What is the best harness for a French Bulldog? When out walking your Frenchie you want to be confident they’re not going to escape.
If they have a habit of pulling on their leash – you also want an excellent way to help train them and control them without harm or discomfort.
Many dog owners, particularly those who have pullers, choose a dog harness over a lead for taking their dogs on walks.
This article will discuss the benefits of harnesses for both puppy and adult French Bulldogs, look at the harness types and give our recommendations on the best choices of harness available.
- Best Harness for French Bulldogs – Our Top 8 Reviewed
- 1. Ruffwear All-Day Dog Front Range Harness
- 2. Julius-K9 162P0 K9 PowerHarness, Size 0
- 3. Love Frenchie – French Bulldog Reversible Harness
- 4. Embark Urban Dog Harness
- 5. Bestia French Bulldog Studded Leather Harness
- 6. Rabbitgoo No Pull Dog Harness
- 7. ThinkPet No-Pull Dog Harness
- 8. Max Comfort Dog Harness
- About the Breed
- Our Research Method
- What is a Dog Harness?
- Why Use a Dog Harness on a French Bulldog?
- Types of Dog Harnesses
- Measuring your French Bulldog for a Harness
- How To Put on a Dog Harness
- Getting the Best Results
Best Harness for French Bulldogs – Our Top 8 Reviewed
1. Ruffwear All-Day Dog Front Range Harness
The All-Day dog harness is an example of, well, a front range harness. This means there’s a leash attachment point at both the top (back) and chest (front) of the harness.
For regular walking, you can treat this as a back-clip harness attaching your lead to the back and walking as usual.
It’s well designed so as not to put pressure on any part of the Frenchie should they begin to pull or misbehave.
Using a double-ended lead like a HALTI, you can also attach the second point to the front of the harness. This gives the effect of a horses reins – allowing the walker to guide the dog as a rider would a horse.
This method provides not only increased control of your dog – but a better way of reducing their pulling behaviour.
We’ve used this harness on several different dog breeds of all sizes to significant effect.
The clip on the back of this harness is made from a durable aluminium v-ring. The front is made from reinforced webbing material.
Made from Nylon and Closed-Cell foam, the Ruffwear is padded under the chest and belly areas for extra comfort and to stop friction and chafing over time.
There are six separate plastic adjustment points at the sides to better adjust the woven straps for an ideal fit.
High visibility reflective striping is on the outer layer throughout the harness, giving increased visibility in darker conditions.
Ruffwear have certainly designed a superior, high quality, comfortable and robust harness — one which can suit all French Bulldogs whether they are well behaved on a leash or not.
Not only have we found it to be an excellent no-pull harness, but also a great one for helping to train our dogs not to pull and misbehave while outside.
2. Julius-K9 162P0 K9 PowerHarness, Size 0
Hugely popular and unbelievably robust is the Julius-K9 PowerHarness. We love these back-clip harnesses for their strength, design and longevity.
Sometimes referred to as the “police dog” harness – the PowerHarness has a secure, waterproof, scratch-resistant, impregnable outer layer while retaining a soft, comfortable and breathable OEKO-TEX inner later.
Because of the velcro front and buckle at the side, putting this harness on is simple – place on the dogs back and fasten the straps as needed.
At the top is a steel ring for attaching the leash. There is also a handle for controlling your dog or keeping them in place.
Reflective material trims line the outer layer for nighttime visibility.
The outer buckles are also reinforced, adding to the overall strength of this harness. A chest strap give that extra fit to stop the harness slipping.
We do love the PowerHarness – it’s virtually indestructible and can handle a lot of pulling without harming your Frenchie. It’s one to check out.
3. Love Frenchie – French Bulldog Reversible Harness
This is certainly a cute French Bulldog harness as well as a well-made product many owners will love.
As a reversible harness, you can turn it inside out anytime for another funky pattern.
This is a fairly basic mesh vest harness – but if your French Bulldog is already well behaved, it’s a cute soft option for wearing out and about.
4. Embark Urban Dog Harness
This cool, trendy, urban dog harness can be used as either a back clip or front-clip harness.
5. Bestia French Bulldog Studded Leather Harness
Leather dog harnesses are very much a matter of personal taste. There are many leather harnesses out there which are less than ideal. They may look stunning but fail in their design. The leather is not treated, which can absorb water when it rains and chafes your dog when they walk.
Thankfully the Bestia doesn’t have this problem. It’s a well-designed leather harness designed with a French Bulldog in mind.
Made in Europe from 100% genuine leather, the underside is padded with cushioned foam around the chest plate to stop the rubbing and discomfort leather can bring.
These aren’t the cheapest of harnesses – but they are hand-crafted, and you can tell a lot of love has gone into their construction.
I have a real admiration for this harness. From the metal-plated silver colour buckles to the studs on both side. It just looks like high quality – or as one online reviewer noted
This leather harness has quality so obvious that several people have stopped me to ask about it.
It’s a robust harness with a metal D-ring at the top for attaching your leash. If you’re looking for a leather harness that is both usable and gorgeous – check this out.
6. Rabbitgoo No Pull Dog Harness
A slightly more affordable front clip no-pull Frenchie dog harness is the Rabbitgoo. Available in several different colours, this harness is light-weight, safe and great for walking your French Bulldog in.
Adjusting the harness is relatively easy – and there are two adjustable side straps.
Just note some caution on these as the can sometimes be a little stiff, and forcing them to tighten can result on a quick squeeze your Frenchie won’t thank you for.
The harness can be put on and taken off with a simple quick-release buckle.
Remember that if you want to use both the front and back clips at the same time, you will need a special double-ended training lead like a HALTI with two attachment clips.
7. ThinkPet No-Pull Dog Harness
The ThinkPet harness is a little different back-clip in that it’s a lot more simple to put on your dog.
Made from soft, lightweight soft mesh and nylon, this harness is very strong and is designed to last for years without wearing or fraying.
8. Max Comfort Dog Harness
These harnesses are not packed with features, but they are colourful, very soft, lightweight and affordable.
It’s a vest mesh harness which is very easy to put on and take off.
Place it over your Frenchies neck, clip the safety buckle at the side and adjust where appropriate. You then unclip and pull back over the head to remove.
Custom stitched around the edges to stop the harness rubbing against your dog’s skin and causing irritation – the texture of this harness is incredibly soft. The mesh makes it lightweight and breathable.
This is an excellent harness, but it’s not the greatest choice if you have a real puller. It offers little in terms of functionality and training – it’s a simple vest walking harness for daily use.
Best for Frenchies who are already well behaved on a lead or as a French Bulldog puppy harness when you are trying to train them to wear a harness for the first time.
About the Breed
Bred initially in the 1800s as a cross between English Toy Bulldog’s and French Ratters, the French Bulldog breed is one of the most popular in the western world.
Our Research Method
My partner and I have spent many years working with, fostering and looking after dogs of all breeds and sizes.
We have a wealth of experience with all sorts of collars, head collars and harnesses. This has involved a lot of trial and error and recognising that dogs of different ages and sizes can require different things from their harness.
We also look after and know several owners of French bulldog’s who helped us with this research.
Also, we have spent time researching any alternatives beyond our experiences – this includes online research, reviews and testimonials from other French Bulldog owners who have tried several harnesses over the years.
Although the same harnesses used on many breeds would be adequate, we wanted to ensure the conclusions of this post worked explicitly for French Bulldogs.
What is a Dog Harness?
For seasoned dog owners, the dog harness will be as familiar as bad breath and excessive licking. For those new to dogs, harnesses are worn over the dog’s body for walking and training.
Traditionally, dog owners and walkers have walked their dogs by putting a dog collar around their necks, attaching a lead (or leash).
Dog harnesses offer a good alternative which not only provides comfort and safety when walking your dog but aids with unruly behaviour and better training.
Harnesses are strong garments that the dogs wear, often over the chest and belly area. A leash is often (but not always, as we’ll discuss later) attached to the back.
These can be easily put on and taken off and offer a far safer, more robust and comfortable walking experience for both dog and owner.
Why Use a Dog Harness on a French Bulldog?
Previously we mentioned that collars are placed around a dogs neck, this being the first reason people prefer harnesses. Dog collars can have several restrictions and problems – some practical, others physical.
On a practical level, collars can slip off of the dog’s neck over the head if they were to pull backwards. Physically that same pulling can cause issues and potential damage to the dog’s neck, especially over time and with excessive pulling.
If your dog tends to pull on their lead, a collar can do some serious damage long term. From choking to chronic discomfort to tracheal collapse. This is a heightened concern for a breed like French Bulldogs who tend to have airway and breathing issues.
A well-designed harness can help resolve these issues. When your dog pulls on a harness, less pressure is put on a single point (the French Bulldog’s neck) and is more evenly distributed around the body.
In addition to being prone to breathing problems, French Bulldogs can also suffer from mobility issues. These can include hip dysplasia and arthritis. A good harness can aid with mobility and those with handles can aid them and help carry them when needed.
Types of Dog Harnesses
If you have browsed your local pet store or online – you’ve no doubt realised there are plenty of different kinds of dog harnesses available.
This myriad of choice can lead to some owners picking the best looking, most expensive or most comfortable looking one. Before you make an informed choice – check out our summary of the main harness types available.
- Vest Walking Harness: These are very simple harnesses with few features designed for well-behaved dogs. Often made from mesh, nylon, nylon webbing, cotton or plastic materials. They are usually lightweight and soft and great for just taking a calm Frenchie for a stroll.
- Back Clip Harness: These are the more common types of harnesses you will see in the parks and streets. The lead attachment point is located at the top (back) of the harness. This evens out control of the harness without putting too much strain on the dog’s ribs or gives un-necessary tightening in one spot, which could cause discomfort.
- Front Clip Harness: In addition to the back clip, a front clip harness will have a leash attachment point on the chest (front) of the harness. It’s designed to give you better control over your dog. Using a double-ended lead, such as a HALTI, you can attach the lead to both the clip at the top and the front of the harness. This then gives you a horse reign type system where you can guide your dog and control them should they pull.
- No-Pull Dog Harness: This can refer to any harness designed to reduce pulling. A harness alone won’t usually solve the problem with patience and training required. Both Back and Front Clip harnesses are an example of harnesses designed to stop pulling. There are others – including those that tighten when the dogs pull. We wouldn’t recommend these to inexperienced dog trainers as it can cause both discomfort to the dog and increase the pulling behaviour when your dog attempts to escape the pain.
- Leather Dog Harness: There are several leather harnesses on the market – but make sure it’s not just a style decision. Consider if the inner sections, particularly the chest area, are treated or padded. Leather can chafe when wet and can cause irritation and broken skin over time.
Measuring your French Bulldog for a Harness
You must measure your French Bulldog correctly when selecting a dog harness. If the harness is too loose, particularly if they’re a puller, they could escape – leaving you with a harness and lead but no dog.
Alternatively, a harness which is too tight will not be a pleasant experience for your Frenchie. It would not only be uncomfortable but could chafe the skin – particularly under the front legs as well as restrict their breathing.
Most dog harness manufacturers include sizing charts to give you an idea of sizes.
Typically a French Bulldog harness size will be around the small to medium range, depending on the brand you have chosen. For smaller Frenchies, this tends to range from 25-45cm around the chest, and 45-80 cm for the larger ones.
Measuring your French Bulldog is relatively simple, and all you will need is a regular tape measure.
Start by measuring the largest part of the chest – this is usually a few inches before the front legs. Wrap the tape all the way around and note down the results. You should add a couple of inches to allow for weight gain and a little wiggle room.
Also, measure the circumference of the neck and also add a few inches. This is important as you will need to make sure you can put the harness on and off without it being too tight going over the head.
You should then be able to compare this to the manufacturing sizing charts before making your purchase. If you do find your Frenchie has measured between two sizes – it’s often recommended to go for the larger of the two and use the harnesses adjustment straps to provide a good fit.
How To Put on a Dog Harness
Particularly with puppies, the first time you try to put a harness on your furry friend can be a challenge. After all, dogs were not born wearing a collar, a harness, or being walked about on a leash.
You should gradually introduce the harness, and over time, it will become second nature to them.
Consider the abnormal sensations the dogs will be feeling – having something put over their head, the loud click as the buckle snaps closed or the sound of velcro.
If it’s a step-in harness – just teach your dog to step in, tighten the straps and away you go.
For harnesses that go over the head – it’s best to do this first then adjusting the straps around your dog’s body. To take off – simply do the same in reverse.
Getting the Best Results
You’ve made your choice, you’ve measured, you’ve got the harness on – now you’re good to go?
Well, unfortunately, not. You may be lucky – you may have a perfectly behaved French Bulldog who will walk in a straight line, will stop when you stop and will never pull.
Unfortunately for most dog owners – this is far from reality, particularly in the formative years. Your dog may pull, walk left and right at inopportune moments, dart off at the sight of a passing cyclist or squirrel or refuse to move altogether.
Training and attending classes with a dog trainer can help enormously. You can also try some exercised when out walking. For example, when your dog begins to pull, simply stop, wait a few seconds and start again. You can also reward your Frenchie with treats when they are well behaved.
Finding a great dog harness for your French Bulldog can depend on both the owner’s experience and the Frenchies temperament.
Choose a harness that your dog cannot escape from easily and isn’t too tight on them.
If they are a puller, you should consider a no-pull dog harness. You may need a little trial and error on this until you find the perfect harness. Keep training and above all – be patient.