Best Harness for Bulldogs

The 5 Best Harness For Bulldogs | A Buyers Guide

As the name Bulldog already suggests, they were initially bred in the 12th century for bull baiting (1). Their hefty stature, strong head, and persistence was necessary to keep up with a massive bull. Fortunately, those bullfights have been banned in the 1800s for obvious reasons.

Not much changed over time regarding their stubborn characteristics but through a lot of love, they’ve also added charm and affection, and we wouldn’t have them any other way.

Due to their broad, muscular frame, strong mind, respiratory issues, passion for food (and a tendency to get overweight) finding the best harness for Bulldogs can be a challenge.

Dr. Sara Redding Ochoa | Doctor Of Veterinary Medicine


Sara is Wileypup’s Veterinarian Adviser and helped compose this article to ensure the information is up to date and accurate. For more information on Sara click here


The Bulldog Harness Summary

IMAGE

PRODUCT

FEATURES

Julius-K9 IDC Powerharness Dog Harness

Julius-K9 IDC Powerharness Dog Harness

  • Excellent German quality
  • Quick and easy to use
  • Water-resistant
Chai's Choice 3M Reflective Dog Harness

Chai's Choice 3M Reflective Dog Harness

  • Very adjustable in size
  • Stylish
  • Easy to lift option
Mighty Paw Padded Sports Dog Harness

Mighty Paw Padded Sports Dog Harness

  • Strong metal rings
  • Adjustable straps
  • Quick release
PetSafe Walk-Along Outdoor Dog Harness & Zippered Pouch

PetSafe Walk Along Outdoor Dog Harness

  • Good for any occasion
  • Fully adjustable
  • No-pull function
Kurgo Journey Air Dog Harness

Kurgo Journey Air Dog Harness

  • Great training harness for your puppy
  • Very comfortable
  • Excellent quality

Why Is A Harness Essential for Your English Bulldog & American Bulldog?

English & American Bulldogs can be quite heavy with a weight of 40 - 50 pounds. Due to the mass, their unique short build, and sideways motion, Bulldogs prone to suffer from conditions like canine hip dysplasia (CHD) and shoulder luxation (2).

Due to the above, your British Bulldog should never jump from a height. To be able to support their weight, using a harness with a handle on the back can help to lift them safely and help avoid potential injuries to them and yourself.

Another reason is the English Bulldog's legendary respiratory issues.

Fun Fact: "The nostrils are narrower, and the soft palate longer in the Bulldog (meaning that the skin of the palate can partially obstruct the airway), creating the potential for severe breathing problems, especially when the dog is overheated or overexcited" (3)

The Bulldog breed needs to work extra hard to get air in their body, meaning breathing is harder for them than for dogs with long snouts. This often develops into swelling and irritation of the throat, resulting in a vicious cycle of needing to breathe more heavily.

Adding to this is a collar can actually make this problem worse by applying pressure to the tracheal tube. With a harness for your Bulldog, you can avoid this additional all together. For more information check out our guide on Collar Vs Harness.

English Bulldog dog puppy outdoors

How To Choose The Best English Bulldog Harness

Finding the right type of harness depends on several factors:

Activity Level

The stereotypical Bulldog is happiest lying on the sofa with a family member. They don't need to run as much as other breeds, but all dogs need to be taken outside every day. New sights and smells keep your dog busy and happy, and a happy dog is a healthy dog.

There are just as many active bulldogs out there than lazy ones. They need to be monitored closely when under high intensity as they tend to overheat easily; meaning a stroll on the beach or a lake to get a nice cool-down will always be a good option.

Think about your last walk with your wrinkly friend, what was the biggest problem? It was probably their continuous pulling and strong-headed nature. Depending on how often and how long you're outside for walks, the harness should be comfortable for both you and your dog.

Climate

The temperature and weather conditions in the area you live in should also factor in the type of harness you buy. If it’s hot and humid go for a lighter option, if its cold and windy go with something that has a some extra padding and warmth.

Breed Structure

Due to the previously mentioned block like build of a Bulldog, a more comfortable option for them is a harness that has some extra chest support. This will mean all the pressure will be on their chest and not on the neck or back.

Pro Tip: This will also help prevent your Bulldog from pulling. Extra padding for your Bulldog's frontside also makes it extra comfortable and handle on their backside will also help you lift them when needed.

American Bulldog Wearing a Harness

How To Measure A Bulldog For A Harness

Measuring any dog for a harness can be tough at the best of times, at least bulldogs are known for their extremely laid-back nature which should hopefully help when sizing them up for their harness (fingers crossed anyway).

Most of the harness manufacturers show the sizes in two to four different measuring points:

The chest circumference: Tape measure around their chest behind the front legs, where it is the widest.

  • The neck circumference: Tape measure around their neck where it is the widest.
  • The lower neck circumference: To measure it, take the lowest and the widest part of their neck.
  • Some harnesses also need the length of the dog so make sure you measure from the neck to the tail as well.

Pro Tip: Consider a different brand if your dog's measurements are perfectly suited to the one harness you want.


The 5 Best Harnesses for English Bulldogs (2020 Review)

There is an overwhelming variety of harnesses available, and it can be too much hassle to check them all out. Don't worry; we have reviewed the best available harnesses for Bulldogs for you, depending on what your preferences are:

#1: Best easy-to-use Harness: Julius-K9 IDC Powerharness Dog Harness

  • Excellent German quality
  • Quick and easy to use
  • Reflective material on all straps
  • Water-resistant
  • Heavy-duty harness

This harness is definitely the easiest to use on the market. Once you've fitted the front strap for the first time, you'll only need one click to place it on your pooch. No "legs up" or "stand up", no one leg is in the harness, and while pulling in the second, the first is out again.

You simply pull it over your fur-babies head, wrap the strap around the chest behind the front legs and close the buckle. That's it!

Built with break-resistant heavy-duty buckles, a water-resistant top, reflective straps and a horizontal handle on the back, this is a harness built for toughness and security.

An added bonus It’s not categorized as a no-pull harness, but lots of customer experiences has shown that it helps with pulling.

Overall, this harness fits for any weather conditions, no matter if snow or water, and is very easy to put on and off.

Pros
Cons
  • Excellent German quality
  • Not many options to adjust the harness
  • Quick and easy to use
  • A bit pricey
  • Reflective material on all straps
Cell
  • Water-resistant
Cell
  • Soft and breathable inner padding
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Cell

#2: Best Adventure Harness: Chai's Choice 3M Reflective Dog Harness

  • Very adjustable in size
  • Stylish
  • Easy to lift option
  • No-pull
  • More control over your dog

It can be challenging for anyone to lift a hefty 40-50 pound Bulldog into the car. However due to their tendency for joint and shoulder problems, lifting them can be a necessity.

Chai’s choice has you covered with an easy lift handle and a harness design that is built for control. An O-ring placed on the chest area provides extra security, soft padding in the front and belly straps relieve the neck and chest keep them comfortable, and four adjustable reflective straps make fitting a breeze.

You can also choose between nine beautiful colors to make sure you're matching with your pretty pooch.

For more adventure harness options check out our guides below:

Pros
Cons
  • Very adjustable in size
  • Only a plastic ring on the top
  • Stylish
  • Many buckles on the strings can be uncomfortable for your dog
  • Easy to lift option
  • Not so easy to put on
  • No-pull
Cell
  • More control over your dog
Cell

#3: Best Harness for Active Bulldogs: Mighty Paw Padded Sports Dog Harness

  • Strong metal rings in the front and the back
  • Adjustable straps
  • Quick release
  • Weatherproof

You might laugh and say, "A sports harness for a British Bulldog?" However, there are some very athletic English & American Bulldogs out there! Due to their compressed figure and short legs, they are excellent in sports requiring balance including stand up paddle boarding and skateboarding to name a few.

This harness offers two attachment points, one on the top and other on the chest. The chest ring also acts as a no-pull option, offering great control from the front, perfect for that extra security when needed.

This weather and waterproof harness can handle any condition and activity whether it's hiking, water sports or simple walkies.

The harness is designed to allow a maximum shoulder movement without uncomfortable straps in the way while enjoying some activity.

The vertical back strap allows you to lift your dog and control them with one hand. It is also handy to keep your pooch safe during car rides by pulling the belt through the handle.

This is also a great option for stronger medium to large size dogs. For more information check out our below guides:

Pros
Cons
  • Strong metal rings in the front and the back
  • Small padding around the straps
  • Adjustable straps
  • Not enough reflection for walks in the dark
  • Quick release
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  • Weatherproof
Cell

#4: Best All-Around Harness: PetSafe Walk Along Outdoor Dog Harness

  • Good for any occasion
  • Fully adjustable
  • Small backpack for carrying items
  • All straps have reflectors for the dark
  • No-pull function

No matter if you’re hiking, running or on a car ride, this multi-function harness has it all.

The handle on the back not only provides lift support, it can also be used as a loop for the seat belt in the car when released.

On the top of the harness, you can find a hidden water-resistant pouch where you can store some smaller items like your phone, house keys, money, or treats.

The leash is attachable either on the top or the chest, which helps stop pulling and relieves stress from your shoulder and arm.

All straps are reflective to keep your pooch safe in the dark and fully adjustable for a perfect fit.

Pros
Cons
  • Good for any occasion
  • Only a plastic ring on the back for leash attachment
  • Fully adjustable
  • The back handle is very long and lifting your dog with this handle is not very comfortable for him.
  • Small backpack for carrying items
  • Pricey
  • All straps have reflectors for the dark
Cell
  • No-pull function
Cell

#5: Best English Bulldog Puppy Harness: Kurgo Journey Air Dog Harness

  • Great training harness for your puppy
  • Very comfortable
  • Adjustable
  • Excellent quality

The earlier you start to train your Bulldog puppy, the better. This is especially true when it comes to pulling.

This harness seems to be quite pricey, but due to four adjustable straps, your puppy can grow with it for a while.

The leash can be attached to the top or on the chest, perfect for training from day one. Keep in mind that Bulldogs get quite heavy and are known for being head strong so if you don't train them well now, you might regret it later on.

This harness is softly padded to make sure your dog is comfortable all the time. The handle on the back allows you to carry them easily with one hand and can also be used to pull through the seat belt of a car.

You have the option of a metal D-ring in the front or many loops, which allows you to attach the lead for training purposes in many different positions.

This is also a great option for smaller dog breeds in general. Check out or below guides for more relevant information:

Pros
Cons
  • Great training harness for your puppy
  • Quite pricey for a puppy harness
  • Very comfortable due to thick padding
  • Not enough reflection in the dark
  • Adjustable, so your puppy can grow with it for a while
Cell
  • Excellent quality items like metal rings
Cell

What is the Best Harness for a Bulldog - Summary

Due to a Bulldog's compressed and heavy structure, harnesses with wide padding should be the most comfortable for them. Even though they look so lazy most of the time, they are little muscle machines. Therefore, a no-pull harness is always a good option.

Chai's Choice 3M Reflective Dog Harness can offer all that, and as a plus, it is available for a very reasonable price.

Check out out other harness guides below:


FAQ

Why shouldn't I use a collar for a Bulldog?

Due to the Bulldogs hefty frame and short legs, there's lots of weight they have to carry. This can cause joint problems, especially in the shoulders. A harness extends the pressure of the pull to the whole front part of the body.

Fun Fact: The Bulldog is a member of the brachycephalic breed class, meaning that is has a short head and snout. This physical characteristic can lead to a number of possible health challenges, including those of the nose, eyes, teeth, and respiratory system. (3)

 Bulldogs have a short nose, which makes it harder to breathe. If you use a collar, all tension is on their neck and too much pressure on their throat, which worsens the ability to take in air.

Will a harness stop my Bulldog from pulling?

With a harness, you can control your Bulldog much better because the focal point is more in the middle than just on the neck. A no-pull harness helps to stop them from pulling by attaching the leash on the chest.

Do I need a special harness to secure my Bulldog in the car?

Usually, you don't need a special car harness. You can simply pull the belt through the top handle of your harness. Some harnesses also provide extra options for securing your pooch in the car.

Does my puppy Bulldog really need a harness already?

The earlier you start to train your puppy, the better they will be on walks later. If you want to avoid handling a tank on four legs, pulling to wherever they want, you should start with a harness from day one.

Vedrana Nikolić (B.A. in Cultural Anthropology) - Professional Writer.

Vedrana is a writer, anthropologist & dog lover. Currently pursuing a Masters degree in Semiotics studying, among other things, the communication between animals and humans.

For more info on Vedrana click here

References
  1. https://www.petmd.com/dog/breeds/c_dg_bulldog
  2. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/hip-dysplasia-in-dogs/
  3. https://www.petmd.com/dog/breeds/c_dg_bulldog
  4. https://www.dogslife.com.au/dog-breeds/bulldog
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