In a previous blog post I explained why I think harnesses are better than collars for Frenchies and included some recommendations on which ones you could buy. But what I didn’t do was explain what size harness you will need for a French Bulldog. Kind of essential huh?
But here’s the thing; there isn’t a standard size for French Bulldog harness sizes, because all Frenchies are different. Males tend to be bigger than females, some are stockier, some skinnier. No one sizes fits all. So what should you do…
What size harness for a French Bulldog puppy? As a general rule of thumb, a small size is best for a puppy, and a medium size is a good fitting harness that works best for an adult Frenchie. You should also measure first though so you get the correct fit.
The moral of the story; don’t rush out and buy one straight away.
If you can firstly measure your French Bulldog for a harness you will save yourself time and money. It’s very easy to get it wrong. The unique shapes of Frenchies means harnesses can either slip off easily or be too tight under their front legs.
Here’s how you do it…
How to measure a French Bulldog for a harness
1. Get a measuring tape
You will find that many French Bulldog harness sizes are based on the weight of your dog. Whilst this can give you a rough idea it’s not always accurate.
By measuring your Frenchie’s dimensions, you will be able to get the harness size that works best.
2. Measure across the chest
Pull the tape measure behind your Frenchie’s front armpits, so it wraps around and under their chest and then over their back.
You should then measure the width of the chest where it is at the widest which is usually an inch or two back from the armpits.
Make a note of the chest dimensions but add 3 inches on top because you ideally want room for them to grow into the harness size if this is a puppy.
3. Measure neck size
Some French Bulldog harnesses will also fit over the head so you will need to take a note of your dog’s neck circumference.
Loosely run the tape measure around the neck to get a size in inches or centimeters.
4. Weigh your Frenchie
Next weigh your Frenchie on scales… and yes, I know it’s hard to make them stand still but don’t worry. All you do is hold your French Bulldog and stand on the scales and make a note of your combined weight.
Then put your Frenchie down and stand back on the scales to get your weight; the difference between the two being how much your dog weighs.
You now know what size harness for a French Bulldog puppy. Most of the harnesses will be sold according to the chest measurement, neck size, and the weight of your dog.
Handy Hint: Click here to see which are the best harnesses for a French Bulldog according to the ones we’ve used since Claude was a puppy.
Two recommended harness sizes
If you don’t want to read that guide in full, here are 2 harnesses I recommend for the puppy and adult years:
What harness works best for a French Bulldog?
Now you have the right size noted down, you could select from either of two I recommend above (both are excellent products). However, if you’re in a store right now and need some guidance, here are the features you should look out for:
- Choose a harness with a front clip if you have a Frenchie that likes to pull.
- Choose a harness with a back clip if your Frenchie doesn’t pull when walking.
- Is the harness the right size so it can get over your Frenchie’s head (if an over the head model).
- Choose a harness with adjustments points to allow for growth and weight gain or weight loss.
- Make sure the harness is the right size to not be tight around the throat and neck.
- If you cannot find an exact size harness, always go for the slightly larger one as you can then adjust it back down.
Quick reference guide for Frenchie harness sizes
If you’re looking at the best-selling harnesses, then two brands that spring to mind are Ruffwear and K9. Here’s how their sizes work with Frenchies.
What size Ruffwear harness for a French Bulldog?
As with any harness, the size you buy will depend on what measurements you record. However, for some general rules of thumb, here are what Frenchie owners say on social media:
“We have a small girl French Bulldog who is 18 months old, weighing about 10 kilos. We bought the small Ruffwear harness for her when she was a year old, and it was a bit loose to start with, but now the perfect size.”
“I use the medium sized Ruffwear harness on my average size male French Bulldog. I love it, and my dog appreciates the extra comfort levels offered.”
What size K9 harness for a French Bulldog?
I cannot reiterate enough why you should always measure your French Bulldog for a harness so you don’t waste money and time. But here are some comments I found from owners on the Julius K9 harnesses.
“I bought the size zero for my female French Bulldog who weighs about 18 kg. It’s the perfect fit for her and works really well.”
“We own two Frenchies who both wear the mini Julius K9 harnesses, but I know other male Frenchies who are larger and might need bigger.”
Once you’ve got the harness size that works best for your Frenchie, please take the time to check out my training guides for using your leash: