Contents of Article
- What Is the Best Dog Harness for a French Bulldog?
- Different Types of Dog Harnesses for French Bulldogs
- How Do I Ensure the Best Fit for My French Bulldog?
- Best Dog Harnesses for French Bulldogs
- Puppia Soft Vest – Best Overall
- Six More Highly Rated Dog Harnesses for French Bulldogs
- Best Harness for a French Bulldog Puppy
- Tips for Getting Your French Bulldog Accustomed to Using a Harness
- Frequently Asked Questions
French Bulldogs (or Frenchies) make great family pets due to their even disposition and fondness for human companionship. Unlike larger breeds bred as working dogs, French Bulldogs do not require a great deal of exercise. They’d be happy to sit by your side all day.
However, Frenchies still enjoy going for walks and tend to pull when they are overly excited. Given they already have a hard time breathing due to their facial and palate structures, a collar can make breathing even more difficult.
With that in mind, you should opt for a dog harness instead and leave the collar for wearing tags and expressing style. Harnesses are also great for controlling and training your dog.
Even though French Bulldogs are extremely popular, harnesses that fit them are hard to find. With their large head and barrel chest, harnesses are either too loose, allowing your pooch to escape. Or they are too tight across the chest and uncomfortable for your dog to wear.
But don’t worry! We’ve put together a guide to help you find the best dog harness for your French Bulldog, including seven recommendations for full-grown Frenchies and one for puppies.
What Is the Best Dog Harness for a French Bulldog?
Here are our top seven recommendations:
Different Types of Dog Harnesses for French Bulldogs
Leashes attach to harnesses in one of three ways: on the front of the dog’s chest (front-clip), on their back (back-clip), or both (dual-clip).
For Frenchies that need to learn how to walk on a leash without excessive pulling, a dual-clip design is what we recommend. This type of harness guides the dog around in a circle when they pull on the leash, discouraging them from pulling without any discomfort.
Once your pooch learns not to pull so much, you can switch to the back clip, which is more convenient to use.
Even though French Bulldogs are small, they are still strong. You’ll want a harness made out of tough mesh nylon because it is sturdy yet breathable. Given French Bulldogs are prone to overheating, keeping them cool is vital.
Padding and Adjustability
You know how your seatbelt can rub up against you, causing discomfort? A dog harness without padding can do the same thing to your French Bulldog. You’ll also want a thick design to help spread the pressure over a larger area.
Given French Bulldogs have a large barrel chest, you’ll need a harness with multiple adjustable buckles that will help you get the best fit for your pooch. Having multiple buckles will also help prevent your pup from escaping the harness.
How Do I Ensure the Best Fit for My French Bulldog?
Many dog harnesses are sized to fit only by weight. But that shouldn’t be your only guideline for finding the best fit.
The harnesses we recommend all have excellent sizing guides that take into account not only your pup’s weight but also their chest size and neck circumference.
So get out that tape measure and take down your dog’s measurements to have on hand.
First, measure your dog’s chest at the widest point, right behind the front legs. Then, measure the neck by keeping the tape measure at the base of the neck. Be sure to add an inch or two so that you don’t order a harness that is too tight.
If you don’t have a soft tape measure, take a piece of string and then hold it against a flat ruler.
Best Dog Harnesses for French Bulldogs
|Sneak Peek: Best Harnesses for French Bulldogs in 2019|
|Best for Puppies||
Now that you know what to look for in a dog harness for your French Bulldog, we’ve narrowed down the field to seven highly-rated harnesses for grown dogs, plus one for your puppy.
We start our list with our top recommendation, the Puppia Soft Vest. Users rave about how well the Puppia fits their Frenchie despite their large heads and chests.
It features a secure quick-release clasp on the back that is secured with Velcro as well as a back-clip leash attachment with two D-rings. Just have your French Bulldog step into the harness, secure the fasteners and leash, and you’ll be on your way.
The padded polyester mesh material provides a comfortable fit, yet it’s also durable enough to last for the entire life of your pup. The fact that it’s washable is a bonus feature. Just pop it in the wash when it gets smelly or when your Frenchie decides to roll around in the dirt or jump in puddles.
Six More Highly Rated Dog Harnesses for French Bulldogs
Next up are dog harnesses for different situations, such as training, car rides, and more.
While most French Bulldogs pull on their leashes, some are prone to excessive pulling and require a little more training to help them stop this behavior.
The PetSafe Easy Walk is designed specifically for training your pup to stop pulling with its basic design (no padded vest).
The leash attaches to the front of the harness with a Martingale loop, preventing the leash from getting twisted. When your pup pulls on the leash, she’ll end up going in circles rather than toward the subject of their attention.
You’ll notice that the front chest strap fits low on your dog’s chest, away from their throat to prevent choking and gagging. PetSafe color coded the straps to make it easy to put on your pup.
Does your French Bulldog insist on coming with you, wherever you go? You can keep them safe during your car rides with the crash-tested Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness.
You can buckle your pooch into your backseat using the carabiner clip and leash attachment ring on the front of the harness. Once secured, your pup is connected to a proprietary all-steel Nesting Buckle System.
The dual-clip style of harness makes it versatile for pups that have already learned how to walk on a leash without pulling. The padded chest piece is exceptionally comfortable, and getting the proper fit is simple thanks to the five adjustment points.
Made specifically for smaller dog breeds, this harness is ideal for everyday walks with your French Bulldog.
We like the step-in design because there’s no need to worry about getting it on over your Frenchie’s large head. You secure the harness with a large Velcro tab, quick-release buckle, and the two D-rings for your leash.
The vest is made out of a soft, padded mesh, making it extremely comfortable to wear when out and about. Users with smaller dogs like that the vest doesn’t ride up too high, protecting the delicate windpipe and preventing choking.
While French Bulldogs aren’t known for their athletic skills, some do enjoy going out on a hike or even for a brisk walk or run.
Because Frenchies can have a tough time breathing, for activities like running or hiking, we suggest a harness that sits even lower on the chest than our previous recommendations. The Sporn No Pull fits the bill.
The front-clip design and restraints that go underneath the dog’s front armpits create a tickling sensation that dogs don’t like. Note that this in no way hurts or harms your pup. But, it is effective and will help gently remind your Frenchie not to pull too hard when you’re active.
We also like the remarkably flexible padded chest piece that provides an extremely comfortable fit.
If you and your Frenchie enjoy running for exercise, you need this harness.
The deep v-neck design, padded chest plate, and breathable material reduce pressure on the chest and keep your pooch cool while out for a run. If you prefer to run during the early morning or late evening hours, the reflective strips provide an added level of safety.
Getting the proper fit is easy, thanks to the four adjustment points. And the four fast-release buttons make putting the harness on and taking it off a snap. The dual-clip leash attachments also provide versatility for various activities.
It’s no secret that French Bulldogs have a lot of personality. If you want a harness that shows off that personality, then you might want to consider the Alfie Sailor Harness.
But just because this harness has an adorable sailor stripe design doesn’t mean it isn’t as effective as other harnesses. It comes with a steel D-ring leash attachment on the back, and it is secured with a sturdy quick-release clasp and wide Velcro strap.
Best Harness for a French Bulldog Puppy
While most of the harnesses we’ve reviewed so far will work for a French Bulldog puppy, we have one recommendation for you to consider.
While French Bulldog puppies will not grow exponentially in size like larger breeds, it might be worth it to buy a less expensive harness that you can set aside once your pup is fully grown.
We recommend this harness because it is a good buy for the money. While not as durable as some other harnesses, it is still strong enough to last until your Frenchie is all grown up and ready to move on to one of the other harnesses we’ve recommended.
It is made out of a lightweight padded mesh material, providing a comfortable fit that won’t rub against your puppy’s delicate skin. You’ll also like the adjustable neck opening since French Bulldogs often have thick necks and big heads in proportion to the size of their bodies.
A small or medium should work, but be sure to measure your puppy before buying one to get the proper fit.
Tips for Getting Your French Bulldog Accustomed to Using a Harness
While harnesses are better for all dogs in general in comparison to a collar and leash, they are almost a necessity for French Bulldogs. A properly fitting harness will help keep pressure off of their windpipes and keep them safe when out and about.
But getting your French Bulldog to wear a harness and then keep it on can be difficult as they are prone to skin irritation and can get overheated. It can take a few weeks, so be patient.
To help your Frenchie get used to the idea of wearing a harness, here are a few helpful tips.
- Help the harness seem less scary by letting your pup sniff and explore the harness. Give him a few treats and praise him to create a positive association.
- If he still seems suspicious, try opening and closing the buckles on the harness so he can get used to the sound of the clicks. Give him a treat and praise him with each click.
- Leave it sitting around your house and let him get used to the sight of it.
- Once he appears to be more comfortable around it, try touching him with the harness and then slowly progress to putting it on him. Remember to give lots of praise and treats.
- Let him wear it around the house and get used to it before taking him for a walk. Continue providing positive reinforcement and praise.
- Be sure to do something he enjoys the first time you venture out while wearing the harness to create another positive association.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is a harness better than a leash and collar?
We recommend harnesses over leashes and collars for two reasons, no matter what the breed of dog is. First, they prevent too much pressure from being put on your dog’s windpipe, preventing choking and gagging. And second, they are more comfortable for the dog.
What type of harness is best for the temperament and activity level of French Bulldogs?
As previously discussed, French Bulldogs aren’t very active, but they can be excitable while on a walk. Because they already have difficulty breathing, we recommend harnesses that have a low neckline and distribute pressure evenly across the chest.
If they need a little more convincing to stop pulling, then start with the PetSafe EasyWalk as it does not constrict the chest in any way.
How do I fit a French Bulldog puppy with a harness?
It’s much the same as fitting an adult French Bulldog. Be sure to measure the chest and neck and leave some wiggle room.
We hope that this guide makes choosing the right type of harness for your French Bulldog a pleasant process.
Any of the harnesses reviewed above are top-rated and would make an excellent choice for your pup. Which one you end up choosing is up to you and your dog’s needs.