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When Do French Bulldogs Head Split?

French Bulldogs, or Frenchies, are an adorable and incredibly popular breed with a distinct look.

Their heads create a striking style that helps them stand out against other dog types on the market because it splits.

On average, a French Bulldog’s head splits between 9 months and 12 months old.

But while your Frenchie is maturing, you might feel like the head isn’t getting big fast enough.

That’s understandable, but dog heads split or reach full size at different speeds.

Some breeds split very quickly, while others take some time.

So if your Frenchie has a small head but isn’t done maturing yet, never fear!

Its head probably just hasn’t split yet.

But when will it split? Let’s find out!

Will My Frenchies’ Head Get Bigger?

frenchie puppy with flowers

Frenchie owners often look at their new pup’s head and wonder if it will ever get more prominent.

Thankfully, it will be about 4-5 months.

At this point, your French Bulldog will start getting bigger, including its head.

Their head keeps an appropriate proportion for that dog’s overall size as they grow.

You can usually get a good idea of how big your Frenchie will get by how big its head grows.

But what kind of head does your Frenchie have, and why does that matter?

Frenchies have a Brachycephalic head type, including broad skulls and shortened muzzles.

You’ll see this head type on Bulldogs, Pugs, Boxers, and Pekingese dogs.

It’s highlighted by wrinkled skin around the muzzles and a small jaw.

You’ll also notice larger and more protruding eyes on dogs with this head type.

For the first few weeks, your Frenchie may not even look like a Bulldog at first.

That’s not uncommon because it takes a few months for them to start resembling a full adult.

Expect the cute “Mini Bulldog” look by about eight weeks.

At this point, your Frenchie should be smooth with no head wrinkles.

That will change as they age, mainly as they develop more muscle mass.

The Brachycephalic head starts developing wrinkles during your Frenchie’s first five months and grows until they reach 12 months or a year old.

These wrinkles create this dog’s signature look and are considered quite attractive in the breed.

While they won’t get any more wrinkles, the ones they have will deepen and become more noticeable as they age and progress through their early years.

At What Age Does My Frenchie’s Head Split?

french bulldog in stream

So, is your Frenchie’s small head going to stay eternally tiny during its puppy years?

Not likely: they typically split when a Frenchie hits about 12 months in age.

While some Frenchies do have smaller heads as adults, most will develop average-sized heads for their overall height and weight due to various factors.

You usually start noticing a Frenchie’s head developing in its early months.

Most owners likely notice a growth spurt around three months that will typically progress as their Frenchie ages.

However, you’ll notice slower growth between 3-6 months as your puppy learns to wean off their mother and explore its environment.

They typically start becoming a real handful at this age but can be easily redirected and trained thanks to the Frenchie’s intelligence and amiable personality.

By the time your Frenchie hits nine months, you’ll notice a real difference in their head size.

Between 6-and 9 months, Frenchies begin their last real considerable growth spurt.

Their head will start getting bigger, their wrinkles deepening and expanding, and their jaws are becoming more prominent.

Between 9-12 months, your Frenchie’s head will likely split or reach its full growth potential.

Some Frenchies may peak a little later, with their growth spurt lasting until they hit 18 months.

Typically, bigger Frenchies grow longer and may even continue slower-growing for 2-3 years.

This extended growth period isn’t likely to expand your French Bulldog much past their initial 12-month growing period.

However, you may notice subtle changes in their appearance for a few years after birth.

Generally, your Frenchie is considered fully grown after 3-4 years, even if they reached their full size in just one year.

Your Frenchie’s head should have fully split after 12-18 months and isn’t likely to be much bigger even after 3-4 years.

At this point, you’ll likely change your dog’s diet to a more mature flood blend, one that supports their overall health rather than their continuing growth.

What Affects Head Growth?

cute frenchie puppy

Many factors can affect a Frenchie’s development.

However, these factors are consistent with other species, particularly when creating new mixed breeds with a Frenchie.

Things you can expect to affect your Frenchie’s head growth, including its split time, include:

  • Breed Mix: A full-blooded Frenchie is more likely to follow this growing pattern than one with a mixed pedigree. Other breeds may influence your pup’s overall growth, exceptionally when bred with a smaller breed, like more compact Bulldog types.
  • Genetics: Even a full-breed Frenchie may have smaller or larger heads depending on their lineage. For example, parents with smaller heads will likely create pups with more compact split heads. Understanding this fact is crucial because it may affect your dog’s development.
  • Diet: Giving your dog a healthy and protein-rich diet may affect its overall growth. For example, it may cause your dog’s head to grow to its full genetic and breed potential. Conversely, poor diets may cause smaller heads that affect your Frenchie’s appearance and intelligence.
  • Exercise: Exercising your Frenchie as a young pup may help them develop more quickly by promoting more vigorous and healthier growth patterns. It is important to note that exercise can only do so much to help a Frenchie’s development and should be considered a supplemental way of assisting them in growing.

Work With Your Vet

If you feel uncomfortable about your Frenchie’s development and think their head isn’t growing quickly enough, it is good to reach out to your veterinarian.

They can do a quick test on your pup to see if there is anything wrong, such as various undernourishment issues that may affect their growth.

They can also help diagnose any growth-related health problems to keep your pup safe.

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National Canine Research Association of America