French Bulldogs, also known as Frenchies, are one of the most popular companion dogs in the world. They are recognizable for their big “bat” ears, muscular bodies, squished faces, and resemblance to the much larger English Bulldog.
Every dog is different, so their growth will depend on many things, including environment, genetics, nutrition, care, lifestyle, exercise, and overall health.
There are some guidelines and general milestones to look out for as your puppy grows. This comprehensive guide takes you through the French Bulldog’s growth cycle from puppy to adult dog.
What To Expect
French Bulldogs go through seven stages of growth, lasting from birth to about 18 months (about one and a half years) of age. Learning about the various stages and developmental milestones of French Bulldog growth is vital to ensure your pup is healthy and on track with puppy and obedience training.
Frenchies can be very stubborn, which can cause some headaches during training. Familiarizing yourself with your puppy’s expected growth timeline is a terrific way to know what is coming and be prepared.
Keep in mind that your puppy may not be on the same exact timeline. All dogs are unique. There can be times when he grows rapidly and then times when growth lulls. This fluctuation is a normal part of his growth cycle.
Some can fill in until they are about two years old. Your puppy’s growth depends on nutrition, lifestyle, health, physical activity, etc. We present an average idea of what to expect. However, your puppy may be bigger or smaller. If you are worried about your pup’s growth cycle, it is best to talk to your veterinarian.
Puppy Growth Timeline
Here is an estimated timeline of your French Bulldog puppy’s growth and a brief discussion of different developmental phases and needs at each age. This is a general discussion of puppy growth and development. Every pet will grow at their own pace.
Puppies will have growth spurts and lags. This is all part of normal puppy development. It is not possible to predict exactly how big a puppy will get or his fully developed personality. Males will be larger than females. The information provided is a great general reference point. Always talk to your veterinarian about any specific concerns about your little man’s growth and development.
Birth To 2 Weeks
At birth, French Bulldog puppies are both blind and deaf. They are helpless without support from the mother dog or a human substitute if the mommy dog is somehow unavailable. At birth, newborn Frenchies can taste and touch. These two senses guide them towards their mother’s milk and warmth.
Newborn puppies will not do much more than sleep, nurse, and snuggle with their mother and littermates for these first two weeks. Around two weeks old, their eyes and ears will start to open. The introduction of these two new senses will be pretty stimulating. Your puppy’s main source of nutrition will be his mother’s milk or an appropriate substitute.
- Male: 1 to 3 pounds
- Female: 1 to 2 pounds
By one month of age, your Frenchie puppy will be able to use all his senses and will start to have some mild understanding that different scents belong to various entities. Puppy teeth will have begun to grow in. Puppies will start to take steps and walk around, though they will be very unsteady on their feet at first. Believe it or not, socialization of your little guy starts this early, as he snuggles with his mom and littermates. This is a time when his sensory development is happening quickly. Space keeps his environment as calm as possible. Though puppies are adorable at this age, it is best not to expose them to outside stimulation or a lot of extra people and other animals if possible.
At around four weeks, puppy food can be introduced, and puppies will begin to wean from their mother’s milk. He still lacks the ability to control his bowel or understand what those signals mean. These first few weeks can get quite messy. Puppies should stay as close to their mom as possible during the first several weeks of life. It is essential that he feels safe, supported, and loved. These very early days are when he is the most impressionable, and experiences can shape how he reacts to stimulation for the rest of his life. Speak with your veterinarian about starting his puppy vaccinations.
- Male: 4 to 7 pounds
- Female: 3 to 6 pounds
At two months of age, your Frenchie will be very steady on his feet, and his natural curiosity will start to kick in. Pups will start to sleep longer at night and may begin to get a basic understanding of how house training might work. Your puppy is not ready to be trained yet but will understand more about controlling his urges and needs to use the restroom. He should be eating puppy food full time, and you will see his weight start to grow at a quicker rate.
Your puppy will be very excitable and full of energy but still needs a lot of tender loving care. While he may start to get more independent, you need to be careful not to allow him to get too assertive or aggressive. It is crucial to control behavior like nipping at people or littermates as soon as it starts before becoming a bigger dog, which becomes routine behavior.
- Male: 8 to 12 pounds
- Female: 6 to 10 pounds
This age is right around when your puppy will start to test his independence. He will be very curious and interested in exploring more of his surroundings. He can get scared or threatened very quickly during this stage, so be careful not to be caught in any sudden situations that may leave a long-lasting negative impression on him.
At three months, he can start house training. Be patient with him during the house-training process. This is as new for him as it is for you, and he will need a lot of positive reinforcement and modeling behavior to get it right. There is no set timeframe to get your pup housetrained. The process will take several weeks, and it is essential to remain patient and positive. At this point, your puppy will be eating several small meals a day.
- Male: 10 to 14 pounds
- Female: 8 to 12 pounds
At four months, your puppy will act remarkably like a human toddler. He will be highly interested in exploring the world and learning new things. He may also start to test behavior and manners. His stubborn side will begin to shine through at this time, though his worst stubbornness is yet to come. Your puppy will start to lose his baby teeth and get a complete set of adult canines beginning around 4 months. This process can continue till about six months of age. Because of his shorter muzzle, this might not be the most enjoyable experience for your French Bulldog.
Be alert for teething behavior, especially mouthing and biting. Your dog is not being aggressive when he is doing this, his mouth hurts, and he wants to make it feel better. Chewing on things helps, so make sure to provide your puppy with a variety of chew toys and cold treats. This will help alleviate his discomfort and prevent him from biting people.
Your pup is ready to learn how to play games if he has not already. Fetch, tug of war, and hide and seek are all good games to start teaching him now. You can also start taking him for short walks around the neighborhood but be wary of going to the dog park until he is fully vaccinated.
- Male: 12 to 16 pounds
- Female: 10 to 15 pounds
Your five-month-old French Bulldog is going to be a handful, as well as a source of constant love and laughter. He will start to experience hormonal changes that will kick into high gear in the next few weeks. As his hormones change, you may notice some different behaviors. He should be doing very well with house training by this age, though accidents will still happen.
Remember that he is a growing puppy, and then changes in his routine, food, and overall development can sometimes trigger setbacks with house training. He will be in the thick of teething at 5 months, so make sure to be attentive to his needs. While he is maturing quickly and growing fast, he is still relatively young and will need regular guidance and training to instill appropriate lifetime behaviors and habits.
- Male: 15 to 20 pounds
- Female: 11 to 17 pounds
At six months, your French Bulldog is going to enter puberty. You will now have the equivalent of a teenager on your hands, and he can be quite the troublemaker. Even though he is entering puberty, and some information may recommend considering spaying and neutering at this time, it is best to wait. Discuss with your veterinarian when the best time for this procedure is.
Taking this step when he is too young will lead to significant health issues later in his life. It can also be problematic to wait too long. His immune system, personality, and body are not done developing, and interrupting that process with invasive surgery is not best for his overall health. His physical growth will start to slow down now, but he will continue to gain weight for the next several months.
- Male: 15 to 22 pounds
- Female: 12 to 20 pounds
Your puppy will be incredibly active at seven months. The little tyke will be adventurous, curious, and have a lot of energy. He will start to look less like a puppy and more like a full-grown dog. At this stage should have all his adult teeth and is ready to get out there and explore the world. At this point, he should be done with all his puppy vaccinations and is ready to get out and explore the world.
While you can take him to dog parks and around other dogs at this time, continue to use caution and pay close attention. He is still learning how to behave appropriately, and new situations may trigger different kinds of behavior. Continue to have patience and use positive reinforcement with him to learn appropriate behaviors.
- Male: 17 to 25 pounds
- Female: 14 to 21 pounds
Your puppy is in full-fledged puberty at this point. If you have not started talking to your vet about the spay/neuter process, now is the time. Many veterinarians will prefer to wait until your dog has finished fully growing. They do not want to interrupt musculoskeletal development. This occurs around 9 months or so with French Bulldogs.
Your puppy is in the height of his adolescence and will need plenty of socialization and activity to keep him entertained and healthy. His physical growth will have slowed down, but he will continue to fill out and put on weight. Your French Bulldog should be eating two full meals a day. It is essential to feed him top-quality balanced dog food. Not all puppy foods are created equal, and every breed has special nutritional needs. Your veterinarian can give you recommendations, and you can also reach out to a pet nutritionist if you are concerned with your dog’s weight gain or lack of weight gain.
Continue to provide your puppy with lots of reinforcement and practice time for training behaviors. He will need to spend time outside and around other dogs. However, you should never leave him outside unsupervised. Because he is so small, it is also wise to keep him on a leash outside if he is not at home or in a fenced yard.
- Male: 19 to 25 pounds
- Female: 15 to 22 pounds
Your puppy will have some very disestablished routines and habits at nine months of age. While he may seem fully trained, this is when it is vital to continue and expand upon obedience and behavior training. Remember, he is a teenager, and testing his limits is normal.
He may be highly interested in establishing his dominance over other dogs, people, or pets in the house, so be ready to correct his behavior if necessary. If your pup is experiencing aggression or destructive behavior, now is a suitable time to talk to a trainer. You want to stop this behavior as soon as possible. While he is more mature, your puppy is still growing and going through hormonal changes, and this can affect his behavior.
He will need lots of time to play and at least one walk a day. A bored puppy stuck inside with no outlet for energy will get destructive. Do not let the cycle of inactivity or boredom lead your puppy to unruly behavior. This, in turn, leads to discipline and upset pet parents. So, though it may take time and repetition, it is best to redirect any troubling behavior now.
- Male: 20 to 28 pounds
- Female: 16 to 22 pounds
Your puppy may start to get bored with his routine at around 10 months, and it might be a good idea to introduce some new stimulation. You can increase walking time, provide new toys, and add new activities and adventures.
French Bulldogs are smaller dogs, so they may not be suited to run alongside you on a long bike ride or go for a five-mile walk. Make sure to choose activities that will not stress out or overexert your pup. The more exercise you can give your dog every day, the less active he will be at night. He should be tiring himself out well during the day and sleeping through the night.
- Male: 20 to 28 pounds
- Female: 17 to 24 pounds
Your puppy is close to transitioning into adulthood and is almost there at 11 months old. He should be well socialized, well-behaved, and know-how to interact with other pets and people. He will have a good handle on his emotions, though emotional maturity is not here yet. Your dog will have developed preferences for food, favorite games, and places to visit. You should start to think about scheduling his one-year puppy checkup and write down any questions you might have for your vet. Start preparing to switch him from puppy food to adult food.
- Male: 20 to 28 pounds
- Female: 17 to 24 pounds
Both you and your pup made it to one year! It’s birthday time. Most French Bulldogs will be fully grown by now but will continue to put on muscle mass and fill out for up to 24 months (about two years). Males will put on a little more mass than females.
Puppy food will be too high in fat and calories, and an adult dog needs less than a puppy. If you have not made the switch by now, talk to your veterinarian about finding the best food to feed your adult Frenchie. Too much food and not enough exercise can lead to issues with his weight and overall health.
Every dog is different. However, the guideline of one and a half cups of food split into two meals should be plenty of food for him. Watch out for him sneaking table scraps and treats. This can lead to obesity and other health problems in his later years.
While your pup has reached adulthood physically, his maturity level is not there yet. He will need regular training, gentle discipline, and positive reinforcement. He will continue to seek out and learn new things, even when he is fully grown.
- Male: 20 to 28 pounds
- Female: 17 to 26 pounds
18 to 24 Months
By 18 months, your French Bulldog will reach full maturity. He will no longer gain weight unless he is not being fed properly. As a very clingy breed, your adult Frenchie may have separation anxiety when you are gone. He will not be pleased sitting around alone all day, so make sure to provide him with entertainment options while you are gone.
Suppose your dog is still experiencing clinging behavior and separation anxiety at this age. In that case, you may want to investigate having someone check on him during the day or look at professional dog walking and dog daycare service. Frenchies can also be selective listeners, even as adults. Remember to be firm yet positive with your dog to reinforce his good behavior.
- Male: 28 pounds
- Female: 24 to 26 pounds
What Happens Next?
After the first year, your French Bulldog will continue developing physically and mentally. You should check with your veterinarian if you are concerned about him missing any puppy milestones. As long as your dog is healthy, getting enough exercise, and is not eating too much or too little, there should not be any problems with their size.
Keep in mind that environmental factors, as well as genetic factors, come into play. Your pup will still need a lot of love and attention and special attention paid to his food and exercise needs. Though he is no longer rapidly growing like a puppy, his behavior, socialization, and emotional development will be something to work on as he transitions into adulthood. He will need training reminders throughout his life and may even learn to do tricks, work in therapies, etc.
Full Grown French Bulldog
According to the American Kennel Club’s official standard for French Bulldogs, an adult Frenchie should not weigh more than 28 pounds and stand 11 to 13 inches tall shoulder to paw. Both males and females are very muscular with heavy bones, smaller bodies, and larger heads. There is no way to predict how big your Frenchie will be, but you can look at the size of his parents to get an idea. Many folks will take the weight of their puppy at the age of four months and double it as a rough estimate for how large their dog will be at full grown. Frenchies live on average 8 to 13 years.
Weight Growth Chart
|Age||Male Weight (lbs.)||Female Weight (lbs.)|
|BIrth - 2 Weeks||1 - 3||1 - 2|
|1 Month||4 - 7||3 - 6|
|2 Months||8 - 12||6 - 10|
|3 Months||10 - 14||8 - 12|
|4 Months||12 - 16||10 - 15|
|5 Months||15 - 20||11 - 17|
|6 Months||15 - 22||12 - 20|
|7 Months||17 - 25||14 - 21|
|8 Months||19 - 25||15 - 22|
|9 Months||20 - 28||16 - 22|
|10 Months||20 - 28||17 - 24|
|11 Months||20 - 28||17 - 24|
|1 Year||20 - 28||17 - 26|
|18- 24 Months||20 - 28||17 - 26|
Factors To Consider
Understanding that these varied factors will affect his growth will help you better monitor how he progresses. Every dog is different, and no two dogs will grow exactly the same. Consider these different factors in monitoring your puppy’s growth and development.
As with any breed of dog, your French Bulldog’s genetic makeup will play a crucial role in how big he will be as an adult. While there are breed standards, there is always the possibility that your dog may have some other breed’s genes mixed in, which can affect growth. Also, keep in mind that French Bulldogs tend to have several genetic health concerns. These conditions can include luxating patella, hip dysplasia, spinal disc issues, degenerative myelopathy, intervertebral disc disease, skin problems, conjunctivitis, and ear infections.
Your dog’s nutrition is one of the most pivotal factors in his growth. High-quality dog food appropriate for his age is best for your Frenchie. After birth and up until about three or four months, most of his nutrition will come from his mother’s milk. If that is not possible, talk to your veterinarian about a substitute. French Bulldogs need a diet that includes protein from poultry, meat, or fish.
French Bulldogs do not require a special diet. However, this breed does best on a low fat, moderate calorie diet with regular lean protein sources. Your dog will have different dietary needs than an adult as a puppy. Consult with your veterinarian if you are concerned about your dog’s weight and learn what additional supplements he might need to maintain good health.
Growth Spurts And Plateaus
Your puppy will experience growth spurts and plateaus throughout his first year. He may go rapidly for a few weeks and then slow down for a month. While there is no way to predict when a growth spurt or plateau will happen, do not be alarmed if they do. Your dog is growing at a pace that is healthy for him. Support his healthy development with a comfortable home, regular exercise, good nutrition, and top-notch veterinary care.
It is always best to contact your vet’s office to set up an appointment and have your dog examined if you have concerns about his growth. Remember, guidelines are simply a reference point. There is no exact timeline for your puppy to hit certain growth milestones.
Neutering And Spaying
Neutering or spaying your French Bulldog too early has not been shown to stunt growth. However, this does not mean that it should be done to control behavior. Taking this step too early can affect your dog’s health as an adult. It can even predispose some dogs to have diseases and joint issues later in life. Some veterinarians recommend taking this step when your French Bulldog is around nine months of age, and others recommend waiting until 18 or 24 months if possible. Do not be afraid to ask your veterinarian questions and monitor your dog’s growth and behavior to make this choice at the best time for him.
French Bulldogs are a breed that is prone to developing mobility issues. These can be both genetic and develop as they age. French Bulldogs can also be at risk for a range of respiratory problems. This is due to brachycephalic syndrome, which also causes their flat noses. Brachycephalic syndrome is a series of abnormalities in the upper respiratory tract. Brachycephalic syndrome predisposes the Frenchie breed to breathing issues. Make sure that your dog is not getting overworked. This can make breathing issues worse. Regular, moderate physical activity is best to keep him healthy.
Physical health is central to proper growth and development. Puppies who are sick or suffer from poor care situations will not fare as well as those given proper love and care. Do not allow your French Bulldog to overexert himself, but do not prevent him from getting enough physical activity. His overall physical health as a puppy impacts his lifelong health. Always discuss breathing, growth, or other health issues with your veterinarian. Keep up routine checkups, vaccinations, and additional heartworm and flea prevention treatments. These all impact his overall physical health and growth.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where Do French Bulldogs Come From?
French Bulldogs originated in Nottingham, England. They are a deliberately bred smaller breed of the English Bulldog. Crossbreeding with terriers has given them the signature bat-shaped ears and flat muzzles.
Are French Bulldogs Expensive?
French Bulldogs are a pricier breed. They range from about $1,000 to over $4,000 for a purebred puppy from a responsible breeder. Top-quality purebred dogs will cost significantly more. Frenchies may turn up in shelters and rescues for much less.
Are French Bulldogs Challenging To Train?
Frenchies can be stubborn, making training a challenge. Start young and stay firm yet positive. They are tiny yet mighty and can be quite destructive if not trained properly. They are energetic and easy to please, so positive reinforcement and praise work very well with this breed.
Did You Know?
French Bulldogs cannot swim due to the combination of their body and head shapes. The flat shape of their faces makes it impossible for them to get enough air in the water. Their bodies have more muscle than fat, making them unable to float. They just sink. Never let your French Bulldog around water unsupervised. Do not try and teach him to swim. He simply is not built the right way to do it.
Most Frenchies are born through C-section births. The size of the puppy’s heads makes it a potentially fatal experience for both mother and baby. This breed cannot reproduce naturally due to an awkward hip shape. All breeding is done by artificial insemination.
French Bulldogs fart a lot. This breed has a rather sensitive stomach. They also often eat quickly due to their flat faces. This causes excess air to get ingested, leading to lots of farting. There are many books written inspired by the farting Frenchie and also special dog foods that may help with this smelly issue.
French Bulldogs are a trendy breed of family pet and companion dog. Due to their small size, they are an excellent breed for small homes and apartments. These friendly, energetic, affectionate dogs interact happily with family members and pets. However, they can become clingy and develop separation anxiety. This canine breed needs a lot of supervision but does not require as much exercise as some larger breeds. They do have some genetic predisposition to disease and do not have as long a lifespan as some other small breeds.
Many different factors will affect your French Bulldog’s growth. However, learning about the breed beforehand and knowing what to look for will make you a better pet parent and give your dog a healthier life. As a pet owner, it is both a great privilege and a big responsibility to ensure that our pets are healthy from the very first moments we meet. Taking the time to learn about this breed and the specific needs they have provides you with the knowledge and power to give your dog the absolute best care possible. You can always check in with your veterinarian to ensure your pet is healthy and that his growth is on track.