Choicing the best harness for Bulldog is not an easy task. The Bulldog breed is filled with dogs coming in every shape and size imaginable – but all of them are strong, powerful, and built with barrel chests that sit pretty low to the ground.
Beautiful dogs and wonderful companions (whether we’re talking about American Bulldogs, Olde English Bulldogs, Pit bulls, or any other bulldog variant), most of these dogs have pretty high energy levels – they are, after all, a working breed – and it’s not a bad idea to gain more control over your pet with the help of a harness versus a traditional leash and collar.
At the same time, finding the best harness for Bulldog can be a bit of an uphill battle.
As we touched on above, Bulldogs are anything but uniform in shape, and that barrel chest and ultra thick neck usually aren’t going to be accommodated by your traditional dog harnesses.
Use the inside information below to get your hands on the perfect harness for your furry little family member!
The Best Harness for Bulldog – a Quick List
|Harness Name||Our Rating|
|1||Julius-K9 IDC Dog Harness||The Winner|
|2||HDP Big-Dog No-Pull Harness||Runner-Up|
|3||Ruffwear Front Range All-Day Adventure Harness||Great Alternative|
**Below, you’ll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
- 1 The Best Harness for Bulldog – a Quick List
- 2 Why Go With a Harness In The First Place?
- 3 Bulldog Breathing Problems
- 4 Critical Features To Look For In A Harness
- 5 Strapped vs Full Fabric Harnesses
- 6 Where Are The Attachment Points Located?
- 7 Fit Is Everything
- 8 Best Harness for Bulldog – Top 5 Picks and Reviews
- 9 1. Julius-K9 IDC Dog Harness
- 10 2. HDP Big Dog No-Pull Harness
- 11 3. Ruffwear – Front Range All-Day Adventure Harness for Dogs
- 12 Different Types of Dog Harnesses
- 13 Conclusion
Why Go With a Harness In The First Place?
Numerous veterinary studies have been conducted showing that dogs pulling a collar and a leash over extended amounts of time do considerable damage to their back and neck while putting tremendous stress on their thyroid gland.
This stress is going to break down your Bulldog’s body faster than it would have broken down otherwise, and if left uncorrected your Bulldog’s strength pulling against the collar and leash can actually help lead to canine glaucoma as well.
An appropriately sized harness, however, evenly distributes all of that force that your superstrong bulldog is going to place on the harness across their body and never on their neck or back. These dogs are known for their low center of gravity and tremendous strength, and if they get it in their mind to tug and pull you’re going to have to put up some serious resistance.
By distributing that force, you’re able to get control of your animal almost immediately, too. You won’t have to worry about your dog jerking you this way or that, hurting themselves in the process.
Bulldog Breathing Problems
Another reason why you want to choose harness for your Bulldog is that short-nosed breed dogs such as Bulldog are known for having various breathing problems, medically known as Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome.
Short-nosed, flat-faced dog breeds such as Bulldog have certain physical characteristics — narrowed nostrils, an overly long soft palate, collapse of the voice box, and an abnormally small windpipe that make them difficult to breathe through the nose and even prone to heavy panting.
Because of their condition, a harness is much better choice compared with collar since harness doesn’t put pressure on their windpipe.
Critical Features To Look For In A Harness
Right out of the gate, you need to find a harness that has been designed for Bulldog and only Bulldog.
As we highlighted above, this breed has a unique body compared to most any other dog out there. They have a squatty frame, a barrel chest, super thick necks, and stubby little legs.
A harness for a dog with a frame like a golden retriever, for example, isn’t going to cut it.
The chest and neck measurements are where you really need to focus. The fit should be tight, but not too tight. You want to be able to get your fingers between the harness and your dog’s body comfortably – but no loser than that, or you lose control.
Strapped vs Full Fabric Harnesses
Secondly, you need to make sure you’re investing in a solid harness rather than a strapped system.
Not only are strapped harnesses more challenging to get your dog into and out of, but they also create pressure points on your dog’s frame. Every Bulldog is going to pull and tug every now and again, and you don’t want to overload their joints.
Full fabric harnesses more evenly distribute that force. This cushions the blow of the tugging while supporting your dog and alleviating anxiety at the same time.
Where Are The Attachment Points Located?
Next, you want to look for attachment points on the harness that keep you in control of your dog.
Bulldog have low centers of gravity and a forward weight distribution. That gives them a lot of leverage when they want to head in a different direction than you are interested in, and you’ll have to apply some consistent force to course correct.
Attachment points positioned high on their back (usually right between the shoulders) should give you plenty of control over the animal.
Fit Is Everything
Finally, you want to shoot for an overall comfort level that gives your dog plenty of range of motion to run, jump, and be themselves without feeling sloppy or looking like they might slip the harness at any time.
This is going to be an individual kind of thing for every dog but it’s really important to get right. It’s not a bad idea to err on the side of a harness is a little too loose than too tight, but control should be a big part of this purchase.
It’s not a bad idea to measure your dog with a sewing tape measure to get an accurate reading of his or her specific measurements. You’ll be able to find the best harness for Bulldog with this approach, and will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it will provide the safety, control, and comfort you’re looking for as a responsible dog owner.
Best Harness for Bulldog – Top 5 Picks and Reviews
1. Julius-K9 IDC Dog Harness
This harness is my top pick for the best harness for Bulldog in 2018. From my experience and the experience of other Bulldogs’ owners, if you are looking for strong, durable harness that can stop strong dogs that likes pulling and charging without hurting them then you can’t go wrong with Julius-K9 IDC Dog Harness.
The history of Julius-K9 company itself began in 1997. They made their first products and supplied them for police dogs units in Austrian and Hungarian. As you can see from their company profile, since their first inception, the company has been focused on making products for dogs that is used to assist police (K-9). So, you can be assured that it is in their expertise to make products that can handle large and strong dogs such as Bulldog.
If you have tried several harnesses before, you may know that it is hard to find one harness that could fit your Bulldog’s body perfectly since they are notorious for having no neck and having chests the size of much larger dogs. But this is not the case with Julius-K9 IDC Dog Harness, I tried it on several Bulldogs and it fitted perfectly, not forget to mention it is very quick and easy on-and-off.
By the way, you may be wondering what does IDC stand for? IDC stands for Innova Dog Comfort, which is the improved version of their previous harness. The newest version has the front chest strap lowered 30 degrees to follow the natural curves of the dog’s chest, so the pressure can be distributed evenly throughout the dog’s chest. This improvement has a great effect to reduce pressure or stress on your dog’s neck.
Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of Julius-K9 IDC Dog Harness:
- The interior part is designed with a skin-friendly material, your dog won’t feel any itching or other related skin problems while the outer part is designed with a water-resistance and anti-scratches fabric.
- Reflective edge and chest strap. This feature will allow you to spot your dog easily when out walking in the night.
- Ergonomic design for quick and easy on and off, easier control, and no choke when they pull.
- The design of the handle allows you to lift and control your dog easily.
- Stop pulling and charging without hurting your dog.
- Adjustable nylon-webbed front and belly straps for a comfortable and secure fit.
- Quality heavy-duty buckles to keep the harness firm and perfectly fit on the dog’s body.
- Easy to replace and change the patches.
- It has a loop on top that can be used to hold a small flashlight.
- Multiple options for colors and sizes.
- It fits almost all Bulldogs’ sizes.
- A bit pricey compared with other brands.
- The handle is not present in two sizes.
- The stitching near the metal loop is not much strong.
- You need to remove the harness first to adjust the Velcro front strap.
*) A quick warning: remember to read the size chart first before buying one to find the size for your dog.
2. HDP Big Dog No-Pull Harness
HDP Big Dog No-Pull Harness is an ideal harness for hard pullers and elderly Bulldogs. I simply love the way how the manufacture design this harness with the no-choke design. Basically, the manufacturer designs the chest portion wider, so the strain and tension are distributed evenly throughout your dog’s shoulder and chest. So you would be able to prevent your dog from pulling and charging with no straining and twisting.
Trust me, your Bulldog will thank you for this since breathing problem is one of Bulldog’s main issue. I will explain more about Bulldog’s breathing problem later at the end of the article.
Another feature worth mentioning is the easy-click-buckles. You can secure the buckles while using the harness to keep control on your dog. This easy-click-buckles feature is also supported with the no-pull design I mentioned above that evenly distributes pressure all over your dog’s body and extra padding for maximum comfort while wearing.
Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of HDP Big-Dog No-Pull Harness:
- The no-choke design would keep your dog away from getting chocking.
- Sturdy grith and neck strap made from high-quality strong nylon webbing.
- Quality padding for increased comfort and protection.
- There is D-Ring located on the black saddle that allows your dog to move freely.
- Avaliable in 4 different sizes and 6 different colors.
- Easy to wash and clean
- The best harness for elderly Bulldog.
- Some users reported the size can come up a little small, so make sure you measure your dog’s size carefully especially around the girth and neck before ordering.
- The harness can be improved by adding an additional mechanism to stop the dog’s pull.
3. Ruffwear – Front Range All-Day Adventure Harness for Dogs
If you and your dogs like to do outdoor adventures, such as backpacking, skiing, river running, mountain biking, then Ruffwear Front Range All-Day Adventure Harness could be the perfect harness that you are looking for.
This harness is constructed with two leash attachment points. One is on the front, which is useful for more control when you train your puppy and another one is on the back for relaxed walks, for example when you want to enjoy all the views during mountain biking with your Bulldog.
The harness is also very easy to put on and off, something which a lot of adventurous dog owners appreciate as they don’t want to get stuck trying to put on harness during one of those river running or backpacking trips.
Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons off Ruffwear Front Range All-Day Adventure Harness:
- Two leash attachment points for more control and relaxed walks.
- The two leash attachment points include an aluminum V-ring on the back and strengthened webbing on the front side for a safe and durable connection.
- Easy to put on and remove.
- The belly and chest panels are extra padded for more comfort during extended walks, runs, and hikes.
- The four adjustment points to ensure the perfect fit and allow your dog to move freely.
- Reflective trim for night walks.
- Multiples options for colors and sizes.
- Many dog owners reported low-quality strap.
- There is no handle on the back.
Different Types of Dog Harnesses
There are different types of dog harnesses on the market. They all have different purposes and functions. The tightening harness is one of the most popular categories. This harness is used to discourage any negative behaviors. If your dog is regular jumpers or stubborn pullers, you should choose this type of harness.
Another popular harness type is tracking harness. This harness is used for Bulldogs that participate in race or competition.
There is also a head harness which has similar function with the tightening harness. The difference is the head harness is made to fit around your dog’s muzzle and head. We won’t recommend this type of harness for Bulldog since many Bulldog breeds tend to have short muzzles. Although, you want to consider this harness if your dog is an excessive barker since this harness could help prevent your dog from barking excessively.
You may also want to consider front and black clip harness. Not so long ago, you need to buy front or black clip harness separately. But today, many manufacturers have merged the front and black clip function into one harness. The front-clip function is used to control your dog’s direction of movement while the latter one is if you just want to go for relaxed walks with your dog.
Julius-K9 IDC Dog Harness is our recommendation for the best harness for Bulldog. The harness accommodates all the required features that we have explained throughout this article. The buying guide that we have described in this article is applicable to all Bulldog breeds. Remember, regardless whether your Bulldog is English or French Bulldog, there are three main measurements which you have to measure first before buying, they are neck circumference, collar area, and chest width.