Common questions that French Bulldog owners may find themselves asking are:
- Should I buy a harness or dog collar for my French Bulldog?
- What is the best harness for French Bulldogs?
- How do I correctly measure my French Bulldog?
Why You Should Choose A Harness Over A Collar
Walking your adorable fur baby isn't a choice, it’s a must. Your French Bulldog needs to have regular exercise to be healthy and happy. Just like humans, going for a 15-20 minute walk every day will do wonders for their health and reduce the number of health-related issues they have. Whether you're going for a walk or visiting the vet, the best French bulldog harness is beneficial for your pup’s well-being. As we all know, French bulldogs are notorious leash-pullers and a well-fitted harness is the safest way to control your Frenchie whilst on a walk. Though undoubtedly the cutest breed of all dogs, these squishy faced and big-eared pups suffer from what’s known as “brachycephalic” syndrome. This syndrome makes breathing difficult for French Bulldogs as they’re not bred with a long snout.
The cause of brachycephalic syndrome is due to the anatomical structure of the French Bulldog’s flat-nosed face. Their long and soft palate (which often clogs up the back of the throat), narrow windpipes, large tonsils and excessively narrow nostrils combined can sometimes make it physically difficult for French Bulldogs to breathe enough air into their lungs, especially during vigorous exercise. This also means that in hot weather your French bulldog prone to heat stroke.
That’s why using a collar is not such a good idea as it constricts the air intake and may even choke your French Bulldog. Any pressure on their windpipes, such as when they pull on the leash and may cause your Frenchie real distress. A safer and more comfortable choice is to choose to a harness over a collar, as it spreads the kinetic force across his entire chest. But it is not always that easy to find a harness that fits your French Bulldog as there are so many different styles of dog harnesses.
What Should I Look For In a French Bulldog Harness?
The comfortable, lightweight and breathable fabric are ideal for French Bulldogs as they have a tendency to overheat. The material should also be durable and strong to cope with the French bulldog’s muscular physique. Leash anchors also need to be strong as French Bulldogs are very muscular and have a lot of strength which will cause strain on the anchor point. Try and select a harness that at a minimum is double-stitched. You’ll want to ensure the leash anchor will hold as French bulldogs are known to get excited and lunge away from you like a rocket. As a bonus, a handle can be quite useful for this too to ensure you have extra control. Another important point is to select a harness that is adjustable to allow a snug fit to your French Bulldog’s chest and doesn’t rub against its skin and cause discomfort. A harness that is too loose and moves around on your dog’s skin risks causing chaffing. Your French Bulldog definitely won’t want that and neither would you!
If your French bulldog has a tendency to pull when you’re out walking, a front clip harness is the best solution. A harness with a front clip doesn’t allow your Frenchie to pull away from you as you walk them because if he or she tries, having the lead at the front means that the force exerted will turn the French dog’s body toward you, which will eventually make them stop. Of course, you still will need to have patience and after a few walks, you’ll find that he will be less likely to try and pull away from you and be more than happy to walk by your side.
Top 5 Best Harnesses For French Bulldogs
Here are our reviews of the top 5 best harnesses for French Bulldogs.
The Adjustable Ergonomic Comfort Harness was a great choice for Toby, as Toby is a thick-necked Frenchie. He has a 22” chest and a 17.5” neck so not all harnesses fitted him snugly and that’s why we needed a harness that was specifically designed to fit a French Bulldog’s broad chest.
The harness comes with two adjustable straps and two quick-release buckles that make it extremely easy to put on. Tightening the harness is a cinch as you’re able to easily guide the straps through the zinc alloy rings and tuck it in place. The smart ergonomic design aims to optimize the harness’s comfort through:
- Reducing chafing thanks to the soft double padded interior feature
- Removing any restriction around the neck which is achieved by the wide collar design
- Expertly tailored for a French Bulldog’s body frame resulting in a snug fit.
In addition, the harness also features reflective safety material, ensuring the safety above all else whether it is day or night. The exterior is made out of durable outer layer fabric which is scratch-resistant. The interior is made of breathable nylon webbing boasting extra soft sponge padded sections with key load dispersion for ultra-comfortable and long-lasting wear. It’s perfect for all weather conditions. The nylon material helps keep Frenchie's body temperature cool in summer by releasing excess heat and warm in the winter by retaining heat.
The great thing about this harness is that there are two-leash attachment points: Zinc-alloy D-ring on the harness's back is great if your French bulldog has a tendency to pull.
We highly recommend the Adjustable Ergonomic Harness Designed for French Bulldogs.
The Chest Support Halter is made from a lightweight, soft mesh, breathable material for an active and motion controlled comfort. The Nylon mesh webbing ensures for great visibility at night.
The design makes it easy to put on as it is to take off. The comfort chest support halter helps also helps spread the kinetic energy force so that it doesn’t choke the dog or jerk too hard on one particular part of their anatomy. This means a more comfortable experience for your pup.
The leash attachment point is located on the back of the dog harness and is made out of mixed metal and This attachment point can be hooked onto any standard leash onto the harness.
We loved the Comfort Chest Support Halter Harness.
A risk with fixed neck harnesses is that when you buy a harness with a neck opening large enough to fit his head through, the fit may actually be too large around the chest and cause chaffing. That’s why Adjustable Double Padded Halter Harness is also a great fit for a French Bulldog’s broad chest.
This harness comes with two separate adjustable straps, that made it incredibly easy to adjusts the tightness or looseness of the harness around Toby’s chest and stomach. At the back of the harness, is a strong and secure D-ring that is double stitched, so there is no risk it tearing when your French Bulldog tries to launch itself away from you.
And last, but certainly not least, the harness comes in four different designs (camouflage, red, black or leopard) to suit your Frenchie’s personality.
We loved the Halter Harness and recommend it for your Frenchie.
Importantly, the Soft Harness Vest is made of 100% Polyester Air Mesh, which is light-weight and very soft to the touch (Machine washable, but hand washing and air drying are recommended) allowing your French bulldog to breathe easily in hot temperatures. The harness s adjustable and can adapt to the bigger head (proportionally) of the French bulldog. It’s easy to put on: simply slide the neck loop over the head, pass a strap between the front legs and then buckle it up.
When the dog pulls the harness’ clever design means the girth strap gets tighter, thus giving the dog gentle feedback that he needs to stop pulling. As a bonus, it is supplied with a tether that clips onto the harness.
This Adjustable Soft Harness Vest is a great place to start your hunt for a comfortable and soft harness.
With an eight-week-old bundle of fun, a harness isn’t so much about restraint but about getting him used to wearing one and being happy in it.
With this in mind, the Puppy Training Light Weight Harness Vest is super comfortable, in fact it’s more like a hug than a piece of safety equipment, The harness comes tailored with super soft padding in the front chest and body panel so that when your puppy pulls on the leash, the force is evenly dispersed across the harness reducing any deep chafing or irritation to your puppy.
Using this harness is a great way to introduce your adorable puppy to be comfortable and excited to go on walks for many years to come. Due to the vest-like design, the head hole is not adjustable which means that you need to be extra careful about your measurement and select the right size for your puppy. Be prepared to up-size your harness as French bulldog puppies grow very quickly.
Overall, we found the Puppy Training Harness Vest to be an excellent tool to get your puppy use to wearing a harness and used to walk by your side. We highly recommend this as a first harness.
Measuring Your French Bulldog correctly
One thing that we always stress is that it is extremely important that you take the time to accurately measure your French bulldog before selecting the size of your harness. This is to ensure that you get a comfortable snug fit and that the harness will not cause chafing to your French Bulldog.
The first thing you need to know is that harness sizes are generally based on three measurements:
Neck Circumference –measured at the base of your dog’s neck.
Girth – Measure your dog’s girth by starting 1 – 2 inches behind the front legs and measure the circumference of your dog’s rib cage.
Chest Width – Because the chest strap intersects the girth, start the measurement at one side of the girth and measure around your dog’s chest to the other side. This measurement needs to be a comfortable distance below the throat.
Take your time to ensure that you make accurate measurements as French Bulldogs love to jump around when you measure them. If your French Bulldog is in-between sizes it is generally recommended that you choose the larger size as all of these harnesses are adjustable.