11.2 – 2.2
42 – 4.2
85 – 6.9
126.2 – 9
169 – 12
1812 – 15
2213 – 16
2616 – 18
7817 – 23

So, you can see from this that your Bully will grow to around 20 lbs but they will basically stop growing from 9-15 months. Yes, after that time they will bulk out a bit but they won’t get any bigger. The numbers are all averages so yours could actually be a bit higher or lower than this.

How Long Do They Live For?

The French Bulldog will typically live to around 10 years, it can be a bit more and it can be a bit less. A lot depends on how they were brought up in those first 12 months and how they’ve been cared for after that point. Genetics, naturally play a bit part too. The biggest factor though is Lady Luck herself. Sometimes even the best, most fittest marathon runners can die of a heart attack and just because some Frenchie’s haven’t lived until a  ripe old age, doesn’t mean there were any issues that caused it caused by their up-bringing.

This 10-year lifespan is about average for dog breeds, yes – you get some that make it to 17 years (the Chihuahua for instance) and there are others, like Wolfhounds that may be considered lucky to reach their 7th birthday. It’s very sad, isn’t it? I find myself getting a bit upset about the shortness of a dog’s lifespan. They integrate themselves into your lives and become an integral part of your family. In fact, often everything your family does revolve around that little Frenchie. And then she’s taken away, all too quickly and without either of you able to say a proper goodbye. Do you see? This is what I do when I start thinking about it. These scientist boffins need to pull their fingers out and start developing a special pill (I haven’t thought this through, have I?) that will somehow increase the lifespan of these creatures to 70 or something 🙂

If you’d like some tips on how to increase the lifespan of the adorable little Frenchie, then there are some things you can try. I put a short article together with these things so be sure to check it out!


Final Thoughts…

Okay, okay – I went a little off track for a bit there. But I hope I’ve answered your question and also given you a bit more information about this delightful breed of dog. Remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and to know a French Bulldog, is to love a French Bulldog.

If you’d like to check out this unique breed in more detail then take a look at my Complete Guide to the French Bulldog, it gives you everything you need to know!

Jane

I'm Jane Pettitt, co-owner of Pets Knowledge Base with my husband, Matt. I have a grand total of 50 years’ experience as a pet owner. It all started with a guinea pig called Percy when I was 5 years old and since then I’ve lived with two more guinea pigs, a hamster, mice, a rabbit, a tortoise, a dog and 11 cats. I’ve learned so much about pet care during this time and many of my articles are based on my personal experiences and those of my family and friends .

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