Say Bye to Tug O’ Walks: Best Dog Harnesses to Stop Pulling
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.
1. Best for Small Breeds: 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.
2. Editor’s Pick: Auroth Tactical Dog Training Harness
Whether you need a reliable heavy-duty harness for walks or your pet trains relying on the MOLE system, Auroth Tactical Dog Training Harness is the best choice for them. Made from durable 900D Nylon with reinforced stitching for additional sturdiness, it has patches compatible with Molle /PALs Pouches so you can attach additional weight or toys, water bottles, and such directly to the harness. If your pet is not a working dog, this harness still works great, though: it has 4 fully adjustable straps on the chest and shoulders to ensure a snug custom fit, it is padded on pressure load points, and has 2 metal leash attachment points for regular walks and no-pull training. Auroth Tactical Dog Training Harness comes in 4 sizes and 12 patterns and colors to choose from.
3. Runner Up: 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…
4. Best Gentle Leader: PetSafe Gentle Leader
Sometimes it takes an unconventional approach to get real results with leash training- or, more precisely, unconventional gear. 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. Not only that this will eliminate choking on the leash, but it also makes sure that your pet feels a slight pressure on calming points which will deter them from pulling, tugging, or jumping in the first place. Still, not in any way that would cause discomfort or irritation.
Anxious dogs and barkers also benefit from head collars, as they seem to soothe nervous dogs on walks. While this is a collar that goes over the head, 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.
5. Best for Big Dogs: Supet Dog Harness No Pull
A sturdy and comfy harness is a must for dogs of all sizes, but in particular for big and strong dogs. Even if your pooch is not a puller, extra-large dogs are a lot to handle and you’ll have to rely on the harness to keep them firmly tethered by your side. Supet Dog Harness is made from durable nylon fabric with breathable mesh lining and soft sponge padding on the inside, to ensure comfort for your pet year-round and at any time of day or night thanks to reflective 3M strips. There are 2 metal snap hooks for leash attachment, one on the back and one on the chest, so you can use it to train pullers as well as walk an already leash-trained dog. Easy to adjust and easy to put on, this cleverly designed harness will keep your big doggo comfy and in line. Supet Dog Harness comes in blue, orange, or black and 5 sizes.
6. Best for Training: 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.
7. Best Comfort: 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.
8. Best for Active Dogs: Mighty Paw 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 Sports Dog Harness is ideal for big dogs, it is also available in sizes for petite and medium pooches.
9. Best to Direct: 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.
10. Best Durable: Hurta Weekend Warrior Reflective DualClip Harness
If you and your dog like true adventures on the weekend this heavy-duty harness delivers on its name. During the development phase of the product Hurtta tested this harness on over 200 dogs to make sure that whatever size canine adventurer was wearing it, there would be no pulling. This has to do with the ergonomic design that evenly distributes the pressure of a pull across the dog’s chest so your dog will remain comfortable. There is a strong top handle as well, so you know that you can always be in control even off leash. The harness is easy to put on with the clips buckling on the chest straps so there is no need for contorting your dog to shimmy into the harness. The neck and chest are adjustable so the harness will be perfect fit — that is if you use their handy size chart along with the “Measuring Your Dog” size guide. Note that it is the chest girth measurement that is the most important for harnesses’ fit. The breathable mesh in the lining will not chafe or make your dog too hot as it is an all-weather harness. The fabrics are safe and contain no harmful substances in accordance with the Öko-Tex standard. The 3M reflective prints and piping around the harness improves the visibility and safety of both you and your dog in while adventuring in the dark.
11. Best LED: BSEEN LED Dog Harness
This extra-wide, extra comfy vest type harness skillfully combines comfort and efficiency. Made from highly durable and breathable mesh polyester fabric, it also features a soft padded interior. Another neat feature is the adjustability option that allows you to “finetune” the fit and find that perfect size for your pet. The LED system is fantastic, featuring three distinct modes of function and a nifty USB outlet for quick charging. Of course, the best aspect of this harness is its wide design that offers the best control and totally eliminates pressure on your pet. Choose from three colors–the size is suitable for medium breed dogs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Benefits of LED dog harnesses
We all know that walks are an important part of your pet’s daily routine. Whether around the block, the park, or anywhere else, a nice and energized walk will benefit both you and your pet. Without enough exercise, your pet risks some really serious issues: obesity, lethargy, and arthritis. That is why you should never be stingy with walks if you can help it. Even for just a short while, that daily exercise will be a great benefit for your pet’s mental and physical health. But what happens if you can’t manage to take your pet out during the day? You’ve been away or at work, and so the evening remains as the only suitable time. Not to worry! You can still enjoy walks in the evening and safely stroll under the cover of darkness – with the help of an LED harness.
One of the bigger dangers of nighttime walks is the lack of visibility. If you’re walking by the side of the road or on the sidewalk, there is always the risk of not being seen by the passing drivers. An LED harness makes you and your pet clearly visible to all and safe from harm. Besides the visibility, there is another great benefit of dog harnesses in general. Compared to a regular leash and collar, the harness is much more efficient and eliminates the pressure on your pet’s neck and trachea. Some dogs are too energetic and have a tendency to pull on the leash with great force, essentially choking themselves and causing issues. With a harness, this is in the past! Safely strapped around the chest and torso, a harness is a much more relaxed way of walking your pet, and no pressure will be exerted on the body.
Important features to consider in LED dog harnesses
When choosing the right LED harness for your pet you will quickly realize that there are several important aspects that need to be taken into account in order to really get the most out of this nifty accessory. Even if going for the best option for our needs means that we need to splurge a bit, it will surely be a worthwhile investment – in many ways.
You also need to consider your pet’s walking habits and their needs – take into account their size, breed, and temperament. Larger, more powerful breeds will need an equally powerful harness – opt for durable materials and added reinforcements. The same goes for those particularly mischievous and energetic dogs who are avid pullers. On the other hand, if your pet is a senior or a small breed, or simply a peaceful and laid back pooch, you can opt for a standard design.
Adjustability is also great to include if you have a pup that is constantly growing – even a bit of adjustability will go a long way. You can also consider different LED options and colors, as to easier distinguish your pet and to make them truly stand out from the crowd! So here are our top features to consider in an LED dog harness:
As with most dog accessories, durability always takes the first place on the list of important features. Doggos are active, rough, rowdy, and very playful, and all that can take a toll on any piece of equipment. Especially if you consider chewing and pawing which often involves leashes and harnesses – even though they’re not supposed to take that kind of damage. And with an accessory that is important as this, strength plays the key role. When making your purchase you really want to focus on durable designs and materials that can withstand all that a dog can throw at them. This includes pulling, tensions, biting, and all sorts of pooch-induced abuse. Durable and safe nylon fabrics are often the best solution – this woven, tightly knit material will be virtually indestructible in most situations. Durability also reflects on the connections, clasps, and D rings. These must be stainless steel, especially if your dog is a puller! Simply put, you can’t really settle for that cheap and thin harness, thinking it would do the job. It will at first, but you’ll soon find it torn to pieces or broken at its strongest points, which simply can’t happen, especially when you are out on the street. Stick to the proven quality, the strong materials, and heavy-duty designs!
Well, an LED harness wouldn’t really be good if its LED features weren’t on par. That is why it is essential to pay attention to the LED lights, their quality, colors, and amount. If you opt for a harness that is cheap and has low-quality LEDs that have bad light output, you will be defeating the purpose. You also want to get one that has an ample amount of lights throughout the harness – it is the most important aspect after all. Another good feature that is sometimes included in LED harness designs is added reflective strips. This is a unique material that is stitched onto the sides and adds a whole new layer of visibility at night time. Reflective strips are easily seen by drivers when light hits the material and reflects back. A great feature to have. Remember that visibility in the dark is one of your number one concerns when out in the streets. You want to be seen by the passing cars and pedestrians, and LED lights are the best way to do it. And not only your pet’s harness should be seen – you too will have to wear a reflective safety vest when you are in poorly lit streets. Don’t underestimate the importance of this!
As we mentioned, adjustability can be very important when you make your choice. Especially if you have a puppy that is just about to reach its full size! In such cases, a little bit of extra room can come quite in handy. Most brands offer some manner of adjustability – look for straps that will allow you to tighten or loosen the harness. This can also be great for all large breeds which can be difficult to fit in a standard-sized harness, as well. In any case, though, being able to fine-tune the size of the harness even by a little goes a long way- because it will ensure a snug and tailored fit, no matter what your pet’s size and age are. After all, no dog is always exactly the same day in and day out – they can get chubbier, skinnier, larger, and have a denser coat in different periods of the year. All this can influence their size and the fit of the harness might not always be the same. Because of that, adjustability is crucial. Look for harnesses with special buckles and tensioning straps, as these will help immensely in always finding the perfect fit.
Material and comfort
When it comes to dog harnesses you want to completely avoid cheap and rough materials in order to prevent chafing. This is one of the crucial aspects to look out for, in order to ensure comfort and leisure for your pet. Tight fits and rough materials are the number one cause of nasty chafing and skin irritation. Always look for brands that offer some sort of padding at key contact points. Rough and untreated cheap nylon fabrics can be rough on the skin without additional protection, and especially when your pet is pulling on the leash. The same goes for durability, too- cheap and poor quality materials are prone to ripping and tearing, which is the last thing anyone wants to happen. Also important is breathability, so avoid artificial materials and textiles that won’t let air through. They cause sweating, accumulation of dirt, and very nasty chafing. To sum it up, proper fitting, quality fabrics, breathability, and adjustability: these are the most important aspects for material and comfort.
LED harnesses will require batteries to operate – in some way and form. Whether those are replaceable batteries that you have to buy every now and then, or if they are internal that can be charged via USB – the choice is yours. Opt for the one that is best for your own preferences and needs. And check for battery life! You wouldn’t want to get caught out in the dark without any lights, so be sure to see how much it takes for the lights to charge or keep a spare battery on you at all times. Arguably, it is always better to find a harness that can be recharged via an USB. This is the most affordable and simple way. Replacing the classic AAA batteries can be costly and time consuming, and it is a method that is quickly getting out of practice. USB recharging costs next to nothing, is quick, and widely available to everyone. What is even better is the fact that LED lights consume very little energy – one charge will last a long time, so you won’t have to constantly think about plugging everything in. It’s simple, efficient, and cheap – what’s not to like?
How to put on a dog harness?
In general, there are two main types of harnesses when it comes to ways they are put on: one is placed over the dog’s head onto their body (overhead harness) and the other your pet steps in (step-in harness). In the first case, you should gently slide your pet’s head through the neck hole, put their paws through the leg loops, and fasten the harness with claps on the back. It helps if your pooch is calm and collected, but most dogs don’t make a fuss. The step-in harness is pretty much self-explanatory- you undo the clasp, place the harness on the floor, and have your pet step in the two leg loops and pick up the straps and fasten them on the back. Fast, easy, and ensures your pet’s safety on walks!
How to measure a dog for a harness?
There are two parts of your dog’s body you need to measure for a harness: their neck and their chest. The best way to measure your dog for a harness is to use a tape measure, but if you don’t have one at hand, you can use a piece of string and cut it to measure then place it against a ruler to see the length (which would correspond to circumference measured with a tape measure). For the neck, the measurements should be taken at the narrower part of the neck ( just below where the collar would normally sit and above the shoulders) and for the chest, measure the widest part of their chest. You shouldn’t rely on breed or weight, as different body types are what matters- some pooches are petite but have a wide chest and vice versa. All in all, flexible, tailor-type measuring tapes are the easiest way to measure the circumference of body parts. They can be found in any well stocked craft stores and are an invaluable accessory to have in your home!
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A proud mama to seven dogs and ten cats, Angela spends her days writing for her fellow pet parents and pampering her furballs, all of whom are rescues. When she's not gushing over her adorable cats or playing with her dogs, she can be found curled up with a good fantasy book.
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