What is the Best Harness for a French Bulldog? Size & Style Guide

What is the Best Harness for a French Bulldog? Size & Style Guide

With their distinct build and broad chest, French Bulldogs require harnesses designed for their unique shape. The best harness for a Frenchie is one that distributes pressure evenly to prevent strain, offers a snug yet comfortable fit, and is made of breathable material. Brands like Puppia and Julius-K9 come highly recommended for their design and durability. Always prioritize adjustability and check for potential chafing points when selecting the perfect harness.

Harness for a French Bulldog

When do you Need Harness for your French Bulldog?

  • Training Puppies: A harness provides better control than a collar, helping guide and train a young Frenchie without straining its neck.
  • Walking: Given their brachycephalic (short-nosed) nature, Frenchies can experience breathing difficulties. A harness reduces the risk of respiratory stress compared to a collar.
  • Preventing Injuries: Their unique body structure makes them prone to specific injuries. A harness distributes force evenly, minimizing risks.
  • Handling Active Dogs: A harness offers better management without choking if your Frenchie is particularly energetic or tends to pull.
  • Traveling: A harness can secure your pet safely when on the move, especially in cars.

When do you Need Harness for your French Bulldog

French Bulldog Harness Size Guide

Age Stage Typical Harness Size
8 weeks – 3 months Extra Small
3 months – 6 months Small
6 months – 9 months Medium
9 months – 12 months Medium to Large
12 months and older Large

French Best Harness Types for my French Bulldog

Back-Clip Harness

This common type of harness features a clip on the back, right between the dog’s shoulders. For French Bulldogs, a back-clip harness suits those who don’t pull much during walks. It offers easy attachment and protects the Frenchie’s delicate throat. However, it provides less control over solid pullers.

Front-Clip Harness

Located on the chest, the front clip provides more control over your Frenchie’s direction. It’s great for training and managing Bulldogs that tend to pull. Redirecting the dog when it tries to pull aids in teaching better leash manners.

Dual-Clip Harness

Combining the benefits of front and back clips, this harness gives owners versatile options. You can use the back clip for casual strolls and the front for training sessions or when more control is required. It’s an excellent choice for adapting to different walking scenarios.

Vest Harness

Vest harnesses cover more of the dog’s body, offering support, warmth, and protection. Given their sensitivity to extreme temperatures, these are particularly suitable for French Bulldogs. A vest harness ensures even pressure distribution and often comes with breathable materials for added comfort.

No-Pull Harness

Designed specifically for dogs that have a strong pull, the no-pull harness tightens slightly when the dog tries to pull ahead. For Frenchies that are more energetic and harder to manage on walks, this harness gently discourages them from pulling without causing discomfort or harm.

French Best Harness Types for my French Bulldog

Purpose and Benefits of French Bulldog Harness

  • Safety and Control: Given the Frenchie’s distinctive anatomy with a stout build and broad chest, a harness is purposefully designed to provide better control without putting undue pressure on the neck and spine during walks or training sessions.
  • Protection against Injuries: Collars can strain the neck, especially if a Frenchie pulls or lunges. Harnesses distribute the force across the chest and back, minimizing the risk of injuries.
  • Support for Puppies and Seniors: Young pups or older dogs might need added support, and harnesses can offer that. They can also assist in guiding a puppy during training without causing any harm.
  • Reduced Respiratory Stress: Being brachycephalic, French Bulldogs have shortened airways. A collar might exacerbate breathing difficulties, especially if they pull. A harness, in contrast, alleviates this risk.
  • Enhanced Comfort: Many harnesses come with padded sections, ensuring your Frenchie remains comfortable, even during extended walks or activities.
  • Better Behavior Management: Harnesses, especially front-clip or no-pull types, can be instrumental in managing and training a Frenchie who tends to pull or jump.
  • Temperature Regulation: Some vest harnesses can offer protection against extreme weather conditions, keeping your Frenchie warm in cold weather and cooler in warm conditions.
  • Style and Personalization: Beyond functionality, harnesses come in various designs, patterns, and colors, allowing owners to pick one that best represents their Frenchie’s personality.

Purpose and Benefits of French Bulldog Harness

Potential Risks Associated with French Bulldog Harness

  • Improper Fit: An ill-fitting harness can lead to various issues for your Frenchie. It might rub and cause chafing, lead to restricted movement, or even fail to provide the necessary control. Regularly checking the fit and making necessary adjustments is crucial.
  • Over-reliance on No-Pull Designs: While no-pull harnesses can discourage pulling, they shouldn’t be a substitute for proper training. Relying solely on them might lead to behavioral issues not being addressed.
  • Escaping: If not secured correctly, some harnesses might provide wiggle room for a determined Frenchie to escape. This can be particularly risky in busy areas where escaping can lead to potential dangers.
  • Overheating: Vest-style harnesses, although great for cooler climates, might cause your Frenchie to overheat if used in hotter temperatures, given their brachycephalic nature already makes them prone to heat stress.
  • Strain or Injury: Even a harness can cause strain if not used correctly. For instance, lifting a dog using only the harness handle might put undue stress on the dog’s back or joints.
  • Habituation: If the harness is worn continuously, skin issues can occur due to moisture and lack of air circulation, leading to potential infections or irritations.

Potential Risks Associated with French Bulldog Harness

How to Prevent Risks?

  • Choose the right size and fit for your Frenchie.
  • Regularly adjust the harness as your dog changes in size.
  • Remove the harness when not in use to prevent skin issues.
  • Pair no-pull harness use with behavioral training.
  • Inspect the harness often for wear and tear.
  • Learn the correct way to use and lift with the harness.
  • Avoid thick harnesses in hot weather.
  • Clean the harness regularly.
  • Train puppies not to pull or jump, even without the harness.

How to Choose the Best French Bulldog Harness?

Fit and Measurement

Before purchasing, accurately measure your Frenchie’s chest, neck, and length. A snug fit is vital for safety and comfort, ensuring the harness neither chafes the skin nor allows the dog to wiggle free.

Material and Breathability

Select a harness made of durable yet breathable material. Given the Frenchie’s sensitivity to temperature fluctuations, a harness that provides ventilation can prevent overheating, especially during active periods or in warmer weather.


Harnesses with multiple adjustment points are ideal. As your Frenchie grows or weight changes, the ability to modify the harness ensures a consistent, comfortable fit over time.

Type of Harness

Consider the specific needs of your dog. No-pull harnesses are excellent for those who tend to tug, while vest harnesses can offer additional warmth and support. Front, back, or dual-clip options provide varied levels of control.

Ease of Use

Opt for a harness that is easy to put on and take off. Features like quick-release buckles can save time and reduce the stress of gearing up for a walk or trip.

Check for Pressure Points

A well-designed harness will distribute pressure evenly across the dog’s body. Ensure there are no areas where the harness digs in or causes undue strain, particularly around the neck or back.

Reflective and Safety Features

For those who walk their dogs in low-light conditions, a harness with reflective strips or stitching can enhance visibility, ensuring safety during evening or early morning strolls.

Read Reviews and Recommendations

It’s always helpful to see what other Frenchie owners recommend. Online reviews or recommendations from your vet or fellow Frenchie enthusiasts can provide insights into the durability and comfort of a particular harness brand or model.

How to Choose the Best French Bulldog Harness

How to Determine the Right Harness Size for My Frenchie?

  • Measurement Process: It begins by accurately measuring your Frenchie to ensure a comfortable and secure fit. Using a flexible tape measure can provide the best results.
  • Chest Girth: This is the most crucial measurement. Wrap the tape measure around the widest part of your dog’s chest, usually right behind the front legs. Make sure it’s snug but not too tight; you should be able to fit two fingers beneath the tape.
  • Neck Circumference: Measure around the base of your Frenchie’s neck, where a collar would typically sit. This ensures the harness doesn’t choke or restrict breathing, particularly crucial for brachycephalic breeds like French Bulldogs.
  • Back Length: Start from the base of the neck and measure to the base of the tail. While not always necessary for all harness types, it can be helpful, especially for vest-style harnesses.
  • Weight Reference: Many harness manufacturers provide weight recommendations for their products. While weight shouldn’t be the only determining factor, it can be a useful reference in conjunction with other measurements.
  • Check for Adjustability: Opt for a harness with multiple adjustment points. This allows you to customize the fit for your Frenchie, ensuring it’s snug but not overly tight.
  • Review Sizing Charts: Most manufacturers provide specific sizing charts for their harnesses. Refer to these guidelines and compare your dog’s measurements to ensure the best fit.
  • Remember Growth and Changes: If your Frenchie is still a puppy, anticipate growth. Likewise, adult dogs might have weight fluctuations. It’s advisable to periodically re-check measurements and adjust or replace the harness as necessary.

Important Tips when Using Harness for your Frenchie

  • Always check the fit of the harness before each use, ensuring it’s neither too tight nor too loose.
  • Be gentle when putting on or removing the harness to avoid causing stress or discomfort to your Frenchie.
  • Periodically inspect the harness for wear, tear, or damage, and replace if necessary.
  • Avoid using the harness for extended periods, especially indoors, to prevent skin irritation or overheating.
  • Ensure the harness doesn’t place undue pressure on the Frenchie’s neck, as they are a brachycephalic breed and can have breathing issues.
  • When adjusting the harness, ensure it rests comfortably on the dog’s body without chafing or digging into the skin.
  • Clean the harness regularly to remove dirt, sweat, and debris, which can cause skin problems if left unchecked.
  • If using a no-pull harness, pair its use with proper behavioral training to address the root cause of pulling.
  • For puppies, keep in mind they will grow, so anticipate needing to adjust the harness or switch to a larger size.
  • Avoid heavy or overly padded harnesses during hot weather to ensure your Frenchie doesn’t overheat.
  • Consider a harness with reflective elements if you often walk during low-light conditions for added safety.


Is a Harness or collar better for my French Bulldog?

Harnesses are generally better for French Bulldogs than collars. Given their brachycephalic (short-nosed) anatomy, collars can put undue pressure on their windpipe, potentially causing breathing difficulties, whereas harnesses distribute pressure more evenly across the body.

What harness material is best for my Frenchie?

A lightweight, breathable material like mesh or padded nylon is ideal for French Bulldogs. Such materials prevent overheating, offer comfort, and provide the required sturdiness without being too bulky.

Is harness comfortable for French Bulldogs?

Yes, harnesses are comfortable for French Bulldogs, especially if appropriately sized and adjusted. Harnesses can offer better support and security, reducing the risk of injuries and ensuring a more pleasant walking experience for the dog and the owner.

What size harness for 8 week old French Bulldog?

For an 8-week-old French Bulldog, you’ll typically need an extra small or puppy-sized harness. However, sizes can vary among brands. It’s essential to measure your puppy’s chest girth and refer to the specific sizing chart provided by the harness manufacturer. Remember, puppies grow rapidly, so anticipate frequent adjustments or size changes in the coming weeks.

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