The big-eared beauty that is a French bulldog is rising and rising in pup-ularity.
And it’s little surprise why.
With their goofy good lucks, playful paw-sonality, and loyal and loving disposition these are a small dog that make a big impact on the heart.
However the French bulldog is not without its problems.
The Frenchie suffers from “brachycephalic” syndrome which is a cocktail of anatomical glitches that make it difficult to breath.
For this reason a harness is a much better idea than a collar, but finding the best harness for a French bulldog is not always as straightforward as it sounds.
Quick look: Top 5 Best Harnesses for French Bulldogs
The reason for the brachycephalic syndrome is that adorable squishy face which comes with a whole host of health issues.
This includes excessively narrow nostrils, a long soft palate (which chokes up the back of the throat), large tonsils, and a narrow windpipe.
This makes it physically difficult to draw down enough air into the lungs to supply enough for vigorous exercise.
Also this means in hot weather the Frenchie is prone to heatstroke and needs to be kept in the shade.
On the one paw French bulldogs make great apartment dogs because they aren’t big barkers.
But on the other be pre-paw-ed for a dog that snores loudly, because those same anatomical quirks make for noisy breathing.
Thus, while a Frenchie won’t disturb the neighbors, he may disturb you!
A collar is not a good idea because it fits around the throat.
Anything that could put pressure on the windpipe, such as when the dog pulls on the leash, could further obstruct it and cause the dog real breathing distress.
This means you must chose the best collar for French bulldog puppy with care.
A safer and more comfortable choice is a harness that spreads the force over his entire chest when the Frenchies pulls.
But since when were things ever simple?
There are many different styles of dog harness available, so here is our guide to the best harness for a French bulldog.
Starting at the beginning with your bat-eared, totally irresistible French bulldog puppy.
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 be happy.
With this in mind look for a harness which is super comfortable, in fact it’s more like a hug than a piece of safety equipment, and that is well made so that the stitching doesn’t fail at a vital moment.
Our paw-ticular favorite is the Eco Bark padded vest, which comes in a rainbow of different colors so you can have fun expressively your pet’s personality as well as keeping him safe.
The webbing is made from recycled water bottles, meaning its kind to the environment as well as to your pup.
The mesh vest is padded, lightweight, and breathable, so that your pup stays cool and comfortable whilst on the move.
This is a great way to introduce your youngest to a vital piece of equipment that you want him to be eager to wear for many years to come.
It’s a bonus that this is eco-friendly as well as attractive and functional, which is why we made it our best harness for French bulldog puppy.
One word of caution, however, is to get the right size.
Because of the vest-like design the head hole is not adjustable which means that your need to select the right size for the pup and be prepared to up-size as he grows.
Measure around your puppy’s head and then compare this with the measurement for the neck opening of the harness to ensure you get the right size.
Do that and your Frenchie will wag on his walks right from the word go.
Designed to be comfortable all day long, the Ruffwear hiking harness wins our vote as a best dog harness for French bulldog.
There are several reasons for this, but let’s start with its adjustability.
A French bulldog cuts a fine figure and is readily identifiable by those big ears and his large head.
However, that large skull is (in the nicest possible way) out of proportion to his body, which can make fitting a harness tricky.
With fixed neck harnesses the chances are that when you buy a harness with a neck opening large enough to fit his head through, the fit around the chest may be too big.
However, this Ruffwear harness has an exceptional number of adjustable fitting points.
With four separate adjustment points you can be sure the harness fits your Frenchie paw-fectly so that it doesn’t chafe or rub.
It also has a nicely padded chest and body panel, which means that if he pulls on the leash the forces are nicely dispersed so that nothing cuts into him.
On the back of the harness is a secure D-ring which is strongly attached so there’s no risk of it failing and you losing control of the dog.
There’s also a front webbing attachment point for superior control and dog training.
And last, but certainly not least, the Frenchie harness comes in a range of attractive colors and it has added reflective strips to improve your dog’s visibility in low light levels such as walks at dusk.
When travelling with a dog all the law requires is that the dog is restrained so they can’t distract the driver.
However, this pays no attention to keeping your dog safe in the event of a crash.
What many pet parents don’t realize is that a walking harness is just that…for walking…and that in they are not designed to minimize the impact on the dog if your vehicle is involved in a smash.
Therefore amongst our best French bulldog harness we feel compelled to include a vital piece of safety equipment which could save your dog’s life.
This travel harness by Krugo is a well-made harness that anchors your dog comfortably into the car, using the seatbelt fixing points, so that in during an emergency stop the dog stays firmly in place, rather than flying forward and becoming a missile.
In addition, the harness helps spread the kinetic energy force of a sudden deceleration so that it doesn’t choke the dog or jerk too hard on one particular part of their anatomy.
This means he has a better chance of walking away from an accident with a few bruises, rather than broken ribs or worse.
This Krugo harness is comfortable enough to wear as both a walking harness and a car safety restraint, which means cutting down on having to change your dog when your arrive at the destination.
It is supplied with a tether that slips through the seatbelt and then clips onto the harness with a carabiner.
And if you need extra reassure, this piece of equipment has been crash tested as safe for dogs up to 75 lb. body weight.
The biggest drawback of a harness is that it allows a dog to pull.
Indeed, part of the reason collars are so popular is that they put pressure on the throat which discourages the dog from pulling.
However the answer is to combine the best of both and use a no-pull harness.
As a best harness for French bulldog pullers we think this GoPets product takes a lot of beating.
Importantly it is 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.
And it’s also made from orange hi-visibility strong webbing which is nicely visible on dark nights in car head lights.
As to the no pull action, you have two options.
You can attach the leash to the back of the harness.
When the dog pulls the clever design means the girth strap gets tighter, thus giving the dog gentle feedback that he needs to stop pulling.
Alternatively, attach the lead to the ring at the front breast area of the harness.
Then when the dog pulls it has the action of turning him around to face you.
Thus, pulling is self-defeating as he gets nowhere and the dog quickly learns to walk forward at your pace.
Pet parents of pullers love this harness.
In addition the adjustability means that it can cope with unique body shapes such as the French bulldog.
Of course, there are some clever dogs out there that will work out a way to side step the turning action of the harness or else destroy the harness by chewing.
But all in all and taking everything into account, this GoPets harness is a great place to start your hunt for a no-pull harness.
If your pawsonal preference is for a collar, then choose on that’s going to suit a French bulldog’s anatomy.
For its clever combination of cute good looks with comfortable functionality we like this Bestia product as our best collar for French bulldog.
Made from real leather (not as hot and sweaty as PVC materials) and has a good width to it.
The width is important to spread the pressure round the throat more evenly; to avoid undue strangulation on the windpipe should the dog pull. It’s also padded for extra comfort.
It’s also nice how you don’t have to completely sacrifice fashion for function, with an attractive ribbon of leather running around the collar which is finished with a leather bow-tie.
The product is handmade in Europe to exceptionally high standards.
Although not the cheapest collar you can buy, it is certainly a fitting compliment to your best buddy’s good looks.
To finish with you’ll also need the best leash for French bulldog.
Also made from leather we were particularly taken with this HPZ natural leather leash which is made in the USA.
It has been slot braided (rather than stitched) for maximum strength, and at seven feet is longer than the average leash.
The quality brass clip and hardware are testament to the quality workmanship and won’t let you down when it matters most.
So there are our choices for French bulldogs.
These charmers are attractive and friendly dogs who are increasingly finding a place in our homes.
However, their sturdy build and being low to the ground, coupled with a tendency to breathing difficulties, make it all the more crucial to choose the best harness for French bulldog.
Know that there are big differences between harnesses and it helps when making your choice to have an idea of what purpose you have in mind.
For example, safety in the car may be your top priority, in which case choose a crash-tested safety harness.
Many of the latter double as walking harness, whereas the other way round is not true (that walking harnesses double for the car safety.)
If your dog pulls, then consider a no-pull harness as a way of meeting all your needs.
Whilst for the active dog there are such things as hiking harnesses for all-day comfort.
But whatever you decide, make sure the product is made from top quality materials and the company has a good reputation.
After all, it would be disastrous if the harness failed whilst on a walk beside a busy road.
To help you decide, don’t forget to review our recommendations.
Dr Sarah Robinson attended veterinary school at Oklahoma State University receiving a D.V.M. in 2008. Sarah’s longtime interest is to help people to better communicate with their pet companions, and in doing so, to help them to strengthen their relationships with their dogs and cats. Sarah has published numerous articles on canine feeding in pet related magazines, veterinary journals and leading natural health web sites.