Consider where your dog is in his training and his temperament well as any health concerns when reviewing the various kinds of harnesses for your French bulldog. We do not recommend corrective harnesses such as tightening or muzzle harnesses because they are not suited for your dog’s build or respiratory concerns, so we have not included them in our reviews.
Harnesses vary in their construction and durability. Two-ply harnesses are usually two or more layers of fabric, leather, or nylon. These will be more durable and last longer than single-ply harnesses which are typically a single layer of nylon webbing with plastic clasps. This was why our top pick was the Julius K-9 Power Harness, as it is manufactured with the highest tactical fray-resistant grade nylon.
Front-clip harnesses. Leash attachment point will typically be a metal or plastic loop attached to the collar at the base of the neck, chest, or throat. They are considered “no pull” because when the dog pulls on the leash, it will cause them to turn to the side. These are generally not suitable for French bulldogs because of the compression on the neck and trachea.
Dual clip harnesses. These will typically have a leash attachment point on the chest/neck area similar to the back-clip harnesses but also an attachment point on the back, behind the dog’s neck. Many of these we reviewed had a plastic or composite clip on the front and the only metal/heavily reinforced clip was on the back.
Back-clip harnesses. Leash attachment point on the back only. These will often also have a handle you can use to quickly restrain your dog. These are the best harnesses in our opinion. This style of harness will distribute pressure evenly across the body, will not constrict breathing, is easy to put (and keep!) on your bulldog, and often will have a convenient handle on the back in the event that you need to lift your dog or quickly restrain him.
Finding the Right Fit
We recommend finding a harness that is highly adjustable in order to get the best fit. Measure your own dog and use these actual measurements in addition to manufacturer guidelines for a good fit. Do not go by weight. French Bulldogs may be small, but they have stocky bodies–which means some of their proportions match larger dogs.
The harness should be nonrestrictive of normal motion such as walking, eating, drinking, or squatting. Feel around the entire surface of the harness where it comes in contact with your dog’s body to ensure it is snug but not chafing or too tight. Look for and avoid raw, unfinished edges that will lay flat against the dog. Pay particular attention to parts of the harness such as buckles that wind up behind leg joints as this can make your dog extremely uncomfortable and lead to problems.