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? Your pain is real and we have put lots of research into helping you get your dog to walk nicely and to stop dragging you down the road.
We wrote a similar article a few years ago and have had loads of questions about the best harness and harnesses that can help with walking your dog. We have updated that article to make it as current as possible. Read on for more about the best harness for dogs that pull 2018?
My dog Tiger is still a very good lead walker, most of the time. However, being a little terrier who was originally bred to chase small fluffy animlas, he will pull on his lead to chase the little critters. It is really amazzong how much pull an 8kg terrier has, not to mention a 30 - 40kg dog.
Without a harness to hold him back at the chest and shoulders he will pull on the lead until he chokes himself on his collar. A harness is essential for dogs like this to prevent damage and injury to his throat or windpipe, particularly now that he is older. It is also important that you both enjoy some time together without battling all the way.
Quick Comparison Guide for Best Harness for Dogs That Pull 2018
Why do dogs pull on their leash?
There are several reasons why dogs pull on a leash. Some of these include being super excited to get out and go for a walk, dominance, exploring, no training or just love to lead the pack.
Different 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.
i. 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.
ii. 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 grea 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.
iii. 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
When learning to walk in a harness, consistency will reward you. The time it takes to change a behavior greatly depends on how consistent you are.
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!!!!
Guide to fitting a harness
Before you buy a harness, read the sizing guides. All harnesses are different and they are made with small differece to make the unique. There are 2 main types of 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 harness for dogs that pull 2018
We have again reviewed the best harnesses for dogs that pull. 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.
If you are looking for a harness to stop your dog from pulling you along while on your walk, have a look at the harnesses below.
1. Ruff Wear Front Range Harness
The Ruff Wear Front Range Harness is one of my new favourites. The build quality is second to none and is beautifully designed. It is stable and secure on the dog and comes with a front and back d-ring to keep your dog at bay.
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.
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.
2. Freedom no-pull harness
The Freedom No-Pull Harness is beautifully made harness. It is different to some of the others as is not a 'vest' style harness. Even though the straps are thinner, it is velvet lining on the belly strap to prevent chafing. This one can be used as a regular harness as well as a no-pull harness.
The freedom harness is uniques as not only does it have back and front d-rings, it also has the back tightening straps. This will gently tighten when the dog pulls as an addition way to control pulling. For this reason the Freedom No Pull harness is extremely effective for training and minimizes the effect of pulling.
If you have a very strong dog, the front attachment may not provide enough control. In this case, attach the leash to both the back and the front or use a head halter.
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 girth measurement as the primary method or 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
3. Chai's Choice Best Front Range No-Pull Dog Harness
Chai's choice harness is a sturdy well designed no pull vest style harness.
The chai's choice harness is a stylish and durable, yet lightweight for your dogs comfort. If has strong webbing, handles and buckles with a large load capacity. It is easy to put on and well designed for your dogs comfort with soft mesh lining and padded in the chest and belly area.
There are the two front and back attachment points with adjustable straps to suit different shaped dogs. I always like a harness or leash with reflective properties. It is easy to lose sight of your dog at night without the reflective strips.
The harness comes in sizes from extra small to extra large as seen below:
See more about the harness below in the video by Chai's choice.
4. No-Pull Harness Lead - escape proof dog harness
This No-Pull Harness Lead is a very unique, one size fits all walking harness. This is the harness that has the slip knot style loop to tightens around your dog's chest area.
A great feature of this harness is that it is escape proof. If your dog attempts to back out of this harness, it will tighten like a slip lead preventing escape.
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!
There is no need for lots of sizes with this one due to it's unique design. Just small and large will do it. Sizes below:
Watch the video below to see how unique this harness is. It will show to to position the leash / harness on your dog, how to adjust the harness to suit and show how it controls your dog from pulling. It really is a unique harness and is quite gently on your dog.
Which one is best for me?
The best harness for dogs that pull 2018 is a collection of really great harnesses and we recommend all of them. This is a simplified list from my previous article on the current trends and best selling harnesses. The choice will be about your dogs size 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. For even better results book in for some dog training, study some YouTube dog training videos and practice practice practice. Good luck!!