I may as well call this post “The Best Harnesses For Larger-Than-Average Potatoes,” because that’s essentially the shape of our beloved brachycephalic breeds. Pugs, Pekingeses, Brussels Griffons, French & English Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, and even some large breeds including Boxers and French Mastiffs have been bred for their smushed-faces, but with that look comes a myriad of respiratory difficulties resulting from their shortened skulls and narrow nostrils.
Because they already have difficulty breathing under stress, during exercise, and in hot and humid weather, it’s super important that we don’t add additional stress to their airways. Collars are not ideal on walks for this reason. Instead, a harness that puts no pressure on the throat and trachea are exactly what these pups need to stay comfortable. A good harness will also prevent escapes, won’t rub under the arms or chest, and will have adjustment points or multiple sizes to ensure it fits well.
Puppia harnesses have sizes from XS to XXL, and a wide range of colors to suit your fancy. The great thing about these is that the polyester mesh-like material is padded around the neck with just a little bit of stretch, and they won’t press against your dog’s windpipe if they’re prone to pulling on walks. You simply slip their head through the opening and buckle the ends together under the chest. The strap is completely adjustable, and the harness itself is soft and breathable.
The V-neck style looks good on everyone. The Gooby step-in harness has FOUR adjustable straps to get a perfect fit around the chest and neck, and the X-shaped design stays open below the neck to avoid contact with your dog’s throat—even when pulling. Suede edges and synthetic lambskin straps prevent uncomfortable rubbing, and you’ve got some pretty unique color combos to choose from.
Note: This harness is intended for small breeds. Please use the sizing guide in the Amazon link above to find the best fit for your pup.
With their oblong and generally rotund shape, Frenchies, Pugs, & English Bulldogs sometimes encounter some trouble finding a harness that fits securely. Stretchy fabric is all the more welcome to hug those curves (or lack thereof). The Bulltastic harnesses come in fabulously fun designs, and are constructed of neoprene polyester for that necessary stretch. Adjustable buckles allow for a comfortable, snug fit, and the padded neck area is just what these pups need to eliminate pressure on their throats. As if all of this wasn’t enough, every harness is reversible!
The front chest strap on this Blueberry harness sits well below your dog’s throat. With the leash attached to the back clip, any pressure from pulling will be redistributed to the chest—that means none of that awful coughing or choking. Unlike some other harnesses, this one does not stretch. Instead, you need to choose your size carefully, though you still have some wiggle room with the adjustable strap beneath the chest area. 3M reflective materials are embedded directly into the fabric so no matter when you’re walking, you’re always safe and visible.
Can’t have any choking if there’s no harness near your pup’s neck! The Buddy Belt Harness is as minimalist as it gets. Your poke your dog’s legs through the holes and fasten the strap over their back to secure it, and it’s built with 2 layers of leather to last a lifetime. If you’re looking for a little added comfort, Buddy Belt also sells harness liners (here) to protect against any rubbing.