8 Best Dog Harnesses for Bulldogs in 2021

bulldog harness

Bulldogs are lovable, sweet dogs with sometimes goofy personalities. Bulldog owners swear by their good nature and curious personalities but can sometimes run into trouble fitting them with the proper gear, including collars and harnesses.

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Short-nosed breeds can have trouble with their respiratory systems already, and with the power behind the bulldog’s frame, it can be highly dangerous to use a collar during walks. Instead, a proper harness can redistribute weight and power away from the bulldog’s delicate windpipe and neck and allow for full breathing during exercise.

Work with the bulldog’s unique body type and not against it. Collars should only be used for identification. Bulldogs may not be the fastest dogs around, but they do pack a huge punch behind any pulling they might do on your leash, so help mitigate those effects with a properly fitted harness. Relying on the collar to help control your bulldog could end in frustration for you and worse, injury or death for your dog.

If you aren’t sure how to choose the right harness or this is your first bulldog, don’t worry. We’ve put together a list of the best harnesses for Bulldogs to help you get started on your road to health and sane walks. We’ve also answered a few questions you may have about how to choose the right one and what to expect once you do. Let’s take a look.

What is the Best Dog Harness for a Bulldog?

Different Types of Dog Harnesses for Bulldogs

Depending on your individual dog’s personality and build, certain types of harnesses could be more suitable than others. The good news is that if your bulldog hates a harness you buy, there are a few other options that might work better.

  • Front clip – These harnesses help discourage your bulldog from pulling on the leash, giving you more control over rambunctious bulldog. However, because the leash hooks underneath your bulldog’s chest, the leash is more likely to get tangled up in your bulldog’s legs.
  • Back clip – these are one of the most common types and can help keep the leash from getting tangled up in your dog’s gait as it walks. It does give your bulldog some of its power back, however, which could make it more difficult for you to make quick stops or to discourage pulling. You’ll have to rely more heavily on training.
  • Dual clip – another option is a dual clip system that both discourages pulling and helps prevent the leash from getting tangled. These types of harnesses can be a handful if you aren’t experienced, so make sure you know how to properly adjust the harness before you go out.
  • Step-in – these are a style of harness rather than a clip design and could make it a lot easier for you to get your harness on your dog. They’re very suitable for the body type of bulldogs but may require some maneuvering at first. They’re also the most common of all.

What to Look for in a Good Harness for Bulldogs

Bulldogs are fun. They love to be around their people, and they love to snuggle, but don’t be fooled. They do require some exercise so that their mental health and physical wellbeing is kept in check. Without regular exercise, they’re prone to weight gain and boredom-related stress.

Their looks are deceiving, however, because inside that small body there’s a whole lot of muscle power.

A harness helps prevent that stress and weight from taking over. They’re a short-nosed breed and regular breeding to achieve their distinctive facial features prevents them from having a completely unblocked airway. Using a collar to leash them could put undue stress on their windpipe and damage their delicate respiratory system.

It’s particularly important that bulldogs have a harness for walking because you don’t want to risk injury or death because your bulldog pulls on the collar. A harness gives you more control and allows you to direct the walk without the physical discomfort of a collar and leash combination.

It’s also better in the long run for teaching proper leash skills and a handle can also help you stop your bulldog in emergency situations such as a highly crowded area.

The harness should be well-fitting and designed to last for a long time. Make sure the materials can stand up to the power of a full-grown bulldog without splitting or losing seaming. The hardware should be rust resistant and preferably an industrial type metal that can withstand your bulldog pulling some.

Best Bulldog Harness

Here are our top 8 picks:

Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness with Steel Nesting Buckles Enhanced Strength

Our Top Pick

The Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness is great for controlling strong dogs in a way that keeps them comfortable while giving you peace of mind. This harness has five adjustment points, making it easy to have an almost custom fit for your bulldog, regardless of size or proportions.

The Kurgo is also versatile because it functions as an automobile harness and a walking harness. If you enjoy traveling with your bulldog, the Kurgo Tru-Fit Smart Harness is perfect to safely go from riding in the car to exploring on a hike or walk.

Kurgo backs their products with a lifetime warranty, so you can be sure you’re purchasing a long-lasting product for you and your pet.

5 More Highly Rated Dog Harnesses for Bulldogs

Buddy Belts Classic Dog Harness

Buddy Belts is a classic dog harness that just steps in for light control. It’s good for senior dogs or those who have issues with joints or hips. It doesn’t offer heavy control, but it does allow you to direct your bulldog’s motions and walk with purpose. The simple leather loops are easy to use even for absolute harness beginners and come in a variety of fun colors for you to choose.

The leather is durable, and seaming is reinforced so that your bulldog’s pulling won’t harm the integrity of the harness. It hooks in the back and is suitable for smaller chested bulldogs because the sizing only goes up to a certain size chest. Some of your biggest bulldogs may not quite fit into the largest size.

Julius K9 IDC Powerhouse Harness

If your bulldog has trouble obeying in stressful situations, this super-duty harness comes with a short handle to help control your bulldog when you need to make a quick stop or prevent issues with other dogs and people.

It’s made of highly durable nylon and resists tearing with reinforced seaming. Tough hardware can withstand even the most stubborn bulldog and the plain, black design is sturdy and aggressive. It’s water repellant and reflective for very active dogs, and the Eco-Tex inner liner helps regulate your bulldog’s temperature better than other types of harnesses.

The side labels also glow in the dark for extra protection. Overall, it’s an aggressively designed harness meant for bulldogs with a lot of spunk, or for working or service dogs who sometimes need extra control.

Embark Adventure Dog Harness

Embark Adventure’s dog harness is an easy to use, back clip style harness designed to avoid your bulldog’s delicate throat area. It won’t choke or cause pain and is padded to avoid unnecessary discomfort.

The material is durable nylon and it features reinforced seaming for durability along high load-bearing points. The hardware is tough and can withstand some power. it’s easy to assemble and position and gives you more control over your bulldog’s gait. It comes in a few different colors and is adjustable across the chest and neck for a better fit and overall comfort.

The harness is best for bulldogs with some training and is easy to use even for beginners who don’t have a lot of experience adjusting a harness.

PoyPet No Pull Dog Harness

PoyPet’s dog harness is a highly reflective, back clip harness that adjusts easily and features two leash attachments for more control over a rambunctious bulldog. It’s made of bright, yet durable nylon with tough hardware that can withstand an energetic, muscular bulldog and gives you the choice of the type of control you need.

The inner layer is mesh for more breathability, which is important for bulldogs known for overheating. The straps are adjustable four ways for a better-customized fit and it contains minimum bulk. The lightweight design is great for bulldogs who spend a lot of time outdoors but may not always enjoy the bulk of standard harnesses or who overheat easily.

Bulldog Grade No Pull Harness

This harness is suitable for bulldogs and is made with their particular body type in mind. The high chest piece accounts for the length of the torso, fully redistributing pressure from pulling across the entire body for extra safety. It’s padded and comfortable to wear but is made of durable nylon with reinforced stitching.

The harness is suitable for larger, more barrel-chested bulldogs that may have trouble finding a harness that fits in all the right ways. It’s fully adjustable so you can account for size differences in your bulldog’s chest and clips in the back to prevent the leash from getting tangled in your bulldog’s legs.

Best Harness for a Bulldog Puppy

Puppia Soft Black Trim Dog Harness

For every day use, you don’t want a complicated or heavy duty harness on your puppy. Lightweight, simple, and convenient to use, the Puppia dog harness is your best bet for your bulldog puppy.

The Puppia harness is great for everyday use for your bulldog puppy because it has a soft and comfortable design along with a lightweight material. Made from soft air mesh with a quick release buckle, the Puppia harness is comfortable and simple to use, while still durable for all types and sizes of dogs.

Users of the Puppia harness recommend measuring your dog using the sizing instructions so that you can be sure of a comfortable fit for your puppy.

Ruffwear Hi and Light Everyday Harness

Puppies can have trouble with cumbersome harnesses, but Ruffwear’s option is a lightweight harness that won’t weigh them down. It’s great for getting your bulldog puppy used to wearing a harness when walking and won’t rub or chafe unnecessarily.

This harness is lightly padded and features a tough nylon material with reinforced seaming. It comes in a few different colors so you can match your bulldog’s personality and the hardware is rust resistant. It has an ID pocket and an aluminum clip attachment for the leash.

The trim is reflective for protection while walking in low light conditions. Best of all, it’s affordable so if your bulldog ends up outgrowing it, you won’t feel so sad about it. It’s simple to fit and should be easy to use even for those who aren’t used to a harness.

Tips for Getting Your Bulldog Accustomed to Using a Harness

Your bulldog needs a harness to walk properly so that you can control its behavior. A collar is too dangerous and should only be used for identification purposes. You risk injury if you decide to attach the leash to the collar with any breed but especially with a short-nosed one. Here are some tips for helping your bulldog make the best of the harness.

    1. It’s best to start when your bulldog is a puppy. Puppies are learning about the world around them, so introducing the harness early may prove to be challenging. You may not have as much trouble once your bulldog grows up getting the harness on without a fight.
    2. If you’re starting with an adult bulldog, go slow. Forcing your bulldog into something too quickly could cause them to dislike the harness and avoid wearing one ever. Start slow and get your bulldog used to it.
    3. Use plenty of treats and reward positive behavior while avoiding punishing the negative behavior. You definitely don’t want to get frustrated if your bulldog doesn’t adopt the harness right away because the bulldog may associate that frustration with the harness instead of your intentions. Reward your bulldog for even showing interest in the harness to establish a positive connection.
    4. Make sure to have the harness around the house where your bulldog can get used to it. Desensitizing your bulldog could help remove some of the reservations or anxiety your bulldog has about adopting the harness and that could lead to adoption later on.
    5. If nothing else, choose a different type of harness if your bulldog just isn’t having the one you chose. The front clip or the padding or some other feature could be the issue, and once you switch, your bulldog may be a lot more comfortable with wearing the harness regularly.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why can’t I just use the collar and leash? As we said before, the collar is a dangerous option. Even for short periods of time, the best choice is to go ahead and use the harness because you never know when your bulldog will decide to pull particularly hard. Don’t make the mistake of allowing your bulldog the option of not using the harness because it could always be difficult from then on.
  • How do I get the right fit for my puppy? You need to measure the girth of the chest, the length, and the size of the neck to get the best fit. Make sure you check the sizing charts for the particular dog harness you’re looking at. If your bulldog falls in between sizes, choose the larger one and use the adjustment points to make up the difference.
  • How do I know if the harness fits correctly? You should be able to get two fingers between the harness and your dog without struggling to fit your fingers or being able to wiggle them freely.
  • What is the best type of harness for my bulldog? The best type of harness for your bulldog is probably the back clip because the size of your bulldog’s legs makes it a lot easier for the harness to get tangled in its legs. Unless your bulldog is particularly stubborn and energetic, you should be fine with this type. Energetic bulldogs may need to have a front clip to help relieve pulling, so make sure you do some leash training. In fact, leash training is probably a good idea regardless of what type of harness you have.

Conclusion

Your bulldog is a curious, happy dog with plenty of personality and a whole lot of spunk. While it may not be the fastest or most graceful dog around, their strength can make it difficult to control them on walks without the proper leash training and the right type of harness.

All of our harnesses should provide safe activity and durability to last through years for even the strongest bulldog. Make sure your harness fits well and you should be ready to tackle that exercise!

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