Harness or Collar, What Should Your Frenchie wear?

Collar or harness black frenchie french bulldog

Do you use a collar or a harness for your Frenchie? What led you to decide into using only a collar, only a harness, or to switch depending on the situation? Although you might notice that there is a sudden surge in frenchie parents using a harness, it still hasn’t been able to completely take the place of traditional collars.

In this article you’ll see the importance of using a harness and a collar on your frenchie. We will also tackle when is best to use a collar and when it is best to use a harness. Also, you’ll find a list of the pros and cons of using a harness or a collar so you can make a decision about which one you’d prefer to use for you frenchie.

Towards the end, we also provide you with a short guide on how to choose collars and harnesses for your Frenchie or other dogs. There are the factors we considered to design our line of Sport Chic collars and harnesses which our lovely Kumi (@Kumi The Frenchie) wears everyday.

Harness or Collar For Your Frenchie?

More and more people are now trading their frenchie’s collar for harnesses. Do you think you should do that too? In the article “Dog Collars or Harnesses: Which is Better?” by Jordan Gigler for the WholeDogJournal, he writes:

“The fact is, your dog should have both a collar and a harness for most effective training.”whole dog journal

We completely agree with him on this and we personally use both our Sport Chic leather collar and harness for our Kumi. For us, it isn’t really a black or white question of “Which one is better?” but more of ”When should a collar or a harness be used?”

The fact is, your dog should haveboth a collar and a harness for most effective training.Jordan Gigler

When To Use A Collar

  1. When you need a convenient way to provide identification for your french bulldog. Collars are mostly used for providing identification for dogs because of their convenience of use. They are easy to wear, they effectively hold your dog’s tag.
  2. When your frenchie is a young puppy. Most of the time puppies dislike harnesses because it can feel uncomfortable for them. Collars can feel more comfortable because the affected area is only around their neck.
  3. When your frenchie is well trained and doesn’t pull. For short walks and if your Frenchie has already learned not to pull on the leash while walking,you can use the collar. We personally use a collar for Kumi when we’re just out for a short walk.

Pros and Cons Of Using A Collar

There are always two sides to everything. Although you can choose to use a collar for your Frenchie, there are still pros and cons to weigh. These lists of pros and cons can also help you determine if using the collar is best for you and your fur baby.

Pros:

  • More comfortable to wear for prolonged periods of time so they are perfect as identification tag holders for most days or most hours of the day.
  • There is a wider variety of collars to choose from. They can be made of various materials that can fit your pet’s preference, comfort and your style as well. For instance, our very own Sport Chic leather collar is a soft vegan leather which is not always the case for all collars. Many tend to be sturdier.
  • Easy to wear in and off.

Cons:

  • It is possible for your dog to slip out of the collar especially when it is not properly fitted.
  • Collars that are pulled can cause damage to the thyroid and trachea of the dogs. This is especially true for brachycephalic dog breeds like French Bulldog, Chihuahua and Pekingese
  • There are also dangers of collars that can get caught and can suffocate the dog. This is why it is not advisable to keep the collar on the dog when unattended and playing with other dogs or in the yard.

Read our article about French Bulldog health problems

When To Use A Harness

  1. When your dog belongs to the breed with short noses like French Bulldogs, Pekingnese or Boston Terriers. In an article written by Caryl Wolff, a certified dog trainer in 5 different organizations in the US and internationally, she writes that she prefers and recommends using a harness for dogs of smaller breeds because they are more prone to a collapsing trachea.
  2. When your activity involves longer walks around the block or the park. Similarly, Pet Owens, a professional dog trainer and a known leader when it comes to force-free and non-violent training, writes that he believes that a properly fitted harness is better than a collar while walking a dog. The pressure dissipates more evenly when the dog pulls on the leash.
  3. When you are training a puppy. Puppies are highly active and they tend to be more distracted. This is why they can pull on the leash or jump in excitement even after feeling the pressure on their collar. A harness for your frenchie simply provides more control over your pup while walking.

Pros and Cons Of Using a Harness

blue frenchie with red harness

Preferred by more pet parents as it seems, the harness also have some pros and cons that you should think about. These will also help you with properly using the harness in times when you choose to put it on your Frenchie.

Pros:

  • There is less pull stress during leashed walks when a harness is used because it dissipate the pressure evenly over the body.
  • Provides better control over french bulldogs.
  • Reduces risk of neck pulling injuries especially for dogs of smaller breed and those who have a shorter snout like the French bulldog.
  • The harness won’t choke the dog when it gets caught on something.

Cons:

  • Prolonged wearing of a harness can cause chafes on the skin so it is still better to switch up to collars from time to time.
  • An article by Carol McCarthy for petmd.com entitled “Surprising Dog Harness Dangers to Avoid” also states that it is better for small breed dogs like Frenchies to have a harness with a back clip instead of a front clip to avoid tracheal issues.
  • Front-hook harnesses can also cause discomfort when they are not fitted properly. They can have negative effects on the dog’s natural gait especially for dogs who take part in athletic activities.

How to Choose a Collar or a Harness

In our own research and development phase to design the best collar and harness for french bulldogs, we considered and evaluated the following factors:

  1. Comfort – Comfort doesn’t just mean that you have to find a soft and smooth collar or harness. You should also take a look at the design especially the hardware included. Make sure that those are smooth and won’t cause a snag on your pet’s fur. Some dogs may also be allergic to various materials so make sure you figure out what the harness or collar is really made of.
  2. Fit – Fit and comfort goes together hand in hand to make sure that wearing a collar or a harness is a good experience for your dog. If not, then your dog may become traumatized or may reject wearing his collar or harness. To ensure proper fit, you should measure carefully and don’t simply estimate because of your dog’s weight. Dogs come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
  3. Durability – Some materials are durable than others but that shouldn’t be your only basis. You should also take a look at the quality of how the collars or harnesses are made. Take a closer look at the stitches and attachments or even read reviews created by previous owners.
  4. Style – Style is cosmetic and personal but as frenchie parents, we would love to make our fur babies look their best. There are lots of high quality collars and harnesses that also look great so you don’t have to sacrifice style for quality and comfort. Our little Fashionista Kumi also enjoys to be able to switch between collars and harnesses she wears for various occasions and for everyday use.
  5. Value – The overall value of the collar or harness should also be consider. They must last for years so you won’t have to buy again especially if they still fit well with your frenchie and save you more money in the long run.

two black frenchies one with collar one with harness drawingAs Kumi’s parents, we recomend choosing both, depending on the use. It is important to consider factors such as comfort, fit, durability, style and overall value, to find a product that is most suitable for your fur baby.

Many personal trainers are open about their preference on using a harness over a collar but many still understand the convenience and importance of using a collar. There are still instances when the collar proves to be better than the harness and vice versa. This is also the reason why we are confident with our choice of using both a collar and a harness for our Frenchie baby.