Can English Bulldogs Wear Collars?

There are lots of varied opinions on whether or not an English Bulldog Should Wear a Collar, so if you’ve been researching, you’ve probably read a lot of back-and-forth chatter about this query. The fundamental question is if these dogs can wear collars.

Can English Bulldogs Wear Collars?

Generally speaking, YES, all English Bulldogs can wear collars as long as the collar is the correct size for your dog’s neck and is made of a material that does not harm your pooch.

The reason that this question is asked so often is because of the breathing issues that English Bulldogs regularly face for anatomical reasons. May pet parents worry about the possibility of harming their bulldog by forcing it to wear a collar.

Can English Bulldogs Wear Collars

Should English Bulldogs Wear Collars?

“Can” and “Should” are, of course, two different questions. There are lots of activities and things we can do, but probably should not.

English Bulldogs should be wearing collars, if for no other reason other than displaying those oh-so-important identification dog tags.

Collars should be the proper size for your dog’s neck and should fit appropriately without being either too snug or too loose. 

Collars need to be made of a material that is pleasant when worn by your pet. This will usually be a  soft cloth fabric or leather as both of these materials are relatively supple and will give a bit as they are worn.

These materials are also more breathable. A collar should be adjustable so that it fits comfortably and loosely enough around your dog’s neck to not create discomfort.

Do Dog Collars Serve a Purpose?

Yes, collars do serve a purpose. Even though many view them as a kind of fashion accessory, a collar’s most important function is that of having dog identification tags attached to it. Collars also are used for hooking on leashes for walking your dog.

Do English Bulldogs Like Wearing Collars?

Most dogs don’t care one way or the other about wearing a collar if the collar is the correct type. If the collar is the wrong size or made from the wrong material, it might bother your pet. Always select a material and style that works with the dog’s coat type and skin.

Do English Bulldogs Like Wearing Collars

Can Collars Harm English Bulldogs?

Certain collars most likely can hurt an English Bulldog. A chain or choke collar for instance should never be used. A collar made with comfortable material should be fine.

Remember that the principal reason for your dog to wear a collar is for the identification tags attached. In the event, that your dog runs away or gets lost, you want whoever finds your dog to find you. It’s important that your bulldog can be identified always.

Some pet parents believe incorrectly that collars are automatically harmful to bulldogs. A dog collar might harm your bulldog if it’s too tight and worn for too long a period.

Collars can also be detrimental when used with leashes especially if your bulldog pulls and inadvertently pressures its throat. To be on the safe side, only let your bulldog wear a collar for very short periods if used with a leash, or better yet, opt for a harness.

What About Dog Collars with a Leash for a Bulldog?

Walking a Bulldog on a leash that is attached to a collar is not the best of ideas. If your bulldog doesn’t pull when on a leash, then you might be able to hook a leash to its collar for a short walk.

Because bulldogs are brachycephalic, meaning they have short muzzles and rather flat faces, they are at risk for various health issues including tracheal collapse. So, walking a bulldog on a collar is not ideal. A harness is a much better solution.

What About Dog Collars with a Leash for a Bulldog

Can Dog Collars be Worn Even When Not Used with a Leash?

Yes, a bulldog can wear a collar, even if you don’t use it with a leash, and prefer using a harness when taking your dog out for a walk. Ideally for a bulldog, a harness will be a safer and more comfortable choice for a bulldog when out walking. 

Collars and leashes can be distressing for a bulldog, especially if it pulls when on a leash. If a bulldog pulls hard enough, it may hurt itself, and this breed already has breathing difficulties for anatomical reasons without adding pressure to the neck and throat area.

Bulldogs have no problem wearing a dog collar if a leash is not attached to it. For bulldogs on a leash, a harness is the best option as they are more comfortable and do not risk cutting off or interrupting your dog’s air supply.

Collars are fine for bulldogs when used for identification tags if they are the proper size and comfortable.

What Types of Dog Collars Shouldn’t Be Used?

Metal choke collars should never be used on a bulldog. This breed has been known to faint when wearing one with a leash. Choke collars can also cause bruising and be extremely troublesome and annoying for your dog.

In several cases. This type of collar has been the cause of paralysis in dogs. So, the choke collar is to be avoided at all costs.

Utilizing prong collars is also to be avoided. Similar to choke collars, the prong collar may cause pain in your dog’s neck and throat area.

Nylon collars are also ill-advised for use with a bulldog. Nylon collars, when too tight, run the risk of cutting into your dog’s skin and can be rather itchy for your dog, causing it to scratch a lot.

With scratching, your dog may lose fur in the neck area and even be subject to rashes, crusts, and irritation in general.

See also: Do Bulldogs Get Cold Easily?

What Are the Best Materials for a Bulldog’s Dog Collar?

Dog collars are manufactured in a vast selection of fabrics and materials. When selecting a collar for a bulldog, it needs to be comfortable for the size and shape of your dog’s neck.

One of the better materials used in making dog collars is leather. Leather offers a stylish appearance, it is durable and wears well, and it is supple enough to be comfortable for your dog. 

What Are the Best Materials for a Bulldog’s Dog Collar

Another type of dog collar that is increasing in popularity is the GPS electronic collar so you can monitor your dog’s whereabouts. Collars with GPS tracking are generally manufactured in either soft plastic or leather.

There are also fabric collars that can be easily cleaned. Whichever collar you choose in the end, it should be a flexible supple material or feature padding to ensure comfort.

Harnesses vs. Collars

Because bulldog collars are better utilized for identification purposes, what does one do when walking an English bulldog?  Pet parents want a safe and comfortable solution for their beloved bully, and this is where the “harness” enters the discussion.

Harnesses and collars are extremely useful and ideally, a bulldog owner should have both. Collars are pretty common, but they are not necessarily the best choice when your bully is involved in activities. Consider these uses for both collars and harnesses.


Bulldog collars are terrific for carrying your beloved bulldog’s identification tags and rabies tags. They‘re stylish and are perfect for ID purposes. Collars will not pose a problem for your bulldog if he or she is off leash and following voice commands.

Collars are not optimal for activities that may exert pressure on your bulldog’s neck or throat area such as when attached to a leash.

Even if your bulldog generally does not pull when walking on a leash, if an unexpected cat runs by, your pet bulldog may try and make a run for it.


Harnesses are ideal for bulldogs when involved in activities that require leashes. Bulldogs often have necks that are the same widths as their heads.

In fact, if a bully backs up when on a leash, it is not unheard of that its collar slips off. A harness, by contrast, wraps not around the neck and throat, but around the chest and legs.

If your bully pulls, the force of its pulling is evenly distributed to stronger body parts that do not place the dog at risk.

A harness is not designed in such a way that it can harm your bully’s neck, windpipe, or spine if indeed your bulldog begins pulling.

The Bottom Line

Bullies basically have no neck, so this poses a problem when you, as a bulldog owner, are engaged in talking your bully for a walk or involved in outdoor activities that require a leash.

Either the collar will be too snug subjecting your dog to discomfort and the risk of tracheal collapse, or it will be so loose that your dog can slip his head out of the collar. Yet a collar is great for identification, so what’s the best solution?

As a bulldog parent, you need to own a collar as well as a harness. Use the collar strictly for ID purposes and rabies tags. Use the harness for walks and outdoor activities with your beloved bulldog BFF.

Susan R Elliston

I have over 11 years of experience as a vet working with a wonderful variety of species of innocent and lovely animals. Whilst I still work two days a week for a local practice, I realized that I could help more people by sharing my knowledge and experience with my readers.

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