When we first got Claude the puppy, we were in the local pet store searching for the right sized collar. Claude wasn’t with us, and we ended up buying the wrong size to fit his neck. It was really annoying as I wasn’t able to find any correct information on what size collar you should get for a French Bulldog puppy using a quick phone Internet search.
That gave me the inspiration to put this guide to French Bulldog neck sizes together which explains how you can measure your dog up, and some rough guidance to what the best French Bulldog collar size will be for your dog.
Please be aware though that nothing beats measuring your French Bulldog’s collar and neck size yourself – all dogs are different. Claude is a great example; he’s a little bit bigger than the average Frenchie.
French Bulldog neck size for collars
What size neck does a French Bulldog have? French Bulldogs typically very short and stocky necks with a thick circumference. The average size of a Frenchie’s neck is 35cm (14 inches) which equates to a collar size of anywhere between 30 to 40 cm (12 to 16 inches).
As you can see in the photo, Claude our adult Frenchie is a little bit stockier than the average French Bulldog which is why I always recommend that you measure your dog’s neck size to make sure you get a good fitting collar.
Handy Hint: Most pet suppliers offer extra small and small collars. For adult Frenchies I would recommend small collar sizes and for French Bulldog puppies from 8 weeks and up I would recommend the extra small collar sizes.
What size collar for a French Bulldog puppy?
If you’re thinking about bringing a French Bulldog puppy home, one of the most essential accessories will be a collar… and you can’t buy a collar without knowing your dog’s neck size.
The thing with necks and collars is that it’s hard to say exactly what size you need until you measure your puppy’s neck. Frenchies come in different shapes and sizes, with their sometimes being big differences between male and female puppies.
French Bulldog puppy collar sizes
Here is some very rough guidance on what size collar is best for a French Bulldog puppy from 8 weeks of age and up.
- 8 weeks (5 to 7 pounds in weight): Extra small collar
- 12 weeks (6 to 9 pounds in weight): Extra small collar
- 16 weeks (9 to 12 pounds in weight): Small collar
- 18 weeks (12 to 15 pounds in weight): Small collar
- 22 weeks (13 to 16 pounds in weight): Small collar
- 26 weeks (16 to 18 pounds in weight): Small collar
- 18 months (17 to 23 pounds in weight): Small collar
However, I can’t reiterate this enough; measure your puppy’s neck first. Once measured it’s best to get an adjustable collar that you can get two fingers underneath when worn.
How to measure your French Bulldog’s neck and collar size
Although it’s good to know the average neck size you will be buying for, French Bulldogs can come in many shapes and sizes and will require different size collars as they grow. So, one of the best ways to select the right collar is to measure their neck. This can be done using the steps below:
- Firstly, you will need to get your dog to stand on a flat surface. (Having treats to hand might be a good idea!)
- Take a tape measure (preferably a dress-maker’s one) and start measuring your dog’s neck right above the withers. The withers are the point where the neck and the back join which is just above the shoulder blade. Be sure not to pull the tape measure too tight or let it hang too loose.
- If you’re considering a harness for your Frenchie you will need to also measure their chest as well. To do this, get the tape measure right behind your dog’s front paws and measure at the widest part of the chest.
Now that you know the precise measurements of your Frenchie you are now able to compare these with the ranges that collar sizes are available in to ensure that you are buying the right size.
What to consider when buying French Bulldog collars
Buying a collar for a French Bulldog is totally different from buying a collar for any other dog. Firstly, Frenchies are a brachycephalic breed of dog which literally means ‘shortened head’ and refers to the short head and flat face. Think of breeds such as Pugs, Chihuahuas and of course our beloved Frenchies. Due to this, collars need to ensure that they are anti-choke collars and are neck friendly.
Another thing to consider is the material that the collar is made from. French Bulldogs are prone to allergies from certain fabrics so to stay on the safe side it’s worth investing in a collar made of real leather.
Collars are a great alternative for Frenchies that are not comfortable in a harness. If your dog is able to walk on the lead without pulling, this may be a better solution.
The collar vs harness debate
Although you may have noticed the sudden surge in popularity to use harnesses on French bulldogs instead of collars, it hasn’t been able to replace the traditional collar totally.
Some experts are of the opinion that to train your French Bulldog effectively you must have both a collar and a harness and we completely agree. The question that should be asked is when collars and harnesses should be used independently.
There’s also a school of thought that with Frenchies being brachycephalic, it’s best to use a harness instead of a collar. Collars can place added pressure onto the neck and potentially lead to choking. I know of one owner who used a cat harness on their 8-week-old Frenchie puppy instead of a collar for this very reason.
Why choose a collar?
Listed below are the situations we think best to use a collar for your Frenchie:
- Identification purposes: a collar is a much more convenient way of displaying your dog’s identification tag.
- Puppies: puppies tend to dislike harnesses as they make them feel uncomfortable. Having something that’s just round their necks feels a lot better.
- Obedience on the lead: if your Frenchie behaves well enough that they don’t pull on the lead there is no reason not to use a collar for them whilst out walking.
As with everything there are certain pros and cons to using collars and they are listed below:
Pros to collars
- They tend to be the most comfortable for the dog and so can be worn for longer during the day. This makes them ideal for identification purposes.
- There tends to be a wider variety of collars in different materials, styles and comforts.
- Easy to put on and take off.
Cons to collars
- Depending on how well the collar is fitted it is possible for the dog to slip out of it.
- Using collars on brachycephalic breeds like French Bulldogs, they are prone to thyroid and trachea damage if they excessively pull when they are on the lead.
- There is a possibility that collars can get caught and suffocate dogs. It is advised that dogs do not wear their collars when unattended in the home.
Which collar I recommend for a Frenchie
The collar we use with Claude for every day use is this one on Amazon (view prices).
This one here is adjustable, so should work with your puppy and then you can upgrade into the later years. You can buy it in size ranges from extra small through to small.
Why choose a harness?
Now here are some advised situations when a harness is best for your Frenchie:
- Health reasons: using a harness will prevent unnecessary damage to your Frenchie’s trachea and thyroid.
- Longer walks: when you plan on taking your dog for a longer walk it may be better to fit them with a harness as this will evenly spread the pressure should they pull on their lead.
- Training purposes: puppies are highly distracted when they are young. Anything will make them excited and they may pull on their lead regardless of the pressure they are feeling round their neck with a collar. Using a harness will provide more control over your puppy.
Although seemingly preferred by many French Bulldog owners, there are still pros and cons to the harness and they are listed below:
Pros to harnesses
- Less pull stress with a harness as the pressure is evenly distributed around the body.
- Better control over your dog whilst walking.
- Reduces risk of neck injuries that collars may cause.
- A harness will not choke the dog if it were to get caught.
Cons to collars
- Prolonged use of a harness can cause the skin to chafe so it’s advised to change to a collar at times.
- Front clip harnesses can cause tracheal issues.
- Front hook harnesses can cause discomfort if not fitted properly. They can also have an impact on the dog’s natural gait.
No matter what your preference of collar or harness, it is important to understand the differences between them and when both may be useful to you. For the best results it is always best to get both a collar and a harness so you are covered for all circumstances.
Which harness I recommend for a Frenchie
The one we use with Claude on longer walks out into the forest is this one on Amazon (view prices).
It’s lightweight, durable, and can be easily attached on and off. The previous harness we had was really tricky to get on and off Claude, but not with this one.
It’s also comfortable and means you won’t be pulling on your Frenchie’s neck when out on longer walks – Frenchie’s love to pull!
Why Frenchies have stocky neck sizes
Originally bred in England as a smaller version of the English Bulldog, French Bulldogs were introduced into France when they made their travels with their people across the English Channel.
There, the breed was crossed with terriers and pugs to become what we know and love today! You can read more about the history here.
This mix of breeds resulted in very strong and thick necks. If you own a Frenchie, you will know exactly what I mean!
Handy Hint: If you don’t know what size harness to get for your Frenchie, please check out this guide on how to measure the chest area.
I appreciate that this guide won’t have given you the exact answer to what size neck a French Bulldog has. As you can see with our Claude photos, his is actually bigger than the average and so he tends to wear a larger collar. And that’s the thing; Frenchies will range in collar size.
The best advice I can give you is to do what we did in the end and actually take your Frenchie puppy or dog into the pet store and let them test out a few collar and harness variations in store.
That’s the best way of getting the correct fitting collar size for your French Bulldog puppy.
However, if you already know the neck size and have measured your puppy up, you can scroll up to find a few recommendations on the best collars and harnesses currently available on the market.