French Bulldog showing off her harness

The Best Harness For French Bulldogs -  Available In Australia

Our #1 Pick

Urban Step In Dog Harness

The Best Value for Money

Urban Step In Dog Harness

  • Lightweight
  • Adjustable
  • Chestplate with padding for comfort
  • Well-made and durable
  • Easy to put on

Every dog needs something to keep them safe during walks and otherwise - a collar or a harness. But, if you are a proud pet parent of a French Bulldog, you might be wondering if there is anything specific you should be looking for.

Do some harnesses work better than others for the Frenchie’s body shape? Our French Bulldog Harness Australia guide is here to answer this question.


What to Look for in a French Bulldog Harness

Are there any special considerations to take into account when choosing gear for a Frenchie? Well, the most important thing to remember is that French Bulldogs are a short-nosed breed (scientifically called “brachycephalic breeds”) [1].

Related: Best Dog Harnesses Australia.

What does that mean, except that they have cute faces? Well, the cute face also comes with its own set of issues. Brachycephalic breeds can suffer from various health conditions, most importantly the Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS). BOAS is a lifelong issue that cannot be prevented and might get progressively worse during a dog’s lifetime. The main problem caused by BOAS is that it makes it difficult for dogs to breathe. As a consequence, they might be prone to coughing, get tired easily during exercise, and be prone to overheating.

Now, choosing the right harness won't solve any of these problems, but it can help make your dog’s life easier. Here is what to pay attention to when choosing a harness for your Frenchie:

The Right Fit

French Bulldogs are one of those breeds that are a bit difficult to shop for. Finding the right fit is key when it comes to harnesses, but that’s not always easy to do.

“Comfort is key when it comes to finding the right fit, and some harnesses either fit these breeds too tightly around the chest or shoulders or rub under the arms as the dog walks” - Victoria Schade for PetMD [2]

When choosing a harness for a Frenchie, you should always consider the shape of the harness first. What you want is a harness that keeps any pressure and discomfort away from your dog’s throat.

That means that the chest plate or the chest strap (or any part that falls in that area) should sit fairly low. You absolutely don’t want to make breathing more difficult for your Frenchie, even if they decide to pull on the leash.

Check out our YouTube video on How To Put On A Dog Harness

Front Clip vs Back Clip

One of the most important factors that determine how the harness will feel to the dog is the place where you attach the lead. While most standard harnesses have a lead attachment point on the back, there is also the option of a front-clip dog harness.

Related: What Is A Front Clip Dog Harness?

Front-clip dog harnesses are designed to help teach the dog to stop pulling. The idea behind this design is that if you attach the lead to the dog’s chest, when they try to pull, they will end up going in the wrong direction (the lead will effectively turn them to the side and backwards).

Well, for small short-nosed dogs, we generally do not recommend a front-clip harness. Back-clip harnesses are designed to distribute weight evenly and keep excessive pressure off your dog’s throat, and that’s exactly what you need for a Frenchie. A front-clip harness can be used temporarily, and with caution, in order to teach your dog not to pull - but it’s not a good permanent solution.

Comfort and Safety

The key to finding the perfect harness for any dog is striking the right balance between comfort, safety, and durability [3]. For a small dog like a French Bulldog, a soft harness that’s made from fabric and looks like a vest might be most comfortable. However, these harnesses are typically not as strong and durable as some other options.

On the other hand, while comfortable, a harness that covers too much of the body surface might trap heat so it might not be the best option for warm weather. In short, a perfect harness should be comfortable, secure, and durable too but what the perfect option is will depend a lot on your dog’s needs and preferences and on the environment they live in.


Best Harness for French Bulldog 2022: Our Top Picks

So what kind of harness, exactly, is good for a French Bulldog? We’ve done the research and found many different options. Those below are our favourites.

#1: Best Overall: Urban Step In Dog Harness

Urban Step In Dog Harness

What sets this product apart from the rest?

  • Lightweight
  • Adjustable
  • Chestplate with padding for comfort
  • Well-made and durable
  • Easy to put on

The Urban Step In Dog Harness from Dog Nation is a harness that simply has it all. It’s comfortable, it’s lightweight, it’s secure, and it’s easy to put on. What more could we ask from a harness?

The trick behind this harness is that it combines a design that is more common in typical H-shaped harnesses with a step-in mechanism. The result is a harness that has a wide padded chest plate but does not go over the dog’s head. Instead, the dog needs to just step into the designated holes, and you’ll simply lift the harness and buckle it up on your pooch’s back.

The Urban Step In Dog Harness being tested by our independent expert team.

Urban Step In Dog Harness being tested by our review team.

We’ve found that the shape of the Urban Step In Dog Harness works perfectly for breeds like Frenchies. On taller and skinnier breeds, the chest part can look and feel a bit awkward, but it fits just right on the muscular frame of the French Bulldog.

Most importantly, the chest plate and the chest strap sit very low when the harness is fitted right, so there is no pressure on your dog’s throat even if they decide to pull on the lead.

The only issue that might occur with this harness is the difficulty of finding the perfect fit. All straps on the harness are adjustable, but since it’s available in only 3 sizes, getting it to fit just right might be a matter of luck (a Frenchie might fall somewhere between the Small and the Medium).

Verified Review - 5/05/2020
"Very strong material! Well made! Happy with my purchase."

Pros

Cons

  • Lightweight
  • Finding the right fit can be a bit tricky
  • Adjustable
  • Chestplate with padding for comfort
Cell
  • Well-made and durable
Cell
  • Easy to put on
Cell

Rogz Utility Step-in Dog Harness
  • Super easy to put on and take off
  • All the straps are adjustable
  • Lightweight but durable design
  • Affordable

This harness from Rogzis immensely popular among pet parents, and this is not a coincidence. They named this product a “utility harness” and the name is very fitting. The design is very minimalistic but amazingly functional.

The harness is made completely from nylon webbing straps. There is a short vertical chest strap that’s connected to two longer straps. These straps go around the dog’s front legs and meet at the back. Each strap, including the vertical chest strap, is easily adjustable. This is quite important for this harness as the shape is a bit peculiar and it does need adjustment to fit different body shapes. Luckily, this can be done in no time.

The Rogz Utility Step-in Dog Harness being tested by our independent expert team.

Rogz Utility Step-in Dog Harness being tested by our review team.

On the back, you’ll find a quick-release buckle that is used to hold the harness in place. There are rings for attaching the leash on both sides of the quick-release buckle. Thus, attaching your leash to both rings creates an extra level of security.

Overall, this is a great, lightweight harness that’s easier to put on than any other we’ve seen. The only potential downside is that the harness could be a bit uncomfortable, especially if your dog pulls a lot or they wear the harness for longer periods. The position of the straps in the front is different from most harnesses as they sit low. While keeping the pressure away from the throat, which is great, however this could also create some discomfort around the front legs.

In short, we think this is an awesome harness for quick daily walks. But for longer outings and intense exercise, perhaps choose something more comfortable.

Verified Review - 16/02/2021
Fits a Moodle pup perfect!
"Perfect for a Moodle pup as nothing else did fit and I didn't wanted just a collar."

Pros

Cons

  • Super easy to put on and take off
  • Not the most comfortable option
  • All the straps are adjustable
  • Not escape-proof
  • Lightweight but durable design
Cell
  • Affordable
Cell

#3: Best Soft Harness: Puppia Soft Vest Dog Harness

Puppia Soft Vest Dog Harness
  • Soft and comfortable
  • Breathable material
  • Easy to put on
  • Good value for money

Soft harnesses are a popular choice for small dogs like Frenchies because, well, they are just much more comfortable. This type of harness is not strong enough for large dogs with a lot of strength, but they are indeed a great solution for small breeds.

This harness from Puppia looks more like a vest, as the name suggests. It’s made from a soft polyester mesh with additional padding on the inside to make the harness as comfortable as possible. The fabric used is very breathable which is important since the harness does cover a large part of the dog’s body, so it could potentially trap heat and moisture inside - but it doesn’t!

The Puppia Soft Vest Dog Harness being tested by our independent expert team.

Puppia Soft Vest Dog Harness being tested by our review team.

Another thing we love about this option from Puppia is that it’s a step-in harness. Most vest-type harnesses are quite difficult to put on, but this one isn’t. The dog simply steps inside and you lift the harness and connect it on the back.

The harness closes on the back with a large velcro strap. This is not only a comfortable solution as it doesn’t disturb the overall softness of the harness, but it also allows for a bit of adjustment so you can get a better fit. To keep everything secure, there is a quick-release buckle on the back that holds the harness securely in place.

The lead attachment is on the back and the harness does a great job at distributing the weight evenly (and away from your Frenchie’s sensitive throat) even if they decide to pull on the lead.

Verified Review - 13/07/2020
Comfortable fit and perfect size
"My yorkie puppy is 1.5kgs and I found it very difficult to find a harness that would fit her neck and chest properly. (Had to return two previous harnesses due to this problem) This harness fits her perfectly without being too constricting for her little frame and the X-small runs true to size based on the measurements provided. As other customers mentioned, the two D rings click together when she shakes which can be startling for some dogs but she seems just fine. The buckle is a big large for the size of the vest but I noticed that it's very easy to open and close and doesn't make a loud noise."

Pros

Cons

  • Soft and comfortable
  • Finding the perfect size might be tricky
  • Breathable material
  • Easy to put on
Cell
  • Good value for money
Cell

#4: Best for Summer: EzyDog Quick Fit Dog Harness

EzyDog Quick Fit Dog Harness
  • Simple and functional design
  • Adjustable chest strap with padding
  • Reflective stitching for nighttime visibility
  • Lots of sizes and colours available

This harness from EzyDog is another example of how a simple design can fulfil all of your needs. This is another harness that doesn’t have any large pieces of fabric - it consists only of straps. The nylon webbing straps are placed strategically to create a harness that is easy to put on and easy to adjust to a perfect fit.

While this is an overhead harness, getting it onto your dog is not a lot of hassle. You simply place the harness over your pup’s head, pass the belly strap under their belly and buckle it up on the side. The belly strap is adjustable and so is the chest strap. We especially loved the chest strap adjustment mechanism. It’s adjusted with a large velcro strap, but the part which you can adjust is then covered with a neoprene sleeve. That way, the harness feels completely comfy on the chest as there is no annoying hardware.

The EzyDog Quick Fit Dog Harness being tested by our independent expert team.

EzyDog Quick Fit Dog Harness being tested by our review team.

Overall, this is a great harness to use, especially in warm weather. Frenchies can overheat easily but this harness will not add to that due to the minimalistic design. In addition to this, the nylon webbing and the neoprene sleeve will dry within minutes in case of rain or if your dog goes swimming.

Verified Review - 3/04/2019
Easy fit exactly
"We use these harnesses on both of our Greyhounds. They are easy to fit, not restrictive with minimal straps fitting nicely around the chest, shoulders and girth and still giving complete control over the dog without choking them."

Pros

Cons

  • Simple and functional design
  • Not escape-proof
  • Adjustable chest strap with padding
  • Reflective stitching for nighttime visibility
Cell
  • Lots of sizes and colours available
Cell

#5: Best for Car: SlowTon Dog Car Harness

SlowTon Dog Car Harness
  • Good value for money
  • Secure
  • Adjustable
  • Seatbelt strap included
  • Works as  a walking harness too

The cars we drive were built to be as safe as possible for humans, but not really for dogs. That’s something we rarely think about, but in the case an accident was to happen, you’d surely want your dog to be safe too. Well, a good car harness can help with that.

This harness from SlowTon is a well-made and affordable option. The harness itself is a classic H-shaped harness. There is a wide soft chestplate in the front which holds the dog securely in place and makes sure the weight is distributed evenly in case of any sudden movements. The rest of the harness consists of adjustable straps that go around the chest and the belly. Two quick-release buckles that allow you to set up the harness with ease each time.

The SlowTon Dog Car Harness being tested by our independent expert team.

SlowTon Dog Car Harness being tested by our review team.

Now, what makes this harness especially great for the car is the seat belt tether which is included with the harness. One side of the tether goes into the seat belt socket and the other one gets attached to the back of the harness. The tether strap is adjustable, but also elastic.

Verified Review - 14/01/2022
Cute and perfect!
"Seller is very knowledgeable about the product. Sent me information on sizes of the seatbelts and how they would gladly take care of it if they size didn’t fit my car. Now my yorkie is 2kgs so it’s difficult to find a harness that fits her. This one was perfect , it’s true to size and most importantly it’s durable .It was exactly what we needed for her to make her safe on her car rides."

Pros

Cons

  • Good value for money
  • A bit bulky
  • Secure
  • Adjustable
Cell
  • Seatbelt strap included
Cell
  • Works as  a walking harness too
Cell

FuzzYard Summer Punch Harness
  • Soft, form-fitting fabric
  • Adjustable belly strap
  • Machine-washable
  • Lots of adorable prints are available

Is there anything cuter than a French Bulldog? Yes, a Frenchie in an adorable outfit! Now, we do not support dressing dogs up in uncomfortable outfits just for fun, but this harness from FuzzYard is both adorable and functional.

FuzzYard makes soft dog harnesses (and other dog accessories) with adorable prints. There are many different colour schemes to choose from so you can take your pick. Today, we decided to showcase the Summer Punch harness as we think the watermelon print looks incredibly cute on a Frenchie.

The FuzzYard Summer Punch Harness being tested by our independent expert team.

FuzzYard Summer Punch Harness being tested by our review team.

The harness itself is very soft and comfortable. What’s unique is the part around the neck that looks more like a shirt than like a harness. There is a wide piece of fabric gently hugging your dog’s shoulder and chest area. This part needs to go over your dog’s head when setting up the harness. It’s not terribly difficult, but it can be a bit annoying.

Moreover, the neck part is not adjustable at all, although it is a bit stretchy. This means you’ll have to get the sizing just right when buying this harness, so don’t forget to measure your Frenchie’s neck circumference and compare that with the FuzzYard sizing guide.

Pros

Cons

  • Soft, form-fitting fabric
  • The part around the neck is not adjustable
  • Adjustable belly strap
  • Machine-washable
Cell
  • Lots of adorable prints are available
Cell

Final Verdict

The best Frenchie harness? Our favourite is the Urban Step In Dog Harness. It’s just a great harness that is easy to fit and works well for any occasion.

If you are looking for something even more lightweight, check out the Rogz Utility Step-in Dog Harness which came in second place on our list.

FAQ

Is a harness or collar better for a Frenchie?

A harness is usually a better solution for a French Bulldog. While wearing a collar won’t necessarily harm them, Frenchies can have trouble breathing as it is so it might be better to not make it even harder for them with a collar. A harness lets you keep your dog on a lead securely without putting pressure on their airways.

Do Frenchies need a special harness?

No, French bulldogs do not need a special type of harness. They can wear both step-in and H-shaped harnesses. The key is, as always, finding a harness that fits right. The harness shouldn’t be too tight nor too loose and it should not restrict the movement of your dog in any way.

What size harness does a French Bulldog need?

We’d like to caution against choosing harness sizes based simply on the breed of your dog. There is still quite a bit of variation in size between each individual French Bulldog. Females are a bit smaller than males, and some individuals are just bigger than others no matter the gender. For this reason, it’s always best to measure your dog and compare that to the sizing guidelines from the harness manufacturer

References

  1. “What do I need to know about Brachycephalic dogs?”. RSPCA. Retrieved January 26, 2022. https://kb.rspca.org.au/knowledge-base/what-do-i-need-to-know-about-brachycephalic-dogs/#ftn2
  2. PetMD Editorial. November 29, 2017. “Surprising Dog Harness Dangers to Avoid”. PetMD. Retrieved January 26, 2022. https://www.petmd.com/dog/care/surprising-dog-harness-dangers-avoid
  3. Schade, Vitoria. September 26, 2018. “Get the Best Dog Harness for Your Dog’s Body Type”. PetMD. Retrieved January 26, 2022. https://www.petmd.com/dog/care/get-best-dog-harness-your-dogs-body-type
Vedrana Nikolic

Vedrana Nikolić is a professional writer, anthropologist & dog lover with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology. Currently pursuing a Masters degree in Semiotics studying the communication between animals and humans. Vedrana is able to use her expertise to analyse and review dog products and write informative posts on canine behaviour and training.

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