Are you frustrated trying to walk your dog on a lead? Does your dog pull on the leash, walk in front of you, take off in his own direction? Read more about the best harnesses for dogs that pull?
My Tiger is pretty good on the lead but he does like to be the leader of the pack and pulls on his lead. If I don't have him on a harness when he is pulling on the lead, he will choke himself on the collar. It worries me that he will damage his throat or windpipe but no matter how often he does it, he persists on pulling.
There are several reasons why dogs pull on a leash. These include:
- Your dog is excited - wouldnt you be?
- Pulling you along gets them to where they want to go
- They are untrained and don't know any better
- Dogs are faster than we are so generally lead the walk
- There are so many interesting things for you dog to sniff along the way
- Not having the correct equipment for the job
A no pull dog harness is generally the best equipment for managing the pulling behavior while you train for polite walking.
Quick Comparison Guide to a No Pull Dog Harnesses
Types of harnesses
Getting the right gear for the job is critical. Not all harnesses are suited to assit your dog to not pull on their leash. Some harnesses are designed to keep your dog safe in the car. Some harnesses are great for controlling large dogs, some are designed for small dogs and some harnesses are perfect or those dogs that are happy to walk by your side. Getting the gear right is the first step to controlling your dog and stopping them from pulling on the leash.
Harnesses vary in many ways. Some are super strong, some of soft, some are thicker or thinner but generally there are only 3 types of harnesses.
1. Back Attachment Harness
These are a very easy harness to use. They are generally comfortable for your dog and easy for you to attach the leash before a walk. As great as these harnesses are, they are definitely not the style of lead that helps to control a dog from pulling on the leash.
Look at the picture below. Unless your dog is already trained to walk by your side, the back attachment naturally puts your dog out in front. I would used this harness for taking a well trained dog on a run. The dog can be free to run but is secure in a comfortable harness.
2. Front Attachment Harness
A front attachment harness has an attachment point or D-ring located at the front of the harness in the middle of your dogs chest. It will usually also have a back attachment for additional control. When you dog walk ahead of you and pulls on the harness, they naturally get turned around and find it difficult to walk forwards. This is not giving the dog what they want. You can see the front attachment below with this beautiful well behaved doggo.
Now, don't think that this will solve your problems on your first walk. This harness is great to TRAIN your dog to walk beside you and not pull on the leash. As with all training, practice and practice. After some time of not getting their own way, the behaviour will subside. Longer term, continue to use this harness as a gentle reminder to your dog.
3. Chest tightening harness
There is another style which has some success for some dogs. This harness looks like a normal back attachment harness but had a loop or slip knot that will tighten around your dogs ribs and chest if your dog pulls on their leash. As the harness tightens around your dogs chest it becomes uncomfortable and encourages your dog from pulling. It is often used for stronger or more compulsive pullers.
What Is A No Pull Dog Harness?
Most no-pull harness are front attachment harnesses, which has the leash attachment at the dog's chest areas and tends to give you more control of your dog's motion and direction. This allows you to guide your dog back towards you when your dog starts to pull.
There is always differing thought on the types of harnesses. Persuading dogs using movement and restriction rather than causing pain or making then uncomfortable is always the way to go. I think, if you find a harness that suits and as long as the harness does not hurt the dog then go for it.
Learning not to pull on the lead
Start training when your dog is tired. A well-exercised dog will learn not to pull on the lead faster than dogs with too much pent-up energy. Start your practice after a long walk and with consistency, you should see some improvement pretty quickly.
But don't forget, even with the best equipment, your dog still needs to be trained. Teach your dog to walk nicely on a loose leash. Attend an obedience or dog training class. Practice, Practice, Practice!!!!
Below is a list of 5 of the best harnesses for dogs that pull (actually there are now 6). All of these harnesses have been highly rated. I don't like to recommend just one, and don't believe there is just one BEST harness. We all have different dogs of different sizes, energy, and personalities. We all walk and play with our dogs in different ways.
Guide to fitting a harness
Alwasy get a good fitting harness. If yo don't, it wont work effectively and you will only be dissappointed. Before you buy a harness, read the sizing guides. All harnesses are different and they are made with small differeces to make the unique.
There are 2 main ways of fitting harnesses, the step in harness and the over head harness.
Step in harness
For the step in harness, it is usually best to unclid the harness and lay the harness on the ground with the straps extended to the longest position. There should be two loops on the ground, one for each of your dogs legs. Walk you dog over the top of the harness and when your dog's feet are in the right position pick up each end of the strap and clip it together around your dogs back.
Over head harness
The over head harness should have a loop that goes over your dog's head. Pick up this look and put it over your dog's head. Then grab the chest strap and clip that around your dog's chest. It will buckle on the side or the back.
After you have connected the harness, check all of the straps and buckles. Ensure that the straps are not too tight and the buckles are not digging into your dog. You need the straps to be tight to stop you dog escaping but not so tight that it restricts movement and breathing.
Always follow the manufacturers size and fitting instructions for your harness.
Best harnesses for dogs that pull
1. Freedom no-pull harness
The Freedom No-Pull Harness is beautifully made harness. Even though the straps are thinner on this harness that some vest style harnesses it is velvet lining on the belly strap to prevent chafing and for extra comfort. This harness can be used as a regular harness as well as a no-pull harness.
This harness is uniques as not only is it a back and front attachment, it had the uniques addition of a tightening loops on the back attachment. This will gently tighten when the dog pulls which gives this one additional control.
The Freedom No Pull harness is extremely effective for training and minimizes the effect of pulling for several reasons:
- Tightening effect of the loop on the harness
- The location of the loop
- The re configurable design that allows you to attach to only the back or to the front and back of the harness simultaneously.
If you have a very strong dog, attach the leash to both the back and the front d-rings of the harness. This will provide additional control.
Measure the circumference of your dog's chest by placing the tape measure all the way around the chest (rib cage), behind the front legs. Select a size that is between the specified size range.
Example 1: if your dog's chest is 31" you would want the large Freedom No Pull harness (26" - 32") rather than the XLarge (30" - 36"). Example 2: if your dog's chest is 28" you would want the large Freedom No Pull harness (26" - 32") rather than the Medium (22" - 28").
When selecting a size, use the exact chest measurement as the primary method before ordering. The weight is only approximate and should be used as a guideline not the determining factor.
14" - 20"
18" - 24"
22" - 28"
22" - 28"
26" - 32"
30" - 38"
36" - 44"
13 - 21 lbs
18 - 35 lbs
30 - 50 lbs
30 - 50 lbs
45 - 80 lbs
75 - 135 lbs
125 - 200 lbs
Watch the video below for more tips and hints around the freedom harness.
2. Walk Your Dog With Love - No pull harness
This Walk Your Dog With Love - No-Choke No-Pull Front-Leading Dog Harness is a very simple harness but still effective. It has the front attachment d-ring to persuade behavior and prevent your dog from choking on their collar.
This harness is easy to put on and take off and is made from very strong webbing material. Webbing is very durable and if your take your dog for a swim just rinse it out and dry it well. The Walk Your Dog With Love Harness is also made the int USA for those wanting a locally made option.
This harness comes in many colours and there are lots of sizes to suit most dogs. The 7 sizes range from small dogs of 6-11 lbs to large dogs of 110-250 lbs and many sizes in between. Here are the sizing options below:
Watch the video below to see the harness in action with big and small dogs. The video will show how to walk with your dog, how to put the harness on and talk a little about why this harness is rated so highly.
3. Chai's Choice Best Front Range No-Pull Dog Harness
Chai's choice harness is a sturdy well designed no pull harness. This one has been very effective, and you dog will feel more secure in the vest style harness that keeps your dog secure and comfortable.
Chai's Choice harness is ergonomically designed, and made with tough, durable materials. It has lightweight attachments including buckles and rings but maintains it's strength and load capacity. The harness is padded in the chest and belly area for comfort with a mesh lining. The reflective detail will ensure you can find your dog in the dark and makes them extra visible to others at night.
See more info in the video below to show the quality and effectiveness of the harness.
4. Kurgo Tru-fit walking harness
The Kurgo Tru-Fit harness is a stylish, comfortable and versatile which makes it easier and safer to walk with your dog. It has front and back loops for additional support and control. This one has a sturdy chest plate to spread the load across your dogs chest.
An effective walking harness to eliminate the choking and pulling experienced with just a collar, the Tru-Fit Smart Harness features a halt ring on the chest plate. If your pup attempts to pull on a leash attached to the halt ring, it will just turn him around effectively training him that pulling will get him nowhere!
The chest pad provides ultimate comfort by reducing stress on the trachea and sternum while dispersing kinetic energy across the chest of the dog.
It is simple to put on—just slip the harness over your dog's head and clip the quick release buckles around his midsection.
There are five adjustment points to get the perfect fit for any dog's size or proportions. It is comfortable for every day walking with a no-pull D ring on the chest.
5. No-Pull Harness Lead - escape proof dog harness
This No-Pull Harness Lead is a very unique, one size fits all walking harness (or two sizes actually). This unique design sees the leash harness tighten around your dog's chest when they pull. It is a gently tighten which prevents choking and gagging!
A great feature of this one is that it is also escape proof. If your dog attempts to back out of this harness, leash will tighten like a slip lead preventing escape, keeping your dog very secure.
The harness lead has a soft texture with no hard edges or buckles to irritate skin or back of leg. It does not wrap into sensitive armpit area where most chafing occurs. It is hand spliced in the USA, tensile strength of 3,700 lbs, strong enough to hold a boat. Machine washable, hang dry. Do not put the harness lead in the dryer!
I highly recommend you watch the video to see how this uniques harness works. It shows how easy it is to adjust the harness to suit any shaped dog.
6. Ruff Wear Front Range Harness
Yes, there are now 6 harness in the review but the Ruff Wear Front Range Harness is one of my new favourites. The build quality is second to none and is beautifully designed. The vest style keep your dog stable and secure. It comes with a front ring, back ring to keep your dog at bay with full control.
It is a padded harness for extra comfort, has reflective trim and all the buckles and tabs tuck away nicely so that they don't get caught up. It is really the neatest harness and built for strength. Ruff wear are renowned for active dogs and tough activity.
This harness will make your dog look the part on the track, in the bush or sitting at your local cafe.
The Ruff Wear Front Range comes in sizes from XX-small to X-Large and multiple colours. Remember to measure your dog and watch the video to see it being fitted.
It is very important to properly measure your dog to fit the harness. The video below will show you how to correctly put on your dogs new harness.
Which no pull harness is the best?
I recommend all of these harnesses. Thea re all highly rated based on effectiveness, comfort, current trends and best selling harnesses. The choice will be about your and your dog and how much he pulls and which one you think might suit your dog best.
Ready to walk....
Training you dog to walk calmly by your side is not easy but with the right gear you will be making your job SO much easier. When you get your new harness, persevere as your dog will take time to understand the harness. Do some short walks every day, make the walk longer as your dog gets better.
For even better results book in for some dog training, study some YouTube dog training videos and practice practice practice. Good luck!!