Bulldogs have a different body build when compared to other dogs owing to their short legs and wide shoulders. As a result, a bulldog harness has unique dimensions. In this article, I set out to compare different harnesses and find out the best English bulldog harness. Read the sections that follow below for more information about my findings.
What you should know about Harnesses for bulldogs
Bulldogs are short and their compact body structure makes their breathing system unique. They have necks and trachea that are shorter as compared to other dog breeds. In this regard, every bulldog owner should use a harness that makes it easy for their bulldog to breathe.
Why a dog harness is a better option to restrain your bulldog over a leash
Dogs get excited sometimes and need restraining. A leash goes around the dog’s neck, and this can bring about serious damage to the dog’s neck when it moves suddenly. A harness distributes the force used to restrain the dog because it goes over the shoulders and under the neck. When you restrain the dog’s movement using the harness, therefore, there is less chances of chocking the dog.
Why dog collars are a bad idea for bulldogs
Dog collars work well when you own other breeds of dogs that don’t require strict restraining, such as Chihuahuas and poodles. Bulldogs have significantly more body energy and since their necks are thick, fitting a collar on them might end up chocking them. Choosing a lose fitting collar presents another problem. Because of the short nose of the bulldog, a loosely fitted collar tends to fall off. This makes collars unsuitable for restraining bulldogs.
Types of bulldog harnesses
A harness offers comfort to the dog due to the way it fits around the neck and shoulders. It also gives the owner a sure way of controlling their bulldog without chances of slipping off. Furthermore, a harness boosts confidence on shy dogs because of the way it fits and makes the dog more receptive to commands.
When selecting a harness for my bulldog, I found it easier to take the dog with me so that I could test a few harnesses and see how my bulldog responded to each type of harness.
The tightening harness
The tightening harness restricts the dog’s movements when it decides to jump or charge forward by becoming tighter upon sudden movements by the dog. I noticed that this harness made my dog uncomfortable after a while because he is not used to such restrictions. Since my aim was to find a harness that allows me to control my dog and offer enough comfort to him while at it, I discarded this harness. Maybe dog owners whose dogs get out of hand frequently can find better use for it.
Next, we tried the mobility harness and I found that this was the perfect English bulldog harness. The mobility bulldog harness comes in a variety of options with some having hip-lift handles while others have a back handle. Some even come with a strap extending from the back to the front of the harness. Choosing a mobility harness for restraining your bulldog allows you to not only control the dog’s movement, but also assist the dog in case it suffers an injury that affects its mobility. You can also use the mobility harness on older bulldogs that don’t move so well on their own.
Different fits of harnesses
Each harness fits differently on your dog. That is why you need to take the dog with you when selecting a harness.
A step in harness easily fits on the dog. It has straps that open to allow the dog to step into the harness and then lock over the back of the dog. You can then attach a leash on the harness to control the dog’s movements. Step-in harnesses fit well over small dogs but you can also find a few that will fit big dogs.
The Roman harness has two pieces that allow you to strap in the dog over the shoulders and under the neck. The two straps then join into one to allow full control of the bulldog’s movements. Fitting the Roman harness over a bulldog is much more challenging than the step-in harness. However, it gives the owner more control and feels more comfortable on the dog.
How to choose the best harness for bulldogs
When choosing a harness, the key factor you should have in mind is your dog’s comfort. For you to maintain this, the harness should fit perfectly on your bulldog’s body structure. The dog can easily escape from a loosely fitted harness while a harness that is too tight might hurt the dog. Take measurements of the dog’s widest part on the shoulders and use that when selecting a harness. Remember to leave some space allowance around the dog’s body so that the harness does not hurt the dog as it moves. A good way to measure the optimum fit is putting two fingers under the harness. Perfectly fitted harnesses should not allow a third finger.
Also remember to pick a harness that is made of durable material. This ensures that you won’t replace it almost as soon as you get it. The material used to make the harness should also be easy to clean.
7 Best Harnesses for bulldogs
This harness comes in a variety of colors that have an eye catching camo pattern on the surface. It is also lightweight and easy to put on the bulldog since it is made in the step in design. The adjustable straps also allow this harness to fit any size of dog meaning that you can use it on your puppy and adjust the size as your French bulldog grows into its full adult size over the years. The bottom is extra padded and made of breathable mesh material, thus boosting your bulldog’s comfort when donning the harness. If you like taking your dog along with you in the car, you will love the extra strap that fits a car safety belt on this harness. Is also comes with a padded handle that allows you to gain better control of your bulldog when taking a stroll with him in the park in the morning or evening.
- Padded and breathable material for extra comfort
- Comes with a free handle and car safety belt strap
- Straps are adjustable
- Wide variety of colors available
- Easy to put on and remove
- Covered under a 1-year warranty
- Only one type of fabric is available
- The straps are thin
- The material does not hold well against dog bites
The Ruffwear harness also comes in a wide variety of bright colors that boost visibility in the dark. It provides adjustments to four different positions, thus making this harness suitable for big and small bulldogs. The harness design shape enhances weight distribution when walking, running, or training and does not restrict leg movement. The straps also snap into place on the dog’s back, thus making it easy to put on and remove the harness on your bulldog. It has an aluminum v-shaped leash attachment point at the back and a loop shaped leash attachment at the front. Ruffwear has included these leash attachments to allow you to control your dog while in front or when trailing behind you. The chest and back straps are extra padded and made of mesh material, which allows airflow and enhances comfort. This harness has a small lockable pocket located on the top that provides storage space for a dog tag or ID. The pocket also prevents losing the tags and ID when you take your favorite companion to the outdoors.
- Easy to put on and remove
- Has a pocket for storage of small items
- Made of breathable fabric
- Easily adjustable to fit small and big dogs
- Allows dog-ahead and dog-behind control
- Has a reflective strip which boosts visibility in the dark
- Does not protect the dog in the car
- The elastic strips easily yield allowing the dog to wiggle out of the harness
The Julius K9 PowerHarness has an escape proof design that comes with thick wide shoulder pads and slimmer under-chest straps. It is widely used by professional dog trainers and police dogs to control movements of aggressive dogs. It boasts of thick sturdy side buckles that have undergone stress testing before release, thus ensuring that once you put the harness on your dog, it fits snug and only comes off when you unbuckle it. The straps are slightly adjustable to allow the harness to custom fit over your dog should he grow bigger or smaller. The harness has a reflective strip that runs across the back for visibility in the dark and snowy weather. You can increase the visibility using the additional reflective logo attachments or custom made design strips that fit on the sides of the harness. Customized chest bags are also available for purchase which serve to enhance visibility and keep your dog warm during cold weather.
- Easy to put on and remove
- Comes with thick reflective strips for visibility
- Padded for extra comfort
- Made by a well known brand
- Ideal for daily use
- Provided Instructions for putting on the harness are not very clear
- Not ideal for small dogs
The WALKTOFINE dog harness is made from strong fabric that is well stitched for long term durability. The nylon materials guarantee that the harness will not suffer damage from the dog chewing on it. It also comes with extra elongated straps to safeguard the harness from interfering with the leg movement. It fits on multiple breeds of dogs and dogs of different sizes that range from small, medium, to large. The shoulder pads and underbelly pads are filled with form material and covered with breathable fabric for enhanced comfort when the dog is walking, running, or jumping. The straps also have reflective strips allowing you to comfortably see the dog when walking in poorly lit conditions.
- Padded should and underbelly patches for comfort
- Fits on many dog breeds
- Does not interfere with leg movement
- Easy to put on and remove
- Perfect for daily walks, jogging and running
- Dogs cannot easily chew on the material used to make the pads
- The harness is heavy and wears down small dogs
This Eagloo Dog harness features 2 leash attachment rings: one at the back and the other at the chest. This design allows for no pull operation with the dog leading as well as chest control operation with your dog in tow. The nylon fabric used in construction is durable and holds up well against chewing, which makes this one of the most durable English bulldog harnesses. It comes with a study handle on the back that allows you to fit a safety belt over the dog snugly when you have it inside the car. Extra padding on the chest plate boost comfort when the dog is donning the harness and the breathable mesh cover on the surface prevents overheating. The straps are built into a step in design which is easy to wear and remove. They are also adjustable to allow the harness to fit on dogs of any age or size. The reflective strips around the edges allow easy visibility of your dog in the dark to make it easy to locate him in case he wanders off.
- Easy donning and removal
- Edges have reflective strips which enhance visibility
- Has a handle at the back for easy control
- Padded plate prevents overheating and sweating
- The strap fasteners can be hard to manipulate when putting the harness on the dog
- Adjustments around the neck can make the harness be fitted on too tight
This harness is made of elastic cloth, which allows it to fit snug on the body of the dog without causing any discomfort. It comes with a unique pattern painted on the surface and two rings for leash attachment. The chest ring is centrally located to discourage pulling while the back ring allows the dog to take the lead and guide the owner along the path to follow when walking. The harness also features adjustable straps that allow it to fit both small and large dogs. The edges have reflective strips that boost visibility and safety when walking with your dog at night.
- Easy to put on and remove
- Elastic fabric fits comfortably and snug
- Has reflective strips for night time visibility
- Unique pattern on the surface
- Solid connections on the parts that join each other
- Made for big dogs
- The thickness made cause overheating in hot climate regions
This harness has a step in design that easily fits on the dog. The straps are made of breathable mesh fabric and have padding for extra comfort. It comes with plastic buckles that snap snugly into place and hold the harness in place when the dog walks, jumps, or runs. All straps meet at one point on the back of your dog allowing you one point of control. The straps also have reflective edges that make the dog visible at night and in poorly lit mornings. The compact size and lightweight materials make this harness perfectly suited for puppies and dog breeds that do not grow into big body sizes.
- Made of lightweight materials
- Easily adjustable
- Has reflective edges for nighttime visibility
- Only allows one point of control
Conclusion – The Best Harnesses For Bulldogs
After testing the 7 harnesses, I found the Bulldog Grade Harness for English-American-French Bulldogs to be the best harness for bulldogs. It is lightweight and comes with adjustable straps that make it suitable for use on both small and large dogs. I rank it above the Julius-K9 K9 Powerharness and Walktofine harnesses, which are a bit heavy and quickly tire small dogs. The BlingRoki harness is lightweight, but the thin straps attachments can cause discomfort when left on the dog for too long. The BlingRoki also provides one control point unlike the Bulldog Grade Harness for English-American-French Bulldogs with both front and back leash attachment points.