Say Bye to Tug o' Walks: Best Dog Harnesses to Stop Pulling

September 10, 2020 Photos by: TeodorLazarev/Shutterstock; Maria Sbytova/Shutterstock

There are many different dog harnesses to stop pulling to pick from–find out how to make the right choice.

Every dog is excited to go outside and strut their stuff, but some pooches can get a bit too excited on walks, pulling and tugging you along. Not only that leash pulling can be frustrating as heck, but you might also experience shoulder and wrist pain from trying to keep your eager pooch under control. If you want your dog to behave when you walk them on a leash- and avoid those red sore palms and painful joints, no-pull dog harnesses are the answer. These specially designed dog harnesses to stop pulling use humane but effective tactics to prevent your dog from wiggling and tugging on the leash.

In case your dog is still in leash training or has a tendency to pull, collars are a particularly bad idea and regular harnesses just won’t do the job. If your pet has a collar and tugs on the leash repeatedly, they’ll be at risk for choking and injury to trachea. Not to mention the fact that with enough tugging, they can get free of the collar with little effort- and the last thing anyone wants is their pooch running loose on a busy street. On the other hand, everyday dog harnesses won’t lead to an injury and, unless your dog is a Houdini, they are not easy to get out of. But they won’t solve the pulling problem- just give your pooch better coverage as to rip your arm out when tugging.

While most pet owners think that the solution to the dog pulling issue is just to pull back and see who will give up first, it’s actually the choice of accessories that makes all the difference. No-pull dog harnesses come in different designs but with the same primary goal: preventing pulling and give you better control over your pet during walks. Naturally, the best way to solve the issue of dogs who pull on the leash in the first place is addressing the problem properly. So before we get into types of no-pull leashes and tips on how to choose the best for your pet, let’s see why some dogs pull and tug the leash in the first place.

Why Do Dogs Pull on the Leash?

Dog pulling behavior is one of the most misunderstood things among pet owners. More often than not, people tend to think that dogs who pull on the leash are dominant and their tugging at the leash is their way of establishing that dominance. In other words, the fact that your pooch is walking you rather than the other way around is perceived as their desire to be the leader of the pack. Well… That’s a load of crock. The idea that dog pulling is dominant behavior has been debunked by many animal behaviorists and canine experts, so it’s not your dog’s bossiness that makes them tug and pull on walks.

In reality, the most common reason for dog pulling is lack of leash and/or obedience training. Dogs who are not used to following commands and don’t have much experience with walks on a leash in general are far more likely to misbehave and try to steer the leash by tugging on it. No pooch will know instinctively what’s expected of them–or rarely, to be fair–and they will look to you for direction. If you pull back on the leash or yell at them and get frustrated on walks, they will only get confused and continue their behavior, as it wasn’t addressed or corrected properly. Needless to say, leash training is the first step you need to take if you want your pet to forego his pulling habit for good, whether you work with them yourself or hire a pro to do it for you.

Another reason why most dogs pull on the leash is that they want to go their own way–both in terms of direction and speed. Dogs who pull are often energetic and strong and their walking pace is probably closer to a jog than a stroll- that’s why they pull you, so you can keep up with them. Your pooch might sniff something fun in another direction and try to steer you there, too–it’s all about them trying to enjoy their walk, and that doesn’t have to necessarily align with their owner’s wishes. Hey, a pooch’s gotta do what a pooch’s gotta do! And, if you’re honest, their pulling probably does work as they get you to follow suit, so it’s not like their strategies are futile.

Regardless of their reasons for pulling on the leash, though, this behavior can easily be corrected with training and proper equipment. When chosen properly, dog harnesses to stop pulling are extremely effective–they give your pooch a much needed ‘nudge’ in the right direction.

Dog Harnesses to Stop Pulling: How to Choose the Right One

Not only that no-pull harnesses are not made alike in terms of their quality, but they are also different by design. There are different ways to get a dog to stop pulling the leash while walking, and not all of them will work for your pooch. To make sure you’re getting the bang for your buck and solving your dog’s behavioral issue at the same time, it’s important to pick the right type of no-pull harness.

  • Front Clip Dog Harnesses

When it comes to no-pull harnesses, it’s difficult to find one that doesn’t have a front clip attachment- that’s how effective it is. Usually, these harnesses require a two-way dog leash so you could connect it to both the front and the back of the harness and gain complete control over your dog’s movement, but without being restrictive or uncomfortable.

  • Back Attachment Harnesses

This is your basic dog harness, usually with a classic D-ring between the shoulders to attach the leash. So what classifies them as no pull? Different designs that utilize straps location (e.g. chest or around front legs) deter your pooch from tugging and trying to control the leash. However, for persistent and strong pullers, a front clip no-pull harness is usually a safer bet.

  • Head Collars or Halters

While not harnesses per se, halters or headcollars are used to correct dog pulling behavior–and with great success. As the name suggests, they go over your dog’s head and prevent him from tugging, pulling, or jumping while on walks. Though halters might not work for some dogs, for those who haven’t had success with regular harnesses, a head collar is worth a try.

Now that you know what options you have, it’s time to choose the perfect match for your pet. We’ve selected the best among the many dog harnesses to stop pulling that the market has to offer, so it’s up to you to pick one that will suit your dog’s unique needs- you can’t go wrong with any of the choices from our list.

Frisco Small Breed Soft Vest Harness With Back Clip

The Frisco Soft Vest Harness with back clip is perfect for a little dog or a puppy working to learn how to be on leash. The soft, breathable mesh keeps them comfortable and cool, and it’s easy for them to step right in when it’s walk time. There’s an adjustable fastener so you can make sure the fit is just right, and when you’re out, the fast-release buckle with two D-rings make sure your dog is safely in the harness.

Speaking of safety, there are four reflective bands sewn into the harness on the sides and chest so that night walks let your dog be visible. It comes in four different colors: blue, black, red and pink, and they’re affordable so you can have one for each mood your dog may have.

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Kurgo Journey Air Polyester Reflective Harness

If you have a big dog who pulls, you know. They could take off with you in a New York Minute, and that’s not safe for you or your dog. That’s why the Kurgo Journey Air Dog Harness is an ideal harness for big dogs. It’s made with a breathable material to keep big, active dogs cool, and has a deep V-neck design and padded chest plate so you have more control and your dog has less strain on his neck.

The Kurgo Journey has four adjustment points so that you can make sure it’s a perfect, comfortable fit for your pup, and it has four easy quick-release buttons that let you put it on them and take it off with a breeze. The x-large girth is generous–up to 44″, and the reflective trim will keep you and your doggo safe at night or early morning when you’re spending time together in the dark.

There are leash attachments in the front and the back, so your dog has some freedom to move around while you maintain all the control you need for safety and comfort. It comes in three different colors ranging in size from x-small to x-large.

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Julius K9 IDC PowerHarness

The Julius K9 IDC PowerHarness was designed to meet the needs of rescue or service dogs, but is pretty great for the doggo in your house who likes to walk but pull as he does. It has a soft, skin-friendly Eco-Tex liner so that your dog can wear it comfortably every day and the liner is breathable for your dog’s comfort.

It’s materials are German-made and break-resistant–including heavy-duty freeze-proof buckles and a water-repellant cover so you and your dog can tackle any weather thrown at you because walks must go on.

The wide chest strap glows in the dark to offer visibility when it’s dark, and the steel D-ring means that it’s easy, peasy lemon squeezy to take up the leash and head out the door.

The Handle-fixing option is what allows you to fix the steel ring or the handle–you can have both or none–and this means your dog won’t get stuck or pulled as they’re ‘working’ (that’s the part designed for working dogs, but your pup will appreciate that cool factor as they’re on their neighborhood daily). The freedom of movement your dog will have even though he’s wearing a harness will be what he loves, and you’ll love the options to find it in Baby Dog size (11.5 inches in girth) to Big Dog (46.5″), as well as in seven different colors. Hey, that’s one for each day of the week…

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PetSafe Gentle Leader

Even though a halter harness might seem like a restrictive tool, Gentle Leader actually fits loosely and comfortably around your pet’s snout. The padded nylon strap loops around the nose and sits cozily on the back of their head, leaving their neck free. This makes sure that your pet feels a slight pressure on calming points which will deter them from pulling, tugging, or jumping. Anxious dogs and barkers also benefit from head collars, as they seem to soothe nervous dogs on walks. Gentle Leader is not to be confused with a muzzle- your pet can still drink, eat, bark, and use their mouth with no issues. The company produces a whole line of these halters in different colors and with a perfect size match for a dog of any shape.

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Chai’s Choice 3M Reflective Dog Harness

Eliminate the pressure on your dog’s neck and still get keep your pooch in line- this reflective dog harness lets you have both. With two clips for attaching the double-sided leash, this dog harness is suitable for strong pullers. For your ‘regular’ puller, you can just use the front clip attachment as the shifted pressure is certain to discourage most pooches from their tugging behavior. And, of course, you can always use the standard back clip alone- for those days when your pooch is chill and doesn’t feel like dislocating your wrist with his antics. The 3M reflective material of this padded harness makes it perfect for nighttime walks. Chai’s Choice no-pull harness is available in 5 sizes and 9 color choices.

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Sporn Training Halter No Pull Harness

Designed specifically for moderate to heavy leash pullers, the Sporn Dog Halter boasts a unique and effective design. When your dog starts pulling and tugging, you simply pull back and the restraints under the front legs stop your pet in their tracks. This means no pull on their neck or shoulders, and for dogs who tend to pull, this can make a big difference for their trachea comfort.

If you have a dog aggressive towards other dogs or a strong large breed dog, the patented “Sporn Effect” can be a literal lifesaver. And while the underarm restraints are effective, they are not uncomfortable while your dog is walking around, as they are covered with soft sherpa sleeves. The innovative Sporn Training Hatler is available in large and extra-large sizes, as well as three different colors.

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Comfort Sport Soft Back Wrap Back

This PawSome harness comes in a step-in style that makes it easy for you to adjust to your dog’s perfect fit quickly and easily. The breathable mesh is extra soft, so it is comfy for your dog and keeps them cool when they’re on those long walks or runs. The dual metal D-rings will help keep them safe and under your control so that pulling won’t take them away and they are reinforced for extra durability as well. There are several sizes and colors from which you can choose, and the affordability makes it a great one to have by the door for the daily duties of sniffing all the things out.

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Mighty Paw Padded Sports Dog Harness

Large and extra-large breeds need ultra-strong dog harnesses to stop pulling- their size and strength demand it. This premium weatherproof no-pull harness is tough and durable enough to withstand the force of a big dog’s pull, and efficient enough to stop their tugging altogether. The dual-clip attachment option allows you to switch between regular and no-pull functions of the harness, with the added benefit of combined use for complete control over your rowdy furball. As an added bonus, there’s a padded handle on the back, as well, for those situations when you literally need all hands on deck–such as dog on dog aggression. While Mighty Paw Padded Sports Dog Harness is ideal for big dogs, it is also available in sizes for petite and medium pooches.

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Halti Headcollar

Cheap, comfy, and secure- the Halti Headcollar will ensure your walks are stress-free. While not restrictive -your pet can use his snout as he pleases, be it sniffing, drinking, or munching- the Halti Headcollar does direct and steer your pooch. You can use this head harness for leash training in general or to prevent your dog from pulling. The gentle forces this halter applies to center points are not unpleasant but they do get the message across- no tugging allowed. The noseband is neoprene-lined so it won’t be uncomfortable to wear. Choose between red or black and one from 6 available sizes.

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Hurta Weekend Warrior Reflective DualClip Harness

This is a heavy-duty weekend warrior, just as the name claims. The ergonomic design lets pressure be evenly distributed, meaning that they’ll be comfortable no matter what they’re doing and how much pulling sniffing takes. The clips buckle easily on the chest strap so there’s no more worry about lifting front legs into the harness, and then you adjust the neck and chest for a custom fit.

The 3M reflector piping and print make the dark safer for both of you and the surface material is made from a 100% recycled polyester. Its weatherproof Houndtex lamination and breathable mesh liner are still soft, though, so your dog won’t have chaffing as you’re on your adventures together.

The tensile is what makes it so strong, and it will take the pull from dogs at least six times their weight, so not only do you have control, you have safety in multiple sizes.

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Watch the video: How To Train Your Dog Not To Pull - Loose Lead Walking Video

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